Brothers (AU,CC,MATURE) COMPLETE - 5/8/14

Finished stories that feature the characters from the show, but there are no aliens. All fics completed on the main AU without Aliens board will eventually be moved here.

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mary mary
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Re: Brothers A/U C/C Mature Chapter: 10 6/6/13

Postby mary mary » Thu Jun 06, 2013 2:15 pm

Natalie: No rats getting out of this trap... :wink: :wink: :wink:
Eve: You have an interesting question Eve but if I answer it then I'll give away a goodly part of the story, NO? Anyway, I had a great time in the East and if I was a younger person I would do it more often, alone, that way I could stay as long as I wanted. :wink:
Carolyn: My horse was and appaloosa brood mare and was boarded at an appaloosa ranch about 30 miles away. Fun times and I know how your husband felt...it's not easy to give up a nice part of your life. As for this fancy ranch coming up, just wait, my mind went nuts with this one. :D
Alix: :lol: :lol: :D I wore 3 inch heels to work everday and one afternoon our computer programmer approached me and told me she liked my new CFMs. I asked, "What are CFMs" to which she replied "Come F U - - me shoes." I had never heard that before and told her so...she laughed and I told her I'd tell my huband to which I did...he said " I know, and I love your shoes" So much for not knowing but I did like my shoes...now I wear Nike's. :D I like them too but I do dress up occasionally, not often, but occasionally and I wear my CFMs. :wink:

*~*~*~*~*
Chapter: 10

Clark led Lois and Liz right up to the campsite the wranglers had set up for the night and truthfully Lois and Liz were as glad as their horses to finally be able to settle down, it had been on long day.

Max was as nervous as a chicken on a hot tin roof until he finally saw the three horses ride up; he plastered a great big smile on his face, threw the remainder of his coffee into the fire and practically ran to greet them. The rest of the hands looked at each other quizzically and then grinned like hell. It looked like the Evans’ boys had found mates and this was good. They needed someone to share their lives, it was time.

“Did you guys get lost or something?” Clark laughed at his brother…

“Max, you know better. We took our time, visited, took in the scenery and had an all-around good ride. We didn’t leave the ranch until after six so all in all I’d say we made pretty good time. Those are some horses the girls have there; they kept right up with Sachmo, no problems at all.”

Liz and Lois looked at Clark as if he had another head…

“What do you mean they kept up, did you ever doubt it? We wouldn’t have brought a green animal out here Clark. I know you don’t know us very well but damn, we do know a little bit about horses…and Lois knows a helluva lot about large animals in general. That IS why we’re here isn’t it?”

Liz was miffed and Max was getting a big kick out of the half pint giving the giant hell and he laughed, as did Clark and Lois. The rest of the camp joined in as they watched Liz dress down Clark. They really weren’t quite sure what the two young women were doing there but apparently it wasn’t just a “date” as they had surmised in the beginning…this was a little more.

Finally all the men headed for the chuck wagon to drop off their cups to the cook, who was more than glad to be able to wash the dishes, he had a certain way of doing things and didn’t need any help, ‘thank you very much’. Liz and Lois sat and watched as “Chase” cleaned up after everyone and they were amazed at the way the man had everything so organized.

There was also a porta-potty sat up about 50 yards away and this too amazed the young women…although they were used to traveling in the fifth wheel with full bath facilities built in this was a very welcomed surprise, they even packed a roll of toilet paper in their saddle bags just in case and this was so much better than they had imagined.

Each girl made her way to the chuck wagon with a collapsible cup in her hand and took no more than a swallow of water each and headed on out away from camp to brush their teeth and use the facilities that had been placed there before rolling out their bed rolls.

“Lois, this is much nicer than I envisioned…I’m still glad we brought our own supplies along in case we need them tomorrow but this set up is quite nice considering.”

“You’re certainly right about that Liz…can you imagine the trouble it is to move that thing every day.”

Max was walking by and overheard the conversation and stopped for just a minute to assure the girls that these things were strategically placed all along the trail and after the round up they would call the company they rented them from and have them replaced with clean ones, hence the necessity of the back road and the bridge. They only got used one day every six months or so but it was worth every penny of the cost.

Lois and Liz smiled and continued on with some nightly maintenance on themselves; they had their cream with them as well as well as their tooth brushes and were not shy about using it.

When they were ready to turn in each girl curried their horses and then took them for a slow walk around the camp site to let them get more familiar with everything and then tied them up next to Sachmo and Max’s horse, Diamond; he had a diamond shaped spot right between his eyes, hence the name. Clark liked New Orleans jazz, hence Sachmo.

After the horses were bedded down for the night each girl rolled out a blow up mattress, took a portable tire pump from their back packs and proceeded to pump the things up then put their sleeping bags on top of that with a small travel sized memory foam pillow. They slipped off their boots, crawled into the sleeping bags, and before zipping them up they shinnied out of their jeans and rolled them up tight and forced them into the leg of one boot and proceeded to make themselves comfortable. Clark and the men couldn’t help but watch them, enthralled with everything they did, especially the way they got out of those jeans… Liz and Lois were not aware of anything but going to sleep.

Max looked at Clark as he threw his sleeping bag on the ground, removed his boots, used his shirt as a pillow and promptly crawled in and went to sleep…’Damn they surely do look comfortable over there; wouldn’t I like to be curled up next to that, for more reasons than one’ and his brother was having very similar thoughts as he too laid on the hard ground with nothing between him and the grass but a sleeping bag.

*

As the sun started to show its light over the east the mountains seemed to come alive and the smell of coffee permeated the campsite and overtook the aroma of the cattle.

Liz and Lois started to awaken to the smell of the morning just the same as the men were doing and they sat up, Liz shaking her head to work out the cobwebs and Lois rubbing the back of her neck. Each woman slowly retrieved their jeans from their boot, shook them out and slowly worked them back on and then they threw back the sleeping bag as they sat up and rubbed their eyes.

Each girl shook their boots out just as the men were doing before putting them on and then they made a bee line for the portable out house. The men didn’t have the same problems as women and merely got up and turned, made their way to the far end of the camp grounds and turned their backs, never giving it a second thought as they allowed the women their privacy.

Soon Lois and Liz had retrieved their little bottles of hand sanitizer from their saddle bags, washed up, and made their way to the chuck wagon for another taste of water and proceeded to head on out away from the campsite to brush their teeth, brush their hair into fresh pony tails and wipe their faces with the handy wipes they also carried in their saddle bags.

None of this went unnoticed by the men who were all shocked at the women and how little space their supplies seemed to take up, everything seemed to fit into one little bag they retrieved from the saddle bag which also carried a clean pair of jeans, a tee shirt and some clean underwear and socks all rolled into a neat package that fit right into the bottom of the saddle bag.

Both women had pulled the plugs on their mattresses when they first got up and by the time they were ready to start rolling up their sleeping bags they also were ready to press out the remaining air from the mattresses and roll them up as well. There wasn’t a man in camp who hadn’t decided that they needed one of those things including Max and Clark.

By the time the men had their stuff put away so did the girls and they were all seated around the chuck wagon on stumps and rocks eating eggs, bacon, potatoes and biscuits with fresh coffee. Liz and Lois each had a bottle of water and a nutrition bar as they watched these men and wondered how in the hell they were going to move after all of that food and the men wondered how those girls were going to have enough energy to mount their animals with nothing more than that to eat. I guess it was all in what you were used to but no one said a word to anyone about it.

And down at the gateway to E~N~S Ranch two men hauling a load of feed and hay managed to pull their hats back onto their heads and made their way to a large barn about ten miles in from the highway and to announce themselves to a man who seemed to know his way around the immediate area pretty good.

*
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"Age is just a state of mind"...I think that's mine? I could be wrong! I'm old, so sue me.

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mary mary
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Re: Brothers A/U C/C Mature Chapter: 11 6/13/13

Postby mary mary » Thu Jun 13, 2013 4:10 pm

Natalie36:Crap is right!!! Let's keep our fingers crossed! :P
Carolyn: :P I'm ashamed to say this, but I'm really not sure what's up since I wrote this a long time ago but I'm sure it will work out...I guess I need to reread the chapters before I post them, another edit certainly wouldn't hurt, but then, maybe, I'd change my mind about posting it at all...decisions, decisions! :roll:
Eve: My husband loved to fish and hunt and he also did not like to fish and hunt alone so guess who he hauled along with him...yep, me. I finally put my foot down when the good old arthritis was starting to make it too hard to get up off the ground, even with a blow up mattress, so we bought a mini motor home. The greatest invention since the wheel. I even bought a little 13" TV and rabbit ears antennae. He did all the fishing and hunting he wanted and I read and watched TV and hiked when it was nice. The dog and I loved it...so I know how Liz and Lois felt with their "camping" gear. :wink:
Alix: To pack efficiently you pack for the occassion!!! I liked camping for a week-end: jeans, tees and no make up...hair ties, bandanna, cowboy hat, and the clothes on your back. Of course the shower got a damned good work out when I got home...now the wedding, well, that was a different story. The only thing I took that I didn't need was my dress slacks, four pair....When casual was called for jeans were the garment of choice. Not knowing what I was really walking into I was prepared for anything...even took my books, thank God. :D

*~*~~*~*~*~*

Chapter: 11

The truck carrying two strangers hauling a trailer came to a slow stop in front of Jose’ as he exited the big white barn where he had just removed a box of papers for Maggie. He stopped in his tracks as he watched the large pick up come to a halt…

“Can I help you with something?” Jose’ asked as the driver got out of the truck and introduced himself…

“Yes, as a matter of fact you can…” and Simon Henderson held out his hand to Jose’ and introduced himself as a delivery man from Andrews’ feed and supply.

“Well, just what is it you need at 7:30 in the morning…you must have started out here at 4:30 to be here this early.”

“Well, to tell the truth we came last evening but when it got dark and we had no idea where we were we just pulled over and spent the night in the truck. No sense in wandering around needlessly.”

Jose’ really wasn’t buying this line of B S for one minute but didn’t let on to the driver how he truly felt.

“Well, Andrews’ stock boy loaded the wrong merchandise for the Evans’s order and Andrews sent us out to pick up the wrong stuff and replace it if that’s alright with you.” Simon continued…

“Sure, just let me get rid of this box for the Mrs. and I’ll be right with you. You can pull your truck around to the back of the barn. That’s where we keep the supplies and I don’t think the boys have moved any of it since they unloaded it because they headed out the very next morning on round up with the rest of the hands and I haven’t had a chance to look at it either because the Mrs. has a honey-do list for me a mile long…so just go on back and I’ll be with you directly. Just which part of the order do you want to replace?”

“The feed actually; it’s all marked for us and we have the replacements all loaded back there for you.”

“Mm hmm…well as I said, just give me a minute.” And Jose’ continued on his journey to the other out building with his box before joining the men. He needed a minute to think about this and then he decided that he would somehow get a sample of what they were picking up before he turned it all over to them.

Something just wasn’t right about this…them coming out here in the middle of night and sleeping out on the road and then showing up practically at sunrise. No this wasn’t right and he would take it up with Clark and Max as soon as they returned…maybe it had something to do with those two doctors that he was introduced to yesterday.

Simon pulled around to the other end of the barn and noticed the fifth wheel parked alongside of the barn and thought it looked familiar but really didn’t pay that much attention to it since there were so many interesting things to see around this place. It was certainly one beautiful set up that’s for sure. Especially the living quarters for the hired help; it looked like a small village with the way all of the smaller homes were laid out along the two lane paved highway running parallel to the fenced corrals. This was really something…

Jose’ came in through the other end of the barn the way he had exited and made his way to the feed stacked alongside of the stalls, made his way to one of the bottom sacks, ripped a corner so it would look like it had accidentally opened on its own and removed a goodly portion of the contents, put it into a plastic bag he had brought with him and discreetly put the bag into an empty stall before making his way out to the two men and their truck.

“Okay Simon, if you’ll just back your truck right into the barn here you’ll find the feed you’re looking for stacked right over there. I believe that’s it, right?” Jose’ never batted an eye at the two and they smiled and got to work.

Jose’ watched the men closely as they carefully unloaded the replacement merchandise and put the original sacks and bales back into the truck…then they put the new supplies in exactly the same spot as the old supplies, thanked Jose’ and drove off.

‘Humph!’ thought Jose’, ‘mistake my ass’ and he went in and picked up his plastic bag and put it in the cleaned out office for the young doctor when she returned…something just wasn’t right.

Philip did not hire Jose’ because of his stupidity and Clark and Max Evans were going to be very thankful for their father’s excellent judge of intelligence.

*
Back at the roundup Lois and Liz saddled, mounted and readied their horses along with the rest of the ranch hands and headed on out to the herd as some of the men took to the hills to round up more cattle and the other half took to sorting the herd into the holding pens for tagging. Chief and Banner seemed to love the challenge of the cattle and Liz looked over toward Lois and grinned; it was almost as though they knew exactly what the two horses were thinking…you’d have thought each cow was something for them to play with and both girls started to laugh.

Clark and Max were watching the girls to make sure they didn’t get into any trouble when they saw them laughing and rode up to find out what was happening. Lois nodded to the head of the big seventeen-hand gelding, the horse seemed to be dancing as Lois giggled hysterically and they noticed Banner doing the same thing.

“What are they trying to do?” Clark wanted to know.

“They want to play.” Lois explained. “They think the cattle are ‘moving barrels’ for lack of a better term. They’re so well trained in the barrel racing arena that sometime we would just give them their head and let them do whatever they wanted. They just played in the field…they think the cows are here for their pleasure.” Liz was giggling too hard to talk as she finally loosened the reins, relaxed in the saddle and allowed Banner to seek out a young steer and literally ‘prance’ and steer him all over the place; Clark just watched in amazement.

He thought his and Max’s horses were well trained but these two animals were for the books and then he nodded to Max; theyheaded on over to the trail boss to let him know they were taking off for the day. The guy looked over at the women and thought he understood and grinned. With those two horses on the trail with them it would definitely hold up their progress because it was just plain fun to watch the two young women and those ‘spoiled’ animals; those horses were ‘clowns’ for lack of a better term.

Oh they had their bad days just like any animal but today was not one of them, they, just like people, liked company and were taking advantage of it…

“Liz, Lois, let’s head out in a different direction for a while; do you guys have any food in those saddle bags?” Max asked…

“Only nutrition bars. Why?”

“Well, let’s hit cook up for some sandwiches before we take off, the men have their lunches in their saddle bags already and I’m sure Chase made up the same for you two, unless of course, you already picked up your sack lunches.”

Lois looked over at Liz and she nodded “no” before answering…

“It looks like we didn’t know the program Max, we’ll catch up shortly.” and both women took off at a dead run in the same direction as the chuck wagon had gone, their pony tails bouncing in rhythm with their horses along with their hats laying at the back of their necks, then Clark gave a whistle. He didn’t know what else to do to get their attention.

Both women leaned back in the saddle, straightened their legs, bore down on the stirrups, heels down, toes up, and tugged their reins just slightly. They turned around to look in the direction of the loud shrill and Clark motioned them back, which they complied. Both horses responding to every move the girls made practically in unison, it looked like a horse show.

Clark had their lunch provisions in his saddlebag along with his but things were too busy to let them know sooner.

Max grinned at the fact that both women hadn’t hesitated one second to reverse direction and head back to them. They were definitely a sight to behold and then he saw that smile on Liz’s face and his jeans started to get tight on him once again…this was getting to be a way of life and he wasn’t sure he was going to survive it at all.

It wasn’t long before all four young people were headed toward the site of the old bridge and the place where Philip and Diane Evans had died.

Neither young man was looking forward to this visit but both saw the necessity of it. Something just wasn’t right about it at all and a man in Billings, Montana was about to find out that he messed with the wrong young woman.

The four young people had ridden for a couple of hours before coming upon the site of the old bridge…they had passed the new one about two miles downriver and Clark pointed out where they were headed. Liz nodded, got off Banner and led her by the reins and she walked the riverbed looking for debris and signs of the automobile as she carefully watched her step.

Banner was just as alert as her partner and watched her surroundings for entirely different reasons than Liz. Liz’s safety was the horse’s primary concern and Liz knew it. Banner had never let her down in her life…not since she raised her from a colt when her father had told her to be careful. She never had to be, the horse just knew she was loved and she returned that love a thousand fold.

Banner came to a dead stop, turned her head around and stuck her muzzle right into Liz’s face and Liz stopped dead in her tracks and looked around.

There on the trail was something foreign to the terrain; Banner had recognized it immediately and Liz approached with caution…she dropped the reins in front of the horse and approached what looked like a piece of log that was not native to the terrain and then she noticed the notch cut out of its side.

It was an unexploded blasting cap; Liz took a knife from her saddle bag and carefully removed the soaked cap, safely removed the fuse before putting it into a plastic bag and placed it into the left saddle bag where she carried her testing supplies. The right side carried her personal ‘stuff’; then she turned, put a hand on either side of Banner’s head just under the ears, nuzzled her horses’ nose and rubbed her neck before picking up the reins and moving on.

Her three companions remained silent as Liz and her horse continued on their hunt.

Along about noon Clark and Max pointed over to the old bridge that was still partially standing and Liz nodded. She knew this had to be tough on the young men but what she had found downstream was too important to not continue to look for more clues. She tied Banner to a tree near the riverbed and made her way closer to the remains of the bridge. The last thing she needed was for the horse to get overprotective and to try to follow her where she shouldn’t go.

Liz sat down on a rock and removed her boots, socks and hat just in case she slipped then made her way out onto the side of the riverbank and looked up under the bridge; from that angle what she saw turned her stomach.

There were definite signs of an explosion and why Barnaby had not reported this was a mystery. This bridge had definitely been blown up and it was so obvious that even a kid would know this. This was a cover up of major proportions.

Liz made her way back to Banner’s side and removed a digital camera from the saddlebag, climbed back down the riverbank and back up under the bridge where she started to snap pictures one after the other. She kept working her way farther and farther out until Max finally called out…

“Liz, that’s far enough…it’s getting too dangerous out there.”

“Max, there’s no danger here at all. This is as stable as the day it was built. There was no accident out here at all, this was murder and we will report this to the state police not the locals. Someone didn’t want your parents coming home for some reason and we will find out what it was. Do either of you know why they were out here in the first place? Why do you need a bridge out here anyway, you have that nice paved road in from the highway.”

“This is a shortcut over the mountain pass when we check out the herd. It’s rarely used for anything else. Oh, and the sanitation company we rent the porta-potties from uses it also. We have a cabin up higher where we can stay when we are checking on the herd if the weather is too harsh for camping. Are you sure about this Liz?”

“Just as sure as I’m standing here; I have physical proof as well. Are you sure no one came out for the vehicle because there is no physical evidence that one was ever here.”

“We’re positive.” Clark answered, “The coroner removed the bodies from it and we watched.” Max remained very quiet…he looked like he was about to hurl at any minute and Lois wanted to cry for both of them…Liz was too wrapped up in what she was doing at the time to take notice of anything else. She was pissed, pure and simple!

“Can we follow the river bed back and see if any of the remains has washed downstream. It just seems to me that there should be some evidence of a vehicle here somewhere. This is just too bizarre.” And Liz crawled back over to her boots, brushed her feet off with her socks before putting them back on, grabbed her horse and started back toward her companions.
Last edited by mary mary on Thu Jun 13, 2013 7:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Brothers A/U C/C Mature Chapter: 12 6/20/13

Postby mary mary » Thu Jun 20, 2013 8:28 pm

Carolyn: I don't know how I managed to cut the thing off and then not notice it, guess I was half asleep or something...been having problems in that department lately for some reason. Staying up readint too late I guess. :D
Eve: Thank you...I'm not sure if i've made it clear yet or not why this "disease" conspiracy is going on but if it isn't clear in the next couple chapters I'll explain it. Glad you're enjoying it though.... :)
And, thank you for the good wishes regarding my son...if the damned fool takes care of himself and doesn't overdo eveything will be fine. :roll:
Carolyn: I see you came back and got caught up...good. Enjoy, I'll try to do better. :D
Thumper: Thank you so much for the fb...I love hearing from you, honest! :D
Alix: This is the first "Mystey" I've attempted and it looks like I'm leaving a lot of people hanging out there...hopefully it all clears up eventually. I really don't know what to do about it if it doesn't because i wrote this a couple of years ago. Michelle gave me a bunch of suggestions, which I took to heart and tried my damnedest to deal with so let's hope, between the two of us, we took care of it all. :wink:

*~*~*~*~*
Chapter: 12

The weary riders met up with the chuck wagon by six that evening and Liz and Lois felt as if they had been rolling around in fields of dirt. Liz’s feet felt gritty in her socks and her face and hair were an absolute mess from crawling around under the bridge while Lois was practically as crummy as Liz just from being in the saddle all day.

Neither woman complained but when they got back to the chuck wagon an hour before the other men were to arrive they took the big wash basin from the side of the wagon, along with a pail and headed on down to the river, promptly built a fire, got themselves some river water and heated it up and dared one soul to poke his head over or around the clump of trees they had decided to use for privacy and then they had themselves a portable shower. It took them several basins and buckets full but they managed to get the job done, including the hair, and by the time they got back to camp they were shining from one end to the other and laughing about the entire episode.

“If we do this again Clark, we’re bringing another wagon with us…one that carries a portable shower.”

“I’m surprised you didn’t pull one out of those saddle bags, you have everything else in there, or at least packed with your bed roll. You can always do what the men do, just jump in the river.” And Max laughed.

“Maybe tomorrow, tonight we needed hot water and soap. Although we did rinse in the river, but it’s too cold to wash in.”

“Ah, you’re a couple of pansies.”

“Pansies? You’ve got to be kidding! I think we’re doing pretty damned good for a couple of city girls.”

“Lois, I’ve never seen city girls do the things you girls do in my life although the blow up mattresses were a shock.”

“Clark, we discovered the blow up mattresses a long time ago. They don’t take up as much room as the sleeping bags actually and really are a nice touch, don’t you think? They keep the bags clean too, you should try it, besides, we usually have the fifth-wheel on our week-end campouts.”

“Well, don’t you think that would defeat the whole camping out experience?” Max asked.

“Oh, I didn’t know this was a ‘camping’ trip Max, I thought this was a working trip, sorry…but either way I prefer the mattress to the ground. Besides being softer it’s also warmer at night when the ground is cold. Otherwise we’d have the horses lay down for us and we’d sleep on them.”

“Do you mean to tell me those horses would lay down for you?”

“If we asked them to, yeah!” And then Lois cracked up before continuing.

“They might stay for a minute or so but I don’t think they’d stay down all night.” And Liz stood and giggled as she worked on her wet hair, getting it all untangled and ready for a ponytail. It was Lois’ story, she could tell it any way she wanted to but the truth of the matter was, sometime they had to be ready to ride very early and the blow up mattresses did prevent their backs from going stiff on them and age had nothing to do with it.

By the time the wranglers arrived at camp after settling the cattle on the range the cook had things set out and ready to serve and he even allowed Lois and Liz to help him get it ready. At least he let them put the dishes and serving pieces on the open end of the buck board as Clark and Max filled the wash basins with river water and set them up on the other side of the buckboard for easy access for the men to wash themselves up before dinner.

Tonight there were baked potatoes that had been thrown into an open fire, steaks that had been cooked on a grill that had been placed over top of the open fire, biscuits that had been baked in a pan on the side of the open fire and a big pot of fresh spinach salad sitting by the plates on the buckboard. All in all these men were not going to go hungry and Liz and Lois didn’t complain about the heavy food tonight. They were right in there with the rest of them.

One of the hands, Tom, wanted to know how they had enjoyed their day and Liz, being the cautious, untrusting human she was, said she had a great time.

“The scenery is just beautiful around here; I don’t know why anyone would ever want to leave…no matter which direction you head you just keep seeing more and more beauty.”

Tom smiled…

“You’re certainly right about that. How long are you ladies here for?”

“Oh, we’ll be leaving on Sunday…have to be back to work on Monday you know. Unlike you, where one day seems to flow into another, we work Monday through Friday.”

“I see. What do you do?” Liz started to get suspicious and Max and Clark picked up on this immediately. Tom always was the one who started up conversations and they didn’t think anything of it but not old Liz…she didn’t’ like it one bit.

“Well, Lois works at the Missoula Animal Center and specializes in animal husbandry. We’re actually here to check out the herd and see if we can’t possibly find some good stock that can be traded for breeding purposes. Max here seems to think that it’s time to replace some bulls. So, although we seem to be ‘playing’ out here it is actually a working trip so to speak.”

“If that’s what Lois does what do you do Liz?”

“I work at Missoula labs. I’m a microbiologist and I work mostly with diseases. I’m here checking the stock for anything contagious that could be passed on to other livestock in the area before we do any trading so to speak.”

“Uh huh, and do we pass?” Tom was getting really interested in this conversation for some reason and Liz couldn’t see any reason to keep their jobs a secret, Clark and Max didn’t seem to mind. So far this place was as clean as a whistle.

She would know more tomorrow when she got back to the barn and did studies on the samples she had taken from the animals. The men were totally unaware that she had taken these samples when she was out on the range with her horse earlier in the day, seemingly playing a game of tag now and then with a calf.

“Well Tom, so far it seems that the herd is probably one of the healthiest herds I’ve seen in a very long time. I think it’s due to all of the open range, the fresh mountain run off in the rivers and the healthy air. All of these animals are certainly prime.”

And so the conversation continued throughout the evening. All of the men were fascinated with the young female doctors, their knowledge of animals in general and why they were here. Even though the majority of them thought that the two young women were absolutely perfect for the two Evans men they did not lose sight of the fact that these two women were very well educated and were here on business.

Liz still was not relaxed enough to trust them implicitly, not after what she found at that old bridge.

*

The next morning, bright and early, Liz and Lois were up and getting ready for another long day while the men readied themselves with another large breakfast before moving the herd closer to the ranch, tagging those that needed it, they were still looking at another two days or more when Liz told Lois she was heading back.

It wouldn’t be necessary for her to come along if she didn’t want to but there were tests to be run and Lois understood. Max joined the two women before heading on out with the men and Clark led his horse over to the stream for a drink…

“What’s up you two…you look very deep in thought over here for so early in the morning?” Max wondered…

“Well, I’m going to head on back to the ranch Max. I was just telling Lois that she can stay and look for more stock but I need to get busy on some tests, especially on some wood I dug out of that bridge.

I’m pretty sure of what I’m going to find but I still want to have an accurate report before I contact the State Police. I definitely do not want the locals to get wind of my discovery out here. Just how much do you trust your hands?”

“Well, there are only three that we hire for roundups; they work for the other ranchers as well. The rest have been with us permanently for years. Even the younger ones; we grew up on the ranch together. The others show up for every roundup and I’m fairly comfortable with them. Is there a problem?”

“You know there’s a problem Max, I just need to figure out how close and how deep it goes. I don’t want anybody tipping off whomever did this…it definitely wasn’t a random act, I can tell you that.”

Liz didn’t want to go into the particulars of the virus that was being introduced to the various ranches in and around the area but it was definitely a conspiracy and the Evanses were part of that conspiracy for some reason, and it involved the death of their parents.

About that time Clark joined the other three and said his good morning to the girls and then Max informed him of Liz’s plans.

“Liz is going back to the ranch this morning Clark and I think I should go with her. I don’t want her out there on the range alone, not that I think she would get lost or anything I just think, under the circumstances, she shouldn’t be alone.”

“I agree Max…Lois, are you going as well?”

“No, I think I’ll stay and look at some more stock Clark. I have a pretty good idea which of the bulls to pull for breeding but there may be a few I’ve missed. I want to make sure you don’t go castrating the wrong animals.”

And Liz laughed…

“God forbid she wouldn’t be able to get her hands on all that prime out there.” And then they all laughed.

Tom was walking by with his horse and heard Liz and damned near choked trying to stifle his laughter at the pint sized riding queen. Both young women truly amazed him and Lois definitely had an eye for the best of the best.

As Liz pointed out earlier, that was an excellent herd of cattle that’s for sure but some were top notch and the young woman could pick them out without a second glance.

So Liz and Max mounted up and headed out toward the ranch while Clark and Lois took their places among the rest of the cowboys and Chase loaded up the chuck wagon to get ready to move to the next station. It was a beautiful morning for riding and Liz and Banner were thoroughly enjoying themselves, especially Liz, having Max at her side.

*

It was about noon when the two lone riders rode onto the main part of the ranch and headed to the huge mansion called the main house. Max pointed out to Liz that it would be a good idea to just go in and have some lunch before she got busy out in her makeshift lab and when they dismounted Jose’ met them as he came around the side of the building…

“Hey Max, let me take those horses to the barn for you and I have something to show you when you’re ready to talk.”

Liz grabbed her saddlebags from Banner before Jose’ took her reins from her and he smiled. ‘There’s a woman who doesn’t trust anyone and that’s good’, Jose’ thought to himself. Max grinned at Jose’ as he handed his reins over and he took his saddlebags too.

“Liz, you can use the washing machine in the house if you wish.”

“No, that’s fine Max. We have one in the fifth wheel, just big enough for some clean undies so to speak…but we carry enough to last us for the duration, honest. I just need to wash some trail dust off before I sit down for a meal. Thanks just the same.”

Max nodded and Jose’ shook his head as the young couple went in through the front door; it was a rarity that the front door was used and now it had been used twice in as many days. He smiled to himself as he continued on his way.

Max took Liz right on past the doorway leading to the back end of the house and went right up the huge winding stair way, past a large library looking room and opened a set of double doors that led into one of the most beautiful bedrooms Liz had ever seen.

“Make yourself at home Liz…the bathroom is through that door, there should be clean towels in there and I’ll meet you downstairs whenever you’re ready. I’m sure Maggie has something we can chow down on; is there anything in particular you would like for dinner. Maggie can fix just about anything you would want.”

“Max, I’ll eat whatever she fixes…I’m not that picky.”

Max grinned…

“I’ll see you later Liz. I’m going to shower and put on some clean clothes.” And Max left Liz to fend for herself; he smiled the whole way down the long hallway and into the other end of the house where he and Clark had their rooms.

He and Clark had left instructions that the two larger suites at this end of the house were to be cleaned and ready for the two young women before they ever arrived, and that they were.

*
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Re: Brothers A/U C/C Mature Chapter: 13 6/27/13

Postby mary mary » Thu Jun 27, 2013 8:07 pm

Eve: I do know that I explain why the Evanses were killed later on in the story because right now nobody is sure they were murdered. It all becomes clear eventually and it had nothing to do with jealousy...I can tell you that. :wink:
Carolyn: That mess back on ch. 11 was a surprise and I'm glad you checked it out...on with the show. :)
Alix: Great that it's all making sense so far, this one had me worried for many reasons...it's a little more involved than I usually get with my fics ... :?

*~*~*~*~*

Chapter: 13


Liz made her way into the very comfortable, very elegant and very roomy bedroom, put her saddle bags on the dresser and opened the one up where she found a clean pair of jeans, a clean pink tee shirt and clean underwear all rolled up tightly and then removed a small ditty bag that contained her toothbrush, hairbrush and tooth paste plus a container holding wipes that she used for various things, cleaning her boots being one of those things.

She went into the bathroom, found clean towels, very expensive soap and shampoo and a terry robe among other supplies that any young woman might need and she smiled.

‘Maggie is very efficient’ she thought to herself as she removed her filthy clothes, well very dusty clothes, and stepped into the shower with a bar of the vanilla soap that was on the counter.

She found just the right temperature and thought she just might stay in this shower forever. Jets poured down on her, sprinkled up at her and hit her straight on in very fine mists all over her body and she stood there and laughed at the insanity of it all. Right in the middle of thousands of acres in no man’s land Montana; who could have ever imagined it.

She practically scrubbed herself raw and then turned the water off and stepped out onto the fluffy carpet just outside the enclosed shower and took a fluffier white towel, wrapped it around her head and another to pat herself dry. A person could get used to this kind of living she thought and then shook herself back to reality and proceeded to get dressed in her clean clothes, brush her wet hair into a tight pony tail and looked around for someplace to put the dirty linens…well that’s a surprise. Nothing to put the dirty towels in so she gathered them up and placed them on the counter and made her way back to the bedroom to roll her dirty clothes up and put them into the small trash can liner she carried and placed them all into her saddle bag.

She went back into the bathroom and grabbed the dirty linens and took them with her as she exited the beautiful suite and made her way back down the impressive staircase.

She found her way to the other end of the house where she managed to bump into Maggie and asked what she should do with the towels she was carrying just as Max came into the room from another doorway.

“Oh dear…you shouldn’t be worrying about that Liz. I’ll take those from you.” Maggie said as Max grinned and took the towels from Maggie and gave her a kiss on the cheek…

“It’s okay Maggie, Liz is used to handling things for herself. Is lunch ready?”

“Just a few more minutes Max; where would you like to be served?”

Liz looked at Max and raised an eyebrow…

“Maggie, I think we should eat in the kitchen like we usually do and just put the food on the table. We can serve ourselves.” Max smiled at Liz and saw she still was a little skeptical…

“Have you eaten yet Maggie?” Liz asked.

“No Liz, Jose’ and I usually eat out here with the boys but since Max has company…” Liz held up her hand to stop her.

“Maggie, we’ll eat the way you normally eat. I am not used to being waited on and I certainly don’t want to start that now at this late date. I might learn to like it.” And the three people in the kitchen started to laugh…

“I’ll go get Jose’ Maggie, finish up what you’re doing, it won’t take long.” Max announced.

“Great, like I said it won’t take long.” And Maggie continued to work on lunch.

“Let me set the table for you Maggie, do we need plates or will napkins do?”

Maggie pointed to a cupboard at the other end of the kitchen and Liz got busy setting the places at the table after Maggie suggested small plates just in case.

“How many Maggie?”

“Just the four of us unless Clark and Lois are coming in.”

“No, they’ll be here tomorrow…Lois is still checking out the stock. I’m going to be working out in the barn for a couple of hours and then I’ll go to the fifth wheel but thank you for putting all that nice stuff in the bedroom for me. It’s just beautiful; as a matter of fact the entire ranch is beautiful.” Liz remarked as she continued to find the flatware and napkins to complete the table.

Maggie just smiled. The boys hadn’t planned on these two young women bringing their own accommodations; this pleased her. They were definitely keepers as far as Maggie was concerned and she hoped that Max and Clark knew this.

During lunch Jose’ told Max and Liz about the two men from Andrews’ feed supply and the switch they made with the feed sacks and also about the sample he left in the ‘office’ for Liz.

Liz watched Max’s face as Jose’ told them about the switch and didn’t know what to make of his expression and Max didn’t know what to make of the story Jose’ was telling him.

“Why would they say something was wrong with the supplies we brought home? We’ve been buying the same mix for the livestock for years, what could have been wrong?” Max wondered out loud.

The ranch had a few dairy cattle that they fed a special mix to and then Maggie pasteurized the milk before giving it out to the workers families.

“That’s exactly what I thought Max and I believe that, if they made a mistake, it was a big mistake. Why bother to come out and switch the bags.”

Liz thought long and hard before she gave away too much information…

“Max, let me run some tests on the sample Jose’ left for me and then I’ll let you know whether or not a ‘big’ mistake had been made.”

“You know something you aren’t sharing don’t you? That’s why you and Lois came out here…Lois I can understand but you wanting to set up a temporary lab doesn’t make sense unless you know something that we should all be aware of. Too many ranchers are having problems right? You are testing for something aren’t you?” Max never was known to be anybody’s fool.

“Max, just let it rest for now and let me run my tests. We already know something is wrong with the bridge and now Andrews wants certain bags of feed returned or replaced. This entire scenario is just wrong.” And Liz bit into her beef sandwich, and it was one damned good piece of beef too.

Max, Jose’ and Maggie all watched the young woman and wondered just what was going on that they didn’t know about…but they would know soon enough.

*

Out on the range Lois was busy with the other wranglers checking out the cattle and had taken over the cataloguing of the various animals, noting the tag numbers for each and listing the approximate age of each animal, although for the record, all animals are born in March regardless. Some of the little calves were still hanging onto their mama’s for dear life and Lois loved it. There wasn’t a baby on earth that the woman didn’t love and that included these baby calves.

Clark watched her with admiration and amazement; how could anyone so beautiful have chosen such a profession? She should have been a model or an actress and he just shook his head and hoped. Lois got her sidelong looks in as well and the wranglers kept watch on both of them.

*

After lunch Liz started to clear the table for Maggie and Maggie put her foot down.

“No Liz, go out to your lab that I worked so hard on getting ready for you and let me do this. It is what I get paid to do after all.” And Liz smiled, excused herself, and Max got up to follow her out the side door of the kitchen.

“Come on Liz, I’ll go with you and you can get to work while I check on the horses and some of the cattle in the holding pens out back.”

Liz smiled as she walked side by side with Max and he pointed out what some of the out buildings were used for as they passed them on their way to the big barn….

“Max, what are all those homes down the road all about?”

“Oh, that’s where our married wranglers live with their families. It’s too far for them to travel back and forth and we do have quite a few permanent men working for us. We also have the two bunkhouses. That building over there is the schoolhouse; there are four class rooms in there and we have four full time teachers on staff as well. They have their own houses too; well they are couples so two of the houses are theirs.

The school goes from grades one through twelve and then we have scholarships set up for any of them who want to continue on with their education. There are only thirteen kids going to school there now but we have had as many as 25 at one time. Clark and I actually went to school there. Our mom taught English grammar, literature and higher math. Dad taught the sciences, biology and such. It works out quite well for us and for the families as well.”

“Just how many head of cattle do you run Max?”

“Thousands…we ship all over the U.S.”

“Hmmm, it’s quite an operation you have here…it would be devastating if anything should happen to destroy your stock.”

“It certainly would and what are you not telling us?”

“Well, as you know I work with the state on certain projects and Max, there’s a manmade virus being spread among the cattle here in Montana. It is so bad that the FDA may actually quarantine the state if I don’t come up with a cure…so far the only success I’ve had is knowing that it is manmade.

None of my cultures are showing any success. I haven’t tried using a healthy specimen in my cultures yet, but I think your cattle are about as healthy as any cattle I’ve ever seen and I would like to isolate one of the new calves and use it for testing if it’s okay with you. Please don’t repeat this, not even to Clark; I know we can trust him but I haven’t even told Lois the entire story Max. It’s just too scary and if the wrong person got wind of this it could cause a hysterical avalanche and our state is not ready to deal with that.”

Max kept walking, his hands in his pockets, as his mind worked double time…damn. What if his parent’s death had something to do with this? His dad was an excellent biologist and very well versed in animal diseases; what if he had discovered something when he and his mother had gone over to the Lazy J the weekend before their death. This was not good, not good at all.

Liz looked up at the handsome young man walking next to her and stopped, looked him in the eye and said…

“Max? What’s wrong?”

“Liz, is the Lazy J one of your suspect ranches?”

Liz thought for a minute, wondering if she should tell him or not and then decided that she’d gone this far maybe he could shed some light on things.

“Yes Max they are…why?”

“Mom and Dad were on their way home from there the week-end they were killed. Liz, my dad was a biologist; what if he discovered something?”

“Well Max, we’re going to find answers, trust me, and the state will be let in on a whole lot of what’s going on as well. I think Jonas Barnaby and Jim Andrews might have something to do with all of this too.”

And the two young people made their way through the big white barn to the makeshift lab Maggie and Jose’ had set up. There on the desk was a plastic bag containing a sample of the feed that Jose’ had retrieved before allowing the young men from the feed store to remove the suspect merchandise and Jim Andrews was none the wiser.

“Max, before I get started on this ask Jose’ where that broken sack was. I want to make sure the new sacks of feed can’t be contaminated by anything that may have spilled out. That stuff is very powerful and we just might have to destroy everything…I’ll check it all out first but better to be safe than sorry.”

“How would we destroy it Liz? We sure as hell can’t burn it; it would be released into the atmosphere.” Max was just as frightened as Liz was about all of this and thank God for Jose’.

“We’ll deal with it Max. Now, just get a shop-vac and make sure the place is ready to be cleaned up.”

Max smiled as he headed to the supply room where most all of the hand tools were kept and it was practically as clean as the house…he returned with a shop-vac and headed to the makeshift lab to join Liz.

“If there is anything I can do Liz...” and Max trailed off his statement as Liz held up a hand…

“Let’s just wait and see Max.”
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Re: Brothers A/U C/C Mature Chapter: 14 7/3/13

Postby mary mary » Wed Jul 03, 2013 4:16 pm

Carolyn: She's a good guest!!! :wink:
Natalie: They all work well together, I once had a coworker that worked well with others, it's a nice experience!!! Honest, all I had to do was tell her what I needed and she did it perfectly without instructions, it was great. :)
Eve: A fifth wheel is a very poplular recreation vehicle in the U.S. It is different than a travel trailer in the fact that it sits over the bed of a pick up truck rather than being hitched to it with a ball trailer hitch, http://www.fairfieldrv.com/pre_owned_de ... eh=3218564, you can check out this web site and have a look at a couple if you're interested. My husband and I had a mini motor home that we used for camping but the only extra body we took was our hound dog, Fred. It had all the comforts of home only on a much smaller scale, and was lots of fun to take to various lakes and rivers for a week-end away from home. MY husband loved to fish so I just grabbed some books and we'd take off, it was lots of fun.
****



*

Chapter: 14

Out on the range things were moving right along and the men had managed to tag most of the herd they had rounded up yesterday and had also castrated many more after Lois took ‘the pick o’ the litter’ so to speak.

Tom just shook his head as he and Clark built a special holding pen for the bulls Lois had singled out for breeding purposes and Clark looked at him and grinned as he spoke loud enough for only Tom’s ears…”Lucky little bastards.” And Tom out and out laughed at his boss…Lois was never the wiser.

*

Back at the ranch Liz had made quite a bit of progress as she tested the blood samples she had taken from the calves and found no disease in any of the samples and then she tested a small amount in the plastic bag. Sure enough, it was laced heavily with the damned disease and she promptly closed things up and then had a brain storm.

She had wisely labeled a few of the vials she had taken from the younger calves and removed some of the sample of one and pulled a sterile Petrie dish from her saddle bag, thank God for plastic, opened it up and added some of the calves blood cells along with some other mixtures she had and promptly covered the dish and set it up next to a desk lamp that she had carefully placed on a clean shelf to sit alone and grow. She hoped her theory worked. If the virus was man made maybe a healthy blood sample and a few manmade chemicals just might work. It was worth a try, nothing else seemed to be working.

Max watched in amazement as the young doctor worked her magic…she had outfitted him with a facemask and a makeshift apron from the things she had taken from the RV before getting started.

“Come on Max; let’s check out the area in the barn where the bags of feed are.”

So the two young people headed to the area where the feed was kept and Liz asked Max where the opened sack had been. Max had verified the area with Jose’ earlier as he pointed to the shop-vac that was sitting right next to the spot Jose’ had pointed out.

Liz took a clean test tube from her pocket, removed the cap, and started to scrape dust particles into the clear liquid…nothing happened as far as Max could tell and then Liz removed another vial and opened one of the new sacks and did the same thing. Nothing! Liz removed her mask and told Max he could do the same.

“It’s clean Max, but can you put a clean filter into the vac and put a plastic bag in it and vacuum up all around this stuff. Let’s not take any chances. I’ll take the bag and the filter back with me to the lab to be disposed of in a controlled environment.”

“Just how controlled is this environment Liz.”

“About as controlled as you can get Max, it’s sort of like a crematorium only much hotter if you can believe it and dust free, Satan himself wouldn’t survive.” And Max grinned, he wasn’t sure he believed her or not but he had no choice.

“Well, since Clark and Lois won’t be back until tomorrow, what would you like to do this evening?”

“How about a continued tour of the grounds Max, I find them fascinating.”

Max smiled; oh how he hoped she stayed fascinated enough to want to hang out for a long, long time. He knew this was moving rather fast on his part but he was definitely taken with the young beauty in front of him and he wanted more, there was absolutely no doubt in his mind about it. He just didn’t want to scare her off.

“Great, how about after dinner?”

“That sounds wonderful…can I fix dinner for you in the RV. Lois and I brought plenty of food and I would be more than glad to fix something for both of us.”

“Liz, any other time I would love to join you for dinner but how about we eat in the ranch house tonight with Maggie and Jose’ and I would also be more comfortable if you stayed in the house with us as well. I know you are used to the RV, but since all of this strange stuff is going on I would just feel better about it, especially after our visitors.”

Liz thought about it for a minute before deciding that Max might be right. Those two characters did spend the night out on the road and God knows who else was lurking in the shadows.

“Fine Max, come on in with me while I get some clean clothes. You can have a look around and see what kind of ‘camping’ we do.” And then she laughed…

“You know Max…we don’t always have the ability to haul the RV with us when we go on a ride…We haul the horses and sometimes just park and pack our saddle bags before heading off into the hills. The horses don’t seem to mind and we manage quite nicely out in the hills alone.”

“Well, it was perfectly obvious that you two weren’t novices when it came to trail riding that’s for sure.” And Max smiled as he remembered the two of them and their ‘bed rolls’ that were anything but a bedroll.

They continued to talk as Liz opened a closet in the back of the RV where the bedroom was and came out with a little overnight bag. This rig had everything in it.

“We don’t unpack the overnighters; we just take the whole thing into the apartment with us, do the laundry and repack it. Why waste all of that time packing and unpacking. Just stick the dirty stuff into a plastic bag and keep it ready for the wash. Works out great; we’ve been doing it for years so it’s no big deal to us. Although we don’t race anymore; the horses are getting a little old for that kind of activity and so are we actually but they still get a little frisky once in a while.”

Max laughed as he recalled Banner playing with the calves…

“Yes, I noticed.” And by that time Liz was ready to head on over to the main house with Max.

“This is a very nice set-up you gals have here Liz, all the comforts of home.” And Liz smiled,

“We even have a satellite dish that extends up from the roof and is controlled by a remote to find the best reception. Quite fancy huh? It was a gift from our parents when we went off to college. We took our animals with us and actually rode when we had the chance. We paid board for our horses and lived in the RV. Worked out quite well wouldn’t you say?”

“I would have to agree, and you certainly know how to handle this thing that’s for sure.”

“Well, a fifth-wheel is much easier to handle than a trailer is but I can handle both. No big deal really, I think I learned to handle a truck and trailer before I ever drove a car.”

“I see. But Lois prefers a car?”

Liz laughed, “Lois is as good with this rig as I am but she loves that car of hers. It’s the first thing she bought after she got her first pay check; she’s really proud of her ‘baby’ and don’t let anyone tell you any different.”

“I can tell.” And the young couple walked back to the house with Max carrying the overnight bag Liz had taken from the RV.

*

Lois had curried down Chief after they came in from the temporary branding pens and walked him to the river for some slow fun and exercise.

The animal loved to “play” in water for some reason; he would actually stand in the reservoir at the ranch where they boarded the horses and flip water over his back by dipping his head down and then throwing the water back over him. She had pictures of him doing this and when Clark came down to join her he couldn’t believe his eyes. There was this huge horse actually ‘horsing’ around in the river and he had to laugh.

“He’s fun to watch isn’t he? Banner likes the water too but she doesn’t throw it around like Chief does…I think she lets him throw it on her though. I truly believe she’s in love with him…it’s too bad he’s a gelding they would have some pretty foals, don’t you think?”

“Well, they’d be interesting that’s for sure. Hard to tell by looking at her whether she’d give birth to a black quarter horse or a big appaloosa, it all depends on who had the stronger genes. They’re both beautiful animals certainly but I think they love their owners.” Clark said as he smiled down at the beautiful red head standing there before him.

“Well, I think the feelings are mutual. We think a lot of them too. We’ve had them since they were babies so to speak and more or less raised them by ourselves. My father is the one who talked me into gelding him; dad knew he was going to be a big horse and was afraid he would be too much for me. I don’t think that would have been the case, he’s a great big teddy-bear actually.” And Lois returned Clark’s smile as she stood there with her hands tucked into her jeans pocket and reminisced.

“Lois, that horse is anything but a big teddy-bear…that animal is huge.”

“He’s no bigger than your horse Clark.”

“No but my horse is not a house pet either…this horse thinks he’s a lap dog. Both of those horses are spoiled rotten.”

“No Clark, you can’t spoil someone or something with too much love. You can ‘ruin’ a person by catering to their every whim but never by giving them too much love. There is no such thing as too much love, it’s good for the soul and these animals have souls…good souls.”

Clark thought for a second and smiled once more at the beauty next to him…

“You’re right Lois, there’s no such thing as too much love.” And then he looked at her strangely…’I would love to give you too much love Lois’ he thought to himself.

About that time Chase clanged the triangle, he loved it, and everyone headed back to the chuck wagon. Tonight it was a hardy beef stew with homemade biscuits again and Lois ate almost as much as the men did. It had been a long time since the sandwich she had for lunch and the few bottles of water she had tossed in her saddlebag…starved didn’t even cover how she felt tonight.


Lois managed to get herself all situated around the campfire after the large spread the cook put on for the men and joined in on some of the story telling and all around teasing the men were dishing out before getting her bedroll and mattress off the back of her saddle and Clark came over to ask her if she wouldn’t feel more comfortable closer to the men tonight since Liz was gone; she thought a second before agreeing.

She hadn’t even given it a second thought that she was more or less isolated from the rest of the group and suddenly she was very thankful for Clark’s thoughtfulness.

“I think that’s an excellent idea Clark…although I’m not afraid but it would make more sense in case anything happened.” And she grabbed her two mattresses, her sleeping bag and threw her little pillow that was in a small carrying case over her shoulder and followed Clark over to the rest of the group before taking out her bicycle pump and inflating the mattress once again. When she was finished she shoved it over to Clark and pulled out another one and started to work on that one…

“A little present from Liz; she left it for you this morning before we packed up, said you might enjoy it.” And Lois grinned as she blew her own mattress up.

Clark looked at her and shook his head…he wasn’t ready for the ration of shit he knew he was going to get from the men but he didn’t want to hurt Lois’ feelings either.

Then Tom saw what was happening and gave a whistle for the other men to have a look and they all laughed, they knew exactly what Clark was thinking so Tom spoke up before Clark embarrassed himself.

“It’s okay Clark, I think we’re all going to invest in one of those…it looks pretty good actually and why shouldn’t we get a good night’s sleep after a hard day’s work.”

Clark nodded and threw his bedroll out on the mattress, rolled up his shirt and proceeded to make himself comfortable as Lois once again crawled into her sleeping bag, shinnied out of her jeans, sat up and rolled them into a tight little ball and forced them into the leg of her boot. The efficiency of these two women really amazed all of the men not just Clark.

“Lois, just how often do you and Liz go camping?”

“Every chance we get Clark. When the weather is nice we’re gone every week-end but not a whole lot recently; we take the RV out in the wintertime when it’s not too bad and do some day trips into the hills as well. It’s fun; we even cut our own Christmas tree when the weather permits. Of course this Christmas it was too bad to go out on too many day trips so we had to settle for a tree lot. It was a pretty tree but it’s just not the same.”

“No it isn’t. Well, good night Lois and remind me to thank Liz for the mattress…it is definitely more comfortable than the ground, let’s just hope I don’t roll off.”

“You get used to it Clark…instead of rolling you have to turn; it works better that way.” And Lois turned to her left side, facing Clark, smiled and promptly went to sleep.

‘I could really get used to looking at that’ Clark thought as he lay there and looked up at the stars before his eyes finally closed on him for the night.

*
Back at the ranch Max and Liz were walking back from a long stroll down the paved road and were slowly making their way to the back entrance of the “big house” when Max stopped and pointed up. A shooting star…

“Did you see that Liz?”

“Yep.” Was the only reply he received as he watched his companion who was deep in thought.

“What are you thinking so hard about Liz?”

“Just making a wish Max, that’s all.”

“What did you wish for?”

“I can’t tell you, it won’t come true. Did you make one?”

“Yep…” Max trailed off…oh how he hoped his wish came true; the tight feeling in his jeans was going to be a constant reminder of the beautiful brunette even after she left to go back to the city. They definitely had to make more trips to town, no doubt about it.

“Liz, will you go out to dinner with me next Saturday?”

“Max, I’ll be in Missoula and you’ll be….” Max stopped her…

“I’ll be in Missoula too if you say yes.”

Liz smiled her quirky little smile and stood on the first step leading to the back porch before going all the way up; then turned and looked at Max full on…

“I would love to have dinner with you on Saturday Max…” and she leaned in and gave him a quick sweet little peck on the lips before turning and heading back up the stairs…Max’s jeans suddenly got very, very tight on him as he watched that sexy little ass swing and then he turned and sat on the stoop as Liz made her way into the back hallway. ‘There’s no way I’m going into that house like this’ he thought and then he smiled one great big smile and looked up and thanked whoever was watching. ‘Yes, there is a God!!!’ and Max pumped air like hell wouldn’t have it…

Liz grinned the whole way to her room…she was having very similar thoughts of her own and then she remembered, her overnight bag…’DAMN’.
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mary mary
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Re: Brothers A/U C/C Mature Chapter: 15 7/10/13

Postby mary mary » Wed Jul 10, 2013 10:35 pm

carolyn: :lol: I never unpack my traveling "medicine chest"...as for the makeup, welllll, I did put some on for the wedding. Sorry about the double post, sometime I have problems with this website and never know what it's going to do...and I don't have much patience anymore! :wink:
Natalie: Yep...a date! This could be the start of something big!!! :wink:
Eve: Your photo of the road/pass was interesting. We have quite a few like that here in the states and some not so far from where I live...as for the men being shy, they really aren't that shy but they like these women and don't want to mess up the chances for a relationship. They're more used to one night stands so to speak and they aren't wanting that with these two. :D
Alix: My husband and I used to take the kids camping all of the time, it was a fun way to get out of the house for a week-end and the kids loved it but when I got to be around 50 it was harder to climb in and out of that tent and I told him he could go fishing and hunting alone because I wasn't subjecting myself to that kind of torture anymore....hence the motor home. Nice, warm, comfy...hot and cold running water, beds with sheets. Now that's camping!!! :roll: :lol: :D As for kids being out of school, I know exactly what you mean. Enjoy it, it doesn't last forever.

*~*~*~*

Chapter: 15

DAMN, DAMN, DAMN…She wasn’t about to go back down those stairs, because she knew if she did, she would not be coming back up those stairs alone.

She turned around and made a decision…’I slept in my underwear out on that range, I can do the same in here; what’s the difference…I can even sleep nude if I want to’ she thought to herself…and then she giggled, ‘I just might do that anyway.’

She headed into the bathroom, showered, washed her face, brushed her teeth, took some of the lotion that was laid out on the counter and proceeded to rub her hands and arms, removed her hair tie and shook her hair loose before heading back into the bedroom when she heard a slight knock at the door.

“Oh shit!” she murmured to herself then she smiled…”It’s open” and Max opened the door, stared, gulped and then held her overnight bag out to her as he stood slack jawed and watched the young woman as she tried to make up her mind how to handle the situation…

“I’m sorry I forgot it Max, you could have just left it by the back door and I would have gotten it in the morning.” She made no effort to move and neither did Max…

“It’s no problem Liz; I had to come up anyway.”

“Yeah, but I think you stay in the other end of the house, right?” She flirted as she cocked her head a little to the side,

“Yeah, down that hall to the end, turn right and then all the way down to the end of that hall. It’s not that far really…” Max stammered and Liz grinned…

“About half a block huh?” Liz smiled, Max chuckled…

“Maybe not that far.” he said as he watched the beautiful young woman from across the room.

“Shall I just put it down by the door for you? The bag that is…” Max wasn’t sure what the hell to do at this stage of the game…

Liz made a decision,

“Bring it over here Max.” And Max did. That was all the invitation he needed.

Liz did definitely sleep in the nude, all night as a matter of fact, and what a night it was. Max didn’t even have to walk to his room in ‘tight’ jeans.

Maggie and Jose’ were going to be very happy when Max and Liz joined them in the morning; you could count on it.

*

Over in Billings there were a couple of well-dressed business types boarding a private jet, getting ready to fly the approximate 300 miles or so to Missoula. They weren’t quite sure what they were going to find when they got there but they needed to know if things were being taken care of in a timely manner. There was an awfully lot of time and money invested in this project and they didn’t need anyone screwing it up now.

“You’re sure Andrews’ men got all of the ‘merchandise’ back from that ranch safely.” Charles Shuman spoke into the phone curtly…

“Absolutely, he said the men got back about 11:00 a.m. on Friday with the back end of their pick-up stacked with everything that had been picked up the week before. Everything was in perfect condition according to Andrews.”

“We’ll see.”

And they were airborne that fast and landing in Missoula not an hour later.

*

Out on the range Lois and Clark both woke an hour after the rest of the wranglers had gotten up; Clark hadn’t slept that good in a week and Lois liked being close to him so she just turned over and went back to sleep the first time she woke up. This was okay…back at the ranch it was an entirely different scene.

Maggie was in the kitchen fixing Jose’ a nice hardy breakfast as he walked in the back door after checking on the livestock in the holding pens and smiled at his wife before heading to the sink to wash up a bit.

“How’s our visitor this morning?”

“I’m assuming she’s fine. I haven’t seen hide or hair of either her or Max as a matter of fact. I don’t know what time they got in last night; I left the kitchen light on before heading down the road and when I got in this morning the light was still on; you know what time I got home. I can only assume that Max forgot to turn it off when he went to bed.”

“Well, they were still walking and talking when I headed to the house about 8:00 or so, Lord knows how late they stayed up.”

“I guess.” And Maggie kept on cooking while Jose’ sat at the table and booted up the computer on the sideboard to read the morning paper. Computers were a Godsend as far as Jose’ was concerned. He not only could check out the weather but all of the other news that was going on in the world without having to sit in front of the TV at six every night and wonder just whose opinion he was listening to now. Yep, they were great.

Upstairs, a very smiling young couple awoke for the second time to the sun shining very brightly in on them and Max knew immediately that they had definitely gone back to sleep. The heat from the sun was bouncing off the side of the window instead of shining right through it for one thing and it definitely was a whole lot brighter than it would have been at 6:00 a.m. He turned his head to the side and looked at the clock on the nightstand and couldn’t believe it, it was almost 9:00 o’clock and then he smiled.

Wrapped up in his arms was the most beautiful sight he had ever seen and he had just had the best morning he had ever had in his life. Well, maybe the year he got his first horse for Christmas, that was a pretty good morning too, but then he really didn’t sleep all that much that night he was so excited and then he chuckled…he really didn’t sleep all that much last night either and he was certainly looking forward to many more like it.

About that time Liz started to stir and Max tried not to move a muscle hoping he hadn’t disturbed her but she was already awake so no matter…

She lifted her head to look into those gorgeous honey colored eyes and smiled…

“Good morning handsome, how did you sleep?”

“Like a baby and you?” Max ran the back of his fingers down the side of Liz’s face and smiled right back at the beauty there in his arms.

“Never better,” and she raised her head and kissed Max on the cheek before rolling out of bed to head to the bathroom…Max chuckled as the bare bottomed Liz Parker ran to the bathroom in his home and he sighed and chuckled some more. No prettier sight had he ever awakened to in his life and true to her words Liz was back in no time at all and the two lovebirds picked up where they had left off not a few hours earlier.

If this kept up they would still be there when Clark and Lois got back at lunchtime.

*

That private jet landed right about 8:30 a.m. and the two men disembarked and climbed into a waiting limo that drove them to the Missoula Hotel where Jim Andrews was waiting for them as instructed.

When they were finally seated in the dining room and had received their coffee Charles started the conversation…

“Jim, when we took on this endeavor we knew there was going to be risks but I’m not so sure you realize just how risky this is. Are you absolutely positive that the exchange was made discreetly? We cannot afford to be making any mistakes now…not after the “accident” at that bridge on the E~N~S. Is that truck still parked on your property in a safe place? We can’t let any of the remains of that vehicle be seen anywhere for a very long time. Not until we are in possession of all the ranch property in the area, then and only then will we dispose of it. We will bury it so deep it might show up in China.”

Jim Andrews looked at the two men and wondered just what in the hell he had gotten himself into. He had no idea that a vehicle was in that truck…none at all; although he had wondered a few times why it was taking up space in his barn.

“What do you mean “remains of that vehicle”? Which vehicle is that?”

“The Evans’s vehicle…you knew that.” Charles reminded him.

“I did not know that! Do you mean you murdered the Evanses?”

Charles looked at Jim Andrews as if the man was the dumbest creature on God’s green earth.

“Jim, what in the hell did you think was in that truck?”

“Some more feed? How the hell would I know? Some guy pulls into my driveway with a truck and another man following him in a car and tells me that Charles Shuman wants me to store this truck for him. What the hell am I going to say…take it away. Hell no I didn’t know what was in it; how did you get it off the E~N~S anyway?”

“Well, since you didn’t know what you were storing I guess you don’t need to know how we got it removed from the bridge. Now, who exchanged that feed for you?”

“No way! You have your secrets and I’ll have mine. I trust the man and that’s all you need to know. I have the feed back at the store and it’s safe. Riley will make sure the new kid doesn’t screw up again…when there’s feed to be loaded Riley will do the loading and that’s all you two need to know. Now if you’re finished with me I’m out of here. I’m going home and have breakfast with my wife and kids. You two can sit and plot and scheme all you want to but I’m gone.”

“Be careful Jim.” Charles said as Jim got up from his chair…

“Is that a threat?” Jim asked, controlling his anger…

“Not yet.” Charles answered back and Jim straightened his back and walked out of the dining room a very determined man. He was not about to go to prison for aiding and abetting a murderer…no sireee!

After the two men finished their breakfast they headed on out to the Barnaby homestead to talk to the old detective that had been working the Evans’ case when the vehicle disappeared.

Jonas Barnaby was not expecting company this morning as he made his way out to his vehicle to take a Sunday trip with his wife to visit his parents a few miles away and to take them to lunch. He would not be pleased to have these plans disturbed, not at all.

*
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Re: Brothers A/U C/C Mature Chapter: 16 7/18/13

Postby mary mary » Thu Jul 18, 2013 11:56 pm

Eve: :lol: :lol: :lol: :wink: No, it's not Petrol but it is greed...I like this, I've got you thinking. :D
Carolyn: You know our Liz will figure this out, she's just too smart sometime...but as for her and Max, well it's a given!!! :D
Alix: Our priorities do change as we get a little older :wink: I think a lot of people are in for surprises as this thing progresses...it took me a long time to figure my way out of this one. :wink: :roll: :)
Natalie: That wasn't the date, that was just a prelude to better things to come! :D :P :D
*~*~*~*~*

Chapter: 16


Lois and Clark rode up to the main part of the ranch side by side about 11:30 just when Max and Liz were leaving the ranch house to head back out to the makeshift lab; the two couples smiled at each other as the riders approached and Lois did a double take. She knew! She recognized that look on Liz’s face too well and started grinning from ear to ear…

“Get a good night’s rest Liz?” Liz returned the smirk/grin and wasn’t the least bit embarrassed by the question, if Maggie was cool with it and Jose’ kept it to himself why the hell should she be embarrassed by Lois’ remark.

“The best night’s rest I’ve ever had in my life Lois. Damned near didn’t get out of bed.” Liz quipped back; smiling broader than she had ever done in her life….

Max almost choked and then Clark took a good look at his brother. Yep, he’d bet money that Max had a pretty good night’s rest too and he was damned jealous if anyone cared to ask… But they didn’t!

“Well hell, we should have come home with you guys…damn.” Lois thought out loud.

“You could have. Was your day productive?” Liz wanted to know.

“You know it was; the guys are bringing in some pretty good stock, but not to change the subject, how was your day?”

“Not as productive as I had wished but I had some success with the wood chips I brought back. I was able to determine what kinds of explosives were used on the bridge and I started a couple of other tests as well.” Liz looked up at her fellow doctor and squinted into the sun as she continued…

“Someone from Andrews’ feed store came by and exchanged the feedbags that Clark and Max had brought home. Jose’ tore one of the sacks open and saved a sample for me. It’s loaded with a virus Clark; I’m running a test on the sample with some blood from one of your young calves right now. Max told me about your dad and his being a biologist…I think your parent’s death may have something to do with what I’m working on. I’ll tell you all about it later.

“Let’s hope I get some positive results. I also have some very interesting data and samples for the State Police. I don’t know just how high up this problem goes but it’s definitely not going to be given to the locals. I’ll call Kyle Valenti and he will take good care of it I’m sure, he’s with the FBI and his dad is a sheriff with Chaves County, Roswell, New Mexico; I would trust him with my life.”

Liz had everyone’s attention now, even Maggie and Jose’s who had come out the back door when they heard Clark’s voice. This was all very interesting to them…They knew the young women were here on some business but they didn’t know just how important that business was going to turn out.

Jose’ took the reins of the two travelers horses and took them out to the barn after Lois and Clark dismounted, to get them unsaddled and curried down, give them some fresh water and let them run around the corral for a while. Banner was already whinnying in anticipation of seeing her friend and all four young adults started laughing.

“I tell you Liz, those horses act like lap dogs.”

Lois and Liz both giggled at the remark and then Lois interjected a thought…

“You know Max; those horses have been together since they were colts. They have trained together, gone everywhere the other has gone and they are family. They are never separated and when one is missing a part of the other is missing as well.

“They may be overgrown house pets but they have never been treated otherwise and they don’t know how to act any other way. So yes, they are spoiled in the fact that they are loved, I guess, and they can be pretty moody too. When they get like that we just tie them up to a corner in the barn and let them sulk until they get it out of their systems…it’s kind of like a time out and when it’s over it’s over. They are well trained but so are we.”

And they all laughed because it was true and Max and Clark had no room to talk because they treated their animals just about the same way, although their animals were just ranch horses, nothing fancy, but spoiled in the sense that they were treated with kindness, appreciated for what they were, and very well taken care of.

*

Lois and Clark went into the big house carrying their saddle bags and Clark took Lois up the main staircase to a room across the hall from the one Liz had used the night before, well Liz and Max had used, and opened the double doors revealing a room just as elegant as the one Liz had access to and Lois stood there smiling.

“It’s beautiful Clark, just beautiful; where do you and Max ‘live’?” and Lois held up the universal quote sign. Clark laughed.

“Our rooms are down at the end of that hallway, turn right and go to the end of the other hallway. Max is on the right and I’m on the left, the door straight ahead of it used to be our play room but now it’s an office/library combination.

“The office Liz is using for a lab was used for logging in all of the tag numbers on the cattle but that’s Max’s job now. I do the accounting and business end of it. There’s another office downstairs that we use for meetings but for the most part Max and I do our business over there around the corner.”

“I see, so there are many offices in the ‘big house’?” And Lois started laughing…

“Many.” And Clark returned her laugh with a smile.

“You take your time Lois and then just go down to the kitchen. I’m sure Maggie can scare up something for us when we get down there.”

“Thank you Clark…I’ll see you downstairs then.” And Lois gave Clark a sort of ‘do you really want to go’ grin and Clark, being Clark, didn’t pick up on it as quickly as he should have and left Lois to enjoy the lovely suite he had just deposited her in.

He didn’t realize what was really going on in the gorgeous young woman’s head until he was halfway down the second hallway and then he just stopped, banged his head on the wall, then picked up his feet and kept on moving toward his room.

Back in the privacy of the beautiful bathroom Lois was standing in she took in her surroundings and thought ‘this is going to be harder than I thought.’ and proceeded to get undressed while she giggled. He’ll catch on sooner or later, if subtlety doesn’t work then I’ll just have to be more forceful and with that she grinned and stepped into a multi headed shower and played with knobs just like her cohort had done.

*

Out at the Jonas Barnaby residence one Mrs. Barnaby was seated in the family vehicle as Jonas talked to two strange men being driven around in a rented limousine acting very important; she could have cared less.

Finally she got out of the car and approached her husband…

“Jonas, we don’t conduct business on Sunday, it’s a rule. You are not in a life and death situation, no one is being threatened and these two can wait until Monday to talk to you. Your parents are waiting for us and we will not be late.

“Gentlemen, you can contact Jonas at Police Headquarters tomorrow on the counties nickel. Good day.” And she pulled her husband by the arm away from the black vehicle and one Chris Sevright turned his head so Charles Shuman could not see the grin on his face.

No one ever talked to Charles Shuman like that and Chris admired the spunky little woman known as Mrs. Jonas Barnaby. Apparently the woman had many years of interrupted plans but today was not going to be one of them.

Charles Shuman was too irritated to take notice of his partner’s obvious glee at his apparent disgust with the woman.

“That’s why I’m against marriage; women are too pushy.” Chris remained quiet…this was not a good time to either agree or disagree. Silence, that’s what was required right now and Chris knew how to do that.

As for the E-N-S incident, that was a shock to him as well and he was getting a very uncomfortable feeling about this so called partnership; he didn’t want to be a part of any murder investigation.

*

Liz and Max were out in the makeshift lab checking on her latest culture and for the first time Liz was getting some positive results, which she was very hesitant to share with anyone just yet but things were looking good. She would know more when she could get to her own lab in Missoula and do a more in depth study, but the cultures were looking great.

“You know Max, I think I should call Kyle from here; I’m not so sure I have trust in the people around me anymore. It’s seems that, in town, every time I take one step forward I have to take two back. This setup, although makeshift, is working better for me in the couple days I’ve been here than anything I’ve been working on in town has in many months. There’s a conspiracy going on and I don’t know just how high up it goes but I trust Kyle and he’ll know who to contact.” Max frowned and nodded.

“Do you want to use a landline Liz or do you trust your cell?”

Max was getting worried about all of the incidents leading up to the death of his parents and the longer he watched Liz the more concerned he was getting; not just for E~N~S but for the young doctors as well. Liz more so than Lois due to her involvement in the research of the disease that was plaguing the ranchers.

“I think your cell phone might be the safest Max…since there’s been trouble out there at the bridge and I have confirmed that it wasn’t an accident I don’t trust your land line and with my involvement with the State and the disease control division I don’t trust my cell phone either. That leaves a throw away or yours. On second thought I think I would be safer waiting until I got back to town and bought a throw away.”

“Liz, I’m concerned about you going back to town alone.”

“Ah, come on Max, I can’t live in fear. I have a job to do and it’s a very important job, as do you. Now I’ll be fine as long as I’m careful. Lois and I both have to go back.”

“Then leave the horses here and just drive yourselves back.”

“Can’t do that Max; no one knows where we are and if we leave the horses it won’t look normal. Everyone is used to us taking the horses away for long week-ends and we always bring them home with us, we can’t go changing our ‘normal’ now.”

“Well, what’s so great about normal?” Max asked with a grin…

“Right now it’s all we’ve got going for us Max, but I think my normal is going to be headed in a very different direction very soon.” And Liz grinned right back as she started to pack the necessary cultures and slides she needed to take with her and putting them into sterile containers for transport.

Lois and Clark came out to join the other young couple just about the time Liz was headed out toward the fifth wheel.

“Are you about ready to head back Lois? You know we should take off before too long just in case we have any trouble along the way.”

“Yeah, you’re right but I sure do hate to leave. It’s been one of the best week-ends of my life.”

Liz looked at her friend and smiled and then looked at Max and nodded before answering…

“Yeah, mine too…best week-end that is.” And then she moved quickly toward the RV to start packing up.

The two young men watched as the women got themselves and their horses ready to take off while all kinds of emotions ran through them, the two young women’s safety being uppermost on their minds.

*
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Re: Brothers A/U C/C Mature Chapter: 17 7/25/13

Postby mary mary » Thu Jul 25, 2013 11:15 pm

Eve: If you're crazy enough you will ruin someone's life for just about anything!!! I think! :wink:
Natalie: These girls are very resourceful and...they have friends in high places!!! :D
Alix: I hope you're enjoying yourself! :D
Carolyn: Let's hope I'm not too far out there on this one... :P

*!*!*!*!*

*

Chapter: 17

When Liz and Lois arrived back in Missoula the sun was just starting to set and the colors were too vibrant to even try to describe. The oranges and golds had cast a scene across the sky that made one think of God and wonder at the beauty created just by the glow of the universe. The distant hill painted a pattern across the sky that allowed the shadows to reflect a sea of hills and valleys that they knew were as flat as the road they were driving; they knew it was a picture that only God could create and they remained quiet as they watched and enjoyed their own thoughts, locked in their own kind of prayer that forgave them for their non attendance to a regular church service. The bible reading, guilt laced reading they had grown up with and could live without. They felt closer to God out here than they had ever felt inside a church and they were at peace with the world and themselves.

God had been very good to them, a very forgiving God and now they both had the feeling that this benevolence was going to get even better and they both smiled; smiled at the hills, the sky and at each other. This was definitely God’s country and they knew they would become a permanent part of it. Their souls were on fire.

*

Simon Henderson was heading out of town as he spotted the fifth wheel that he could have sworn was parked at the E~N~S ranch when he switched the sacks of feed.

He shook his head and kept on driving…there were any number of RV’s like that in the area and that particular one was being hauled by two women; there were no women at the E~N~S that he was aware of…he blocked the thought from his mind and kept on driving. He sure as hell didn’t want Joe finding out that he waited until daylight to exchange that feed, his ass would be grass and Joe the lawn mower! Nope, that was his secret, as well as Curly’s his helper, and Curly wasn’t going to tell anyone. He didn’t even know why they were there; it was just a screwed up order as far as he was concerned.

Jonas had one of his detectives keeping an eye out for the two young women and ordered him to report in when they got back from their long weekend. The young man did as he was ordered and followed the RV out to the ranch on the other end of town where the horses were boarded and watched as the two ‘travelers’ unloaded their animals, had them safely tucked away and then pulled the fifth wheel into its’ designated parking place.

Each young woman came out of the RV carrying her overnight bag…went back for sacks of groceries and an ice chest, loaded up the back of the crew cab and took off. Nothing looked out of the ordinary to the young detective and he reported back to Barnaby that the girls had just unloaded clothes and food and were now headed home.

Barnaby breathed a sigh of relief and was glad that he had called this right…no sense in wasting manpower on a week-end riding excursion and he got busy with reports before heading out to meet Charles and Chris. Then he smiled, he got a kick out of his wife and her way of dealing with unpleasantness in their life.

She was right, Sunday was their day and unless it was a really important investigation or huge problem at headquarters she would not tolerate any infringement on her time. She felt she gave enough to the system already putting up with nights on stake outs, calls at all hours of the day and night and out and out infringement on private time. Sunday’s were theirs, nothing but an act of God should interrupt it. “Feisty little character” Jonas thought and kept on his way.

*

Liz was back in her lab introducing her latest findings and Lois was busy preparing reports for some livestock exchanges while Jonas Barnaby was busily convincing two men from Billings that nothing strange was going on in their neighborhood.

“What about the Evans’ men? What have they been up to?”

“They haven’t been up to anything; they came to town as they do every month, purchased their supplies and went back to their ranch. Nothing unusual happened, it was business as always. What’s your problem?”

“Nothing really, Joe Andrews shipped them the wrong feed and had to send a driver out to switch it back is all. I’d like to know everything that has been going on here.”

“Nothing is going on here. The two young doctors took their horses on a camping trip this weekend, out into the hills, which is normal procedure for them. My detective reported they got back yesterday evening on time, took care of their animals as they always do and were back to work this morning. Nothing unusual is going on. They do this all of the time, weather permitting, and we had a beautiful week-end…what are you so concerned about?”

“What did you put in that report about the Evans’ accident again? I just want to be certain that all bases are covered.” Charles was getting paranoid as far as Barnaby was concerned. The Evanses were dead, the bridge washed out, he saw it from the helicopter that Charles had provided. It was very clear from the air what had happened; then he got a creepy feeling, maybe he should have insisted on landing the thing.

“I put down exactly what I saw. The bridge washed out and the SUV was upside down in the river. There was nothing else to report.”

Charles should have stayed in Billings, he was digging a very deep hole for himself and Barnaby was getting very uncomfortable about all of this.

*

Liz left her lab early to walk to the drugstore located a few blocks away and made her way inside and over to the electronics counter. There were quite a few selections of cell phones to choose from but it didn’t really matter one way or the other what they were as long as she could make a long distance call in private.

“Hi Sophie, I left my cell phone at home on the charger and I need a backup for work, what have you got that I can leave in my desk for just such occasions.”

“Liz, I can’t believe you did that, it is so unlike you.”

“Well, not really. Lois and I went out over the weekend and you know we don’t want to be bothered when we go riding so I left my phone in my purse and when I was ready to leave this morning I noticed I didn’t have any bars…So what the hey, just buy a backup with enough minutes on it to get me through the day. I promised mom I’d call today and let her know we got back okay and I don’t want to use a company phone for personal calls. Especially to mom, she’ll talk my whole lunch hour.”

Liz knew Sophie well enough to know that the story of her letting her phone run down would be all over town before she hit the street so she had to cover her tracks. Small towns were a bitch sometime and as nice as Sophie was it was like talking to Western Union when you had a conversation with her. The only time you told her anything was when you wanted it broadcasted and you didn’t have time to contact everyone with the news yourself.

Liz took her new phone and walked to the park on the other side of the grammar school and found a nice quiet place by the pond. She sat on a park bench with the sandwich she had packed this morning and had put in her purse then she took our her small address book and found Kyle’s private cell number and dialed…three rings later and she heard,

“Kyle Valenti here, how may I help you?”

“Kyle, it’s Liz Parker…how are you and how’s Ava and the baby?”

“We’re great Liz but I have a feeling, since I don’t recognize this number, that this is not a personal call.”

“You’re right Kyle and I’m glad you’re great.

“Hey listen, I’ve got evidence of a double murder that has been swept under the rug by the locals here and I don’t know who to turn to Kyle.

“I’m also working on a big project for the State of Montana regarding a serious virus running rampant, and Kyle it’s manmade. I think I might be onto something pretty sinister here and I need some help from someone trustworthy and right now I don’t know who that could be.” Liz was getting more excited the longer she talked….

“Jesus Liz, what do you mean murders.” Kyle was shocked…

“Kyle, Philip and Diane Evans were murdered a few months back and I have proof. The bridge over one of the rivers on their ranch was blown up while they were crossing it coming home from a ranch of one of their friends. Besides being a rancher Philip was also a biologist.” She continued, getting more breathless by the minute.

“I think he found evidence of the virus and he and his wife were blown up because of his discovery but that’s just conjecture on my part right now.

“The vehicle they were in has been totally removed from the scene…there is absolutely nothing left of it neither at the scene nor down river from it.

“I have chips of wood containing evidence of an explosion and I also retrieved an unexploded blasting cap from one of the bridge’s piers alongside the riverbed. I have carefully hid all of this evidence and the only people that know of this are the two Evanses sons and Lois, I also have corroborating photos.

“Kyle, I really need someone who I can trust with this information. I truly believe the local investigating officer has covered this up.” She stopped for a breath and her old friend interjected his thoughts before she could continue…

“Well damn Liz, you’ve really opened a can of worms. Tell you what; let me do some digging and I’ll find out what we can do about this okay. In the meantime you keep a low profile. It sounds like you just might be onto something dangerous; do you still have that little snub nosed revolver I gave you?”

“Kyle, you know damned well I’m not going to carry that thing…I’ll trust my karate thank you very much.”

And Kyle laughed…

“Alright Liz, you trust your karate but I still think you need back up, you can’t kick a bullet away, do you think you’re Wonder Woman or something?…Tell Lois to carry hers too and travel in pairs. She won’t hesitate one damned minute to use hers, I know her.”

“I know, but she’s as good at karate as I am. I think we’ll be fine as long as we “keep a low profile” as you say.”

“Yes, I say. When are you going home for a visit? Maybe we can coordinate something and get together…I’d love for you to see Angela. She’s beautiful Liz.”

“Well, with the parents she has how could she not be. I’ll let you know Kyle; maybe for the fourth of July. I think that would be a great time to come home don’t you?”

And as Liz suggested they go home for the fourth of July a lone pedestrian walked behind her bench and smiled. Just as Sophie said, talking to her mother about a visit home and the lone figure kept on walking.

Liz just got lucky and didn’t even know it.

*

Kyle went to his immediate supervisor in the bureau and explained what Liz had found and suggested that they send some undercover agents to the state immediately. Kyle wasn’t at all sure just who the hell to trust with this information either since it seemed that Liz was also working for the state of Montana on something that seemed tied into the cover up. The man got on the phone with the director of the FBI and presented the case to him and he in turn called Kyle in to find out more information. Like Kyle, he felt that the least number of people in on this the better.

*

Liz was back behind her microscope working diligently as always when her new phone rang on her desk beside her and she looked around as she answered…

“Liz Parker here…” and her voice trailed off as she checked to make sure the lab was free before giving up who was on the phone; she knew it was Kyle.

“Hey Liz, an investigative team is on their way and should you recognize any of them please act like you don’t, okay?”

“Sure, I can do that. I’ll pass that on as well. Thank you.” And the two old friends hung up. Liz smiled, Kyle was coming and she would have to tell Lois as well. This was getting very scary for the young doctor. She wasn’t sure she liked all of this intrigue but she was happy about one thing…Max would be there in a couple of days and she was definitely going to like that.

*
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mary mary
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Re: Brothers A/U C/C Mature Chapter: 18 8/2/23

Postby mary mary » Fri Aug 02, 2013 8:26 am

Chapter: 18

The rest of the week went fairly quickly and Liz’s new cultures were showing great progress which pleased her no end. She had spoken with Max every day since leaving the ranch and finally, Friday afternoon, Max came strolling into the front office of the lab sporting a dozen white roses and a great big smile.

Liz sat her protective face gear on the counter when the receptionist phoned the lab and she all but knocked everything in her path on the floor as she made her way to the front of the building…and there he was!

“Hey Max.” And the man literally melted as she floated into his arms. Everyone in the waiting room started out smiling and then had to turn away from the young couple as the kiss became more intense by the minute.

Finally one of the administrative big wigs happened to enter the reception area and gave a loud “AHEM!” and the two broke apart immediately and grinned at each other.

“I’m early but I couldn’t wait any longer. Can you get away?”

“Sure, but I’ll have to close the lab up first. Just take a seat; I’ll only be a second.” And she practically left as fast as she arrived and Max smiled, he smiled at everybody in the lobby. And then he sat down, elbows on his knees, to wait, allowing a dozen roses to dangle between his legs as he smiled a big smile…HUGE smile.

It took Liz about half an hour to clear her area, secure all of her cultures, and to close the lab up for the weekend. She left a…

“DO NOT DISTURB UNDER PENALTY OF DEATH!” sign on her lab door... which everyone knew meant; KEEP OUT! They all got a big kick out of the young doctor…her bugs were her babies and she guarded them as you would a small child…it was who she was.

*

Across town a new detective was being introduced to one Jonas Barnaby, a transplant from another county in the state and Barnaby wasn’t at all sure he liked strangers in his office, especially right now. Kyle Valenti smiled as he shook the middle-aged man’s hand and noticed the discomfort on the man’s face.

“It’s okay Barnaby, you’ll get used to me. I’ll try not to step on your toes, just lead the way and I’ll follow.”

“Yeah, sure kid. Where did you say you were from?”

“I didn’t actually but if you care to check you can check in with the Helena office. I’m sure all of that information came with my transfer papers and if you need more information, just ask. I’ll be glad to fill you in on anything you might want to know about me. There is one thing I need to know right now though, where can I rent an apartment? It’s a little expensive to be renting a motel room for very long and one more thing, my name is Don. I realize it sounds more like a noise than a word but my mom seems to like it.” And Kyle smiled at the man as he repeated his rehearsed speech to anyone that had ever called him kid. That was a definite peeve of his and he really didn’t like it.

“Well, there are a number of apartment complexes in the area but since I don’t rent I’m not real sure just what is available. Most of the men have been here for quite some time and they live in houses as near as I know.” And Barnaby wasn’t at all sure if he liked this ‘kid’ or not.

One of Kyle’s partners in this undercover case had just been hired on at the Missoula Animal Research Center and another agent was working as a security guard in Liz’s building. Since their investigation into the area told them that the local hot spot was the Joker is Wild that is where the fourth agent had been planted as a bartender.

The four men all checked into four different motels in the area and each had secure phones on their person in order to get into immediate contact with each other should they need to.

Kyle was absolutely sure that neither Liz nor Lois would blow their cover and the investigation was under way.

*

After Liz came back out to the main lobby to meet up with Max she was introduced to the new night security guard that had just come on duty for some orientation before his regular shift started on Monday.

Liz eyed the man curiously since she wasn’t in the mood to trust anyone at this stage of the game and the man looked at her with a twinkle in his eye; Max didn’t like that one damned bit.

“Liz, this is George. He’ll be starting his regular shift here on Monday night but in the meantime he’ll be working with Steve to learn the ropes.” The receptionist Jenny informed her.

Liz smiled and held out her hand and got a nice firm shake then noticed Max eyeing the new man with a little skepticism and she grabbed Max’s arm and introduced Max to George and Steve the regular guard.

“Gentlemen I would like you to meet my friend Max, Max Evans. Max, this is Steve and apparently a new guard here George.”

Max smiled and extended his hand and shook with both men as he possessively took Liz by the elbow, said it was nice to meet them, and retrieved the roses from the table next to the chair he had been sitting in and led Liz out the door.

Liz turned and waved to Jenny and the two guards as Max walked her very determinedly out the door of the building.

“Max, what’s wrong?” Liz was just a tiny bit shocked at Max’s behavior and so was he if you really wanted to get analytical.

“I don’t know, I just don’t like that guy.”

“Which one?”

Max grinned, he had never been jealous of anyone or anything before in his life and this feeling was entirely new to him…

“Both of them.” And he got this sheepish look on his face as he looked at Liz.

“Ah, are you jealous Max?” Liz teased…

“I guess. This is all new to me and I don’t know what to call it.” And Liz giggled…

“Well, I like it…and you have no reason to be jealous.”

“Oh no… did you see the way that guy looked at you?”

“Yeah, he smiled which is better than the alternative. Max, I will most likely never see that man again as long as I live. He will be working nights and I work days. As long as he leaves my lab alone we’ll get along fine…otherwise I’ll have to take him down.”

Max chuckled….

“Liz, he carries a gun.”

Liz smiled at Max…

“So do I.” And when Max raised an eyebrow and looked at his “girlfriend” he didn’t know whether to believe her or not…Liz nodded an assent and kept on walking. Kyle did tell her to pack it and after some thought she decided she would. She was licensed after all.

“Let’s change the subject…what would you like to do?”

“Follow me to the Animal Center and I’ll drop the truck off for Lois and then we can head on over to our apartment and I’ll fix us some lunch…among other things.”

Max groaned, his jeans got tight all of a sudden and Liz got into her truck and took off with a big smile on her face. She wondered if the new guy was one of Kyle’s men. Probably, she knew Kyle would get right on the problem just like she suspected but she put it out of her mind.

She would let the men do their jobs without any interference from her. And soon she was in front of Lois’ building and headed in to leave her the keys to the truck. Max was right behind her…he loved this place.

Lois had a big smile on her face when Liz and Max showed up and then she introduced Liz and Max to their new security guard. They had never really had a formal security guard in the place before, but now with the virus running rampant the company thought it would be a good idea. Liz smiled, yep Kyle was probably in town too, it would be just like him to head up the investigation since she was involved.

“Liz, Max, this is Dwain, Dwain meet my roommate Liz and her boyfriend Max.” Dwain shook hands with the young couple and then excused himself…

“I’ll be just inside checking things out Lois; we can continue my tour when you’re finished.”

“Thanks Dwain…Is Clark coming in too Max or is it just you today?”

“It’s just me today Lois but he’ll most likely be here with me next week-end. We have most of the herd in, branded, and turned out on the back fenced acreage for fattening up. Next week we’ll be in town to get things ready for shipping and the week after that they’ll probably come out to start hauling.

“You and Liz need to come out for that. The horses will love it and I’m sure Clark will talk to you about it as well. How are the animals anyway?”

Lois and Liz both laughed…

“They’re fine Max and we’ll probably go out to say hello to them tomorrow. There’s a nice gelding you can ride if you’re interested in seeing some of our back country.”

Max thought about that for a minute…riding hadn’t been one of his ‘sporting’ things to do for quite some years. He spends many hours on horses as a regular routine so the sport of it wasn’t really in his blood.

“Let me think about that one.” And he grinned at both ladies before taking Liz by the elbow and leaning in for a kiss on the cheek.

“Let’s go beautiful. I’m getting awfully hungry.” Lois resisted a smart ass remark and asked them to send Dwain back out before they left. Max waved over his shoulder and Liz practically had to run to keep up with him.

“Max, you’re being rude!”

“Huh uh Liz, realistic, and I am getting hungry. HEY! DWAIN!” The man looked up and Max pointed to the double doors leading out back…

“Lois is ready for you now…” and he continued on out the front door with Liz.

*
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mary mary
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Re: Brothers A/U C/C Mature Chapter: 19 8/9/13

Postby mary mary » Fri Aug 09, 2013 9:09 am

Carolyn: :lol: :lol: :lol: If you want to know the truth I think I would like to see "King Kong" walk through the door right now, only with a paint brush. The entire house has been finished except for the hardwood floors in the bedroom, hallway and living room but they are still too wet to sand so I have to wait two more months. We'll see. maybe by that time I won't give a care one way or the other, I'm just tired. i finally got to sleep in my own bed Thursday night, the first time in 7 weeks....and my back balked big time. Chiro. today!!! :wink:
Eve:We still have a little work left to do, minor stuff for us, the renovators still have the floors to work on. My daughter leaves on Tuesday and the worst part of that is going to be seeing her go. We have had a very good time in spite of all the work...lot's of fun, teasing and laughing going on in spite of sore backs, feet and muscles, it's been fun. I'm so happy you are enjoying to story, we are having nice weather, thank God, which is unusual for us. :)

*~*~*~*~*
Chapter: 19


Kyle was busy getting to know his fellow detectives and allowing Barnaby time to get used to the fact that he was there; trying not to make any moves to cause suspicion. Barnaby seemed to be getting several private phone calls on a phone other than the station phone and Kyle wondered about that. His mental notes were beginning to crowd his brain as he followed the man Crowley who had been assigned to show him the ropes.

“How closely do you guys work with the patrol cars and regular officers…do you ever cross paths in your investigations or do you just pick up when an obvious investigation is in order?”

“Well, when we get a call from an officer regarding a serious crime there’s really no protocol to follow. Whoever is on duty at the time takes the call and gets to the crime scene as soon as they can. It’s normal operating procedure for all precincts as I understand it.

“We have some guys who are better at seeing things than others…sort of specialists in a certain field. One guy can spot a drug induced death quicker than anyone I’ve ever seen. Even before the M. E. gets there with his team he usually has a handle on what’s gone down. Very rarely is he wrong. He grew up in the streets of New Jersey and we were lucky enough to get him on our team. Do you have any specialties Don?”

Kyle was used to being called Don…it’s always been his alias when going undercover…it was his maternal grandfather’s name and easy to remember, also if he ever ran into anyone he had been in contact with previously they knew him as Don, it worked quite well.

“No, not really; I guess I’ve just learned to follow along and do as I’m told. I’ve been told it’s my greatest asset, I don’t get in anyone’s way.”

“Hmmm, well I guess that’s a good thing too…it would be nice if you had something that we could use to our advantage though.”

“Well, I’m good at filing. Yep, very good with my ABC’s and numbers.”

Officer Crowley laughed…

“Well, we do have a lot of that around here. Come, I’ll show you where we keep our files. It’s on the lower level of course and we used to give the majority of the filing to our female officers but they threatened to sue the department for discrimination so we had to allow them equal time in the field. Some of them are pretty damned good too, only we don’t like to put them in danger…maybe Barnaby just doesn’t trust them because they’re women; although I’ve never heard him say that out right. It’s just a thought.”

“I see. What do you think of Barnaby? Is he easy to work with or are there any special quirks I should know about?”

“Nah, he knows his stuff and keeps business business if you know what I mean. He doesn’t bring his personal life into the office although he does take Sundays off religiously. His parents are quite elderly and he and his wife take them to lunch every Sunday and spend the day with them. I kind of think it’s nice…you know?”

“Yeah, it sounds nice. What if there’s something going down? Does he still stay away?”

“Well, we did have an accident about 300 miles away on a ranch. A middle aged couple was killed when a bridge washed away while they were on it. It was on a Sunday afternoon when that was discovered and Barnaby took that by himself.” Crowley continued…

“He took the helicopter out straight away and when he came back he had the M. E. look at some pictures and the report he had filled out. He said it was an awful accident, but an accident just the same.

“Both people drowned in their vehicle. None of us ever went out there but we saw the pictures.

“It was really hard on their two sons. Both men are college graduates and helped run the ranch at the time, now they take care of it as the heirs. It’s one of the biggest in the state; they still come to town once a month for supplies. Really nice guys too.”

“Well that’s a damned shame. Was there any reason for the bridge washing away?”

“Oh, Barnaby said it was old and the weather was really bad and the river was up. Just old age I guess.”

“Hmmm, I guess they should have been more careful of their surroundings.”

“Yeah, that’s a funny thing too. With the money those people have you would have thought that they would have kept better tabs on things like that.”

“Well, there’s no second guessing why people do what they do I guess.”

“Nope, I guess not. Well, here’s the file room…it practically takes up the entire lower level of the building. Everything is assigned a number that corresponds with the type of crime and then it’s alphabetical. A simple alpha numeric system; ie: murders begin with an “M” and then assigned a numerical code along with the last name first. Not hard at all, CC is closed cases and are then moved from the OC, open cases. The numbers and initial letter remains the same. It really isn’t that difficult.”

“It sounds fairly simple to me. When it’s my turn to be here I’ll know what to do then I guess.”

“Well, there’s always the computer over there on the desk. Everything is logged in and you can see the aisles are labeled like the library…letters on the front and then the numbers follow.”

“Hey, thanks. That’s a big help.”

“Yeah, no problem…are you ready to take a break? I’ll show you the locker room where you can stow your gear if you want to and then the cafeteria. It’s nothing fancy but it works. The hamburgers aren’t too bad and Millie makes a mean pot of coffee. The coffee is free everything else is priced fairly reasonable …we’ve all used it in a pinch, it also is used to feed the jail inhabitants.”

“Thanks, a cup of coffee sounds pretty good right now.” And so Kyle and his co-worker headed back to the elevator and made their way to the third floor where they had some coffee and more chit-chat. The man was just full of useful information and he wasn’t even aware of it. It was interesting that Barnaby was the only officer to go out to the Evans’ for the investigation and on a Sunday too. Something strange just as Liz had said.

Kyle would wait until he was ready for the proof Liz had on the murder of the Evans’ before getting in touch with her. There was a lot going on here that’s for sure and he wanted an air tight case before presenting it to the attorney general. He knew Liz’s evidence was full proof but they needed all of the players and that was going to take time.

*
Liz pointed out to Max where she and Lois lived and insisted that he bring his overnight bag in with him…

“Max, it’s ridiculous that you would stay in a hotel; I’ll be staying wherever you’re staying so you’re staying here; of course the accommodations can’t compare to the Evan’s manor but it’s clean.” Max grinned and grabbed his overnighter and followed her into the apartment complex.

Mark, the detective that had been following Liz for the past week, phoned in a report to Barnaby just as Kyle and Crowley got back into the office and Crowley was showing Kyle where he would be stationed until the new desk was brought up from supply. Kyle got in on just the tail end of a very suspicious conversation before Barnaby looked up startled.

“What do you mean young Evans is with her in her apartment…” And then he trailed off when he noticed Kyle looking at him and he hurriedly cut the detective off.

“I’ll have to call you back. Keep an eye open.” And Barnaby hung up on the conversation.

Kyle smiled and nodded toward the vacant desk.

“Apparently I’m to take,” and he picked up the name plate, read it and said,

“Adams’ desk. Is he on vacation or something?” Kyle smiled, keeping his stare blank as Barnaby grumbled…

“No, he’s on special assignment for a while until we get some things straightened out in on an ongoing case. Did Crowley get you situated with a locker and everything?”

“Yes, as a matter of fact he did; all of the important stuff anyway, the coffee pot being one of them.”

Barnaby chuckled and relaxed a little before nodding…

“Good, coffee is an important part of the job. Do you have any questions about anything?”

“No, not really; I guess I’ll pick it up as I go along. Is there anything that I can be working on for anybody…I’m not comfortable just sitting around watching other people work.”

“Well, there’s always the file room Don…it’s a never ending job. Why don’t you go through that stack of files on Adams’ desk, since he’s out for a while, and see if you can sort through them and find out if there’s anything that needs our immediate attention or if there are any closed cases to be filed.

Things just seem to land in the baskets on the desks and then we go through them when we have a minute and sort of plow through information and put it all in the right folder. After that, we enter the data into the computer system just in case another case may coincide with something else and from there, when the investigation is complete, the case is presented to the D.A., then we file it.”

“Seems pretty straight forward to me; okay if I take off my jacket?”

“Sure it is, we aren’t that formal around here.” And about that time five officers got up and removed their jackets…they were trying to impress the new guy and Kyle chuckled…

“Fair enough.” And he got on with his digging through files.

He didn’t want to seem too anxious to get his hands on the computer so he put in a good afternoon’s work sorting and cleaning up records on Adams’ desk.” Barnaby was very impressed to say the least. The man seemed to know what he was doing.

When Lois got home from work she giggled as she pulled the truck into the gated parking lot in back of their apartments…there was Max’s pickup sitting right where Lois would have parked this one if the space had not been occupied. She wondered if she should call Liz before barging in and then she smiled…’hell no, I live there too, she can shut her door if she wants privacy’ and she continued on toward number 4 D…right on the corner overlooking the city…all with surround windows. Lois loved it.

*
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