Uncle Rick's Rhyolite Ranch

Chapter 13

The alarm on Cody's nightstand let out a shrill buzz, alerting the boys it was time to wake up for their first day at school. Cody, Erik, and Tony showered together, washing and shampooing each other. Cody got the giggles as Tony scrubbed Cody's sides in a ticklish manner. Erik followed along, tickling Tony and soon all three were laughing in a tickle fight.

Travis peeked into the bathroom. "Hey, you three hyenas better get a move on. Brandon is about to serve breakfast. I get dibs on your eggs if you aren't there."

Erik poked his head out of the shower. "Okay, Travis. We'll hurry."

A few minutes later the three boys, dressed in their new school clothes, joined the rest of the family at the breakfast table. Brandon served up scrambled eggs with cheddar cheese and diced ham, golden fresh fried potatoes, and sourdough toast. It didn't take long for the hungry boys to eat everything Brandon had served. Uncle Rick announced it was time to leave for school. While Uncle Rick pulled his truck out of the garage, the three boys opened their new backpacks for Brandon to place tasty lunches, and met Uncle Rick in front of the house. Uncle Rick reminded them of his warning about not accepting rides from anyone other than the sheriff, the Sanchez family, or the ranch family. A short time later they pulled up in front of the elementary school. Cody gave everyone hugs, grabbed his backpack and hurried to the entrance of the school. Seeing Cody was safely inside, Uncle Rick drove to Erik and Tony's school. Like Cody, they hugged Uncle Rick, grabbed their backpacks, and hurried into the school.

Cody ran quickly to Mr. Hill's classroom and stood in line to be assigned a seat. Most of the faces of the children were familiar from last year. He smiled and waved saying hi to his friends and classmates. There were a few new faces and Cody made it a point to smile and say hi to them. He would make sure to introduce himself to them during recess. Within a few minutes he was in front of Mr. Hill, who was assigning seats to his students. Cody smiled and said good morning. Mr. Hill gave Cody a warm, welcoming smile and wished him a good morning. Cody instantly felt grateful Mr. Hill was his teacher. He was well liked and admired by students and faculty. Mr. Hill was a devoted teacher who truly cared about his students. Cody thanked his teacher and padded off to his newly assigned seat. When he finished assigning seats, several students were chatting with each other near the back of the classroom. Mr. Hill asked them to be seated as soon as possible. Several of Cody's friends sat near him and he was excited to talk with them during recess to learn how their summer went. Cody noticed Wendy Stewart was seated in the desk ahead of him on the next row. She kept turning her head to smile at Cody. Cody politely smiled and quickly turned his attention to his newly acquired schoolbooks, ignoring her. He remembered last year when Wendy decided she was going to make Shane Bell her boyfriend. Shane had other ideas though. Shane wasn't ready to have a girlfriend, let alone Wendy with her annoying shrill voice and irritating giggle. In retribution, Wendy falsely bragged Shane had promised to be her steady exclusive boyfriend and warned all the others in the class to stay away from him. Shane had to endure all the drama that ensued while convincing everyone he was not going with nor would ever go with Wendy Stewart.

Wendy turned around once more facing Cody. "Cody, would you like to come to my house after school and we can do our homework together?"

Cody wanted no part of that. "No thank you, Wendy. I'm supposed to go right home."

Wendy was persistent. "Maybe you can talk your uncle into letting you walk home with me another afternoon this week."

Cody sighed. "Sorry, I'm not supposed to. I have to go home after school. Maybe one of your girl friends can do their homework with you."

Wendy turned around in a huff, ignoring Cody for the rest of the day, which was fine with Cody.

Mr. Hill called each student to the front of the class where he or she would be given textbooks. Cody padded to Mr. Hill's desk after his name was called. Mr. Hill handed Cody several textbooks, which he took back to his desk. He opened up his newly acquired geography book and thumbed through the pages, looking at the chapters written about different countries. When he turned the page to the chapter about Italy he realized something wasn't right. Someone he knew was in trouble. It was Mario. Something was very wrong with Mario. Cody began to fidget but he knew he couldn't be excused to go use a telephone. He took a deep breath and let out a sigh.

Erik and Tony shared four classes: English, mathematics, typing, and woodshop. They agreed to work together on assignments and projects throughout the year.

Uncle Rick was confident the boys were safe inside school so he drove to the sheriff's office to talk to Sheriff Waite.

Sheriff Waite was just walking out of the break room with a cup of coffee when he spotted Uncle Rick entering the office. "Rick, what brings you here this fine morning? Is everything at the ranch all right?"

"Hi, Sheriff. I just dropped the kids off at school and thought I'd come and talk with you, if you have a moment."

The sheriff smiled. "Rick, anytime for you. Come on in my office and we'll have a chat."

Sheriff Waite shut the door behind them and the men sat down. "What is it you wanted to talk about, Rick?"

"Sheriff, it's just a hunch but I get the feeling something about the church's activities is being overlooked. I wondered if you had any new information you could share about what has been going on with the bishop, the president and the other church members."

Sheriff Waite sat straight in his chair. "Rick, do you think you or your boys are in danger?"

"Well, no. I think my boys are safe but I'm not so sure about other kids in the church. I think they may be more at risk of either being taken to Cedarline Institute against their will or being abused by the church seeking further retribution."

Sheriff Waite took a sip of his coffee. "They sure seem to be obsessed with sending those kids off to that institute. They either believe that institute can cure them or there may be more of them involved in the same crimes Bishop Foutz committed. I'd like to phone Sheriff Campbell in Milford County and hear if he has any news about the investigations and pending hearings. Can I call you at home later today?"

"Yes, I'd appreciate that, Sheriff. I'll be home until three o'clock, when I'll drive back to town to pick the kids up from school."

"I'll call you as soon as I know something."

Uncle Rick said his farewells and drove home. He had just walked in the front door when Travis asked to talk with him. They sat in the living room and Uncle Rick asked what Travis would like to talk about.

"Uncle Rick, Raul has asked me to move into his house with him. I would still work here on the ranch and in a way - with Raul - you'd be getting another hand to help out here. We'll just be living next door."

"I know you two are meant to be together and I could see this was coming. You know I want what works for you and I think you two can make things work well. When were you thinking of moving over to Raul's house?"

Travis was elated to have Uncle Rick's blessings. "He wants me to move in as soon as possible."

Just then the phone rang. Uncle Rick was near the cordless phone and answered it.

"Rick, this is Paul Bullock. Do you have a moment to chat?"

"Of course, Paul. I was going to phone you this afternoon but you saved me the call. What's on your mind?"

"Rick, there was an incident here in Milford last night that you should know about."

"Oh, what kind of incident?"

"Tony D'angelo's brother, Mario, was walking home from the Apple Harvest CafÇ and noticed he was being followed by a group of men in a black sedan. The car kept following him and he began running. The car picked up speed and was about to catch up with him when he ducked into a narrow walkway between two buildings, where he managed to elude them. He had nowhere to go and called me. I'd given him my phone number when I took Tony back to my hotel room when you were here last. I told him to stay where he was and I drove over and picked him up. He's with me here at my office now."

"Is he alright?"

"Yes, he's physically fine, just a bit shaken."

"Paul, do you have any idea who was in that black sedan?"

"I don't know for sure but my guess is they are either from the church or from Cedarline. Rick, Mario isn't safe here in Milford. I'm pretty sure whoever it is would be looking for Tony or they might extort Mario to find him. As you know, he doesn't have a car and lives alone. I thought Mario would be alright after Tony left and after we had filed that restraining order, but it seems I underestimated their determination."

"Has the sheriff in Milford been notified?"

"When I picked Mario up I called the sheriff and Mario gave a report of the incident over the phone. Unfortunately, there wasn't much for the sheriff to go on."

Uncle Rick glanced at the starburst wall clock on the living room wall. It read 9:30. "Paul, I can leave right now, fly to Milford and bring Mario back here. Can he be ready to go in two hours?"

There was a brief pause. Uncle Rick could faintly hear Paul and Mario talking. Paul came back on the line. "Rick, Mario says he'd need to go home and pick up a few things first. I can go with him to be sure he's safe and we'll be at the airport when you arrive."

They quickly ended the call and Uncle Rick explained the situation to Travis. "It looks like we are going to have another boarder. How would you like to donate your room and move in with Raul this afternoon?"

Travis answered excitedly. "Yes, absolutely. Raul and I will have my things out before you get home. Thanks, Uncle Rick."

Uncle Rick asked Travis to fill Brandon in on what is going on, grabbed his keys and headed out the door to drive to the airstrip. Thirty minutes later Uncle Rick took off in the Cessna 182 Skylane from Chaparral Airstrip and turned toward Milford.

Travis called Raul and told him about getting Uncle Rick's blessings on the move and the news about Mario arriving at the ranch later. Raul was ecstatic and agreed to come help Travis move his things and clean, dust, and vacuum the room. Within a short time Travis and Raul had loaded all of Travis's belongings into Travis' truck and Raul's truck. They went to work cleaning and within thirty minutes the room was vacated and spotless. The two spent the next several hours unloading Travis' things and moving him into Raul's home.

Raul and his father, Vicente designed and built the small bungalow facing southwest towards the beautiful valley below. Majestic sunsets could be viewed from the living room and from the bedroom, both of which were surrounded by the front porch. Travis and Raul put Travis' clothes in the bedroom.

After everything was in its place, Raul embraced Travis and lovingly pulled him to the king size bed facing the front window, taking advantage of the magnificent view. "Travis this is a dream come true. For years I hoped for this to happen and the day is finally here. Thank you for sharing your life with me."

Tears formed in Travis' eyes. "For me too, Raul. Thank you for this."

The two lovers held each other tightly and passionately kissed. Soon they removed their shirts to enable them to feel more of their bodies. Raul lay down and pulled Travis to him. With their beautiful bodies intertwining they fervently kissed.

Raul opened his eyes, looking into Travis'. "Te quiero, mi vida."

Travis warmly smiled through his tears. "Te quiero, mi amor."

The lovers continued their passionate embrace and kiss, touching each other's souls, so happy to be living their dreams. As they continued to remove their clothes their embrace and their motions became more desperate, their passion more intense, and their love more powerful. As the two soul mates made love, a gentle breeze blew the sheer curtains hung in front of the window that was open to the porch. The wind chimes hanging on the porch played a pleasing random love song in the gentle breeze to accompany the two lovers celebrating their new life together.

The forty-minute flight to Milford went smoothly and quickly. Uncle Rick taxied the Cessna to the ramp and shut down the engine as Paul and Mario took Mario's bags and Paul's brief case out of Paul's Mercury and walked onto the tarmac to the Cessna. Uncle Rick exited the plane, shook hands with Paul and Mario, took Mario's bags and loaded them into the back of the plane.

Mario handed the last bag to Uncle Rick. "I really appreciate you doing this. I am so scared here."

"Mario, it's no imposition whatsoever. The important thing is to keep you and Tony safe and out of the reach of the church and Cedarline."

Paul opened his briefcase and took out a manila folder. He removed the contents. "Rick, I have a couple things to go over with you and then you two can get going. First here is a copy of the restraining order we filed on behalf of Tony and Mario. Both the church and Cedarline Institute are named in the document. While it should, at least legally, prevent either of them from coming within one thousand feet of Tony and/or Mario, it doesn't prevent them from physically approaching them. Since Mario is over 18 years of age, we won't need guardianship documents like we did with Tony. Mallory will give you a call soon and talk to you about different options we discussed to further safeguard Tony, Erik, and Daniel. I just need to have you sign this letter of intent saying you'll provide accommodations for Mario and will do your best to insure his safety."

Uncle Rick signed the letter of intent and handed it back to Paul with a concerned expression. "Paul, this is the fourth restraining order we've had to file against the church. Isn't there something more that can be done to keep those maniacal people away from these kids?"

Paul closed the manila envelope, handed it to Uncle Rick. "Rick, I completely agree with you. The F.B.I. should have at least completed the initial findings of their investigation. I'll make some calls when I get back to the office. If I find out anything I'll call you as soon as I can. Thanks for coming to get him, Rick. That's about it for now. Have a safe flight back to Chaparral."

Paul shook their hands, walked back to his car and watched as Uncle Rick and Mario boarded the plane. Uncle Rick went through the preflight checklist and taxied to the runway. The Cessna rolled down the runway easily and once their speed was up to 60 knots, Uncle Rick pulled the yoke back. The plane gracefully lifted off the ground and climbed. It was Mario's first flight in an airplane and he was excited. Uncle Rick pointed out several landmarks on the ground below. With a headwind, the flight to Chaparral took a few minutes longer than the trip to Milford but the trip was quick and smooth. Uncle Rick landed the plane in a crosswind and managed to stay on the centerline of the runway. He parked the plane at the ramp, shut down and handed Mario's bags to him. He locked up the plane and the two loaded the bags into Uncle Rick's truck. Before leaving the airport, Uncle Rick used the payphone in the small modular fixed base operator (F.B.O.) office to call home.

Brandon answered the phone. "Hi, Rick, how was the flight?"

"It was a good flight. I have Mario here and we're ready to head to the ranch. I thought I'd call to see if anyone needs anything while I'm in town."

"I can't think of anything we need. Travis and Raul moved Travis' things out and they are over at Raul's place now. Also, you had two phone calls. Sheriff Waite wants you to call him and Paul Bullock called just a few minutes ago. He also wants you to call him when you get home."

"Thanks, Brandon. We'll be home in a half-hour."

Uncle Rick and Mario loaded Mario's bags into the truck and drove to the ranch. As they pulled in the driveway Daniel and Jason greeted them, welcoming Mario to the Ranch and welcoming Uncle Rick home. The boys each took a couple of Mario's bags and showed him to his bedroom that had just been cleaned by Travis and Raul after Travis moved out. The room and the entire ranch house were larger and much nicer than his apartment in Milford so he was thrilled at the accommodations.

Uncle Rick returned Sheriff Waite's call. The sheriff told Rick about a conversation he had with Sheriff Campbell in Milford. "Rick, there were two new incidents of kids being taken to Cedarline since Bishop Foutz's trial. The church and Cedarline are still at it and there isn't anything anyone can do at this point."

Uncle Rick sighed. "Sheriff, the F.B.I. better hurry with their investigation or more kids are going to suffer through what Tony and the others went through."

Uncle Rick brought the sheriff up to date, sharing his going to get Mario and bringing him back to the ranch.

Sheriff Waite wrote the information Rick had given him in a case file. "Thanks, Rick. I'm glad Tony's brother is safe with you. Let's hope the F.B.I. nails these guys. I'll let you know if there are further developments."

As soon as he hung up from Sheriff Waite's call, Uncle Rick returned Paul Bullock's phone call. Paul answered on the first ring. "Rick, after you and Mario left I got a call from an attorney by the name of Porter Nickels here in Milford. Mr. Nickels represents Ella Conrad. You may remember her as the young lady who testified that Harold Foutz had his way sexually with her while taking her to Cederline. He is preparing to file a class action lawsuit against Cedarline Institute and the church on behalf of those kids who were forcibly taken to Cedarline. Mr. Nickels has asked the twenty-four kids who testified at the trial and would also like to ask if Tony would like to be included as one of the plaintiffs in the suit."

Uncle Rick was concerned about Tony's interest with the lawsuit. "Paul, I have a couple questions. First, would Tony need to testify again, and second, how much are they asking for as a settlement?"

"It is possible Tony and the other plaintiffs could be asked to testify, yes. The amount of damages hasn't been determined as of yet. It could be substantial and perhaps enough to shut down Cedarline permanently and put the church out of the business of fraudulently curing gay children. The case would be held before a jury. Depending on the decision and the position of the jury, damages could range from nothing to the hundreds of millions of dollars.

"Paul, I'll talk to Tony and Mario this afternoon after Tony gets home from school. I'll call you first thing in the morning."

Uncle Rick ended the call and looked at the starburst wall clock. It was time to drive to town to pick up Cody, Erik and Tony from school. He invited Mario to ride with him to town and Mario accepted.

Thirty minutes later Cody spotted Uncle Rick pulling into the loading zone of the school, ran out the door and climbed into the truck. "Uncle Rick, Something is wrong. Mario is in trouble. Just then Cody spotted Mario and gave a perplexed look at Uncle Rick.

Uncle Rick smiled at Cody's expression. "Cody, I promise I'll tell you all about it when we pick up Erik and Tony."

Cody nodded. "I bet Tony is going to be as surprised as I am when he sees Mario."

Cody gave Mario a hug and welcomed him to Chaparral. "I'm so glad you are here and safe. I thought something was wrong, Mario."

Mario smiled warmly at Cody. "Thank you, Cody. It was but now everything is fine."

Uncle Rick drove to the junior high school where Erik and Tony were waiting just inside the door. They hurried to the truck and climbed in the back seat. Tony immediately saw Mario and gave his brother a big hug. On the way back to the ranch Mario explained about being followed by the black sedan, calling Paul Bullock, and being flown to Chaparral by Uncle Rick. Tony was thrilled to have his brother staying at the ranch.

When they arrived at the ranch Erik, Tony, and Cody changed out of the school clothes into jeans and T-shirts, and worked on their homework together. After an hour Tony's growling stomach told him it was time for a snack. He padded his way to the kitchen, where Brandon and Mario were talking about Italian food and planning dinner.

Mario noticed his little brother. "Hey bro!"

Tony's stomach let out a deep growl of hunger.

Brandon snickered. "I hear someone is hungry. Dinner won't be ready for a little while, Tony. In a couple of minutes we can give you a treat to hold you over though. Your brother has been showing me some of his recipes."

In a moment the oven timer dinged. Brandon opened the oven door and with a potholder, pulled out a hot casserole dish. The aroma from the sizzling delight filled the kitchen and drifted into the living room.

Tony's eyes were wide open. "Mario, is that what I think it is?"

Mario smiled. "If you think it is spiedini, yes it is."

Brandon attentively watched as Mario served the spiedini on small plates, handing two to Brandon and Tony. They each took bites of the amazing morsels and moaned with pleasure.

Brandon was amazed at the amount of flavor that was in the mouth-watering spiedini. "Mario, this is delicious. Can you cook other Italian meals that taste this good as well? How did you learn to do this?"

Mario nodded. "I can cook any Italian meal you want, Brandon. My mother insisted I help her in the kitchen when she cooked and she made sure I paid attention."

Brandon looked Mario in the eye. "Mario, this tastes so good that you could open up a restaurant and it would be packed every night. I'm serious about that."

Tony graciously took two helpings of spiedini to Cody and Erik. They thanked him as they devoured the scrumptious afternoon snack. The three boys agreed it was the best after-school snack they ever had.

Mario took two helpings of spiedini to the greenhouse, where Daniel and Jason were spreading hay between rows of plants to keep them warm during the cold winter nights that were soon coming. Daniel and Jason moaned when they tasted the yummy snack and raved about its savory and spicy flavor.

Jason savored every morsel. "Mario, this is incredible. Most delicious Italian food I've eaten. You should open a restaurant."

Daniel agreed. "Mario, you should meet our neighbor, Maria Sanchez. She makes the best Mexican food ever. Jason, can you imagine if Mario and Maria Sanchez opened a restaurant together? I can see it now, ' Maria and Mario's Cucina/Cocina, the best Italian and Mexican food in the Southwest'." Jason concurred.

Mario gave Daniel a serious look. "I would love to open a restaurant. That's been a dream of mine since I was in high school. How do I meet Maria?"

Daniel could see the excitement behind Mario's sober expression. "I think if you let Brandon know you would like to meet her, he would invite her for lunch or something. I bet the three of you love talking about cooking and maybe even opening a restaurant together."

Mario was indeed excited. "Thanks, Daniel. I'll talk to Brandon now."

Brandon's eyes widened when Mario shared Daniel's idea with him. "Don't move a muscle."

He grabbed the handset of the wall phone and dialed the Sanchez's number.

Maria answered with a smile. "Brandon, my favorite ranch chef, if we keep this up Vicente will begin to be jealous."

Brandon chuckled. "Maria, as delightful of a lady as you are, Vicente should know you are completely safe around me but I might think about stealing you to cook for me for the rest of your life. Maria, I called to invite you to lunch tomorrow. There is a very special boy here whom I think you should meet."

Maria pretended to be annoyed. "Oh, I see how it is. First you want me only for my cooking and then you want me to leave my husband and run off with a younger man. Brandon, what am I going to do with you? I can come for lunch tomorrow. Shall I bring something special?"

"Maria, I can't get away with anything. You are too smart for me. I was hoping you would ask. Yes, would it be too much to ask you to prepare your chicken mole enchiladas? We can have an international style meal. Mario will be cooking a tasty dish for us and I will whip up a yummy dessert. Is twelve o'clock okay?"

"Twelve o'clock is perfect. See you then."

"Great, Brandon. I think we'll have a fine lunch. Goodnight."

That evening after dinner Cody, Erik, and Tony diligently completed their homework. Uncle Rick, Henry and Brandon had retired to their rooms for the night and Mario was busy unpacking and sorting his things.

Daniel and Jason slipped on soft warm robes and retired to the soft velour couch in front of the fireplace in the living room. As the firelight once again danced on the walls around them the two lovers embraced in their warmth. Caressing each other, their lips softly met while the flames in the great fireplace danced to the random gentle pop of the crackling embers in celebration of their love. By 10-o'clock they were too sleepy to stay awake and moved into their bedroom to hold each other all night.

The house was a frenzy of activity the next morning. The boys were hurriedly getting dressed and ready for school. Breakfast was a quick event. In the rush to get to school the boys chose to have cold cereal. Brandon gladly set several boxes of cereal, milk, and brown sugar on the table. The gang quickly feasted on the easily put together meal, thanked Brandon and dashed out the door.

Brandon smiled at Mario. "Shall we get this cooking show started?"

Mario beamed with excitement. "Yes, let's do this, Brandon."

Brandon and Mario shared many of their techniques, becoming better chefs. They quickly developed a close bond. By eleven o'clock all of the food was in the oven and the kitchen cleanup began. Because both of them cleaned as they worked, tidying up was quick. Within a short time the kitchen filled with the aroma of Italian sausage, marinara sauce, pasta, and spices.

At twelve o'clock there was a knock at the front door. Brandon opened the door.

Maria, holding a large casserole dish, gave Brandon a warm smile. "Brandon, would you please take this? I have more food in the car to bring in."

Brandon took the casserole dish into the kitchen while Maria retrieved more food from her car and brought it in the house.

Maria smelled the delightful aromas emanating from the kitchen. "Oh my, something smells delightful. The oven timer dinged, indicating it was almost time for lunch to be served. Daniel and Jason set the dining room table for seven and helped take the tempting serving bowls and dishes to the table. Uncle Rick and Henry came in from the stables, washed up and joined everyone for lunch. Italian green salad, Boscaiola, Sicilian chorizo, mole chicken enchiladas and carbones tacos were generously served round the table. As they took their first bites of the expertly prepared food everyone praised the chef's on their accomplishments. Everyone agreed it was the best tasting Italian and Mexican food they ever had.

Mario and Maria were delighted at the response to their creations. Brandon gave a proud grin. "Now that we've tasted the magnificent delights of Mario and Maria, it 's time for my creation." Everyone looked at Brandon with surprise.

Mario was confused. "Brandon, when did you have time to make something? You've been helping me in the kitchen all day."

Brandon chuckled. I did my work after dinner last night. I'll bring it out. Mario, would you please help me?"

Brandon and Mario traipsed to the kitchen and brought back bowls, spoons and a metal pail. Brandon spooned a frozen dessert into bowls as Mario passed them around the table. Once everyone was served they tasted the tasty treat. They took their first spoonful and sat in amazement.

Daniel looked across the table to Brandon. "Brandon, this is the best I've ever had. What is it?"

Brandon beamed from ear to ear. "Thank you, Daniel. This is caramel pecan gelato."

Everyone at the table agreed with Daniel. This was the best dessert they'd eaten.

Daniel took another spoonful of gelato. "I think the three of you should open up a restaurant. It would be a hit. If you don't believe me, ask Cody. He knows all."

Brandon laughed at Daniel's remark. "Cody sure does know all. Tonight I'll verify with him that we are supposed to open a restaurant."

Maria and Mario hit it off right away. They spent the rest of the afternoon with Brandon, discussing menu possibilities and what would be needed to start such a restaurant.

After Uncle Rick brought Cody, Erik and Tony home from school that afternoon, Uncle Rick talked to Tony, and Mario about the potential for a class action suit against Cedarline Institute and the church. Tony said he wanted to do all he could to help shut down the disgusting institute and church.

Uncle Rick telephoned Paul Bullock to tell him they were on board. Paul assured him he would do his part to make sure Tony would be safe and receive his benefits should they be successful with the lawsuit.

That evening over dinner, Brandon and Mario shared the idea of opening a restaurant with the rest of the gang and looked at Cody, waiting for his response.

Cody became excited listening to their idea. "Yep, you three are supposed to open a restaurant and that is just the beginning too. Can...I mean, may I have the first meal please?"

For the next couple hours the three discussed how to make the dream come true. They could hardly wait to get started and look for a location for the restaurant. Their dream of owning and operating a successful restaurant was on its way to becoming a reality.

Author's notes:

As always, thank you  to my anonymous S.L. friend and to Mark for your much appreciated help with this chapter.

I welcome any respectful comments. If you enjoy this story please send me an email and tell me what you think about the story. Thanks!