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  1. #61
    The kids in the Fire Station & Mrs. Stanton

    The kids seemed very impressed with Tom's words. Once again, they all looked at him like he was some sort of superhero. Mrs. Stanton, who had been quiet, nodded when Tom finished telling about how he had walked into a burning house to save a small family.

    "I remember that case, the poor family", she chimed in with a sigh. "They were very lucky to have good neighbors, and that we have a good Fire Department".

    After a pause, the woman took a look at her wristwatch. "Thank you so much for having us here, Chief", she carried on. "We'll let you all to do your work right now. Children, please, line up, we're moving to the next building".

    As the kids lined up, the woman gave Tom a friendly smile. "Tell Dani I said hi, will you?".

  2. #62
    Mrs Gerda

    Mrs Gerda felt a little guilty for coming to Dani with her brother's problems. She knew Dani was very busy, and didn't approve of her brother's shenanigans. Still, she was someone who could be somewhat responsible for the 'boy', as Mrs Gerda didn't want to go bother Keith's parents with his escapades.

    While she didn't approve of his activities with married women, Mrs. Gerda still felt that someone should make sure Keith was all right. It wasn't like him not to show up at home. He would drop by at least for a cup of coffee every morning, and now he hadn't been by for the past two mornings.

    "The day before yesterday", the woman replied to Dani's question. "He always shows up in the morning for a cup of coffee, but he hasn't shown up yesterday, and now hasn't come home today again", she explained, hoping nothing bad had happened to Keith.

  3. #63
    Dani Allerton-Burns



    It was never Dani's intention to make Mrs Greda feel guilty about Keith. The woman was very kind, giving her brother far more chances then most people would have. More chances then her own parents had given her brother. Sometimes Dani felt the landlady was too kind. That Keith used his charms and took advantage of her. Like he liked to take advantage of everyone else. Including her...Dani often felt like she was cleaning up her baby brother's messes.

    When Mrs Greda told her that he hadn't come for his morning cup of coffee, two days in a row, Dani frowned. She knew her brother well enough to know he'd never turn down free things.

    "I'll try calling him."

    She said and if she couldn't get a hold of him...She'd talk to the Police Chief. She doubted Keith would go to their parents' house. They had stopped putting up with his antics, long ago.

  4. #64
    Tom Burns



    Tom wasn't telling the stories to be viewed as a superhero. He didn't view himself as a hero. He was just a man who did his job. His crew acted the same way. Real heroes were generally pretty humble. Just good men and women who did their job. He smiled at the kids and nodded his head to Mrs Stanton.

    "They were very fortunate and thank you."

    Not all stories had a happy ending but he didn't want to make the kids said. While this story did have a happy ending, there were others stories where everyone in a house died. He thought that was too depressing to the tell the kids, though. And he was more then happy to answer any and all the questions that the kids. When Mrs Stanton said it was time to move on, he nodded his head.

    "You're very welcome. It was our pleasure."

    He had fun talking to the kids and his crew had had fun showing them around the fire station. He smiled at Mrs Station.

    "I will, have fun on the rest of your tour."

    He replied as he saw them out.


  5. #65
    Mrs. Gerda

    Mrs. Gerda was relieved when Dani said she would try calling her brother. It was a relief to know that she hadn't given up on him yet. Not completely, at least. The old lady knew that the boy wasn't perfect. He was mischievous, and liked taking advantage of people - including herself.

    Still, he was a handsome boy, young enough that he could learn - at least to her - and he had always been nice to her, so there was that.

    "Thank you, dear", the woman replied with a kindly smile. "I won't take much more of your time, as I have some errands to run as well", she continued, not wanting to bother Dani any more than she already had. "Drop by when you can for a cup of coffee yourself, will you?".

  6. #66
    Mrs Stanton

    The woman gathered the kids once they were done and said goodbye to everyone before leading the kids to the exit. She was really happy with the outcome there, as some kids were even talking about wanting to be firefighters when they became adults. Of course, Mrs. Stanton was sure they would change their minds several times before the end of the day, as it was bound to happen with children. Still, maybe some of them would stick with it.

    "Thank you again", Mrs Stanton still said before leaving with the kids. She was nearing the end of her part of the day, as she was going to hand the kids over to Mrs. Blight, who would be taking them to the local bakery and then handing them over to another lady, and so on.

    Once she handed the kids over, Mrs Stanton made her way home, wondering what her sister wanted this time. Rena was always wanting something, and it was a bit tiring. Mrs Stanton was pretty sure it was relationship drama involving whatever guy she was sleeping with this time. Why couldn't she just pick a good guy, settle down, and stop getting in trouble?

  7. #67
    Dani Allerton-Burns



    "You're welcome."

    Dani replied to Mrs Greda. Although she wasn't as concerned about Keith as the older woman was. It was probably just Keith being Keith. No doubt with one of his many flings. He had so many. Many who were married...She nodded her head to the woman.

    "I will and have a good day."

    She replied, seeing the woman out. Mrs Greda was a nice woman. Far nicer of a landlady than Keith deserved. She sat back down and sighed as she found Keith's name on her phone. She didn't like calling him often. When she did, he usually wanted money. Or he'd make snide remarks. She loved her brother but she didn't have to like him. And she didn't like the man he had become.

    Still, she had told Mrs Greda she'd call. She hit dial and Keith's number went straight to voicemail.

    "Hey, Keith, it's Dani. When you get this, give me call. It's important."

    She said on the message she left.

  8. #68
    Tom Burns



    As the kids were ready to exit, Tom and the crew that had been on duty handed them out little plastic fire helmets, stickers, and coloring book that would educate them about fire safety. The tour stop had fun for both the kids and the adults. Spot, the fire stations's Dalmatian, barked bye to the kids. He had enjoyed their visit as well.

    "You're very welcome."

    Tom replied to Mrs Stanton, seeing her and the kids out. He had no idea she was the sister of his mistress. Rena was becoming a source of trouble for him. He and Dani lived very busy lives. They had demanding jobs, both were very devoted to their son, and sometimes failed to take care of their marriage. Not a valid reason to have done what he had, though. Although once his head had gotten clearer and the appeal of the affair had worn off, it hit him what a mistake he had made. A very dangerous mistake. If he thought Keith's blackmail was bad. Trying to get rid of Rena would be far worse. He couldn't see any way out of it without losing everything in his life.

    Dani would divorce him, that he was sure of. He'd lose Jared, something he couldn't stand the thought of. And he'd lose his reputation. He was viewed as a good man. A family man. People in Clearwater liked him but they loved his wife. They would take her side. He'd have to leave Clearwater. The only home he had ever known. He'd have to step down from his job, his crew would lose all respect they ever had for him. Tom didn't want to lose any of that, so he thought his best hope was for Rena to get bored of him and move on to someone else. He was sure she kept her bed warm with other men then just him.

  9. #69
    Mrs. Gerda, Keith (?), Mrs. Stanton, the kids, and Rena

    Mrs. Gerda sighed whe Dani confirmed she didn't know where her brother was. The older woman was really concerned about the boy, but there was nothing she could do right now. It wasn't like she could go around looking for Keith. And his sister would keep her informed if she could get a hold of him. She'd better go home, then, as she had more to do than worry about Keith.

    Leaving Dani's office, Mrs. Gerda looked around for a moment and then took the walk home, her mind busy with everything she had to do for the day ahead.

    ************************

    When Dani called Keith's phone, it rang several times, before going to voice mail. His voice sounded on a quick message, asking people to state their business and number, and promising he would call back soon. That wasn't really unusual, though, as Keith never picked up his phone when he was with one of his female friends

    ************************

    The kids thanked the fire crew when they got their items, and said good bye to them and to Spot. They were all really excited, and asking Mrs. Stanton when they could visit the firemen again, as they had loved talking to them, getting on the truck, and seeing the dog. Mrs. Stanton led them out with a vague promise, not wanting to cause a fuss right now.

    She was happy with the visit, and also happy to pass the kids on to another mother. She really needed to go home. The house wouldn't take care of itself, after all, and maybe she could catch Rena while the kids were gone and talk some sense into her.

    ************************

    Rena, who didn't have children to worry about, was taking her stroll through town, runnin and errand here and there. She had gone to the bakery, gotten some bread and a cake, and then gone for some stationary, as she had some planning to do. There was a lot to get done, as she was planning to take a trip - and to convince Tom to join her. That would be hard, but she was pretty sure she could convince him with some persuasion.

    Feeling pretty happy about herself - and wondering if she could get Tom to come live with her for good, Rena made a turn into an alley that led to her house. It wasn't her usual path, but she would sometimes take it to get home a bit quicker.

    Had she not taken it this morning, Rena would never have seen what she was seeing now. At first, she thought it was a homeless person asleep, but she shook her head. There were no homeless people just sleeping around like that in their lovely town. Maybe someone who was drunk?

    Letting curiosity get the best of her, Rena leaned forward. What she saw made her take several steps back and run the other way, frantically picking up her phone and dialing for Tom. She would barely wait for him to say something before blurting out what she had to say.

    "He's dead. Oh, God, Tom, he's dead, your brother in law, I saw him! Please, please, tell me you didn't!", she yelled, histerically, into her phone.

  10. #70
    Tom Burns



    It had been a good day, until Rena called him. Rena was a problem for him and he wasn't sure the best way to handle her. The excitement was being to wear off for him and as he weighed his options, staying with his wife seemed to be the best thing he could do. But how to let Rena know that...Yeah....that wasn't going to be easy, he thought. Tom wasn't at the point yet to make the hard calls and decided he'd just keep doing what he was doing, for now.

    He fed Spot and frowned when Rena called him.

    "Hello-"

    Rena started to ramble and it first confused the hell out of Tom. He had no idea what she was talking about. He walked into his office and shut the door.

    "Calm down."

    He told her and got pissed when she begged him to say he didn't kill Keith.

    "Of course I didn't!"

    There were times he had fantasized of doing that very thing, but he never had.

    "Wait? Are you sure it's him? Did you call the police?"

    Tom asked as it sunk in what Rena said. Keith was dead?

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