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Chapter 19
Many Happy Returns

        "What's that noise?" Logan asked, perking up to listen intently to an odd sound that suddenly came within earshot.

        "I don't know, but it sounds like a motor of some kind!"  Elizabeth answered, the three captives jumping up simultaneously, rushing to the window to find what was generating the sound.  They were all fixated, seeing a small boat powered by a tiny outboard engine being beached next to their raft.

        "Who is it?" Amanda asked breathlessly.  "Do you think it's one of the kidnappers come back?  God, why did he have to come back now?  Why didn't we just keep going while we had the chance?  How could we be so stupid?"

        "I. . . I don't know.  This person doesn't look at all like the guy who captured me!" Logan replied quietly.  "This guy looks pretty refined, actually.  Unless he's the unseen partner, this is not a kidnapper."  Logan peered intently at the figure beaching the tiny, motorized craft

        "Oh, shit!  We left the gun in the raft!" Elizabeth suddenly realized.  "Logan, what are we going to do?"

        "Get me that baseball bat from the bedroom.  There's only one of him and I think I'm bigger than he is, so maybe we have the advantage!"

        Elizabeth ran quietly to the bedroom, Amanda and Logan stared down at the man getting out of his boat.  The fellow was a refined looking man, actually gentlemanly, in a fashionable tweed jacket and khakis, wearing a tweed beret and high black boots.  His short, well groomed beard was greying noticeably, as was the closely cropped hair that was visible below his flat hat.  Elizabeth returned hurriedly with the baseball bat.  The frightened trio watched in suspense while the gentleman step curtly around their raft, inspecting it's contents.

        Suddenly, the man turned, looked up at the house and yelled,  "Hallo!  Hallo!  Is there somebody here?  Hallo!"  He stepped cautiously toward the landing of the stair and called up again,  "Hallo!  Is there anybody up there?"

        "I don't think this guy is part of the kidnaping thing," Logan judged.  "In fact, this may be our way off of this island.  Our something missing!"  The relieved fireman laughed, walking toward the exit door.  He sat the baseball bat carelessly beside the door jamb on his way out.  "Hi," Logan responded to the man's summons, stepping gingerly out the opening and raising his right hand in greeting.

        "Logan, be careful!" Amanda warned quietly to the exposed lad's back.

        "Oh, hallo!" the gentleman answered cheerfully in return.  "I wasn't expecting to see anyone here.  This place isn't used much anymore and I know most of the professors who come here, but, welcome anyway!"  The man glanced casually at the jimmied storage room door.

        "Hi!" Logan responded again, "I'm Logan Keohane and we're not teachers or anything like that.  Actually, we've been stranded here for a several days and just found your supplies and took advantage of them.  We'll gladly pay you back if you'll help us get out of here.  Sorry about your door there."

        "Oh, no need for that," the courteous gentleman answered, smiling.  "This is all LSU property, not mine.  They supply all of the food and things for us guys doing research out here in the swamp lands.  I'm sure you didn't find any gourmet meals in there!  Stranded, huh?  How did you come to be stranded way out here?" the curious fellow queried, a quizzical look on his face.  "I'd be happy to help you get to where you are going.  You said we, are there more of you?"

        "Yeah, Amanda, Elizabeth," Logan called over his shoulder to the two girls.  "There are three of us.  When can we go?"

        "Oh my, you are in a hurry!  There's only one little problem, my little boat will hardly carry you and I, two more will be impossible.  But, I bet I can tow you in your raft!" the cheerful professor answered resoundingly after a short deliberation.
We can go whenever you're ready.  I just came to get a few supplies, however, I can come back later and get them on my return to the research station.  I'd love to hear how you came to be out here in the middle of nowhere!  I haven't had much human interaction for weeks."

        "Wonderful!" Logan exclaimed excitedly.  "How long does it take to get out?  And where the hell are we?  Come on guys, let's go!"  Logan motioned for the girls to hurry down the stairs and join him.

        "We are almost dead center of the Atchafalaya Swamp.  The trip usually takes me about forty five minutes or so to get to the highway, but pulling you along with me, I don't know, maybe an hour." the helpful gentleman responded sincerely, looking even more puzzled at the last question.

        "You hear that?  An hour to freedom!" Amanda repeated excitedly.  "Let's go!"

        "By the way, my name is Gene, Gene Thibedeaux.  Nice to meet you," the friendly stranger offered his hand to Logan.  The two men shook hands and exchanged quick pleasantries.

        "I hate to be brief, but I'm really ready to go.  Everyone back home probably thinks I'm dead.  Boy are they going to be surprised!"

        Gene's eyes suddenly widened and twinkled noticeably.  "You know, seeing your uniform, I'll bet you are that fireman that was supposed to have been burned to ashes in that God-awful wreck a couple of weeks ago.  If so, yeah, you are pronounced dead alright.  Without enough of you left to bury!"  The astonished fellow's face brightened even more with recognition.  "And I'll bet you two are the young Co-eds that were kidnapped off the Texas A&M Campus!  The Police and your father have been all over the radio and newspapers trying to find you!  My only communication with the outside world is a little transistor radio that I get to listen to every night and all I hear about is you two!  Boy, is your Pop going to be glad to hear from you!"

        "Jesus H. Christ, my parents and Morgan. . . .  At least that explains why the kidnappers never returned.  My poor truck must be ash too, huh?" Logan quizzed the fellow dejectedly.

        "See Amanda, I told you that daddy would be worried sick over us!" Elizabeth exclaimed, poking her sister in the ribs.  "And you thought he didn't care!  Oh, daddy, we'll be home soon!"

        A tear trickled down Amanda's cheek.  "I really didn't think he didn't care about us, I just. . . .  Daddy, I really didn't mean it.  I know you love us!"

        "Believe me, missy, with all the fuss you're Pop's making over your disappearance I'd bet my boots that he misses both of you very much!" the rescuer answered sincerely to the girls.  "And if that that fellow was driving your truck, I'm afraid it's just so much slag right now," Gene replied compassionately, looking at Logan.

        The parties each boarded their respective boats and Logan shoved the raft forcefully into the water.  Gene pulled the starter rope on the little outboard several times before the engine fired up.  "Here," the fellow called to Logan, "Tie this rope to the front of your raft and I'll tow you right on in.  My car is parked at the highway, so I'll drive you to the nearest Police Station.  I'll bet they'll gladly get you home!"

        Logan did as instructed, listening to the tiny engine begin to whine at the heavy load.  Slowly, the freed captives began their trek homeward, almost ninety degrees from the direction taken earlier.  "This is the longest way to the highway, but it's the easiest on this little engine," Gene called back to them over the noise of the outboard.  "The other way goes through some pretty thick, dangerous swamp."  He pointed forty five degrees from their current direction, roughly where the three had been earlier that morning.  "If you go that way," the knowledgeable professor pointed directly where they had gone earlier, "Good luck!  That's some wild and woolly country.  I wouldn't go back there myself, and I know this swamp pretty well.  Too many bad stories and missing people have tried going that way!"

        Logan looked at the girls and saw Elizabeth shiver at the news.  The quivering young woman looked up at him and smiled.  "Now I'm really ready to be out of here!" Liz responded meekly.
 
 
 

        Gene boldly opened the faded wooden door with a rattle of dirty glass and casually stepped into the local Sheriff's Office.  He presented his companions to the rotund, half-kempt man lounging behind the nearest antiquated desk.  "Sheriff, this is Logan Keohane, Elizabeth and Amanda Krause.  They seemed to have gotten themselves kidnapped and left in the swamp for a while.  You know that fellow who was all burned up in that wreck a while back during the hellatious floods?  Well, that was their kidnapper.  Now, this is the missing fireman that everyone thought was all burned to cinders in that truck and these two young ladies are the two co-eds that were abducted from Texas A&M University Campus that are all over the news.  I believe these guys are ready to get home!"

        The startled sheriff's jaw dropped and the blood seemed to drain from his face.  "Kidnapped, you say," the stricken lawman responded with a noticeable south Louisiana accent.  "And left in the swamp?  The hell you say!  Where the dickens did ya'll stay for so long?  How'd ya'll live?"

        "You know that little way station shack that LSU uses for the research staff?" Gene answered for the three exhausted captives.

        "Yeah, kind of."

        "That's where I found them.  I was going to restock my supplies and they had found my stockroom, making themselves at home!"  The gleeful professor laughed, the Sheriff readily joining in with an aire of relief.

        "The hell you say!" was all the laughing officer could respond.

        "We're really ready to get home now, so could we call our father?" Amanda asked the rotund lawman impatiently.

        "Oh, oh, of course.  Here's the telephone right here." the astonished Sheriff responded, pointing to a phone on his desk.  "Just help yourself young lady and if there's anything else I can do for you. . . .  But, seeing how this was a kidnaping and all," the lawman corrected himself, recollecting his professional demeanor, "I'll have to ask you a few questions before you leave.  If you want to get someone to come here and pick you up, I think we should be about finished by the time they get here."

        "Thank you, I'll tell my father to come here to get us," the older girl replied wearily.  Amanda picked up the telephone, searched through her memory for their father's private number and dialed.  "Dad?  Daddy?  It's me dad, Amanda. . . yeah, I'm alright and I'm certainly not dead!  Yeah, Elizabeth's right here with me too and she's fine!"  Liz moved quickly to her sister's side, motioning for the phone.  "No, I really don't want to explain all the details to you on the phone, but we were kidnapped and brought to Louisiana, that's where we are right now and we need a way home."  Elizabeth impatiently grappled for the receiver, Amanda brushing her away.  "No, we're in a little town so I don't think there's an airport large enough for the jet, wait, let me ask."  Amanda turned to the lawman, "Excuse me, Sheriff, is there an airport around here that'll land a private jet?  Somewhere close?"

        "Uh, yeah, Lafayette is only a few miles down the road and I know they land medivac jets there all the time.  Sometimes even commercials."

        "Daddy, you can fly to Lafayette, Louisiana, then you'll have to get here to the Sheriff's Office.  The Sheriff wants to ask us some questions about the kidnapping.  How long do you think it'll take you to get here?  Okay, we should be finished by then. Oh, and daddy, there's someone else I want you to meet.  He saved our lives. . . . ."  Elizabeth continued reaching for the phone line, Amanda brushed her away once more.  "No, he's just a friend, but I really want you to meet him, he's great."  Amanda looked up at Logan with tears pouring down the young girl's face.  "Oh, and daddy, I love you and I've missed you terribly!  The Sheriff will give you directions here."  She began sobbing in earnest, handing the phone to the waiting lawman.  "Daddy was crying," the sobbing lass told Elizabeth.  "Daddy was crying and said he didn't know how much he loved us until we were gone!"

        Elizabeth joined her sister in a deluge of tearful awakenings.  The teary young girl walked over, hugging her sister tightly, wailing on each other's shoulder.  "But, I didn't get to talk to him," she cried.  "I would like to have at least said hi!"

        "Daddy said he wanted to hurry and get to the airport so he spoke quickly.  You can be the first to greet him here.  I promise.  Logan, you'll be here to meet him, won't you?"

        "Yeah, it kind of looks that way.  I guess you want to ask me some questions, too, huh, Sheriff?  But, I'm really ready to see my family, too.  And Morgan!  God, I can't wait!"

        "Do you want to call your folks, son?" the still dumbfounded Sheriff asked, fumbling over his words.

        "Yes, sir," the impatient young fireman answered.  "I'm sure they all think I'm dead."

        "Well, I'll tell you what, go ahead and make your phone call then I'll get one of my deputies to take your statement and get as many details as possible.  That way you'll be ready as soon as your ride shows up!"

        "Oh, thank you very much Sheriff!  Just give me a couple of minutes on the phone and I'll be ready."  Logan smiled at Amanda and Elizabeth, picking up the phone.  His hands trembled as he dialed his parents' phone number.  "Hello, Pop, it's me, Logan. . . no, really!  No, really, it is me!  I'm alive and okay.  I'm in some little town in Louisiana and I need you to come and pick me up!  I really don't know where we are.  I'll put the Sheriff here on the phone in a minute and he can give you directions.  Pop, are you still there?  Are you alright?  Pop?"  A worried look suddenly crossed Logan's face.  "Oh, there you are!  I thought maybe you'd passed out on me or something.  Well, I guess I could be kind of like a ghost!  I love you Pop!  Let me give you to the Sheriff so he can give you directions.  I'm ready to get home!  And please call Morgan, bring her with you if you can!  I want to see her very much!  I'll see you soon, here's the Sheriff!" the fireman handed the receiver to the still astonished lawman.

        Tears began streaming down the fireman's face from hearing the his father's voice.  He could also feel the bond that had grown between him and the girls beginning to stretch.  Logan looked lovingly between the two softly sobbing girls, "We don't have to say goodbye-goodbye, you know.  I'll give you some phone numbers where you can reach me.  You can call me anytime!  I mean that.  And I want your phone numbers too, okay?"

        Both girls ran to Logan, wrapping themselves around him lovingly.  "I'm really going to miss you so much!" Amanda told him tearfully.  "Tell that Morgan of yours, if she doesn't treat you right, look out!"

        "Oh, Logan," Elizabeth squeezed him tightly, "You've helped me more than you can imagine.  Thank you for being there for us.  I love you Logan!  And Morgan and Amanda better both watch out!"  The sentimental lass broke down into a long tearful sob, squeezing him with all her might.

        "I love both of you, too, and I know you'll be just fine." Logan responded, his sobs gradually diminishing.  The Irishman turned quickly to the large desk, quickly jotting down several phone numbers.  "The first one is my parent's number, you can always track me down there.  I'll see you again before you leave.  I just want to go ahead and get this questioning over with!"

        "You bet you will!" Amanda prodded him, then grabbed and kissed him fully on the mouth.  She tucked a small slip of paper with her phone number into his shirt pocket.

        "Sis!" Elizabeth scolded, moving her sister out of the way.  Following her sister's lead, Liz kissed Logan warmly, then grabbed him tightly once more around the neck.  "You'd better not try to sneak out of here without saying goodbye!"

        Logan stepped away from them, turning toward the officer, "I guess I'm ready, Sheriff."  The fireman quickly turned to their rescuer.  "Professor Thebideaux, I can't thank you enough for getting us here!  There's no telling where we would have ended up if not for you!"

        "You're very welcome," the smiling professor answered.  "Just get yourself home safely now.  Time's wasting!"  The greying gentleman spun curtly, preceding Logan through the exit door.

        "Deputy Riggs is waiting for you in the interview room.  Oh, and son, hell of a job to get yourself back in one piece!  You deserve a medal after what you've been through!"

        Logan smiled at the lawman and shot a warm, parting glance back to the girls.  They both smiled warmly, watching the excited Irishman leave the small office.  I'm really going to miss them, he thought, searching for the room where the deputy was waiting for him.  Yeah, I'm going to miss them both!

        Logan found the small room and stepped through the door, his stomach spinning like a clothes dryer in the fast cycle.  The deputy smiled at the fireman from across the room.  "Please have a seat, this shouldn't take very long.  Here's a pen and paper.  If you would, please give us any details that you can remember about the kidnaping.  Were there any accomplices?  Did you hear any names or addresses?  Anything that might be important in our investigation of the incident."

        "Okay, I remember the guy saying he had a partner.  All he called him was DuBose.  The kidnapper mentioned that he had to go to the airport in Baton Rogue to pick him up.  I guess that was where he was headed when he wrecked my truck.  That son of a bitch!"

        "Great!  If you'll just write all that down along with a description of how you became involved in the first place as well as where you have been for the past week, that'll be all we need.  Then you can get out of here."

        Logan began writing every detail that he could remember on the tablet.
 
 
 

        Setting down his pen, the fireman flipped back through the pages that he had written, reading his words and correcting a few small parts.  "There, I think that's about all I can come up with."  He looked quickly at his watch.  "My parents should be here soon.  Hopefully they'll have Morgan with them!"

        "Nervous?" the deputy asked simply.  "I know I would be in your situation.  I'd probably be shittin' bricks right now!  I have to admit, you've been through one hell of an adventure.  Can't say I envy you none though."

        Logan could hardly comprehend what the deputy was rattling on about.  His mind was ablaze with everything in the Universe at once, it seemed.  The pining lad missed Morgan so much.  What a joy he will feel, holding his love tenderly in his arms!"

        "I'll let you know when they arrive," the deputy responded coolly, as if doing just another part of his job.

        Logan could understand, however, being in similarly excitable conditions but staying detached as a matter of keeping his sanity.  "God, don't let me have to be like that anymore!  I want to feel life and passion again!" the reluctant fireman prayed at the sudden recognition.

        The officer stood slowly to his feet.  "Would you like me to bring your family in here or would you like to greet them in the lobby?" the patrolman asked politely.  Logan felt a sudden wave of compassion for the man standing across from him.

        "Thanks, my friend," the understanding young fireman responded, collecting his thoughts through the warmness of the compassion.  "I think I'll wait in the lobby.  That way I'll get to say farewell to Amanda and Elizabeth as they leave."  The compassionate young man held out his hand to the officer, smiling warmly at him.

        Logan could feel the deputy's whole demeanor change.  The man softened, smiled softly at Logan, took his hand and shook it briskly.  "I admire you guy," the smiling lawman commented, raising his dark sun shades and allowing his honesty to show through the veil of professional detachment.  "Good luck with the rest of your life!"  The deputy released his grip, pulled his shades back over his eyes and turned for the door.

        Logan silently followed the deputy into the small waiting area and took a seat.  The sounds of a tearful reunion floated through the Sheriff's wooden door.  The girls' father must have already arrived he surmised.  God, I wish my family would hurry and get here, but they're not coming by jet. I suppose it'll take them a little longer.  Logan leaned comfortably back into his seat and the door to the Sheriff's office swung suddenly open.  Both girls pranced happily out, each holding the arm of their gleeful looking father.  Amanda noticed the sullen young man and halted the procession.

        "Logan!  This is our daddy, Roland Krause.  Daddy, this is our knight in shining armor, Logan Keohane!  Without him, I don't know what we would have done!"

        "It's wonderful to meet you, Mister Keohane.  Thank you ever so much for taking care of my girls.  I don't know how I'll ever repay you.  Just let me know if you ever need anything!  Can we give you a lift home. . . to Houston is it?

        "No, thank you very much," Logan answered with a smile.  "It was a pleasure being with your daughters.  They are both really lovely people!  I'll never forget our times together.  And you don't owe me anything, I am glad to have been able to help Amanda and Elizabeth.  You have two wonderful daughters here!"

        "Oh Logan, I'm going to miss you!" Elizabeth joined in, rushing over to the young man to hug his neck.  "I will call you soon, you can count on it!"

        "I'll miss you, too," Amanda replied with a tight hug.  "Come see us Logan.  We want to meet that girlfriend of yours."

        "Are you girls ready?" Roland questioned softly.  "The jet is waiting for us.  And I'll bet you're ready to change into some clean clothes!  Gosh, it's going to be so great to have you guys back home!"

        Amanda and Elizabeth returned to their father's side and disappeared through the dirty glass of the exit door.  "Bye Amanda.  Bye Elizabeth," Logan called after them, leaning back into his chair, trying to relax and get comfortable for the remainder of his wait.  Suddenly a familiar car pulled into the parking lot past the glass doors.  The joyous lad could hardly contain his excitement.  He rushed to the exit, seeing his father get out of the automobile.  His mother exited the passenger side.  Where was Morgan, he wondered, exploding through the doors toward his father.  "Pop," Logan cried, "Mom!  You can't imagine how good it is to see you!"  A smile, wide as the heavens, stretched across the young man's face, embedding itself so deeply that he was afraid the remnants would never go away.  The excited lad fell into his loved ones' arms.

        "Logan!  Logan, me lad!"  Yancy sobbed, hugging his returned son tightly.  "Oh my God!  Anne, our son has returned!  We've missed you so much, boy.  I. . . ."

        "Pop, I'm okay, really!  And boy do I have a story for you!"  Logan squeezed his father and mother tightly around the neck.  Yancy seemed to just melt into his son, grabbing a hold so tightly that Logan thought he was going to be crushed. "I've missed you guys, I've missed you so much!  I love you!"

        "Oh son, we thought you were dead!  I mean, they found your truck and everything!  Where have you been?  We didn't know what to do!" the sobbing Yancy whispered wetly into his son's ear, never loosening his grip.  Streams of tears ran freely down both men's faces as they stood outside the doorway in an embrace of the ages.

        "Oh God," Logan heard his mother's familiar voice cry out, shaken.  "My God, Logan!"  Anne returned his embrace with the warmth and love that only a mother can imbue.  "Oh Logan, it's so wonderful to have you back!  We thought you were dead, but now you're home!"

        The three family members embraced in front of the Sheriff's Office for a long time.  Logan finally had to snicker under his breath at a thought that flashed through his mind, We're going to need rubber boots if we stand here much longer!

        "Let's get the boy home!" Yancy eventually instructed his wife, pulling gently away from his once lost son.  "Are you ready?  Let's get on the road!"  The man wiped his cheeks with a sleeve, holding Logan by the arm, pulling him toward the waiting car.  "God it's good to see you're smilin' face, lad!"

        Anne took a position on Logan's other side, floating across the parking lot as if floating on thin air.  "You know, Morgan always held out for you!  She told me time after time, I know Logan's alive and he'll be back, soon!'  But, I refused to believe her!  She didn't come with us because we couldn't find her.  She was busy somewhere moving all of the stuff from your apartment!  We thought we should move you out since your rent was due.  Morgan has arranged everything and is having all of your stuff brought to our house to put in our garage.  She's such a wonderful girl!  I think you've finally found a pearl!"  Anne informed her attentive son lovingly with a huge smile.

        "I know I have and I plan to do everything I can to keep her around!  I really know now how much I love Morgan.  I have missed all of you so much that it's unbelievable!  Will she be at your house when we get there?"

        "I don't know," Yancy offered helpfully.  "She called this morning, saying the movers would be arriving in the afternoon to load up, then they would be heading out.  We even tried to page her.  She was probably just really busy and didn't have time to return the call.  We left so quickly and all!"

        "You know, maybe I should run into the office and make sure the Sheriff doesn't need anything else before we leave.  Wait for me right here and I'll be right back."  Logan rushed off to let the lawmen know he was leaving.  They dismissed him quickly, sending the excited lad off with a smile.  Logan returned to the car at a trot.  "Let's go!" he pleaded.  "I'll tell you my story on the way home.  You're not going to believe this!"

        Logan sat back easily into the familiar feel of the vehicle, watching their surroundings zoom past.  The excited young man recounted his adventures, starting with the old Cajun fellow who took his truck.  "Now that was one wacky guy!" the smiling lad commented, laughing at the once frightening memory.
 
 
 

        Logan sat restlessly staring out of his parents' living room window.  God, it seemed like hours since he had paged Morgan.  Maybe she didn't have her beeper turned on or maybe she was on her way here and she didn't want to stop to call.  Whatever the reason was for her not calling, Logan was getting really impatient.  Come on Morgan! the anxious lad repeated over and over in his spinning brain.  Hurry up Morgan, I want to see you!

        Finally, the familiar sight of Morgan's car pulled into the driveway.  Logan was beside himself.  The nervous young man almost knocked over a small table as he turned to run toward the front door.  Shit! he thought, stopping his hasty exit to catch and upright the porcelain lamp that toppled from the little table.  Mom would shoot me if I broke that lamp!  The piece is one she brought from Ireland that's been in her family for years!  Logan quickly looked out the window to check on Morgan's progress.  Where was she?  She must have driven all the way to the back of the house!  Damn it, Morgan, why didn't you stop in the front of the house and make this simple?

        The fumbling lad finally succeeded in stilling the lamp and ran through the living room doorway toward the kitchen where the back entrance was.  Morgan would have to come in that way if she was parked in back.  Through the large den Logan ran, past his startled parents.  "Morgan's here!" the breathless lad exclaimed.  "She's parked around back!"  Dodging the heavy wooden coffee table in the middle of the room, he made a line straight for the white swinging kitchen door.  Here I come Morgan, he thought, bursting through the pivoted opening.  The lad looked left just as his lover was closing the rear door.  Her back was to him.  "Morgan!" he cried out breathlessly.  "Oh, Morgan!"

        Morgan's head snapped his way, going limp and dropping a large box that she was carrying.  The carton hit the floor with a loud thud, only compounding the impact of the moment.  All that Logan could remember later was the lovely woman's emerald eyes, huge as the moon herself, and the sudden smile that he could feel a mile away.  Bolts of energy coursed up and down the lad's spine, watching her hurdle the abandoned box and leap into his arms.  "Logan.  Oh Logan, I knew you'd be back for me!" Morgan repeated over and over between her kisses.  "I knew you weren't dead!  You promised you'd be back soon!"

        "Morgan, I love you!  I love you so much!  I've dreamed of this moment for too long."  Logan took the crying redhead warmly into his grasp, kissing her deeply and passionately.  He could feel his parents watching over them and really didn't care, he was in the arms of his true love, the one link with his soul.  The whole world disappeared, leaving only he and Morgan. Nothing could drag him away from her arms right now, nothing!  Logan could feel their hearts and spirits join in a reunion rivaling the return of Heaven to Earth.  For him, this was Heaven.

        "I hope there wasn't anything breakable in that box," the joyous young man chided the excited woman, holding her closely and smiling.

        "Hell, I don't care if it was a Ming vase!" Morgan answered sincerely and softly.  "Oh Logan. It feels so wonderful to have you in my arms, I'm never going to let you go!  Except maybe to go to the bathroom!" the playful redhead chided softly, standing back to look at her lover.  "Where have you been? Is that the same uniform you were wearing to work the morning you left?"

        "Yeah, I'm afraid I didn't get an opportunity to pack for the occasion," Logan laughed, holding both of Morgan's hands tightly.  "I'll tell you all about my adventures later, right now I just want to be with you.  Gosh, you're more beautiful than ever!  Morgan, it's so wonderful to be back here, holding you, to feel you in my arms and kiss you!  Believe me, I'm not going to let you go, either.  I've been doing a lot of thinking, I've had a lot of time to do that," he laughed, hesitating, trying to find the courage to say what he really wanted to ask her.  "Morgan," the nervous lad started over, "Will you marry me?  Be my wife?"  His knees almost buckled, asking the last part.  Logan could feel his face getting redder and redder.

        "Oh Logan, I'd be so honored to have you as my husband," Morgan answered tenderly, "Yes, I'll marry you whenever you want!  I love you and I can think of nothing better than to spend my life with you!  Well, almost."

        Logan looked puzzledly down at her, "What does that mean?  Is everything okay?"

        "Everything is wonderful!  But, we've got to talk.  You see, I've met this Irish couple, and they have this opportunity for both of us.  They want us to move to Ireland and I really want to go!  I know how you love your job and this city and all, but, will you at least listen to their offer?  For me?"

        Logan burst out laughing, hysterically, "Oh Morgan, if you only knew," the relieved young Irishman finally spouted.  Calming down, he looked around to see that his parents had left at some point, giving them privacy.  "Honey, I will gladly listen to any offer to go to Ireland!  I've re-evaluated a lot of things in my life and going to Ireland has become a high priority, I have been hoping to convince you of the same thing!  Do my parents or anyone else know about this?"

        "No, I haven't told anyone," Morgan answered quietly.  "I wanted to wait for you, first.  I really didn't know what you would think of the idea.  But, you don't know how wonderful it sounds to hear you're wanting the same thing me.  I've had such a strange longing to be there, like Ireland was home!  I've actually been feeling homesick!  The feeling's been really strange."

        A knock at the back door interrupted them, a strange face peering through the glass.  "Oh shit, the movers!  They've got all of your stuff out in their truck, what do you want them to do with it?  I guess we could get them to take it all back to your apartment, if you want.  Whatever feels right to you.  But, you can always stay at my place if you want, at least until we decide what we're going to do permanently."

        "Sounds like a good idea to me, no need having two apartments.  Let's get the stuff in the garage.  When can I meet this couple you told me about?" Logan asked, heading toward the door.

        "I can call him tomorrow.  He's pretty excited about talking to you.  I can't wait until you meet him, you'll really like him, I know you will!"  They stepped, hand in hand, through the doorway, attending to Logan's personal belongings.  "And guess what?  They know your uncle in Bantry!"

        Logan laughed hysterically once more, "Of course they do!"  The spinning Irishman could only shake his head, approaching the moving van.  "Where's my sword?" he suddenly asked, peering into the back of the overstuffed truck.  "God, I hope my sword's alright, it's my most cherished possession!"
        "Don't worry sweetie, I have your sword safe and sound, wrapped up in the back seat of my car, along with the rest of the stuff from our ceremony.  No one else has even touched any of it!"

        "You are wonderful!" Logan praised, smiling at Morgan's glowing face.


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