When Obsession Takes Over

By JSRobertson


Diana Parker was a receptionist at the Office of Naval Intelligence in Washington DC.  She would greet visitors and answer the phones directing calls to the secretaries of the admirals in charge of intelligence division.   It was late morning on Thursday when she was called into Admiral Gerald Johnson’s office.  His secretary, Sandy, had an emergency at home and had to leave.  No one else was available to fill in while Sandy was gone so Admiral Johnson asked her to step in.


I’m good enough to fill in but not good enough to be a secretary, Diana thought as she was once again passed over for a promotion of secretary; this time it was for Admiral Kingston.


Sandy quickly explained Admiral Johnson’s appointments for the afternoon, took the files folders on her desk and put them in her drawer.  “Don’t worry about anything but answering the phones and telling the admiral his appointments here,” Sandy told her quickly as she grabbed her purse and left.  Diana showed the admiral’s first appointment into his office after letting him know he had arrived.  She was looking for a pen and saw the files Sandy had put in the drawer.  She took them out and looked them over.  She knew she shouldn’t be reading the files as she didn’t have the proper clearance.  She didn’t care as today was her last day working for ONI. 


The admiral had quite a few appointments scheduled that afternoon so she couldn’t leave before 4:00.  When the admiral’s last appointment left, Diana took her ID tag off, left it on her desk in the reception area and gathered the few personal items she had along with one of the files from Sandy’s drawer.  She walked out the front door of the ONI building and never looked back.  She and Sandy were friends and she knew Sandy would be mad at her because she didn’t tell her she was leaving.  She was going back to California to help her brother with his catering business but would stop in Las Vegas first for the weekend.  Before leaving for Las Vegas she had an appointment at the hair salon to get a hair cut.  She wanted a whole new look so she was cutting her long brown hair very short. 




Before Diana boarded her flight, she called her brother.  “Terry, someone may call looking for me.  Please tell them you haven’t talked to me,” she begged.  “I have something that could make us very rich.”


“Diana, what’s going on...where are you...what about your job?” Terry asked confused.

”I’ll explain when I get out there.  I’m stopping in Vegas for a few days before coming to California.  Please just do it,” she begged.  “Here’s my new number.  Don’t call it unless you have too.”


“Okay,” he replied jotting down the number.  Oh, Diana, what have you done now? Her brother thought as he hung up the phone.


Walking past a trash can, Diana threw her phone in it.




Seaview had been in port for two weeks.  She would be in port another two weeks before heading out on quite a few missions with only enough time in between to restock the boat. The admiral had decided along with Dr. Jamieson that all the executive officers would take a vacation.  Lee and Janet Crane had just returned from a stay at a bed and breakfast in Santa Cruz.  Now it was Chip Morton’s turn to take a week off.  He was leaving for a family reunion in Las Vegas on Thursday and would return on Monday night. When he came back from Vegas, he didn’t have any specific plans but maybe take his boat out for a trip to the Channel Islands if the weather permitted.  Lee would be the only executive officer at NIMR for a few days as the admiral was in Boston visiting his sister and wouldn’t be back until Tuesday.


Lee sat on the corner of Chip’s desk as Chip told him what needed to be done. Chip was in charge of procuring all the supplies and items needed for Seaview.  “Here are the inventory sheets and I’ve check everything over.  You just need to order a few items for the next cruise.  If you have any questions, just ask Janet.  She knows as much about the inventory as I do.”  He also handed him a few reports that needed to be completed but Lee was still looking at the inventory.


“Chip, are you sure the quantity on these valves is correct?” Lee questioned and handed the sheet back pointing to the item he was talking about.


Chip looked at the item and frowned.  He picked up the phone and dialed Janet’s extension, “Janet, can you come here please?”


“Yes sir,” she replied promptly.  “Is there something wrong?” she asked when she got to his office door.  She didn’t know Lee was there with Chip.


“Hi honey,” she said happily to Lee and went to the other side of Chip’s desk. 


“Is this figure correct?” Chip asked showing her the inventory figure on the valve.  “That quantity seems too low.  We’re always replacing those valves for some reason so we should have more in stock.”


“Yes, I thought it was wrong too and that maybe they wrote down the wrong part number but I went down to the boat and checked it myself.  We only have two of those so I put in a requisition.  I knew you were leaving so I put it the folder for Lee to order and sign.  I hope that was okay?  Since we need these items right away, I would order them but the manufacturer will give you or Lee a better shipping date than he would give me.  I think your titles frighten them,” she laughed.


Lee smiled at her, “No problem, I’ll take care of it when I get back to my office.”  Janet left Chip’s office with the letters she had put on Chip’s desk earlier to sign.  “I guess putting her in charge of inventory was a good idea on your part.”


“Yes, she has learned a lot about the parts we use on Seaview, almost as good me,” Chip replied with a grin as he went back to explaining the rest of the work to Lee.  “Are we still on for dinner and you driving me to the airport?”


“Whenever you’re ready to have dinner is fine with me.”


Looking at his watch, Chip replied, “How about in an hour.  I should have everything done by then and it will still leave us plenty of time for dinner and to get to the airport.  I’ve got the last flight out of LAX for Vegas.”


Lee left Chip’s office so he could finish up what he needed to do.  Lee found the folder with the requisitions and noticed there were quite a few of them so he would be busy for the next few days.  He also had a lot of reports of his own to finish and now a few from Chip plus there were a lot of new proposals for him to check over. 




Before leaving, Chip changed into a pair of jeans and collared shirt.  Chip, Lee and Janet were ready to leave for dinner by 1700 hours.  Chip packed his suitcase the night before and put it in Lee’s car that morning so they wouldn’t need to return to his house to pick it up.  They were going to the diner for a quick meal before leaving for the airport.  It would take them quite awhile to get there especially on a Thursday evening but the roads to LAX weren’t too congested and they made it in plenty of time for Chip to make his flight.  He gave Janet a quick kiss as she moved to the front seat while Lee took his suitcase out of the back.


“Please be careful and have a good time,” Janet told him.  “Hopefully you’ll get lucky and win some money.  Please give our love to your mom and dad and say hi to the rest of your family from us.”


“Don’t worry, I’m not a trouble magnet like some people,” he quipped.  “And yes I will make sure to give them a kiss from you.”  Chip’s mother and father had become surrogate parents to both Janet and Lee since they didn’t get to see or talk to Lee’s mother too often.  Chip’s family was always calling him to check up on the three of them.


“Just don’t find a girl and get married at ‘A Little White Wedding Chapel’,” Lee teased.


“Please, be serious,” Chip laughed as he took his suitcase from Lee, gave it to the sky cap and headed into the terminal.


Lee quickly got back in the car before the police came and gave him a ticket for being there too long.  The ride home took longer than the ride to the airport as there was a lot of traffic leaving town.  Lee and Janet arrived home, looked at the mail and headed upstairs for bed.  It had been a long day and they were tired.




Chip boarded his flight for Las Vegas and settled in for the hour flight. The flight landed on time and he rode the tram to the terminal where he would pick up his luggage.  He took his suitcase off the carousel and was walking through the terminal to hail a taxi when a dark haired woman ran right into him as she talked on her phone.  He grabbed her arm so she wouldn’t fall.


“Thank you. I’m sorry I wasn’t looking where I was going,” she apologized as she stared into Chip’s blue eyes.


He let go of her arm. “Are you alright?” Chip asked, “I didn’t see you.”  He stared back at her looking her over before helping her pick up her purse and suitcase.


“I’m fine,” she replied taking the items from him and walked outside the terminal and hailed a taxi.  As she got into the taxi, she looked back at Chip and thought, He’s one good looking man.  Maybe I’ll run into him again.


Chip stood there watching her walk away.  Man, she’s one good looking woman, he thought as he walked out the door and got a cab too.




“Where to?” the cab driver asked as he put Chip’s suitcase in the trunk.


Mandalay Bay, please,” Chip told the driver getting into the back seat.  His family was already at the resort as they had arrived earlier in the day.  They would meet tomorrow morning at 8:00 for breakfast at the Bayside Buffet and decide what they were going to do for the day.  He arrived at the resort, paid the driver and went to the registration desk. 


“I have a reservation under Chip Morton.”


“Yes, sir,” the clerk told him.  “You’re right down the hall from the rest of your family.  Enjoy your stay.”


“Thank you,” Chip responded as he took his suitcase and headed for the elevator.  It was already 2400 hours and he was very tired as it had been a long day.  He went into the room, put his suitcase in the dressing area and got ready for bed.  He pulled back the covers on the bed and climbed in where he fell asleep right away.




When Sandy reported for work on Friday she looked for Diana to thank her for helping her out but didn’t see her at her desk when she came in.  “Ellen, where’s Diana?” Sandy asked the other receptionist who was trying to juggle the ringing phones.


“I don’t know,” Ellen answered tersely.  “She didn’t show up and there’s no one but me to answer the calls until they can get a replacement.  It looks like she left.  There’s nothing in or on her desk and her ID tag is here.”


“She didn’t say she was leaving,” Sandy said surprised, “I’ll try her cell phone.”  She dialed Diana’s number but all she got was a recording telling her to leave a voice mail message.  She told Ellen that Diana didn’t answer her phone just as the replacement got off the elevator. 


Puzzled she went into her office, put her coat and purse away and took the files out of her desk drawer.  She noticed one of them was missing.  The missing file had the names of all the operatives in the field and where they were located.   Admiral Johnson had given it to her to update the current status of the operatives.  Normally he would do it but because of all the meeting he had scheduled he gave it to her for updating.   She hunted around her desk, the admiral’s desk and the locked drawer where they kept it and it wasn’t there.  She hoped maybe the admiral had taken it to a meeting.  When he walked in with his coat on and cover in his hand she knew he wasn’t at a meeting.


Shit, she mumbled loud enough that Admiral Johnson heard. 


“Did you say something Sandy?” Johnson asked.  Sandy had been his secretary for ten years and he had never heard her swear before.


“Sorry sir but the ‘Location’ file is not in my desk where I left it yesterday.  Did you put it away?” she asked praying he had taken it.


“No, I didn’t take it,” he replied nervously as he too helped her look around the office.  “Where did you put it?”


Near tears, “I put it in my desk before I left yesterday.  It was with the rest of these files,” she replied showing him the files.  He too went through each of them looking for the ‘Location’ file.


“Where’s Diana?  She was the only one in this office yesterday.”


“It looks like she left,” Sandy answered, “her things are gone and her ID tag is on her desk.  I tried calling her phone but it says to leave a message.”


“Damn,” Johnson swore.  “We have to find that file or every operative on a mission will be compromised if it gets into the wrong hands.”  They kept the information in a file instead of on the computer afraid the computer would get hacked and the hackers would then have the information.


“I’m so sorry, sir,” Sandy replied softly, “I’ll get a replacement secretary and pack my things.”


Patting her on the shoulder he told her, “I’m not going to ask you to leave.  We’ll just have to find that file.  Does Diana have any relatives we can contact?”


“She has a brother in California but I know she hasn‘t had contact with him for awhile.  I’ll look up his number and call him,” Sandy replied booting up her computer so she could look up Diana‘s personnel file.  It was 5:00 in the morning there so she would have to wait to call him.  Sandy continued to look around the office for the file but to no avail.  She was pissed at herself for not putting the file away and that Diana had betrayed her by taking it.  When Sandy did get in touch with Diana’s brother, Terry, he told her he hadn’t heard from her and hung up.


Sandy knocked on the admiral’s door and went in.  “I check with Diana’s brother and he hasn’t heard from her,” Sandy sighed.  “What else can I do?” she asked desperately.


“I’ll take over from here,” Johnson told her.  “We’ll get it back,” he reassured her.


“Yes sir,” she replied and left his office shutting the door with tears in her eyes.


Admiral Gerald Johnson sat down at his desk and ran his hand through his hair.  He would have to get in touch, if possible, with all the operatives he could.  He realized some of them were unreachable.  He remembered that some of the current missions were nearing completion so they might be safe.  He knew that they were going to have to find another way of keeping track of the operatives.   He was going to need help in finding Diana Parker so he picked up the phone and dialed Lee Crane’s number.  He needed his help and hoped that Dr. Jamieson would release him to return to duty.




Chip woke up the next morning to knocking on his door.  He quickly pulled on a pair of sweatpants, looked out the peep hole to find his mother and father standing at the door.  He opened the door after running his hand through his hair.


“Good morning Chip.” his mother said cheerfully giving him a hug and kiss.  His father gave him a hug when his mother was finished.


“Good morning, Mom, Dad,” he replied hugging his dad back and giving his mom a kiss on the check.  Checking his watch he noticed it was only 7:00.  “Up early as usual I see,” he laughed.


“Sorry, we forgot you got in late last night.  But your mother was anxious to check on you,” Chip’s father said looking affectionately at his mom.


Smiling at Chip’s dad she replied, “Yes, that’s right.  He wanted to call you last night to make sure you got here okay.”


Chip gave his mother another kiss and hugged both of them again.  “That’s from Lee and Janet,” he told them grinning.  His mother grinned back.  “Thanks for that. I miss them.  It’s too bad they couldn’t come too.  You all work to hard.”


“Don’t worry about them.  They just got back from a vacation so they are fine,” Chip said smiling.  “Why don’t you let me get ready and I’ll meet you at the buffet in a few minutes.  We can talk before the rest of them get there.”


Opening the door, Chip’s dad replied, “Okay son, we’ll see you in a few minutes.”  He held the door so his mom could walk out.


Chip took out a pair of jeans and shirt and took a leisurely shower before heading down to the buffet.  He found his parents and saw they had a pot of coffee on the table.  He poured himself a cup just as his sister and her husband along with his brother and his wife walked in the restaurant.  They went over to Chip and give him hugs, kisses and a couple of slaps on the back.  It has been quite a while since he had visited Chicago and many years since they all had gone on vacation.  They all got their breakfast, sat down and all started to talk and ask questions at once.  Chip’s dad put his hand up.  “Slow down.  I can’t figure out who’s saying what so one at a time.”


They all stopped talking and started to laugh.  It was just like when Chip would come home from the Naval Academy.  They all wanted to ask him questions.  After talking for awhile, they all got some more food.  They were teasing Chip at how much food he put on his plate again.


“I’m a growing boy,” he laughed as he took a bite of the French toast.


Pouring more coffee in her cup Chip’s sister asked, “What are we going to do today?  We would like to see the Shark Reef.”  The rest of them nodded their heads in agreement; everyone but Chip.


“I know you would like to see it but that reminds me of work.  How about I meet you for a late lunch? Say around 2:00 at the front desk.”


“We’ll let you pass on this excursion,” Chip’s brother said, “but it’s the only one.  The rest of the weekend you have to do what we want,” he teased.


“Agreed,” Chip said.  “I’ll meet you in the lobby for lunch.”


Chip’s dad picked up the tab for breakfast and they all left the restaurant.  Chip headed back to his room and change into his swim trunks.  It was warmer than normal so he knew the pool would be open and made his way down there.  There weren’t many people in the water but quite a few were enjoying the sun.  He found a lounger and sat down.  He laid there closed his eyes and soaked up the sun.  If nothing else he could get a tan.  He had been laying there for awhile when all of there was a shadow in front of him.  He opened his eyes and saw someone was standing at the bottom of his lounger blocking out the sunlight.  He raised his sunglasses and saw the woman from the airport standing there in a bikini that left nothing to the imagination.


“Well we meet again,” she said as she looked over Chip.


Sitting up, Chip removed his sunglasses and replied, “At least this time I’m not knocking you down.”  He stood up and extended his hand.  “Chip Morton.”


“Diana,” she said not wanting to give him her last name shook his hand back.


“Hi Diana. Care to join me?” Chip asked as he pulled over another lounger. 


She sat down next to Chip. “Would you like a drink?” Chip asked as he signaled the waitress.


“Yes, a mimosa please” she told the waitress. 


“I’ll have the same,” Chip said as they both sat down.


Diana spoke up, “What are you doing in Vegas?”


“A family reunion...how about you?” Chip asked as the waitress came over with their drinks and signed the slip charging it to his room.


“Meeting a few friends for the weekend,” she replied taking a sip of her drink.  “What kind of work do you do?”


“I work for the Nelson Institute of Marine Research out of Santa Barbara,” Chip told her.  “What do you do?”


“I’m sorry I never heard of it,” she lied.  She heard of NIMR because she knew Lee Crane, an occasional and very good looking ONI operative, worked there as she heard him tell Sandy.  “I just left New York to move out west to work with my brother,” she told Chip.


They continued talking for the next couple of hours before Chip looked at his watch and noticed he had about thirty minutes to get ready for lunch.


“I’m sorry but I have to leave.  I’m meeting my family for lunch and probably dinner.  Can I meet you later tonight at the Ri Ra Pub?”


Smiling, she replied, “That sounds great around 10:00?  Peters.”


“It’s a date,” Chip replied. “Peters?” he asked as he got up.


“My last name just in case you need to call me,” she said as she gave him her phone number.


Chip gave her one of his famous smiles and walked back to his room.  Diana sat a little longer at the pool before returning to her room.  She took out her cell phone and type in ‘Nelson Institute of Marine Research’.  She found their webpage and saw Chip’s picture along with Admiral Nelson’s and Commander Crane’s.  She was surprised to learn that Chip was the Lt. Commander on a submarine named Seaview.  She finished reading the information on the website and returned to her room.  Once in her room, she changed, and left the hotel to check out the Las Vegas strip and do a little gambling.




Lee and Janet Crane had just arrived at work and were getting a cup of coffee when Lee’s cell phone rang.  He quickly picked it up recognizing the admiral’s number.  He went to his office to take the call while Janet went to her office.  She booted up her computer and took out the reports Chip had completed so she could finish processing them.  The phone rang indicating there was a call for Lee.  She answered the phone not sure who was calling as no number showed on the phone.


“Commander Crane’s office, Janet Crane speaking.  How may I help you?”


“Good morning, Mrs. Crane,” Admiral Johnson said.  “Is Lee available?”


“No sir, he’s on the phone with Admiral Nelson right now.  Can I take message?”


“Please have him call me as soon as he can,” Johnson asked politely.  “I need his help.”


“I’ll have him call you as soon as he’s available,” she replied softly.  Lee hadn’t been cleared by Jamie to return to ONI so why was Johnson calling, she thought.


“Thank you,” he answered, “Is there anyway you can transfer me to Dr. Jamieson?”


“Yes sir, hold on please.  I’ll try his phone but I don’t know if he has come in yet.”


“I’ll leave a message if I have to.” 


Janet dialed Jamie’s extension and he answered the phone, “Dr. Jamieson.”


“Hi Jamie,” Janet said, “I have Admiral Johnson on the phone for you.  I don’t know what he wants but can only assume he needs Lee.”


Hesitating for a moment, Jamie replied, “I knew he would be calling soon.  Janet, there is no reason he can’t return to ONI.  It’s been four months and he is fully healed.”


“I know Jamie,” Janet said discouragingly.  “Now if we could only convince him to quit.”


“Sorry, I’ve tried to make him quit so you’re going to have to persuade him.  Put Johnson through.”


“Yes sir,” Janet said as she hung up the phone.  “Damn.”


Lee walked in her office and heard her.  Smiling, “Problems already?”


“Sorry honey.  No not really but Admiral Johnson called and would like you to call him.”


He could see she was upset at his call.  “Sweetie, I know we talked about this.  I am going to try and cut down on the missions I take but I still need…”  Janet stopped him before he could continue, “I know, I know.”  He went behind her desk, put his hands on her shoulders squeezing them gently and gave her a quick kiss on the top of her head.  The phone rang as he finished kissing her.  “Janet Crane,” she answered.


“Janet, is Lee there?  I need to talk to him before he calls Admiral Johnson,” Jamie asked.  Whispering to him it was Jamie, Janet handed the phone to Lee. 


“Yes Jamie,” Lee said.  “I assume Johnson wanted to know if I was cleared to return to duty.”


“That’s correct.  I told him there was no reason why you couldn’t return.  I’m sending him the return to duty form now.”


“Thanks Jamie.”  Lee hung up the phone and called Admiral Johnson from Janet’s office.  If he needed to go on a mission, she would find out about it anyway so she might as well know what it is right away.


Admiral Johnson answered Lee’s call and explained to him what had transpired.  He needed him to come to Washington DC and check out Diana’s whereabouts and see if he could get a lead on where she went.  He was one of the few agents available to help him out.


“I’ll be there later today,” Lee told Johnson.  “Damn.”


Cautiously Janet asked, “That bad?”  Lee explained to her why Johnson needed him. “Well, I guess it could be worse,” she said thankfully, “you could be on a mission and have your identity compromised.” 


Giving her a wry grin, “I need to call the admiral and let him know what’s taking place.  Do you know who’s on Seaview right now?”


Taking the schedule out of the file on her desk, Janet responded, “Kowalski and Chief Sharkey.”


Lee radioed down to Seaview and Chief Sharkey answered, “Chief, I need you and Kowalski to prepare FS-1 for immediate launch.”


“Yes sir,” Sharkey answered.  “We’ll have her ready in fifteen minutes.”


 “Thanks, Chief.” When he was finished with that call he called the admiral and explained to him that he needed to go to Washington.  Lee left Janet and went home to pack a few things. While he was gone, Janet packed his briefcase with the requisitions that needed to be done along with the proposals that needed to be looked over.  Janet quickly wrote a note and put it in the briefcase.  Lee stopped back at the office and picked her up so they could walk down to the sub pen together.  She grabbed the briefcase as they left the office.  


“If Chip calls, tell him what’s going on,” Lee said.  “But tell him no need to rush back.  I’m sure that you, Angie and Wanda can run the institute while we’re gone.  If you run into a problem, just call the admiral.”


“Yes Lee.”  Reaching the sub pen, they went down the gangway to the sail hatch and down the ladder to the control room where Kowalski and Chief Sharkey were waiting for Lee.  They took the briefcase from Janet and Lee’s bag from him and Kowalski put them in FS-1.


“All checked out and ready to go, Skipper,” Chief reported.  “Would you like one of us to accompany you?”


“No thanks,” Lee replied.  “I’m meeting with Admiral Johnson.”


Both Sharkey and Kowalski looked at him frowning which Lee ignored.  He gave Janet a kiss and hug before he went down the ladder into FS-1.  “I’ll be back soon,” he told them.  He ascended into the hatch and Kowalski secured it as Chief did the pre-flight check off. Lee noticed the briefcase on the seat next to him.  He was smiling as he took off ten minutes later.    Kowalski and Chief Sharkey made sure Janet got off of Seaview before returning to work.  Janet walked back to the office and continued on with her work.  Angie, Wanda, and Janet would go out for dinner so she wouldn’t be alone for at least part of the night.




Chip met his family at the front desk.  They were going to take the tram from Mandalay Bay to the Excalibur so they wouldn’t have to walk all the way.  They planned on stopping at the Bellagio and watch the fountain waters dance to music.  They decided they would just walk around stopping in the hotels along the way to gamble a little before returning to the New York, New York hotel to ride the roller coaster that was inside the hotel before going to dinner at Gallagher’s Steak House.  Chip had a good time with his family but was looking forward to meeting Diana at 10:00. 


As they walked back to the Excalibur to pick up the tram, Chip’s dad said, “I’m bushed.  I haven’t walked that far in ages.  I don’t know about the rest of you but I’m going to bed.”  They all agreed with him as they waited from the tram to arrive.


“What’s on the agenda for tomorrow after our golf game?” Chip’s brother asked.


“I would like to go on the rides at the Stratosphere hotel.  They are supposed to be the world’s tallest rides,” Chip replied as the boarded the tram.


“Not for us,” his mother answered, “but all of you go and have a good time.  Your father and I will find something to do.  But I would like to go to Fremont St. tomorrow night and see the light show they have and gamble at the Golden Nugget.”


“Okay mom,” Chip answered, “we’ll do that tomorrow night.”


They departed the tram and walked down the stairs to the hotel where they returned to their rooms.  Chip changed his clothes putting on a pair of jeans and a white shirt rolling up the sleeves.  He left his room at 9:45 and walked down to the Ri Ra bar at Mandalay Place.




Lee made good time flying across the country as there were no storms and he had a strong tail wind so he was cleared to land at Reagan International Airport three hours after he left Santa Barbara. He taxied the little sub to a remote section of the airport. He had called Admiral Johnson before he entered the airport’s airspace so he could arrange to have someone pick him up.  Before he left FS-1 he called Janet.  She picked up the phone on the first ring.  “Hi Lee.”


Smiling he answered, “Hi sweetie.  I just landed.  I’ll call you later and let you know how long I’ll be here.  Hopefully just a day maybe two at the most.”


“Okay.  Please be careful.”


“See you soon.” He hung up the phone, grabbed his coat, cover, the small bag he packed and left FS-1 setting the numeric code with his fob. He left the briefcase in the sub for now.  He didn’t have to wait too long before a car was there to pick him up.  He climbed in the opened door and was at Admiral Johnson’s office thirty minutes after he landed.  While they were driving he called and made a reservation at the hotel he always stayed at when he was in Washington.   


When he got to the admiral’s office, he removed his cover and stopped by Sandy’s desk.  “Did you find the file?” he asked sympathetically knowing how Janet would feel if that happened to her.


“No sir.  I’ve looked everywhere.  Diana had to have taken it,” Sandy replied softly her eyes filling with tears.  “I just can’t believe she would take it.”


“Don’t worry, we’ll get it back,” Lee reassured her as he waited to see Admiral Johnson.  Sandy’s phone rang and she told Lee the admiral was waiting for him. Walking into the office, he saluted Johnson as he sat down motioning Lee to do the same. 


“Commander, you need to find Diana Parker,” Johnson stated emphatically as he handed Lee her personnel file. “As you can see there isn’t too much information there.  We know she has a brother but have no idea where he lives.  Sandy called him but he wasn’t very helpful telling her he hadn’t heard from her.”


“Looking at his phone number, it’s a California number but who knows if he actually lives there. With cell phones you don’t really know,” Lee remarked as he quickly looked over the file.


“Commander, do whatever you need to do to find her.  I know I don’t have to tell you how important that file is.”


“Yes sir.  Let me call her brother again and I’ll try and get into her apartment.  Maybe I can find something there,” Lee replied.  “First, I’m going to talk to Sandy and anyone else that worked closely with her.”


“Thanks, Commander,” Johnson said and stood up dismissing Lee.


Lee walked out to Sandy’s office and sat down in the chair next to her desk.  “Can you tell me anything more about Diana than what’s in this file?  Did she have boyfriend...a roommate...a special place she liked to go?”


“Commander, I don’t think she had a boyfriend or a roommate.  We didn’t go out to often together so I really don’t know if she like some place special.  She kept to herself.”


“Is there anyone else here that might know her better or have more information?”


“Ellen, the other receptionist, was friends with her but I don’t know how close they were.”


“Thanks Sandy, I’ll talk to her too.”  Lee replied as he stood up and grabbed his bag and cover.


Before Lee left her office Sandy said, “Commander, I know that Diana was passed over for a promotion to secretary again.  Maybe that’s why she took the file.  One more thing, I’m glad you’re not on a mission and thank you for helping.”


Lee patted her hand, “You’re welcome and now you sound just like my wife, she’s very happy I’m not on a mission too.  I’ll let you know if I find out anything. I don’t know if being passed over for a promotion has anything to do with it but I’ll check it out.”


Lee left Sandy’s office and went to the reception area and spoke to Ellen.  She knew something was wrong as both Admiral Johnson and Sandy were very upset. 


“Hi Ellen, I’m Lee Crane,” Lee said shaking her hand, “and I need your help.  How well did you know Diana Parker?”


“Not too well, but how can I help?”

“Did she have a boyfriend...a place she liked to hang out at?   Anything you can tell me about her would help.  It’s vitally important.”


“She had a boyfriend about three months ago but they broke up because she was pushing him to get married.  They didn’t know each other that long and he wasn’t ready.  His name was Paul Sawyer.  She didn’t have any place special she liked to go that I’m aware of.”


“This Paul Sawyer, do you know where he lived or even a phone number,” Lee asked.


“No sir, I have no idea.  Diana didn’t tell me too much about him.  I’m sorry.”


“Thanks for you help.  If you do think of anything, please let Sandy know and she will get in touch with me.”


“Yes sir,” Ellen replied as she answered the phone.


Lee went back into Sandy’s office and asked her about Paul Sawyer but she didn’t know anything about him.


Damn. Seems Diana was a very private person, Lee thought as he left the ONI building and walked to the hotel.  He checked in at the desk and went to his room.  He decided to check out her apartment tomorrow but did call the number she had listed for her brother but a recording told him to leave a number.  He hung up not wanting to leave a message as he would prefer to talk to him personally so he would try later.  He typed ‘Paul Sawyer’ into his phone and found over three hundred of them.  It would take too long to check them all out.  He also tried the phone number she had listed on her personnel form but it also went to voice mail.  He was hungry so he went to a small diner down the street from the hotel and had dinner.   I wonder how Chip is doing, he thought as he ate.  He finished up, paid the bill and walked back to the hotel. Once back in his room, he sat on the bed and called Janet.


“Hi Lee,” she said looking at the number and knew it was him. 


He could hear a lot of noise in the background.  “Where are you?”


“Wanda, Angie and I went out to dinner to a new restaurant.  It’s has live music and dancing.”


Laughing he said “I see when the cat’s away the mice will play?”


“Lee...We’re almost done eating and then I’m going straight home.”


“Sweetie, I’m only teasing.  I’m glad to see you’re having a good time but no dancing with anyone but me.  I’ll be home soon.  Love you.


“I didn’t dance at all.  Love you too, honey.”


Lee hung up the phone, she better not dance with anyone, Lee thought jealously.  It had been a long day so he got ready for bed, turned on the TV and fell asleep watching the news.




Chip waited outside the bar entrance for Diana.  The bar was located outside of the hotel in the shopping area that linked Mandalay Bay and the Luxor hotel. She was right on time, dressed in a short black skirt with a pink sweater.  They went into the bar and found a booth in the back.  The waitress came over to their table and handed them each a menu.


“Can I get you something to drink?” she asked looking at Diana and stared at Chip looking him over.


“I’ll have an Irish Coffee,” Diana said giving the waitress a dirty look.


Chip noticed the look Diana gave the waitress.  “I’ll have the same,” he replied.  “Do you want something to eat?”


“No, I’m fine.”  As they waited for their drinks, she asked, “What do you do at the Nelson Institute?”


“I’m the Lt. Commander on the research submarine Seaview,” he answered, “among other duties at the institute offices.”


“Sounds interesting,” she said as the waitress brought over their drinks.  She had already checked out the website so she knew exactly what Chip did but wanted to see how much he would tell her.


Taking a drink of his coffee, Chip asked, “Where are you going out west?”


“I’m going to California.  My brother has a catering company in Goleta and I’m going to help him out.”


They sat there talking for an hour after ordering another drink.  As they talked Diana put her hand on Chip’s but he gently took his hand away.  He wasn’t quite sure what to make of her.  He could read people very well and had a feeling she wasn’t being truthful with him. 


Diana stifled a yawn and said, “I’m sorry but I’m really tired.  It’s been a long day so I better go.”


“I’ll walk you back to your room,” Chip told her as he paid the bill, left a generous tip and they walked out of the bar.  Diana linked her arm in Chip’s as they walked back to the hotel. Not wanting to create a scene he left her arm there.  As they were walking through the casino, Chip’s sister and brother-in-law saw him and Diana while they played the slot machines. 


“Hmm,” Chip’s sister said.  “No wonder he kept looking at his watch.  He had a date.”


“Let’s see who he’s with,” her husband said heading towards the pair.


Putting her hand on his arm, “No, if Chip wanted us to meet her he would have said something at dinner.  Let’s just leave him alone,” his sister replied looking at Chip and could tell something wasn’t right.


Chip and Diana took the elevator up to her room on the twenty-third floor.  He was relieved that he was on the twenty-eighth floor.


“Good night, Diana.  I had a nice time,” Chip said as they stood by the door to Diana’s room.


“I did too.  Would you like to come in?” she asked hopefully opening the door.


“No thanks.  I’ve got an early wake up call tomorrow,” Chip replied.


“Could we meet later in the day?”


“Sorry no, family obligations all day. Going golfing with my brother and brother-in-law and then we’re all going to the Stratosphere.  My mom wants to go to the old Las Vegas strip so we’re going there for the evening.  They’re leaving Sunday afternoon so do you want to meet for dinner, say 7:00 and you can pick the restaurant,” Chip said hoping his intuition was wrong so he would try going out with her again.


“Sounds good,” she answered disappointed that he didn’t invite her to go along with him tomorrow. “I’ll see you on Sunday,” she said as she went into the room.  Damn, she thought as she got ready for bed.  I thought we hit it off. Maybe he’s just a little shy.




Lee was up early on Saturday morning and quickly showered. No fun by myself, he thought, as he finished getting dressed and went for breakfast.    He would check out Diana’s apartment as soon as he was done.  He hailed a cab for the ride to the building where she lived.  He went up her apartment and knocked on the door.  As he was knocking, a middle aged woman came out of one of the apartments.


“Can I help you?” she asked looking him over.  “I’m Mrs. Oliver, the landlady.”


“I’m here to see Diana,” Lee said as he walked over to the woman.


“Who are you?” she asked suspiciously.


“Lee Edwards,” Lee replied.  “I need to make sure she’s okay.  We were supposed to have breakfast this morning and she didn’t show up.”


“She left on Thursday.  Said she wasn’t coming back...moving out west...something about her brother,” Mrs. Oliver told Lee.


“Darn, she never told me.  Is there anyway I can get into the apartment?  We dated for a few weeks and I left something really important in there that I need to have,” Lee asked flashing his special smile.


Looking him over again, “Sure, just let me get the keys.”


She came back with the keys and opened the door and let Lee in.  “I’ll just wait out here,” she told him as he closed the door.


Lee looked around the apartment and noticed there wasn’t too much in it.  He went through all the drawers in the bedroom and then looked in the small chest in the living room and found nothing.  He went into kitchen and searched all the cabinets, they were all empty.  He checked the cabinet under the sink looking for a trash can.  He found one but it was also empty. Just as he was closing the door to the cabinet he saw a crumpled up piece of paper lying on the floor under the cabinet.  Un-crumpling the paper, the only thing on it was a number but it looked like a phone number. Lee put the paper in his pocket.  He looked around a little longer and didn’t find anything more so he want back into the hall.


“Didn’t find what you were looking for,” she asked noticing there was nothing in his hands.


“No she must have taken it with her,” he replied disgustedly.  Before he left he had one more question for Mrs. Oliver, “Could I impose upon you one more time?” Lee asked softly.


“Yes, you can,” Mrs. Oliver answered sighing deeply and thought, I would do anything for you.


“Did Diana mention the name Paul Sawyer?”


“No, I don’t recall her mentioning that name.  I really didn’t talk to her very much.  She wasn’t like the other tenants, she kept to herself.”


Taking her hand, Lee shook it gently, “Thank you very much for your help.”


“You’re welcome,” she answered watching him walk down the stairs and leave the building.  She went back into her apartment rubbing her hand.




Lee hailed a taxi and went back to his hotel.  Once back in his room, he removed the paper from his pocket and dialed the number.


“Hello,” the person answered gruffly.  “Who the hell is this?”


“Please don’t hang up,” Lee said quickly.  “My name is Lee Crane and I realized you have no idea who I am but I really need to talk to you.  Are you the Paul Sawyer who knows Diana Parker?”


“Diana?” Paul said curtly.  “I haven’t seen her in three months.  How can I help you?”


“It’s very important that I talk to you regarding her. I’ll meet you anytime and anyplace you want,” Lee asked urgently.


“Is she in trouble?”


“No, she isn’t in trouble right now but she could be.  I really can’t discuss it over the phone.”

“Okay, I’ll meet with you but I’m not at home right now and won’t be back until Monday night.  I can meet with you on Tuesday morning here in Boston say 9:00 at the Long Wharf at the viewing plaza.  Do you know where it is?”


“Yes I do. I’ll have on a blue shirt and light blue jacket.  Thank you for meeting me,” Lee replied breathing a sigh of relief and hung up the phone.


Lee called Admiral Johnson and explained to him what he had found out and would let him know how his meeting went with Paul Sawyer.  He then called Admiral Nelson to see if he would like to go with him.


“Hi Lee,” the admiral answered seeing Lee’s number on his phone. “Any news on the file or Miss Parker?”


“No but I’m meeting an ex-boyfriend of hers in Boston on Tuesday morning at the Long Wharf.  Do you want to come along?”


“Sorry Lee, I can’t but why don’t you bring FS-1 here and dock it at the house.  I’ll let Cora and Alfred know you are coming.  They’ll be very happy to see you.  You can stay here and take Edith’s car to the wharf.  Edith has made plans to spend a few days in Cambridge visiting some dear friends who can no longer come to Boston. We’ll be back on Tuesday afternoon and we can fly back to Santa Barbara if you’re ready to leave then.”


“Yes sir that will be fine.  See you soon,” Lee replied.  He hung up with the admiral and called Janet to let her know his plans.  Janet was on the patio, heard her phone ringing and ran to answer it.  She picked it up just before it went to voice mail. 


“Hi sweetie,” Lee said.  “Everything okay...took you a while to answer.”


“Everything’s fine I was outside.  I miss you, are you coming home soon?”


“Probably not until late Tuesday or Wednesday.  I’m going to Boston to meet up with an old boyfriend of Diana’s but he’s not available until Tuesday so I’ll be staying at the Admiral’s house until then.   I’ll call you before we leave as the admiral will be coming back with me.”


Sighing, “Lee that’s going to be a problem.  You and the admiral have an important luncheon with the mayor and other dignitaries on Tuesday.  You’ve cancelled the previous two times and Angie guaranteed someone from the institute would be there this time.”


“Isn’t Chip due back on Monday night? I’ll call and ask him to come in on Tuesday and represent us at the luncheon.  Maybe you, Angie or Wanda can go with him.  I don’t care which one of you go just make sure one of you goes with him,” Lee told her.


“Okay one of us will go.  We’ll draw straws,” Janet joked. “Please say hi to Cora and Alfred and give them a kiss from me.” 


“Don’t worry I will,” Lee replied. 


Janet hung up the phone with a frown on her face as she was disappointed he wouldn’t be home for a few more days and mad that he was going to get to visit Cora and Alfred.  She missed them as they hadn’t had time to visit them for quite awhile. 


Lee packed up his gear, checked out and hailed a taxi to the airport as he didn’t need to stay in Washington any longer.  He wouldn’t be able to fly at Mach speed due to all the air traffic in the area so it would take him an hour to get there.  He was looking forward to seeing the admiral, Edith, Cora and Alfred and he couldn’t wait to eat some of Cora’s cooking.




Chip woke up the next morning and got ready for his golf game.  Putting on a polo shirt and a pair of shorts, he went down to the buffet where he met his brother and brother-in law.  After eating breakfast, they headed out to the golf course.  They played eighteen holes and Chip won much to his brother’s dismay.


“For someone who spends most of his life under the ocean, you sure play a mean round of golf.”


“I’ve been practicing,” Chip said laughing.  “Lee and I play whenever we can.”


“Does Lee ever win?” his brother-in-law asked with a smile.


“Only when he has an incentive, Janet must bribe him with something,” Chip said grinning.  His brother and brother-in= law grinned too.

When they got back to the hotel, his sister and sister-in-law were waiting for them.  They hailed a taxi and went to the Stratosphere where they enjoyed all the rides.  They stopped in the bar and had a few drinks before heading back to Mandalay Bay to pick up their parents.  Diana was sitting in the lobby watching the door hoping to catch a glimpse of Chip when he came back.  She saw him come in but he didn’t see her.  The five of them were laughing and looked like they had enjoyed themselves.  She was still upset that he didn’t ask her to join him.  They headed for the elevator and up to their rooms to get ready.  Diana waited at the elevator bays to see what floor the car stopped on as Chip didn’t tell her what floor he was on. She knew they were the only people in the elevator and watched as it stopped on the twenty eighth floor.  Diana would stay at the hotel and get something to eat later.  Maybe she would accidentally run into him when he returned.




Lee arrived at the remote section of the airport and did the pre-flight check list before starting FS-1.  He put on the throat mike and radioed the tower for clearance.  Air traffic wasn’t too bad in the late afternoon and Lee knew he was lucky to get a place in line fairly quick for take off.  Once cleared for take off, he headed east towards the ocean.  Since the admiral’s house was on the ocean, he would fly over it and avoid most of the air traffic.  He would land at the dock the admiral had placed at the house for the flying sub and his boat. 


Lee landed the flying sub with ease and saw that Alfred and Cora were waiting for him at the dock.  He grabbed his bag, briefcase and jumped out the rear hatch and made is way down the dock. 


“Hello, Cora, Alfred,” Lee said happily as he gave Cora a kiss and shook Alfred’s hand.


“Hello Lee,” they replied.  “How’s Janet...it’s been a long time...you must be hungry,” Cora said quickly not giving him a chance to reply as Alfred took his bag from him.


Laughing, “Janet’s fine, mad that she couldn’t be here.  Well, I could use a cup of coffee,” Lee responded softly.  “Where’s the admiral and Edith?” he asked as they walked up to the house.


“They left about an hour ago for Cambridge but would be back on Tuesday sometime.  They’re sorry they had to leave but their friends were expecting them for dinner.”


“I’ll still be here when they return on Tuesday.  I have a meeting and then the admiral and I are flying back to Santa Barbara.”


When they arrived at the house, they went in the side door into the kitchen.  Lee knew Cora had made dinner. 


“Is that meat loaf I smell?” Lee asked smiling noticing the table was already set and the potatoes and corn were cooking on the stove.  He also saw the plate of brownies on the counter.


“Yes, I know it’s your favorite,” Cora answered grinning.  “Why don’t you go up to your room and get ready for dinner.  It’ll be ready in fifteen minutes.”


“Thank you Cora, but I didn’t expect you to make me dinner,” Lee remarked as he took his bag from Alfred and headed for the staircase and up to ‘his’ room overlooking the ocean.  Lee went into the bathroom, washed his face and hands took his clothes out of the bag and hung them up.  He sat down on the bed and made a phone call to Diana’s brother.  He hoped he would answer the phone this time.  After it rang six times, it went to voice mail.  Lee decided to leave a message this time.  “Hello, my name is Lee Crane and I need to talk to you about your sister, Diana.  Please give me a call at this number.  Thank you.”  Lee hung up the phone unhappy that he couldn’t talk to Terry Parker.


Looking at the time he knew Cora would have dinner on the table so he went downstairs into the kitchen where she had just finished putting out the food.  The three of them sat down and talked about why Lee was there while he enjoyed the meat loaf.  After eating two helpings Lee was stuffed.  He helped Cora and Alfred clean up before getting a mug of coffee to go with his brownie.


“Thank you Cora, that was delicious.  Janet’s meat loaf is good but yours is always better.  Please don’t tell her I said that,” Lee asked with a wink.


Smiling Cora replied, “I’ll never tell.” 


Lee went outside to call Janet and walked around the gardens while he talked to her, “Hi sweetie.  Everything okay?”


“Yes everything is fine.  Did you have dinner?” Janet asked as she sat on the couch eating a sandwich.


“Yes, Cora made meat loaf and brownies,” Lee replied guiltily.   “What did you eat?”


Laughing, “A sandwich,” she answered.  “Did you talk to Chip?”


“No, I’ll call him in the morning,” Lee said, “I’ll talk to you tomorrow afternoon sometime,” Lee said yawning.  “Love you.”


“Love you too,” Janet sighed and heard Lee hang up the phone.  Lee went in the house where Cora and Alfred were in the living room waiting for him to return.  “I’ve got some papers to look over so I’m going to go to my room.”


“Good night Lee.  It’s good to have you here,” Cora said smiling.


Returning the smile Lee replied, “It’s good to be here.”  He walked upstairs and into his room.  He got ready for bed and took out copies of Diana’s personnel record.  He was looking for something that would tell him where she could possibly be.  Before too long he fell asleep.




Chip showered, changed his clothes and met his family just as they were leaving their rooms.  They all rode down the elevator together and piled into a couple of cabs for the ride to the old Las Vegas strip.  They watched the light show and went to the Golden Nugget to do some gambling.  His mother and father both got lucky.  The rest of them lost but were happy their parents won some money. They decided they would eat dinner when they returned to the hotel.  His parents insisted on paying for dinner since they had won.  Arriving back at the hotel they went to the Burger Bar.  They enjoyed creating their own burgers.  The men ordered beers from the microbrewery while the women made their own milk shakes adding a little punch to them.  Diana watched as they came into the hotel and walked to the restaurant.  She followed them all the way to the restaurant and waited outside while they ate.  The place was crowded so she wouldn’t be seen.  The Morton group was having a good time and knew it would be while before they would be able to get together again.  The group finally left the restaurant and headed back to their rooms as it had been a long day and they were all tired.  Since all but Chip would be leaving tomorrow, they decided to meet for breakfast at the buffet.  It wouldn’t take them too long to get to the airport but being Sunday it would be crowded so they would need to get there early. 




Lee woke up early and decided to go for a run before showering.  He found an old pair of sweatpants and shirt he left there the last time he stayed.  He quietly let himself out and walked down the dock to the beach.  After stretching he started his run.  He ran about five miles before turning back.  He thought about the information in Diana’s file as he ran back to the house, she had worked in California, Boston and Washington.  She had received good recommendations from all her previous employers.  He didn’t understand why she would take the file.  The information was useless to almost everyone.  The only people who would be interested in it were enemies of the government as they would know who was there spying on them and where they were.  She was probably going to sell the information. Once he reached the admiral’s house he stopped to catch his breath. As he walked into the house, he thought, only problem with that, unless she had contacts willing to put her in touch with someone wanting to buy it, it was worthless and what roll is her brother playing in this? 


He went into the kitchen to find Cora making the coffee and Alfred was setting the table.  He had already brought in the newspaper and laid it on the table.


“You’re up bright and early,” Cora remarked, “How about pancakes for breakfast?”


Smiling Lee answered, “Whatever you want to make is fine with me.  I’ll be down in a few minutes I just need to shower.”  Lee quickly ran up stairs, showered and put on a pair of jeans and a denim shirt.  By the time he went back downstairs, breakfast was on the table.  He immediately headed for the coffee pot and poured a giant mug of coffee, “You make the perfect cup of coffee, Cora.” 


“Thanks,” she replied as she put four pancakes on his plate. 


“I can’t eat all of this,” Lee said looking at Cora.


“Yes, you can and you will.”   She and Alfred sat down and put three pancakes on their plates.  Lee took some more coffee and did eat all the breakfast.  They sat there talking for awhile before Cora got up and cleared away the dishes.  Lee got up to help her but she just smiled, “I noticed you brought in your briefcase so I’m sure you have plenty of work to do so just relax and read the paper while we clean up.”


“The briefcase was Janet’s idea.  Chip is on vacation and he left some things for me to do so I’m sure there’s enough there to keep me busy for awhile,” Lee responded with a grin.  “Do you think the admiral would mind if I used his study and the computer?”


“No, he told us to tell you to use it if you needed to,” Alfred answered.  “He said you know how to log on to the computer.”


“Yes, that’s no problem.  If you need help with anything, please let me know.”


“We’ll let you know,” Cora smirked knowing once Lee started working he would be too engrossed to even know what time is was.


Lee took the paper along with his cup of coffee and made his way into the admiral’s study.  He knew it was still too early to call Janet or Chip so he read the paper but didn’t find anything to interesting in it.  He took the paper back to the kitchen so Alfred could read it and saw that Cora had made another pot of coffee.  Grabbing another cup of coffee he headed back to the study, sat down at the desk, checked his e-mail messages and answered all of them.  He opened the briefcase and found a note that Janet had left for him in her neat handwriting.


Hi Honey,

Here are the requisitions that need to be done and the proposals to go over.  If you do have a chance to work on them could you please do the requisitions first as we’re going to need those items for the next mission.  If you have any questions, you know my number.


Miss you and love you,



Smiling as he took a drink of his coffee, he took out the requisitions and looked them over.  Since it was Sunday, he would look over the proposals and tackle the requisitions tomorrow morning.  Some of the companies were on the east coast so he would order those items first thing in the morning.  The ones that were based on the west coast he would order later on in the day.  He couldn’t understand why they didn’t give Janet the same delivery information they would give him or Chip.  It was something he would discuss with the manufacturers when he placed the orders if they wanted to keep NIMR’s business.  After looking over some of the proposals, he needed a break.  He got up from the desk, stretched and looked out the window and could see FS-l bobbing in the waves.  Not quite his ‘gray lady’ but she would do until he returned to her.  Looking at his watch, he decided it was late enough that he could call Janet and Chip.


Dialing Janet’s number she picked it up on the second ring, “Hello,” she answered sleepily not realizing it was Lee calling.


“Hi sweetie,” Lee said worriedly, “did I wake you up?”


“Hi honey,” Janet responded, “I just woke up, I didn’t realize how late it was.”


“Are you okay? You don’t normally sleep this late,” he asked worriedly.


“I didn’t fall asleep until early this morning.  I couldn’t sleep because you’re not here,” she said as she sat up in bed.


“I’m sorry,” Lee replied as he paced in the admiral’s study.  “Is everything alright?”


“Yes, just fine.”


“I got your note and you’ll be happy to know I’ve finished some of the proposals and will work on the requisitions tomorrow.”


Grinning, “Thanks for taking care of that.  I thought you might have some down time to do some work,” Janet teased.  “Have you talked to Chip?”


“Not yet.  I wanted to talk to you first.  I’m calling him as soon as I’m finished with you.  What are you going to do today?”


“Chores...shop...bake brownies.”


“Sounds good,” Lee replied wishing he was home, “I’ll call you tomorrow.  Call me if you need me.  Love you.”


“Love you too,” Janet said as she laid back down in bed wishing Lee was home too.


Lee disconnected his call to Janet and called Chip.  “Good morning, Lee,” Chip answered cheerfully, “I’m not in trouble...you don’t need to come rescue me...and yes I’m having a good time.”


Chuckling Lee replied, “I guess you’ve answered all my questions.”


“Really, I’m having a nice time.  It was good to see all of them and it’s too bad they’re all leaving today.  They send their love and were disappointed you and Janet couldn’t come.”


“Maybe next time,” Lee said quietly, “Chip, I’m not at home.  I got called to Washington by Admiral Johnson.  I know what you’re thinking.  It’s not a mission where I need to leave the country but one of their files was taken by a receptionist.  It lists all the operative’s names and locations.  If it falls into the wrong hands...”


“Okay,” Chip replied solemnly.  “Is there anything you need from me?”


“No.  Right now, I’m in Boston at the admiral’s house.  I have a meeting on Tuesday with an ex-boyfriend to see if I can find out anything about her.  There’s not too much information in her file.  I do need a favor from you.  Are you still coming home on Monday?”


“Yes,” Chip said cautiously, “what do you want me to do?”


Sighing deeply Lee answered, “I know you’re supposed to be on vacation until Thursday but there’s an important luncheon on Tuesday with the mayor and other dignitaries.  The admiral and I were planning on going but now this came up.  Would you please go in our place? I wouldn’t ask you but we’ve cancelled the last two times and Angie guaranteed that someone would be there this time.  I really hate to ask you to do this but it’s important to keep them happy.”


“Yes, I’ll go,” Chip replied. 


“Thanks, Chip I owe you one.  We should be back no later than Wednesday.”


“No problem Lee.  I wasn’t doing anything important anyway.”


“Call me if you have a problem or need something,” Lee said, “Take care Chip.”


“You too Lee,” Chip replied as he disconnected the call.  He looked at his watch and knew he had better hurry if he was going to be on time to meet his family.


Lee went back to his proposals.  He finished most them just as Cora knocked on the door to tell him lunch was ready.  He pushed himself away from the desk and followed her to the kitchen where she had homemade chicken soup and warm bread waiting for them.




Chip met his family outside the buffet.  They sat down and everyone headed to their favorite part of the buffet. Chip would head to most of them as they were all his favorites.  He filled his plate and sat down next to his mother.


“Where do you put all that food?” his mother asked as he took a bite of his omelet. “And stay so thin?”


“I must take after one of you,” he answered with a smile. 


They finished breakfast and went to the lobby.  His family still had a couple of hours before they needed to head to the airport so they decided to go into the casino and try their luck at Black Jack.  The casino wasn’t crowded so the four men sat at one table and the three women sat at a table right next to them.  They would have a contest to see who would win the most money. They sat there playing for a couple of hours before Chip’s father looked at his watch.  They knew it was time to leave so they totaled up their winnings and the women came out ahead.  By winning the contest the men had to hand over the money they won dividing equally between the three women. 


“I can’t wait to get home. There’s this purse I’ve been wanting and now I can buy it,” Chip’s sister said gloating.


His mother remarked with a broad grin, “I saw this really nice dress I’m going to buy.”


While his sister-in-law smirked at her husband, “I’m going to buy this pair of shoes I’ve been eyeing for months.”


The three men groaned as they listened to what the women were going to buy.  Chip just sat there with a smile on his face.  He didn’t mind losing the money because it made his mother, sister and sister-in-law happy.  Someday he might be groaning with the rest of them.  Heading for the elevators the group went to their rooms to get their luggage.  Chip went with his mom and dad to their room so he could take his mother’s luggage down to the lobby.  Going to the front desk they checked out and were saying good bye.  “Please come home soon,” his mother said as he gave her a kiss and a hug.  “Bring Lee and Janet with you.”


“It might be awhile as we have quite a few missions lined up but as soon as we’re back we’ll come and visit.  I promise.”


He kissed and hugged his sister and sister-in-law, shook his father’s hand along with his brother and brother-in-law’s and walked them outside to the limo waiting for them.  His mother gave him one last hug and whispered in his ear, “Love you.”  Whispering back, “Love you too,” and hugged her again.  He watched as the limo drove away and went back into the hotel.  He was going to take a trip to Hoover Dam before he would meet Diana for dinner. 




Sitting in the lobby off to the side was Diana and watched as Chip said goodbye to his family as they left for the airport.  She had followed them into the casino and watched with envy at how much fun they were having.  She wished she could have been with them. Since it was only 11:00, she was wondering what Chip was going to do for the rest of the day.  She followed him as he walked out of the hotel and waited for a tour bus to pick him up.  When the bus arrived, she noticed it was going to Hoover Dam.  Why didn’t he ask me to go? She thought.  I don’t really want to see the dam, but I would have liked to been with him. She knew he would be gone for most of the day so she went back to her room, changed into her swim suit and went down to the pool. 




Lee, Cora and Alfred finished their lunch.  “Lee would you like to come with us to the movies and out to dinner?” Cora asked as she cleaned up.


“No thanks, but please don’t let my being here stop you from going.  I’m sure you don’t get much of a break when Edith is here so go and enjoy yourselves.  I’ll be perfectly fine.  I’ve still have some more work to do before I can call it a day.  If I go back to the institute and haven’t finished my work, Janet will be very upset with me,” Lee laughed.


“Thanks Lee.  There’s roast beef for sandwiches in the refrigerator and I made some more brownies.  They’re in the pantry,” Cora told him as they put their coats on and headed out the door.


Lee went back to the study and checked his e-mails again.  Janet sent him one letting him know she missed him and couldn’t wait for him to come home.  He replied telling her the same thing.  He went back to reading the rest of the proposals.  So far only two of them had piqued his interest.  He finally finished all of them.  He needed a break so he went outside and walked on the beach before he returned to the house.  He brewed a pot of coffee, made a roast beef sandwich piling it high with meat on the homemade bread, found a bag of potato chips and sat down in front of the television.  He couldn’t remember the last time he sat and watched television alone.  He would rather not have been by himself as he missed wrapping his arm around Janet as they sat watching the television.  He finished his dinner, cleaned up his mess, poured another cup of coffee and took two brownies off the plate.  It wasn’t too cold out, so he took his coffee and brownies and sat on the deck looking at the ocean. 




Janet finally got up, showered and went downstairs to make breakfast.  It was already 10:00.  She did all her chores before going shopping.  She wouldn’t buy too much as they weren’t going to be home for quite a while.  She bought just enough to keep them going till they left.  She made brownies and froze them so they would be fresh when Lee got home. I really miss him,” she thought.  She went to her office and checked to see if he e-mailed her back.  She was happy to see one from him telling her he missed her too and wished he was at home.  She made a sandwich for dinner and went out to the patio with her sandwich and watched the sunset over the ocean.




Chip enjoyed his tour of the dam and on the way back he left a message on Diana’s phone telling her he would meet her in the lobby by the front desk.  He arrived back at the hotel and had about an hour to kill before he needed to get ready.  He went to the casino and played a few hands of Black Jack where he won back most of the money he had lost earlier.  He was going up to his room when it dawned on him he had no ride home from LAX as Lee was going to pick him up.  When he got to his room he called Lee. 


“Hi Chip,” Lee answered, “Did your family get off okay?”


“Yes, they should be almost home by now.  Uh Lee, I have a problem.  How am I going to get home from LAX?  You were going to pick me up remember.”


“Sorry Chip,” Lee responded running his hand through his hair.  “I’ll call Janet and have her pick you up.”


“Lee, do you think she’ll be able to get to LAX and not get lost,” Chip chuckled.


“Yes, I let her tell me how to get home when we dropped you off.  Give her a chance but if she gets lost, you can always tell her where to go,” Lee snorted.


“Okay.  I should land around 1400 hours on Monday.”


“She’ll be there,” Lee reassured him and hung up.  He quickly dialed Janet’s phone.  “Hi sweetie.”


“Lee...is everything alright...I wasn’t expecting a call,” she answered anxiously.


“Everything is fine.  You’re going to have to pick up Chip tomorrow from LAX.  Do you think you can do it without getting lost?”


“Yes, I can...don’t worry...I won’t get lost, I promise.”


“He should be landing around 1400 hours.”


“No problem, I’ll be there. See you soon,” Janet replied softly.


Smiling, “Take care,” Lee answered as he disconnected the call and sighed.  That trip is going to be very interesting, he thought.


He went back into the house, took another cup of coffee and was on his way up to his room when Cora and Alfred returned.  “Did you enjoy the movie and dinner?”


“Yes, it was a good movie and dinner was great,” Cora replied, “did you eat?”


Shaking his head yes he said, “Just finished up dinner and just a bit more work to do before turning in for the night.  See you in the morning.”


“Good night, Lee,” they responded as he went upstairs.


They went to the kitchen and sat down with a cup of tea and had some brownies before they retired for the night.




Chip showered and changed in to a pair of black Dockers, a gray shirt and black jacket.  He took the elevator to the lobby and sat down to wait for Diana.  He enjoyed watching all the people pass by and wondered where they were going.  He had only been there for ten minutes when Diana showed up in a short blue dress with a plunging neckline.  She is a good looking woman, Chip thought as he stood up to greet her.  She went over to him and kissed him right on the lips.


Surprised by the kiss, “Where are we going to dinner?” he asked quickly.


Pouting because Chip didn’t return her kiss, she replied, “How about Tender Steak and Seafood in the Luxor.”


“That will be fine.  I’m looking forward to a good steak dinner,” he told her.  As they were walking to the hotel, she linked her arm in his.  After seeing the look on her face when he didn’t return her kiss, he just left it there.  They walked in silence as they passed by the shops connecting Mandalay Bay and Luxor.  They found the restaurant on the casino level and since it was early according to Vegas time the place wasn’t too crowded so they would have no problems getting a table.


Chip went to the hostess station, “A table for two, please.”


Looking him over she replied, “Do you have a reservation?”


“No, we don’t.  Is that a problem?” Chip asked with a smile.


“Not at all sir, right this way,” she responded leading them to a table in the back.  Chip pulled out the chair for Diana who sat down as the hostess handed her a menu then Chip.  “Enjoy your dinner,” she told them as she walked away turning back to take another look at Chip.


Diana saw the hostess look at Chip again and wasn’t too happy with her.  She had all she could do to keep from slapping her.  She didn’t like that she was flirting with her date.  The waiter came over and asked them what they would like to drink.  Chip ordered a mojito and Diana ordered a cosmopolitan.


“When are you leaving,” Diana asked as they waited for their drinks.


“My flight leaves at 1:00 and it’s only an hour flight from here,” Chip replied, “How about you?”


“Tomorrow also but at 12:30,” Diana said as the waiter brought their drinks.  She picked hers up and clinked her glass against Chip’s, “To the start of a new friendship.”  Taking a sip, “This is very good,” she said.


Chip smiled back, took a sip of his drink, “Yes, the drink is very good.” He quickly changed the subject.  “Is your brother picking you up?”


“Yes, I hope so,” she sighed, “if not one of his drivers will be there.  Do you have a ride?”


“Yes a friend of mine is coming.”


The waiter returned to take their dinner order with a basket of warm bread and butter.  Chip ordered the rib eye, rare, with french fries and creamed spinach and lobster bisque soup.  Diana decided on the filet, well done, mashed potatoes and said they were going to share the creamed spinach much to Chip’s surprise and a salad. 


As she buttered a piece of bread she asked, “What does your submarine do...don’t you get claustrophobic in the submarine especially when you’re under the water...could I have a tour of the ship?”


“We do research on marine life, chart the ocean floor and other things related to the sea.” Smiling he answered,   Seaview is a boat and isn’t your normal submarine, she’s actually very large and sorry we don’t give tours as there is a lot of classified equipment on board. How are you going to help your brother?”


“Help with the books and whatever else he needs done to keep his business running.”  Looking over the edge of her glass she asked, “Do you need any help where you work?”


“Sorry, not right now,” Chip replied as he took a large sip of his drink.  He hated to lie and knew they were looking for help in the accounting office but he didn’t want her around.  He still felt something wasn’t right.


As they waited for their dinners to arrived, they talked about the weather, sports and hobbies they had.  The conversations were short and Chip realized they didn’t have anything in common and was glad when the waiter finally brought out their dinners.  They dug into their dinners which were delicious.  Diana didn’t finish hers and offered what was left to Chip which he ate. 


“Where to do you put all that food,” Diana asked amazed at what he ate.  “You must have to work out quite a bit to maintain your weight.”


“I do work out but not as much as I would like.  It’s hard to exercise when we’re at sea,” Chip explained.  “Would you like some dessert and coffee?”


“Coffee yes, but dessert no.  I have to work out a lot to keep my shape,” she laughed.


Chip ordered their coffees along with a piece of chocolate cake.  When the dessert came, Diana did sample a small piece.  After a couple of cups coffee, they were ready to go.  Chip paid the bill and helped Diana up from her chair. 


“It’s still early so would you like to go to the bar?” Diana suggested softly as she took Chip’s hand.


“I’m really sorry, but I’m kind of tired.  I went to Hoover Dam today and it wore me out,” Chip replied.


Disappointed she said, “Okay, no problem.”  They walked back to Mandalay Bay where Chip escorted her to her room.  “Do you want to come in for a nightcap?”


Smiling, “No thanks, I still have to pack and I’m going to hit the sack.”


“Thanks for dinner.  I really enjoyed it and the company,” Diana said giving Chip a long kiss on the lips.  “Are you sure you don’t want to come up?  We could have some fun if you want,” she asked rubbing her hands on his chest.


Taking her hands off his chest he replied, “No that’s okay.  Good night Diana.”  He left her at the door and walked back to the elevators.  Pissed that he turned her down, Diana stormed into her room.


Chip decided he didn’t want to be on that floor any longer, so rather than wait for the elevator he took the stairs up the three floors to his room.  Once he was in his room, he breathed a sigh of relief that he would never have to see her again.




Lee was up early Monday morning and ran ten miles.  Before returning to the house, he checked on FS-1 and made sure everything was tight and dry.  He climbed out of the tiny sub to find Alfred waiting for him on the dock.


“Is there a problem?” Lee asked worriedly.


“No sir.  I was just making sure you didn’t have problem.  I saw you enter the sub and thought you might need help.”


“Alfred have you ever been in FS-1?”


Hesitating, “No I’ve never seen the inside.”


Lee entered his numeric code into the fob and opened the hatch.  “Come Alfred.  I’ll give you the fifty cent tour,” Lee said with a grin.


Alfred eagerly climbed aboard and looked around amazed at all the controls and how much room there was.


“She’s a fantastic machine,” Alfred said.  “The admiral is a genius.”


“Yes, she is fantastic and the admiral is definitely a genius.  I guess we’re both lucky to work for him,” Lee remarked as they exited the sub, Lee locked her up.  “Some day I’ll give you and Cora a ride.”


“Lee, I would like that very much,” Alfred replied with a huge grin on his face, “But I don’t know about Cora.  Not a fan of airplanes.”


“Janet doesn’t like to fly either but she doesn’t mind FS-1.  So Cora might enjoy it,” Lee said as they walked back to the house.  When they entered, Lee could smell the bacon cooking along with the coffee.  “I’ll be down in ten minutes,” Lee told Cora who was setting the table.


“Take your time, the biscuits aren’t quite ready,” Cora told him.  “Eggs scrambled or over easy?”


“Mmm, whatever is easier for you.  Surprise me,” Lee said as he ran up the stairs.  He quickly showered, dressed and ran back down stairs as Cora had just put the eggs in the pan. 


“Scrambled okay,” she asked.


“Perfect,” Lee replied as he took the pot of coffee and filled their mugs.  He sat down at the table while Cora finished the eggs and Alfred put the biscuits on the table.  “If I stay here too long, I’ll have to get new uniforms or run twenty miles a day,” Lee laughed.


“You could use a few pounds,” Cora replied as she put some eggs on his plate along with hers and Alfred’s.

“It’s so nice to have you here.”


Smiling Lee patted her hand, “I’m glad to be here too.” He dove into his eggs, buttered his biscuits and took a couple slices of bacon.  He finished up everything and started to clear the table.  “I ate enough food to last me until dinner.”


Knowing Lee had a meeting this morning, Alfred asked, “How long will you be gone?”


Drying the dishes as Cora washed them, Lee replied, “I’m meeting Paul Sawyer at 9:00 and then I’m going to check on the reference Diana gave for a place here in Boston.   But before I leave I need to place a few orders as we will need them before we sail. I’ll be in the study if you need me.” 


Lee went to the study and took the requisitions out of the briefcase.  Three of the requisitions were ordered from companies here on the east coast.  He would order the rest of them later this afternoon since they were based on the west coast.  He talked to the representatives at the three companies, placed the orders and told them that if they wanted to continue doing business with NIMR, they had better give Janet the same delivery dates they would give to him or Chip if she called.  They assured him that in the future she would get the best delivery dates they could.  He finished up the paperwork and put it back in the briefcase. Lee closed the briefcase and left the study to find Cora or Alfred.


Lee found Cora in the library dusting and told her, “Don’t count on me for lunch.  I’ll be back later this afternoon.”


“No problem,” Cora answered, “Here are the keys to Edith’s car,” she said taking the keys out of her pocket.


“Thanks,” Lee responded taking the keys.  “I better get going.  There’s bound to be a lot of traffic this early.” 


“Dinner’s at 5:00,” Cora reminded him.  “Chicken and rice.”


“I’ll be here,” Lee stated as he went to the garage and got into Edith’s car.  He pulled onto the street and made his way to the Long Wharf.  Traffic was pretty heavy but even with traffic he arrived at the wharf fifteen minutes before his scheduled meeting with Paul.  He walked down to the viewing plaza and stood there watching the boats and ships on the ocean.


He looked at his watch and it was 9:00 when a young blond haired man approached him.  “Lee Crane?” he asked.


“Yes,” Lee answered turning to face the man.


“I’m Paul Sawyer,” the young man said, “I haven’t seen or talked to Diana Parker in months so how can I help you.”


“Thank you for meeting me,” Lee said.  “I just need some information about her and her brother Terry.  Do you know where he lives...what he does for a living...would Diana go there?”


“Mr. Crane, I knew Diana for about three months.  We both lived in Washington DC.  I worked for a computer company and she worked for the Office of Naval Intelligence which I’m sure you’re aware of as you must work for them too.  I knew she had a brother but she never talked about him and we didn’t talk about where she had been before.”


“I know it’s none of my business but may I ask why you broke up?  People’s lives are depending on me finding out where she is.”


Sighing, “She was very obsessive, demanding and wanted to get married.  I wasn’t ready for that and I wasn’t even sure she was the right woman.  She would get very upset if I even talked to another woman.  I had to break it off when she threatened a woman co-worker whom I met for lunch to discuss a meeting which we were going to attend here in Boston.”


Running his hand through his hair, Lee replied, “I understand Mr. Sawyer.  If she should get in contact with you or you think of anything that could help me find her, please call me.  You have my number.  It is vitally important that I find her.”


“Is she in trouble, Mr. Crane?”


“She could be in a lot of trouble if I don’t locate her.  Thank you for your time.”  Lee shook his hand and watched him walk back down the wharf.  Lee walked back to his car, started it up and would drive to Diana’s previous work place. Dressed in a blue collared shirt with a light blue jacket, he had a wry grin on his face as he thought about the information Paul Sawyer had just told him.  He didn’t have any reason not to believe him.   He found the place Diana had previously worked and parked in the lot.  He locked the car and walked into the building’s reception area.


Going to the reception desk, “Hi Pam,” Lee said seeing her name on the front of the desk, “I’m Lee Crane.  I was hoping to talk to someone who worked with Diana Parker.  She’s applied for a job at my company and I was in the area so I thought maybe there was someone here I could talk to,” he said grinning at the young woman behind the desk.  Smiling back she replied, “She was a receptionist here and I’m sorry but the gentlemen who hired her is not available but maybe I can help.  We both worked the reception desk together.”


Flashing her a smile, Lee asked, “Is there any way I could see her personnel file?  My company does a lot of work for the government and I need to make sure the information she put on my personnel questionnaire is correct.”


She looked him over and wished she could help him and maybe get a date noticing he didn’t have a wedding ring on. “I’m sorry Mr. Crane but I don’t have access to that information anymore.  When an employee leaves, their personnel file is erased from the computer here and sent to the main company in Spain.”


Lee went on to ask her questions about her brother, where she lived before and why she left.  The woman knew her brother lived in California, she didn’t know where she was from before she started working here and she left for a better job in Washington DC. Lee thanked her for her time and left the building.  Going back to the car he thought, At least I found out where her brother lives.  But damn California is a big state and there must be hundreds of Terry Parker’s.  Lee put the car in drive and headed back to the admiral’s house.  It was late afternoon so he would have time to place the rest of orders from the vendors on the west coast and call the California company where Diana had previously worked.  He would also call Janet later to make sure she made it to the airport to pick up Chip.  He was curious to find out if she got lost.




He parked the car in the garage and when into the kitchen where he could smell dinner in the oven.  He was a little hungry so he grabbed a biscuit left over from breakfast as Cora came into the kitchen. 


“Don’t spoil your dinner,” Cora said seeing Lee with a biscuit in his hand.  How about some coffee?”


“Coffee would be great and I can make it,” Lee said not wanting Cora to wait on him.


“No problem, Lee.  I really don’t mind taking care of you,” she said with a grin.  “Where will you be and I’ll bring it to you?”


Grinning back, “I’ll be in the admiral’s study finishing up the rest of my work so when I return it will be completed and Janet will be happy,” Lee replied as he grabbed another biscuit and made his way to the study.


He took his phone out of his pocket and checked to see if he had any text messages from Janet or Chip.  He turned on the computer and checked for any e-mails and found a couple from Angie regarding the admiral and was wondering when he would return from Boston.  Lee answered her back. 


He didn’t want to wait any longer to see if Janet had left for the airport to pick up Chip so he called her cell phone.  It went directly to voice mail.  Is that good or bad?  Maybe she was driving and wouldn’t be able to answer the phone. I bet she forgot her Blue tooth again, he thought as he left her a message to call him.  While he waited for her to call, he would finish up the rest of the requisitions.  He opened the briefcase and took them out just as Cora brought in a pot of coffee and a mug.  She put it down on the corner of the desk.  “Thank you, Cora.”  She smiled and shut the door to the study as she left.  Lee ordered the balance of the materials from the rest of the requisitions.  He also explained to them that they needed to give Janet the same delivery information as him or Chip if they wanted to keep NIMR’s business.  They were surprised to find out that she wasn’t getting the best delivery dates and promised it wouldn’t happen again.  Smiling as he signed off on the last one, he put it in the briefcase and snapped it shut.  He placed a call to the company Diana had worked at in California but no one answered.  He typed in the information in the computer and found out they had gone out of business about two years ago right after Diana left.


He needed to go for a walk so he took the briefcase with him and would put it in the flying sub.  The weather had turned cloudy and it looked like rain so he wouldn’t walk to far down the beach.  He returned just as Cora was setting the table for dinner.  He took the plates from her and finished it. 


“I hope you help Janet at home like you are doing here,” Cora remarked happily.


“Yes, I do help out.  She has a lot to do so I do what I can,” Lee replied honestly.


Just as they finished up Alfred came in the kitchen and saw that the table was set.  “Lee, did you do my job?” he asked with a grin.


“Yes sir.  Just wanted to help out as I feel guilty you’re waiting on me.”


“That’s our job and if Miss Edith found out we didn’t take care of you...well you know what would happen,” Cora laughed as she put dinner on the table.  They all sat down and talked about what Lee had found out today about Diana Parker.  Finishing up dinner, they cleaned up and Lee went upstairs to wait for Janet’s call that she had picked up Chip.




Janet went to work on Monday hoping Lee had completed all the requisitions.  He sent her an e-mail letting her know he had ordered the materials from the companies based on the east coast.  She knew he was meeting with an ex-boyfriend of Diana and hoped he would be able to finish the rest of them. 


“I thought there would be less work with the three of them gone but there is more than ever,” Angie told Wanda and Janet as they each grabbed a cup of coffee and stood in the waiting area.


“We have to draw straws to see who’s going to the luncheon with Chip tomorrow,” Janet reminded them. 


Angie went to her desk and pulled out the straws they used when they had to do something none of them wanted to do.  When she returned to the waiting room, Angie looked at Wanda and smirked, “Janet you pull first.”  She pulled her straw and frowned. She knew she had the shortest straw again.  Angie showed her the other two and they were both longer.


“Looks like you don’t have to worry about lunch tomorrow,” Wanda teased. 


“Thanks.  This is the third time I got the shortest straw.  You two must rig it,” Janet laughed.


 They didn’t even have time to finish their coffee when the phone rang.  Wanda answered it and before she could finish that call two more came in so Angie and Janet ran to their offices to answer those calls.  The morning went by very quickly.  Janet looked at her watch and it was already 1030 hours.  She was going to leave for the airport at 1100 hours as she wasn’t sure how long it would take her to get to the airport because of traffic.  She was a little nervous about picking Chip up but wanted to prove to Lee that she could do it and not get lost.


At 1055 hours she turned off her computer and went to Angie’s office.  “I’m leaving now to go get Chip,” she told Angie.  “We should be back before you leave.  I checked his flight and as of now it’s due to arrive on time and I’m sure he’ll want to stop here before going home.”


Looking up from her computer Angie replied smiling, “Good luck.  You’ll do fine.  In case you don’t make it back in time, don’t forget you and Chip have that luncheon and meeting tomorrow at 1130 hours.”


“Yes I remember,” Janet answered softly.


Wanda was on the phone when she left and mouthed, ‘good luck’ as she walked out the door.  Angie went to Wanda’s desk just as she got off the phone.  “Do you think she’ll ever catch on that we set her up every time we do the straws,” she laughed. 


“I sure hope not because I don’t want to go to those luncheons or meetings.”


“Me either unless I’m forced to even though the admiral says the food is good but the meeting is very boring,” Angie replied as she returned to her office with a big smile.


Janet went out to her car, took a deep breath and made her way out of NIMR and onto the road to the freeway that would take her to the airport.  Traffic wasn’t too bad.  As she was driving she heard her phone ring but forgot her Blue tooth device at work so she couldn’t answer the phone.  She arrived at the airport at 1300 hours and pulled into Parking Lot C and took the shuttle to the terminal where Chip’s flight would arrive and went to the baggage pickup area.  Since she had some time to wait, she found a coffee shop, got a cup of coffee with a scone and found a place to sit down.  She checked her phone and saw that Lee had called.  She pressed the one button on her phone and waited for him to answer.


“Hi sweetie, did you leave for the airport?” Lee asked.  It was 1300 hours and was worried that she hadn’t left yet.


“Hi Lee, I’m already at the airport.  I left NIMR at 1100 hours just in case there was a lot of traffic and got lost.  I’m happy to report I didn’t get lost.  I’m just waiting for the flight to arrive so I got a cup of coffee and scone.”


Smiling he said, “I’m glad you got there safely.  Please let Chip drive home since traffic will be a lot worse. 


“Yes Lee,” she answered laughing.  “Do you know when you’ll be leaving...did you find out anything more about Diana?  I really miss you.”


“I miss you too and hopefully if the admiral doesn’t get back to late on Tuesday, we might leave when he returns and nothing new on Diana, only that her brother lives in California.”


“Do you want me to check on anything for you?”


“Not just yet.  I checked on the company she worked at in California and they’re out of business.”


“Okay just let me know if you do.  I’ll have Chip call you when we get back to NIMR.”


“Sound good.  I’m going for a walk.  You’ll be happy to know I finished ordering everything on the requisitions.”


“Thanks honey, that’s a big help. And Lee you’ll be happy to know I get to go the luncheon with Chip tomorrow. Enjoy your walk.”  She pressed the disconnect button on her phone and sighed wishing she was there walking with him.


Smiling as he put his phone in his pocket, he wondered if she would ever figure out they rig the straw contest and left for his walk.




Janet sat there and watched the people as they picked up their luggage.  Chip’s flight was still on time and it should be landing in ten minutes.  She needed to use the restroom and found one not to far from the baggage area.  She went in and there was only one other woman in there with short dark hair.  Janet finished up and went back to her seat just as the passengers from Chip’s flight were entering the baggage area. 


Diana looked for her brother or one of his workers but didn’t see anyone so she went into the restroom.  A nice looking blond with short hair came in but she didn’t pay much attention to her.  She would wait until Chip’s flight landed as she wanted to see what ‘friend’ was picking him up.  She stood off to the side near a pole but could see the baggage area. 


Chip entered the baggage area and saw Janet there waiting for him.  She met him at the baggage carousel as he waited for his luggage to come out.  He gave her a hug and a kiss on the cheek.


“Welcome back,” Janet said with a smile.  “How are your parents and the rest of your family...did you win any money...did you have a good time?”


“Slow down.  My family is fine and sends their love.  Won a little bit of money; not enough to stop working and yes I had a wonderful time?”


Janet looked around, “I see there’s no girl so I take it you didn’t get married,” she joked.


“Please, no way.  I did meet someone but I’ll tell you about her on the way home,” he said as his suitcase came out and he picked it up.  “You didn’t get lost did you?” he asked with a grin.


“No, I didn’t.  I even parked the car and took the shuttle.  Let’s go I want to hear all about this girl,” Janet replied as she linked her arm in his and they headed for the shuttle station.


Diana stood there and watched Chip and Janet. She noticed it was the woman from the restroom.  She wasn’t too happy.  What a creep.  No wonder he didn’t want to stay with me, she thought.  He’ll be sorry. Diana followed them out of the terminal and saw her brother waiting there for her.  She walked over to the car, gave him a kiss on the cheek.  “Let’s get out of here,” she said tersely.  Her brother looked at her as they got in the car and drove away.




As Chip and Janet were driving back from the airport Janet asked him about the girl he met.  “Well, what was she like…name…does she live around here…are you going out again?”


Chip was laughing at all her questions. She reminded him of his sister as she did the same thing when they were younger and he would go out on a date.  “Her name was Diana Peters.  She had short dark hair and moving to Goleta.  She’s going to work with her brother.  He hesitated before he continued. 


“Is there a problem?” Janet asked noticing the hesitation.


“I got the feeling she wasn’t being honest with me,” he remarked.  “And she was very possessive.  You should have seen the looks she gave a waitress and hostess.  I really hope I don’t see her again.”


“You have the best instincts when it comes to people,” Janet told Chip.   “Thanks for taking time from your vacation to go to that luncheon tomorrow and I’ll be going with you. The admiral and Lee owe you big time.”


“Has Lee had any luck finding Diana?” Chip asked as they pulled off the freeway and onto the road that would take them to NIMR Drive.


“Nothing so far.  Only that her brother lives in California.  He was going to check out one more source to see if they had any information on him.”  What a strange coincidence that Lee was looking for a Diana and Chip went out with a Diana.  But Diana is a fairly common name, Janet thought.


“I’m hungry so why don’t we stop at NIMR, pick up Angie and Wanda for an early dinner.  We’ll go to Giovanni’s.  I won some money playing Black Jack so I’m treating.”


Chip pulled in front of the institute and they went inside and up to their offices.  Wanda was on the phone and waved to him as he walked by.  He went to his office and saw there was very little work to be done.  He would check it over before they left for dinner.  As he went to Angie’s office, Wanda had gotten off the phone and followed him into her office.


“Hi Angie,” Chip said, “You and Wanda are going out to dinner with Janet and me.  I’ll give you thirty minutes to finish up what you’re doing.”


“How was your trip?” Angie asked. “But I can’t go I have all this work to do before the admiral comes back,” Angie frowned as she showed him a pile of folders.


“You can finish it tomorrow.  They won’t be back until late in the day.”


“He met a girl,” Janet piped up as she walked in Angie’s office too. 


“Okay, let’s go.  I want to hear all about the girl,” Angie laughed, “oh and of course the rest of your trip.”


Smiling Chip returned to his office and looked at the work sitting on his desk.  He signed the letters Janet had done, went through his mail and answered a few e-mails. He called Lee on his phone but it went to voice mail so he left a message saying they got back to NIMR and were going out for dinner.  After he brought the letters to Janet, he said to them, “Ladies time is up.  Pack up your things.  We’re leaving and I’m the luckiest man on earth as I get to have dinner with three beautiful ladies.”


The three ladies grabbed their coats, purses and met Chip at the elevator.  He turned off the lights to the office and they went downstairs and out the doors after saying good night to Howard.  They would each take their own car so Wanda and Angie didn’t have to go out of their way to go home.




They got to Giovanni’s and he wondered where the admiral and Lee were so Chip told them they were out east.  They ordered a glass of wine as Chip told Angie and Wanda about Diana.  They agreed with Janet that Chip was a good judge of character and he was better off with out her.  They ate dinner talking about what Chip did in Las Vegas.  Chip paid the bill and they all headed for home.  Chip made sure Janet got into her house before he walked down to his. Before he left he told Janet he would pick her up for work tomorrow at 0745 hours.  When he unlocked the door and went in he thought, it was a wonderful vacation but it’s good to be home.




As Terry Parker drove home with Diana he could tell she was upset about something.  “How was your trip?”


“Just fine, didn’t do too much.  Laid by the pool, walked around the strip, that’s about it,” she replied irritably.


“What’s wrong with you?  You’ve been a bear since I picked you up,” he asked sharply already tired of her attitude.


“Sorry Terry.  I met this guy and I thought we hit if off but he wasn’t interested. I couldn’t figure out why until I saw that he got picked up by his girlfriend.  Don’t worry I’ll get over it,” Diana said.  I’ll get over it after I show him he can’t string me along and get away with it, she thought.


“Why did you quit your job...what do you have that’s going to make us rich...who is Sandy and a guy named Lee Crane called twice,” Terry asked as they pulled in front building where his catering business was located. His catering business was well known in Santa Barbara for its fantastic cuisine but it was actually a front for his illegal drug operation. 


Sighing Diana replied, “I quit because I was passed over for a promotion again.  I’m good enough to fill in but not good enough to be a secretary so I got fed up and left.”  As they got out of the car and walked to the entrance to the office, she continued, “When I left I took a file with me.  A file that is very valuable to ONI and us.  With your connections, we could sell it to the right person for a lot of money and cause a lot of problems. Sandy is one of the secretaries at ONI and I took the file from her desk.  Lee Crane works for ONI and I’m sure they want him to find me and give the file back.  You didn’t tell them you talked to me, did you?”


“No I didn’t talk to anyone like you asked.  So you’re safe for now.”


Terry and Diana walked to his office.  “Let me see this file,” he asked.  Diana pulled the file out of her bag and gave it to him.  He looked it over and was surprised at what it contained.  “This file contains highly secure information.  Who am I going to sell it to?” he said sarcastically.


“Terry with your connections, you must know someone who would like this information.  Don’t you have your big spenders from out of the country coming soon?”


“Yes, they will be here on Thursday but how do I know if they’ll want it?”


“Don’t you worry about that my dear brother, point them out to me and I will handle it from there,” Diana said casually.


Shaking his head, “Okay, I’ll go along with you for now,” Terry answered as he walked towards the back of the building.  “I need to make sure everything is set for tomorrow’s catering job downtown and I’m going to need your help setting it up.  One of the girls quit yesterday and I had to hire a few more servers.”


“No problem, that’s why I came back to help you out.”  She followed him to the back and watched as he talked to the manager about the arrangements.  As she waited for Terry so they could go home, she was thinking of a way to see Chip again.  I could go to NIMR and ask to see him, she thought.  That wouldn’t work as he probably wouldn’t see me. I’ve got to find him and let him know I’m not too happy with him.


“Diana,” Terry said, “Diana,” he repeated again as she wasn’t paying attention, “I’m ready to leave so let’s go.”


“Okay,” she replied as they left the building and headed for Terry’s house.   I’ll think of something, she thought as they drove home.  When they arrived, she took her suitcase and put it in her bedroom where she still had most of her things.  She shared the house with Terry but when he had a drug selling meeting scheduled he would stay in the small apartment above the catering business.




Lee woke the next morning and got ready to go for a run.  He looked outside and could see the ocean was getting a little rough as FS-1 was bobbing heavily in the water.  They were calling for a huge storm to hit the Boston area later today so he hoped the admiral would be back early so they could leave before the storm hit.  He went downstairs and Cora was already there making coffee and breakfast.  She could see he was dressed for a run and he hesitated before going out the door.


“Go for you run,” Cora told him with a grin, “Breakfast will be ready when you return.”


He smiled at her as he went out the door and said, “Thanks.  I’ll be back in thirty minutes.”


Cora went back to making the breakfast quiche after pouring herself a cup of coffee. Lee returned thirty minutes later covered in sweat.  “I’ll be right down just need to shower,” he told Cora and Alfred who was sitting at the table with the newspaper.


“No problem.  It’s not quite done.  Take your time.”


Lee ran upstairs jumped into the shower and dressed in a pair of blue jeans and turtleneck.  He went into the kitchen just as Cora was taking the quiche out of the oven.  Going over to the coffee pot, he filled a mug for himself and refilled Cora’s and Alfred’s.    “Mmm, this is so good,” Lee said savoring the coffee.


He sat down at the table as Cora put a huge piece of quiche on his plate, “Looks delicious,” Lee commented.


“The admiral called while you were on your run and said that they would be back here by lunch.  He wants to have a quick lunch as soon as they return so you can leave before the storm comes in.”


Putting a piece of quiche in his mouth, Lee replied, “Sounds good.  That storm looks like it’s going to be a doozy.”


They finished up breakfast and Lee grabbed another cup of coffee and read the newspaper.  When he was done he went upstairs, made sure his bag was packed, took his briefcase and went to FS-1 and stowed his gear.  He stood on the dock looking at the ocean and could see it was even rougher than earlier this morning.  He went back to the house, logged onto the computer and checked his e-mails.  He answered the ones he could.  He left Janet an e-mail letting her know that they would be leaving early this afternoon and would call her when they left.  He also told her to enjoy the luncheon.  He called Admiral Johnson and reported to him that he found out Diana’s brother lived in California.  He told him he would check out the California company where she had worked even though they were closed and would try and locate her brother.  He would report back to him what he found out.


Janet woke up and showered.  I sure miss Lee, she thought as she finished.  Since she had to attend the luncheon today, she took out her black suit, a white blouse and heels to wear to work. She finished getting ready, ate a bagel and had a cup of coffee while she waited for Chip.  Janet left the front door open and had just finished cleaning up when she heard him pull in.  She took her purse, locked the front door and got in the car.

“You sure look nice today. Are you going someplace special,” Chip teased as he pulled out of the driveway.

“Same place as you and you don’t look to bad yourself,” Janet quipped back.  Chip had put on his blue service uniform today instead of the khaki one.  Janet liked the blue ones better anyway.

Neither one of them was thrilled they had to attend the luncheon but Chip would make sure Lee paid him back someway.  Chip pulled in front of the institute office and they went upstairs to their offices.  Wanda and Angie both looked at them.

“You both look very nice today,” they snickered.  “If nothing else the food should be good.  It’s being catered by Lucky’s Catering.  It’s one of the best in Santa Barbara so at least you’ll have a nice lunch.”

Chip looked at them, “If it’s going to be that good why don’t one of you go in my place?”

“Not going to work.  They wanted the Admiral and Lee but you’re the only officer available to answer their questions if they have any,” Angie replied with a smile.

The three women left Chip standing there and went to their offices.  He got a cup of coffee and went to his office, removed his jacket and hung it in the closet and put his cover on the chair. He sorted through the mail and other items he needed to take care of.  Before Janet booted up her computer, she put her jacket on the chair in front of her desk.  As soon as her computer was up she checked her e-mail and the one from Lee letting her know that they would be leaving today.  She went to Chip’s office to discuss the work Lee had done while he was gone and some other items.  She took the folder from her desk and knocked on Chip’s door.  “Chip, do you have a minute.  I’ve got some things to go over with you.”

“Sure come on in,” he replied as Janet sat down in front of his desk.

“First, Lee and the admiral are leaving early this afternoon for Santa Barbara.  There’s a huge storm brewing near Boston and they want to get out before it gets too bad.  Second, Lee e-mailed me that he ordered all the items on the requisitions and they should be here by the time we sail.  Third, he also finished looking at the proposals and only found a couple that we might want to consider.”  She opened the folder she brought in with her.  “Here are the reports he finished before he left.  These are your copies.  I’ve got them on the computer too,” she said as she handed him the reports.  “A new updated inventory showing the items that were ordered and what is on hand.  After placing the orders I think we should have everything covered,” she remarked as she closed her folder.

“Anything else,” Chip asked looking at all the paperwork she gave him. 

“No sir.  Everything is up-to-date.  Just one more thing, what time are we leaving for the luncheon?  It starts at 1130 hours.”

“We should leave no later than 1100 hours.  Thanks for taking care of all this,” Chip said as he held up all the papers.

“No problem,” she replied as she got up and went back to her office.

Chip looked over all the paperwork and filed it away.  He knew Janet would take a copy of the inventory with her when they left on the mission so he wouldn’t need to bring one.  He opened the mail and read it over as he drank his coffee.


Diana and Terry got to the catering business early so they could make sure all the food was ready, the truck packed up with the tables, chairs, decorations, centerpieces, dishes, glassware and silverware.  Since the luncheon was being held at city hall they needed to bring everything.  Terry looked over the sheet and checked off the items as they were loaded into the truck.  All the servers were accounted for and on their way to city hall.  Since all the items were loaded on the truck, Terry released it.  Diana would leave shortly in the van to help them set up.  Another van would bring the food over just before the luncheon started.

Diana got to city hall just as they finished unloading the truck and the servers were setting up the tables in the main meeting room.  She looked at one of the servers and thought he looked familiar but couldn’t place him.  Jason Weldon saw Diana look at him.  He was worried she would remember him from ONI so he would stay out of her sight as much as he could.  She helped them set the tables and put on the centerpieces.  She looked around the room and everything was perfect.  Looking at her watch she noticed it was already 11:00.  The van would be here shortly with the food.  They had cordoned an area in the back with curtains so they could set up the food before it was brought to the tables.  Diana went out to the front of the building to wait for the food. 


Lee looked at his watch, it was getting late.  He looked outside and could see the weather was starting to deteriorate faster than he anticipated.  He turned off the computer and went to the living room where Alfred had just lit a fire.  He was afraid the weather would knock out the power so he wanted to make sure they had some heat.  Lee started to pace when he heard the Admiral’s voice coming from the hallway. 

“Lee,” he called as he hung up his coat in the hallway closet.  Lee went into the hallway where the admiral was hanging up Edith’s coat.

“Hi Lee,” Edith said as he walked over to her and gave her a kiss on the cheek.  “Everything okay?”

He walked over to the admiral and shook his hand.  “No, I still don’t have any leads on where Diana is?” Lee sighed.

“Come on and let’s eat.  I see Cora has lunch ready and we need to get out of here soon or we’re going to be stuck here.  They’re calling for three feet of snow and hurricane force winds.  It’s going to be a rough ride home until we clear the storm area.”

Edith linked her arm in Lee’s as they walked to the dining room where Cora had set up bowls of homemade barley soup, fresh bread and chocolate chip cookies.  They sat down to eat talking about the visit with their friends.  Lee took two chocolate chips cookies and some coffee.  “Cora would it be okay if I took a few more cookies and a thermos of coffee for the flight home?”

Cora looked at him and smiled, “I already made you a bag to take with you.  I put some sandwiches in there too.”

The admiral said taking another cookie, “Thanks Cora, what would we do without you and Alfred?” Seeing it was 1300 hours the admiral remarked, “Well Lee if you’re finished I suggest we get going.”

“Yes sir.  Just let me call Janet.  I told her I would let her know when we left.”  Lee pressed the one button on his phone.  Janet picked up the call right away.

“Hi sweetie.  We’re leaving right now for Santa Barbara.”

“Okay Lee, please be careful.  They say there’s a monster storm heading that way.”

“We should be almost home by the time the storms hits here.  Enjoy your lunch,” he snorted.  He was glad he didn’t have to go to the luncheon.  He hated sitting there listening to the speeches, questions, and most of the time the food was awful.

“Thanks, I’m sure we will.  You’re going to have to think of something big to payback Chip,” Janet chuckled.

“Good bye,” Lee said as he hung up the phone with a smile on his face.  The admiral looked at him, “Why the smile?”

“Glad I don’t have to go to that luncheon.”

Grinning back, “Me too,” the admiral said. 

Alfred took the admiral’s suitcase and briefcase while Cora took the bag of sandwiches, cookies, and coffee. They all walked down to the dock and could feel the wind was already picking up.  Lee took the items from Cora and Alfred and stowed it in the locker with his things.

“Thanks for taking care of me,” Lee said as he gave Cora a kiss and shook Alfred’s hand.  He also gave Edith a kiss.  “Sorry I couldn’t spend more time with you.”

“Don’t worry Lee, I understand,” Edith replied returning his kiss and gave her brother one too.

“Good bye, Admiral, Lee.  Have safe trip,” Cora said. 

The admiral and Lee entered FS-1, Lee secured the hatch, strapped himself in the pilot’s seat and put on the throat mike.  He had already called Trish at NIMR’s communication center and gave her their flight plan. He would contact them when they were a little closer to Santa Barbara.  The admiral strapped himself in the other seat and helped Lee prepare for take-off.  They took off a few minutes after 1300 hours.  It would be about a four hour ride as Lee expected a strong head wind because of the storm even if he flew around it.  


Chip looked at his watch and it was nearly 1100 hours so he turned off his computer and went to Janet’s office.

“Are you about ready to leave?” Chip asked with his coat and cover in his hand.

“Yes sir,” Janet replied with a grin as she turned off her computer and took her purse out of her desk. She grabbed her jacket off the chair and Chip helped her put it on.  She went to Angie’s office to let her know they were leaving.

“See you later,” Janet said to Angie.

“Have fun,” Angie snickered.

Chip and Janet went to the elevator, got in the car and drove to city hall.  Janet was a little nervous as she had never been to one of these luncheons before so she didn’t know what to expect.  They parked the car and walked up to the front door, Janet was relieved to see other women there as several of them greeted Chip.

One nice looking blonde walked over to Chip and Janet, “Hello Chip,” she said warmly, “Good to see you here again.  Where’s Lee?”

“He and the admiral are out of town so I was elected to come.  This is Janet, Lee’s wife,” Chip replied as he shook her hand.

“Nice to meet you,” she said with a smirk shaking her hand.  “Please excuse me,” she asked, “there’s a gentlemen that I really need to talk to.”  She walked away and left Chip and Janet standing there.

“Who is she?” Janet asked softly.  “She was happy to see you and disappointed that Lee wasn’t here.”

“She’s the representative from Allerton Valve.  She works with Tom Allerton.”

“She must be new there as I don’t remember her when I worked there.”

A few men came over to Chip and he introduced them the Janet.  One of the men, Ron Weaver, of Weaver Valves asked, “Are you related to Lee Crane?”

“Yes, he’s my husband,” Janet answered.

“I want to apologize to you.  I talked to Lee earlier this week and he told me that you weren’t getting the same information as we would give to him or Chip.  I’m very sorry that happened and have made sure that if you should call, you will get the best dates we have.”

“Thank you.  I would appreciate it,” Janet answered sincerely.

The food was ready to be served, so they went in and sat down at a table with Ron and a few other business men.  Chip introduced Janet to the ones she didn’t know.  Diana was in the back making sure the food was ready to be served.  She looked out at the room and saw Chip and Janet sitting at a table.

Damn, she thought. “I didn’t expect him to be here and especially with her.  But it will work to my advantage. I’ll be able to see him again. I’ll just have to make sure he doesn’t see me.

When the server came over to Chip’s and Janet’s table to serve them lunch and Janet almost fell out of her chair.  The server was Jason Weldon.  He saw Janet and Chip look at him and prayed they wouldn’t say anything.  They would blow his cover if they acknowledged that they knew him.  Chip looked at Janet and both of them realized he must be on a mission and undercover.  Neither one of them said anything to him.  They finished eating and listened to the mayor give his speech on how the city of Santa Barbara was progressing and how he was trying to get more businesses to the area.  Several other dignitaries also spoke about the city and how they were going to improve it. 

Janet leaned over and whispered to Chip, “Now I know why Lee and the admiral don’t want to attend these meetings.  They sure are boring.”

Chip looked at her and smiled as he shook his head in agreement.  Diana was still in the back helping the servers pack up the food.  She peeked out from behind the curtain and saw Janet lean over and whisper in Chip’s ear.  She was jealous that she got that close to him.  I should be sitting next to him and whispering to him, Diana thought.  I will be shortly.

Once everyone was done with their speeches, the mayor returned to the podium and thanked everyone for coming.  Chip and Janet got up to leave but were cornered by the mayor.

“Hello, Commander Morton,” he said to Chip.  Looking over at Janet, “I don’t believe we’ve met,” he told her as he shook her hand and held on to it.

“Janet Crane,” she replied removing her hand from his.  “Commander Crane is my husband.”

“Nice to meet you, where are the admiral and commander?” he asked Chip still staring at Janet.

“They had some business to take care of on the east coast.”

“Pleasure to meet you Mrs. Crane, I hope you’ll join us again.”

“Nice to meet you too and maybe I’ll be back.”  Not if I can help it, Janet thought. 

The mayor finished talking to Chip and Janet and walked away to talk to some other guests.  Several businessmen came over to them and Chip introduced Janet to them.  She had talked to a few of them on the phone and they were happy to put a face to the voice. They continued talking to them about supplies NIMR ordered from their companies and how they appreciated their business.  After talking to them for another thirty minutes, they finally got free and walked out of the city hall building.

“Sorry that took so long. They always are trying to get us to give them more business,” Chip apologized.

“No problem,” Janet replied as they walked to the car.  “I’ve decided Lee owes me big time too.  Sorry, Chip but I hope I never have to go to another one of those again.”  It was a warm day so Chip removed his jacket and Janet decided to take hers off too. They both laughed as Chip unlocked the car and opened the door for Janet.  When she got in she took her jacket and put it in the back seat along with Chip’s.  Diana followed them out and watched them get into Chip’s SUV.  She was ready to leave as they had loaded the left over food in the van.  She would have two of the servers come with her to unload it once they arrived back at the company.  The other servers would take down the tables and load the truck with the rest of the items. 


Diana and the two servers, climbed in the van just as Chip and Janet drove out of the parking lot.  “Follow that SUV,” Diana said to Roger who was driving. 

“But Miss Parker, we need to get this food back,” Roger told her.

“I said follow it,” she said sharply.  “And when I tell you, I want you to run it off the road.”

“Run it off the road, but M...” Roger didn’t get to finish his sentence when Diana hissed, “Just do what I say.”

“Yes ma’am,” Roger replied as he looked over at Justin the other server and sped up to catch up with Chip’s SUV.


Once Chip and Janet were on the freeway Janet spoke up.  “Chip, why do you think Jason Weldon was posing as a server?”

“I would assume he’s undercover but for what or whom?  I don’t think ONI is interested in the mayor, maybe one of the businessmen are up to no good.”

“I’ll ask Lee to find out when he returns,” she said looking at her watch, “They should be back shortly.”

Chip exited the freeway and turned on Baker St. a winding road that ran along side a gully but it was the shortest way back to the institute.  He looked out the rearview mirror and saw a white van coming up on them very fast.

“When they get to the next curve, push them off the road,” Diana ordered.  “If you don’t do it, I will.”


“Everything okay,” Janet asked as Chip slowed down to let the van pass them.


“Not sure,” he replied as he looked over to make sure Janet had her seatbelt on.


The white van came right next to Chip’s SUV and started to push them closer to the edge of the road. The van had dark windows so neither Chip or Janet could see who was in the car but Janet noticed a partial name on the van.  All she could make out was ‘tering’ as the window post blocked the rest of the wording.


“Hang on,” Chip told Janet as he turned the wheel sharply into the van trying to keep his car on the road.


The van pushed Chip’s vehicle closer to the edge again but somehow Chip managed to keep it on the road. Chip turned the wheel back pushing the van away from them but the driver turned his wheels into Chip’s car scrapping it as the driver pushed Chip’s car again.   This time the tire of Chip’s SUV caught the edge of the road where there was loose gravel.


“Chip,” Janet yelled as their car left the road.  Those were the last words he heard before the car flipped over landing on the four wheels in the gully.


The van stopped and backed up to where Chip’s SUV left the road. Diana, Roger and Justin exited the van and stood there staring down at the SUV when Diana told them curtly, “Get down there and check them out.  He better not be dead or you’ll pay dearly.”


Justin and Roger made their way down to the gully.  They approached the car carefully not knowing if Chip and Janet were conscious.  As they got closer, they could see the two of them were unconscious as neither of them moved.  Roger checked Chip and found he had a pulse and a large bump forming on his head as Justin checked out Janet who also had a pulse plus a bump and a gash on her forehead.


“They’re alive,” Roger shouted up to Diana.


“Good,” she shouted back as she got some gloves out of the van and threw them down to the men.  “Put those on and bring him up here and put him in the van.”


Roger removed Chip’s seatbelt, dragged him out of the car and with Justin’s help brought him up to the top of the gully and put him in the back of the van. 


Diana got back in the van and was ready to leave when Roger asked, “Are you just going to leave her here...no one will ever find her...it gets cold at night...she might die.”


Very irritated, she searched Chip, found his cell phone in his pocket and dialed 911, “There’s been an accident on Baker St.” she said quickly hanging up the phone and threw it the bushes. “Satisfied,” she asked sharply as she didn’t care what happen to Janet.  She just wanted Chip.  




The 911 dispatcher answered the call but Diana had hung up before she could get anymore details.  She notified the sheriff’s department who sent out a unit to look for the accident.  The patrol car drove down the road looking for it but couldn’t find one.  The officer drove by again and finally noticed the tire tracks that led off the road.  He stopped, got out of his car, looked down into the gully and saw the SUV sitting there.  He called for the paramedics before he made his way down to the bottom.  He found Janet still strapped in and unconscious in the SUV.  She was in the passenger seat so there must have been another person in the car. The officer looked around the accident scene but didn’t find anyone else.  He had driven up and down the street looking for the accident and didn’t see anyone walking or another car. Where is the other person, he thought.  He heard the woman’s cell phone ring but he couldn’t get to it to answer it.  He also heard the ringing of another cell phone but didn’t know where it was as it wasn’t in the car.  He looked around the area and found it in the bushes.  Pulling a pair of gloves out of his pocket, he picked up the cell phone and brought it over to the car but the call had gone into the voice mail. 




Lee and the admiral were an hour away from NIMR.  It had taken them a little longer just as Lee suspected.  They ran into heavy weather just outside of Boston and it slowed them down plus the head wind was stronger than he anticipated. He tried calling Janet and Chip on their cell phones but no one answered so it went to voice mail.  He knew one of them should have answered the phone so he was a little worried.  Using the throat mike he called the institute, “FS-1 to Nelson Institute, do you read me?”


“Yes FS-1 I read you,” Trish said quickly.  “Is there a problem?”


“No, I don’t think so.  I’m reporting that we should be docking with Seaview in an hour.  Could you patch me into Angie?”


“Sure Lee, just a moment,” Trish responded flipping the switches that would connect him with Angie.


Angie answered the phone surprised to hear Lee on the line.  “Everything okay?” she asked.


“Did Chip and Janet return from the luncheon?  I tried their cell phones and neither one of them answered.”


“No Lee they’re not back yet.  Let me check the invitation and see when it was scheduled to end,” Angie replied pulling the invitation out of her folder.  “It was over at 1400 hours, it’s now 1600 hours.”


“Please have one of them call me as soon as they return,” Lee said worriedly. 


“Yes, Lee I will have them call you,” Angie answered anxiously. 


“Thanks, Angie. FS-1 out,” Lee responded, as he turned off the mike and looked at the admiral who also had a worried look on his face.  “Maybe they got hung up with the mayor or one of the other business men.  That’s happened to us before,” he said not very convincingly.


“Maybe,” Lee answered quietly as he continued flying FS-1 towards Seaview.




The sheriff’s officer went back to the SUV to find out who Janet was.  He located her purse and found her driver’s license and NIMR ID.  He opened the glove box and found the registration papers showing the car belonged to Chip.  He heard the paramedics pull up and went back up to the road to help them bring down the stretcher.  Another sheriff’s officer also pulled up behind them.  The paramedics carefully un-strapped Janet from the seat belt and gently laid her on the stretcher.  They put a neck brace on before they took her back up to the paramedic unit.  The sheriff’s officer put her purse on the stretcher with her.  Once inside the ambulance, they applied an ice pack to her head and bandaged the gash on her forehead.  One of the paramedics wanted to know who she was in case she woke up.


“Her name is Janet Crane and she works at the Nelson Institute.  That’s the big research center with the submarine,” the officer told him.   


“Okay, I know the place but where’s the other occupant of the car?” he asked curiously.


“I don’t know.   She was the only one here when I arrived on the scene.  I drove up and down the road before I found where the car went off the road and didn’t see anyone not even another car.”


“That’s very strange,” he responded. “You better call the Institute and tell them what happened.  We’re taking her to the hospital in Santa Barbara.”


“Okay. I’ll let them know,” he replied still puzzled as to where the driver of the SUV was.


He shut the door on the ambulance and watched it drive away sirens blaring.  He went back to his car to make a phone call for a towing service to have the car removed from the gully.  He wasn’t that far from the institute so he would drive there and let them know about the accident.  The other officer was going to look around the area for Chip as maybe he wandered away looking for help. 




Diana and the men in the van pulled into the alley in back of the building where they would unload the food and Chip.  Terry met them at the door.


“Where the hell have you been? You should have been back thirty minutes ago.  If that food is spoiled...,” he yelled at Roger and Justin who stood there looking at Diana.


“Relax Terry.  We left a little later than I thought.  The food should be fine,” she replied as she helped them unload the van.  Terry donated all the extra food to the food pantry and they were due to arrive any minute.  He donated the food to the pantry making him look good so no one would snoop around the building and his business.


Roger whispered to Diana, “What do we do with the man?”


“Just leave him in the van for now.  We’ll take care of him in a little while.”  She knew Terry was leaving after they got rid of the food so she would take the van to the house and put Chip in her room.  The people from the food pantry showed up and took the food.  Terry didn’t leave as planned so Diana had to leave Chip in the van longer than she wanted but she couldn’t leave without Terry knowing she was gone.  Damn, she thought.  She went out to the van and checked on Chip but he was still unconscious.   Once she got him home, she would need to keep him under her control. She knew once he regained consciousness, he would fight to get away so she looked for something she could chain him to the bed.  She found a piece of chain and a padlock that Terry used to lock the back door and put it in the van.  Terry finally left so Diana was able to go upstairs to find a drug she could give him.  After looking at what Terry had, she found the perfect drug.  Xanax.




The sheriff’s officer arrived at the NIMR’s security gate.  Pete went out to see what he wanted.  “Can I help you,” Pete asked.


Showing him his badge, the officer replied, “There’s been an accident, I need to talk to someone regarding it.”


“Just a minute,” Pete replied as he went to the phone in the gate house and called Angie.


“Miss Angie, I have a sheriff’s officer here at the gate.  He says there’s been an accident and he wants to talk to someone.  Can I send him to you?”


“Yes, send him right over,” Angie answered quickly.


Pete told the officer how to get to the institute office just as the admiral and Lee berthed FS-1 on Seaview.  Lee went up first and was taking their things from the little sub when Kowalski and Patterson came into the control room and helped them unload. 


“Thanks, Ski, Pat,” Lee said as he and the admiral made their way to the ladder where Patterson and Kowalski helped them up with their luggage and out the sail hatch.  They walked to the parking lot, where Lee unlocked the door and put their things in the SUV.  Lee drove rather quickly to the office as he was still worried he hadn’t heard from Chip or Janet and hoped they were there. 



The officer found the institute office and went into the building where Howard had the elevator waiting for him as Pete had let him know he was coming. Angie and Wanda met him as soon as he came off the elevator.


“What accident...who’s involved...are they okay?” Angie demanded.


“I’m Dylan Little,” the officer said calmly.  “A vehicle belonging to Charles Morton was involved in a one car accident on Baker St.  It looks like it drove off the road.  We’ll investigate it further and let you know.  The only occupant in the car was a Janet Crane.  She’s...”  Before he could finish, Lee and the admiral got off the elevator and saw the officer standing there and heard him mention Janet’s name.


“Officer, I’m Lee Crane.  Janet Crane’s husband,” Lee said as he quickly went over to him.  “What happen...is she hurt...where is she,” Lee said in a panic.  “Where’s Chip?”


“Mr. Crane, your wife was unconscious when I found the car.  She’s been taken to the hospital in Santa Barbara and she was alone when I found her.  What is strange is that she was in the passenger seat and the driver was no where to be found.”


“What do you mean Chip wasn’t there...where is he...did you look around?” Lee said sharply.


“Yes sir.  I saw no other cars or people on the road and all I found was his cell phone. As I told the women, we’re going to investigate the accident and we have men out there looking for him in case he wandered away.  We’re towing the car to the police station for now.  Sorry about your wife I hope she’ll be alright,” Officer Little said and got on the elevator.


“Angie, call Jamie and tell him to meet us at the hospital,” Lee said as he put his things down and waited impatiently for the elevator to return. 


“Can we come,” Wanda asked with tears in her eyes.


Sighing deeply Lee responded, “Would you and Angie please stay here in case Chip calls.  Maybe he got a ride and went for help.”


“Yes Lee,” Wanda answered as Angie returned.


“Jamie will meet you there.  He said not to worry he knows the ER doctor and they will take good care of her.”


Lee and the admiral only heard half of what she said as the elevator doors were closing.  They quickly climbed in Lee’s car for the twenty minute ride to the hospital.  Lee drove a little faster then he should and the admiral had to hold on for dear life.  “Lee slow down, we don’t want to cause an accident and hurt someone.”


“Sorry, sir,” he said as he slowed down a little. 


The two of them had both had worried looks on the faces not only for Janet but for Chip.  They knew he wouldn’t leave Janet alone unless he went for help but he could have called for help on his cell phone. 




Diana tapped Roger on the shoulder when she came back downstairs.  “I need your help.  You’re going with me to the house and help me bring Chip to my room.”


“But Miss Parker, if your brother finds out I left without finishing up here, he’ll fire me,” Roger pleaded.


“Don’t worry about him.  I’ll tell him I needed your help.  Now let’s go.  It’s hot in that van and I don’t want anything to happen to him,” Diana said as she grabbed her purse and walked out the door with Roger reluctantly following her.


Diana checked once again on Chip and he was still unconscious but sweating profusely.  They quickly got in the van and parked in the front of the house.  Diana opened the door while Roger struggled to get Chip out of the van.  Diana saw him struggling and went back to the van to help him bring Chip in as she didn’t want the neighbors to see what was going on.  So they both put their arms around Chip and carried him into the house and put him in Diana’s room where they laid him on the bed.  “Go get the chain and padlock from the van,” she ordered.  While Roger was gone, Diana removed Chip’s tie and loosen the top button of his shirt.


“Miss Parker, what are you going to do with these,” Roger asked when he returned with the chain and lock.


“You’ll see,” she replied as she took Chip’s wrist and wrapped the chain around it and then around the spindle on the brass bed, put the padlock on and snapped it shut.


“Miss Parker, why are you doing this?” Roger asked afraid of what might happen to him if they were caught. 


“That’s none of your business and you had better not tell anyone he’s here or else I’ll make sure you won’t be seen again,” Diana threatened.  “Is that clear?”


“Yes ma’am,” Roger answered fearfully. 


“You can go back to the shop and finish up there.  I’ll be here for the rest of the day.  Just tell Mr. Parker I wasn’t feeling well.


Roger left the house and went back to the store.  Mr. Parker hadn’t returned yet so no one he knew was gone.  He had a lot of work to do to set up for the big meeting upstairs in two days.




Lee and the admiral rushed into the ER and went to the reception desk.  “I’m looking for a Janet Crane,” Lee asked frantically.  “They brought her in by ambulance.”


The receptionist looked at the list of patients as Lee impatiently tapped his fingers on the desk.  “She’s in treatment room eight.  Go to the door on the left and I will buzz you in, then make a right hand turn it’s directly across from the nurse’s station.”


“Thank you,” Lee said as he waited for her to buzz them in just as Jamie was entering the ER.


“Hello, Dr. Jamieson,” the receptionist said as Jamie walked up to her.  “We weren’t expecting you today.”


“A friend of mine was in an accident.  Janet Crane.”


The receptionist told Jamie where Janet was and buzzed him in.  He saw Lee and the admiral walking towards Janet’s room.  “Lee,” he called softly but he was already by her door.  Jamie stopped at the desk to talk to the nurse on duty.  He asked for Janet’s chart and looked it over before going into the room.


When Lee got to her room, he saw the blood all over her blouse, a bandage on her head along with an ice pack.  She was still unconscious.  Lee went over to her bed and kissed her forehead.  “Oh sweetie,” he said softly as Jamie followed them into her room.


“Jamie,” Lee said when he saw him come in.  “What’s wrong with her...will she be alright...when will she wake up?” Lee asked anxiously as he brushed her hair away from her face.


Just as Jamie was going to answer, the ER doctor, Greg Swanson, entered her room.  “Hello Will.  Is she a friend of yours?” he asked going to the opposite side of the bed from Lee and introduced himself.


“Yes,” Jamie replied.  “This is her husband Lee Crane and Admiral Nelson.  How is she Greg?”


“She has a severe concussion.  We’ve done a CT scan and found no bleeding.  I am a little concerned that she hasn’t regained consciousness yet.  She also has small gash on her forehead which we closed using a skin adhesive and a nice sized bump.  She’s probably going to be pretty sore tomorrow.  I know she had her seat belt on but the paramedics reported that it looked like the car had flipped over at least once.”


“Lee, are you okay?” Jamie asked after the doctor had finished describing Janet’s injuries as he looked a little pale.


“I’m okay Jamie,” he replied as he ran his hand through his hair. 


“Thanks Greg,” Jamie said as he left the room.  Lee grabbed a chair and sat next to Janet’s bed holding her hand.


“Lee, I’m going to check with Angie and see if they’ve heard anything about Chip,” the admiral stated as he left the room.


“What’s this about Chip?” Jamie asked with concern.


“He and Janet were driving back from a luncheon downtown.  When the police got there Chip was no where to be found.  We don’t know if he went for help but they found his cell phone on the ground so he could have called for help.  They’re searching for him.” Lee sighed deeply.


With a wry grin Lee said, “Is this what it’s like when I’m hurt and unconscious?  You sit and wait for me to wake up.”


“Yes Lee, only Janet, Chip and the admiral are there breathing down my neck for answers and willing you to come to along with one hundred and twenty other men,” Jamie answered with a weak smile.


“Sorry Jamie,” Lee replied.  “I knew they were always there when I woke up but never realized how hard it must be to sit and wait and not be able to do anything.”


Jamie patted him on the shoulder and pulled up a chair and sat on the other side of the bed.  The admiral returned to Janet’s room and shook his head, “They haven’t found him...they searched the whole area...it’s like he just disappeared,” he said dejectedly.  “They’re going to continue searching until dark.”   He found another chair and sat down next to Lee.  “She’ll be alright,” he told Lee as he patted his knee.


“I know. Hopefully Janet can shed some light on where Chip is,” Lee said fearfully thinking about Chip and what had happened to him.




Diana went to the bathroom and ran a towel under the cold water and put it on Chip’s forehead.  With a perfectly manicured nail, she ran it down his face, “Come on honey.  I need you to wake up so we can be together,” she whispered.  She got up and closed all the shades and curtains in the room so it was pitch dark.  She didn’t want anyone looking in the windows and see him chained to the bed.  She could lock her bedroom door so she knew Terry wouldn’t get in.  She took the file out of her bag and knew she had to find a place to hide it.  She went back into the living room and buried it in the white cabinet under the window.  When Chip woke up she would give him the Xanax to keep him from struggling to get away.   She laid down next to him on the bed and put her hand on his chest.




Lee’s cell phone rang as he sat by Janet’s bed.  He looked at the number and knew Admiral Johnson was calling.  “Damn,” he mumbled.  “It’s Admiral Johnson.”  Lee didn’t want to leave Janet but knew he had to take call.  He left her room and went out to the hall.  “Hello.”


“Lee, have you found Diana and the damn file yet?” he said curtly. 


“No sir,” Lee sighed.  “Janet’s been in a car accident.  As soon as I know she’s going to be okay.  I’ll check out all the Terry Parker’s and look up the company she worked for here.  Please admiral, I know that file is important and lives depend on it but right now my wife is more important.”


Shocked at Lee’s frankness, he replied, “I understand.  Diana must still have that file as so far no operatives have been compromised that we know. But please continue your search as soon as you can.  Lee, I hope Janet will be alright.”


“Thank you sir,” Lee answered and disconnected to the call and returned to Janet’s room.  Maybe I should consider giving up ONI, Lee thought.


Janet’s eyes fluttered a little.  She opened them up and closed them again.  Jamie noticed she had opened her eyes and stood up.  He could see she was coming to.  She opened them up again and looked around. She saw Lee and the admiral sitting next to her bed and Jamie looking over her.  “Lee,” Janet said sitting up quickly and laid right back down.  Jamie looked at her with concern. “Just moved a little to fast and I got dizzy,” she said taking a deep breath hoping the room would stop spinning.

“Where’s Chip...is he okay...is he badly hurt?” Janet asked hysterically realizing he wasn’t in the room.

“Sweetheart,” Lee said calmly as he stood up.  “You’ve got a concussion so just take it easy.”  He didn’t know what to tell her about Chip but he knew she wouldn’t relax until she knew where he was.

“Lee, he was with me in the car...he was driving...please tell me the truth...he’s not...” she couldn’t finish the sentence and started crying. 

“Sweetie, Chip’s missing.  We don’t know where he is,” Lee told her as he rubbed her hand.

Janet closed her eyes as she still had a bad headache and was very nauseated.  She laid there for a few minutes trying to sort things out in her mind. 

“Janet,” Jamie said alarmed afraid she was unconscious.

“Yes Jamie,” Janet replied opening her eyes.  “I was just trying to figure out what happened but nothing is clear.”

“That’s to be expected.  You might not remember anything about the accident.”

The nurse heard Janet talking and went to get Dr. Swanson.  He went to her room and was happy to see her awake.

“I’m Dr. Swanson,” he told her.  “I need to check you out so I’m going to ask your husband and the admiral to step out.  I’ll let Dr. Jamieson stay.”

“Yes sir,” she answered softly. 

Dr. Swanson did all the neurological tests they do with someone who has a concussion.  Janet passed most of them but had hard time remembering what took place right before the accident. He thought it was wise she stay overnight and Jamie agreed with him.  Jamie left the room and motioned to Lee and the admiral they could return.  The doctor explained everything to Lee and he was relieved she would be alright and had no problem with her staying in the hospital.

“They will be transferring her to a room shortly.  I know Dr. Jamieson will keep an eye on you,” Dr. Swanson said with grin.  “I’ll be back to release you in the morning.”

“Thank you Doctor,” Janet said as Lee shook his hand.

The doctor no sooner left the room when Officer Little appeared at the door.  Lee saw him and sighed.  He knew that Janet would have to answer some questions as to what happened so he motioned him to come in.

“Hello, Mrs. Crane, I’m Officer Dylan Little and I need you to tell me what happened.”

“Yes sir.  I’ll try but I don’t remember too much.” she replied quietly. 

  “Please tell me what you remember,” Officer Little asked.

“All I can remember is that the van was white and Chip was trying to keep the car on the road,” Janet answered tears forming in her eyes.

“Is that all?” Officer Little asked disappointed at her answers.

Jamie spoke up tersely, “Officer, she has a severe concussion and may not remember what took place.”

“I’m sorry I just can’t remember anything,” Janet replied as tears ran down her face.

 “Officer Little can we continue this later?” Lee asked as he could see Janet was fading fast.

“No problem Mr. Crane.  Where will I be able to contact you if I have any more questions?”

Jamie answered that question before Janet could get a word out.  “She’ll be in Med Bay at the Nelson Institute.  She’ll be there a couple of days.  Just call and I’ll let you know if she can have visitors.”

“And you are?’ Officer Little asked sharply.

“Dr. Will Jamieson, her personal physician.”

“Okay, Doctor.  Thanks for your help Mrs. Crane.  I’ll be in touch.  Please call me if you remember anything more.”

Officer Little left the room.  He wasn’t too happy but at least had a little more information.  He now had to check out all the white vans.

An orderly came into the room, “We’re going to move Mrs. Crane to a room now,” he said as he prepared the bed for moving.  They went to the elevators and up to the second floor.  Two nurses entered the room and shooed out Lee, the admiral and Jamie as they to help Janet get into a gown and do the necessary checks for her chart.  Once they were finished they let the men back in.

“Jamie,” Janet said, “what’s this I’m going to Med Bay.  If the doctor says I can go home I want to go there.”

“No,” Jamie stated emphatically. “If you’re okay, I’ll let you go home after one day right now its two.”

Lee was nodding his head in agreement, “Sweetie, I know you don’t want go there but I still need to find Diana and that file so I won’t be there to watch you. So please do what Jamie asks so I know you’ll be looked after.”

“Yes, Lee,” Janet acquiesced yawning.  “I’m tired so I’m going to take a nap.”  Lee gently kissed her; she turned on her side and fell asleep.

The three men sat next to her bed and watched her sleep.   Before too long, Chief Sharkey, Kowalski and Patterson showed up.  Angie had called them and told them about the accident. 

Kowalski knocked on the door, “Skipper, can you come here?”

Lee and the admiral got up and went out into the hallway.  They both smiled when they saw the rest of the men. “Skipper, we went to the accident site and looked around for Mr. Morton.  It’s like he disappeared.  No trace of tire tracks or foot prints.  Is there anything else we can do?

“No I guess not,” Lee said rubbing his forehead.  “Thanks men.  I really appreciate it.  If I need you...”

“Just call,” they replied in unison.

Lee and the admiral went back and sat down to wait for Janet to wake up again.


Chip woke up with a killer headache and very nauseated so he knew he had a concussion.  He had no idea where he was because the room was pitch dark.  The last thing I remember I was in my car and it was going off the road, he thought.  He realized he was lying on a bed but when he tried to moved he couldn’t as his wrist was shackled to the headboard.  There also was a woman lying next to him asleep with her hand on his chest.  He looked over at her but could barely make out who she was.  She woke up when he threw her hand off his chest.

“Hi honey,” she said, “I’m so glad you’re finally awake...I’m sorry I must have fallen asleep.”

“Diana,” Chip said shockingly, “where the hell am I and why am I shackled to this bed.”

“Please don’t be mad.  I wanted you and you turned me away so I had to take drastic measures.  How do you feel?  Sorry I had to run you off the road but I had to get you away from your girlfriend.”

Chip angrily replied, “She’s not my girlfriend but my best friend’s wife...we work together...I feel like crap so let me out of here.”

“No my love, you’re going to stay here.  Sorry I saw you with another woman and I got very jealous.”

“Is she okay?” Chip demanded.

“Well she was alive when we left her,” Diana answered with no emotion.

Chip pulled on the chains that held him to the bed but they wouldn’t budge.  “I need to use the facilities,” Chip stated.

Going over to the dresser Diana opened the drawer and pulled out a gun, “You can use them but please don’t try anything as I really don’t want to hurt you.”

She undid the lock and chain.  Chip went to the bathroom where he vomited. He wanted to go for her but there was no way he could.  He still felt sick and any movement made his head hurt more.  He also realized that she would shoot him if he did try to overtake her.  He slowly made his way back to the bed where Diana re-attached the chain and locked it.  Maybe in a few hours he would feel better and could try to escape.

“You must be thirsty,” Diana said and gave him a drink of water.  “Here this will help you headache,” she told him and handed him a pill.  Chip took the water and the pill. 

Diana smiled as he swallowed the pill.  It wouldn’t take care of his headache but completely relax him and keep him under her control.  About twenty minutes after Chip took the pill he was very tired and dizzy.  What did she give me? he thought as the room was spinning.  As hard as he tried to stay awake he fell asleep a few minutes later.

Diana noticed that Chip had fallen asleep.  When he woke up she would give him another pill.  She was hungry so she went into the kitchen to make some dinner.  Terry came home a little while later.

“Where were you?” he asked harshly.  “I needed your help setting up for the meeting on Thursday.  Roger said you didn’t feel good but you look perfectly fine to me.  If you think you’re to stay around here and not help out you’d better think twice.  I’m not supporting you.”

“Terry, I know that and I’m really sorry.  After we dropped off the food, I got very nauseous and dizzy. I promise it won’t happen again,” she said sweetly.  “I know we have another catering job so I’ll be at work bright and early.”

Terry could never stay mad at her.  “I’m sorry I yelled at you.  Just take it easy tonight.  Here, let me finish making dinner.”   She set the table as he finished cooking and they enjoyed the meal together.  Diana smiled as she ate her dinner. 

After they cleaned up Diana said, “I’m going to bed.  I’m still not feeling quite right. I’ll see you in the morning.”  She kiss Terry gently on the cheek, “Thanks for letting me stay here.”

“No problem,” Terry answered.  “I’m going back to the shop, I’ll be home later.”

“No need to let me know you’re home.  I’ll be fast asleep.”

After Terry left, Diana went back into her room and locked the door.  Chip was still asleep so she unbuttoned his shirt, removed it along with his shoes, socks and pants leaving on only his briefs. She got undressed, put the covers over them and climbed in bed next to him.  She put her hand on his bare chest.  It felt so good to be close to him.


Janet woke up around midnight.  Lee was fast asleep in the lounge chair next to her bed still holding her hand.  He sent the admiral and Jamie home hours ago.  She gently tried to take her hand out of his but he woke up.

“Hi sleepy head,” he said softly.  “How are you feeling?”

“I still have a headache but I really need to go to the bathroom,” she told him as she took her time sitting up in bed.  This time the room wasn’t spinning.  She slowly got out of bed and Lee helped her walk to the bathroom.  When she finished, he helped her back and tucked her in bed.  But the time she got back in bed she was very nauseated.

“Lee, do you think I could get something for my headache?” she asked. “It hurts badly enough that’s its making me sick.”

“Let me get the nurse,” he suggested and pressed the call button.  Janet told the nurse about her headache and she brought some acetaminophen.  After a few minutes she felt better.  “Lee, I know I have to talk to you about something but I can’t remember what it was.”

“You’ll remember. Sometimes after a concussion you won’t remember anything before the accident.  Please just go back to sleep,” he said quietly as he once again took her hand in his.

Squeezing his hand she replied, “Okay Lee.” She fell back to sleep a few minutes later.  He sat down in the chair thinking about Chip.  Where is he...someone must have him...but whom? He thought.  He also knew he was going to have to tell his parents that he was missing.  He would call them tomorrow after Janet was settled in Med Bay.  He checked on Janet one more time and fell asleep.


Chip woke up in the middle of the night.  His head still hurt and he was still tired. He saw Diana lying next to him naked, her hand on his bare chest and realized he had only his briefs on.  Did I do something I might regret later? He thought.  He tried to move away from her but she woke up.

“How are you feeling?” she asked sitting up on one arm holding the blanket up with her other hand.  “I bet you’re thirsty and hungry.

“Thirsty but not hungry.  What did you give me?” Chip asked still very confused.

“Don’t worry about it.  Just something to relax you,” Diana said as she got up and put her robe on that was lying on the foot of the bed.  She went to the bathroom and got him a glass of water.  She handed him the water with another pill.

“I’m not taking it,” Chip said sharply.

Sneering at him she replied, “I’ll force it down your throat. And you’re in no position to tell me what you’re going to do.”

Chip knew he wouldn’t be able to fight her off so he took the pill and she made sure he swallowed it.  She took her robe off and climbed back into bed with him.  He tried to move away from her but she pulled him close to her and put her hand on his stomach


Janet woke up the next morning and Lee was gone.  She wondered where he had gone when the door opened to her room.  In walked a disheveled looking Lee with a large cup of coffee in his hand, a two day old beard, his clothes were wrinkled and he looked very tired.

“Good morning sweetie,” he said when he saw she was awake.  “How are you?”

“Still have a headache but not as bad.  I’m a little thirsty, could I have a sip?”

“No,” Lee said bluntly, “you shouldn’t have caffeine with a concussion.  I’ll get you some water.” He went to the pitcher on the table next to her bed and poured some in a cup.

Sighing, “Thanks, Lee,” she replied as she took the water from him.  “Can I eat, Dr. Lee?”

Breaking out in a smile Lee answered, “Yes, I’ll see that you get something to eat.”  Before he could make a call to the hospital food service, Jamie and the admiral walked in with some bagels, juice and coffee.

Before giving Janet the bagel, Jamie looked her over.  She told him she still had a headache but was hungry. He gave her the bagel and juice.  Just as they finished up Dr. Swanson entered her room and shooed all of them out except Jamie.

After examining Janet and asking her some questions he said, “I’m going to let you go only because I know you’re going to another medical facility.  Your wound is fine and the bump has gone down. I know Dr. Jamieson will take good care of you.”

“Thank you Doctor,” Janet replied smiling.

Smiling back, “Give them an hour to get the paperwork ready,” the doctor said.  He and Jamie left the room and went over to Lee and the admiral.  Dr. Swanson was telling Lee that Janet was going to be released and what her restrictions were when she did return home.  Little did he know that Lee was an expert on concussions.  As they talked the admiral went back into the room.

Going over to her bed, he gently picked up her hand, “You okay?”

“Yes sir.  I’m feeling a little better,” she answered, “Any word on Chip? They have to find him.”

“The police are still looking as well as Kowalski, Patterson and Chief Sharkey,” he told her patting her hand. “You sure had us worried.”

“I’m sorry. I can see Lee is looking a little ragged,” she acknowledged.  “If anyone can find him, those men will.” 

Lee and Jamie walked back into the room.  “I’m going home to bring you some clothes and take a quick shower.  I’ll be back by the time you’re released.”

“I’ll stay with her until you get back,” the admiral told him.

“I’m going back to Med Bay and make sure they’ll be ready for you,” Jamie said.

Lee quickly drove home, showered, found Janet’s workout clothes along with some underwear. When he returned the admiral left them alone.  He helped her dress which was a slow process as she got dizzy a couple of times and had to stop.  Once dressed, a nurse brought in a wheelchair, she wheeled her out and Lee helped her into the car.  He drove slowly to Med Bay where Hazel and Betty were there waiting and got her settled in the room. 

By the time Janet was settled in, she was bushed.  “Lee, I’m really tired so I’m going to take a nap.  I’ll be fine here.  I’m not alone and you need to find Chip.”

Giving her kiss goodbye, “I’m going to go back to the office and call his parents.  They should know he’s missing,” Lee sighed deeply.  He walked out of Med Bay and made his way over to the institute office.


Diana was up early and noticed that Chip was still asleep.  As she got out of the bed, Chip woke up.  His head still hurt...he was dizzy...and nauseated.  He tried to sit up but couldn’t move forgetting he was shackled to the bed.  “Damn,” he muttered.

“Good morning, honey,” Diana purred as she went back to bed and played with the hair on his chest.  “I’ve got to get ready for work even though I would much rather stay home and have fun with you.”

“Please let me go.  It won’t work out,” Chip slurred.

Pouting, “Don’t say that my love,” Diana replied.  “I’m sure you still have a headache, so here’s your pill to help get rid of it.”  She handed the pill to Chip with a cup of water.  He didn’t want to take the pill but didn’t have the energy to fight back. 

“I’m still tired,” Chip told her as he fell back to sleep.

“No problem,” Diana said happily.  She knew he wouldn’t be a problem while she was at work. 


Lee made his way to his office.  He noticed that his luggage had been put in there since he had left in the lobby when he and the admiral arrived back from Boston.  Angie and Wanda were there waiting for him.  “How’s Janet?” they both asked.  “The admiral said she’s at Med Bay.  Can we see her?”

“Yes, she can have visitors but right now she’s sleeping maybe later,” Lee sighed.  He knew the three of them had gotten very close and they would be worried about her.  “Have the police called?”

“Yes, they called earlier and talked to the admiral,” Angie said grimly.

“Thanks, Angie, is he in his office?” Lee asked letting out a breath. 

“Yes Lee,” she responded, “He’s not to happy right now.”

“I don’t blame him.”  Before Lee could go to his office, he walked out. 

“Janet get settled?”

“Yes sir.  What did the police say...any leads...?” Lee asked.  “I’m going to call his parents and want to tell them we have some news.”

“They’re looking over the car for fingerprints but so far all they have are Chip’s, Janet’s and yours.”

“Okay.  I’ll let them know the police are looking for him.” Lee headed into his office dreading the call he had to make. He dialed Chip’s parent’s phone.  It rang twice before his mother answered.

“Hello,” she answered pleasantly.

“Hi mom,” Lee said.  “How are you?”  Lee being very close to Chip’s parents always referred to them as mom and dad.

“Lee, it’s so nice to hear from you.  We missed you in Vegas.  Why are you calling?” Mrs. Morton knew Lee didn’t usually call unless there was a problem.

Knowing there was no easy way to tell her, he said softly, “Chip’s missing.  He and Janet were returning from a luncheon and were in an accident.  We don’t know where he is. The police are looking for him along with some of the men from the institute.  I’m sorry.”

Lee could hear her gasped as she replied, “Oh Lee.  Is Janet okay?  Where could he have gone?”  He could hear Chip’s sister and father in the background wanting to know what was wrong and his mother tell them that he was missing.

“Janet’s fine,” Lee replied, “I know this is a long shot but did Chip meet anyone while he was in Vegas?  Did he go out alone?”

Hesitating, Chip’s mom said, “I don’t think so but there were a couple of times he was alone.”  Chip’s mom relayed Lee’s question to his dad and sister.  Chip’s sister got on the phone.

“Lee, my husband and I were in the casino in Mandalay Bay and saw him with a girl.  He really didn’t look happy.”

“Did you talk to him...what did she look like...do you know her name?” Lee asked excitedly.

“Sorry Lee.  I didn’t talk to him about her.  She had short dark hair about 5’ 9” and a real nice body.”

Lee took out a picture of Diana Parker and snapped a picture with his phone. He was grasping at straws but right now it was the only idea he had.  “I’m sending you a picture of a woman.  Let me know if this was the woman Chip was with.”  Lee dialed her number and sent her the picture.  Chip’s sister opened up the picture and replied, “That could be the girl but she now has short hair.”

“Thank you for your help.  I don’t know if she’s involved in his disappearance.  I’ll keep in touch.  Say goodbye to mom and dad,” Lee asked and hung up the phone.  Lee ran out of his office and almost ran over Angie who was waiting for him to get off the phone, “I was walking by your office and heard you talking to Chip’s sister about him meeting someone.  When we went out to dinner on Monday night, he told us he met a woman but didn’t want to see her again.”

“Did he tell you her name?”

“Yes, said her name was Diana. He didn’t tell us her last name at dinner but Janet might know it.”

Giving Angie a quick kiss on the cheek, “Thanks, Angie.  She’s the woman I’m looking for and some how she and Chip must have met in Vegas.  Now all I have to do is find out where she is.”

Lee ran out of the office, got in his car and drove to Med Bay.  He hoped Janet would remember her name.  When he got to her room she was still asleep.  He sat down next to her bed and took her hand in his.  He had been sitting there for an hour when she woke up.

“Hi Lee,” she said groggily seeing him sitting there.

Getting up he gently kissed her on the lips, “How are you feeling?”

“Headache not as bad but I’m still not feeling good.  Did you find Chip?”

“No, I might have some new information but I need your help.”

“What can I do,” Janet asked sitting up slowly.

“Angie said when you went out for dinner, Chip told you about a girl he met in Vegas.  She said you might know her last name.  Was it Parker?”

“No I don’t think so,” Janet replied.  “Give me a minute...I’m sorry...things are still a little foggy.”

“I know they can be,” Lee answered sympathetically as he sat down next to her on the bed. 

Jamie came in to check on Janet and saw Lee there.  “Any word on Chip?” he asked while taking Janet’s pulse and then took his stethoscope off his neck and listened to her heart.

“Maybe, but I need Janet’s help and she’s having trouble remembering.”

“Lee you know what it’s like when you have a concussion.  Give her a little time.”

“Jamie, right now time is not on our side.”

“Peters,” Janet said.  “Chip said her last name was Peters.  I thought it was funny that you were looking for Diana Parker and he went out on a date with a Diana Peters.”

“Thanks sweetie.  They might be the same person but at least I can check out all the Peters.  Gotta go and look on the computer.”  He quickly gave Janet a kiss goodbye.  “I’ll be back later for dinner.”

Lee ran out of Med Bay and to his car.  He returned to the office, booted up his computer and went to the ONI site where he had access to a program that traces people.  He wondered why she lied to Chip about her last name.  Maybe she didn’t want him to know who she really was.  He wouldn’t know her from ONI as he hadn’t been there since she started working there. Taking a chance that she came out her to see her brother, Lee typed her name and California into the computer.  He found about two hundred Diana Parkers.  He was able to track down quite a few of them and so far none of them were the Diana Parker he was looking for.  He looked at his watch and was surprised how late it was as he promised Janet he would have dinner with her.  Lee turned off his computer and the lights in his office.  He took his jacket and noticed the only person left was the admiral.  He knocked on the door to his office.

“Angie and Wanda left already?” Lee said entering the admiral’s office.

“You still here?” the admiral asked.  “They left early so they could go visit Janet.  It was too busy during the day for them to go earlier.”

“Just leaving,” he replied and told him about Chip going on a date with Diana.  “I’m checking them all out but it’s a slow process.  Would you care to join me and Janet for dinner? I’m going to get something from the cafeteria.”

Smiling, “Thanks, Lee but I’ve got a little more work to finish up here and then I’m going home.  Sally has dinner already made.”

“Good night admiral,” Lee said as he walked out of the office and out to his car.  He stopped at the cafeteria and picked up some chicken soup and rolls for dinner.


Wanda and Angie found Janet awake when they stopped in to see her.  They both gave her a hug. 

“How are you feeling...do you need anything?” Angie asked.

“I’m okay.  Just have a headache.  I really want to go home but Jamie won’t let me out until tomorrow.  Anything on Chip?  Lee was going to get us dinner but he must be involved with something,” Janet sighed.

“He wanted the last name of the girl Chip went out with.  Did you give it to him?” Wanda inquired.

“Yes, my memory is a little foggy but I finally remembered it.  Chip said it was Peters,” Janet replied with a yawn.

The women stayed for a few more minutes before they left.  “If Lee doesn’t get here soon, he’s going to have to eat dinner by himself.  All I want to do is sleep,” Janet told them.  They gave her a kiss good bye and left just as Lee was walking in the door of Med Bay.  “Thanks for stopping and keeping her company,” Lee said appreciatively.

Angie smile and said, “It’s a good thing you’re here now as I don’t think Janet’s going to be awake much longer.”

“I know I got hung up looking up all the Diana Parker’s.”

“Lee if you need help, we’ll be happy to pitch in.  We miss Chip too,” Angie said sadly.

“Thanks,” Lee replied as they walked out the door.


Lee went to Janet’s room and found her with her eyes closed.  “Sweetie, are you awake?”

Opening her eyes Janet replied, “Yes Lee, just resting.  What did you bring for dinner? It smells good.”

He put the soup and bread on the bed tray.  As they were eating dinner, Janet said, “I know I have to tell you something but I just can’t remember what it is.  It’s so frustrating.”

“Please don’t worry about it.  You’ll remember.”  He cleaned up dinner and sat down next to her holding her hand. 

“Lee, go home and get some rest.  You look beat,” Janet told him.  “I’ll be fine.”

“No, as soon as Jamie leaves and Betty does her last check on you, I’m climbing in bed with you.  I miss holding you in my arms.”

“What if we get caught,” Janet snickered.

“We won’t,” Lee chuckled.

Jamie came in and checked on Janet.  “I’ll let you go home tomorrow afternoon only if you promise me you’ll rest and not do anything.”

“I promise,” Janet replied happily.

“Jamie, I can’t stay with her.  I’m still trying to find Chip and Diana,” Lee replied rubbing his forehead, “Are you sure she’ll be okay by herself.”

“She’s not like you,” Jamie snorted.  “If I tell her not to do anything, she won’t.”

They all laughed at that remark.  “Good night and Hazel will leave the two of you alone for the rest of the night,” he smiled.

Jamie turned down the lights in the hallway, grabbed his briefcase and left Med Bay.

Once Lee knew Jamie was gone he climbed in bed with Janet, fully dressed and wrapped his arm around her.  He really missed her.  “Good night sweetheart.”

“Good night, honey.”  Janet fell asleep after a few minutes but Lee laid there thinking about how he was going to find Diana.


Diana got to work and knew she would be very busy today.  They had another catering job to set up and even though she wanted to go home at some time during the day, she knew it wasn’t going to happen.  She and Terry brought the food to the catering job.  The servers had everything set up and were just waiting for them so they could serve the food.  Diana noticed Jason Weldon standing there.  Where have I seen him? she thought.  But she didn’t have time to think about it.  She helped the servers put the food on the trays and watched as they served the lunch.  This luncheon wasn’t as large as yesterday’s so the clean up wouldn’t take as long.  She would have to help Terry get the room ready for his meeting tomorrow.  There would be high ranking officials from all over the world and they bought a lot of drugs.  She would take the file with her and see if she could sell it to one of them as someone there should be interested in ONI’s field operatives and where they were. 

When the luncheon was over Terry and Diana left with the remaining food, brought it back to the shop and put it with the extra food Terry had the chef make.   As a bonus for all the hard work the staff had done the last few weeks, they would serve the food to the servers and other staff who worked at the catering company.  He had the cooking staff set up tables in the front of the shop.  He figured if he kept his staff happy they would less likely to nose around in his business.  After everyone had finished with lunch and cleaned up they were free to leave for the day.  Since they had no catering jobs on Thursday, they would have the day off.  There would be no one around when the visitors came for his meeting.  Diana went upstairs to help her brother set up for the meeting so she got home later than she expected. 


As soon as she arrived at home she went into her room to check on Chip.  She looked at him and thought he was still asleep.  She really wanted to make love to him but she wanted him to be awake and enjoy it as much as she would.

Diana removed her clothes and climbed in bed with him. “Wake up honey,” she said to Chip gently rubbing his cheek. She kissed him very softly as she pressed her body close to his while she put her hand on his stomach and worked her way down his body.

Chip pretending to be asleep used every ounce of self-control he had not to succumb to her touch.  Just as she was going to remove his briefs, the telephone rang.  She ignored it as she kissed him a little harder and longer.  The phone stopped ringing and she continued to explore Chip’s body.  The phone rang again. 

“Damn. Terry better be in trouble to use our phone signal,” Diana said as she put on her robe and took the phone out of her purse.  She walked out of the bedroom as she called Terry back. 

Chip heard her talking on the phone and took a deep breath.  That was close.  I don’t know how much longer I would have lasted without giving in, he thought.  Diana ended her call and returned to the bedroom.

“Sorry honey, we’ll have to continue our love making later.  Terry has a problem at the shop and he needs me to help him,” she said to Chip kissing him on the cheek.  Chip ‘woke up’ just as she was getting ready to leave.   “I see you’re awake,” she noticed, “I’ll be back soon.”   Chip heard the front door slam as she left.


Chip was awake when Diana returned home. He had no idea what time it was as there wasn’t clock in the room. He didn’t know what drug Diana was giving him.  He was nauseated, dizzy and still had a headache but knew if he wanted to escape he would have to act now.  He hoped his size would have an advantage over her and he didn’t care if he hurt her; he just wanted to be free.  

Diana removed her clothes and climbed back in bed with him. “Chip honey.”

“I’m awake,” Chip stuttered.  “I’ve been waiting for you to come home.”

She kissed him very softly as she pressed her body close to his.  He returned her kiss.  “That’s better” she purred kissing him again.

“Diana I really want to be with you,” Chip slurred, “but it would be so much better if you would un-chain my wrist.”  Chip kissed her again harder and longer and put his free hand on her breast.  “Oh Chip,” Diana gasped.

Hesitating, “Okay,” she said as she reached over to the night table and took the key from a black box.  She undid the lock on the chain and put the key on the table.  She scooted back under the covers where Chip gently caressed her body as she ran her hands down his. Distracting her with another passionate kiss, he tried to pick up the box from the night table to hit her over the head but it fell out of his hand.  Before she could react, he grabbed her arms pinning them behind her back but he had underestimated her strength and his lack of coordination as she broke free, and re-chained him only both his wrists were now shackled to the bed.  She slapped him across the face the ring on her finger putting a deep scratch his face.

“Damn you,” Diana yelled realizing he was just using her to escape.  “I should have known you really didn’t care about me.” She got up from the bed.  She knew that he was becoming addicted to the Xanax so she wasn’t going to give him any more pills.  He would start to feel awful as he body craved the pills.

“I’m sorry...please let me go,” Chip pleaded. 

 She stormed out of the bedroom and into the kitchen.  Chip fell asleep a few minutes later relieved he wouldn’t have to deal with her again that night.


Lee and Janet woke up at 0600.  Lee kissed Janet good morning and hopped out of the bed.  He didn’t want to get caught in bed with her.  “I’m going to go home, shower, change and I’ll be back with some breakfast. Cookie’s making pancakes today.  Sweetie, I’m afraid I won’t be able to spend much time with you this morning.  I still have quite a few names to check out.”

“Don’t worry about me,” Janet replied, “Just find Chip.  When you come back could you please bring me another set of clothes to wear home?”

“Sure, I’ll be back soon,” he replied and left before anyone arrived at Med Bay.  Betty, the night nurse, was at the desk and smiled as she saw him leave. 

Lee was back in forty-five minutes with Janet’s clothes and breakfast.  He brought her some decaf coffee, along with three pancakes and some bacon.  He had the same amount of food as she did only he had regular coffee.

“Are you feeding an army,” Janet asked when she saw all the food. 

“Sweetie, that should be the Navy,” he grinned as he put out the food on the table by the window.  He helped her out of bed and over to the table.  They sat at the table looking out at the ocean while they ate breakfast.    

Surprisingly the two of them ate everything and were cleaning up when Jamie walked in to check on Janet.  He saw the empty plates and smiled.  “You must of have been hungry as you ate everything.”

“How do you know how much food we ate,” Janet smirked. 

“Cookie always reports to me what food is brought into Med Bay so I know what and how much my patients are eating,” Jamie retorted.  “I need to know so I can mark it on your chart.”

“Sorry Jamie,” Janet replied, “You have spies everywhere.”

“I have to stay two steps ahead of you,” Jamie grinned.  “How are you feeling today?”

“Better only have a slight headache and don’t feel as tired as before.  I’m still going home this afternoon aren’t I?”

“Yes, as long as everything checks out normal.”  He took her blood pressure, listened to her heart and took her pulse.  “Everything looks good.  But remember you still need to rest. I don’t want you returning to work until Monday.  No reading, exercising or computer work.”

“Jamie, I can’t just stay at home and do nothing.”

“Yes, that is exactly what you’re going to do.” As Jamie was putting his stethoscope back around his neck, Betty came running in.  “Jamie, there’s been an accident on the dock.  One of the men fell and broke his arm.  We’re going to need you in room two.  He should be here any minute.”

Lee stood up quickly and with a worried look on his faced asked, “Betty do we know who it is?”  He was always concerned when someone whether it be a crewmen or a worker assigned to Seaview was hurt.

“I believe his name is Jason Newman,” Betty replied as Jamie left to prepare for the injured man’s arrival.

”Thanks Betty. Please keep me informed on how he is doing,” Lee asked. “I’ll be at the office all morning,”.

“Yes sir.  I’ll make sure to tell Hazel in case I’m not around.”

“Sweetie, I’ve got to go down to the dock and find out how he fell and broke his arm,” Lee told Janet as he got ready to leave.

“Lee, I remember what I needed to tell you,” Janet said excitedly.  “When Chip and I were at the luncheon, Jason Weldon was working there as a server for our table.  We didn’t say anything to him as we figured he was undercover.”

“Jason as a server for a catering company,” Lee pondered, “I better let him know about the stolen file so he can be prepared to pull out if his cover is blown.”

“Lee I hope it’s not too late.  I would hate for him to be hurt because I couldn’t remember,” Janet replied softly.

“Don’t worry.  Jason’s a good agent and would know if there was a problem,” Lee reassured her as he gave her a quick kiss good bye.

As Lee was leaving they were bringing in Jason Newman.  Lee stopped to talk to him and told him he would be by later to check on him.  He took his phone out of his pocket and looked for Jason’s number as he walked out of Med Bay and stood by his car.  He pressed the call button and hoped he hadn’t gone to work already since it was a little after 0800.  Jason answered the phone on third ring.

“Jason.  It’s Lee Crane.”

“Hi Lee, what can I do for you?” he asked not surprised that he was calling him after seeing Janet and Chip.

“Jason, are you on an undercover assignment?” Lee asked.  “If so your cover could be in jeopardy.”  Lee told him about the file being stolen and how he was looking for Diana.

“Lee, Diana works for her brother and he owns the catering company.  She’s right here in Santa Barbara.   She returned to California on Monday.  When we did the luncheon on Tuesday, she looked at me like she might have recognized me but so far I’ve haven’t had any trouble.  I’m surprised Janet or Chip didn’t tell you.”

“Neither one of them knew who she was as they haven’t been to ONI since she started working there.  Chip ran into her accidentally in Las Vegas when he was on vacation.  They were run off the road on their way back from the luncheon and now Chip’s missing too.”

“Sorry to hear that, is Janet okay?”

“A concussion and some bruises.  She’s coming home today,” Lee explained.  “Can you tell me why you’re undercover as a server?”

“The catering company is a cover for Terry Parker’s drug operation. He’s well known all over the world so there are three other agencies involved besides ONI, the DEA, CIA, and the Santa Barbara police department.  In fact we’re raiding the place this afternoon as there are a lot of bigwigs from the PR and other countries in town and he’s throwing a big party for them.”

“Jason, you haven’t seen that file around there have you?” Lee asked knowing that he would have checked out any and all the paperwork in the place.

“No Lee, I didn’t see it. Maybe Diana has it at her house.  She lives with her brother not too far from the catering company.”

Running his hand through his hair, “Do you have her address?” Lee asked.

“Yes, hold on a second I’ve got to look it up.  It’s in my notes somewhere,” Jason answered as Lee could hear him flipping through some paper.  He found the paper and gave the address to Lee.  “Do you think she’s involved in Chip’s disappearance?”

“I’m not sure at this point.  I’m going to check out her house today.  What are her working hours?”

“She should be at the catering company now and usually stays until 4:00 or 5:00.  Lee, please don’t do anything to foul up this raid.  We’ve been after this guy for months.”

“Don’t worry Jason.  I’ll make sure to keep away from you,” Lee replied.  “Jason, good luck and be careful.”

“Thanks, Lee be careful too and I hope you find Chip.”

Lee disconnected the call, unlocked the car and got in.  He needed to get to Diana’s right away.  He would stop at the office and tell the admiral what he was doing in case he got into trouble.  He would then go home and change his clothes.  He didn’t want anyone to see him in uniform at Diana’s house.


Once back at the office Lee stopped at Angie’s desk before going into the Admiral’s office.  “Angie, is the admiral in?”

“Yes, Lee,” she answered as she continued typing.

Lee knocked on the door but didn’t wait for the admiral to answer.

Looking up from his paperwork, the admiral asked, “Problem Lee?”  Lee didn’t usually just barge into his office unless something was wrong.

“I might have a line on the missing file,” he told him.

“Continue,” the admiral replied tapping his pencil on the desk.  Lee told him about his conversation with Jason about Diana and being undercover.  “I’m going to check out Diana’s house to see if the file is there.  If I don’t come back at least you’ll know where I am.”

“Please be careful,” the admiral sighed.

Lee walked out of the office and to his car where he went home, changed his clothes and went to look for Diana’s house.


Diana fell asleep on the couch and woke up the next morning with a sore neck.   Terry would wonder why she was sleeping on the couch so it was a good thing that he didn’t come home last night.  She stood up and stretched, Damn him, she thought. How could I have been so stupid? As she stood there, she realized she had a bigger problem...what was she going to do with Chip as she knew he didn’t want be with her.  Diana knew if she kept giving him the drugs, he would overdose on them and die. Maybe she would turn him over to the buyer of the file.  She figured he must know a lot of information about that submarine and the Nelson Institute.  She would decide later on.  She went into the bedroom, checked on Chip and saw he was still sleeping.  Diana stood next the bed seething, why didn’t you want me? I love you and want you so badly, she thought.  Chip stirred and slowly opened his eyes.  He closed them quickly again and re-opened them his vision was blurry and he saw two of Diana.  He closed his eyes again afraid to open them.  Diana just left him and went into the bathroom to get ready for work. 

Since Terry had that meeting today, Diana put on a sexy red dress and heels.  She knew Terry was counting on her to coax the men into buying a lot of drugs. She also wanted to find a buyer for the file.  Before leaving she checked on Chip again and saw he was still sleeping.  She looked at her watch and saw she was running late.  Terry wanted her there early so she could help him set up the buffet.  She quickly shut the door to her room and ran out of the house.  Chip heard her leave and breathed a sigh of relief that he wouldn’t have to deal with her for awhile.


Lee programmed Diana’s address into his phone.  The GPS directed him to the south side of Santa Barbara in a small neighborhood of Spanish style houses.  He found the house and was able to park right in front.  It had a courtyard in the front which helped conceal the front door. Before going into the house, he walked around the perimeter making sure there were no alarms.  He saw there were none so he walked back to the front of the house and rang the doorbell.  He waited for someone to answer, when no one came to the door, he took out his lock pick and opened the front door, quickly went inside shutting the door behind him.  The house wasn’t very big so it wouldn’t take him too long to search it.  He walked over to door on his left and opened it.  It must be Terry’s room.  He searched through everything but didn’t find the file.  Going to the door on the left, he opened it and noticed the all the shades and curtain were drawn.

“Please help me,” a voice slurred.

Lee stopped dead in his tracks as he would recognize that voice anywhere.  “Chip,” Lee said quickly.  He lifted the shade on the window to let some light in the room.  He saw his best friend and ‘brother’ shackled to the bed in only his briefs and had a large cut on his cheek.  Lee ran over to him and knew that he had been drugged.  He could only wonder what Diana had done to him.

“Chip, can you hear me,” Lee asked frantically.

Squinting from the sudden light in the room, “Lee,” he replied softly.  “You finally got here.”

 “Chip, do you know where the key is for the chains?”

“Black box,” he answered.

Lee looked for a black box and saw it on the table next to the bed.  He found the key and un-locked the chains from Chip’s wrist.  He helped him sit up while he rubbed his wrists.  “Take it easy, buddy.  I’ll get you out of here.”  Chip just sat there on the bed.  Lee searched for his clothes and found them in the closet.  He quickly dressed Chip.  “Can you sit here for another minute? I need to find that file.”

Chip nodded his head.  “Thirsty.”

Lee went into the bathroom and brought him a glass of water.  He saw the bottle of pills on the sink and put them in his pocket.  He knew Chip was in bad shape but he had to find the file.  He searched Diana’s room and found nothing.  “I’m going to leave you for a few minutes,” Lee explained to Chip who had a frightened look on face.  “Don’t worry bro I won’t leave you here,” Lee assured him patting him on the shoulder.

Dressed in a purple shirt and blue jeans, Lee went into the living room and looked in all the drawers and chests.  His last one was a white cabinet with a brown bowl on top in front of the window with lace curtains and flowered drapes.  He stooped down and just as he was about to open the cabinet he heard someone at the door.  With a surprised look on his face, he went back into the room with Chip and put his finger to his lips.  Chip shook his head showing he understood that Lee didn’t want him to make any noise.

“Damn,” Diana said when she entered the house. 

Lee opened the door a crack to see who had come in.  It was Diana and she was by the white cabinet.  She opened the door and rummaged through it before pulling out the file.  She was ready to walk out the door when she came back and headed for the bedroom to check on Chip.  Lee closed the door and hid behind it.

“What the hell is going on here,” Diana yelled when she saw Chip was dressed and sitting on the bed.  Before she could turn around, Lee grabbed her wrists.  She struggled trying to get away but she was no match for Lee.  He dragged her kicking to the bed, wrapped the chains around her wrists and shackled her to the bed.  As much as he wanted to hit her, he kept his self-control and picked up the file she dropped on the floor.

“Thank you for finding the file for me,” Lee smirked.

“You’ll pay for this,” Diana hissed.

Lee helped Chip off the bed and wrapped his arms around his waist and practically carried him to the car.  He left Diana screaming at the top of her lungs to let her go.  Lee put Chip in the car, belted him in and before he drove away called Med Bay.

Hazel answered the phone, “Hello....”

“Get Jamie right away,” Lee told her before she could finish talking.

“Yes sir,” she replied recognizing the urgency in Lee’s voice.

“Yes, Lee what is it?” Jamie said quickly.

“I’ve got Chip and he’s in bad shape.  Look’s like he’s been drugged.  I have the bottle with me,” Lee told him.  “We should be there in twenty minutes...You better meet us outside...He can’t walk.  Please call the admiral and tell him.”

“Okay Lee,” Jamie told him.  He called Hazel, John and Frank over to the desk where he took the call.  They could see whatever he had to tell them was an emergency.

“Commander Crane is bringing in Mr. Morton.  He should be here in twenty minutes.   John and Frank set up room two.  We’ll need blood work, IV and a drug screen.   Hazel, please call the institute office and tell whoever answers the phone that Mr. Morton has been found and being brought here.  And then tell Janet,” Jamie ordered.

“Yes sir,” the three of them replied as John and Frank ran down to room two.  Hazel picked up the phone and dialed the institute office.

Angie answered the phone, “Admiral Nelson’s office.”

“Angie, this Hazel, get me the admiral,” she said quickly.  Angie dialed the admiral’s office and put the call through immediately.

“Hello,” the admiral answered immediately.

“Commander Crane is bringing in Mr. Morton.  It sounds like he’s in bad shape,” Hazel reported.

“Thanks.  I’ll be right there,” the admiral replied dropping his pencil and running out to Angie’s office.

“Lee found Chip...he’s taking him to Med Bay...I’ll let you know how he is,” the admiral told her as he ran to the elevator.  Wanda had just come up from downstairs so the elevator was waiting when the admiral got there.

“Where’s he going in such a hurry,” Wanda asked Angie who was in the reception area.

Taking a deep breath she replied, “Lee found Chip and he’s on his way to Med Bay.”

The two of them stood there.  They only had an hour left of work before they could leave to go to Med Bay but knew it would be a very long hour.


The admiral drove to Med Bay, parked his car and ran inside.  He met John, Frank and Hazel waiting by the door to bring out the gurney to Lee’s car as soon as he arrived.  Jamie was pacing waiting for Lee.  Janet was also there waiting for them to bring him in.  The admiral joined the group as they waited. 

Lee sped through the streets of Santa Barbara and finally on to NIMR Drive. Once he got to the security gate, he didn’t bother to stop and sped down the street to the front of Med Bay.  John saw him first and brought out the gurney before Lee’s car made it to the front door.  They quickly un-strapped Chip’s seat belt and gently laid him on the gurney.  Jamie did a quick assessment and shook his head.

“Get him in there now,” he shouted as he ran along side the gurney.  The admiral and Janet got a quick glance at him as they ran by.  They noticed a bad scratch on his face that hadn’t been taken care off. While he wasn’t unconscious, he had a confused look on his face and was shaking. 

Lee followed him in and ran into the room with Jamie.  He took the bottle of pills out of his pocket and handed them to Jamie.  “I found these in the bathroom.  I don’t know if that’s what she’s been giving him.”

Jamie took the pills from Lee, “Go wait outside. Let me get him stable and run some tests to see if this is what he’s been given and as soon as I find out I will let you know.”

Lee was about to protest when Jamie said, “Please Lee.”  Lee left the room and stood right outside the door watching them as they inserted an IV, took some blood and cleaned up the scratch on his face.  Janet came up along side of him and put her arm around his waist.  “He’ll be okay,” she told him tears welling up in her eyes.  Lee put his arm around her waist and pulled her close.  “I sure hope so.” The admiral stood there with them as they continued to watch Jamie and his staff work on him. 

Frank and John were taking the gurney out of the room so they had to move away from the door.   “Where are you taking him?” Lee asked worriedly.

“For a CT scan,” Jamie answered patiently, “he said he had a headache and was nauseated when he woke up. I’m just checking for a concussion.”  Jamie motioned for Frank and John to continue down the hall.  When they brought him back a little later, Jamie still wouldn’t let the three of them in his room.

Lee explained to the admiral what took place at Diana’s house as they paced up and down the hallway while Janet sat in a chair Lee brought from her room to the hallway by Chip’s room.

Jamie finally came out of the room to the anxious faces of the admiral, Lee and Janet.  “First, he does have a concussion.  Second, I got the blood tests back and he’s got quite a bit of Xanax in his system.  I’m going to have to wean him off slowly from the drug. If I take him off to fast he could have convulsions so he’ll be here for two to three days. If they had kept giving him that dosage for another day, he could have gone into a coma.”

Janet asked, “What is Xanax? I’ve never heard of it before.

Jamie responded, “It’s a drug they use for anxiety or panic attacks.  It a quick acting drug but very addictive. It’s the most abused drug of the benzodiazepines. Whoever gave it to him would need a doctor’s prescription to obtain it.”

Sighing Lee said, “Diana would have no trouble getting it as her brother is a drug dealer.”

“Why would she give it to Chip?” Janet wondered.

“When you first start taking the drug it could make you sleepy, dizzy, and nauseated among other symptoms.  She gave it to him so she could control him,” Jamie explained.  “I also noticed he has chafing marks on his wrist.”

“She had him shackled to the bed frame,” Lee replied disgustedly.  “Chip will have to tell us what happened in that room if he can remember.”

“Can we see him now,” the admiral asked after listening to what Jamie told them.

“Yes, you can see him for a few minutes.  He’s going to be sleepy, maybe dizzy and have a headache.  Coming down is almost like getting over a hangover.”

The four of them went into Chip’s room.  Lee and Janet went over to one side of his bed and the admiral and Jamie to the other.  He opened his eyes and gave them a weak smile.

“I’m fine,” he slurred. 

Smirking Lee replied, “Sure you are.”

He saw Janet standing next to Lee and reached for her hand, “Are you okay?” he asked vaguely recalling the accident.

“Yes, I’m fine.  Please don’t worry about me,” Janet replied rubbing his hand holding back her tears.

“I’m really tired,” Chip said as he closed his eyes. 

“He’s going to be sleeping for awhile,” Jamie told them, “so you can all leave. I’ll have John or Frank stay with him.”

Janet piped up, “I’m staying too.”  She pulled up a chair next to his bed, sat down and held his hand.

“Janet, you need to rest too,” Jamie responded.

“I can rest right here.  Please let me stay,” she implored.

Jamie sighed deeply. “Just for a little while.”  He knew if he didn’t let her stay, Lee or the admiral would.  So he took the lesser of two evils as he knew Janet wouldn’t get in the way.  Frank took Chip’s vitals and recorded them on his chart leaving Janet and Jamie with Chip.

Lee gave Janet a quick kiss.  “Sweetie, I have a few phone calls to make. I’ll be back shortly.”  She nodded her head and gave his hand a squeeze.

The admiral followed Lee out of Chip’s room.  Running his hand through his hair he remarked, “That was close.  Thank goodness you found him when you did.”

“Admiral, it was just luck as I had no idea he was there,” Lee replied taking a deep breath as he explained to the admiral how he found Chip and had Diana chained to the bed. “I’ve got to call Admiral Johnson and Jason Weldon.  I don’t want to leave Diana chained there forever.  She needs to be punished for what she did to Chip.”

The admiral was going back to the office when Angie and Wanda ran into Med Bay.  “Is Chip okay...can we see him?” Angie asked out of breath.

“He’s resting.  Janet and Jamie are with him but I don’t think Jamie will mind if you take a peek at him.”  They quietly went into Chip’s room.  They noticed the scratch on his face, how pale he was along with being scruffy. Nothing like the clean shaven polished Chip they’re used to seeing.

Wanda whispered to Jamie, “Will he be alright?”

“Yes, it’s going to be a few days but he’ll be fine.” 

Janet got up so they could sit down.  Each one of them grabbed onto a hand.  Janet stood by the window with Jamie.  “Is he really going to be alright?” Janet asked worriedly looking at Chip.

“Have I ever lied to you,” he asked honestly.

“No, never,” Janet replied quietly.  Angie and Wanda stayed for a few more minutes before Jamie shooed them out.  Janet went out into the hall with them.  “We’ll stop by before work tomorrow,” Angie told Janet and Jamie.  They gave Janet a hug and left Med Bay.  Janet went back into Chip’s room and sat in the chair.  She took his hand and held on to it.


Lee went outside to make his phone calls.  He called Admiral Johnson first.  “Johnson,” he answered gruffly.

“Admiral, it’s Lee.  I just wanted to let you know that I have the file.  I found Diana Parker here in Santa Barbara with the help of Jason Weldon,” he told the admiral and explained to him how he found it and Chip too.   “How soon do you need the file back?” Lee inquired.

“Thanks Lee,” Johnson replied gratefully.  “I would like it as soon as a possible so I’ll ask Jason to pick it up and bring it to me.  He’s going to be leaving Santa Barbara tomorrow. 

“Thank you, sir.”  Lee heard Johnson disconnect the call.  Good.  I don’t have to go to Washington, Lee thought.

Lee didn’t know what time they were going to conduct the raid on Terry’s place so he sent Jason a text message letting him know he had the file and Chip.  He called the sheriff’s department to let them know he found Chip and that Diana was chained to the bed.  He figured the police would be knocking on his door with a lot of questions very soon.  Lee then called Chip’s parents and his mom answered the phone.

“Hi mom, it’s Lee.  We found him.  He’s going to be okay.”

Lee could hear her take a deep breath and let it out.  “Where did you find him...what’s wrong with him...can I talk to him?” she asked quickly.

“He’s got a concussion and a few bruises.  He’s in Med Bay right now sleeping.  I’ll have him call you tomorrow when he’s awake.”  Lee knew Chip wouldn’t want them to know all the details so Lee would let him tell her what he wanted them to know.

“Thanks for calling Lee,” his mom replied, “Did you find that girl you were looking for and was it the one Chip was with?”

“Yes, I found her and it was the same girl.  Thanks for the help.”

“Anytime and I’ll call Chip tomorrow.  Bye Lee.”

”Take care, bye.”  Lee hung up the phone, went back in Med Bay and Chip’s room.  Janet was sitting by his bed holding onto his hand.  He pulled up a chair and sat down next to her.

“Take care of all your calls?” she asked softly.

“Yes.  I called Admiral Johnson regarding the file but I don’t have to go to Washington.  I texted Jason to let him know I found the file and Chip. Admiral Johnson is going to have Jason bring the file back to Washington.”  Lee hesitated for a minute.

“Is there more?” Janet asked sensing he wasn’t finished.

Sighing, “Yes, I also called the sheriff’s department.  I’m sure Officer Little will be here with a lot of questions.”

Letting out a small laugh Janet said, “I’m sure you’ll handle him just fine.  You always manage to wiggle out of those situations.”

Giving her a wry grin, “I hope so.”  She pulled her chair closer to his and laid her head on his shoulder. He kissed her gently on the temple. 

“I also called Chip’s parents and let them know we found him and he had a concussion and some bruises, I didn’t go into much detail.  He’ll have to decide how much he wants them to know.”

“He’s just like you so they won’t get to many details from him,” Janet replied honestly.

They sat there for little while before Jamie came in to check on Chip.  As he was looking him over, he woke up.   “How are you feeling?” Jamie asked as he checked his vitals

Trying to sit up, “Crappy!  I feel like I’ve got a hangover,” Chip responded and laid back down.

“You’re going to feel like that for a couple of days,” Jamie replied explaining to him what would happen as he weaned him off the drugs.  “You’ll be here for at least three days.” 

Lee and Janet both chuckled when they heard him groan.  “You also have a concussion.  So that would have kept you here any way.”

“Janet, I don’t remember too much after we left the luncheon on Tuesday, what happened?”

“I don’t recall much either only that we were run off the road by a van,” Janet answered.

“Both of you had severe concussions so you might not remember too much or nothing at all. It could take few weeks to remember,” Jamie told them.  “Now you both need to rest.  Janet and Lee are going to go home right now so she can rest and you can too.”

Janet was about to protest but Lee piped up, “Come on sweetheart, I’ll take you home get you settled.  Then I’ll come back and stay with Chip.”

“No you won’t,” the admiral said as he walked in the door.  “You need to stay home with Janet. I’ll stay with him.”

“Nobody needs to stay with me,” Chip said tiredly.  “I’m only going to sleep so I don’t need someone to watch me sleep,” he yawned.

“I agree with Chip,” Jamie agreed.  “Betty will be here and will watch over him, so all of us will go home.”

Lee could see Janet was tired so he agreed to stay home with her.  The admiral also sided with Jamie.  The three of them walked out of Med Bay.  Lee opened the car and held the door for Janet.  She yawned as she got in the car which didn’t get past Lee or the admiral.

“Did you call Johnson,” the admiral asked as Lee shut the car door. 

“Yes sir but I don’t need to go to Washington. Jason Weldon is going to bring the file to Admiral Johnson. But I might have a problem with the police.  I called them and told them where Diana was,” Lee answered rubbing his forehead.

“Mmm,” the admiral said.  “Let’s hope they’ll understand when you tell them you were working for the government on a top secret mission.”

Grinning Lee replied, “That might work.”

“You better get Janet home.  I think she’s fallen asleep in the car.”

“Thank you Admiral.  I’ll see you tomorrow.”  Lee went to the driver’s side, got in, and started the car.  “Sweetheart, are you awake?”

“I’m awake, just resting,” Janet replied softly opening her eyes. 

The admiral watched them drive away.  Taking a deep breath he let it out relieved that everything had worked out.  He got into his car and drove home looking forward to a large glass of Glenlivet.


When Lee and Janet got home, Lee took her bag out of the car and unlocked the door. It seemed like ages since the two of them had been home together. 

“Are you hungry,” Lee asked looking in the refrigerator for something to eat.  He looked in the freezer and spotted the brownies.  He took the package out to thaw but would have to wait until later to eat them as he looked at his wife and could tell she was up to no good.

“No not really.  Can we just go to bed,” Janet replied going over to her husband, putting her arms around his neck and gave him a passionate kiss.  He returned her kiss, took her hand and led her upstairs.  They slowly undressed each other and got into bed pulling the covers over them.  As he lay along side of her, he kissed her gently.  She returned his kiss, spreading her lips so he deepened his kiss as he lowered himself down on her.  “Oh Lee,” she murmured as they joined.  They laid next to each other trying to catch their breath.  Janet had her hand on his chest as he wrapped his arms around her.  “That was worth the wait,” he sighed pleasantly as Janet also sighed in contentment. 

Janet fell asleep a few minutes later.  Trying not to wake her, Lee slowly un-wrapped his arms from around her and got out of bed.  He quietly put on a t-shirt and shorts and went downstairs.  He was hungry and remembered the brownies he had left on the counter.  He made a pot of coffee and sat at the table eating a brownie when he heard Janet come into the kitchen an hour later.  “Are you going to eat them all or can I have one,” Janet asked hungrily.

After getting her a cup of coffee, Lee handed her a brownie.  “These are really good.  Not the best dinner but they’ll due,” he laughed as he took another brownie off the plate.  They finished up the pot of coffee and the plate of brownies before they went back upstairs.  They climbed into bed, Lee as usual wrapped his arm around Janet and they both fell asleep.


Lee and Janet went to Med Bay the next morning to check on Chip.  He was awake but had a headache and was still feeling hung over.

“I’ve never felt this bad even after drinking too much,” he remarked.  “That was some bad stuff she gave me.”

“Yes, it was,” Lee commented.  “Chip, I just want to let you know that I called your parents when you were missing.  I let them know we found you. Mom wanted to know all the details but only told her you had a concussion and bruises.  You’re going to have to tell the rest if you want to.”

“Thanks Lee.  I’m not going to tell her everything,” Chip replied seriously.  “Just like you I never tell them the whole story.  It would worry them too much.”

Smiling Lee agreed.  He continued, “I’m expecting the sheriff’s department to send someone over to talk to us.  I had to call and tell them that Diana was chained to the bed.”

“She sure was a strange woman.  I knew she was hiding something from me the first time I talked to her but I wanted to give her a second chance in case I was wrong about her.  I’ll tell you the whole story later on.  As far as the sheriff’s concern, I don’t remember too much.” Chip told Lee.

“We’ll see what happens,” Lee sighed.

“Where did Diana get the drugs and how was Jason Weldon involved?”

Lee explained to Chip that her brother was a drug dealer and that Jason was undercover as a server because they were going to raid the catering company and catch him selling drugs to people from the PR and other countries.

Lee’s phone rang so he left Chip and Janet alone while he went outside to answer the call.

“Sorry I got you involved in this mess,” Chip apologized.

“It’s not your fault.  You didn’t know what she was going to do but I think from now on you should trust your judgment when it comes to women,” Janet replied.  “I’m glad you’re going to be alright.”

Lee returned to Chip’s room with the admiral and Jamie.  Jamie checked him over and gave him his pill.

“You should start feeling better by tomorrow.  If you’re doing okay, I’ll let you go home on Sunday,” Jamie stated.

“Jamie that’s two days away, if I feel better let me go home on Saturday,” Chip bargained.  “When can I go to work...Seaview’s leaving on a mission on Tuesday...will I be able to go?”

“Yes, but only light duty for the first few days.  Janet will be able to go too and light duty also.   That means no diving, flying FS-1, only light computer work and no driving.  You’ll need rest and eat,” Jamie said directing his last comments to Janet as he knew Chip would have no problem eating after seeing what he had for breakfast.

“Yes sir,” Chip acquiesced.  Janet nodded her head too.

“He can stay with us until we leave on Tuesday,” Lee said.  “I’ll make sure they take it easy, rest and eat.”

“I hope you feed us more than brownies,” Janet giggled softly so only Lee heard.  “Lee, who was on the phone?”

“Officer Little, he’s coming over to talk to Chip about Diana.  He didn’t mention any thing about talking to me about her,” Lee replied gratefully.

Lee’s phone rang again.  He saw the number belonged to Jason Weldon.  He left the admiral with Janet, Chip and Jamie. “Hi Jason,” Lee answered.  “Everything go okay with the raid?”

“Yes perfectly.  We got them all and the goods as well.  Just wanted to let you know I got your message right after we raided the catering company and I sent the Santa Barbara police officer to release Diana and bring her back after the raid,” Jason explained. “They’ve already talked to the sheriff’s department and straightened out the details so you shouldn’t have to worry about the breaking and entering,” he continued.

“How did you explain that?” Lee asked rubbing his forehead.

“The Santa Barbara police told them about the raid and that you found Chip accidentally when we sent you over there to look for any hidden drugs.”

“Thanks Jason,” Lee said letting out a deep breath.  “I wasn’t sure how I was going to get out of that.”

“Admiral Johnson asked it I could bring the file back to DC so I’ll stop by your house and pick it up from you.  Will tomorrow afternoon be okay as I’m leaving at 1800 hours?”

“Tomorrow will be just fine,” Lee replied ending his call and was walking into Med Bay just as Officer Little pulled up in his squad car.  Lee waited for him by the front door. 

“Mr. Crane, pardon me, Commander,” Officer Little said recognizing Lee’s rank as he was in uniform.

“Officer Little, I told Mr. Morton that you would be questioning him about Diana,” Lee told him as he opened the door for him and followed him in as he led the way to Chip’s room.  Janet, the admiral and Jamie were still in Chip’s room when Lee and Officer Little entered.

“Officer, this is Admiral Nelson and Dr. Will Jamieson,” Lee said to him, “You remember Janet,” he continued.

“Ma’am, Admiral, Doctor, pleasure to meet you,” he replied removing his hat.

“I just need to ask Mr. Morton a few questions regarding Diana Parker and I have some information for him also,” Officer Little told them.

“Would you like us to leave?” the admiral asked.

“No sir, that won’t be necessary.”

“First of all, we found the van used to run you and Mrs. Crane off the road.  It belonged to Mr. Parker and was used for the luncheon at city hall to take the leftover food back.  After checking over the dents on the front of the van and the ones on your SUV they lined up perfectly.” Checking his notes he continued, “Also, Miss Parker had help carrying out her plan.  A man named Roger ran you off the road following Miss Parker’s instructions after she saw you and Mrs. Crane at the luncheon.  He also helped her bring you to her house. He came forward only after they conducted the raid and told us she threatened to kill him if he said anything. Now Mr. Morton I need you to tell me how and where you met Miss Parker.”

Chip explained, “I met her in Las Vegas last Thursday. I was there for a family reunion. We went out on Friday and Sunday.  I didn’t see her again until I woke up chained to her bed and I have no idea how I got there.  I don’t remember too much after the van pulled up along side my SUV and started pushing me off the road.”

“You didn’t see her when you returned to Santa Barbara?”

“No, I didn’t see her at the luncheon...I didn’t even know she was there,” Chip remarked.

“Mrs. Crane, did you see her at the luncheon?”

“No sir, but I did see her in the restroom at the airport.  I went to pick up Chi...Mr. Morton and she was in there when I entered the restroom but I didn’t know who she was and that Mr. Morton knew her.”

“Why didn’t you mention this before,” Officer Little asked slightly perturbed.  “Maybe we could have found her and prevented this from happening.”

“Officer, I’m sorry but I just remembered seeing her,” Janet answered guiltily, “My memory is still very fuzzy from the accident.”

Lee was getting agitated at his questioning of Janet.  Jamie put his hand on his arm, “Officer Little, both Mr. Morton and Mrs. Crane had severe concussions from the accident so it may take some time before they can remember everything that took place.”

“I’m sorry Mrs. Crane,” Officer Little apologized. “It’s just that we need all the information we can get to make sure we can hold her in jail.  I know the Feds are involved but that case isn’t connected with ours.  We can hold her for running Mr. Morton’s car off the road and kidnapping.”

Turning to Lee, Little said, “You know some people high places, Commander.”

“Just doing what I was asked to do.  I had no idea Mr. Morton was being held there,” Lee replied solemnly.

“Officer Little, what about my SUV?” Chip asked.  “Where is it...can it be driven?”

“In my opinion the insurance company will probably consider it totaled. It did flip over at least once.  It’s still at the police station but the insurance company will tow it away when we’re finished with it.   We can arrange to have someone pick up your belongings from the car.  Just let us know when they will be coming.”

“Thanks Officer,” Chip answered as he didn’t realize how badly damaged it was.

“Thanks for your help, Mr. Morton and Mrs. Crane but if you do remember anything more, please give me a call,” Officer Little asked as he handed each one of them his card.

Lee showed him out the door and returned to Chip’s room.  “Sorry about your SUV.  I guess you’ll have to get a new car,” Lee said.

“That’s going to have to wait.  We’re not going to be around much for the next few weeks so I won’t need one,” Chip lamented.  “I’ll just have to use yours.”

Jamie left to do some paperwork, the admiral was going to check in at the institute with Angie, and Lee and Janet were going to stay with Chip for a little while before Lee went to the office.  Janet was going to stay the remainder of the day and rest with Chip.


Jamie let Chip out of Med Bay on Saturday a day early because he knew he wasn’t going to be alone and that Lee would take care of him.  Lee made both Janet and Chip sit on the couch all day while he cooked, cleaned and did a few chores.

Jason Weldon stopped by the Crane’s house for the file and was glad to see Janet and Chip were doing better.  While Lee went to get the file out of the safe Janet asked, “Did you like being a server?”

“I’m done with that job, it was hard work,” Jason replied smiling.  “I have a new respect for waiters and waitresses.”

Lee handed Jason the file, “Thanks for taking this back.  We’re leaving on a mission on Tuesday and I can’t leave these two alone because they’d probably get into trouble.  Who would think a going to a luncheon would be this much of a problem,” Lee teased.

“Remember, you were supposed to go to the luncheon,” Janet reminded him.  “And you will pay us both back big time.”

Sighing Lee replied, “I can hardly wait to see what they want.”

Grinning Jason walked to the door and said “I’m glad it’s you and not me.  Take care all of you.” Lee shut the door behind him and looked at Janet and Chip.  “What do I have to do to pay you back?”

Chip looked at Janet and answered, “I haven’t decided yet.” He sat back down on the couch. 

“I’ve got a few things in mind but we’ll discuss it later,” Janet replied with a devilish grin on her face.

After Lee made sure Chip and Janet were comfortable, and they promised not to move, he went to Chip’s car and removed all his belongings along with Janet’s suit jacket.  He stood looking at the demolished car and was grateful that neither one of them was more seriously injured or killed.  He took Chip’s belongings down to his house and brought him back some clothes.  He added Janet’s jacket to the cleaning pile. 


Janet and Chip were well rested by the time Seaview was ready to depart on her mission. Jamie had cleared them for light duty so they were able to sail with them.  The crew had just finished loading all the supplies when the three of them walked onto the dock.  Lee went over to Chief Sharkey.

“Everything accounted for Chief?” Lee asked.

“Yes sir.  All supplies have been received.  We should have no parts problems on this mission.”

“Very good,” Lee answered as he went down the gangway with Janet and Chip. 

They entered to the sail hatch and went down the ladder into the control room.  Lee waited at the bottom for Janet and then Chip.  A crewman took their gear and brought it to their cabins.  The admiral came down the ladder after them.

“Ready to shove off, Lee?” he asked handing his gear to Patterson.

“Yes sir,” Lee replied. “Everything is loaded.”

Smiling at him, “Then let’s go.”

Lee headed up the ladder to the bridge and Chip started up after him when he turned around, “Mr. Morton you haven’t been cleared to drive,” Lee snorted.

“Very funny, Captain,” Chip answered as he went back down the ladder into the control room.

The admiral and Janet could barely contain their laughter.   “Looks like things are back to normal,” Janet whispered to the admiral.

“And I wouldn’t have any other way,” he replied patting her arm.

Lee directed the dock crew to pull up the gangway and untie the lines that held Seaview to the dock.  He slowly backed her out of her berth, into the channel and out to the open water.  He went back down the ladder jumping down the last three rungs to find Chip at the plotting table waiting for Lee to set the course.  Smiling at Chip, he gave him the course and told him to dive the boat. 

Seaview headed out on the first of her missions.


The End.