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1-The MOON & Stars!

2-Winter Kill

3-Deadly Counter-Attack!

4-Angel Of Mercy

5-Love Blooms!

6-Intimate Revelations

7-Season's Greetings

8-Revenge Backfires!

9-A Double Proposal

10-Stacey's Awakening

11-Merry Christmas!

12-Hawaiian Escape

13-Wedding Arrangements

14-Blessings Of Pele - The Fire Goddess!

15-Stacey's Double Rescue

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Moon Madness - 14, Copyrightę 2001-2006 By
Larry K. Hockman, "All RIGHTS RESERVED"

Blessings Of Pele - The Fire Goddess!

The pair of women was fast asleep by the time Andy, Earl, and Vince returned to the hotel. Vince's new buddies had arranged a private bachelor party for him alone in a room above a nearby local club and massage parlor. Vince had balked somewhat about going, but since Andy and Earl had already paid in advance for the entertainment, he went only to avoid offending them. They assured him it was nothing he would regret later. The room contained three lovely native Hawaiian girls clad only in flowers and grass skirts! He was offered food and drink of which he accepted a drink. The girls made sure Vince was comfortable, started some Hawaiian music, and each of the girls performed an erotic hula strip-tease to different native songs.

Vince was then treated to a relaxing massage by all three of the nude women simultaneously! The massage had done more for him than all of the dancing combined. The girls all wished him luck with his marriage, and each kissed him on the cheek while draping a lei around his neck. He had one more drink with the guys downstairs before they all left for the hotel. Vince told them the entire story of the girls' performance along the way. All points considered, the experience only made him miss Anna more than ever.

Nevertheless, Vince thanked the guys for the treat. They told him to call when he got up and they would meet for breakfast somewhere else to avoid running into the women inadvertently.

The phone rang shortly after daylight, waking Vince from a pleasant dream of a typical day of work in the state park back in Texas. He groped for the phone fruitlessly on the wrong side of the bed before he actually became coherent enough to realize he was not in his cozy cabin. Andy told him to dress casual for a day of sport fishing on a charter boat owned by a mutual friend of his and Earl's. They would be by his room in about a half hour. Andy reminded him not to forget everything he needed for the wedding that evening. They would all clean up at the boat captain's house near the marina.

Vince hastily gathered his things after putting on a pair of cut-off jeans, a T-shirt, and sneakers. He packed his shaving kit in with the conglomeration of clothes he would need for the evening. After all, he thought, why shave now if they were just going fishing. He dug out a Dallas Cowboy's football team cap as an afterthought to afford him some protection from the tropical sun. Vince had just finished scrawling a note to Anna on the back of a complimentary map of the islands he found on the nightstand when Andy knocked on the door. The other men were dressed about the same as he. Andy had his tux slung over one shoulder and a duffelbag in his other hand. Earl had only an airline flight bag in one hand and offered to help Vince by carrying his tux. Vince stopped by Anna's door just long enough to slide the note under it. Andy and Earl suppressed a laugh. Andy shook his head and told Earl, "This man has it bad for our boss!" Earl retorted, "You got that right, my friend, but in case you haven't noticed, the feeling is mutual. I can't remember ever seeing Mother with such a sweet, loving disposition." Andy turned back to Vince, "Thanks Vince. We always figured Doc just needed to meet the right man." Vince took the revelation as a compliment. The hotel clerk called them a taxi. Earl explained they would have breakfast at their friend's house and could leave their bags there. The shrill toot of a horn signaled the cab had arrived. The driver loaded their things in the trunk and headed overland across the island.

Anna and Stacey slept until the cats woke them. Moon and Crip were hungry. Anna ordered enough breakfast through room service to feed herself, Stacey, and the animals. After breakfast, the women quickly showered and dressed to take the animals outside for a much needed nature relief break for both cats. Stacey returned to the room to get leashes so they could take Moon and Crip shopping with them. Anna had promised Stacey she would help her pick out appropriate outfits to start her executive wardrobe. They flew over to the Honolulu business district and shopped most of the day, arriving back only two hours before the scheduled wedding to dress for the occasion.

The men enjoyed a spectacular day of fishing. Vince found his new buddies had not exaggerated the hospitality or the ocean skills of their friendly host captain. It was a day he would not soon forget. They had caught a variety of saltwater fish, including dorado, albacore, bonito, and tuna. The most exciting moment of the trip occurred when Vince hooked a small albacore which was swallowed whole by a nine foot shark before he could boat the smaller fish! The battle which followed lasted almost two hours. With the help of Andy, Earl, and the captain, Vince was strapped into a swiveling chair designed for fighting large marlin, . . to keep him from being dragged overboard by the shark. Vince's arms felt as though they would fall off before the shark was finally gaffed and a winch line was looped over his tail. The captain hoisted the monster aboard, quickly weighed it to avoid stress, affixed an identification tag in the dorsal fin, cut the wire leader, and then released it after taking several pictures of Vince posing defiantly with his trophy. The shark had tipped the scales at 528 pounds! Everyone toasted Vince's success on the way back to the port. The captain even hoisted a flag to signal other charter boats that a member of his party had scored a large shark. At the captain's house, his maid cooked them a fine dinner while they showered and dressed for the wedding in his lavish facilities. Vince and Earl let Andy have first go at the shower since he had to leave an hour early to meet Anna and Stacey back at the hotel. He left in a cab just as the others were about to dine. The boat captain told Vince and Earl that he would personally drive them directly to the wedding site on the crater rim. Vince thanked him for the extraordinary fishing trip and his generous island hospitality.

Andy arrived at the hotel right on time. Stacey was clad in the lavender dress with a large white oleander blossom pinned above her brow within her fine blond hair when she opened the door for Andy. He complimented her beauty and confided that his brother would probably fall at her feet had he been fortunate enough to see her at that moment. Stacey blushed slightly and politely asked him to have a glass of champagne while she helped Anna with the final touches of her wedding ensemble in the bathroom. Stacey said they would only be a few more minutes. A limousine had already been summoned to take them to the crater rim where the ceremony was to be held.

Stacey emerged from the bathroom shortly. Moon and Crip had taken advantage of Andy's presence and enticed him into rubbing their ears. Stacey handed him her camera from the bed, explaining that she wanted him to take several pictures of her and Anna on the balcony with the ocean as the background. She showed him where to stand and prefocused the lens for that distance.

Andy stood in awe when Anna made her entrance from the concealment of the bathroom. He told her he had never seen a more strikingly beautiful, picture-perfect bride! She thanked him for his approval, then jokingly added that blatant flattery would not get him a raise or a promotion. He added that Vince was a very lucky man. After a quick, private photo session with the ladies, aside from a few shots with the cats as well, the phone rang to inform them the limo was waiting in front of the lobby. Stacey and Andy gathered up the long, flowered train behind Anna and proceeded down the elevator with the cats following obediently.

Many curious tourists took snapshots of the group going through the lobby and past the restaurant. Little did Anna know that a tremendous flurry of activity would take place on the beach behind the hotel as soon as she was gone. The entire hotel staff had been making preparations for the surprise reception luau all morning. Before the wedding ceremony was over, the beach would be almost magically transformed into a tropical banquet center fit for royalty.

The kahuna, a Hawaiian priest, greeted them at the summit of the volcano crater. He explained how the ceremony would be arranged. Many native men and women who had helped gather the multitude of flowers, set up the arches and the podium, aside from arranging seating, would also be present to witness the ceremony. A young native girl brought Anna two bridal bouquets. One was to be thrown into the volcano as an offering to the Fire Goddess, whom native Hawaiians believed was responsible for all life. Andy and Stacey were shown their places and told when to do their parts in the ceremony. Andy, Moon, and Crip were then left to roam the grounds at their leisure. Anna and Stacey were led to a small, comfortable waiting room on the edge of the crater where they would not be seen when the groom arrived. Only one window faced the bubbling orange and yellow lava in the crater. A sign beneath it read, "Behold the power of Pele and receive Her blessing of life."

Vince, Earl, and "Captain Ahab," as the native islanders called the boat captain, arrived barely fifteen minutes before the ceremony was to take place. Moon and Crip raced to greet them. The kahuna quickly explained the procedure, taking for granted that Earl was to be the best man. Vince politely corrected him and pointed out that Moon was to have that honor. The kahuna thought it was highly irregular to have an animal involved in the ceremony. Vince assured him that Moon was a highly intelligent creature and could perform his part as well or better than any man. Vince opened his hand with Anna's wedding band to Moon. He carefully hooked it with one of his canines and followed Vince to his designated seat, sitting reverently in the one next to him, with Crip at his side. Andy was sitting near the back, close to the entrance arch. Earl was seated across from him. He was to escort Stacey to her place beside Anna at the alter.

The kahuna entered through a small side archway as a small assembly of Hawaiian musicians began a soft, traditional tune, signifying the start of the ceremonial proceedings. Young native girls entered while the band played, strewing colorful flower petals down the aisle from woven baskets on their arms. A photographer steadily filmed the sequence from a small platform behind the kahuna's podium. The flower girls turned in opposite directions before the alter, scattering the last of the petals just before sitting down beside their respective mothers.

Stacey entered next, pausing just long enough for Earl to take her arm in escort fashion and walk down the aisle to her designated spot, slightly to one side of the alter. He then sat down in a seat left vacant for him on the first row.

Vince's stomach felt like a swarm of butterflies suddenly invaded it. He knew Anna would be coming down the aisle whenever the band changed to the tune of the wedding march. Moon meowed softly to show Vince his support.

Without turning, Vince knew Anna was in the archway from the profound oohs and aahs emitted by everyone at the service. The band started the wedding march, . . he was almost scared to turn to see his bride coming to meet him. Her radiant beauty almost brought tears to his eyes when he mustered up the courage to finally stand up to meet her. She seemed to glow with the aura of an angel that encompassed even Andy as he proudly escorted her to her chosen groom. Even though Anna wore a veil over her face, the effect of her presence commanded reverence from all that beheld her. For the first time in his life, Vince felt his hands trembling as Andy relinquished Anna's hand from his, placing it into Vince's. The trembling ceased immediately when the familiar warmth of his heart's desire squeezed his hand in reassurance. Andy sat down in Vince's chair, while Moon followed silently in the footsteps of his friend and companion on to the alter. He moved to the side when Vince stopped, sitting reverently on his haunches, the ring still hooked in his teeth.

A pronounced hush fell over the crowd when the kahuna asked who was giving this woman away to the man at her side. Andy proudly stood up, "I am, sir, a trusted friend." He then sat back down and the usual vows were repeated after the kahuna.

When the time was right, Stacey presented Anna with Vince's ring, which she placed on his finger. The crowd seemed amazed when it was Moon's turn to present Anna's ring to Vince. Moon sat straight up, with no support, and extended the long claws on his left paw to deftly take the ring from his mouth and actually "hand" it to Vince! Vince proudly placed the gold band on Anna's finger, in front of the engagement ring. After asking if anyone could show cause why Vince and Anna should not be joined in holy matrimony, the priest officially pronounced them "Man and Wife." Vince was then told he could kiss the bride only after he followed her to the edge of the crater to throw the bouquet into the lava below, so Pele, the Goddess Of Fire would bless their union through the sacrifice. She was not to lift her veil until the bouquet was consumed by the fire.

Everyone followed the couple to the overlook platform. Anna threw the flowers with all her might outward into the crater. She threw the other bouquet to Stacey. Long before the sacrificial flowers reached the mass of bubbling magma, a gas eruption sent a geyser of molten rock upward to instantly disintegrate the offering. The natives gasped and fell to their knees. Even the priest was astounded. He urged Vince to lift the veil and seal the marriage, for Pele had ordained their union in a way never witnessed before in thousands of marriages performed at the crater's edge. Geysers of lava erupted everywhere inside the crater while Vince and Anna kissed!

Moon and Crip had taken spots on each corner of the outside railings, Crip on the side of Anna, and Moon on Vince's. A slight tremor occurred as well. Like magic, the volcanic activity ceased abruptly when the drawn-out kiss ended. The activity even had Stacey, Andy, and Earl huddled together.

The sun was now setting behind the rim, adding a spectacular orange glow to the silhouetted couple on the platform. Undaunted by the excited whispers of the frightened natives, Moon and Crip still stared across the crater, mesmerized by the awesome power below them. In the twilight glow, enhanced by the flickering light from the boiling lava below, their fur appeared to be on fire. The photographer took many pictures of the phenomenal scene.

Stacey regained her composure and walked out on the platform to hug Anna and kiss Vince to congratulate them. The kahuna followed close behind, but did not interrupt by speaking until Anna had removed the golden cat from her neck and Vince had clasped it in its rightful place around Stacey's neck.

Anna asked the priest if it were customary for the natives to bow at all weddings. He spoke seriously, "Oh no. They have witnessed something here this evening which they recognize as a sign from the Goddess Of Fire. I have never seen anything like it myself. These people are bowing in reverence. They regard you now as direct descendants of the jealous goddess, Pele, which lives in the fire and is the giver of all life." At this point, Crip jumped from her corner on the rail into Stacey's arms. Moon jumped to Vince. Several of the natives chanted something they could not understand. The priest listened a minute before Stacey asked him what they were saying. He continued, "They are saying that all of you, even these extraordinary cats, which they have given the name of firelions, are of the same royal spirit given by Pele, which grants special gifts only to the righteous." Pointing to the golden cat hanging on Stacey's neck, He continued, "They have named you the Lion Goddess, because your hair glows like a firelion. To Anna, they have given the name of Nature Goddess, since they have witnessed that a kiss from her has the power to make the earth tremble, spew forth fire and brimstone, and touch the minds of firelions. They know Stacey shares the gift with the firelions as well. They call Vince the God of Protection, since the great Fire Goddess has blessed his marriage, and given him dominion over other parts of his royal spirit. The people can only speculate as to what great powers he has control over. Word of this ceremony will travel to every island in a short time. You will become part of the native legends, your names will be spoken with reverence and passed down from generation to generation. Anywhere you go on the islands from this night forward, you will be treated as royalty by the local people!" The natives had all left. There was silence for several minutes while the impact of the kahuna's words was absorbed by all.

Stacey finally broke the silence, "I am starved! Even firelions, gods, and goddesses have to eat! The limo driver knows where the reception is, so I vote we go. He'll stop by the hotel so we can all change clothes, and you and Anna can pack something for your private night together."

The priest offered a polite warning, "Things may have changed somewhat in the last hour." Stacey said she didn't mind as long as there was plenty of food left. The limo headed down the mountain to the hotel.

Stacey knew the luau reception torches would not be lit until Vince and Anna returned back down to the lobby with her. The hotel manager would then give the signal by phone and the entire beach would be lit up before they had time to cut back through by the pool area. Stacey called him from her room to be sure everything was ready as planned. He assured her all was prepared. Before he hung up, he added, "Do not be alarmed Miss Lion Goddess, if more guests show up than was anticipated!" She wondered what he had meant, but realized that the priest was right about news traveling quickly among the islands. She changed into jeans and a light summer blouse with a pair of matching sandals.

Meanwhile, Mr. and Mrs. Casey had also changed into something more comfortable for the reception. They each packed an overnight bag, oblivious to the flurry of activity taking place on the dark beach beneath them.

Moon and Crip were both out on the balcony. Their keen feline senses knew the party was to be on the beach beneath them. Vince called them in, but they did not seem to want to come. Anna kissed Vince and told him not to worry about the cats, they were simply supervising the final touches being put together for their "surprise" reception. Vince walked out on the balcony but could see or hear nothing. He turned to Moon, "Anna's right, isn't she?" Moon meowed in a definite "yes" tone. Anna told Vince to try to act surprised for Stacey's sake. She, Andy, and Earl had evidently gone to a lot of trouble to plan them a great reception and a perfect, private evening alone afterwards. Vince told her his feelings wouldn't be hurt if they skipped the event altogether and made love then and there. Anna confided that she shared his feelings explicitly, but it would be awfully rude to the guests, not to mention hurting their friends' feelings. They vowed they would both make it up to each other after they were gone from the reception. Stacey called to see if they were ready to go. Vince told her they would meet her right outside the door.

The limo driver was having a cup of coffee with the manager at the front desk. He took the newlyweds' bags, striding briskly through the lobby toward the car. The manager winked at Stacey and insisted they have a drink on him in the hotel bar. Stacey proposed a royal toast to the "Gods." Moon and Crip nervously stared out the open doorway. The trio downed the drinks and Stacey stated, "I think the cats want us to follow them out back." She hesitated momentarily, sorting her thoughts and turning to Anna, "But you already knew this, I'm sure." Anna smiled, "Such is life with the power of a goddess. Do not be harsh with your firelions, for they only act by protective love and instinct. They did not intentionally betray your plans. You will find out in time that their influence to your thoughts and feelings becomes increasingly harder to block out. Never forget, though, your empathic gift is a blessing, . . not a curse." The perplexed look left Stacey's face, "Well, there's still one surprise even they know nothing about. Let's go party outside for a while." She then handed Vince a small, electronic box. She explained, "Whenever you two decide to sneak off from the reception, just mash the button and a magical chariot powered by flying firelions will come down from the heavens to take you to a place of solitude." She grinned, fluttering her long lashes at Vince, "We Goddesses can arrange things like that, you know. I trust you are quite able to protect Anna without the advantage of the noble firelions." Vince laughed, "I believe I can handle that chore. We both want to thank you for all you've done, and please pass the same thanks on to Andy and Earl in case we don't get a chance to do it personally before we depart." His voice changed dramatically, "Oh, and don't forget. If the ground trembles and spews forth fire and brimstone, you can bet your throne that the Nature Goddess is being protected beyond all mortal comprehension!" They all had a good chuckle and started for the luau via the hall to the pool area.

On cue, the beach behind the hotel had been transformed into a fire-lit arena resembling an ancient gathering spot for some great religious pilgrimage. The smell of roasted pigs, fresh flowers and fruits filled the salt air. Long tables covered with exotic foods of all sorts had been set up near huge kettles of steaming lobsters and crabs. Past the torches, native boats with outriggers were being dragged up beyond the reach of the surf. An elevated stage had been built with one high chair and two slightly lower ones, each flanked by a stool draped with garlands of flowers.

Vince, Anna, and Stacey were literally picked up and carried by selected native Hawaiians to the chairs on the stage. Moon and Crip followed on their own. The natives almost seemed afraid to touch them. Vince was placed on the highest chair with Anna to his right, Stacey to his left. The cats took readily to the stools at Vince and Stacey's commands. Many of the natives were bowing in the firelight. A narrow walkway six feet in front of them allowed natives to pass before them, bowing to each as they passed. Many brought gifts of handicrafts, leis, elaborate clothes, small statues, and jewelry. A great many women brought small babies to simply be touched by one of the trio. The odd procession lasted well over two hours. So many quantities of food were offered during the procession that everyone was stuffed within the first hour. Dancers of every sort performed randomly. Andy and Earl were treated with great respect, though nothing in comparison to the others. Andy informed them that the native festivities would continue until sunrise the next morning. They could leave at any time now, without offending anyone. Vince immediately pressed the button on the small box in his shirt pocket. He and Anna had no idea what to expect next.

Moon and Crip turned their heads simultaneously in the direction of the pounding surf of the incoming tide. Anna reached for Vince's hand. She knew the cats had perceived something beyond the cacophony caused by the island party being woven into the natural sounds of the island night. Their gaze shifted to a point above the horizon, minutes ahead the sound perceptible by human ears to be the muted notes of chopper rotors dampened by the roiling surface of the breaking waves.

A powerful light split the darkness above the torches, flooding a fifty foot circle of the beach with intense illumination. The craft hovered for a moment to be sure the spot was clear of people, boats, or other obstacles before gracefully descending to the sand.

Stacey turned to the couple, "Your royal wedding chariot of the skies has arrived to whisk you off this island to a special place of peace and matrimonial bliss. Your bags are on board." Andy and Earl sauntered up the ramp. They each shook hands with Vince and told him to take good care of their "Mother." Andy sheepishly asked Anna if they were to be granted the customary kiss of the bride. She kissed them both on the cheek and hugged them. Stacey did the same with Vince and Anna both. The couple thanked them for their special gift. A little privacy meant more to them than anything at that particular moment. Not to be left out, the cats meowed a good-bye. Vince held out his arms for Moon to jump up. He affectionately rubbed his whiskered, fluffy cheeks against Vince's jaw, then switched to Anna's. Vince told him to keep a sharp eye on everything until he returned. Moon meowed an acknowledgment and jumped down beside Crip. Stacey stooped to rub their ears as Andy and Earl helped them down the ramp to leave the platform. Anna turned back to Stacey when she reached the sand. Pointing at Andy and Earl, she yelled above the drone of the chopper, "You're in charge, Stacey. They take their orders from you till we get back." She then waved and put her arm around Vince's waist. The crowd parted before them on their way to the chopper. A hundred feet up the bright lights went off, leaving only small flashing beacons to be swallowed up quickly by the inky darkness.

Andy and Earl scanned over the guests. They talked between themselves, plowing through the deep sand in front of the platform where Stacey rested on one knee. Slightly puzzled, Andy gestured toward the people who had resumed their intense party, ignoring them altogether, "Well Boss, Looks like the "Goddess" status doesn't mean much to this bunch. Any orders for your loyal employees?"

A little disturbed by the odd behavior herself, Stacey took the casual observation as a cocky, sarcastic remark. Without thinking, she snapped, "Don't call me "Boss" to patronize me! I'm not Anna! I'm just Stacey, the blond bombshell from East Texas who simply works for her, and I'm not qualified yet to be givin' no damn orders to anyone, . . let alone two of her ace pilots who've been flyin' her through Hell an' high water years before the likes o' me ever set foot on the damn Horizon!" The pretentious words cut Andy straight to the bone. He defiantly turned his back to her piercing glare. Earl knew his close friend well enough to know that Stacey had just brewed up a major storm within Andy's normally placid personality. He tried in vain to squelch it before it escalated into a full-blown company hurricane, "Whoa now, Stacey. Andy didn't mean what he said as a snide remark in any way. You just took it wrong. What he meant was,"

Andy spun back around, his eyes flashing at his accuser. He held up his hand to Earl without breaking his fiery gaze directly into Stacey's eyes, "Save it, Earl. You don't have to defend me. This is strictly between Miss Holden and myself. I listened to what she had to say, and now she's going to listen to me. It will be a lot less painful coming from me than it would be from Anna!"

Earl agreed, "You got THAT right for sure!"

Ever more on the defensive since Earl had clearly chosen sides with Andy, Stacey challenged, "Spit it out, bigshot pilot, Mr. Mitzhoff! I may be a "dumb blond" from Texas, but this gal knows how to take a punch. You got somethin' to say, let's hear it!" She only succeeded in adding fuel to the fire. Pulling no punches, Andy obliged her, "You can get off the "dumb blond from Texas" crap right now! It is a direct insult to your intelligence, as well as Anna's, and in only the vaguest form, to Earl's and mine. If you weren't smart enough, efficient, and capable of handling the responsibility of taking over Anna's leadership in her absence, you can bet your sweet little Texas ass she wouldn't have hand picked you out of millions of people who would literally kill for the opportunity of being called the "boss" of this operation, and told you personally that we were to take our orders from you! We know that this is a giant leap forward for you, but you've got to realize that we highly respect Anna, both as a trusted friend and as our boss, just as we do you. She meant EXACTLY what she said before she left, which equates to US as, whether you like it or NOT, YOU are the acting BOSS, and Earl and I will take orders directly from YOU, WITHOUT questioning your appointed authority, and carry them out to the BEST of our abilities until Anna RETURNS or informs us OTHERWISE! We've been the new kid on the block, just the same as you. Anna has TOTAL confidence in you, . . so do WE. It is time you had it in YOURSELF! From my own experience, I think I can honestly say that she is testing your abilities right now, and depending on you to come through with flying colors, as she expected. She is the finest lady you will ever meet on this planet. Don't let her or yourself down. NOW, is the time to get your UNGRATEFUL ass out of the company kitchen if you can't handle the HEAT of corporate cooking! You have the same special charisma with cats that she does. It would be a shame to waste it. I've seen her do amazing things with all kinds of big cats. If you think I'm not sincere, ask Moon and Crip. You know they can sense the truth. Insofar as Earl, Rex and myself go as hotshot pilots we ARE, and we're DAMN proud of it! We are ALL veteran war pilots who have actually been through HELL and high water! Anna thinks we're the BEST in the world. WE do, too. That's why we get the big bucks to fly around in multi-million dollar helicopters or jets like the damn Horizon just for FUN if we want. I would appreciate it GREATLY if you would refrain from CURSING her in the future as well, since she is a sensitive, high-class FEMALE with feelings, just like YOURS. I wouldn't want her to DUMP us in the ocean over a little misunderstanding!"

Andy's carefully chosen words hit the desired nerve, igniting a searing burn in Stacey's heart. She knew he was right without having to rely on the cats' wisdom. In the light of her aspiring professionalism, she suppressed the natural reaction to burst into tears. Instead, she extended her hand in a show of trust with the explanation, "Thanks, Andy. I needed to hear that from a man other than my own father. I never fully believed it until now. I was looking at this trip as though it was a vacation. I was wrong, my job just began, did it not?"

Andy shook her hand grinning warmly, but addressed his buddy, "Co-conspirator of the wild blue yonder, I think the fair lady finally got it right!"

Being the joker of the bunch, Earl fell to his knees and raised his hands in prayer, "Thank you, sweet Jesus, for shedding your infinite light of wisdom and guidance upon this new deity of the animal spirits!"

The trio burst out laughing. They called it a night after gathering up the separate piles of gifts from the natives. Vince and Anna's things were left in their room. Stacey asked Moon politely if he minded hanging out with the guys so her and Crip could get their priorities in order. He padded off silently behind them.


Author's Note: Feel free to copy/paste the text contained herein to build your personal copy of "MOON Madness". As this is COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL by ME, the ORIGINAL AUTHOR, please DO NOT copy for UNAUTHORIZED DISTRIBUTION in any form or fashion. "ALL RIGHTS RETAINED & RESERVED" by Larry K. Hockman! Please don't hesitate to E-Mail me for permission to use my works in the classroom, etc. ThanX for Visitin'! I hope you enjoyed the story and pass it on to your friends. LKH

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