The Future He leaned against the brick wall and glanced at his nephew. Tommy scowled, the picture of contempt. "I don't see how telling Emily could have done any harm. She's probably worried sick about me since I haven't called her in days. I hate this," he said, his frustration clear.

Knox understood the teenager's anxiety and despite Tommy's assurances that Emily would keep his whereabouts a secret, no chances could be taken. "You'll be back in a few weeks," he said, glancing at his watch for Simone's arrival. "She'll wait for you." Tommy titled his head doubtfully, "not with Lucky and Zander Smith sniffing around her. She'll think I dumped her without a regret in the world. She'll hate me."

Knox chuckled, lighting a cigarette. "Does she love you?" Tommy's eyes warmed at his Uncle's words and nodded. "Do you love her?" A shy smile followed by another nod made Knox smile. "Then everything will turn out fine. Trust in what you two have."

Tommy studied Knox's features carefully. "You sound like you've got experience it this field," he said casually. Knox's relaxed manner faltered slightly. "Well, let's just say I know how it's supposed to turn out." Tommy didn't hide his surprise, "you mean there was a woman?" he blurted.

Knox frowned. "Who said?" Tommy shrugged, "sometimes Uncle Luis talks about his wife and you get this sad look on your face. Mom has the same look when we talk about Dad. She misses him." Knox swallowed hard, averting his eyes from his curious nephew. "You must have really loved her," Tommy said softly. Greatful for the transport vehicle that was pulling up, Knox gave a curt nod at Tommy. "I did, now let's go help your Mother."

*A continuation of Crystal Clear and The Gatekeeper