It was Wednesday and Vic was waking up to get ready for work.  His head was pounding since last night he had been dumped by his latest girlfriend Bo.  Vic dragged his ass to the shower and turned on the water and stood under the hot water and let the water wake him.  Twenty minutes later Vic walked out of his bathroom and dressed for the day.  Vic came out of his bedroom and saw his friend Tony passed out on the couch with some naked girl.  Vic shook his head and went to the kitchen.  Vic made himself a few eggs and had a large glass of milk.

Out in the living room Vic heard Tony moving and he was getting the girl dressed.  "Hey out there you want anything to eat?" Vic said a little to loud for his own head as it was still pounding.

"No thanks bud we are going to get out of here," Tony shot back.  "I will call you later tonight."

"Alright I talk to you later then."  Vic heard Tony getting the girl out of the door and he heard the door close.  Vic heard the alarm chirp on Tony's car and the doors open and close.  Instead of a car starting   Vic heard an explosion.  He ran to the door and saw Tony's car engulfed in flames.  Vic was in shock as his mouth dropped wide open.  He slowly turned and walked over to the phone and called 911.  Then Vic called work.  It was going to be a long day.

Several hours later the police and the fire department finished and there was amazing no damage to anything else but the car and the two passengers.  Vic was still stunned and was walking around in a daze even when he was the only one left in the house.  As he sat around he answered the phone several time to talk to people to console them as they asked what happened.  It was strange and it got even stranger when he finally got through to Tony's parents they were stunned but knew something like this would happen since they knew their son was running with the wrong crowd at times.  Vic talked to Tony's parents for over an hour, well mostly to Tony's dad since Tony's mom was broken up but everything did settle down.  At the end of the conversation they said they would call him back with plans for the funeral as soon as they had everything done.

As Vic hung up the phone he realized that his friends were coming up tomorrow to see the Rocky Horror Show.  Joan Jett was in the play so we all though we would go check it out.  It was supposed to be a good weekend; it hasn't started off to well.  Vic fixed himself something to eat since it had gotten late.  The sun had set several hours ago and it getting late and Vic was getting tired.

The phone rang again and Vic managed to get up and answered it.  Vic managed as a very weak hello as he held up the phone to his ear.

"Hey buddy you don't sound too happy?" said Erica as she spilled her overly happy tone over the phone line.  Vic would normally smile and go into some funny banter but today was different.  He had no energy.  So Erica's tone went more serious, "What happened, you should be happy we are coming up tomorrow."  Vic relayed the happening of the last twenty-four hours.  Erica was stunned she could not say anything but how sorry she was.  She asked if Vic still wanted them to come up.

"You bet I do.  I need you guys up her now more than ever.  Tony would have wanted us to have a good time and drink a few in his memory."  Vic said as tried to maintain his composure and not cry over the lost of his friend.

"Vic it is going to be okay I know you were good friends with Tony and I thought he had his moments but he was a decent guy.  We will be there for you.  So just keep it together till then," Erica said trying to soothe her friend.

"I will and I will see you tomorrow.  I am going to try and get some sleep," Vic said as he sniffed back some running nose.

They hung up the phones and Vic got up and moved to his room and undressed to get some sleep.  Vic lay down and starred at the ceiling and thought about his friend and all the times they had together.  He had known Tony for years and they had spent a lot of time together but Vic knew he had some problems and Vic never knew they were this bad.

Finally sleep did come and Vic drifted off.  His sleep was restless as he tossed and turned.  So it was no surprise that kicked the blankets off the bed and caused his sheets to come off the bed on the corners.

The morning light shone through the window and opened his eyes and crawled out of bed.  He walked to the shower and turned on the water.  Vic spent about ten minutes washing up and waking up.  Vic stepped out of the shower and dried off and shaved.  Vic then combed his hair and headed back to his bedroom to dress.  As Vic finished dressing he headed to the kitchen.

In the kitchen Vic poured himself some cereal and milk.  Vic walked into the living room and put on ESPN.  Vic sat back watched TV and ate his cereal.  The announcers were talking about basketball, which always pissed Vic off so he changed the station to a local news channel.  The news was depressing constantly talking of the presidential election nightmare.  Vic shook his head and waited for the next story.  It turns out they went to traffic.  There were major accidents on all the main roads and several fatalities occurred in the city when several cars crashed into a broke down oil truck.  Vic changed the channel again and put on the Much Music channel.

Vic finished his breakfast and placed the bowl in the sink in the kitchen.  Vic then grabbed all his stuff to get ready for work.  The phone rang just as Vic was ready to leave.  Vic answered the phone and it was Christy.  She told Vic that they were leaving and would be up there in about seven hours.  She also mentioned that Ginger was staying back this time.  She wanted to get things done with the store and she was having some bad stomach pains.  Vic just listened and told Christy he would see her when they got here.

Vic locked his house and got in his car.  Vic pulled out of the driveway and headed for work.  He cranked up The Jace cd, which hasn't left his cd player since he got it.  He drove through traffic and made his way into the state buildings parking lot.  Vic found a parking spot and pulled in.  Vic locked his car up and carried his stuff into the building and up to his desk.  His friends at work offered their condolences since they heard about the accident.  Vic knew he just wanted to get to work and not be bothered by everyone trying to console him.

Luckily everyone gave Vic plenty of space and the day went by quickly.  Vic left the building quickly at the end of the day and headed home.  Vic knew that his friends might be waiting for him at his place.  As he drove down his block he did not see his friends van.  He pulled into the driveway and carried his stuff into the house.  He checked his phone and saw that he had several messages.

Vic put his stuff down and played the messages.  The first three were sales messages.  Vic quickly fast-forwarded through each.  The next message was Erica saying they were stuck in traffic in the city.  The last message was from Jessica a friend of Bo's.  Jessica sound like she was fighting back tears as she spoke, "Vic I know Bo broke up with you the other night but I am just calling to tell you she was in an accident this morning and she is in the hospital."  The message went on and had a phone number to call.  Vic immediately called the number and got through and asked about Bo.  That is when he got the news that she had died after arriving in the hospital.  Vic fell into the couch and was devastated.  He managed to hang up the phone as he just sat there.

The front door opened about an hour after Vic had hung up the phone.  Christy, Jenna and Erica came in.  The house was quiet and it usually never was.  They knew something was wrong.  Christy walked over to Vic who hadn't moved when they all walked in.  Christy looked at Vic who had a blank look on his face.  Vic muttered, "She is dead".

"Who is dead Vic?" Christy asked as she sat down next to Vic.

Vic turned his head and looked at Christy and said, "Bo died in a car accident today." 

Jenna and Erica were behind Christy and heard Vic say Bo was dead.  They all moved in and had a group hug.  Suddenly Vic just broke down and started crying.  In twenty-four hours he had lost two people he had known.  Tony was a friend for years and Bo was a woman he was close to and even though they just broke up he still had deep feelings for her.

After several minutes Vic pulled himself together.  Then Vic said, "Wow this is going to be some weekend."  Everyone started to laugh.  The tension was slightly eased and Vic stood up and wiped his eyes.

"Okay who wants some pizza?" Vic announced looking at his friends for a response.  They all nodded and replied a resounding yes.  Vic called Sal's Pizza and ordered a large pie and garlic knots.  They all then piled into Vic's car and they picked up the pie and came back to the house.  They ate the pizza and drank some beer as they talked.  It was quiet and everyone was quite content to keep it that way.

Vic set up the other bedrooms for his friends as they took showers to wash the grime from the road trip.  It wash getting late and Vic was cleaning up.  Finally Vic said his goodnights and crawled into bed.  His last thought before he fell asleep was that it could only get better from here on out.  The worst has to be over.

In the living room Christy called home to let Ginger know they were safe and what has happened.  Ginger could not believe it.  Ginger let Christy know about the protestors again.  It seemed like a monthly thing so they set up a standard procedure of calling the police to ensure the safety of the workers and the customers. There has never been any excessive violence but they always stayed cautious.

Christy hung up the phone and she let Jenna and Erica know what was happening back in Virginia.  They could not believe that they still had to put up with the narrow-minded people and their protests.  After all the legal actions that they had won should have stopped all the protesting and picketing.  After a few minutes of venting their frustrations Christy, Erica and Jenna finally went to their rooms and went to sleep.

Friday morning came and Vic was the first up and made his way to the kitchen and turned the coffee machine on.  It was one of the new ones that grinded the beans and brewed the coffee all in one.  Vic used it only on the weekends since he never had the time to make coffee for himself during the week.  Vic broke out cups for everyone and grabbed a banana.  Vic peeled the banana and went out side to grab the paper.  By the time Vic got back in the house and finished the banana and walked back into the kitchen. 

Jenna and Christy were in the kitchen.  Jenna was watching the coffee as it was still brewing and Christy was drinking a large glass of DR. Pepper.  Vic smirked and shrugged his head and sat down and browsed through the sports section of the Daily News.  Jenna poured a cup of coffee and for herself and for Vic.  Then she sat down and Christy grabbed a banana and sat also.

"You guys let Erica sleep?  What is wrong with you guys get her ass us," Vic said as he put his the paper down.

"I tried to wake her but she is just grumpy this early in the morning," Jenna retorted as she sipped her coffee.

"It's almost nine and we have things we have to do before we head over to Jersey," Vic said as he shook his head and drank his coffee.

"I know she is the one that has to go to Plaza Sports and the flea market," Christy said as she put down the banana skin.

"Well we will just have to get her motivated won't we," Vic said as he got that evil look in his eyes, except it was a little more scary this time then normal.  "Start the shower Christy.  Jenna comes with me our little sleeping beauty is going to wake up just not the way she intended to".

"You have some serious control problems Vic but this is going to be funny.  Let me get the camera," Jenna said as she followed Vic towards the room where Erica was sleeping.

Vic opened the door and moved over to the bed.  Vic gently picked up Erica and carried her out of the room.  Erica just rested her head on Vic's shoulder.  Vic made his way over to the bathroom.  Christy had the water running and Jenny had the camera ready and she moved into place to get the best shot of Erica's face.  Vic gently moved Erica in to the shower and it took several moments before she realized she was in the shower.  As Erica started to realize she was getting wet.  Her face contorted and she started to squirm about.  Jenna was franticly taking pictures.  Erica finally opened her eyes and screamed.  Everyone broke out laughing Erica started cursing.

"When you are finished we have fresh coffee waiting for you," Vic said as he walked out of the bathroom.  Jenna snapped a few more parting shots of Erica in her soaked clothes as she walked out and closed the bathroom door.

About an hour later everyone had manage to shower and dress.  Vic thought it was good that he had more than one bathroom otherwise they would still be getting ready.  Everyone walked outside into the crisp air and got into Vic's car and he pulled out of the driveway and they were on their way.  Vic drove quickly and in no time they were at Plaza Sports.

Inside the store Jenna and Erica went about the store like two crazed kids in a toy store.  Vic strolled about the store looking at the Ranger jerseys and shirts.  After about thirty minutes Christy and Vic got Jenna and Erica corralled up and moved them to the check out desk.  Erica and Jenna had three jerseys and four t-shirts between them.  Vic had a jersey of his own.  He bought a new Messier jersey to stay current.

After they all got back into the car Vic took off down the road to get them back to the flea market.  Erica just wanted to pick up some t-shirts.  Walking about the flea market Jenna found some Penguin pucks she had not seen before and Erica picked up a couple of t-shirts.  Christy picked up a new pair of chaps and boots she could not find back in Virginia.  Vic purchased a twenty-four carat rope chain with an Italian horn pendent.  Vic wore the chain out of the flea market.  So they left the flea market and headed to Vic's place.

Back at the house Jenna and Erica unpacked all their new stuff.  Christy put on the boots and walked about the house.  Vic turned on the TV and then turned his computer on.  They were heading to Jersey tonight and they wanted the best directions possible.  Vic punched in the address to the bar and in a flash the address appeared along with maps.  Vic looked them over and checked to see if they were the best directions and amazingly it was the best.  Vic checked his mail and then turned off the computer.  The girls were watching TV.

Vic moved into the living room and sat and watched TV.  Everyone was just vegging waiting for some one to get motivated to go get something to eat and then come back and get dressed for the night.    Vic finally got up and looked around at his friends who seemed to be almost asleep.  "Okay everyone up we are going out to eat and get back and dress for the night and get the hell out of here and have fun," Vic ordered in a very commanding tone.

Jenna, Christy and Erica jumped up and got moving.  They grabbed their jackets and Vic grabbed his.  Vic ushered everyone else out of the house and into his car.  Vic drove down the street and they arrived at a small Italian restaurant.  It wasn't much to look at but the food was excellent.  Vic often came here by himself to get some take out.  Hi favorite meal was the linguine and seafood sauce.

Dinner went by quickly and amazingly uneventful.  Usually eating out with Christy, Jenna and Erica turned into a potentially embarrassing event.  Vic took this as a sign that everything was going to be okay.  So Vic paid the bill and everyone left.  Vic had to stop for some gas at a small local gas station.  It had just gotten dark and the Pakistani attendant looked out as Vic got out of the car.

The gas station had only one pump station.  Vic was pumping gas when he saw two guys walk into the station.  They did not look like locals or people looking for a drink.  Vic took a deep breath and finished pumping.  He walked over to the station and saw the guys at the counter the attendant looked scared.  Vic continued in and suddenly the two guys spun around and pointed their guns at Vic.  With out even flinching Vic's face turned stone cold and he stared at the two gunmen.  Vic had emotions from the last two days flowing through him and they seemed to surface in a most unusual way.  Vic shook his head and walked towards the gunmen.

"Hold it right there pal! Unless you want to get hurt, I do not think you want to get hurt," said the gunmen on Vic's left.

"I don't want to get hurt and I am sure you do not want to hurt any one else.  So put your guns away and go somewhere else.  I just want to pay for my gas and leave," Vic said in a calm voice as he slowly moved towards the gunmen.  Suddenly a shot rang by Vic grazing his arm.  Vic did not flinch; he did not even feel the pain.  Vic kept walking forward.

"Hey man you better back off unless you want the next one in your head!"

Vic stopped for a second and smirked.  Out in the car Jenna, Christy and Erica heard the gunshot and looked towards the station and saw the cracked glass.  Christy grabbed Vic's cell phone out of the glove box.  She immediately called the police and let them know what was happening.  Christy powered off the phone and prayed that they would get here in time.

In the station Vic walked over towards the gunmen again.  The men pointed the guns harder in Vic's direction.  Vic stopped and ducked down behind an aisle.  The gunmen got nervous and moved to get a look at where he went.  Vic suddenly sprung at the closest gunmen knocking him into another aisle.  The other gunmen ran towards Vic and his partner.  Thatís when a shotgun went off and the second gunmen fell.  Vic paid no attention to the shotgun and seemed totally focused on the gunmen he was sitting on.  Vic started to punch the gunmen in the face and screaming, "Tony didn't have to die!"  The gunman was bleeding and was knocked out.  Vic managed to get up and police sirens came screaming into the gas station parking area.  The cops came into the station and started taking information answering questions. They had to call in the ambulance for the gunmen since the guy with the gunshot wound was bleeding pretty badly.

The next few hours Vic spent in the hospital and the police station.  Vic got a few stitches in his left arm.  It also turns out that the two gunmen had been holding up gas stations around the area.  There was no reward and the police told him not to be surprised if there wasn't a lawsuit filed against him for assault.  The police would file any charges against him.

Instead of going to Jersey they just went back to Vic's.  It was after midnight and they had missed another opportunity to see Erica's friends band.  Vic apologized several times and could not for the life of him figure out why he suddenly got a case of 'Brass Balls'.  Normally he would have avoided all involvement.  The girls were just happy he was okay.  As Vic pulled into the driveway and everyone got out of the car and headed for the door. 

Once inside Vic went and checked the messages.  There were two messages.  Vic pressed the play button and listened.  "Hello Vic this is Tony's father.  The Funereal is set for Sunday and being you and Tony were close we thought you would like to give the eulogy.  Please give us a call as soon as you get this it is 10:50 in the evening.  Don't worry about calling late we haven't been sleeping to well with everyone her and all for the funereal."

Vic looked up Tony's parents number as the second message played, "Vic this is Jessica and the funereal for Bo is going to be Sunday.  If you feel awkward stopping by don't she did care for you and it was the hardest thing she ever did breaking up with you.  I thought you two would work out your problems since you were so right for each other."

Vic listened to the rest of the message and jotted down the church and time.  H e picked up the phone and dialed Tony's parents.  Erica Jenna and Christy moved into the kitchen to give Vic some privacy while he listened to the messages and made his call. 

"I can not believe all this is happening in just a weekend?  This is just going to crush him," Jenna said as she grabbed a drink from the fridge and got one for Erica and Christy.

"We might want to just cancel seeing Joan tomorrow," Christy said as she took a sip of her drink.

"We might want to see what Vic is up to.  He might just force himself to go and if we insist on canceling it could cause him to really snap.  He took a bullet already today," Erica said as she looked at Christy and Jenna.  "Plus we should really play it by ear and go with what ever happens.  It can't get any worse can it?"

"No it sure can't this has got to be the bottom floor," Christy answered.  All three girls took a drink.

In the living room Vic was talking to Tony's farther and let him know that he would be honored to say a few words on behalf of his son.  Vic then hung up the phone and head in the kitchen where he had seen the girls go.  They were all drinking as Vic walked in and all eyes went to Vic as he stood there. 

"Where is mine?" Vic said looking over at Christy who was closest to the fridge.  Christy went into the fridge and grabbed Vic a Manhattan Special that happens to be Vic's favorite drink.  She gently tossed it over to him and Vic cautiously opened the bottle letting out the gas slowly so it did not explode all over the place.  Vic told his friends about the funeral times and that he was delivering the eulogy for Tony's funereal.

"Are you going to write something now or are you going to wait till tomorrow?" Erica asked

"Well actually I am not going to write anything.  I am going to go with what strikes me at the moment.  That is the one promise we made each other.  We said that who ever has to deliver the others Eulogy had to do it off the cuff.  This is because the one who was dead would try and find a way to come back and inspire the other to make some great speech to get everyone crying.  Then the one who is delivering the Eulogy is supposed to play the last second of the last Rangers Stanley Cup.  We always thought there would be a lot more calls but it turns out that I will be playing the 1994 closing segment."  Vic's face was expressionless.  His friends looked to see if there were any signs of emotion but he was a stone.

Erica moved in to hug him and Vic just barely managed to put his arms around her.  Thatís when Christy noticed blood running down his left arm.  It seems one of the stitches did not hold and blood was trickling out.  Vic smirked and went to the bathroom and cleaned it off.  He placed a large bandage over his stitches to help with the blood clotting and then put on a tank top.  Vic then went to the living room again and sat down to watch TV. The girls hugged him and made their way off to bed since it was nearing almost 2:30 in the morning.  Vic sat on the couch and watched Nick At Nite.  Actually it was more like staring at the TV then really watching it.

The morning came and went and it was now closer to mid morning when Christy came into the living room.  Vic was still seated there and the TV was on.  Vic's head was leaning backward and Christy's heart jumped as she practically leapt across the room to check on Vic.  Christy's landing on the couch nearly caused it to roll backwards and Vic's head stood up, as he looked confused at Christy.  She immediately grabbed hold of him and hugged his head towards her chest. 

"I thought something awful happened to you.  The way you were sitting and all scared me.  You are usually up by now," Christy rambled as she released Vic's head.

"I guess I needed to sleep in," Vic said as he tried to stand up.  I am very stiff though."  Vic stood and tried to stretch out all the stiffness. 

 "Well you did sleep in a seated position on the couch.  That could not help" Christy added.

"I know we got a lot of things to do today before we head into the city," Vic said as he tried to crack his neck.

What's on the agenda then?" Christy asked.

"Well I am sure you did not bring anything for a funereal so we are going to have to go to the mall.  So that is the first and major thing which could take most of the day," Vic said as he headed to the kitchen.

"Yeah you are right and it could take for ever to find clothes for all three of us.  At least Ginger is not here that would have only added to the nightmare," Christy said as she laughed and followed Vic into the kitchen.

Vic opened the fridge and pulled out the milk and a DR. Pepper. Vic gave the DR. Pepper to Christy and Vic poured himself a tall glass of milk.  Vic then put the milk away and started drinking the milk he had poured for himself.  We better get going cause the limo I ordered for tonight will be here at five.

Everyone showered and dressed and it only took just over an hour.  Then everyone headed out to Vic's car and he drove them to the mall, which was not as packed as he thought it would be.  In the mall they spent several hours trying on various clothes.  Finally they all had outfits that were casual but fitting for a funereal.  Vic picked up some new shoes that he had been meaning to buy.   They left the mall and got back to Vic's house at four.  They quickly got ready to leave for the evening.

The Limo showed up and Vic went out and paid for the limo and gave the driver the agenda.  Which was to get to the city and drop then off at the theater and pick them up at midnight and they might head out to a bar in the city then head home.  The driver got the instructions and Vic headed in the house and set his phone to forward his calls to his cell phone and packed his cell phone in his leather jacket.  The girls came out of the house and the driver's eyes popped wide open.  The girls were wearing what Vic referred to as their Ho outfits.

Christy was wearing tight jeans and a white blouse that seemed to reveal more than it covered.  The out fit was capped off with leather boots and a biker jacket.  Jenna was wearing tight leather pants and leather boots with a cut off Calisto t-shirt, which was very revealing.  Jenna had a rather small leather jacket that was definitely not meant to keep a person warm.  Erica had tight jeans on that had several holes that were rather revealing.  She also had an old pair old Doc Martens on.  Erica had a cut off Gabrielle t-shirt and a biker jacket.

The driver held open the door as the girls got in the limo and smiled at the driver.  The driver then looked at Vic as Vic walked out of his house.  Vic knew the look very well since he got it many times when he went anywhere with his friends.  Vic climbed into the limo and headed for the bar.  Vic opened the little fridge area and pulled out the champagne that was there.  Jenna pulled out four glasses.

"Open the sunroof will you Erica," Vic said.

"Okay, but we are going to freeze," Erica questioned.  The Limo backed out of the driveway and they were on their way.  Vic peeled the top off the bottle and worked the cork and finally it popped off out the sunroof.  Vic quickly poured the champagne and Erica closed the sunroof, as she was laughing at what Vic had done.

"Here's to tonight.  May it be unforgettable," Vic raised his glass up and they all clinked glasses together and drank the champagne.

The ride was going smooth Christy brought some cds and everyone was just sitting back and listening.  They finished the bottle and were just getting into Nassau County.  Vic adjusted himself in the seat when all of a sudden the limo was side swiped.  Everyone in the limos back was tossed about.  Then suddenly the limo was struck again and again.  Vic saw two other vehicles fighting it out and the limo was just an unfortunate bystander.  Vic tried to see the license plates but the tinting on the limo was too dark.  The limo driver opened the barrier and informed Vic that he had reported the two cars to his dispatcher who would be calling the police and was trying everything he could to slow down and avoid the cars but they seemed to slow down and swerve with him.  The expressway was packed and everyone seemed to be in a rush.

Suddenly Vic saw the two cars hit something and they flipped.  And the limo driver reacted and the limo was struck by another car and started to roll.  Vic tried to brace himself but it was useless.  He could only just go with the roll.  Erica, Jenna and Christy looked shocked as they were being tossed about like clothes in a dryer.

The limo stopped and Vic tried to move but found he was under the girls and covered with glass.  He felt blood on his face and started laughing.  Christy started to move and so did Jenna and Erica.  They seemed to be okay but most likely had multiple cuts and contusions.  Vic worked his way up and luckily the vehicle was on its wheels. The door would not open so Vic kicked it open and crawled out.  The girls followed Vic out of the limo and looked about to see that several other cars were involved with the accident.  Vic moves to the front to check on the driver who he did not here from after the accident.  Vic suddenly realized why he did not hear from the driver because a hood of another car that was involved in the accident decapitated the driver.  Vic moved to the back where the girls were standing and examining the cut they had all over.  Vic then realized he had blood flowing into his eyes.

Suddenly Vic heard gunshots.  The girls heard them too.  Vic immediately headed towards the gunfire the girls quickly followed Vic.  Just as Vic got closer to the groups of men firing at each other he stopped and looked to the left and saw a mini van on its side.  Flames were starting to spread about and Vic did not think only reacted.  Erica, Christy and Jenna realized what Vic had seen and ran after him.

Vic tried opening up the doors that were accessible but everything was locked.  He could see three adults and one baby in the van.  The baby was screaming and seemed unharmed but the adults were unconscious.  Vic jumped down ad looked at the flames spreading and knew that the time was short.

"Look the roof is split open if we could pry it open further we could get in and get everyone out," Jenna yelled above the noise.

Vic looked at the tear and moved in he grabbed the roof and started to pull.  He grunted and screamed like an animal.  The roof started to break free and peel back like a sardine can.  Vic adjusted his grip so he could eventually get his whole body into pushing the roof back.  They say in extreme circumstances the human body can accomplish incredible feats of strength.  As Vic cleared enough room Christy moved in to get the child.  Erica and Jenna managed to free up the first adult and drag her out and to the side.  Christy ran back and Vic helped her free and drag the next woman out.  Jenna and Erica made their way back and freed the man who started coming to as they were moving him from the van.

"Oh my god, I am being taken away by angels," the man mumbled as his eyes opened and shut trying to focus on the two women he perceived to be angels.  As they cleared the van are it was totally engulfed in flames.

Accident victims were running about trying to help out and keep away from the gunfire.  Vic was once again drawn to the gunfire.   Erica, Jenna and Christy saw this and knew they would have to stop him but the people from the mini van needed some assistance. 

"Christy get Vic back here we don't need him to get shot!" cried out Erica as she was looking at the child.

Christy ran in the direction Vic headed.  She saw Vic and called out to him, "Vic get down you don't belong up there!  You are going to get yourself killed!"

Vic turned and in the firelight Christy could see that he was not really here.  He had snapped and was going on some sort sense of morality that he had bound up inside.  He turned away again and kept heading toward the gunfire.  Christy could see that both sides were in a stalemate.  The she saw that one side had blue jackets on that sad FBI in bright orange letters.  Christy then saw the other guys spot Vic and one guy darted out to grab Vic. 

As if she was watching everything in slow motion she saw Vic stiff-arm the guy who charged him.  The guy's legs flew out from underneath him and he landed on his back.  This distraction gave the FBI men an opportunity to advance and wound the rest of the guys.  Vic stood motionless and Christy cam running up towards him.  She held him and saw his hands were bleeding and his forehead was covered in blood.

The FBI men managed to tie up the bad guys and back up arrived along with ambulances and police cars.  Christy guided Vic back to Erica and Jenna. 

"I think he is okay but he is cut up pretty bad," Christy said as she saw Erica and Jenna.

"You ain't looking to good yourself Christy," Erica said as she looked over Christy.

"Well blood isn't your best color either Erica especially when it is running down your face and soaking your leg," Christy shot back.

Jenna looked herself over and realized her side was starting to ache real badly and breathing was hard.  There was also a cut on her arm where her leather jacket had been shredded.  Other than that she thought everything was okay.

"We are going to miss the play you know," Vic said as he sat on the pavement with head between his knees.  The girls just looked at him and were shocked that he said that.  "I let you guys down twice in the same weekend.  This really sucks," Vic continued as he sat there.  Before the girls could comfort him an FBI agent stood in front of them.  Everyone looked up.

 "My name is special agent Cauthon.  I would like to thank you for your help in apprehending those guys back there.  If you hadn't walked in and stiff-armed that guy we may still be here shooting it out," the man said as he stood there.  Vic just looked up and watched the man continue to talk.  "This is all unofficial and you will not hear about this incident.  Everyone will be taken care of.  I have to go now. Thanks for the assist."

The agent walked away as everyone just stared at him as he disappeared into the accident area.  Then suddenly EMTs appeared and started to treat the wounds they had received from the accident.  Vic, Erica, Christy and Jenna were escorted to an ambulance and then taken to a van that drove them to a local hospital. 

They spent the night in the hospital.  Vic got more stitches in his head and hands.  Erica had a few stitches on her side and leg.  She also hand several scrapes on her face.  Christy was scraped up pretty bad but she did not need any stitches.  Jenna was a little more complicated she needed x-rays.  She had three cracked ribs.  She also needed stitches on her arm. 

The morning came and they were all released from the hospital.  The only problem was how to get home.  A strange man headed towards them and Vic stared cautiously at him when he stopped in font of them.  "I presume you are Vic Carmece and these must be your lovely friends," said the mysterious man.

"Yeah, but how do you know me?" asked Vic.

"I am an associate of special agent Cauthon.  I am here just to give you a lift home.

"I guess you came just in time since we did need a ride.  This is just Cauthon saying thanks for last night.  So if you would follow me."  The man led them to a stretch limo and pointed and said, "Your chariot awaits.  The driver is just a driver he knows nothing except that he is being paid to take you home. So enjoy your ride."

"Is this it?  Is this all that will be done?" Vic asked.

"No all the insurance money will be paid and all of the dead's family will be taken care of.  This is all the contact you will get from us," said the man as he turned and walked away.

"These are some creepy guys that work for the government," Erica said as they walked over to the limo. 

The driver opened the doors and everyone climbed in.  As the limo started moving everyone fell asleep.  About thirty minutes later they arrived at Vic's house.  They managed to get out of the limo and into the house.  Vic let the girls go to their rooms and sleep Vic opened the fridge and pulled out a bottle of Manhattan Special out of the fridge and chugged it down.  He looked at the clock and saw it was almost ten in the morning. 

Vic could not believe the time as he headed to take a shower.  Vic dressed in his black suite and white shirt with a black tie.  He headed out to his car and pulled out of the driveway.  He drove to the church where they were having Bo's funereal.  He parked near the furthest exit of the parking lot and made his way into the church.

Jessica saw Vic walk into the church and made her way over to him and she saw the stitches and bruises.  "What happened to you?" she asked

"I got in an accident last night on the expressway."

"You were involved in the big accident last night then.  Was it you who the news talked about as the mysterious stranger who ripped off the roof of that mini van?"

"Yeah I guess that was me."

"The guy in the van said he saw Angels pulling him from the wreckage."

"That would be my friends.  They pulled the guy out." 

"I am glad you could make it."

"I can't stay I have another funereal to go to I just stopped by to pay my resects to Bo's parents.  I am giving the Eulogy for my good friend Tony who past away the other night."

"I am sorry to here that.  Let me get you to Bo's parents."

Vic paid his respects and cried a bit as he talked to her parents.  He finally managed to get home.  He opened the door and his friends were dressed.  They also were bandaged up which looked funny.  Vic couldn't help but laugh out loud.  Everyone started laughing when they realized how bad they really looked and what they have been through.  Vic moved in close and they all gathered for a group hug.

At the funereal procession Vic sat near the back trying to gather his thoughts.  In one pocket he had his phone the other had a tape player.  Vic starred into space and tried to crack his neck to relax.  He wasn't listening to the priest as he spoke and had to be nudged to go up and deliver the Eulogy.  As Vic stood in front of everyone he adjusted the microphone and cleared his throat.  He saw his friends and Tony's family waiting for what he was going to say.

"Well when I was asked to give the Eulogy my friends who were with me at the time asked me if I was going to write something.  Writing something would not have been right.  Tony and I went with gut instincts for the moment.  So I am going with what I feel.  What I feel right now is a deep lost.  Tony was a friend that would be hard to replace.  We did not always see eye to eye but we respected each other views and they way we lived.  Whenever he needed help I was there for him and vice versa.  I just wish I could have been a better friend to him.  If I was he might be with us today.  The one thing that Tony taught me was to never neglect your friends.  If he had some good fortune he always shared it with me.  Well I may not look like I have come across good fortune but I have.  So I want to share it with my friends.  I need them to know how much I care.  I need them to know that when they are not around I miss them.  I am sorry that Tony had to die in order for me to really learn this and understand."  Vic's eyes started welling up with tears and it was harder for him to speak.  "I want everyone here to know that they should not take the people you care about for granted.  We are not sure how long any of us will be around.  So instead of screaming at some one show a little understanding.  Our time here is limited so lets make the best of it."  Vic reached into his pocket and pulled out the tape recorder.  "There is something that Tony and I promised each other one night when we had a few too many and we were wallowing in self pity because we were not dating at the time.  I just thought it would not be this soon that one of us would have to do this.  So Tony this is for you."  Vic adjusted the microphone down towards the tape recorder and pressed play.  The sound of Sam Rosen screaming the New York Rangers are the Stanley Cup Champions.  Vic's eyes let loose like Niagara Falls.  The taped stop and Vic pressed stop and quietly said, "Thanks Tony I will always carry you in my heart."

Vic walked to where he was sitting and his friends held him as he sat down and continued to cry.  The priest came back and finished the service.  There was no burial since Tony was cremated.  So at the end everyone just went their separate ways most people stopped to thank Vic for his Eulogy.  Vic just acknowledged everyone and tried to be pleasant. 

Finally they were the only ones left in the church when Vic's cell phone rang and he clumsily reached for it and managed to get it to his ear and say hello.  The conversation lasted only a few seconds. Vic stood up and said," We got to go."

"What's wrong?" asked Jenna as they stood up and headed out of the church. 

"There was a couple of fires," Vic said  "Ginger is in the hospital.  We have to get down there quickly."

Everyone rushed to Vic's car and he sped out of the parking lot.  He headed for the Southern State and they were on the way to Virginia.  Vic drove like an insane maniac.  The ride to Virginia took just over seven hours.  Vic headed to the hospital to and pulled into a spot and everyone quickly got out of the car. 

Once inside the hospital they headed for the information desk. Which was manned by an old woman in the volunteer smock.

"We are trying to find out where Ginger Landers is?" asked Christy of the old woman behind the desk.

"I do not see a listing for a Ginger Landers," replied the old woman as she punched in Ginger's name several times in the computer.

"She came in last night," Erica insisted. 

Thatís when Jenna noticed Cynthia.  She was the one who called Vic earlier.  She did not look happy at all.  In fact it looked like she had been crying quite a bit.  Everyone's stomach dropped as they realized what had happened.

Cynthia spent the last several hours here in the hospital waiting.  Cynthia explained about the fire that burned down the store and the fire that burned down the house.  The fire spread so fast that it engulfed the house so fast that Ginger was badly burnt.  She was brought in and she was alive but she did die three times in the emergency room.  Finally she did leave us several hours ago and they could not bring her back.

Everyone was crying and Vic stood up and moved over to a soda machine and inserted some money and pressed for a root beer.  He picked up the soda and opened it and drank it down quickly.  Vic looked about and tried to talk but words escaped him.  Vic could not believe what has happened this week.  Vic sat down again and looked exhausted.

"What do we do now?" Vic asked.

"Well we get in touch with Gingers family and see what they have planned.  Then we will go from there.  First we need to get some sleep.  I know I am exhausted and there is nothing we can do until tomorrow," Erica said.

They headed out of the hospital and Vic drove them to a Holiday Inn.  They went in and booked two rooms and Christy and Vic took one room and Jenna and Erica took the other.  They went into their rooms and went to sleep Vic barely managed to get his shoes and jacket off. Christy managed to get a little more off but first went to the gift shop and bought a t-shirt so she could sleep in it.

The next morning Vic woke up and felt refreshed but was still in his clothes from yesterday.  Vic jumped into the shower and put on the same clothes.  Christy was up and she jumped in the shower and put on the same clothes from the previous day.  Jenna and Erica were still sleeping since they did not answer the phone when Christy buzzed them.  So Christy left a message saying She and Vic were going to check the house out.  Christy and Vic pulled out of the holiday Inn parking lot and headed towards the house.  The home was completely burnt down.

When they got out of the car to inspect the grounds they found a police officer there. 

"Excuse me folks but this is a crime scene.  I am going to have to ask you to leave," said the police officer.

"I'm one of the owners just came to inspect the damage," Christy responded.

"Sorry miss but you can not walk around here.  The investigation is almost over.  You must know they caught the group of men responsible for the fires."

"No I was unaware of that but thanks for telling me that is some good news."  Christy did see that there were four safes in the rubble.  Hopefully they lived up to the all the advertising that they would with stand fire and flood.

Vic and Christy headed back to the hotel and got Jenna and Erica.  They went shopping and picked up clothes to last for some time.  They talked to Gingers parents and the funereal was set.  Erica also set up a press conference since it has gone public with the information about who burnt down their business and home.   With all this the day flew by and they all found themselves eating dinner in a small restaurant on the strip.

The dinner was good and they headed back to the hotel.  Erica outlined the plan for the next day.  It seemed simple press conference then funereal and pick up all the safes and get out of here.  It was a plan and Vic was happy with it and so was Jenna and Christy.  They headed to the hotel and called it a night.  The morning came and Vic got everyone to one of the banquet rooms where the press conference was going to be held.  Vic looked around and saw all the local news stations were here.  Also several papers were in attendance.  Eric started the pres conference with a greeting and seemed to head straight into the heart of the matter.

"What I called this press conference for was to publicly let everyone know that has protested my store that they have won.  We spent many years fighting for our rights to be in business here and the battles were fought in the courts and we did win each one.  It was costly at times but people came to the store and bought so we kept going.  Now a new group has started protesting us and has taken things little to far it appears.  True they are innocent till proven guilty but the latest turn of events have been too costly.  So we are picking up what is left and selling the land and leaving this state.  It is obvious not everyone here is ready to except people for who they are.  I thought with all the court battles behind everything would be settled and we all could just get along.  Some people are never satisfied then.   A good friend of mine said the other day that we need to keep our friends close and in the light of this I think I need to be close to my friends."  Erica spoke into the mike.  "So I just wanted to say there would be no lawsuits from us.  We just want justice.  I can't speak for my friend's family but I am sure there will be a wrongful death suite.  That is all I have to say on the matter.  There will be no question and answers period so thank you for coming and have a nice day."  Erica Christy and Jenna got up and walked out. 

The press core was clammering and shouting out questions.  The girls just walked out and Vic met them in the back.  The got in Vic's car and headed to the church and sat with Gingers parents.  Vic looked around and saw a lot of people he had met and were friends of Gingers. Vic knew this was going to be very emotional. 

While Vic was looking around Christy whispered in his ear, "Ginger's parents wants one of her close friends to say something and we all voted and you won."

"I have nothing to say, I can't do this."

"You better cause people are waiting."

Vic looked around and it seemed all eyes were upon him,  "Thanks for putting me on the spot."

"No problem we got faith in you.  Ginger would have wanted you to speak on her behalf anyway."

Vic stood up and went to the front of the church.  All eyes followed him.  He looked out at the crowd.  He recognized most of the people but not all.  So Vic started to speak, "Well I guess I should introduce myself since not everyone her knows my name.  My name is Victor Carmece.  I have been a friend of Gingers for over six years.  It started off slow but we became close.  I think she saw me as an interesting person who could easily say things she wanted to here just to torment her. I would play head games just have fun but at the same time I always had her back.  Our relationship was almost like brother and sister.  We could talk and joke about almost anything.  The two most important things in her life were the store that she helped run and her music.  She had fun with the music and it seemed like she wasn't serious but if you got to know her she was very serious about it and that is the thing I will miss the most about her.  So Ginger if you can hear me where ever you are I am going to miss you so much."  Vic's eyes welled up and a tear streamed down his face.  The people started to cry as they saw Vic well up.  "There will not be a day that goes by that we will not think of you.  You are etched in our hearts and I am proud to be able to say I was your friend."  Vic looked out and saw gingers folks crying and his friends were balling.  Vic walked back and sat down and wrapped his arms around his friends. 

The funereal ended and Vic took everyone to the remains of the house they picked up the contents of the safes and they left.

"Well where to now." Vic asked

"Back to the hotel so we can check out.  Then we are heading home," Erica said

"Your home is gone Erica," Vic said

"Well not our new home."

"And that would be," asked Vic.

"Itís a nice place on Long Island in Sayville I believe," Erica said

"Are you sure?"

"We are sure," all three chimed in simultaneously.

"I was hoping for this cause I have some news I was saving for you all when the time was right.  On Saturday I played lotto and I won. I hit for twenty five million.  So once again I hit the lottery and we are now set.

"You are incredibly crazy Vic," Jenna said.

"I know, everything should be okay now."