Sean Callahan, a company labor relation practitioner, relocates to the South (Chattanooga), where he runs into a buzz saw of threats from a renegade Teamster local, and a close female friend suffering mental illness that breaches their relationship. These are not idle threats. Sean fears for his life. In the midst of it all, he finds true romance . . . but a shared future is hardly assured. Sean's troubles could ruin everything. EXCERPTS A Thriller: It wasn’t long before we retreated below and began our erogenous zone explorations. At the peak moment of arousal, I heard rifle shots, and bullets splintered through our cabin. She screamed while I looked at her in disbelief. “What's going on?” I yelled. It was a rhetorical question, made in a moment of confusion. I was pretty sure I knew the answer— Sex and Romance: “I give up; tell me more,” she said. “It’s making love while listening to Ravel’s ‘Bolero,’ a one-movement orchestral piece that relaxes you at the beginning, and excites you at the end. I’ve found it to be a terrific aphrodisiac.” I continued, “The repeated melodies in an unchanging rhythm rise in a mounting crescendo, eventually exploding with a loud, furious climax. The trick is to climax in unison with the orchestra and one another. I’ve coined it, the Trifecta of Love.” “Sounds tricky, maybe a pipedream.” “You ain’t kidding. Everything being normal, man reaches climax in three minutes, a woman in thirteen, while ‘Bolero’ plays for sixteen. Get things to a simultaneous ending and ooh-la-la.” “My God, Sean! You’ve created a game that answers the prayers of most women.” “And, what might that be?” “Weaning men from, wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am,” she answered. “I guess I’m on the right track. I’ll start the music.” The Bizarre: “These nitwits sat Indian style on railroad tracks until a horn-blasting, brake-squealing train came boring down with unstoppable fury. Everyone scattered like lit-up cockroaches, except J. J. He hung tight until the last second, winning the dare, but losing badly when the engine bumped his sorry ass into a metal utility poll. That put him in a coma for three weeks, followed by six months of rehabilitation. In the aftermath, it’s obvious he hasn’t learned shit.” Fond Memories: “After the traditional kiss and our introduction to the guests as Lieutenant and Mrs. Calhoun, we exited the chapel and were met by the swordsmen, who had formed a saber arch on the chapel steps. Following tradition, they lowered their sabers and blocked each step of our way—until we kissed. Once we got past the last swordsman, I got a gentle saber whack on the butt and a hollered, ‘Welcome to the Navy, ma’am!’ It was great fun and chilling. I had goose bumps everywhere.” Humor: “My God! Are you tellin’ me you were in gun battles with the law?” Slightly insulted, he answered, “Do I look like some clodhopper who’s mently? I never shot at a lawman. But let me say vermin are another matter.” With anger left over from the past, he explained, “I shot this beaver turd, Jimbo Jolly, back in my younger years. Doc told me I would’ve killed the bastard if I’d shot him one inch closer to his heart. And that’s what he deserved.” “Holy Jesus! What did he do to piss you off?” One eye focused on me, and the other roving in directions unknown, he answered in an ear-splitting pitch that rocked the valley. “He called me a cross-eyed sombitch!” A cross-eyed affliction is not a laughable matter, but Appie’s outrageousness crossed the civil divide; hitting my tickle bone with a vengeance. Not wanting to be the second person to see the end of his gun barrel, I managed to control myself, responding with an innocuous, “I’ll bet he’ll never make that mistake again.” “Don’t make no difference. Jimbo's dead!"