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A Second Chance Part 9.

During the following week, Loni did not spend her nights or even see Dan. She had a few papers due that needed her attention, but she did call every evening, and they chatted for hours. On the weekends, she arrived on Friday and stayed until Sunday.

It was during the time when he was alone and continued his packing that Dan began to have second thoughts.He was heading to Fort Lauderdale with its warm weather, beautiful beaches, and bikini clad females as far as the eye could see. Did he really want a full-time girlfriend at his side? One that needed financial support?

It was not that he wouldn't have the money. The two-year contract had a large starting salary and a guaranteed increase as his popularity grew. Still dozens of questions plagued his mind, chief among these was the male populace down there.

All the males he had encountered seemed to be tall, tanned and well educated.Then there were the concerns Spring Break? Young studs flew or drove in from across the country to this popular destination. It would be a smorgasbord for her. She had tossed him away once before when she met someone a little more interesting and better looking. What's to prevent her from doing it again?

Now he had his heart broken a few times after she had left him, that pain was nothing compared to what he felt when she left so may years ago. His memory recalled his drinking and sobbing in the privacy of his apartment for months afterward. He could hold it together to go to work and manage to be pleasant, but as soon as he arrived home the cycle repeated itself.

Oh, he had taken other lovers, but it was done out of the need for physical release. There was no emotional attachment or warm afterglow. He finally decided that a fresh start was in order and had taken a job working a local nightclub located in a major hotel.

The money wasn't bad, and the tips were excellent.It was about a month later that he was approached by the same group of men that had sat at the bar one evening and had become interested in his voice and theatrics.

"Have you ever considered a career in broadcasting?" one of them asked.

"You sound like an air personality," the other stated.

"I don't have any training," he replied.

"The only training you need is the hands on type. The personality and voices come from within, either you have it, or you don't, and you definitely have it, "he was told.

Less than a month later he was behind the mike at a local radio station that had undergone a complete makeover. They had cast aside the folksy kind of format in favor of one that featured robust debate, and the rest was history.

He became the most popular afternoon personality in the city. Dan stopped drinking and threw himself into this new career and his popularity soared. He made numerous guest appearances and was well paid for his time, and he began to enjoy life again. It while vacationing in Florida that he was approached by the owners of a well-known radio station.

The bartender at the local bar he always frequented when he vacationed in Florida had heard of their search for new talent and called them. After checking him out the program director and station manager arranged to be at the bar a few nights later and they talked for hours about a job offer. The money they offered was good, and he accepted the offer

Now just as everything was coming together his first and true love comes back into his life and turns his world upside down. Oh, the sex was even better than he remembered which was hard to believe. He understood her not wanting to be controlled by someone, and she had always been her own person.

Just being in her presence made him happy. He stopped his packing and poured himself two fingers of bourbon in a glass and took a seat as he began to question his feelings.

Loni called and could tell by the sound of his voice that he had been drinking the hard stuff, and that was a bad sign. When drinking beer or wine he was a happy drunk, the alcohol seemed to allow an endless supply of jokes and voices to come from him.

The hard stuff was reserved for when he was deep in thought or depressed and even then he was not loud or combative. He would usually hide someplace and not wish to be bothered by anyone.

"Is everything OK?" she questioned.

"Yeah, everything is just fine, " he responded glumly.

Loni knew that everything was not fine but didn't push it. She simply packed an overnight bag and headed to his place. He admitted her, and she took a seat at the kitchen table and poured herself two glasses of the same potent amber liquid.

"You pack up the bar and stools?" she asked.

"Yeah. The kitchen table will have to do," he responded.

"So, what ails you?" she asked.

"Nothing."

"Look, besides being your friend I have taken numerous classes in human behavior. It's a matter of pride that I can tell when someone it lying."

When Loni reached for her glass, her shirt cuff pulled away from her wrist and Dan's sharp eyes saw a slight purple and bluish marks on her wrist. He grabbed her hand with his right one and used his left to push her sleeve up. Someone had grabber her, hard.

"What the hell is this?" he asked as he felt the flames of outrage and anger begin to flair up inside him.

"It's nothing," she responded and pulled her cuff back down.

"I may not have your book learned knowledge, but I also can tell when someone is lying to me."

"OK, you're drunk, and I'm leaving," Loni stated as she stood up.

"Afraid to admit the truth?" he asked.

"I could ask you the same question," she responded as she headed to the door.

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