Ok, so he wasn't the sharpest tack in the box, he knew that. Anyone growing up with a sister whose IQ was higher than Gods would realise that they could be seen as 'lacking' by some.

He didn't mind, he had always been proud of her academic achievements, and at the same time a bit smug when he realised that while he may not be a genius, he DID have something she didn't, he had a LIFE!

She may have certificates and awards, but he knew he had a loving wife and two beautiful children, a decent home, a not-too-bad job. All in all he thought he was ahead in life. She even allowed him to set her up with his friends, how pathetic was that? Well, she needed help, so he gave her it and his friend was a great guy! They got on well together, they were even talking about getting married.

Then something happened, he didn't know what, and their father died too, and within months she had switched from the mountain she had worked at for years, to the dessert not too far away from him, she had started courting her old boss, someone Jacob had mentioned a couple of times as a 'good guy', and she was engaged! The president had allowed them the Lincoln Room to celebrate!

All in all maybe his baby sister was getting it together at last, if she hurried she may even get a couple of kids before she got too physically old, and him too, after all her new boyfriend was 15 years older than her!

He sighed and turned back to his computer screen, he could NOT see where the problem was! He had been working on this same patch of coding all morning, he knew the reason for the error was staring him in the face, he just could not for the life of him work it out. He hated working the bugs out of other peoples software… if they could just let him write them from scratch at least he would know where to look when something went wrong, but that wasn't how the new bosses worked!

A 'ping' alerted him to an Email, he opened it, noting it was not internal, so he would have the web monitors on him if it contained anything personal or in violation of the web use code in place in his office.

The mail said:

Your Cell phone is turned off, please contact Sam

He waited 10 minutes and then slipped out to the bathroom, he knew the monitor would know what he was doing, but hopefully would over look it if he could get back to his desk fast.

He slipped into a stall and opened his phone, he dialled his sisters number and a strange voice answered.


"Mark Carter, yes. Where's Sam?"

"She's… busy. Is it possible for you to get a few days off from work?"

"Who the hell is this?" Mark asked "and where is my sister, and why do you have her phone?"

"I need to ask you a couple of questions first, make sure you are who you said you were… I'm Jack by the way" So her latest fiancé… ok he could deal with this, but what the hell? Security questions?

"Ok Jack, I'll play for now, ask away"

"Who is Uncle George"

"I don't have an Uncle George" he heard a pause on the other end of the line and then 'Jack' put the phone down.

Mark looked at the phone amazed, he redialled and when it was picked up he said, quickly

"You mean George Hammond…Just because Sam called him Uncle George doesn't mean I did, I am older than her remember! I refused to have any pretend 'uncles' or 'aunts'"

"Ok, how many times has Sammy been engaged and what did I say wrong?"

"Counting the phone call last month, 3, the Bastard Jonas, my friend Pete and now you! And if you call her Sammy to her face she will kick your arse!"

He could feel a bit of tension in the other man drain away, even over this far a distance and over a phone line.

"We have a few things to discuss, but first, we are setting the date for the wedding, Sam wants to know if you will give her away. I know it's short notice but it's going to be next weekend"

"Why isn't Sam asking me?"

"She's busy, I told you that already"

"Doing what? What is so important she isn't even asking me to come to her wedding?"

"She's… away… she will be back for the wedding, I've just been left to sort it all out."

"I want to talk to her first! I had conversations like this with that bastard Jonas, you have any idea how many times he tried to arrange a wedding without telling HER?"

A frustrated sigh came down the line to him, "Leave your cell phone on tonight, I'll try and get a link so she can talk to you about… 18:00 your time"

"Ok, fine" the phone went down on the other end, and Mark sat reviewing the conversation for a while… "he said a FEW things…" He stood and flushed the toilet and washed his hands, hopefully he wasn't gone so long that it would cause a problem.


At 18:02 that evening Marks cell rang and he pulled off the road to answer it and heard Sam, she was telling him everything that Jack had said earlier, plus some other bits. She sounded very echoey… as if she was in a large enclosed empty space. Mark tried to ask her, subtly, why the rush, they had only just got engaged… Hell they had only JUST started courting!

Sam, as she was known to, just answered with "because" or "why not" or other useful phrases, he had heard his dad go on about Sams mouth running away with her when trying to explain things, but he evidently never tried to get her to talk about anything personal, because the average rock was more forthcoming!

However, his baby sister was getting married, and dad was dead, so it was either Mark or Uncle Irvin giving her away, and Mark hoped she had forgotten Uncle Irvin existed! There's always one family member you never want to be connected to in public, at one time Mark thought that it was Jacob… now he KNEW it wasn't!

Mark got home and told Jane about the wedding, she immediately panicked, she had nothing to wear… forget that wardrobe full of clothes she had only ever worn once before, to someone elses wedding! Mark, probably most men, couldn't understand why women couldn't wear the same dress every time, after all men wore their suits, and they didn't insist on new ones for every occasion!

The preparations were done, the Family flew out to Colorado Springs, the wedding was to take place in the small chapel attached to Peterson, Jack booked a hotel suite for them, he said his house was undergoing 'some work' and Sams bungalow already had both of them staying in it, as well as Cassie, a girl Sam looked after since she had lost her mother, in Iraq or somewhere.

Mark didn't get a lot of time to spend with the couple, they flew in Thursday, Sam met them but Jack was 'busy', they had a small rehearsal on Friday, Jack turned up 2 minutes late and left less than 5 minutes after it was over! The wedding was Saturday and the couple left straight after the reception (the president…yes THE PRESIDENT OF THE US of A, left after the toast!) heading back up the mountain for some reason. Sam said she would call, or visit, but it was actually almost 6 months before he heard from her again.