Jean packed a bag while Terry went to his study. He opened the safe and pulled out a bundle of passports. Henry joined him and looked at the pile.
"Which one are you gonna take, Dad?" he asked.
Terry held two passports in his hands, one was his normal Aussie passport, the other was his diplomatic one. Looking at them both, he put the diplomatic one back in the safe and grabbed Jean's as well. He turned to Henry, waving two more under his son's nose. "Which one do you want, son?"
Henry smiled. It was only a few weeks since he had finally become an Australian citizen, a fact he was very proud of. He pointed to his brand new Aussie passport. His mother hadn't seen it and he hoped it would make her smile. "Now we can go through the same gate, dad."
"It won't make too much difference this trip, mate. We're taking the jet."
Henry nodded and went to get his bag packed.
The security phone rang about 15 minutes later. It was security letting them know their car had arrived. They were soon outside looking for their ride. Anton was there, engine running. He'd stopped in the street rather than try and get down into the parking area as he knew he wouldn't be there very long.
Traffic was kind to them and they made good time to the airport. Anton drove past the main entrance, heading for the executive jet hangar. The company jet was warming up, flight plan logged and the galley well stocked for the trip to London.
Jean still didn't know what was going on as neither of her men had been too forthcoming. She just hoped that Terry would talk to her and not fall asleep right away as he normally did on long flights.
They were soon taxiing towards the runway, sandwiched in between a Virgin 747 and an Emirates A380, which made their private jet look like a toy in comparison. Jean was glad when it was their turn for takeoff as she was beginning to feel rather insignificant. Henry laughed at her but agreed.
Once they were at cruising altitude, Jean turned to Terry. "Can you tell me now why we've dropped everything to fly to London, Terry?"
"It's Gran," Henry answered before Terry had a chance to speak.
"What's wrong with her, Luv?"
"She's dying," Terry sighed. He had always liked his mother-in-law. She stood up to her husband and used to take Terry's side more often than not. He just hoped that Penny had been a bit OTT on the phone and that they got there in time to see Henry's gran.
Terry couldn't tell Jean too much about his former mother-in-law as Penny hadn't really told him much over the phone. She was just too emotional to give any specific information. She had calmed down when Terry said they would make the trip up from Sydney but just said she would tell him everything once they arrived.
They had stopped to refuel and were well on their way. Everyone was asleep; Henry was stretched out on the back seats and Terry was hugging Jean close to him. The co-pilot smiled as he checked his passengers, happy to see that they were able to rest. He and the pilot didn't know what was going on but it must be important for Terry to scramble them as he did. He was going to get some food ready for them but decided it was better to let them sleep a while longer.
Terry woke a couple of hours later and got up quietly so as not to wake Jean and Henry and walked to the front of the plane and into the cockpit. "Fancy a break, mate?" he asked the pilot.
Gerry smiled and undid his seat belt. "Be my guest, boss. Tommy was going to throw some food together a bit earlier but you were all asleep, so you play with the plane and I'll go fix us some tucker."
Terry grinned as he took the pilot's place. He knew there wasn't really too much that needed doing right now as they were on auto-pilot, but it gave him a chance to catch up with Tommy, the co-pilot, as they hadn't seen each other for a while.
They were soon all eating the nice meal Gerry had put together for them and Terry had tidied everything away so that the crew could get ready for their descent into Heathrow. Terry sat next to Jean and took hold of her hand. She looked at him and could see the worry etched on his face...
ON TO PART 3
BACK TO PART 1
BACK TO LIBRISCROWE