California Dreaming (Blades series part 3)
Julian has been invited by the parents of the two American boys he rescued to spend his September school holiday with them in Los Angeles. Whilst their, love continues to blossom between him and their 15-year-old daughter, Alison. But, whilst flying a helicopter for a local radio station, he finds himself in a tense fight against massive wildfires, and suffers mental traumas which go undiagnosed. More
Grateful for the rescue of their sons, Colin and Dale, Julian has been invited by their parents to their home in Los Angeles for a two-week visit during his September school holidays. He arrives in L.A. to be met by the whole Clifford family, except Colin, who is in hospital with complications. He is especially pleased to see Alison. They drive him to the hospital to visit Colin. Alison now has her driving licence, and takes him sightseeing next day to Venice Beach, where, as they are about to head home, he frees another child who has been left locked in a car in the sun. Julian then passes the required flight test and theory exam, and is permitted to fly helicopters in the USA. A friend of Matt's who runs a local radio station, KMAC, lets Julian fly the station's helicopter while the regular pilot is on leave. Julian does traffic reports twice daily. His accent on the radio makes him popular with listeners, as his feelings for Alison deepen.
Due to a prolonged dry spell, and strong hot winds from the desert, a brush fire breaks out in mountains north of L.A. The radio station tells Julian to pack a bag and fly up there with three reporters. He is one of the first to arrive in late afternoon. Next morning the fires flare up with the wind. All available helicopters are requested to assist, including Julian's. On that first day, in the morning, Julian carries two fire observers. They spot an arsonist. Then, they watch from the air as the massive fire engulfs the town where Julian spent the night, and save the life, at the last second, of a woman fleeing the inferno. In the afternoon, Julian assists a ground team in a search for backpackers missing in the fire area.
For the next four days, he flies several hours per day carrying fire spotters, ferrying fire fighters and equipment, and carrying-out evacuations. All the while, thoughts of Alison persist in his mind, especially when in danger. The Cliffords watch the action on TV. They see Julian in the thick of it, and are worried about him. On the fifth day, changes in the weather ease the situation. Julian is sent back to L.A. with the thanks of the authorities. Exhausted, he is welcomed home by the Clifford family, especially Alison. On his last day, the staff of KMAC give him a surprise farewell party. Later that evening, at L.A. Airport, there is an emotional farewell with the Cliffords. Julian takes Alison to one side, and tells her quietly that when they are both older, he wants to come back and marry her, She is delighted, and says 'yes', but it will be their secret until the time comes.
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