The story below is a work of gay fiction. If you do not like this kind of story or are too young, please exit now. The story is the property of the author and may not be copied, except for personal use, nor reproduced without the written consent of the author.


Chapter Eleven

Wednesday Evening, Ron and Matt’s home

Ron opened the door from the garage, with thoughts of Matt and Douglas still on his mind. Dan was standing at the kitchen island, pouring himself a glass of milk as Ron entered the room. Parker was standing nearby.

“Hi Ron,” Dan said, looking up. “How are Matt and Doug?”

“Matt’s asleep so he’s well, but no different than when you were at the hospital,” Ron replied. “Douglas was doing fine too. He was in the recovery room awake when I left, but they’re going to move him into Matt’s room. I was going to wait, but he can’t have visitors until tomorrow, so I decided to come home and get some rest. The surgery went better than expected and, in reality, he should lose the hump that he had in his back, so it may turn out for the best. I’m sure it will slow his recovery but except for the slight bow in his legs and the weakness from lack of development, he should be better off than ever before.”

“That’s good,” Dan said smiling. “I’ll let Tyler know the latest when I speak to him later. It was all I could do to convince him to finish his work in Arizona before he comes back.”

“I’m glad you did that,” Ron responded. “We’re are supposed to go to D.C. for the meeting with the Homeland Security people next week but I won’t go unless Matt and Douglas are doing well.”

“I’m sure they’ll be fine,” Dan said optimistically.

“Probably,” Ron agreed. “Time will tell. Where are the boys?”

“Jerry and Ronnie are over at the guest house. They were doing their homework, and then they were going to watch some TV. I’ll be going over there pretty soon as it’s about time for them to shower and go to bed. The other two boys are in their room. I know they are anxious to talk with you about their future. Tyler really wanted to be here for it as he’s the one they know best, but I know he fully trusts you to handle it, even if it’s just to put them off until he returns.”

“What do you think we should do with them?” Ron asked.

“I really like both boys. Since they’re older and have such diverse backgrounds, they’re quite different than most of the boys that are at Thornton. I have to agree with Tyler that they should remain here, as long and you and Matt agree. I think Carl will be the easier of the two to handle, though his getting used to the ‘outside’ will take some doing. I guess I like him because he’s so grateful for the help and support. Nathan is a different matter. He’s been on his own for a while, and is much more independent. He is a much more likely candidate for Thornton than Carl, but as Tyler said, he could be a disruptive influence there.”

“I feel bad that their needs have been shoved into the background,” Ron admitted. “With Matt’s injury, and now Douglas’, it’s been a bit overwhelming.”

“I’m sure they understand,” Dan responded.

“Well, I’ll talk with them,” Ron promised. “I haven’t had time to really think about it much, but I really need to get to know them better anyway. At least they won’t feel ignored.”

“I’m glad Mr. Matt and Douglas will recover. Can I fix you a sandwich?” Parker offered.

“That would be great,” Ron said with gratitude. “I’ll go find Nathan and Carl while you do that. You can just leave it there on the counter. I’ll be back in a few minutes and grab a quick bite before I get into any heavy discussions with the boys.”

“It will be here, whenever you’re ready, sir.”

“Thanks Parker. I’ll talk with you in the morning, Dan,” Ron said with a smile as he exited the room, heading for Nathan and Carl’s room on the second floor.

A minute later Ron tapped on the door of the bedroom that housed the two newcomers.

“COME IN,” Nathan said in a loud voice that was barely heard by Ron on the other side of the thick door.

Ron opened the door, seeing Carl at the computer reading and Nathan in a chair watching TV. Both boys stopped what they were doing, and turned to their host.

“Hi guys,” Ron said with a smile. “I just got home. Matt and Doug are doing fine and I was wondering if we could chat after I get a quick bite of dinner.”

“Sure,” Nathan said. “Do you want to talk with us together or separately?”

“I think separately would be best for now,” Ron replied. “I apologize for not having the time before. We’ve had to leave you to fend for yourself.”

“It’s not a big deal,” said Nathan, who had appointed himself spokesman.

“Well I consider it a big deal,” Ron disagreed. “You guys are important to us. We’ll try to make it up to you.”

“Just having a place to stay is more than I deserve,” Carl interjected, “and this place is fabulous.”

“Thanks Carl. Which one of you wants to be first?”

 “I guess I will,” Nathan offered. “This TV show sucks and Carl can keep reading until we’re done.

“Fine with me,” Carl agreed. “I can come whenever you’re ready for me.”

“Good. I’ll go down to the kitchen and eat my sandwich. In about 10 minutes meet me in the ‘eagle’s nest’, Nathan,” Ron requested.

“Where’s that?” Nathan asked.

“Just get on the elevator and press the top button. It’s my private hideaway.”

“Cool,” Nathan agreed.

“See you then,” said Ron as he left the room.

                                                 *                      *                      *
Ten minutes later

Nathan stepped off the elevator that opened to reveal the large room surrounded by windows giving a panoramic view of the city to the east and the mountains to the west.

“Wow!” Nathan said in surprise. “The view up here is breathtaking.”

Ron smiled. “Yep, it’s the best view in Las Vegas, except for maybe from the top of the Stratosphere Tower and there you can’t see everything at once unless you’re on one of their rides at the top.” Ron declared. “ I guess we’d better get started. It’s getting kinda late. Have a seat,” he said turning away from the view and indicating an area furnished with a sofa and chairs.”

Nathan stepped to one of the comfortable chairs and sat while Ron took the end of the couch nearest the chair.

“I’m sure you want to know what’s going to happen to you,” Ron said as an opener.

“Yeah, I do and I’m sure Carl does too.”

“The situation here has been rather disjointed since you arrived,” Ron explained. “First Matt got hurt, then Douglas. I’m sorry you guys got left in the background.”

“Yeah, you said that before, but hey, it’s alright. Parker took us shopping which took half of the day before we went over to Tyler and Dan’s place. We haven’t been ignored.”

“I’m glad,” Ron said. “I hope you understand that Tyler, Matt, Dan and I would usually all be here to talk with you guys. I’m just filling in, though I must admit, we rarely disagree on anything of importance.”

“Well, for me, I’m grateful for anything. The situation in Salt Lake City was getting nasty, but if you don’t want me to stay, I’ll leave. I’ve been on my own long enough that I’m not afraid,” Nathan said with a hint of defiance.

“Your leaving is not even up for discussion,” Ron said to reassure the young man. “We just need to decide what is in all our best interests.”

“I’m sure my leaving would be in your best interest,” the youth said looking down at his feet dejectedly.

“Perhaps. I doubt it though,” answered Ron. “You see, my brother has taken a liking to you. He’s an excellent judge of character. Somehow he seems to think you’re worth the effort.”

“He can’t want me too much. I offered to pay for his help with a blowjob, but he refused.”

Ron’s eyes opened slightly as he tried to mask his surprise.

“He didn’t tell me that,” he responded simply.

“I’ll make you the same offer,” Nathan stated. “I don’t expect something for nothing. Hell, I’ll offer you more than that when I get recovered a little more from the beating those guys gave me in Salt Lake.”

“Nathan,” Ron asked, “Do you want to do that? Do you want to trade your body for favors?”

“Not really, though with you guys it wouldn’t be bad,” Nathan answered with tears coming to his eyes. “It’s just all I have to offer right now.”

“Come here, son,” Ron said indicating a place beside him on the sofa.

Nathan stood then moved to Ron’s side, fully expecting that it was time to pay his dues. Ron put his arm around Nathan’s shoulders and pulled him close before speaking.

“Nathan, you’re a very attractive young man. Years ago, before I met Matt, I might have been tempted with your offer and I’m not rejecting it now because you’re not desirable. Nevertheless there’s something you should know about my brother and me. We love our partners and they love us. To us that means being true to our mate in that we only make love with our own partners. Second, none of us would ever accept your body as payment for our love. Note that I said love.

“I don’t understand,” the young man said softy, “you love me but you don’t want to have sex with me?”

“Exactly,” Ron answered. “When we asked you to come here, we didn’t expect payment. At least not that way.”

“Then how can I pay you back?” Nathan asked, still confused.

“You can pay us back by becoming a man that we can be proud to call our son. You can pay us back by loving us the way we’re willing to love you. That love has to be given though. We can’t demand it. Only love that’s given is worth having. We’re offering you that kind of love, not demanding anything in return. If you return our love, it’s because you feel it, not because it’s expected.”

“Are you saying that when I give my love to you without any strings attached, that we can make love?”

“If you’re talking about sex, the answer, as I said before, is ‘no’,” Ron responded. “You need to understand what we mean when we talk about love. “First is our love of God. That love is a love of respect and reverence for our creator. Second, is our love for our mates. That love is a love of ‘oneness’. Matt is a part of me like no other person on earth. We are one in purpose, in caring, and in our dedication to the happiness of each other. Sex is only a small part of that love. It’s the ‘frosting on the cake,’ not the cake itself. We’d love each other without the sex if we had to. We’d love each other if we were incapacitated. It’s a love that will never leave us, regardless of our circumstances.”

“That love is not confining though. As much has we love each other, we still have room for different kinds of love. Those loves include our love of God, our love of our family, and our love of others. When Tyler helped you initially it was because of his love of others. He felt an obligation to God to help those in need, in this case, you and Carl. When he got to know you better, he offered you a place in our home. You could stay here as a guest, as one of the ‘others’ we help because of our obligation to our Creator. Conversely you could also stay here as a son, as part of the family. That’s the dilemma we all find ourselves in now: whether we want each other as family or as just a helping hand. I guess the question is, ‘What do you want’?”

Nathan paused. Ron could see in the young man’s eyes the thought processes whirring in Nathan’s brain. After what seemed like forever, Nathan responded.

“I don’t know, Ron. Honestly, I don’t. My own family was dysfunctional and my experience as a part of that family was not good. I know I wanted to be loved by my parents, but when they found out I was gay, they showed their true colors. They in effect threw me out. My father was willing to get drunk and fuck me, but it was too much for me to accept. I had to leave. I guess I’m not sure whether I can risk being hurt again.”

“That’s okay, Nathan. We’re not in a hurry for you to decide. To be honest, we haven’t decided yet either. You know we’ll accept you as a guest. There is no pressure for you to make up your mind, or for us to make an irrevocable commitment either. You need to know that we’re willing to consider you a son, but not unless you want it. When we make that commitment however and you’re in, you’re in. Our love for you as our son will not go away once it’s given. Your love for us has to be just as strong too. If we believe that your only interest in being our son is to live in a secure place, a place of wealth and luxury, then we’ll not accept you as our son. You can stay for however long we decide, as a guest. You’ll still have the physical security, but as a guest, not as a family member.”

“I want to assure you that even though there are legal movements around the country to deny gays the right to marry, and often those movements are disguised as movements to ‘save the family’, our family here, a family of gay men, is stronger than 90% of heterosexual marriages blessed by both church and state. Matt and I are married, just as certainly as if we were legally bound, and Ronnie and Douglas are as certainly our sons as if they had been born of our loins. The same holds true of Tyler and Dan and their son Jerry. We have two families here. They are families bound by brotherhood, but the love that should be found in every family, is present here. Now it’s just a matter of whether our family will expand to include you and/or Carl.”

“Can I think on what you’ve said?” Nathan asked. “I’ve never even considered the possibility of again being a part of a family or as love being more than sex. My head is reeling; I can’t think straight.”

“Yes, I’m sure that that is the wise thing to do,” Ron replied. “You need to get to know us better and we need to know you better too. I think it would be best if we waited a few weeks before we make that kind of commitment. In the meantime, we need to talk about where you want to go in life too. It’s too late to start school this fall, if that’s what you want, but there are other options we can discuss. You don’t have to be part of the family for us to help you that way, so one thing is not dependant on the other.”

“Thanks Ron. I may not show it very well, but I really appreciate you guys.”

“You’re welcome Nathan. I guess we’re done for now. Would you ask Carl to come up when you get back to your room?”

“Sure, be glad to,” Nathan said with a smile that exposed a newfound hope for a better life. “Bye.”

“Goodnight Nathan, “ Ron said flashing a warm smile at the handsome young man.

                                     *                      *                      *

Ten minutes later, the elevator doors again opened. Carl stepped through the opening into the room, finding Ron standing at a wet bar pouring himself a soft drink.

“Man! This is beautiful,” Carl said looking around at the room and the view outside. “I never would have guessed this was here!”

“Yes, it’s nice,” Ron agreed. “Would you care for a drink of something before we start?”

“I’ll have whatever you’re having,” Carl answered. “Thanks for asking.”

Ron took a glass from the rack and poured a second drink, before taking the glasses to the seating area previously occupied by himself and Nathan.

“Have a seat,” Ron offered.

“Ok,” Carl accepted, sitting in the same chair that Nathan had chosen. Ron took his place on the couch, as he set his glass on the table and placed Carl’s drink into his outstretched hand.

“Carl,” Ron began. “I think this little chat were about to have should be without any pressure. I like to think of it as just getting to know each other a little. Tyler has told me a bit of what you’ve been through, so you don’t have to feel that I’m judging you in any way or that you have to reveal more about yourself than you’re comfortable with. I can accept you as you are. You have nothing to prove.”

“That’s mighty nice of you Mr. Ron. I’ve been in turmoil in my mind since I got thrown out from home. Mr. Tyler was the only person that treated me like with real kindness until I came here. I thought that the guys from the ‘sanctuary’ were going to be that way, but I was wrong. They were just sizing me up, and I guess my being gay was the thing that made them reject me too. I would have rather been a straight person but I can’t help what I am.”

“None of us can, Carl. I hope you are beginning to see that being different does not mean that we’re less, either. Much of the world might not agree with me, but they have a different perspective. They don’t sit in our place. It’s easy to say, ‘we’re straight and you’re gay, so we must be better’, just like historically, Christians mistreated Jews, or Germans thought they were better than Poles, or Whites denying Blacks equality. It seems that the Gay Rights Movement is the last big frontier of human rights, at least in this country. There are still other human rights issues regarding equality, such as religious prejudices, but the Gay Marriage issue is the only issue that’s left where there is such religious fervor to deprive a rather significant portion of the population a basic right. I will say though, that gays are treated by most of the population with a great deal more acceptance than they were 50 years ago.”

“I just don’t understand why some people would hate me for something I have no control over,” Carl said sadly.

“It does defy all reason,” Ron agreed, “but reason has nothing to do with prejudice. Many straight people have justified their rejection by alleging that being gay is a choice, one that is contrary to nature and the will of God. That is sheer stupidity! Why would any intelligent person choose to expose him or herself to rejection and hate by a huge portion of the population if it were truly a simple choice? That makes no sense at all. I choose to believe that the God that made us as we are loves us as we are. Certainly we are sinners by nature, but that we have some control over.”

“What do you believe is sinful?” Carl asked. “My church has a huge list of things that they believe are wrong. Being gay is one of them.”

“I believe that ‘sin’ can be defined simply as ‘that which separates us from God.’ It could be the obsessive desire for wealth, or doing bad things to others, or even sex if it becomes an overwhelming influence in our lives. I believe that God wants us to be happy and contented, but not to lose sight of his place in our lives.”

“What about people that are born handicapped, or mentally incapable? How can a loving God cause that to happen?”

“First, I don’t believe that God causes bad things to happen. God has set up the ‘rules of nature,’ if you want to call them that. In that sphere there are good and bad things that can occur. God does not cause the bad things to happen any more than he causes all the good things to happen. They happen because he allows them to happen and because they are within the sphere of nature. I personally believe that God can intercede if he so chooses, but for the most part, I believe he lets nature take its course. I further believe that God will ultimately judge us all on what we do with what we’re given, even those of us born handicapped, or mentally incompetent. For those that die at childbirth, or those that are mentally unable to fend for themselves, I believe that God’s forgiveness and acceptance is supreme. If we are gay, God does not reject us, but accepts us for what we are and what we do with our lives. We are still his creatures and his sons and daughters. Also, I believe that God watches us to see how we handle ‘problems’ and challenges such as caring for those less fortunate. In the same line of thinking, I look at being wealthy and having good health as a special obligation placed on us by God to help those in need, not to just enjoy ourselves with the blessing he’s bestowed on us. When God gives much, he expects much.”

“Gosh, I never thought of any of that,” Carl said shaking his head. “I just was taught that there are a lot of things that are wrong, and that anyone who believed differently than us is condemned.”

“Your church is not alone in that perspective,” Ron acknowledged.

“I’m sorry, but could we changing the subject?” Carl asked with hesitation. “I need to ask this. What is going to happen with me and Nathan?”

Ron smiled.

“What do you want in life, Carl?” Ron asked with kindness. “We’d like to help you get there.”

“I’m not sure,” Carl answered after hesitating. “No one every asked me that before.”

“You must have thought about it,” Ron said with surprise.

“Yeah, a little,” Carl admitted. “I mean, where I grew up we were told everything to do. There was not much choice in anything. I just assumed that when I got old enough to have a regular job, my father would decide, and that would be it. I thought about what I might like to do, but I had no hopes of being able to decide for myself. Like in school, they only taught up to algebra. I took it even though my dad thought it was a waste of time. The teacher was not very good at it though. I had to study the book on my own to get it. By the time the class was over, I knew more than the teacher. I’m really good at numbers. I can do problems in my head that most people where I lived had trouble with, even with a pencil and paper.”

“How much is 378 times 72?” Ron asked.

Carl answered without hesitation, “Twenty seven thousand, two hundred and sixteen.”

“That’s very impressive, Carl,” Ron said after checking the answer on a small pocket calculator he carried on his key chain.

“That was easy,” Carl said.

“I’ll take your word for it,” Ron said. “Perhaps you should continue your schooling and major in mathematics or physics.”

“I don’t even know what physics is,” Carl admitted.

“It’s the study of the forces of nature, like gravity, leverage and the like,” Ron answered. “It’s a very important science in our modern world. It uses a lot of mathematics.”

“It sounds like something I’d like. Can people who study that stuff make a living?”

“Yes, some that are very good make an excellent living. Many use that knowledge in a practical sense to design and build everything you see that is made by man. Others study the pure science. It is more theoretical and far beyond the understanding of even most educated people.”

“What good is it if you can’t understand it?”

“It is necessary to study all kinds of things. For example, there is a new field of study called nanotechnology. It’s a study of things so small that you can’t even see them without the most powerful microscopes. Imagine a motor so small that 10,000 of them would fit in a drop of water.”

“You’re kidding me,” Carl said in disbelief. “You’re thinking that just because I came from nowhere that I’d fall for that? I’m not that stupid.”

“I don’t think you’re stupid at all Carl,” responded Ron. “I’m really not kidding though. Things like that are being studied.”

“What would you do with something like that?” Carl asked. “I mean it’s unbelievable.”

“Imagine that you could put tiny ‘ships’ in a person’s blood stream. Imagine that you could make those ships go where you want them to go. Then imagine that the ships were loaded with medicine that would attack and kill cancer. You could make those ships deliver their cargo where it would attack just the cancerous cells, and leave the healthy cells alone. Right now we can’t do that; we have to kill millions of healthy cells to get a few thousand bad cells. Sometimes the body cannot survive the cures that we have.”

“Man, that’s fantastic,” exclaimed Carl. “I had no idea that such things were even dreamed of.”

“Many of the things that could evolve from nanotechnology are only dreams now. But so was the airplane, at one time, and it was not really that long ago.”

“I hardly know where to start or even look,” Carl said. “It’s overwhelming.”

“As you know, the fall school term has already started, so it’s too late to pursue formal education for a while. If you really want to continue your education to develop your skills, you should do it. I know that you told Tyler that your schooling was substandard. It puts you at a disadvantage in college, and it will cause you a lot of work and possibly failure in areas where you are weak. I’d like to make a suggestion.”

“I’m listening,” Carl said in rapt attention.

“What I’m suggesting is that this fall we hire tutors to give you cram courses in all the basics. It would be a lot of work, and it could go as fast or slow as you can absorb the material. It would also tell us the skill level you have achieved in school; to assure us that you can be successful in College. I’m sure that you’ll find that some things are easy for you and are interesting. I think that also you’ll find that some things are difficult and uninteresting. We will want to develop those things, like math that you are good at, and achieve at least a minimal level of competence in those areas critical for college graduation where you are weak.”

“You guys would do all of this for me? I don’t understand. I’m nobody.”

“No one is a nobody,” Ron responded with a slightly raised voice. “You’re a special and unique person. There are some people that have little special talent or knowledge. They normally have decent jobs and live a happy life without too much excitement. Then there are some that have that special “something”, but they are too lazy or disinterested to capitalize on it. The sexual side of life often sidetracks many people too. That’s true no matter your sexual ‘leanings’. You need to achieve a balance. You can’t think with your dick and your brain at the same time.”

Carl blushed at Ron’s declaration.

“What is Nathan going to do?” Carl asked.

“I really have no idea yet,” Ron admitted. “We had a nice discussion, but it was different than what you and I have talked about. There is a lot to think about, but there is no emergency that says things have to be decided immediately. I’d like you to think about what we’ve talked about, and talk with Nathan too. I’m sure that you guys could help each other decide which way to point yourselves.”

“Does that mean that we get to stay here?” Carl asked.

“The answer is ‘yes’, at least for the immediate future. Don’t worry though, there is no way we’re going to turn you out on the streets. Both you and Nathan have been there, and it’s no easy task for young guys like you to make any progress from being stuck on the streets trying to survive, without some help. By the way, if you’re not interested in schooling at the University, there are plenty of trade schools, where you can learn a craft that will provide a decent living for you in the future. It may sound like I absolutely want you to go to the University, but that isn’t really true. I want you to do what makes you happy and fulfilled in your work. That is more important than becoming rich or having a profession requiring a high level of mental skill. I fully respect a garbage man who likes his work and gets satisfaction from it. It is sad, however, to be stuck in a job that you’re good at, but hate and that you have to keep, just to make a living.”

“I think I understand, Ron,” Carl said. “When do I need to decide what I want to do?”

“I told Nathan to think about what we talked about for a couple of weeks or so. Then, when Tyler, Matt and Dan are at home too, we can all discuss what you’re thinking. In the meantime, feel free to talk to any of us that are around, if you have questions or want more information.”

“Thanks Ron, I will.”

“I guess that’s all we need to discuss tonight,” Ron offered.

“Uh, when are we gonna talk about sex and gay stuff,” Carl asked with embarrassment.

Ron laughed.

“We can talk about that tomorrow if you’d like,” Ron answered, still grinning. “I think it’s a bit late to get into a discussion about it tonight.”

“That sounds good to me,” Carl said with enthusiasm. “Tomorrow it is then.”

“Yeah, tomorrow it is,” Ron agreed with a bit of veiled reluctance.

                                     *                      *                      * 

Thursday, 8 AM, University Medical Center

Ron arrived an hour before the usual visiting hours. He noted as he walked by the receptionist desk in the main waiting room that the lady in the next room with whom he’d spoken was gone. Her desk was clean but obviously not ‘cleaned out’. He stopped and stepped to the reception counter.

“PARDON ME,” he said in a raised voice. A woman nearby the empty desk raised her head from her work.

“Yes sir,” she said with a smile, and then recognizing Ron, jumped from her desk and rushed to the counter.

“May I help you Mr. Turner?”

“Yes if you could,” Ron responded. “I was wondering what happened to Sylvia Stanley?”

“Uh, maybe I’m not supposed to tell you this, but I will anyway. She was suspended without pay for a week for being rude to you. Quite honestly she deserves it. She is the ‘office pain in the ass’.” The woman blushed and quickly apologized for the language.

Ron laughed.

“I’m truly sorry that it happened,” Ron said.

“We feel kind of bad too, in our own way. We know that she struggles as she’s a single mother, but damn, she makes life so miserable for us here. I think if she’d develop a kinder attitude, she’d find it easy to make friends who’d be willing to make her life just a bit easier and her work more enjoyable. It’s been like a vacation without her.”

“Hmmm,” Ron said thinking aloud. “Well, thanks for the information. Have a nice day!

“Thanks, Mr. Turner. Is there anything more I can help you with?”

“No thank you,” Ron responded. “I know my way around.”

“Obviously,” the lady said with a wink. “Goodbye.”

“’Bye”, Ron responded as he headed for the elevator.

Pausing in the hall way to the elevators, he raised his cellular phone from its clip and dialed the number of Paul McInerny’s office.

“Paul,” he said when the Chief Administrator came on the line. I’d like the address of Sylvia Stanley.

“What are you up to now?” Paul said with a knowing laugh.

“Mmmm. Nothing,” Ron answered.

“Somehow I just don’t believe you,” Paul said with the laugh still in his voice. “You know that normally it would take a court order for us to release the information you’ve asked for.”

“Yeah, I know,” replied Ron with a grin.

“Oh hell, I’ll get it for you and call you right back. I might as well get shot for being a wolf instead of a lamb.”

“Don’t worry about a thing,” Ron assured his friend.

“Easy for you to say. Somehow you always scare the hell out of me, then everything turns out for the better.”


“Yeah, I’ll call you as soon as I have it.”

“Thanks Paul.”

“My pleasure, I hope,” the administrator said before hanging up.

Ron grinned and pushed the ‘up’ button on the elevator call display. A door immediately opened and Ron stepped into the cab, pushing the button for the fifth floor.

Striding down the hallway, he stopped at the nurse’s station.

“I’m here to see Matt Davidson,” he announced.

“Do you have his room number Mr. Turner?”

“Yes, thanks.”

“Go right in,” she directed.

Ron turned from the counter, and walked to the open doorway that was to Matt and Douglas’s room. Stepping into the opening, he looked around the room. Matt and Douglas, as expected were both in their beds. Matt was looking at the newspaper, and Douglas was finishing his breakfast.

“Hi guys,” Ron said with a smile. “How’re you doing?”

“Pretty good,” Matt said with only a slight slur. “How are things with you?”

“About the same. You know, SSDD,” he said with a grin. “Same shit, different day.”

                                     *            *            *            *            *