The following is a work of gay fiction. If this subject matter is offensive or you are too young please exit now. This story is the property of the Author and may not be reproduced, except for personal use without his written permission.. See Chapter One for additional details.


Chapter Eight

8 PM, University Medical Center

Ron sat with his friends in the private waiting room near the Emergency Room. In the last two hours, Pete Siegler had shown up as well as a quick visit by Paul McInerny, the Administrator of the hospital and good friend. Ron’s obsession with Matt’s condition was temporarily interrupted by Pete’s story and the aftermath interrogation. Ron was surprised to learn that Wes Harper, the head of the Las Vegas office of Aztec-Turner Security had been at Thornton and had spent time with the police. Ron now added guilt to his concern for Matt knowing that he’d been the one who insisted that Tyler remove the full time security watch on all the family when Christine and her cousin had died in the explosion the previous spring.

‘I should have listened to Wes and Tyler,’ Ron thought with remorse. He looked up as the door opened and saw that Tyler had arrived.

“Hi Brother,” Tyler said grim faced, going to his brother’s side. “I was shocked to hear about Matt. How’s he doing?”

“No word yet,” Ron answered as if in a bad dream. “They said that if his condition changes, they’ll let us know. They did some surgery to relieve pressure on his brain. We know that the procedure went well, but he’s still unconscious and in Intensive Care. The last we heard, …he was still classified as ‘critical’.”

Suddenly Ron’s eyes misted up as he was overcome with grief. “Oh Tyler,” he croaked out his misery. “It’s all my fault! What will I do if he dies? He’s everything to me. He’s my sun and my moon. I don’t want to live without him!”

Ron broke down in tears. Tyler pulled him close, letting his brother release his pent-up emotions in his arms. Tyler could see Dan’s confirming look that Tyler was what Ron needed now.

“It’s not your fault Ron. I’m sure he’ll be alright,” Tyler said with his arms embracing his older brother. “Matt’s strong, and has everything to live for. And when I say everything, I mean you.

Ron pulled himself together and wiping his eyes withdrew from his brother’s comforting grasp.

“I’m sorry. I guess I got carried away,” Ron said apologetically as he blew his nose on a handkerchief, “I feel like such a fool,” he said with a final sniff.

“Not at all Ron,” Tyler contradicted. “It’s good to let your feelings out. No one, especially none of your friends or family here, would ever think less of you.”

“I just feel so helpless,” Ron said in frustration.

“I know,” Tyler agreed. “There are things in life that are beyond our control. We just have to live with them and not let them consume us.”

The door opened and Dr. Parker appeared.

Ron quickly stood and met the doctor halfway across the room.

“How is he doctor?” Ron asked anxiously.

“I’d like to say that he’s doing well, but there’s not enough change to say that. His vital signs appear strong considering his injury, but he’s still unconscious. This may shock you a bit, but he’s more than unconscious, he’s in a coma. There’s no way to predict when he’ll come out of it. Some people come out quickly, but others remain that way for months.”

“No!” Ron cried. “Oh my poor Matty!”

“We’re monitoring him closely in ICU. I’m to be notified of the smallest change in his condition. I’ll stay until midnight in case there is a change at this critical time, but I have to be back here at 7 AM for surgery, so I have to get some rest.”

“I understand doctor,” Ron agreed pulling himself together. “I’m sorry, I didn’t introduce my brother Tyler to you.”

“Nice to meet you Tyler,” Dr. Parker said, extending his hand. “If Matt’s condition doesn’t change by midnight, you all should go home and get some sleep.”

“I want to be with him,” Ron said with determination.

“You can’t stay with him in ICU,” the doctor said firmly. “If he stabilizes, we’ll move him in the morning to a ‘close observation’ suite. He will be monitored there, and a nurse is always nearby. In one way, it would be a good sign. It would mean that he’s strong enough to leave the ICU and one step closer to recovery.”

“How bad was the damage to his head?” Ron asked.

“There was obviously some brain damage,” the doctor said truthfully. “It was not extensive, but it could have resulted in a minor stroke. We won’t know for sure until he recovers consciousness.”

“Is there anything more that can be done? Call in specialists? …. Anything?”

“I’m sorry, there really isn’t anything more to be done,” the doctor responded. “The body is pretty resilient and much stronger than we think. Sometimes it has to simply withdraw in order for it to heal itself.”

“I’ll have to accept that,” Ron said. “Waiting is just the hardest thing, sometimes. We all want things to happen now.”

“I’ll check in with you before I leave,” the doctor promised, “or before that if his condition changes.”

At that moment the speaker overhead blared, “Code Blue! Code Blue! Dr. Parker report to intensive care, STAT.”

The doctor turned without speaking and rushed out of the room as Ron’s eyes widened and he slumped to his knees. Tyler caught him and pulled him back onto his wobbly legs, then bent over and picked his brother up in his arms as if he weighed nothing, rather than the 180 pounds he carried as body mass.

Tyler took Ron to a nearby sofa and gently laid him on it.

“It might not be Matt,” Tyler said, trying to give his brother some encouragement. Dan knelt beside Ron stroking his hair.

“He’ll be all right Ron,” Dan said softly. “He’s very strong.”

“Watch him,” Tyler told Dan. Turning toward the doorway, he stepped to the door, opened it and walked out into the hallway. Walking to a nurse who was standing at the reception counter, he asked. “Can you give me any information as to whether the ‘Code Blue’ was for Matt Davidson in ICU? Dr. Parker is the attending physician.”

“I’m sorry sir, I don’t know.”

Tyler was frustrated, trying to think of a solution to the problem of getting information. He considered calling Paul McInerny, but was afraid that any interruption by the administrator to the staff’s work might worsen the situation for the injured person, whether or not it was Matt. Then he had a thought. Picking up his phone he called Margaret, who had departed from the hospital shortly before Tyler arrived.

“Margaret?” he asked as she answered the call. “Can you get me Jack Smith’s phone number in New York?”

“Are you thinking what I think you are?” she queried.

“Yes,” Tyler admitted.

“If the news is bad, I don’t think Ron should know,” she advised.

“I’m outside in the hallway. He has no idea what I’m doing. There was a Code Blue in ICU and Ron, believing that it was Matt, is devastated.”

“Here it is,” she announced.

Tyler wrote the number on a piece of paper he had in his wallet, then repeated it back.

“You’ve got it,” she confirmed.

“Thanks Margaret. I know why Ron depends on you so much.”

“Thank you, Tyler. Please keep me informed on how Matt’s doing, and take good care of my boy, your brother.”

“I will. Goodbye and thanks again.”

“ Bye Tyler,” Margaret replied before the line went dead.

Tyler looked at the number on the small piece of paper, then started punching the numbers into his cell phone.

                         *                      *                      *

Ten minutes later Tyler returned to the small private waiting room. Dan was still kneeling on the floor beside Ron. Ron’s eyes had been closed but when he heard the closing door bump against the stops his eyes opened and he looked at Tyler.

“Did you find out anything?” he asked.

“Mmmm…. Yes, sort of…” Tyler said with hesitation.

“What do you mean?” Ron asked, sitting up in alarm.

“Stay calm, Ron,” Tyler said. “It’s not bad news.”

Ron swung his legs around and sat back as Dan joined him on the sofa. “Tell me what you found out,” Ron asked almost as a demand.

Tyler sat next to Ron on the other side from his partner.

“I don’t quite know how to tell you this, and I’m not sure I believe it myself”, he began. “I went to the desk to find out what I could, but they either couldn’t or wouldn’t tell me anything. I considered calling Paul, but I was afraid that if he interrupted whatever the doctors were doing it might be bad for whomever the Code Blue was for. I called Margaret and got Jack Smith’s phone number.”

Ron immediately knew why Tyler had called Jack. Jack had twice had visions from his departed former lover, Ted Thornton, when death was either a fact or a near miss.

“What did Jack say? Had he heard from Ted?”

“Yes. He was about to call here. He didn’t know where you were and was just picking up the phone to call Margaret when my call rang. He revealed to me what Ted told him.”

“Tell me, damn it!” Ron said with impatience.

“Ted had met Matt.”

Ron’s face turned a ghostly white.

“Matt was sent back to the living,” Tyler quickly added. “It was not his time.”

Ron broke down in tears of relief. “Thank God!” Ron said exhausted by the stress.

“I don’t know whether to believe it or not,” Tyler added.

“I believe it,” Ron said with a returning confidence.

“I can only tell you what Jack said,” Tyler reiterated

“That’s enough for me,” Ron said with assurance. “He’s never been wrong.”

“We’ll see,” Tyler said with a bit of skepticism. “I’m only the messenger.”

“Don’t worry brother,” Ron responded with a relieved grin, “I won’t shoot you.”

At that moment, the door to the room swung open. The surgeon had returned.

“We had a close one,” Dr. Parker reported as he approached the sofa where the three men waited. “Matt’s heart stopped and we had the devil of a time starting it again. He’s all right now though. In fact something strange happened. After we had defibrillated him the second time, he began to breathe normally, then after a moment his eyes opened. He regained consciousness. He tried to talk but had all kinds of tubes in his mouth. We told him that he would be all right, and that you were here waiting for him. He smiled, then went to sleep. He’s now resting comfortably, though we’re continuing to monitor him closely.”

“When will you know if he’s going to fully recover?” Ron asked.

“It won’t be until the morning,” Parker reported. “He’ll sleep all night. We’ll move him to the close observation unit in an hour, then perhaps in the morning, if there are no complications, to a regular room. I’d suggest that you go home and come back about 8 o’clock in the morning. My surgery should be over by 7:30, and as soon as I’m finished there, I’ll take a look in on Matt. Maybe I’ll have a few more answers for you at that time.”

“Can I stay with him?” Ron asked.

“No, it wouldn’t be allowed, and is not best for the patient. He needs his rest. Visiting hours begin at 10 A.M., but if you come at 8 and if he’s stronger, I’ll let you stay with him then.”

“Alright, you’re the doctor,” Ron acquiesced “I’ll be back at 8 AM sharp.”

“Fine. I’ll see you then.

“Thanks again for everything,” Ron said gratefully.

“It’s what I do,” Dr. Parker responded. “Goodnight.”

“Goodnight doctor,” the three men said simultaneously.

                                     *                      *                      *

 Meanwhile at Ron and Matt’s home

“I don’t see why they put the two of us in one room,” Nathan complained. “There are four empty ones. I mean… Ronnie and Douglas both have private rooms.”

I heard Matt tell Parker to put us in this room, as it’s only one of two that have twin beds,” Carl answered. “He said that they were expecting company in a couple of weeks, so it would be more convenient if we didn’t have to move then. Anyway, this room is twice as big as your apartment in Salt Lake City so I don’t know what the problem is. I can tell you that it’s the nicest place I’ve ever lived, for sure.”

“Yeah, I guess I shouldn’t complain,” Nathan responded. “I wonder if the company will still come if Matt’s in the hospital?”

“I don’t know,” Carl said. “I sure hope Matt’s okay. He seems like such a nice guy.”

“They’re all nice. It’s spooky. I’ve been around and I can tell you that people just aren’t this nice. I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop.”

“My experience is so limited, so I haven’t the beginning of an idea if you’re right,” Carl admitted.

“Yeah, you don’t know much.”

“That’s true,” Carl admitted. “The place I grew up was sealed off from the outside world. A few of the adults did business outside occasionally, but the young people couldn’t leave. We couldn’t read books, except those that had been ‘approved’, and we were not allowed to see movies, watch TV, listen to the radio, or even read an outside newspaper. We had a little weekly newspaper, but they only printed what was approved by our prophet.”

“Wow! That must have been awful!”

“It was very restrictive. We went to a local school, and played sports, and worked with our families. Our ‘entertainment’ was to go to church. The adult men there have several wives. Young guys were always being excommunicated and made to leave for the slightest reason. We were told that it was because they broke the rules and sinned, but we were sure that it was so the older men could have their pick of the younger girls.”

“I never knew there was such a place,” Nathan admitted. “I don’t understand why any young guy would want to stay.”

“There’s lots of reasons,” Carl said. “Sure it’s different there where you’re raised with lots of brothers and sisters and more than one mother, but they’re still your family. You have fun together, and work together. Also when you’re young you don’t know that it’s different elsewhere. You think the whole world is the same. Then you find out that it’s not true, but you’re taught that outsiders are sinners and going to be punished in the afterlife. Finally though, you see the older boys being thrown out. I knew a few that had to leave, and they were nice guys. Then it came my turn, and I was booted too. I know I did nothing wrong, and it proved to me that what we’d heard was true.”

“I went to Salt Lake City where I heard there was a sanctuary house for guys like me” Carl continued. “It was a hard trip, but I made it. I got thrown out of there quickly when they found out that I was gay.”

“The bastards!” Nathan said with vehemence.

“Not really,” Carl said with kindness. “They really weren’t set up to deal with people who are ‘different’. If you don’t fit in with the stereotyped model of a straight, honest, god-loving youth, with few problems except that you’re an outcast, they have neither the time, money nor expertise to work with you. I don’t really blame them even though I was the victim of that policy.”

“I’m afraid I couldn’t forgive them,” Nathan responded. “I know I haven’t forgiven my parents for throwing me out.”

“What happened?” Carl asked.

“You don’t need to know,” was the sharp response.

“Of course not,” Carl said apologetically. “Forgive me. I just thought it might help to talk about it.”

“I just don’t want to think about it! It was ugly, and I hate them. I hate my brother worse!”

“I’m sorry if I opened up bad wounds,” Carl again apologized. “I didn’t know.”

Nathan looked at his roommate, and saw nothing but kindness and concern in his eyes.

“It’s not your fault, Carl, you don’t need to apologize,” Nathan said, realizing that he’d acted like a jerk. “When I think about those times, I don’t know whether to scream with rage, or cry my eyes out. I did lots of crying when it happened, but now I just shut it out of my mind.”

“Anyway,” Nathan continued, “It’s not as strange a story as yours. I’m sure you wouldn’t be interested.”

“I won’t ask you to tell me,” Carl replied. “I’ll just be here if you want to talk.”

“Why would you be interested in me?” Nathan asked.

“Well, beside the fact that you’re drop-dead cute, inside I think there’s a really nice person. I have no friends now and I know that I feel alone. It’s not a good feeling. Maybe you feel the same way.”

“I’ve only had one friend since I left home, and he’s gone,” Nathan said in a voice edged with sadness.

“I’m sorry,” Carl said. “I know how much friends can mean. I’d like to be your friend, if you let me.”

“Are you sure that you just don’t want to get into my pants?” Nathan asked with bitterness.

“I’d be lying if I told you that I’m not interested in you that way,” Carl confessed, “But I learned my lesson. I’ll never do anything again with anyone who is not willing.”

“Oh? You did before?”

“Yes, that’s what got me thrown out of the sanctuary,” Carl said. “Tyler and I talked about it, and I can see now that I was wrong. I can promise that it won’t happen with you, no matter how desirable I might find you.”

“I can defend myself,” Nathan stated.

“Yeah, I can see that!” Carl laughed looking at Nathan’s swollen face and bruises.

“Hey, they caught me when I wasn’t looking,” Nathan said in his own defense.

“I’m sorry again, if I offended you.” Carl apologized. “I guess I just don’t know when to keep my big mouth shut.”

“Oh hell, Carl. Since you’ve told me all about your past, I guess I might as well tell you everything about mine,” Nathan said, changing his mind. “You already know what I did for a living, and most people would say that there is nothing worse than that, yet you seem to accept me anyway.”

“Nathan, when I was shivering behind that dumpster, I would have done anything just to have a warm place to sleep. If I’m truthful to myself, I know that I am in no position to judge you for what you had to do to survive.”

“Thanks, I guess,” Nathan said. “It’s too bad I didn’t run into you before I got attacked. You and I could have gone into business together. You’re not a bad looker yourself, you know.”

“That’s nice of you to say.” Carl smiled. “If you want to tell me about yourself, I’m listening. If you don’t that’s okay too.”

“It’s like this,” Nathan began, “I was born in a small town in eastern Montana. I knew I was gay from before the time I could shoot real cum. I kept it under wraps though, because where I lived was real redneck country. As soon as I realized that the way I was feeling about guys had a label, I knew that all the bad things that people were saying was about me. I was convinced that if my desires for men were discovered, the guys in that town would have killed me, especially if they were drunk and the opportunity came up. I knew that my parents, especially my dad, hated queers, and I was petrified that he’d find out. I wasn’t wrong.”

“As I got a bit older, I found some magazines that showed guys having sex. I about came in my pants, right on the spot. I knew that I should throw the magazines away, but I was so excited by the pictures that I hid them instead. I used to dig the pictures out and beat off. I was getting good on the computer too, and finally my dad got us an Internet provider, but I was afraid to search for dirty pictures, because my dad threatened to beat me, if he found dirty stuff from the Internet.”

“Uh, what’s an internet provider?” Carl asked.

“It’s a company that has a service that let’s you onto the web.”

“What’s a web?” Carl inquired, still confused.

“Don’t you know anything about computers and the internet?” Nathan asked with astonishment.

“No! We were taught that computers were tools of the devil,” Carl said simply. “There was only one computer in our whole town and it was at our little library. You had to get permission from an Elder in the church to use it, but nobody ever taught you how, so there wasn’t any point in asking.”

“Boy, how backward is that!” Nathan exclaimed rather then asked. “I can tell I’m going to have to give you a lesson in computer science. I mean, I’m not really that good with computers, but I can see that I know a hell of a lot more than you.”

“I’d appreciate it, Nathan.”

“Anyway,” Nathan said getting back on the subject, “I’ll get on with my story. One day my older brother caught me beating off with my magazines spread all over the bathroom. He threatened to tell my dad if I didn’t suck him off. What was I to do? So I did it. He took my magazines and told me that if I didn’t want them turned over to my dad, I’d do whatever he wanted. I was scared shitless. Over the next year and a half I was virtually his slave. I did all his work around the house, and sucked him off whenever he wanted, usually two or three times a week. Then one day when my parents were away for the weekend, he demanded that I let him fuck me. I didn’t want to do it but not only was he bigger than me, he still had the magazines. He smeared some Vaseline on my ass and fucked me. It hurt like hell at first but he wasn’t so big that it damaged my ass. He fucked me at least once every week after that.”

“That’s awful,” said Carl, aghast at what he was hearing.

“That’s not the end of it,” Nathan continued. “Finally he got out of school, got a job and an apartment. I had to go over to his place a couple of times a week for the next year. What I didn’t know was that he bought a video camera and took pictures of us. He edited the pictures so that you couldn’t see his face, but you could see me very plainly. One day he said that he was having a get-together with a couple of his friends that evening, and that I was the star attraction. He said that I’d better show up or he’d show the videos to my dad. I asked what videos, and he showed me the tape that he’d prepared. I was scared shitless. I knew I was getting in deeper and deeper.”

“That night I went to his place, and there were 5 guys there. They each gave my brother $20 and he let them fuck me. He gave me $20 of what he’d collected. Every Friday after that until I graduated from High School, he rented me out for sex. Once I got out of school I told him that I was through with doing it any more. He got mad and punched me. I still refused so he told me to get out, and that I’d be sorry.”

“The next night, my father called me from my room. I went down, and on the table in front of him, were the magazines and the videotape. He told me that my brother had told him I’d been letting guys around town have anal sex with me and that one of his friends had given him the tape. My brother had told him that he’d searched my room and found the magazines. My father was in a rage, and told me that I had 10 minutes to clear out and to never come back. I went to my room in tears. I knew he’d never believe me over my brother. I packed my few things in a bag and left. I had saved every dime that I’d made from his friends and had nearly $1000. I knew I couldn’t stay in Montana, so I decided to go to Salt Lake, the largest nearby city.”

“It took most of my money to get there and get that small apartment. I got a job at a McDonalds, but soon learned that I couldn’t live on that, and that the little money I had was getting slowly used up. I thought of selling my body, but I didn’t know how to get started. That’s when I met Davey.”

“I was walking home from work one night late, and I saw this guy hanging out. I said ‘hi’ and he asked me if I’d be interested in a blowjob. I asked him how much it paid. He laughed his ass off as he was offering to give me one, not to receive one. I was so fucking embarrassed I was about to run off but he stopped me. We got to talking and he ended up becoming my friend. Over the next few days, he taught me all the stuff I needed to know to become an escort. He showed me what to do, what to charge, how to be safe, and how to handle the customers. He even arranged for one of his regulars to do it with me the first time. In a short time, I was making a lot more money for a couple or three hours in the evening than I was making at McDonalds. I started saving my money and as soon as I got some regular customers, I quit McDonalds.”

“Then Davey left. He told me that his mother was sick and was expected to die and that he had to go back to Iowa to be with her. I never saw him again. I started doing really well, as most of Davey’s regulars became my customers. It was then that I got beat up. I got a call about meeting a guy. He picked me up where we’d arranged to meet and he took me to an old barn outside of town. There were two other guys at the barn and I thought I’d service all of them and make a bundle for the evening. Instead they kicked me and beat the shit out of me, took my wallet, then loaded me into the red truck, and I was dumped in an alley. …You know the rest.”

“I’m really sorry,” was all Carl could offer, as he looked down with his face showing real sorrow for what his roommate had had to endure.

“Thanks. It wasn’t such a terrible life, but I really wanted more than that. I wanted to go to college and get out of the business. Now I want it more than ever. I had some money saved to start in the spring semester, but it got stolen when my apartment was trashed. I don’t know what’s going to happen here, but at least I’ll have a chance to heal up before I have to hit the streets again. It’s hard to get customers if you look this bad.”

“I know it sounds crazy, but I admire what you did,” Carl said. “I know you didn’t do it because you wanted to, but because you had to, to survive. If Tyler hadn’t come along, I probably would have had to do the same thing. It would have been awful because I don’t know anything.”

“You’d have ended up in jail, probably,” Nathan guessed. “There is a lot to learn if you’re going to survive on the streets. There are some good people out there, but as you saw, there are also some real dangerous ones.”

“I wonder what’s going to happen with us here?” Carl quizzed.

“Who knows? Maybe Ron, Matt, Tyler and Dan operate a slave camp for boys here. I know there are some nice people around, but who in hell would take to guys like us, and give us a home…. And for nothing??? It’s hard to believe.”

“Yeah, I can see that,” Carl agreed. “Anyway, the chat with Ron and Matt that was supposed to happen tonight didn’t happen. If Matt dies, we’ll probably get thrown out on our asses. We might anyway.”

“Wouldn’t surprise me. Let’s make a pact. That is if you want?”

“What’s a pact?” Carl asked.

“It’s a solemn agreement,” Nathan answered simply.

“What will the pact be?”

“It’s a promise that if anything bad happens, we vow to stick together and help each other.”

“I can agree to that gladly,” Carl said with a smile.

“Let’s shake on it then,” Nathan said as he offered his hand.

Carl took the offered hand, shook it and without letting go, said with a wink, “I’d rather hug on it.”

“I’m sure that could be arranged,” Nathan agreed as he took the slightly younger guy in his arms.

                                     *                      *                      *