The following is a work of gay fiction. If you don't enjoy this kind of work, or are too young please exit now. The work is the property of John Tucker, the author and may not be copied, except for personal use, or used for any other purpose without the writen permission of the author.
Please See Chapter 1 for a full disclaimer


Chapter Nine

Wednesday Morning, 8:00 AM, University Medical Center

As Ron stepped out of his car, he saw Tyler’s BMW pull into a nearby space. Waiting for his brother and Dan, Ron fidgeted with anxiety.

“You really should have gone back to Albuquerque or on to Tucson, Tyler,” Ron remarked as the couple joined him and they began to walk together toward the building.

“I know that there’s little any of us can do right now for Matt,” Tyler said, “but I’m here for you as much as for him. I can only imagine how devastated I’d feel if anything similar happened to Dan.”

“Thanks Tyler, to both of you. We all like to think we’re strong, but it takes something like this to make us truly appreciate friends, and even more, family.”

“I’m sure Matt be fine,” Dan said entering the conversation.

“I’m sure too,” Tyler agreed. “I’m so sure that I’ve told the pilots to be ready to take-off for Arizona in an hour and a half. Of course that can be changed if necessary.”

“I appreciate your optimism, but I know that I’ll continue to love Matt whatever happens, even if it means that he never totally recovers. When you truly love someone you take the bad things that happen with the good, though I know I don’t need to tell you that.”

Tyler and Dan looked into each other’s eyes and joined hands, both agreeing with Tyler’s brother, yet each silently giving thanks for his partner’s mental and physical health. After a quick squeeze of their hands they released their grip letting their arms drop to their sides as they entered the building.

Ron stepped to the information counter that was not as yet open. Seeing some staff members in the adjoining room, he called out, “Pardon me, could one of you help me?”

“Visiting hours are not until 10 o’clock,” a lady sitting at a nearby desk recited without looking up.

“I’m well aware of that,” Ron informed her. “I’m Ron Turner. Dr. Parker asked that we come in at 8:00. I’m just trying to locate him. He said he’d be in surgery until 7:30, then would be looking in on Matthew Davidson, but I’m not sure of Matt’s location this morning.”

“Are you a relative?” The lady asked, almost with annoyance.

“I’m his partner,” Ron declared without hesitation.

The woman looked up from her work, and as Ron’s words registered in her mind, a sneer appeared on her face.

“I’m sorry,” she lied, “only relatives have visiting rights unless the doctor gives specific permission for visitation outside of visiting hours.”

“I told you that I have that,” Ron declared, becoming visibly irritated.

“I don’t have time for this,” the woman replied. “Besides, it’s not my job. You’ll just have to wait until the regular receptionist comes on in a half hour.”

“You’d better make it your job,” Ron said with fire flaring from his eyes, “or find for me someone whose job it is and I mean now!”

“You’d better not threaten me,” the woman responded. “I’ve been here for over ten years. I don’t have to take this kind of thing from the public.”

“How did you like your career at UMC?” Ron asked simply, with enough volume that others in the room who had been listening to the conversation looked up. Taking his cellular phone from its holder on his belt, he punched a couple of buttons, paused, then said into the speaker, “Paul McInerny, please. This is Ron Turner.”

Several eyes in the workroom opened wide in sudden recognition of the Turner name and the name of the hospital’s chief administrator.

“Hi Paul,” Ron responded to the administrator’s greeting. “I’m in the main lobby with Tyler and Dan. I have an appointment with Doctor Parker, and a …” he paused looking at the name placard on the woman’s desk, “….. a Sylvia Stanley, who works nearby has been very rude in her steadfast refusal to be of assistance in locating him.”

Ron listened to the administrator’s response, then holding the phone away from his head, asked, “What is your extension, Ms. Stanley?”

“I don’t have to give it to you,” the woman said with a glare.

“I’m sorry Paul,” Ron said into the phone that he’d returned to its former position, “she refuses to tell me.”

Ron again listened to an obviously irate administrator.

“Thanks Paul,” Ron said as he pushed the disconnect button.

“What did he say?” Tyler asked as Ron returned the cellular phone to its holder.

“I’ll let him tell you himself. He’s on the way.”

It was as if the woman suddenly saw a freight train bearing down on her. Her mind suddenly realized what she had done.

“Uh…. Sir…. perhaps I can find Dr. Parker for you.”

“Don’t bother, since you’re so busy,” Ron replied with sarcasm, “Paul will give me the information when he gets here. As for you, I have no time to deal with either fools or bigots, and you madam, are both!”

Ron turned his back on the woman, who had finally arisen from her desk and walked to the information counter. Her peers now watched her attempts to placate the visitor with more than a little interest. A few grins appeared amongst the workers, indicating that Sylvia was not one of the more popular employees in the admitting office.

“Sir….” She repeated.

Ron took Tyler and Dan by the shoulders and stepped away from the counter.

“Please…. I’ll help you.”

Ron ignored her as he saw the elevator door from the administration offices open and Paul McInerny step off, walking quickly toward the waiting trio, his cell phone at his ear. The men turned to face the approaching administrator. Halfway across the room, Paul finished his call, put his phone in his pocket, and began to extend his hand in greeting as he hurried toward them.

“Hello Paul,” Ron said with regret in his voice. “I’m sorry I had to bother you.”

“Ron, Tyler, Dan,” the suited man responded as he shook each of their hands. “It was no bother. I’m terribly sorry for this incident. You can find Dr. Parker waiting for you at the nurse’s station on the 5th floor-east, of the Turner wing.”

Sylvia Stanley’s eyes popped wide open as Ron’s name suddenly connected.

“I’ll take care of the problem here,” he asserted.

“Thanks Paul. Let me know how this turns out.”

“Certainly, Ron,” Paul agreed. “Again, please accept my apology.”

“An apology is not necessary between friends,” Ron said smiling. “Come on guys,” he said to his companions, “let’s go see Matt.”

As they strode toward the hall to the patient wing elevators, they could hear Paul McInerny’s bellow.

“Ms. Stanley, you’re an idiot!!! Do you know who that was?” he said pointing at the three men turning into the hall. “He’s the best friend this hospital has ever had! He’s given this hospital over 30 MILLION DOLLARS! ….” The sound of further conversation was lost to the trio as they vanished from sight down the hallway.

                                    *                      *                      *

The door of the large elevator opened onto the 5th floor of the Turner wing. Ron led the way, turning left as he exited the conveyance. Tyler and Dan followed, knowing that Ron had built the wing that bore their family name and was familiar with its layout. Seeing Dr. Parker standing at the nurse’s station, Ron made a beeline for Matt’s attending physician.

“Good morning Dr. Parker,” Ron said in greeting. “How’s Matt?”

“G’morning, Mr. Turner, gentlemen,” he responded. “Let’s sit and I’ll tell you what we know so far.”

The four men walked the 20 feet to the deserted waiting area, taking seats before the doctor began.

“Mr. Davidson, is conscious and alert,” he reported. “Unfortunately, it appears that the damage to his skull has resulted in his suffering a minor stroke. It does not seem to be too serious, but it does slightly impair his motor control of the left side of his body. We’re not finished with our testing, that will take the rest of the morning, but we believe that he will recover full control in a relatively short time, once his body heals.”

“What’s a relatively short time?” Ron asked.

“Some improvement should occur within a few days,” the doctor said. “Full recovery might take as long as six to nine months. Of course it’s always possible that he might not ever regain the strength and control he had before the injury. We don’t think that’s a likelihood, but sometimes the body can only go so far in the healing process.”

“Will he be able to walk?” Ron asked.

“We’re not sure yet what his present abilities are,” the doctor responded, “we’ll know more later today. Even if he can’t walk right now, we’re fairly certain that he’ll be able to walk again, but it may first be with a walker and later with a cane. Hopefully, in the not-to- distant future even that won’t be necessary. I’m telling you all this now so when you see him you won’t be surprised. I wish I could tell you more, but it would be speculation until we complete more tests. We don’t want to push him too hard at this stage either, as his wound needs time to heal.”

“How long will he be in the hospital?” Tyler asked.

“We think about three days,” the doctor estimated. “Much depends on how much progress he makes and our assessment of his capabilities.”

“Will he need physical therapy?” Ron inquired.

“Yes, we feel certain that physical therapy will be a beneficial path to full recovery. The body responds and heals itself best when challenged. That’s what therapy will bring to the table.”

“You know we’ll provide all the support and help it’s possible to muster,” Ron promised.

“I’m sure he’ll need that, especially emotional support,” Dr. Parker replied. “It’s frustrating when your body doesn’t do what you’ve always taken for granted.”

“He’s surrounded by people who love him,” Dan interjected. “He’ll not lack that kind of help.”

“When can we see him?” Ron asked.

“You can all see him right now,” the doctor allowed. “It would be best if you didn’t stay too long.”

“I’d like to stay with him continuously day and night,” Ron requested.

“I’m not sure that would be the best for the patient,” the doctor advised, “but we’ll wait and see. It’s not the normal procedure, but not that uncommon either.”

“I’ll do whatever Matt wants and what’s in his best interest,” Ron declared.

“What room is he in?” Tyler asked.

“517,” the Dr. Parker replied. “You can go in whenever you’re ready.

“Thanks doctor,” Ron said as the trio headed down the hallway to Matt’s room.

Quickly finding the number the men stepped inside to find Matt in bed with his eyes closed. His body was covered with a sheet and light blanket, and an IV bottle on a stand was next to the bed, connected by tubing to his exposed arm, which was strapped down to the bed railing to prevent movement. Ron stepped to the bed and took Matt’s hand. Matt’s eyes opened slowly.

“Hi Lover,” Ron said with a forced smile.

“Hi Babe,” Matt responded with slightly slurred speech.

“How are you feeling?”

“Gotta headache,” Matt reported, keeping the sentence as short as possible because of his speech difficulty.

“Do you need pain medication?” Ron asked.

“No, I all right,” Matt responded gently shaking his bandaged head. “Makes me sleepy.”

“Hi Matt,” Tyler and Dan both said as they gathered around the bed.

“Hi guys,” Matt said with a lopsided grin.

“Glad to see you’re okay,” Dan said returning Matt’s smile.

“I be fine,” Matt said. “Left side a bit slow.”

“I’ll be right here with you,” Ron promised.

Matt smiled at his partner with love showing from his eyes.

‘That’s settled,’ Ron thought.

“I’ve got to get off to Arizona,” Tyler said apologetically. “Is there anything we can get for you? Dan will be coming back later.”

“Helmet,” Matt joked weakly.

The three visitors laughed.

“Have a good trip,” Ron said to his brother. “Give us a call when you can.”

“I will. It was good to see you Matt. Get well quickly.”

Matt smiled his response as Dan and Tyler left the room.

When they were gone Matt’s eyes returned to Ron who was now sitting on a chair pulled up next to the bed.

“I ‘ove you,” Matt said.

“And I love you Matt and I’ll love you forever,” Ron promised.

“S’eepy,” Matt mumbled as his eyes closed.

“Go to sleep my love. I’ll be here when you awaken,” Ron vowed.

Ron didn’t know if Matt had heard him, but it was just as well, he thought. Ron’s eyes filled with tears as he held the hand of his injured lover.

                                    *                      *                      *
An hour later, Ron and Matt’s palatial home

Nathan and Carl sat at the computer terminal that was integrated into the desk area of their spacious room. Earlier they had arisen, showered and taken care of their morning hygienic needs before going downstairs for breakfast. Parker had announced that they had missed the older men who had already left for the hospital and that he had just returned from taking Jerry, Douglas and Ronnie to school. After consuming the delicious breakfast of Belgian waffles and sausages that Mary had prepared, they decided to go back to their room to begin Nathan’s tutelage of Carl on the computer. An hour later they took a break.

“I’ll never remember all this stuff,” Carl said in frustration.

“Don’t be discouraged,” Nathan said. “We’ve covered a lot of ground in a hurry. If we don’t do anything this morning but to get you over your fear of doing something wrong on the computer, I’ll be happy.”

“I feel so helpless though,” Carl complained.

“What we’ll do when we start up again is to figure out something that you want to do often on the computer, then practice getting there, doing whatever you want to do, then getting back out. We’ll do the same thing a few times, and then when you’re comfortable with it, I’ll throw in a few tricks for you to practice. Pretty soon it will become second nature. Sure, there will be a lot left to learn, but if you learn a few things each day, and practice them, pretty soon you’ll be charging around on the computer like a pro.”

“That’s not going to happen soon,” Carl warned.

“It will happen sooner than you think. Let’s go downstairs and get a coke or something, then come back up here. I’ll show you how to find dirty pictures on the computer. You’ll be amazed at what’s on there.”

“They have dirty pictures on the computer?” Carl asked.

“Baby, you can find anything on the Internet. You just have to know how to look for it.”

“It’s difficult to believe that all that is there and it doesn’t cost anything.”

“I didn’t say that,” Nathan revealed. “There are pay sites, but you don’t need to use them if you don’t want. There is more than plenty that are free.”

“How can you pay for stuff on the computer?” Carl asked.

“You can just use a credit card,” Nathan said.

“I don’t have a credit card,” Carl reported.

“Just as well….” Nathan said. “One thing at a time.”

                        *                      *                      *

At the same time at the Turner Office Building

Wes Harper picked up the ringing phone on his desk in the offices of Aztec-Turner Security.

“Yes Jen,” he responded.

“There’s a Detective Sunderson from Metro here to see you,” she reported.

“Ask him to come in please.”

Wes rose from his desk to greet the Detective as the door opened.

“Mr. Turner? I’m Detective Sunderson. I’ve been assigned to the battery case of Matt Davidson.”

“Please come in Detective and have a seat,” Wes invited with first a handshake and then a gesture toward a small table surrounded by four chairs. “Coffee?”

Sure, black. Thank you.”

Wes stepped to a nearby counter after picking up his own cup and refilled his, then taking a new cup poured coffee into it. He turned, placed the cups on the table and then came back to the counter where he retrieved two small clean plates and a plate covered with doughnuts. Returning to the table once more he placed the plates on the round surface before sitting down in a chair opposite the detective.

“Help yourself to a doughnut,” He offered.

“Thanks, I will,” the detective responded, picking a chocolate covered one and placing it on one of the clean plates. “How is Mr. Davidson doing?” Sunderson asked before taking a bite of the doughnut.

“I just heard from Tyler Turner on his way to the airport. Matt is conscious, though it appears that the injury resulted in a minor stroke.”

“I’m sorry to hear that,” the detective responded. “This is the second case that I’ve worked on that involved the Turners.”

“Oh?” Tyler responded.

“Yes, I was an investigator on a case that involved a character called ‘Fat Charlie’. I didn’t get to meet Ron Turner at that time, but I did interview his ward, who came to a line-up at Metro.”

“That was when I came to Las Vegas too,” Wes revealed. “I was on a security detail for Aztec to protect Ron. I’m sorry to say we weren’t entirely successful. We arrived just a minute after he was attacked.”

“I don’t think there were any tears shed when Charlie was killed,” Sunderson said. “As much as I believe in our criminal justice system, it is slow and sometimes too lenient.”

“I think so too,” Wes agreed. “What is happening in apprehending Matt’s attacker?”

“We have an APB out on him and we’ve been to his home address. From the looks of the place he ‘vamoosed’ in a hurry. The Sheriff has taken a special interest in this case, since it involves the Turners. We’re leaving no stone unturned.”

“I’m glad you came by this morning, Detective. We’ve uncovered some information that might possibly be of use,” Wes responded, “We did a very thorough background investigation into Stanley Toms’ past and found that he has a child molestation record in Iowa. At first we were thrown off because his resume’ never showed that he worked there. He had stretched a former job over that time period, but when we called the employer we discovered that there was a year missing. His employer said that he’d gone to Iowa, so our St. Louis office followed up and discovered his record.”

“That’s an interesting lead,” Sunderson said. “How did your man get access to the police records?”

“One of our agents worked for the FBI in Des Moines. It was a case of ‘who you know’ as opposed to ‘what you know’,” Wes responded. “I have all the facts that we’ve uncovered on my desk and I’ve made you a copy.”

“That’s most appreciated,” the detective replied.

“Our investigation also revealed that his parents still live in Pella, about 30 miles southeast of Des Moines.”

“That could be very helpful,” Sunderson said with interest. “He might be headed that way. We’ll notify the appropriate law enforcement agencies between here and there. If you come across any other information we might use please call me directly,” he asked handing Wes his business card.

“We’ll do that,” the Aztec Manager said. “It’s always a pleasure to work with the Metropolitan Police Department.”

“Thanks for the information and the coffee and donut,” the detective said as he pushed back from the table.

“You’re welcome,” Wes replied as he moved to his desk. “Here’s your copy of the report on Stanley. We’ll let you know if anything else turns up. Have a nice day.”

The detective took the paper, shook Wes’ hand and exited the office as he scanned the document Wes had provided.

                                    *                      *                      *

3:30 that afternoon, Ron and Matt’s home

The Escalade pulled into its parking spot in the home’s 8-car garage. Jeffery had picked the three boys up from school since Parker was busy with other work. The three younger guys thanked their friend who shared the garage apartment with his boyfriend Robert, who’d originally held the job as Ron’s driver, but had been promoted to the staff of Turner Consulting and was going to college at night. Jeffery had taken Robert’s job with Aztec-Turner while going to the community college, so both young men were tending to the household vehicle maintenance needs. The guys were constantly on the go, but had found in each other the partner that would last them for the rest of their lives.

The three younger guys, as was their custom, stopped off in the kitchen for a ‘visit’ with Mary. She looked forward to the stops and always had an after-school snack ready. Today, not only was Mary present, but also Nathan and Carl.

“Hi guys,” Ronnie said as he saw the two older boys at the table. “I hope you saved some for us!”

Carl looked up, and responded to their entrance with a smile and a wave. Nathan just grunted.

“I saved plenty for you guys,” Mary responded. “There’s milk in the refrigerator and the cookies are on the plate there on the counter.”

“Thanks Mary,” the trio echoed as they set their books down and loaded up small plates that Mary had left. Opening the door to one of the two refrigerators, Ronnie brought to the counter a plastic gallon jug of milk, from which he poured three glasses of milk before returning the container to it’s place in the refrigerator. The three boys took their refreshments to the table, joining Carl and Nathan.

“How was school?” Carl asked.

“You know, the same stuff as usual,” Jerry said as he took a bite out of an oatmeal-raisin cookie that Mary had baked earlier in the day.

“You getting along okay Douglas?” asked Carl continuing the questioning.

“Yeah, it’s fine,” Douglas answered. “It’s kinda strange for me though. I mean, the subjects are not that hard, but I’m just not used to going to school and to classes and all that. I had home schooling when I was younger, because I couldn’t get around well enough to go to public school. It’s alright though, but it’s a bit difficult getting between classes on time ‘cause I move so slow.”

“Do the kids treat you okay?” Carl continued.

Douglas looked down at the table before answering.

“Uh… most of the time,” he responded slowly.

Ronnie looked at him in surprise. He had no idea that Douglas was being picked on.

“You shoulda said something,” Ronnie responded quickly.

“It’s okay,” Douglas said sadly. “I’m used to it. I’ve always been picked on because of my physical deformities. It’s nothing new.”

“Well, by damn it’s gonna stop!” Ronnie declared, pounding his fist on the table. “Nobody is gonna pick on my brother. Just tell me who’s doing it and it will stop!”

Douglas blushed in embarrassment, but was overwhelmed with pride that Ronnie would care that much.

“I think I can handle it myself,” Douglas replied. “I thought I’d give them a chance to know me better before I did anything. I haven’t been here that long, ya know.”

“Well okay,” Ronnie said. “Just know that you have two brothers that have your back.”

“You can include me in on that,” Carl offered.

“Me too, I guess,” Nathan added with a grimace, “just as soon as I get well.”

“Has anybody heard from Ron about how Matt’s doing?” Ronnie asked.

"Yeah, he called Parker and said that Matt is conscious but has been sleeping a lot between tests they’re running on him,” Nathan responded. “I’m not sure when Ron will be back. Dan came by after he took Tyler to the airport. He’s visiting Matt now, so we should know more when he comes home.”

“What have you guys been doing today?” Jerry asked the two older guys.

“Nathan was giving me computer lessons,” Carl said. “It’s really neat, but I’m such a dummy.”

“Don’t let it worry ya none,” Nathan said. “You did really good today. We’ll do some more tomorrow.”

“We also rented a couple of movies for tonight,” Carl added. “Tyler thought it would be good for me to watch movies to get used to what life is like away from Colorado City.”

“What movies did you get?” Jerry asked.

“Star Wars, and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.”

The three boys broke up giggling.

“What’s so funny?” Carl asked, wondering if he’d made a blunder.

“Nothing,” Ronnie replied. “They are both really good movies, but they have nothing do to with what real life is like. You should watch ‘em though. Everybody has seen them, and at least you won’t feel deprived.”

“I guess you live and learn,” Carl said, a bit dejected.

“What are you guy’s plans for down the road,” Ronnie asked. “I mean, you’re both out of school. You gonna get jobs or what?”

“We don’t know,” Carl replied. “We were supposed to have a sit-down with the older guys, or at least with Ron and Matt, but now Tyler’s out of town, and Matt is in the hospital. I guess we’ll just have to wait a little longer.”

“I’m just curious,” Nathan said changing the subject, “How come that Tyler, Dan and you, Jerry, live in the guest house? There’s plenty of room here in the main house.”

“I’m not sure exactly how it happened,” Jerry responded. “It’s just temporary. Tyler and Dan are building a new house for us not too far away. We haven’t been over there for quite a while since we’ve been so busy this summer.”

“Can we go look at it?” Carl asked.

“I suppose,” Jerry said. “No one has said we couldn’t.”

“Let’s go then,” Nathan said. “I need to get out of the house for a bit. I’m getting cabin fever.”

“If it’s very far, I shouldn’t go,” Douglas said. “I’m not sure I’m up for a long walk right now.”

“Let’s get your wheelchair,” Jerry responded, “There’s the jogging path that goes most of the way over there. We can wheel you as far as it goes. That way you won’t get too tired.”

“Thanks, Jer,” Douglas said in gratitude. “You guys are determined not to let me feel left out.”

“What are brothers for?” Ronnie asked smiling.

Jerry and Ronnie took off for Douglas’ room, while the others cleaned up the mess left from snacking.

From the corner of the kitchen, Mary just smiled to herself, thinking, “Lord, thank you for bringing me to this place of such love and caring.”

                                                *            *            *            *            *