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Dedication: This story is dedicated to my special friend Ry, who provided the inspiration, and to Don Hanratty, (Working it out, Nifty, Gay/college) who encouraged me to post it here.
I have a new editor, Bill, the author of Tanner and Robert (Nifty/incest). It is properly different from my story and very good reading. He edited Chapter 15 and his help certainly picked up things I otherwise would have missed. I apologize for having been so anxious to post the improved version, that I neglected to thank him properly. I like his suggestions which do not change the meanings or even many words, but help the story read smoother. Thanks, Bill.
Thanks to all of you special guys who have written, and provided the encouragement to keep writing. If you want to join this group, you may E-mail me at JETjt@aol.com. Thanks, John T.
RON AND BRYAN
Ron picked up the phone and punched in a number when the executive jet crossed the 5000 foot altitude mark as it climbed toward it's 32,000 foot cruising height. Bryan's father, the new President of Construction Leasing, answered the call.
"Richard Adams," said the voice on the receiving end.
"Richard. Ron Turner, what can I do to help you?"
"I just want you to know that I did meet with Doctor Carrington yesterday as you insisted... I want to thank you... I have begun to understand how my prejudices have only been a shield for my own insecurities and have robbed me of the love of the people I value most.
"My wife and I spent until the early morning hours talking. ... I didn't realize how much I have hurt her over the years, and how much her love for me kept her with me even though when I threw Bryan out, it caused her a grief that no Mother should have to endure. When we finally fell asleep, we had a renewed relationship, one that we have not enjoyed since our early days of marriage."
"I would like to say that I am ready to meet with Bryan but I'm not there yet. I still need some time to let some of this soak in. I can tell you though that I look forward to my sessions with the doctor this week. She is a fabulous woman. I feel a sense of relief and happiness that I haven't known for years.
II also want to see my son Bryan as soon as I am able. I have to say though, that asking for forgiveness has not been a part of my vocabulary. Therefore I've got to make sure I can do it right.... Even if he can't forgive me, I will understand and will love him regardless..
"Richard," Ron said, "You don't know how pleased I am. I'm sorry I had to be so rough on you, but I'm sure you see now that this is a winning solution for us all!"
"Yes, I can realize that finally. I guess I was kind of like an alcoholic in a way. I had to hit a brick wall, to come to my senses. I'm just glad that the brick wall was you and that you are there to help me pick up the pieces and restore me to a new and better life. .... When are you returning to New York?"
"I'm planning on coming back on Thursday afternoon. I would turn the plane around now if you were really ready to meet Bryan, but I appreciate the honesty you've shown. We should wait. I will trust your judgment in this."
"Thank you. That means a lot to me. I would like to meet with Bryan and to meet Alan too, if you think that it's appropriate. I hope it can be this Friday or over the weekend. I will call you Wednesday night if it is all right to confirm that I will be ready. "
"I'll anxiously await your call. Personally I'd like to say that I was sure that I picked the right man. You are proving me right! -- Damn, I'm good!" Ron said laughing.
"Thank you sir. I'll call you. You can rely on that."
"I'll look forward to it. I also look forward soon to having this difficulty over with so that you drop the 'sir' and we can become friends."
"I didn't realize until now what an honor that would be... sir.... Good night!"
"Good night Richard. Give my best regards to Bryan's mother."
"Thank you, I will. Good night."
Ron hit the disconnect button on the phone, and after making a pit stop and collecting a celebration martini from the steward, he returned to his seat and punched up another number. It was the number to Matt's apartment.
"Hello," the sweet voice answered.
"Hi, lover. I miss you too much already. I had to call."
" I miss you too. You have made me very happy. Bryan and I were just sitting here talking about it."
"Great, I wish I were there with you guys. Could I steal away from you for just a minute and talk to Bryan? I think I have some good news that will make our friend happier."
"Sure Ron. Here he is. But, don't go away without talking with me again."
"Thanks babe. You can count on it."
There was a short pause until Bryan answered.
"Hi, handsome. Whassup?"
"Your spirits, I hope," Ron said. " I just talked to your Dad."
"He thinks that he will be ready to see you when I get back from Las Vegas."
"Well, he had better know that I'm not giving up what I have, no sir, not just to make peace with him!"
"Hey babe, relax. Ya gotta trust me on this one. Just open up those arms and get ready to give the guy one of those famous HUGs! That'll fix things for sure. Ya gotta make damn certain though, that you save one for this guy! ....Oh, ... Your dad wants to meet Alan too! That ought to give you some indication of how he is changing."
"Ron, if you pull this one off, you're going to have the undying gratitude of one very close friend."
"Hey, what are friends for? Just remember, It ain't over..."
".. I know, ...'til the fat lady sings! No matter what happens though, I just want you to know how much I love you for trying."
"No problem babe. Now can I talk to the cute guy there?"
"You already are, Goof ball!.... Oh, ... you mean Matt,... the other cute guy..... sure, good night and a big HUG.! Here he is... and thanks."
"Hi, you studly man. What did you say to Bryan? He's all smiles."
"Just some good news about his father. You and I haven't talked much about it, so I'll have to fill you in next weekend or tomorrow night from Las Vegas. Now you guys had better get to your books; but, before we part, put me on your speaker phone. I've got an airplane joke!"
"Sure, cute guy, but do you think Bryan's heart can stand the strain?" he laughed as he pushed the button and hung up the receiver.
"Two ladies were sitting next to another on the plane, one from the north and one from the south," Ron began, to the echo of Bryan's "oh no", in the background. Ron continued, "The lady from the south turns to the northern lady and says, "Where y'all from?" The lady from the north haughtily says, "We are from a place where we do not end our sentences with prepositions!"----- The flight continues for an hour or so, and finally the lady from the south says, "So where, y'all from, Bitch?"
The laughter rolled from the small apartment.
When it died down, Ron said, " Hey, stud muffin, .... not you Bryan,.. ha... Get back on the phone for a second."
The hollow sound of the speaker stopped abruptly as Matt again picked up the receiver and shut off the speaker.
"Matt, my love, I just wanted to say good night privately.... Know that I'm in love with you!"
"..... do you really mean that?.. it's the first time you've said it.... Oh, you've made me so happy!"
"Yes, I mean it!" Ron said sincerely, " I never thought I would be lucky enough to say those words again, but I'm saying them to you from the deepest part of my heart. I love you and I'm in love with you!"
" And I'm in love with you too. You can't imagine how much. ....Wow, I won't be able to sleep tonight."
"Well, try. Maybe you will dream of me and something will come up, something we both enjoy!
Ron laughed with his lover, and they said, "good night."
* * * *
Two hours later, as the aircraft crossed the clear sky above western Nebraska, the buzzing of the intercom next to Ron's arm interrupted his relaxation. Ron turned down the volume of the Beethoven piano concerto that was providing entertainment and punched a button on the device.
"An emergency call for you sir, from Ms. Bounett."
Ron quickly picked up the telephone handset.
"Hello, Jan? What's wrong?"
"Oh Ron, I just don't know how to tell you this. I'm so upset! Ted Thornton and Jack Smith were attacked, badly beaten, and stabbed! They're in the emergency room at U.M.C., and have been for almost an hour now! Will got there 20 minutes ago, and Charlie Parker is on the way."
"How are they?" Ron asked in a state of shock.
"Will called just a minute ago. He had arrived and could not find out anything. He telephoned Paul McInerny who found out, then called Will back.
"Ted is critical and not expected to make it. Jack is critical, but has a much better chance. Paul has called in all the resources at his disposal for their care. Specialist have been phoned and are rushing to the hospital.
"You know, Paul has come to really love those guys after the wonderful job they did for him. They were planning on giving you a full report tomorrow and were out tonight for a early celebration"
"How did all this happen?"
"Well, from what we have been able to find out from the Metro Police, they were just leaving a gay bar where they sometimes go for a drink or two before going out for a late dinner. As they left, 5 guys jumped out a passing van and attacked them. The assailants jumped back into the van and sped off. They have not been captured yet, although Metro is searching."
"Were there any witnesses?"
"Yes, two guys were just leaving the club and saw some of it. They gave a pretty good description of the van and the attackers. An arriving car saw a bit of it too and got the license number."
"Good, but if I know the thugs in Las Vegas, the van was probably stolen. Can you get Sheriff Stone on the phone somehow for me? He owes me big time from the last election, and it's time to collect."
"I'll do my best."
"Then it's a sure thing then, if I know you. Thanks. Keep me informed about the guys."
"That's for sure, boss!"
Ron walked to the cabin and knocked on the door. The door opened and Ron entered. Relaying what had happened, the pilot without being asked, shoved the throttles forward and the large executive jet raced through the night sky toward Las Vegas at just under the speed of sound.
* * * *
The hatch swung open and the built-in ramp descended almost before the powerful engines were cut off. Ron raced down the ramp after instructing the steward to deliver his bags to his home.
His Mercedes was waiting and a police cruiser sat nearby. Ron punched the unlock button as he quickly approached while an officer stepped out of the patrol car and said, "Follow us, Mr. Turner."
Sirens wailing , the black and white car cleared traffic as the cars sped toward the hospital. Ron hoped that his call from Sheriff Stone would result in more than a fancy escort; although, at the moment, it was more than he could have expected.
Ron pulled into a parking place near the emergency entrance and leapt from the vehicle. Rushing through the doors to the E.R., he saw Will Nugent standing to the side talking to Paul McInerny, the hospital Administrator. He had not received any further update from Will since the initial phone contact from Jan. He was forced to assume that the conditions of Jack and Ted were unchanged. Moving toward the conversing executives who saw him approaching, Ron asked the needed question about the condition of the young "whiz kids". As he got closer, he could see that Will's eyes were filled with tears.
"I'm sorry," Paul said, "Ted Thornton died ten minutes ago. We did all we could.... Jack is improved and now listed in Serious Condition."
Ron was devastated! He felt like he a lost a son. He knew that they all had lost a friend, one who brought light and humor into the office. Ron's mind shifted to Jack, Ted's partner and lover. Jack was in is own struggle to survive, and to face what? A life without his true love?
Ron had been there; he knew what such a loss could mean. His mind and emotions were in a jumble; yet he knew that they could not break the news about Ted to his partner until Jack was out of danger. The loss would be too much and might destroy Jack's will to live. He knew that Jack would need help and support in his grief. Ron vowed to be there for the young man.
Ron called Jan and broke the news. She wept in spite of having braced herself for the worst. When she had sufficiently recovered her composure, he asked that a note be placed on all of the staff's E-mail relating the news and expressing the sympathies of himself and the management at the loss of Ted. He also requested that the note also express the support of Jack needed during his time of recovery. Speaking to her of Jack's probable need for support, he told her of the need to research for professional help that could called for, if necessary.
Ron then asked her to research the personnel file of both men to find relatives or others who should be notified. Offering to check the wallets of both men for such information, he told her that he would call her back if he found any information that would be helpful.
He expressed a wish that he be notified of her findings, of funeral arrangements, or other details to be handled. Ron then told her that he was authorizing the company's financial support in all the costs should it be needed. Relating his willingness to use the company plane to transport principal family members for either men, he authorized her to do so as she thought appropriate. Leaving her to her tasks, he disconnected the call and went looking for Paul to locate the clothing worn by the young men on their arrival at the hospital.
The next three hours were spent working with Jan and Will in handling the search and making arrangements. Ted's file revealed no living relatives and Will had taken house keys removed from Ted's clothing to their home to look for additional information that might be there. The search was fruitless, with papers found only indicating that the opposite partner should be notified in case of emergency.
Ted's body was removed to a funeral home for preparation, and a Wednesday date was set for the visitation. The funeral was arranged for the next morning.
After being assured that Jack was improving but resting under medication, Ron and Will left the hospital for their homes and needed rest, agreeing to meet at the office in the morning at 7 o'clock.
* * * *
Ron arrived to a well lighted house, one where occupants were still awake in spite of the late hour. He parked his car at the front entrance since he knew that he would be using it again after a few hours of sleep.
Dorothy met him at the door, giving him a warm hug. She express her deepest regrets for the tragedy and her wish for the speedy recovery of the two men. Jan had called her to inform the household of the trauma facing Ron, but had not informed them of Ted's demise.
Ron thanked her for her support, then told her of Ted's passing. He assured her that all the necessary details were in a final stage of execution but that he might wish to offer some kind of hospitality at the house and to be prepared. Dorothy agreed, then noting his tired expression, informed Ron that his clothes had arrived from the plane and that Parker had taken care of their handling.
Ron expressed his thanks to the wonderful and kind lady and asked her to thank Parker for him too. Then relenting to the fatigue of his body, he excused himself from her company to get some needed rest.
* * * *
Two hours had passed since Ron had climbed into his bed. His body was exhausted but his mind refused to rest. He got up from his bed and fell to his knees in sorrow. Bowing his head in prayer, he asked his God for the deliverance to his presence of Ted, his friend, and the healing of Jack, both in mind and spirit. Thanking the Almighty for the many blessing that had been bestowed upon him, he remembered his greatest blessing, that of Matt's love. He remembered also the enduring friendship of Bryan and Alan. He thanked the Lord for his special friendship with Bryan who had brought them all together and who had shared so much joy with Ron since they had become friends on the Internet.
Picking up his laptop, Ron climbed the winding stairs to the eagle's nest. He laid the computer on his work desk and moved to the windows facing Las Vegas to the east. He mused at how beautiful the view was and all the magnificent structures it displayed. In spite of the grandeur, Ron knew in his heart that the all wealth generated by the dazzling structures could not compensate for the loss of one life. He knew that people were all that really mattered.
After 15 minutes spent standing at the windows, Ron returned to his laptop and after plugging it in, he punched in the Internet access and began an E-mail to Bryan which read:
"My dearest friend, Bryan: I write you tonight with a heavy heart. During my return trip to Las Vegas, I was informed of the attack on two of my co-workers, a gay couple who have meant a lot to me both personally and professionally. Upon arrival in Las Vegas, I learned that one of them had died and the other was in critical condition but expected to live. I write to you now when I should be writing to Matt. Yet, you know me so much better. You know how my heart aches. You know the Ron inside to a depth that Matt has yet to experience.
My heart reaches out to his partner, Jack, who as we speak, is still fighting for his life. You have been there, and you know both the physical pain and the emotional destruction caused by a crushed body and a love lost. You were fortunate. You had Alan beside you, who came to love you and to restore you to health.
Jack has no one. His family consists of two uncles and an aunt, all of whom live elsewhere. I, too, have lost a love and, like you, have now gained another. The loss alone drove me to self destruction which, due to a power greater that mine, was halted before it was too late.
I must help Jack! I don't know what this will entail, but I cannot let another young man suffer alone the losses that we have both experienced.
I see no reason that this help should alter the relationship that Matt and I both desire. It may, however, place a strain on it that Matt does not deserve. Nevertheless, I have no intention of letting this obligation to my friend impinge on my love for Matt. You have shown me that love, nourished by a wonderful union, blossoms forth with an overflowing of goodness to others. I pray that I am mature and strong enough to let this kind of caring for others extend sufficiently to Jack so that he may be brought back to health and happiness.
I don't expect you to answer this correspondence. It is enough that you can know my feelings, my emotions of both sorrow and love and can share them with me over the invisible bond that we have created between us. I thank you for that sharing and the love between two great friends that makes us stronger. I sense an unseeable HUG just knowing that you are there. Thank you,... Ron".
* * * * * * *
And life goes on. Thank you for reading my story. John Tucker