The story below is a work of fiction. This story contains erotic and/ or sexually explicit behavior between consenting males. If you find this type of work offensive, or if you are underage and it is illegal to read this, please exit now.

The author reserves all copyright privileges. This work my not be reproduced, except for personal use, without the permission of the author, and may not be linked to any pay sites.

Dedication: This story is dedicated to Ry, who inspired it and to Don Hanratty, who encouraged me to post it here.

Thanks to my new editor, Bill H. He does a great job. And FAST too! LOL

If you would like to drop me an e-mail to save my sanity, my address is


Chapter Thirty-Four

The yacht P-T II was cruising at 12 knots from Antigua where the group had spent an enjoyable day.  The day had started tension-filled with Ron in Las Vegas, due to his housekeeper Dorothy’s heart attack and her unknown condition. Those who knew her were somber at breakfast and stayed that way until on into the morning when Ron’s call to Matt assured them that she would recover. Their spirits were lifted more when he told Matt that he was returning and would meet them the next morning in Jamaica.

Most of the guests had decided to take helicopter tours of Antigua and its more rural sister island, Barbuda before heading off into St. Johns for the day’s festivities. Several of the party decided to take a tour bus though the sugar cane country and to look at the windmills that had been the historic primary power source for processing the islands’ prominent crop. The boys, Brandt, Rich, Robert and Tim decided to try the motorbikes again and skip the tour. Both groups spent some time shopping before partaking of the local cuisine at dinner. By the time the sun was sinking in the west, the group had returned to the ship and the captain had then ordered their departure for Jamaica.

They had been underway only two hours when a telephone call came for Matt. A steward in the upper lounge had taken the call forwarded from the bridge. Seeing that Matt was standing at the rear rail, he stepped outside and announced the call.

“Hello, this is Matt.” he said into the receiver after coming inside.

Matt was surprised to hear a woman’s voice.

“Hello Matt, this is Margaret, Ron’s secretary.”

“Hello Margaret, what’s wrong?” he asked, hearing the strain in her voice.

“Matt I’m afraid I have some bad news. Brace yourself…. Ron has been shot!”

“Oh God no!” Matt gasped as he grabbed the arm of the chair. “How is he?”

“He’s alive, but his condition’s not known for sure. He’s on the critical list. He received two bullets, one to his head and one to his abdomen. The one to his head appears to be the less serious, although he fell immediately unconscious. He’s in surgery now, and I thought that you would want to know as soon as possible.”

“When, where did it happen?” Matt asked in a daze.

“He and I had just parked at the Summerlin hospital to see Dorothy late in the afternoon.  We were in separate cars and I was farther away. He was walking slowly, waiting for me to catch up, when a guy across the street raised a rifle and fired three shots. One missed entirely.  Fortunately, as a precaution Will had ordered Aztec Security to provide a bodyguard, but they had just arrived from California and gotten into the parking lot to meet Ron at the hospital. They saw the man raise the gun and shouted to Ron, but it was too late. They took a couple of shots at the assailant but he jumped into a waiting car.  

“I guess there was a chase as the assailant’s car sped away. One of the two Aztec men chased the car in his own, and phoned Metro their positions as he followed. Metro took up the chase and made the capture and arrests. The other Security guy ran into the hospital to get help. I was with Ron when they came out.”  

“Who shot him?” Matt asked, his head spinning.

“It was a black guy from New York. The police said his name was Charles Mattson, but I think it’s the guy Ron called Fat Charlie.  He had two henchmen with him.”

“Yeah, it sounds like the guy Ron told me about,” Matt said. “I need to come there and be with Ron.” Matt said as a plea. “I knew I should have come with him, but he wouldn’t let me.”

“Don’t go blaming yourself. Ron wouldn’t want that.” Margaret responded, “I was sure you would want to come immediately, so I asked Jan to send the G-V to pick you up in Puerto Rico. You can get there by helicopter, with the ship getting as close as it can before you fly the rest of the way. I told Captain Larson to head for Puerto Rico at top speed before I talked to you. You are only about 100 miles away and it will take about another three hours for the plane to arrive. I would recommend staying on the ship as long as possible, in case I have further news about Ron’s condition.  The pilot can phone the ship so that both the helicopter and the jet arrive in Puerto Rico close to the same time”

“I didn’t give the Captain all the details about Ron though. You will need to tell him and the other guests too. I suggest they continue on to Jamaica and wait for news.”

“Margaret, I want to bring Tim to Las Vegas too. If it is the same Fat Charlie from New York Tim can identify him.”  

“That sounds like a smart idea. I’ll notify Metro; also I will have you picked up at the airport. In the meantime I’ll stay at the hospital and let you know of any news.”

“Thanks Margaret. Please let me know if there is any news at all. I’m overwhelmed with worry.”

“Sure Matt. Take care of yourself. We’ll call if we find out anything and I’ll see you in the morning.”

Matt’s brave front collapsed when he hung up the receiver. Tears came to his eyes as he sat crushed by the news, and he began to sob as Bryan walked into the lounge and saw him hunched over on a sofa.

“Matt! What’s wrong?” Bryan asked as he sat down beside his friend and wrapped his arm around his shoulders.

“Oh Bryan,” Matt sobbed, “Ron has been shot!”

“No… no!” Bryan was stunned.  He knew that he had to be strong to help Matt though, so he forced himself to delay expressing the huge shock he felt himself.

“Is he gonna be ok?”

“They’re not sure yet Bryan,” Matt answered through his tears. ”Would you get all of our guys together, and ask the captain to come here too? Margaret asked me to let everyone know….I hope I can do this.”

“Of course. Go to your stateroom and take care of your eyes. I’ll come and get you when everyone is assembled.”

“Thanks, Bryan. I’ll try to hold myself together until I do what I have to do. Afterward, I’m not so sure.”

“You know that Alan and I will be with you. You’re not only the partner of our friend Ron, you’re our friend too. Now go to your stateroom.  I’ll be there in a few minutes.”

“Alright.  Thanks again Bryan. You don’t know how much I appreciate your support.”

The men left: Matt to the owner’s stateroom and Bryan to the bridge.

Ten minutes later the entire party and the captain were in the lounge when Matt and Bryan returned to the room.  Matt told the guests all that he knew amid gasps of shock and horror. Tim began to cry and Robert, who was nearby hugged his young friend, but could barely keep himself from joining in with his own tears. There were many other damp eyes in the room.  

Matt told of his plans to go to Las Vegas, and of Margaret’s direction that they continue on to Jamaica. He asked that Tim go with him to identify Fat Charlie.

Tim nodded in acceptance, and said through his tears, “I told Ron to watch out for that fat pig!” He totally broke down sobbing.

Captain Larson announced that they were on a course for Puerto Rico, and that after the helicopter took Matt and Tim to the airport and returned, they would continue on to Jamaica.

The group broke up with several of the men heading for the bar to dull their senses.

Robert took Tim back to their cabin and began to pack his friend’s belongings as Tim lay on the bed still in shock. After he packed a few of Tim’s clothes, Robert lay down with Tim on the bed and held him. Tim began crying again. “Why did this have to happen to him?” he blubbered, “He’s the first guy who was ever good to me.”

“I know, baby, I know.” Robert comforted. “Don’t give up on him though, he’s a strong man.” Robert was unsure himself, but he couldn’t let Tim see his doubts.

Bryan and Alan accompanied Matt to the owner’s stateroom and helped him prepare for the journey. The necessary activity was a diversion for Matt’s underlying sense of foreboding.

“We’d like to go to Las Vegas with you,” Bryan offered.

“Thanks guys, you don’t know how much I appreciate that too. I could use the support and I know that Ron would be happy to have you there, but I also know Ron would like you guys to be here to represent him now and continue the trip. If Ron is not going to recover, I’ll ask Margaret to send the plane for all of you. I’ll call regularly to let you know what’s going on. We’ll all have to decide what to do about the rest of the cruise, but for now let’s keep it going. I know Ron would want that.”

“OK Matt, but I wish there was something we could do.”

“Oh, I do too,” Matt said suddenly crying again. “Oh Bryan, what am I going to do if I lose him?  I love him so!”

Holding Matt, Bryan said trying unsuccessfully to make his voice sound confident. “He’ll be alright, Matt, Ron is a fighter. It will take more than this for him to leave us all.”

Both Alan and Bryan lay down on the bed, one on either side of Matt. They held their friend as he quietly wept. Their eyes too were overflowing.

Bryan thought about how all their lives had become entwined with their handsome friend who now was in danger of losing his life. He thought not about Ron’s fortune that was touching all their futures, but of the man; the kind and gentle man who had only just discovered what a difference he could make in the lives of so many. Ron had already left a huge imprint on all of the friends who silently prayed for him on the yacht.

‘There is no justice,’ Bryan thought. ‘Why do the good ones have to go?’ He knew that only a greater power than he would know the answer to that question. Closing his eyes, he pleaded with God to save the friend he loved.

In another stateroom, Jack lay on his bed thinking about his friend. He closed his eyes and lay still. Within minutes a vision of Ted, his lost love, appeared. Ted smiled at Jack and said, “Don’t weep, my love. It is not Ron’s time.”  

Jack’s eyes flashed open. ‘Was I dreaming?’ he asked himself. ‘No it wasn’t a dream. It was Ted!’

Jack got up quickly and rushed to the master stateroom. He knocked on the door, and moments later Alan opened it.

“Is Matt here?  I must speak to him.”

“Sure, come in Jack.”

The men entered the room through the small hallway. Matt looked up as Jack approached.

“I know that this will be hard to believe, but Ron will live. I know it.”

“How do you know?” Matt asked.  “Did Margaret call?”

“No, Ted came to me in a dream or a vision. I’m not sure what it was, but he told me so.”

Matt’s hopes faltered but Bryan asked, “What did he say?”

“He said ‘Don’t weep my love. It is not Ron’s time.’ Believe it. Ted knows.”

Matt was skeptical. ‘Would God answer his prayer with this sign?’ he asked himself. He wanted to believe it so much! At that time he felt the heavy burden lift and his crushed spirit rise in response to the message that Jack had delivered.

            *        *        *

At the hospital in Las Vegas Margaret, along with Will, Ron’s executive vice president, Jan, his long time friend who kept his companies running and Mr. Peterson, who handled his charities, sat in the waiting room hoping for some news from the doctors. Jan had taken over the coordination of Matt’s travel arrangements.  

While waiting, Margaret and Will decided to visit Dorothy who was recovering from a heart attack, but agreed not to tell Dorothy about Ron’s condition. Instead, Margaret told Dorothy that she had insisted that Ron return to the cruise, since the doctor had told him that she was out of danger.  Dorothy was satisfied with the explanation, since she had felt guilty about keeping Ron from his friends, although she wondered to herself why he had not come by to say good-bye and bring her knitting. Margaret knew why she had not delivered the knitting instead of Ron. It was soaked in his blood.

Afterward, Margaret and Will talked to Dorothy’s doctor, who was pleased that she had not been told of Ron’s condition. He confirmed that it might have caused undue worry in the older lady, especially since Ron’s prognosis was not presently known.  He said that he would arrange to have her T.V. ‘malfunction’ so that she would not get the news from the press who were already onto the story. The doctor said he would prescribe a sedative so that she would sleep, but that she would have to be told in the morning, whether or not the news was good. He was concerned that she might discover Ron’s attack accidentally and it would be better if it came from friends.

Will asked if he would be allowed to post a security guard at her door to keep enterprising reporters away from her. The doctor said that he would obtain permission from the hospital’s administration. Dorothy’s visitors then returned to the emergency waiting room.

        *        *        *

Four hours had passed since Ron’s assault. The only news that had been received regarding Ron’s condition was a short visit by the surgeon before Ron was taken off to emergency surgery. The doctor reported that the bullets appeared be relatively small caliber probably 25, but they would not know how serious the damage was until they got into surgery. It appeared that the head wound had missed Ron’s brain, and another inch away, would have missed him completely.  The abdominal wound looked more serious, appearing to affect primarily the intestines, but they would know more soon.  The doctor stayed for only a minute as the surgery was about to begin.

2 ½ hours had passed since that time, and yet there was no word.

            *        *        *

As they waited for further news, a large business jet carrying two passengers was lifting off the runway in Puerto Rico. On board, the two passengers fidgeted nervously as the plane streaked upward to its cruising altitude and its destination, Las Vegas. As the plane leveled off both young men were again praying.

Thirty minutes later, the phone rang in the passenger compartment.  Matt snatched the phone from its cradle and said with trepidation, “Hello, this is Matt speaking.”

“Matt this is Margaret. The surgeon just came out and gave us an update. Ron’s still in critical condition but the surgery appears to have been a success. They are unsure whether there is brain damage until he regains consciousness, but are hopeful that he will be off the critical list within the next few hours.  The abdominal wound took a lot of time, as there is always a danger infection, but the doctors managed to make repairs, and there didn’t appear to be serious damage to any major organs. If there are no complications, the most dangerous period should pass quickly.”

“Thank God Margaret. I have been so worried!”

“Yes, we all have. We’ll be waiting for you when you arrive. If there is any further news we’ll call.”

“Ok, Margaret, thank you so much for calling. Be sure to let me know if his condition changes. You don’t know how grateful I am for your being there. G’bye.”

“You can count on us here Matt. We love the guy too. Good-bye.”  Matt hung up the phone.

“How’s Ron?” Tim asked fearfully.

Matt conveyed the hopeful news that Margaret had just given him. Tim was obviously relieved, as was Matt, even though both knew that the danger had not yet passed. They spent the next hour talking about Ron and their experiences with the injured man. They grew to a new understanding of the closeness each felt to Ron. The encouraging news allowed them to begin to think again of the possibility of a future with the man who had come to mean so much to both of them.

The conversation slowed as the effects of the long day seeped into their tired frames. When Tim finally fell asleep, Matt got up from his seat and got two small blankets. He pressed a button on Tim’s chair and the seatback moved to a near horizontal position. Taking one of the blankets, he draped it over the attractive youth’s body, tucking it in. Returning to his own chair, he tilted the seatback to a similar configuration, and placed the other blanket over his own body, closed his eyes, and was soon asleep.

         *        *        *

Ron awoke totally disoriented. His arms were restrained and tubes and wires were affixed to his body and head sprouting to their attached equipment and terminals. He recognized slowly that he was in a hospital. He had a headache and his lower torso ached. He could not move his arms to find a call button, but even as he thought of the possibility of trying, a nurse arrived and began to speak.

“Mr. Turner you’re in the hospital,” She said with a smile. “You’re going to be fine. Please be calm. I’ll call the doctor now that you’re awake.”

Moments later a handsome young doctor arrived with the customary stethoscope dangling around his neck.

“I’m Doctor Seachrist, Mr. Turner. How are you feeling?” the young man asked.

“Not too good.” Ron answered. “What happened?”

“Some guy decided to use you for target practice. You received two gunshot wounds, one to the head and one in your lower abdomen. We operated on you last night, and so far it looks successful. Now I want to perform some preliminary tests. Would you wiggle your toes?”

Ron did so and the doctor smiled.

“Now move your fingers.”

Ron performed that task as well.


The doctor examined Ron’s eyes, and asked a few simple questions to determine if other brain functions were working.

“Later today we will do some other testing. Your head wound we thought was not serious, but we aren’t sure. Superficially it looks good, but I will have a technician come in to give you some mental exercises to confirm that our hopes are correct. The wound to your abdomen so far looks very good, but we will have to monitor you closely for a day or so to make sure that everything is healing without complications. No major organs were badly injured, although one kidney was grazed and your intestines had several holes that needed to be closed. You are indeed fortunate.”

“Good,” Ron said, “When can I get out of here?”

The doctor laughed. “Well now I’m sure that you’ll be fine.”

Ron smiled. “When can I have visitors?”

“Well you have six people in the waiting room anxious to know about your condition. I can let them come in for just a very few minutes. We will be transferring you to a private room later, and they will be able to see you again this afternoon.”

“Thank you Doctor.”

Matt, Tim, Will, Jan, Margaret and Mr. Peterson were all sitting in silence when the Doctor stepped into the room where they waited. They looked up in anticipation, and arose from their seats as he approached.

“Hello, I’m Doctor Seachrist.  Mr. Turner is awake and appears to be recovering well. Further tests will confirm our preliminary observations, but if they verify our present conclusions, he should completely recover with no long term effects.”

Matt wobbled on his feet, the relief visible on his face. Everyone else was smiling at the good news.

“When will we be able to see him?” Will asked.

“You can all see him now for about 5 minutes. I think that we should limit the numbers to three visitors at a time, each visit for not more than 5 minutes. He is not totally out of danger, but we expect that he will be in good enough condition to be moved to a private room in a couple of hours. You can visit him after 3 o’clock for a longer time. After you visit now I suggest that you leave, get some rest, and come back then.”

“Matt, you, Tim, and Margaret go in first,” suggested Will. “Jan, Mr. Peterson and I will go in afterward.”

“Thanks Will,” responded Matt gratefully. “Lead the way Doctor Seachrist.”

The two young men and Margaret entered the large room comprised of a large open space with cubicle areas around the side walls. In each cubicle space was a bed with about 3 feet of floor space on each side. Near the head of the bed was equipment and wall mounted fittings to attach piped-in oxygen and other essentials for life support and monitoring. They found Ron in one such space looking very tired but smiling.

“What are you doing here?” He asked his two male visitors. “You’re supposed to be on the P-T II.”

In spite of the shock he felt inside at seeing Ron in his battered condition, Matt forced a smile and quipped, “Didn’t want to miss the fun. What happened my love? Forget to duck?”

“For sure,” Ron answered. “I’ll be fine though. After you visit me this afternoon I want you to go back to the ship”

“Ron, I want to stay with you.” Matt said, with tears suddenly appearing.

“No. You need to go back and….”

Ron paused, thinking about their earlier disagreement.

“OK. You do what you think best my love…. we’ll talk more about it this afternoon.”

Matt smiled through his tears. He didn’t know whether or not he had won the ‘battle’, but he knew that Ron really did want to please him.

“Margaret,” Ron asked, “How’s Dorothy?”

“She’s doing well. We didn’t tell her about your altercation because she didn’t need any added stress, but now that we know you’re going to be ok, I’ll go up and visit her again.”

“Matt, I’d like you and Tim to go too. You need to meet her, and she will be glad to see you too, Tim.

“Yeah, I wanted to go with Margaret a while ago,” Tim agreed, “ but it would have let the cat out of the bag. She would have wanted to know why I was here.”

“I’m glad you’re here Tim, but I think you should have stayed on the ship.”

“Matt wanted me to come. The boys from Aztec Security caught Fat Charlie and his goons. Matt thought that I could identify them. I’m supposed to go down to the jail after noon.”

“That’s a good idea, but I hope he can’t see it’s you. He doesn’t need to know that you’re here.”

“I spoke with Metro, Ron. That’s been arranged,” Matt said.

Margaret spoke up. “Come on guys. We’d better get out of here so that Will, Jan and Mr. Peterson can come in next.”

Matt leaned over Ron’s bed and kissed him gently, saying softly, “I love you Ron. I was so afraid I might lose you.”

“It’s not going to happen Matt. I’m yours for the long haul. You have to know that I love you too, my sweet man,” Ron answered, “with all my heart.”

Their eyes stayed locked on each other as Matt moved away from Ron’s bedside.

The visitors left the intensive care unit, only to be replaced by Will, Jan and Mr. Peterson. Their visit was short and mostly small talk, planned to lift Ron’s spirits. No one wanted to admit how narrow Ron’s escape had been. After their pleasantries were concluded, they all promised to visit again, then departed for the office.

The visit to Dorothy was not too traumatic. Margaret went in first and told her about Ron’s shooting quickly assuring her that he was all right. She was a bit shaken at first, but was relieved to know that there would be no lingering effects. When Tim came in, she was smiling and happy to see her new “son”. He rushed up to her bedside and gave her a big hug, which she swore did her more good than three days of rest.  Tim introduced Matt, and her eyes got big.

“So you’re the one who’s stolen Ron’s heart!” she exclaimed beaming. She opened her arms to embrace the handsome young man. He moved in to accept her hugs.

“Dorothy, I’m so happy to meet you at last. Ron has told me so many wonderful things about you. I can’t wait to really get to know you in person.”

“He’s been spreading rumors about me, huh? Well, I’ll have to speak to him about that!” Dorothy laughed.

 The visit continued with happy conversation, then ended on a cheerful note, when Matt and Tim promised to come back for another visit in the afternoon.

After exiting the room, Margaret suggested that the young men go to Ron’s house and rest up before their afternoon visit.  Matt agreed that was a good idea, but he wanted to see Ron’s office too.  Margaret invited them both to come down at two o’clock before they went to see Ron later. In agreement, they headed toward the hospital parking lot and their cars.

As the trio left the building the chauffeured car was waiting for the young men. Margaret waved good-bye as she got into her own vehicle. The young men entered the opened door, and settled back in the leather seats for their trip up into the foothills along the western edge of Las Vegas.

        *    *    *    *    *

The story below is a work of fiction. This story contains erotic and/ or sexually explicit behavior between consenting males. If you find this type of work offensive, or if you are underage and it is illegal to read this, please exit now.

The author reserves all copyright privileges. This work my not be reproduced, except for personal use, without the permission of the author, and may not be linked to any pay sites.

Dedication: This story is dedicated to Ry, who inspired it and to Don Hanratty, who encouraged me to post it here.

Thanks to my new editor, Bill H. He does a great job. And FAST too! LOL

If you would like to drop me an e-mail to save my sanity, my address is