The author reserves all copyright privileges. This work may not be reproduced except for personal use, without the permission of the author, and may not be linked to any pay site.
Dedication: To Ry, who inspired this story, and to Don Hanratty for his encouragement.
Special Thanks: To Bill H. my editor. He does great work (the errors are mine, LOL) and is hot on my tail with the edits. Yikes, no rest for the wicked!
If you would like to say Hi, please do so. It is the grease that keeps the fingers pounding. JETjt@aol.com. John Tucker
RON AND BRYAN
Ron’s bed was cranked up to a semi-sitting position when Matt and Tim walked through the doorway of his private room. The stark white walls of the room were the perfect backdrops for the forest of flowers that appeared to be everywhere. New flowers kept arriving, and Ron finally had asked the nurses to only show him the new ones, leave the card, then take the new arrivals to patients in the hospital who might enjoy them. The one exception was the flowers that had arrived from Brandt. The young twink had called the florist shop where he worked and specified a duplication of a special arrangement that he had personally designed for another customer of the shop. Fortunately the shop photographed his innovative design, so the photo was e-mailed to a florist shop in Las Vegas to be duplicated and sent to Ron.
“Hiya Babe,” Matt said smiling. “You’re sure looking better this afternoon.”
“Hi Ron, “ Tim added, “You sure worried this kid.”
“Hi Matt, my love. Hi Tim. Yeah, I’m doing good. They’re gonna take this
drainage plumbing out of my side after visiting hours are over. Then I’m
I wish you guys wouldn’t worry about me so much, but I guess you can’t help it. I’ll just have to remember after all, that apoplexy is better than no plexy at all!”
“You nut!” Matt said moving to Ron and depositing a warm kiss.
“How’s the cruise going?” Ron asked.
“Not bad considering all things. Bryan said that last night was a bummer, with everybody worrying about you, but at least they know now that you are out of danger. I promised to call him again after our visit this afternoon.”
“Heck, why wait? We’ll call him from here in a minute. Tim? Did you see Metro?”
“Yeah, it was that asshole Fat Charlie and his goons alright. Metro has notified the NYPD too. Fat Charlie has forfeited his bail. He’s gonna be in a shitload of trouble if he ever gets out of jail. Not that it’s likely to happen. I guess Nevada and New York are gonna have to fight to see who gets to hang his ass the highest.”
“Well at least something good is going to come out of all of this. With attempted murder hanging over his head, he’s not likely to see the light of day for a long time,” Ron observed.
“Yeah,” Tim agreed. “It’s too bad that he’s not the only scum like that in New York.”
“Hmmm,” said Ron, obviously in thought. “Maybe we can do something about that too.”
“What are you thinking now, babe,” Matt asked, with a worried look.
“Oh nothin’ much,” Ron said with a mischievous grin. “I was just thinking that if I buy Aztec Security, the Friendship Trust might hire them to do a little judicious ‘weeding’ in New York. We could set up a special side operation to go after those creeps who take advantage of young kids, like Fat Charlie did with Tim. Alan and Bryan can work on helping those kids, and we’ll get Aztec to put a flame up the ass of those who prey on ‘em. Of course we’d use the cops to do the dirty work. We’d just supply evidence.”
“I hope it won’t be too dangerous,” Matt said. “Look what happened with Fat Charlie.”
“Aw, that was just a fluke. I hate the thought of living with an armed guard all the time, but I guess it comes with the territory when you have big-time money. As long as we have to have one anyway, we might as well give them something to work for. Anyway, it’s just a thought since I don’t own Aztec yet.”
“I don’t mean to change the subject Ron, but we really should talk about the cruise,” Matt said.
“Yeah, I’m not really happy with you not going back. You know that, but I will live with your decision.”
“Thanks Ron. You don’t know how much that means to me. I think I have a compromise though that might please you.”
“Oh? Tell me.”
“I thought that the cruise could go on to the Caymans tomorrow without Tim and me, then if you’re really doing well, we could rejoin the group in Cancun, skip Key West and bring the whole group to Las Vegas from Miami on Saturday to see you. I know that it would make all the guys on the cruise happy. They’re all worried about you.”
Ron smiled. “Yeah, I like that plan. Maybe I could even get out of this joint if I’m a good boy. I’ll start pressuring the doctors right away. I could even set up a ‘hospital room’ at home and maybe even hire a cute male nurse!”
Ron grinned and had to wait only a half-second for the reaction.
“Hey, watch it Bub! If there’s gonna be any nursing, Nurse Mattie here is gonna be the one doin’ it. Ya wanna see my credentials?” Matt reached for the zipper on his fly.
“Ha! OK, I give.” Ron laughed. “We don’t want to be a bad influence on Tim here.”
“Yeah, sure,” Tim said grinning.
“Hey, let’s call Bryan,” Ron suggested. “They’ve had a long enough vacation from my jokes.”
“OK,” Matt agreed, “But go easy on ‘em. We don’t wanna make too big of a mess for the crew to clean up.”
“Very funny,” Ron said grinning. “Hand me the phone, will ya?”
Matt did as he was asked, Ron punched in the numbers, and as the phone rang on the ship Ron clicked on the speakerphone. Captain Larson answered the phone on the bridge. Ron told the captain about the change in plans and asked how everything was going. The captain said that everything was going well, and that the guys had all enjoyed a ‘frisky’ time that day. Ron asked what that meant, but the captain only said that Ron would have to ask someone else. After speaking with the captain, the call was forwarded to the second deck lounge where most of the guests had settled for the evening. A steward called Bryan to the phone..
“Hello.” Bryan answered.
“Bry, this is Ron. Matt and Tim are here with me.”
“Ron! What a great surprise!”
Ron could hear the mouthpiece being muffled and Bryan saying, “ Hey guys, it’s Ron!”
“I’m gonna put you on the speaker phone Ron, so everybody else can hear too.”
“Cool, but when we’re done I think that Tim would like to speak with someone privately.” Ron winked at a now grinning Tim.
“Sure! I’ll make certain that Tim gets to speak to Hans,” Bryan said enjoying the embarrassment that he knew Tim was feeling from the ribbing.
A blush appeared on Tim’s face, but it didn’t diminish his big grin. The phone sounded hollow as Bryan changed over to the speakerphone.
“Hi guys!” Ron said to the group.
Ron heard lots of voices on the speaker all saying “hi.”
“Tell us how you’re doing.” Bryan asked.
“Hey! I’m doing great! “Tomorrow when they’ve disconnected all this plumbing, Tim, Matt and me are gonna go out back and shoot a few hoops.”
Between the “yah sures” and laughter, Ron could tell that he had their attention.
“Hey, I love Matt’s idea for the change in travel plans. Guys, Bryan can tell you all about it when we hang-up, but Matt and Tim will meet you guys day after tomorrow in Cancun.”
Ron heard a little commotion in the background that he was certain his comment had generated.
“Just so youse guys don’t miss me too much, I’ve got a joke for ya.”
The groans in Ron’s ear made him laugh out loud, but caused a small pain in his side.
“Two airline mechanics get off work at LaGuardia and one says, ‘Let’s go
have a beer.’ The other says, ‘Why don’t we try drinking jet fuel? I hear
it tastes like whiskey and you don’t have a hangover in the morning.’ So
they drink about a quart apiece. It tastes great and they have a good time.
The next morning, one of them calls up the other and says, ‘Hey, how do you
‘I feel great.’
‘Me too. No hangover. Just one thing. Have you farted yet?’
‘Well, don’t. I’m calling from Phoenix’.”
Ron heard laughter in the background, and a few rude comments. He loved it!
“That was for yesterday.” Ron said. “Now for today…”
More groans and laughs came over the handset. Matt and Tim were breaking up at the expression on Ron’s face as he listened to the reactions from the ship.
“A county extension agent is visiting a farm and needs to use the toilet but remembers that there’s no running water. So he runs around back to the outhouse, opens the door, and the hired man is sitting there. But the hired man says, ‘It’s okay. Come on in, it’s a two-holer.’ So the agent goes in, drops his pants and sits down. Soon, the hired man stands up and as he pulls up his pants some change tumbles out of his pocket and goes down the hole. The hired man shakes his head, pulls out his wallet, and drops a ten-dollar bill down the hole. The extension agents says, ‘Whatcha go and do that for?’ And the hired man says, ‘Well, I ain’t goin’ down there for just thirty-five cents’!”
Laughter roared over the phone. Matt and Tim laughed too. Ron was in heaven.
When the laugher died down, Ron said. “Hey! I heard there were some highjinks goin’ on there today. Anybody wanna confess?”
“Fat chance of that,” Bryan said. “Let’s just say that a good guy was had by all.”
“Gosh, who was the lucky guy?”
“Naw, I didn’t mean that! Let me rephrase that. “ Let’s just say that good guys were had by each.”
Tim was visibly upset. Ron noticed at once, and decided to change the subject.
“Hey you guys have a great time. Don’t worry about me. Everything is under control. Not only am I O.K., but they caught the hoods that shot me. We won’t have to worry about them ‘til we’re old and grey.”
“Guys, I think we’d better go now, a cute male nurse is hovering around and wants to give me a poke with something pointed.” He winked at Matt.
“K Ron,” Bryan said. “We’ll talk with ya tomorrow. Same time?”
“Sure, that would be great. Later guys.”
Ron heard the ‘byes’ in the background and said again, “ Bye!”
Ron heard the speaker go off, then Bryan say, “I’m gonna transfer this call to Hans now. He just went into another room where he can hear better. Bye Ron, love ya. Bye Tim, Bye Matt.”
“Bye Bryan,” Ron said, “ thanks to you and to Alan for holding down the fort for Matt and me. Hugs!”
Tim and Matt added their “hugs” to their friend.
“No problemo,” Bryan said, “I’m transferring the call now. Bye.”
Ron clicked off the speaker and handed the receiver to Tim, who moved the phone as far away from the bed as he could get, sitting down on a chair. Tim began speaking to Hans. The older guys could tell that the conversation had quickly moved to Hans’ day. Matt and Ron began talking to each other, so that Tim could have what little privacy the room afforded. They continued making small talk until Tim hung up the phone. Ron and Matt looked at Tim. There were tears streaming from his eyes.
“C’mere Tim,” Ron said, opening his arms to his young ward.
Tim rushed to Ron’s arms and fell into his hug, crying like he had been mortally wounded.
“What’s the matter, Tim? Let us help you.”
Tim’s weeping started to abate.
“Oh Ron,” Tim said sniffing, “Hans had sex with a cute guy from one of those cruise ships while they were out earlier today. I just don’t know what to do.”
“Tim, I’m not sure what to tell you. I knew that you and Hans were attracted to each other. Are you guys boyfriends? Have you made promises to each other not to see or be with other guys?”
“Well…no,” Tim admitted. “But I thought he liked me. I wanted to be his boyfriend, but I never really had one before even though I had lots of sex in New York, and I didn’t know what was gonna happen at the end of the cruise.”
“Well, I wouldn’t worry then. It’s not like he cheated on you or anything. He probably just got carried away. It’s not hard to do at any age, and real easy when you’re young. One thing though, having sex with someone doesn’t ruin you for life. You should know that. Have you told him about the bad time you had in New York City?”
“No…. I was gonna wait until I was sure he liked me. Beside, I’m kinda ‘fraid that it might make him not want me.”
“If he really cares for you; if he really loves you, it won’t make a difference.” Ron said with reassurance. “If it does, then he’s not the guy for you anyway. I’d tell him before you go making any promises though. Have you guys had sex?”
“Well,” Tim said hesitantly, “just kissin’ and blow jobs. Not real sex.”
“Hey, kissing and especially oral sex are real sex,” Ron replied. “Lots of guys don’t even like anal sex. That doesn’t mean that there is no sex or love if you don’t go that far. Besides, love isn’t sex. Love most often includes sex, but it doesn’t have to. Love is a coming together of two people as one. It’s caring for your partner more than for yourself. It’s giving, not receiving. The receiving will come by itself if there is real love between you. Love can include wild and passionate sex, but never confuse the two.”
“Anal sex is kinda special too, it means trusting the one you love not to hurt you, or you him. It’s wanting to give him pleasure. I’d think about that a lot before you do it with Hans. Also remember that you must wear protection if you do. You would never forgive yourself if Hans picked up a disease from you. Even though your tests show you to be disease free, you can’t be sure this early. I don’t want to worry you, but I don’t want you to be foolish either.”
“I wouldn’t hurt Hans for nothin’,” Tim said. “I really like him. I don’t know about the love stuff, but he sure turns me on. He’s such a neat guy. We have so much fun together; I get real lonesome when he’s not around. Not just so we can do sex stuff, neither. I just like being around him. We’ve only been gone a few hours, and already I miss him.”
“Tim, I just don’t want you to make mistakes with Hans that you will regret. Oh you’ll make plenty during your lifetime all right. But there’s a saying I like to think of when I’m troubled. A guy in the 16th century once said, ‘Storms make oaks take deeper root.’ You and Hans have had your first storm. Look at it as an opportunity to grow stronger together.”
“Thanks Ron,” Tim said smiling. “I guess I was making too much out of all of this.”
“Commitments are serious, Tim; they are a badge of honor. You need to be very sure before you make a commitment to Hans. Until then, you just have to find out how much you mean to each other and be sure that you both understand what you are doing. Even then you don’t own each other. You can’t be jealous if Hans talks to or looks at another guy. Jealousy is very destructive. It can ruin love faster than anything. We talked about this before. Loving is trusting. Love is also forgiving, because nobody is perfect.”
“Well,” Tim said, “You’re pretty close to perfect.”
Ron laughed. “Oh Tim, if you only knew how wrong you are. I’ve made lots of mistakes, and I’ll make more. But I will tell you one thing I know for certain in my heart, and it is that loving Matt is not one of my mistakes.”
Ron looked at Matt with that love showing in his eyes. The look was not lost on Tim.
Tim stood up and looked at both Matt and Ron and said, “Uh…. Thanks for everything Ron. Uh… I think I’d like to go get a Coke. Would you guys like anything?”
“Not for me Tim, I’ve got all I’ll ever want right here,” Matt said looking at Ron.
“I’m good too, Tim.” Ron agreed. “Woops! Did I just say that?”
Tim and Matt both laughed. Tim turned and walked out, making sure that the door was closed behind him.
Matt walked close to Ron’s bed. “Have I told you how much I love you Ron?” he asked.
“Yeah Matt, but tell me again ‘cause I love hearing it. You know I love you too and I’m sorry that I was so stupid as to hurt you.”
“Storms make oaks take deeper roots,” Matt reminded. “You know, I wasn’t sure if that little pep talk was intended for Tim or me.
“Well you know what they say, ‘The teacher always learns the most.’ Matt, I’m still learning too. Forgive me if I do stupid things now and then. I just know that I look forward to a long and happy life beside you. I just don’t know what I would do without you.”
“Oh, you’d survive,” Matt said with a smile. “It just wouldn’t be so much fun.”
With that Matt leaned over Ron’s bedside and delivered a warm passionate kiss. Ron returned his lover’s kiss with ardor.
After the long kiss broke, Ron looked at Matt and said softy, “Takin’ advantage of an injured man are ya? I’m only gonna give you one hour to quit it!”
Matt grinned and leaned in for another. They had just broken their second kiss and as Matt returned to an upright position, the door to the room opened.
“All right you love birds! Break it up! A lady is present!”
“Where?” Ron said looking around then grinning at his new visitor.
Dorothy was wheeled into the room by a candy striper. The candy striper blushed when she saw that it was two men that Dorothy was addressing.
Ron and Matt both grinned.
“Dorothy you old warhorse. I wondered if you were gonna come see me,” Ron quipped.
“Who said I was coming to see you? I was looking for Matt and Tim. You’re far too old for a lady with such refined tastes as mine!” she joked, acting indignant. “When those two cuties didn’t show up early during visiting hours, I figured that I’d better come lookin’ for ‘em.”
“Hi Matt,” she said, “Where’s the other cutie?”
“I’m right here Dorothy,” Ron said acting surprised. “Somethin’ a matter with your eyes?”
“Hmph!” Dorothy said. “ I meant Tim and you know it too, Ron.”
“Yeah, I guess I do,” Ron said looking dejected. “He’s down at the cafeteria getting a Coke.”
“Over there honey,” Dorothy said to the candy striper, pointing to Ron’s bedside. “I guess I’d better have a closer look at the lump in the bed.”
“Hey lady. Watch which lump you’re looking at. Only hospital personnel and Matt get a peek under my sheets.”
“I’m not worried about what’s under those sheets, I’m worried about what you guys have left on ‘em. Not everybody has a strong stomach like me.”
The candy striper’s face got redder. She wanted to dash out of the room. Only her tight grip on the wheelchair kept her from bolting. She pushed the wheelchair reluctantly next to Ron’s bed. Dorothy took Ron’s hand and pressed it to her lips.
After the kiss she returned the hand to its former position, but didn’t release it.
“I’ve missed you, sonny,” she said. A tear fell from her eye.
“I’ve missed you too Mom.” Ron replied tenderly. “You gotta take care of yourself. I want you around for a long time.”
“Thanks Ron honey. I will if you will.”
“You can count on it.” Ron said with conviction.
“Oh by the way, we’re having company on Saturday.”
“Who’s coming?” Dorothy asked.
“The whole bunch from the ship. They’re staying at our house.”
“I’ve gotta get out of here then,” Dorothy said quickly. “There’s a lot to be done.”
“Hey!” Ron said “Calm down. You only get to do the planning. We’ll get Parker and Margaret to take care of the getting ready stuff. You’re going to take it easier, or I’ll turn you bottom-side-up over my knee.”
“You and what army?” Dorothy asked with a defiant grin.
“Me and that army,” Ron said pointing at Matt.
“Hmph. And all this time I thought he was a nice boy. I should have known he would gang up on me with you.”
“Hey lady,” Matt said defensively, “I am a nice boy.”
“Aw, I know that. You’re just joining Ron’s gang so he will let you get into his knickers!”
Both Matt and the candy striper blushed.
“Well, I gotta get outa here. Those doctors want to do more poking and prodding. Tell the cute kid that I said ‘hi’, and that I love him!”
“Tell him yourself,” Tim said as he entered the room. “I heard there was a storm brewing in this room. Decided to come and see for myself. Yep, they were right.”
“Now you’re not going to pick on an old lady too, are ya?”
“What old lady?” Tim asked smiling. “You ain’t old ‘till you start smellin’ bad. And you smell fresh as a daisy.”
Tim walked to Dorothy’s chair and gave her a big kiss on the cheek.
Tim rose back up and sniffed. “I’m not sure about Ron though. You step in somethin’ buddy?”
Dorothy cracked up. The candy striper, though embarrassed, laughed too. Matt was thoroughly enjoying the exchange with a wide grin covering his face.
“OK for you guys,” Ron said laughing. “Just wait ’til I get up and about. You’re gonna get yours! Just keep watchin’ your backs. You’ll be surprised!”
“Promises, promises,” Tim teased. “It’s gonna take more than an old dog like you to catch this pup napping.”
“Ooooo,” Ron said with a glare. “Just wait! One day you’re gonna wake up with more than my hands in your shorts.”
The candy striper nearly fainted. Dorothy laughed like she would fall out of her chair.
“You guys, behave yourselves,” she ordered. “Come on honey,” she said to the girl, “take me back to the safety of my cell. Bye guys, you too Ron.”
They all grinned and said “bye” as the wheelchair disappeared out the door.
“Now there goes one fine lady,” Ron said.
Two heads nodded in agreement.
* * * * *
Hope you liked the chapter. JET