Denise walked up behind Karin and wrapped her arms around her. "What are you thinking about? You're like a million miles away."
Karin turned and gave her lover a quick kiss. "I was just thinking about Kyle and Jay. What those poor guys must be going through." She broke away from Denise and started pacing around the room. "I just wish there was something I could do. I feel so helpless..." Her voice broke off, tears forming in her eyes.
"You and Kyle have always been close, haven't you?"
"Yeah, I was the first person he came out to, although I've always suspected he was gay. All through high school he never seemed to connect with women. Even with his prom date you could tell he really wasn't romantically interested in her nor was she interested in him. I can't help but wonder if Debbie was a lesbian. She never seemed to hit it off with guys either, although she and Kyle hit it off big time with each other, but not in a romantic sense."
"She probably was."
"But you know who I really feel bad for? Jay. I mean, Kyle has his sister and brother-in-law constantly looking out for him, plus Tommy and Andy. Jay was an only child whose parents were killed by a drunk driver. Who does he have looking out of him?"
"I'm sure Tommy and Andy are just as concerned for him as they are for Kyle."
"Maybe. You know what? I'm going to run over to the hospital and see if they'll let me see him. He's got to know that there are people who do care about him.
"Do you think he'll want to see you?"
"Why wouldn't he?" Karin asked, puzzled.
"Because you're Kyle's cousin. He might be afraid you've come to blast him or something."
"I would like to know why he cheated on Kyle, but I'm not going to bombard him. Not yet, anyway. He just needs to know that someone does care about him. I can't condone what he did but I'm not going to turn my back on him until he gives me a reason to. I can't help but think about what Andy said about the possibility of Kyle being threatened somehow." She shuddered, thinking about the possible outcome of that particular scenario. "It scares me to think about what might have happened to Kyle if what Andy said was true."
"Me too, but you know it makes sense for two reasons. One, Jay worships the ground that Kyle walks on. He's not the type to screw around on someone he loves so much, and you can tell that he does love Kyle more than anyone or anything."
"And number two?"
"Jay's a top. If he wouldn't bottom for Kyle, his lover for over five years, why would he willingly bottom for a perfect stranger?"
"Maybe Kyle doesn't like to be a top."
"Even if that were true, it doesn't explain why he would willingly do it." Karin pondered.
"Well, we'll just have to wait and see. The truth will come out eventually. It always does."
Karin grabbed her car keys and headed for the door after giving Denise a lingering kiss. "I'll see you later. I'm headed for the hospital."
"If they let you in to see him, let him know that I'm thinking about him."
Shortly arriving at the hospital, she asked the receptionist what room Jayson Williams was in. "I'm sorry, but Mr. Williams is not allowed visitors without special permission from his Dr." The receptionist informed her, matter-of-factly after consulting her computer.
"Can I see his Doctor? I'm a close friend of his. I'm his boyfriend's cousin."
"Dr. Foster, please dial the operator. Dr. Foster, operator please." The receptionist paged.
"You need me for something, Becky?" Dr. Foster asked, coming around the corner.
"This lady would like a moment of your time, Dr." Becky replied indicating Karin.
Dr. Foster turned to Karin and extended his hand. "I'm Dr. Foster. What can I do for you?"
"Hi. I'm Karin Simmons. I'm wondering if I could see Jayson Williams."
"What is your relationship with Special Agent Williams?"
"His boyfriend is my cousin."
"And why do you want to see him?"
"I'm concerned about him and I just wanted him to know that there are people who still care about him, no matter what happened."
Dr. Foster considered this for a few moments. "Okay, but only for a couple of minutes. This way."
"Thank you, Dr." Karin replied as she followed him to Jay's room.
Dr. Foster entered Jay's room. "Good morning, Jay. You have a visitor."
"Like anyone would want to see me after what happened" Jay responded, sullenly.
"Why do you say that?"
"Because the only friends I had were also friends of Kyle's. Do you really think any of them are interested in my wellbeing? I doubt it. They probably just want to chew me a new asshole for cheating on Kyle."
"Actually, the visitor is concerned about you and wanted to let you know that there are people who care about you, regardless of what happened."
"Okay, but if I get any flak, I want them out."
"Okay." Dr. Foster opened the door, admitting Karin.
Jay took one look at Karin, who approached the bed with outstretched arms as if to hug him. "What the fuck do you want?" He snarled.
Momentarily stunned by the anger she heard in his voice, she dropped her arms. "I just came to see how you were doing." She replied quietly.
"Yeah, right, you're Kyle's cousin. More likely you came to bitch me out for cheating on him."
"No, but I am curious as to why, although I suspect it might have had something to do with a threat against Kyle."
"Figured that one out all by yourself did you?" He said sarcastically.
"No, actually that's what Tommy and Andy believe. Denise and I believe it too. You're not the cheating type."
"Gee thanks." He spat.
"I guess coming here wasn't such a good idea." She said tears of hurt flowing down her face as she fled from the room.
Dr. Foster rushed out after her. "Karin, are you okay?"
"That's not the same Jay, Dr. Foster. He was never that cruel." She cried.
"Let me go talk to him. Please wait here a moment." He said, placing a sympathetic hand on her shoulder.
Re-entering Jay's room, Dr. Foster gave Jay a cold look. "Would you care to explain what just happened?"
"I don't know what you're talking about."
"Why were you so cruel to Kyle's cousin?"
"I didn't want to hear any of her self-righteous crap."
"She came to see how you were doing. Obviously, you're harboring a lot of anger and resentment towards Kyle and you're lashing out at anyone connected to him."
"Why would I be angry at Kyle?"
"Because he threw you out.
"Kyle had been cheated on before. I swore to him that that was something I would never, ever do. Shows you how much my word is worth."
"I thought we agreed that it wasn't cheating." Dr. Foster queried.
"Mere semantics. You can say whatever you want, call it whatever you want. It doesn't change the fact that I got caught having sex with another guy by the man I loved more than anyone or anything."
"I take it that you don't love him anymore?"
"Why would you say that? Of course I loved him."
"You just said `loved' not `love'"
"Did I say that?"
"Yes, you did, twice."
Jay just lay in bed looking up at the ceiling, an unreadable expression on his face.
"So what happened to make you fall out of love with him?"
He gave Dr. Foster a shocked look. "I've not fallen out of love with him. I still love him more than anything."
"Something has certainly changed the way you feel about him."
Jay thought about this for a few minutes. "You're right, Doc. I am pissed at him. He hit me then threw me out without giving me the chance to explain."
"What possible explanation could there be for you cheating on him."
"You son of a bitch! You fucking know what happened and why." Jay's voice raised a couple of notches.
"Yes, I do. You need to let go of that anger. We can't make any progress while you are still holding on to it and your resentment towards Kyle." Dr. Foster said soothingly. "Try to look at it from Kyle's perspective. You told me that he had been cheated on before and it hurt him very deeply. You also told me that you had told him you would never cheat on him. So put yourself in his place. How would you react if you came home to find your lover of several years, one who swore to be faithful, having sex with another man?"
"I would be so pissed I would see red. I don't know what I would do."
"Well, it doesn't really matter now, does it?"
"Why do you say that?"
"Kyle and I are finished."
"Because..." Dr. Foster prompted.
"Our relationship wasn't just built on love. We got to be to be friends over the course of the investigation into the disappearance of his parents, and continued to be friends until he graduated from college and came back home. Then we dated for a year before moving in together. Our relationship was built on friendship, love AND trust. I don't know if he still loves me..."
"He does" Dr. Foster interrupted.
"...and still wants to be friends, but the trust is gone and that I'll never get back."
"Do you want to get back together with him?"
"What I want is irrelevant."
"Why do you say that?"
"Because it's not going to happen. He doesn't trust me anymore, not that I can blame him. I wouldn't trust me either."
"So you're just giving up?"
"What choice do I have?"
"You can fight for him. Regain his trust, which I believe will be easier than you think. He knows and understands why you did what you did."
"I wouldn't even begin to know how or where to start."
"I'm going to be totally honest and up front with you. With Kyle being openly gay, and you being closeted, it's putting an emotional strain on Kyle. He loves you so much, and is so proud of your relationship that he wants the two of you to be just like any other couple. He wants to be able to walk down the street holding your hand. He wants to be able to give you a kiss in public, but knows he can't."
"But I can't come out. It will cost me my job."
"No, it won't. I checked with Agent Hunter and he told me that sexual orientation is in the FBI's non-discrimination policy and that the Justice Department as ruled that homosexuals are no more of a security risk than heterosexuals, so you can come out if you want to."
"Kyle told me that, but I wasn't sure if I was dreaming it or not."
"No, you weren't dreaming. It's true."
"But my supervisor would fire me, or at the very least make my life a living hell."
"So you report it and request a transfer to a different department or field office on those grounds."
"Do you really think my coming out will make that much of a difference?"
"I believe it would. Kyle wants more than anything to be able to show you how much he loves you, no matter where you are."
Jay blushed at the mental image that popped into his head when he heard that. He started laughing.
"What's so funny?"
"Doc, there's only one way Kyle likes to show me how much he loves me." He replied through the giggles.
"Sex, anytime, anywhere."
"I can see where that could be problematic. But I think you see the point I'm getting at."
"Yeah, I do."
"Well, I'll leave you to think about what we've talked about. I'll be back in a little bit."
"Bye, Doc." Jay settled back and began to think seriously about the session he just had.
"Karin, I think Jay is ready to see you now. He was harboring a lot of anger and unfortunately, you were the convenient target."
"Did I do something wrong, Doctor? Why did he lash out at me?" Karin asked, tearfully, still hurt by Jay's reaction to her presence.
"I'll let Jay explain it to you. I really can't discuss it due to Doctor-patient privilege."
"I understand. Thank you, Dr." She went and knocked tentatively on the open doorframe. "Jay?" She said in a quiet voice.
"Karin, please come in. I owe you a big apology. I'm very sorry for the way I treated you earlier. You didn't deserve that."
"So what did I do to make you so angry?"
"You didn't do anything. Basically I was pissed off at Kyle for throwing me out without giving me a chance to explain everything, and I took it out on you because you were Kyle's cousin, and I'm sorry."
"It really hurt. I came by to tell you that regardless of what happened. I still care about you. Everyone does. We're all just shocked and can't understand how you could have cheated on someone you claim to love more than anyone or anything in this world or the next."
"I do love him more than anyone or anything. If you have a few moments, I'll explain what happened."
Karin sat on the edge of the bed in response.
"Awhile back I was having new brakes installed on my truck, so Kyle gave me a ride to work. Before I got out of the jeep, I kissed him..."
"Big surprise" Karin interjected.
"Anyway, things started to get a little hot and heavy..."
"Another big surprise..."
"Do you want to hear this or not?" Jay demanded, irritated at the interruptions.
"Sorry." She capitulated.
"After a minute or so I remembered where we were and broke off the kiss before we were seen. Unfortunately, it was too late. Shortly thereafter I got an email telling me to call this number at a certain time on a certain day or Kyle would disappear. The email led back to an internet café account. The phone number traced to a payphone. So I called the number and was told that if I didn't let the guy fuck me, I'd never see Kyle again. I had no choice. I'd rather die the most horrible, painful death that let any harm come to him."
"You couldn't go to your supervisor for help?" Karin asked, shuddering at the thought of what might have happened to Kyle.
"Let me put it to you this way. My boss wrote to book on homophobia. He would have fired me on the spot, as well as anyone who offered to help. I was totally alone on this one. There was no choice. I had to do it. Not that any of it matters now."
"Why do you say that?"
"It's all over between him and me. There's no way we'll ever get back together."
"Jay, Kyle loves you. He knows why you did what you did."
"Knowing and understanding are two different things. It's over and done with." Despair colored Jay's tone of voice.
"It sounds like you don't want to get back together with him."
"I want it more than anything."
"Then do it!" Karin commanded.
"First of all, don't shut us all out. Everyone wants to see the two of you back together where you belong. Nobody, including Kyle, believes you did it willingly. Everyone believes that you only did it to protect Kyle. If you don't believe me, call everyone. They'll all tell you the same thing I just told you."
"I wish it were that simple." Jay responded wistfully.
"It is. I'll prove it to you." She took out her cell phone and dialed. "Hey big guy, it's Karin. There's someone here that would like to say hi." She handed the phone to Jay.
"Jay! Thank God. How are you? We've both tried to call you a number of times, but the hospital operator wouldn't put either of us through. Are you okay? When will you be allowed visitors?"
"Tommy? Damn. I thought you'd never talk to me again."
"If circumstances were different, I probably wouldn't, but I understand why you did what you did, and I'm grateful that you love Kyle enough to go to such extreme measures to protect him. I'm just sorry you had to go through all that."
"Y-you mean we're still friends?"
"Of course we are, you big lummox. Andy and I want to come see you, but they won't let us."
Jay started to cry. "You don't know how much that means to me, to hear you say that. I thought I'd lost everyone. I've never felt so alone in my life."
"You're not alone, buddy. We're here for you. All of us are, at least we will be if you'll let us."
Dr. Foster walked into the room. "I have to go. The doctor just came in. Can I call you later?"
"You can call me or Andy anytime, and I mean ANYTIME. We love you, and like I said, we're here for you. Good talking to you. Bye."
Jay hung up and handed the phone back to Karin. She gathered him into her arms and let him cry on her shoulder while Dr. Foster watched in silence. After a few minutes he stopped crying and lay back on the bed.
"Jay, what's happened? Are you okay?"
"I'm fine, Doc. Actually, better than fine. I just got off the phone with Kyle's best friend, Tommy. "
"And" Dr. Foster prompted.
"We still friends. I thought I'd lost all of my friends, but I haven't."
"This is exactly what I've been trying to tell you, Jay. We all still love you and want to help you and Kyle through this." Karin said, soothingly.
"I have a surprise visitor for you. But before I let him in, there is to be no discussion about what happened, and the visit is not going to be any longer than a couple of minutes. We still have a lot of work to do. Agreed?"
Dr. Foster opened the door to admit Kyle, who took a few hesitant steps towards Jay. Jay held out his arms and Kyle rushed into them, both men holding tightly to the other as if their very lives depended on it. Kyle pulled back slightly and kissed Jay tenderly. "How are you feeling, baby?"
"I'm overwhelmed. I never expected to see you again, let alone hold you."
"Okay, guys, time's up. Kyle, Karin, if you will excuse us. It's time to get down to business."
They both hugged and kissed Jay goodbye, then left.
"Kyle, are you okay?" Karin asked, slipping her arm around his waist."
"Honestly? I don't know. I thought I knew what I would say to him, but my mind went totally blank."
"You're still in love with him, aren't you?"
"Yes. I never stopped loving him."
"Do you want to get back together with him?"
"Yes, but there's no way that's going to happen, after the way I treated him. I was so horrible to him. I actually hit him, and that's unforgivable. There's no way he can possibly forgive me for that."
"What do you mean wanna bet?"
"I bet he's already forgiven you. He loves you and wants the two of you back together."
"I wish I could believe that."
"Ask him yourself. Gotta go. See `ya."
"Bye, `cuz." Kyle pondered the situation as he drove home. Is it possible for us to put all of this behind us and pick up where we left off? I wish I knew what to do. I know one thing I can do, that might help. Parking the jeep outside the garage he opened the door and looked in. After looking around for a couple of minutes, he grabbed a couple of boxes and took them into the house, setting them on the kitchen table. Opening the boxes and peering in, he made his decision. He spent the rest of the evening moving all of Jay's belongings back into the house, to their original locations.
Later that evening, Special Agent Hunter flashed his ID at the nurses' station. "I'd like to see Special Agent Williams, please."
"Of course, sir, do you know where his room is?"
"Yes I do. Thank you, Nurse." He strode down the hall to Jay's room and flashed his ID at the police officer standing guard at the door. He knocked on the open door, then walked in. "Hey, buddy."
Jay sat up. "Hi, Erik, what's up?"
"I just stopped by to see how you were doing. How's everything going?"
"Okay, I guess. I had a weird session with Dr. Foster today. There's something I gotta do, but I'm not sure how to go about doing it."
"How can I help?"
"We've been friends for a very long time, haven't we?"
"Since our Academy days. Why?"
"Well, I have something to tell you, but I'm not sure how you'll react. I don't want to lose your friendship."
"Don't tell me, let me guess. You're gay."
"H-h-how did you know?" He asked, fearful of what was to come.
"Actually, Cindy figured it out when you hit it off better with her brother Joey, who is also gay, than any of the women she tried to fix you up with."
Jay turned his face away from Erik, embarrassed.
"Jay, look at me." Jay turned his head to look at Erik.
"It doesn't change a thing as far as I am concerned. I'm still your friend and will always be your friend. In fact, I'm honored that you think enough of me and our friendship to come out to me. I can't imagine it was easy."
Jay breathed a huge sigh of relief. He did it. He came out to his best friend and nothing changed between them. Erik sat on the bed and gathered Jay into his arms. "Its okay, Jay, Nothing's changed between us. I'm still your best friend. He pushed Jay slightly away to look him in the face. "In fact, if I don't get to be your best man when you and Kyle finally get married, I'm going to kick your ass all over town!"
"Wow. It feels like the proverbial load was just lifted off my shoulders. You can't possibly know how much your continued friendship means to me, especially now."
"So, was that the all-important thing you had to do?"
"No, that was just the warm-up."
"Gee, thanks." He said sardonically "So what is this big thing you have to do?"
"I want to come out at work."
Erik stared at him for a moment, caught totally off-guard. He never expected to hear that, especially with the homophobic ass-wipe of a supervisor Jay had. Coming out to him was one thing, but coming out at work? What a can of worms that's going to open. I wonder if Jay knows what he's letting himself in for. Erik mused.
"Think about this a moment. I'm all for whatever you want to do, but how do you think Hicks is going to react?"
"I know how he's going to react, which is why I'm going to the EEO office first to discuss the situation. I'm also going to request a transfer, maybe to your department, or one of the other field offices."
They talked long into the night before the nurse politely but firmly informed Erik that visiting hours were over. The two of them had formulated a plan of action. By the time Erik left, Jay felt good about his decision to come out and knew it was the right thing to do. He also knew it wouldn't be easy, and there would be repercussions he would have to deal with, but if it made Kyle happy, that's what mattered most. He totally understood where Kyle was coming from. He hated the fact that he had to keep his relationship with Kyle a secret, even from his best friend. Well, no more. He was coming out of the closet with a vengeance! If people didn't like his coming out, or couldn't handle it, tough shit. Screw them. A big smile lit up his face when he envisioned Kyle's reaction to his coming out. He'll be ecstatic. Of course, he'll want to celebrate in typical Kyle style - getting his brains fucked out. But first he had to carry out his plan....
To be continued