Anyone passing by room 3481-North would be treated to the very welcome sound of laughter coming from a room that was normally silent. Before anyone realized how much time had passed, there was a knock on the door.
Doctor Foster opened the door to reveal Agent Hunter. The two men shook hands as the doctor ushered him into the room.
"Thank you for coming, Agent Hunter."
"My pleasure. What can I do for you, Doctor?"
"Since you were the agent who solved both the Kyle Matthews and Jayson Williams rape and abduction cases, I thought you might be able to explain everything to Kyle, and answer any questions he might have."
"Sure, I'd be glad to help, if I can."
Doctor Foster turned to Kyle's friends. "Perhaps we should all wait outside." He suggested.
"No, I want everyone to stay, if they want." Kyle responded, a pleading tone in his voice.
"If that is your wish, Kyle, I'll respect it. Just know that there may be some very disturbing information you might not even want to know, let alone want everyone else to know."
"They're all my family. One request though. My sister Kim is on duty in the Pediatric ICU and I'd like her here as well."
"I'm sure that can be arranged." replied Doctor Foster as he picked up the phone and dialed. "Kim? Hi, it's George Foster. Can you please come to Kyle's room? It's important. No, he's fine. He has some good news he'd like to share with you, plus FBI Special Agent Hunter is here to answer his questions regarding his and Jay's kidnapping and rape. Thanks." He hung up. "She'll be here in a couple of minutes."
After about five minutes, there was a quick knock on the door then Kim entered the room, greeting everyone. "Okay, so what's up? What's this good news Doctor Foster says you have?"
Kyle didn't say a word. Instead, he held out his Doctorate certificate to her, who glanced at it briefly before throwing herself on her baby brother. "Oh, Kyle! I'm so proud of you!" She exclaimed. "You did it. I knew you would, Doctor Matthews."
"That's not all." Jay interjected. "He's also going to be awarded Teacher of the Year and Favorite Teacher awards during Commencement."
"Oh, wow! That's double-good news!" She exclaimed, hugging Kyle so tightly that he couldn't breathe.
"Kim, I can't breathe." He croaked.
"Oh. Sorry." She giggled as she got up off him.
"Kyle, are you absolutely sure you want everyone to remain? It's not going to be pleasant." Agent Hunter asked.
"Yes, I'm sure, especially now that my sister is here. Everyone is more than family to me."
"Okay. As long as you're sure..."
Agent Hunter revealed that Russell Simpson had seen Kyle and Jay coming out of a gay bar and had secretly stalked them ever since, waiting for an opportunity to present itself. Having seen them kiss gave him the final leverage he needed to blackmail Jay with the pictures he had of the two of them.
Further investigation revealed sixteen other victims besides Jayson and Kyle, most of who died as a result of the beatings they received. Several cold cases were closed. He went into very graphic detail about the injuries sustained by the other victims.
"So as you can see, neither of you are to blame for what happened to you. It was only a matter of time. You two were lucky to have survived. In fact, the Bureau owes both of you a debt of gratitude. He'd still be on the loose if it hadn't been for you guys."
Kyle had listened carefully to what Agent Hunter had said, but he never expected to be thanked for his ordeal. "You're thanking us?" He asked, incredulously.
"Yes, but I would have much preferred a different set of circumstances. At least the two of you survived, and with Doctor Foster's help, will recover. Jay has come a very long way from what I've been told. I know he's had nightmares over his ordeal, as I'm sure you have. I know I would, after hearing the details of what he went through during his captivity at the trial."
"There was a trial?"
"Yeah, we had enough witnesses come forward to get a very quick conviction on all counts. He'll never see the outside of prison again. He was sentenced to sixteen consecutive life sentences with no possibility of parole. There is a downside to all of this, however. He did have some mob connections, which is another reason why I'm here. Even though the chances of any kind of retaliation are extremely remote, I am obligated to offer the two of you relocation under the federal witness protection program."
Stunned, Jay responded, "Erik, Kyle just received his Doctorate in quantum physics, something he's worked extremely hard for. He'd have to give that up, plus his art. He's sold over twenty-five paintings for a substantial sum of money. That, plus everything else we'd lose, our home, our families, our friends, not to mention each other. We'd have to be relocated to different parts of the country. I couldn't bear that..." His voice trailed off.
"If we turned down the offer, wouldn't that just endanger everyone around us? Wouldn't the mob try to get to us through them?" Kyle queried.
Agent Hunter laughed. "You've been watching too much television." He went on to explain "The odds of that are extremely remote. Most mob bosses take a dim view of rape. They especially don't want to hear about it where homosexuality is involved. They usually come from strict catholic backgrounds and won't have anything to do with gays."
"If you're sure..." Kyle's voice trailed off.
"As sure as I can be, but it's not a one-hundred percent guarantee..."
"Tell me one thing that is one-hundred percent guaranteed." Doctor Foster interjected.
"My love for Kyle" Jay responded.
Kyle turned every shade of red at Jay's proclamation then let out a huge yawn.
"Okay, that's it, everybody out. Kyle needs to rest." Doctor Foster ordered.
"I'm fine." Kyle began to protest as yet another huge yawn ambushed his attempt to cover up his exhaustion.
"Yeah, right" Jay responded tenderly. "You're barely holding on. Get some sleep." He bent down and placed a tender kiss on Kyle's lips.
Everyone took turns giving Kyle a hug and a kiss goodbye as they left, Agent Hunter and Doctor Foster both settling for handshakes.
When Doctor Foster reached the door, Kyle called him back. "You know, Doc. I've been thinking about what Agent Hunter said. That, plus everything else that happened today" he indicated his diploma, Doctorate certificate and the news about his teacher awards "maybe it wasn't my fault, and maybe I'm not a totally worthless piece of flesh, only good for getting beaten and raped."
"Kyle, you may not realize this, but you just made a major breakthrough. We're off to a good start."
"I just wish I was worth waiting for."
"JAY!" Doctor Foster called out the door. When Jay came back into the room, Doctor Foster told him what Kyle said.
"Not worth waiting for? I'll show you." Jay kissed Kyle passionately. "There's more waiting for you when - and only when - Doctor Foster tells me that you're ready for it."
"Threaten me with a good time!" Kyle giggled, slightly embarrassed.
"I don't threaten, I deliver." Jay said as he left, Doctor Foster following on his heels.
"Goodnight and thanks, Doc, for everything!"
"You're welcome, Kyle. Goodnight, and I'll see you in the morning."