Chapter 9 : The Forgiven.
This story is fictional based on fictional characters. Any similarity to any person living or dead is coincidence. This story may contain man/teen boy or man/preteen boy or teen/preteen boy sex. It may contain no sex at all. I haven't decided yet.
If this is legal for you to read and is the sort of stuff you enjoy reading then read and enjoy. If this is not legal for you to read and/or is not the sort of stuff that you enjoy then do not read. You have the choice.
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It's Sunday night now, a couple of days after Peter was arrested and David went back into hospital (Friday).
David spent the night in hospital, sedated and closely monitored. But his condition did not get worse. He was released the next morning and taken home, still sedated. He did not speak at all that day. Under the doctors advice we let him sleep, and had a good breakfast ready for him the next morning (today).
I had just taken his breakfast in when I heard Allan, his landlord, answer the door. He swore at whoever was there, and I could hear someone pleading to be let in. They spoke for a few minutes before Allan called me to the door. I exploded with rage when I saw who was there. How I handled it without screaming or violence, I do not know.
"What are you doing here? Do you know how much harm you have done? Do you know that you could have killed him? GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE BEFORE I KILL YOU!"
"Please, wait, let me talk to you" the young officer spoke, a glistening in his eyes. One of the two officers who had arrested Peter was there. Why, I did not care, I did not want to know. What I did know was that, as far as I concerned, this piece of trash had seconds to live. But one thing I have learnt from my time with David is that sometimes, no matter how much you want to hurt someone, if they are pleading with you – tearful pleading at that, you should hear them out. At least, give them a few seconds to explain themselves. If you feel that you can stand more, then do so. Otherwise, get rid of them. But at least give them a chance to explain.
"The other night, I acted stupidly. I let that bitch of a sergeant talk me and my partner into coming here. I let her talk us into arresting your young friend if we could find no reason to arrest Mr Denton. We were told that the boy, Peter, was at serious risk of being abused, if it had not already started. I did not come here out of malice that night. And I am here now to apologise to all of you."
My anger at this man was not subsiding. I certainly knew the risk should he be allowed to see David again. David would not be happy to see him, and he would certainly be badly hurt. The ordeal he had suffered at the hands of the police, including this man and his friend would be bad enough for a healthy, fit man. But David is far from healthy or fit, and could still be years away from such a condition. He was also innocent of any crime against anyone he knows now, yet the police are unrelenting in their attacks, in their abuse of a loving man.
"You are trespassing. Get the hell off this property before I call the police. We'll be seeing you in court".
"Nathan, let him speak for a minute. Just one minute more. Then, if you still want him to leave, I guarantee that he will not be here a moment longer."
I looked at Allan, trying to understand why he was permitting this prick to stay on his property a moment longer. He looked me in the eye and just said "Please".
I looked at my watch. "Ok, you have one minute."
The young officer didn't raise his head to look at me as he spoke.
"I have been such an idiot. I am so sorry. I am new to the force, and have little experience in these matters. I thought I was doing the right thing, but I know that I was wrong. I should've opened my eyes to what was going on in that room, to the condition that Mr Denton is in. I should've seen and thought about how upset young Peter was when we dragged him out of there."
A tear fell to his shoe. He watched it, and another land before speaking again.
"My girlfriend, if she'll have me back, brought me to my senses. She's Peter's youth leader at his church. Peter rang her yesterday and she spent the afternoon with him. He's a mess. Through what he and Bob Wilkinson told her, I know a little more about the man I did this to. I know about how much Mr Denton has done for others, including you and Bob. I know why Peter wants to see him. Brooke brought Peter round to see me and made sure that I understood what I had done, and that I apologised to him. I did not think about my actions. All I knew at the time was that I was dealing with a dangerous criminal and protecting a young, defenceless boy. I know now that this is not the case."
He collapsed against the door frame. Allan stepped over and grabbed him, and helped him back to his feet. The officer looked at me for a moment before continuing. His look and his words were breaking through the shell of anger I had, and I had forgotten about the time limit I had placed on him.
"She's left me. She told me that I had to wake my ideas up and sort myself out and learn some compassion and some sense before she would see me again. I've lost her, and my job because I acted without thinking about what was going on around me, without looking at what the facts were.
"In the office, Captain Alister showed me Mr Denton's file. Other than a couple of minor traffic offences, he has not been charged with a crime in over 15 years. But his record does show that he has helped police out many times. His record in that regard is better than most people in this country who have never been charged with anything. Despite all that he has been through, he is clearly a kind man who does not care about what someone has done in their past, he only sees where they're at now, and what is required to help them out of any problems.
"If you think he'll see me, I would like to talk to him, to apologise to him. If you think he won't be to upset."
His words, and the way he spoke them, along with his composure, had broken through my anger. I could not yet forgive him, but I was not willing to simply turn him away. David was teaching me to care for even the lowest scum on earth, and what better time to practice than now? Besides, I doubted that this former officer, as he leant against the door frame for support, clearly close to collapsing, would be capable of doing much harm.
"I will ask him if he will see you, but there are some conditions. They are not negotiable. FIRST, I will remain in the room until David asks me to leave, and until I feel that he is safe. SECOND, everything you say will be recorded unless David asks me to stop the recording. And last, you are to take some time to get to know him, and to take a look through the cards and the letters around his room – but check with him before you look at anything, no matter how openly it is displayed on the walls. I want you to leave here knowing just who it is you attacked, and what he means to others." Turning to David's landlord I asked "Allan, do you have any other conditions?".
Allan shook his head, so I went in to talk to David. Although visibly upset when I told him who was there, I explained the conditions. David accepted them, so I started a recording on the computer and then led the officer in.
"I have been told why you're here. Frankly, you can get lost as far as I am concerned, and I doubt that Nathan would object much to your suffering with the cost of your actions towards Peter. But first Allan and then Nathan decided to give you a chance, so I will as well. Look around you – and look at me. I am not a threat to Peter or any other boy! I could never be!"
With tears in his eyes, the officer first looked at David, then at the cards and letters that decorated the walls of his room. Not one space for the wallpaper to show through, every available space was covered. There was more on the table beside David's bed as well.
The officer sobbed as he spoke. He told David all that he had told myself and Allan. It was clear that there was no set up, he was here out of a genuine desire to apologise and start to make up for what harm he had done. It was clear from David's expression that, over time, the officer was being forgiven by David, and that David was being touched by his story. Yet in his eyes I could still see anger sitting just below the surface.
After a while, David asked me to make some coffee. When I returned, the scene before me only increased the love and respect I have for David.
Only a few days ago this man had been a part of an attack that put David back in the hospital under heavy sedation – a trip that required an ambulance travelling under emergency conditions. And yet, here David was showing the sort of man he truly is.
The officer had his head bowed, and I could see that tears were falling from his eyes. David had his hands, arms still in casts, resting on the officers shoulders. Eyes closed, he was praying for the man, for his job, and for a his girlfriend to forgive him. I watched as the young officers face started to lighten up, and a familiar feeling started to rise within me. I don't know why but I just felt that I had to. The feelings in that room were beyond description, and far more powerful than I had experienced to date. Love, compassion and forgiveness – all were clear and very strong. I felt that I had no choice but to put the tray down, sit down on the bed, and put a hand on each of their shoulders. I bowed my head, closed my eyes, and listened silently.
The officer became a Christian that day. He later told David that it was only reasonable choice left after he started to get to know him. Despite what had been done, David had not taken long to forgive him. David's very nature convinced the officer that while there were many Christians who were not genuine, and who gave God a bad name, he was with someone who would not judge him, who could not judge anyone based on what they had done in the past. Only the here and now mattered with David, and with God. He knew that while David may not be the best example of a Christian, he is a true Christian at heart.
The young officer, who I now know to be Steven O'Donnell, even joked that maybe God had made David a boylover just so he could reach people like him.
"Steven, you are not the sort of person that God normally has me reach. Normally, I get sent to reach, teach and correct other Christians. Peter and your girlfriend are the ones who reached you. I was just here for the finishing touches".
"Mr Denton, I don't think you realise how much you helped. I wasn't going to consider becoming a Christian. Brooke is special, I love her totally, but that was not enough. Nor had she said anything to convince me, although she tried. Here, today, you. That is what did it. In you I can see what it means to truly be a Christian. So you're attracted to young boys, so what? I have no doubt that you could pick up any number of boys on the street, screw them and then dump them. But I can see that it is not in your nature. You truly love boys and will do anything you can to improve their lives, whether it's making a donation to a charity, helping one out on the street with a broken bike, or taking one into your home as you've done with your young lover here".
I fired a look that was a mixture of shock and "What the hell are you on about?" at Mr O'Donnell. He just laughed.
"Master Hastings, don't look so shocked! Your secret, what little is left of it, is safe with me. But, and I hate to break this to you, it is kinda obvious. One only needs to see the way that you two look at each other to know that Mr Denton is totally in love with you, and you feel at least as much for him. "
I could feel my face reddening. David and Mr O'Donnell both laughed. Mr O'Donnell put a hand on my shoulder.
"It's ok mate. Despite what you saw here the other night, there is no shame in being gay – if you are. There's no shame in loving an older man either, especially when he's as good a catch as Mr Denton. You certainly have nothing to worry about from me"
"Please, call me David in future, ok?" I turned to look at David when he spoke, and he had his hand offered to Mr O'Donnell.
"Steven. And you can drop the formality". Turning to me he said "That goes for you as well Master Hastings".
With some nerves, I shook the offered hand. I decided it was time to forgive.
"No hard feelings?" I asked.
"Good. Call me Nathan. Can't have you calling me 'Master Hastings' if I get to call you by your first name!".
We passed some more small talk for a few minutes before Steven got up to leave.
"I guess I'd better get going. Brooke will be home from church now and I want to talk to her before the day is out, if she'll listen. Thank you, it has been an incredible day. I had no idea what to expect, but I would never have dreamt of anything like this!"
"Thank you for coming over Steven. It was a very good experience. Feel free to come back anytime, and if your girlfriend gives you any trouble, send her to see us".
"Thanks, I might. But I am not sure how she'll take it. She's kinda fundamentalist and you and Nathan being gay and all."
"Well, I guess you can send her over during Nathan's night off. Not that he's had one in a while. He and Bob are supposed to share some of the time helping look after me, but Nathan's been here pretty constantly. You'd think he'd be sick of me by now".
Again I could feel myself going red at that comment. But Steven gave me only praise.
"He seems like a good kid. You should be proud to know him."
"I am, don't worry about that".
With that, he left. It was only afterwards that the change in him hit me. When he was here the other night, he did not come across as a nice person. He seemed stressed, angry, and a bit on the nasty side. When he arrived Sunday morning, he still appeared stressed, but was also upset, and desperate – a broken man who had just lost all he cared for. But when he left, he was happy, confident, and totally at peace. I did not realise someone's nature could change so much in such a short time! What is it about David that can change a person so quickly?
He called later on that evening to say that he and Brooke had been talking, and that they had patched things up. I get the feeling that we'll be seeing a lot more of Steven in the near future.
[Thanks for the comments I've received for chapters 7 and 8. Comments help to encourage me to keep writing, and also give me ideas about what I can do later in the story, as well as an idea as to what does and doesn't work.
Also, watch this space next chapter – I may have something important to say – TC]