|THE CASE OF THE GENTLE GYMNAST Copyright © 2005
by Jerry Leckie — A
young police detective, assigned to a gay missing persons
case, finds himself on a voyage of self-discovery when he begins to
question his feelings for his partner.
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THE CASE OF THE GENTLE GYMNAST - PART THREE
From Part Two, Chapter
stood and paced the room for a few minutes, then stopped and
addressed the group. "I think the district attorney needs some help
from the Fourth Estate."
"Huh?" Mickey and Dickie asked at the same time.
Smiling, Joe explained. "My dad is the editor of the Grant County Times, the regional newspaper,
and my uncle is the publisher."
His smile acquired the aspect of a wolf scenting prey. "I wonder what
the public would
think if the paper ran a long series of articles and editorials about a
local religious order that took in child novices, then drugged them,
them electric shock treatments, beat them with sticks and chained them
to their beds at night. I can see the color pictures of Dickie's
bruises in the side bar. Then, I can see the local TV news reporters
breathlessly interviewing Dickie about his experiences there."
He grinned. "Child abuse is a nasty word in the
public's mind, particularly when it concerns religious organizations."
A malicious smile spread across Bart's face. He nodded in agreement.
Joe said, "Okay, I'll talk to my dad.
I'm sure he'll have a nice conversation with the mayor tomorrow
Randy turned to Bart. "If the mayor caves in, then how are you going to
get the boys out of there? If you go knock on the compound door, the
brothers probably won't even admit that they're there."
Bart grinned. "Oh, we'll get them out. I'll have a court order ... and
thirty or so members of the Canyon City PD to back me up."
John said, "Ya know partner, my headache is gone already."
"Mine too," Bart agreed.
The next five days
were a blur of activity for the Canyon City elected officials and the
Mal Foxworth, Joe's father, had done his job well. He only had to make
mild threats of damaging news articles and editorials to galvanize the
city government into action. In return, he promised an avalanche of
in support of the city's operation against the compound.
In preparation for the undertaking, Bart had grilled Dickie mercilessly
regarding everything the boy had seen and heard there.
Did the brothers have
Guns? Mace? Pepper Spray? Tazers? Attack dogs?
Dickie never saw any
dogs or weapons other than the sticks
the brothers carried.
What kind of security
devices were there?
fences? Surveillance equipment? Electric locks?
Dickie only saw
cameras pointing toward the gates.
What kind of
communication equipment did they have?
Dickie never saw any.
However, the boys were permitted only in
the chapel, refectory, kitchen, basement, infirmary
and treatment rooms.
Meanwhile, the personal lives of the group went on. Except for the time
they slept, Bart and John worked
easily and comfortably. Their friendship made the killer hours
they were putting in at work bearable. Bart was greatly amused one
evening when he found "Eat Shit" scrawled on his front door, in
lipstick: Elizabeth's revenge. Dickie continued to live at the condo,
visited nightly by his loving brother. Ed Tekai made a pest of himself
wanting to know when Brandon would be
rescued. For that matter, Randy, Joe, Dickie and Mickey made
something of pests of themselves also.
As the saying goes, "The squeaky wheel gets the oil." So, Bart and John
agreed to swear the group to secrecy then outline the plans for them
the night before the raid.
They gathered at the condo for dinner. When the dining room table was
cleared, Bart spread out a series of aerial photographs and drawings of
compound and the surrounding area. Someone commented that the markings
on the photos looked like
a battle plan. "That's exactly what they are. To succeed, this raid has
to be planned and timed down to the second."
As he spoke, he pointed to various sections of the maps. "You notice
that there are only two ways into the compound: through the main gate
and through the tunnel. Half the force will
enter through each, and they will be
armed and in
riot gear. The command post
will be here. Medical emergency
teams will be here and here. Child Protective Services will have a post
set up to receive the boys." He looked
up. "Any questions so far?"
Mickey raised his hand. "The boys won't be returned to their parents,
Bart shook his head. "Definitely not. A judge working with CPS is
prepared to revoke parental rights for every boy under eighteen as he
is identified. Furthermore, the judge will issue a restraining order
against each set of parents."
There were no more questions. Bart continued. "The command post is the
nerve center for the operation. All communications will be from there.
The brothers will be arraigned as they are brought out. Then, a
team will examine the compound. A legal team will extract and
immediately examine all of the brothers' records."
Randy commented, "I'd be interested to find out how they market their
do people know about them? Who do they go through to find boys?"
"I'd like to know that myself, and we'll find out tomorrow," Bart said.
"Now, the operation will begin at noon, and this is how it will
go down ..."
twelve o'clock the next day, Bart, dressed in a business suit, drove to
the compound alone, in an
unmarked car. He stopped before the massive gates and peered through.
The gates, flanked
by twelve-foot, ivy-covered stone walls, were of filigreed wrought
iron, framing a spectacular view. In the distance, he could see
a winding gravel driveway leading through well kept grounds to the
stone house. The whole scene was beautiful and deceptively peaceful.
A red light began blinking on a nearby surveillance camera and the
intercom system hissed to life with a carrier wave. He checked his
watch. At that moment,
half the force should have been
approaching the tunnel exit, ready to deploy. They were to subdue
everyone between them and the house, then enter the building and locate
the boys. Minimum force was to be used unless the
Bart pressed a button on the intercom. "Yes?" a bass
voice answered. Bart identified himself and stated that he was there on
official business. The heavy iron gates silently swung open. In the
distance, he could see a man in a black robe waiting on the front
porch of the house.
As he drove forward, he glanced up at the security camera. The red
went out. He hoped the utility company had cut the electric service at
that moment, as
planned. Concurrently, gas and telephone service was to be cut also.
Bart stopped the car at the foot of the steps and got out. The man
asked, "What is your business here?"
"Sir, I have a court order to remove a boy named Brandon Johnson from
these premises," Bart
responded, pulling a folded document from his pocket. The statement was
only partially true. The order covered the removal of all persons who
were not members of the religious order.
The man said, "This is a cloister, a place of religious seclusion. You
Bart's voice rose a decibel or two. "This court order says I can, sir.
Now, please step aside."
The man started to respond, but his mouth fell open and his eyes grew
at the sight of something over Bart's shoulder. A
convoy of police cars, two fire trucks and four ambulances raced
through the open gates.
Slowly, Bart began to ascend the steps. The man's face turned to
as the municipal vehicles fanned out in front of the house and
disgorged their uniformed cargo. "No!" The man shouted. "What have you
done? This is the house of God!"
Bart had reached the top of the steps. "We have come for all of the
boys you have imprisoned here." He motioned to the swarming troops
below. "They are the backup for my court order. Now, sir, step aside."
Shouts of alarm began to issue from the house.
As Bart started to pass, the man screamed, "No! You shall not have
them! They are evil in the sight of God! They must be
redeemed or they will burn in Hell!" He raised his stick and struck
Bart on the shoulder. A shot rang out. The man dropped his stick and
grabbed his arm.
Bart massaged his shoulder for a moment, then picked up the stick and
ran through the front door, a dozen policemen following.
John and his troops raced from the tool shed, squinting into the bright
noonday sun. Ahead of them, two brothers were scurrying into the back
door of the house,
driving four boys in front of them with sticks. So much for a surprise raid, he
thought. The fucking alarm has been
A firetruck and two ambulances sped around the side of the
building, coming to a screeching stop. John motioned
for them to stay put until needed as he and
his men ran for the house.
His troops had memorized the rough floor plans that Dickie had drawn.
Once inside, groups of patrolmen deployed to different parts as agreed
their way through an army of angry brothers, who apparently were not
without a fight.
Three sharp pops of gunfire rang in John's ears as he found the stairs
the basement and dashed down them, two patrolmen on his heels. They
slowed to allow their eyes to adjust to the dim light streaming through
the high windows. Motioning for one policeman to go to the left, John
heard shouting to the right and followed the
sounds, the remaining cop tagging along.
Entering a large room, he saw perhaps half a dozen brothers--it was
to tell how many--frantically trying to shackle the boys to their beds.
His heart swelled as he saw the youngsters fighting back, unarmed,
against the stick-wielding brothers.
John and his comrade waded into the fray.
He drew his nightstick
and clobbered one of the brothers. As he passed by, he picked a ring of
keys off the man's inert form and threw them to a boy shackled to his
bed. "Unlock everyone, but stay here until it's safe to leave," he
shouted to the lad.
To a small frail boy, he said, "Pick up anything you can use and defend
yourself." Grinning, the boy picked up the fallen brother's stick and
whacked the kneecaps of a robed figure running down the aisle between
beds. As the man bent over in pain, John applied the coup de gràce with his
The boy gave him a "thumbs up" as John
ran on, swinging his nightstick like a broadsword. Suddenly, his ears
rang. The stick of a black robed attacker had caught the side of his
helmet, ripping it off. He turned and kicked the man in the nuts, then
felled him with a blow to the head.
At the far end of the room, two brothers were fighting with a strapping
lad crowned with blond curls: Brandon. He saw the boy grab one of the
men by the
hair and dash his head against the stone wall.
As the second brother raised his stick over the boy, John shouted,
out." The blond head turned as the stick fell, and the brother
delivered only a glancing blow, momentarily
stunning Brandon. John spun the attacker around and felled him with his
nightstick. Unfortunately, he didn't see a third brother approach. As
forward to examine Brandon, he felt a sharp pain to the back of his
head and dropped like a rock.
As his vision cleared, Brandon saw John at his feet and fury seethed within him.
Now, John's assailant was advancing on Brandon, stick raised. The
boy grabbed it and the man's beard at the same time. "No you don't
motherfucker!" he shouted. He kicked the brother's feet out from under
him and guided the man's head into the wall with a loud squish. "Your
ass is grass and I'm the lawnmower, asshole!" he intoned as he picked
the brother's stick.
Out of the corner of his eye, he saw another black robe advancing, the
face full of insane rage. The man paused to look down at
John's still form and raised his stick to deliver a death blow to the
detective's bloody head.
Now armed, Brandon quickly parried the strike with his stick and
cartwheel, coming to his feet behind the
see Jesus, shithead!" he yelled as he brought the staff down on the
brother's cranium. The man fell sideways onto one of the beds and began
to bleed on the clean white linen.
wasn't even breathing heavily, but his adrenalin was running
high, as at a gymnastics match. Balancing lightly on the
his feet, poised to enter another skirmish, he spun around.
policeman and Brandon's fellow inmates were motionless, staring at him.
the room came from swirling dust motes dancing in the shafts of
sunlight streaming through the high narrow windows.
The fight was over.
Brandon knelt beside John. "He's bleeding," he
said to the policeman. The cop ran for help. He tried to examine John
while the boys crowded
around. As Brandon felt the detective's neck for a pulse, he
up to see the group separate, making way for Bart. "He's
Brandon said, helplessly.
Bart pressed the button on his walkie-talkie and barked, "EMTs to the
basement with a stretcher," then knelt beside his friend. He took
John's hand and murmured, "No, no, no."
Bart longed to keep
an eye on the paramedics as they worked on John; but, he had to
supervise the removal of the incapacitated brothers. The robed masters
of the cloister had been
relentless in their defense of the house. All twenty-four of them had
fought until they were unconscious or wounded too severely to fight.
Consequently, they had to be
transported to area hospitals under guard.
When the EMTs brought John out of the house, Brandon was with them,
holding his hand. He had been steadfast in his support of the
The paramedics reported to Bart that John was in shock and
must be transported immediately. As they loaded him into the ambulance, Brandon noted the tears in
Bart's eyes. He placed his hand on the detective's shoulder. "He saved
down there. I'm so sorry he was hurt."
Bart whispered horsely, "The boys told
me that you saved his life.
I thank you for that Brandon. He's my best
"How do you know my name?"
"It's a long story. Meanwhile, there's someone eagerly
waiting to see you." The boy cocked an eyebrow. "Ed Tekai," Bart announced with a smile.
Brandon's face split with a wide grin.
Bart's work at the house was done. The brothers had been transported to
hospitals; a bus had taken the boys away; and the cleanup teams had
arrived. Currently, the forensic guys were swarming the house, and the
legal team was waiting in the wings.
Bart slung his arm around Brandon's shoulders. "Drive down to the command post with me."
Child Protective Services had set up four tents at the command post. In
the first tent, the boys were identified and entered into the system.
In the second, they were given medical examinations and their injuries
photographed. In the third, they
were given clothing to replace their robes. And, in the fourth, they
were given food and a place to relax.
Naturally, being an administrative unit of government, CPS generated
reams of paperwork during this long, drawn out process.
Fortunately for the boys, Randy, Joe, Dickie and Ed had volunteered to
act as morale boosters, listening to the boys, calming their fears and
generally being big brothers, giving them a hug when needed, and
acting as positive role models -- something most of the boys had never
When Brandon and Bart entered the first tent, a harried looking Jerry
Brent, the CPS representative, was having a heated discussion with Jack
Wade, Randy's father. Jack's law firm had signed on to represent the
boys, pro bono.
"But why can't some of the boys be returned to their parents?" Jerry
pleaded. "Jesus Jack, what am I going to do with thirteen gay teenage
boys? I'll be lucky to place one for adoption and two in foster homes."
Jack responded mildly. "To answer your first question, their parents
may have thought they were doing the best for their children by signing them away to the brothers, but that proved to be a
monumental fuck-up that cost them their parental rights. The court says
that you may not give the children back. To answer your second
question, GPS will provide them with all of the comforts of home, until
an equitable disposition can be found for them or they reach their
eighteenth birthday, whichever comes first."
Jerry placed his head in his hands and moaned, "Oh God, do you know
what that will do to my budget?"
Jack was not sympathetic. "Frankly Jerry, I don't care. However, I've
lined up some donations that will help your budget. My concern is that
thirteen living souls here that for years have been deprived of their
to love and happiness."
Bart stepped forward with Brandon in tow. Nodding to the GPS man, he
said, "Good afternoon Jerry. Here's a fourteenth boy for you." Jerry looked depressed as Bart shook
Jack's hand. "It's really good
to see you again sir. And, I want to thank you for acting as an
advocate for the boys."
Then, he addressed both men. "There's something else that concerns me,
in addition to what you were just discussing. And, that's the safety of
the boys. We don't know yet how the parents will respond to the legal
restraints placed on them. They may have such a fanatical hatred for
homosexuality that they will try to kidnap their children and send them
to a different rehabilitation facility."
Jack looked worried and Jerry turned a peculiar shade of green at the
thought of the extra security expense.
moved through the tents with Brandon to observe the processing,
chatting with the boy along the way. At one point, Bart asked, "Do you
that your parents would try to have you committed again?"
Brandon sighed. "Probably not. With the restraining order, I don't
would break the law. They will likely write me off."
He chuckled, looking at the unasked question written on Bart's face.
"Hindsight has 20-20 vision Mr. Killian. So, I'm seeing some things
clearly now. I don't know whether my parents ever really loved me. They
brought me into the world and felt obliged to raise me, to mold me into what they wanted me to
be instead of letting me be what I was. And, things were relatively peaceful as long as I did exactly what
they wanted me to do." He sighed. "It was peaceful, but not a
particularly happy time for me, until I met Ed Tekai."
were now in the third tent. Brandon's brow furrowed, deep in thought
while he shucked his white robe and donned the street clothes provided
Presently, he mused, "I'm trying to
visualize what my life would have been like years from now if I hadn't defied
my parents. I would probably have married and had children, maintained the ideal nuclear family ...
become a pillar of the community ... and
had a successful business career."
He laughed aloud. "Sounds great, doesn't it? And, it would all have
on autopilot, because the real me wouldn't have been there."
He cocked his head to the side and looked at Bart curiously. "In that
scenario, I would
have had two choices. One, If I had really
tried to live the straight
would have wound up an unhappy old man, bitter as sour milk. Or, more
likely I would
have led a double life, pretending to be the loving husband at home and
sucking off guys in mens rooms while away on business trips." He shook
his head sadly. "But, in neither case would I have found
and nurtured real love or happiness."
Brandon snapped out of his reverie. "But, I don't
have to think about that, because my life is not defined by a script that someone else writes; I'm
entitled to pursue my own happiness." He grinned, looking over Bart's shoulder. "My future lies with the guy
and he's right over there, waiving frantically at me."
Bart smiled and gave the boy a hug. "You're wise way beyond your years,
Brandon grinned and wrinkled his nose. "Gentle Gymnast?"
Bart gently shoved him in Ed's direction. "It's the name John gave you.
I'll tell you the story sometime."
As they walked toward the fourth tent, Brandon said, "Please keep me
condition. I'd like to visit him in the hospital as soon as it's
allowed." Bart nodded and Brandon ran into Ed's arms.
The noise coming
from the food tent was deafening. After years of enforced
silence, the boys were making up for lost time. But, Ed and
Brandon's reunion was a show stopper. As their lips met in a passionate kiss, Brandon
picked Ed up, cradling him in his arms, and spun him
around and around. The tent became absolutely silent for two
applause erupted with whistles, catcalls and shouts of encouragement.
At last, they broke the kiss and Brandon eased Ed back to the ground.
Smiling, they turned to their
audience and the whistles and catcalls grew louder as several boys
pointed to the tents in their pants.
The boys crowded around Brandon, plying him with hugs. They introduced him to Randy and
Joe and allowed him to give Dickie a quick hug before they dragged him
and Ed over to the dining table.
It was obvious to Bart that Brandon was the boys' hero. When the alarm
sounded, he was the first to resist the brothers.
Bart suddenly felt very unnecessary and started to leave. But, Jack
Wade entered and asked him to stay. Whistling loudly to get the boys'
attention, he introduced himself and began to address them.
"I know that you are happy to be away from the
brothers. Now, I would like to introduce you to some of the people who
made that happen. Your rescue would not have been
possible if Dickie Marks had not been brave enough to escape from the
compound." Applause and whistles were directed to a red faced Dickie.
probably wouldn't have known about Dickie's escape if Randy, my son,
Joe Foxworth hadn't found and cared for him." Applause and thumbs
up for the pair. "And, we could not have moved forward with the case
without information from Brandon Johnson's partner, Ed Tekai." More
thunderous applause. "And, this is
detective Bart Killian, who
orchestrated and executed the plan that rescued you." Thunderous
applause and wild cheers erupted.
Bart stepped forward.
"Thank you. But, my plan would not have worked without
the support of my fellow officers of the Canyon City Police Department,
particularly my partner, John Wilson." His voice broke and Jack hugged
him, to the sound of more applause and cheers.
Randy pulled him aside and sat with him at
the back of the tent. Pointing to his father, Randy whispered, "Bart,
you gotta listen to this. It's amazing
what the people of this city have agreed to do for these little guys."
Jack continued to address the boys. "My law firm has volunteered to act
as your advocate while the powers that be put your lives in order. I've
been speaking to my business
clients all day, and they have agreed to contribute money, goods and
services for your support."
He consulted a written list. "The management of the Eureka
has agreed to provide an entire floor of their hotel in which you will
until we can find permanent housing for you. Three different clothing
stores will give you wardrobes. Two supermarket chains will provide
food. Canyon City Transit will provide transportation. Two electronics
firms will provide the gadgets to amuse you. And, Matson University
will provide counseling and testing facilities to establish benchmarks
for your further education."
Jack paused amid an avalanche of questions. He held up his hands in
surrender. "Please remember that you are the legal wards of Grant
County, Missouri. But, the agencies involved and
my law firm will do everything in our power to address your individual
needs. We want you to grow up to be happy healthy gay men such as
Randy, Joe, Ed and Brandon."
Jack said a few more words, then the evening meal was served. Randy
urged Bart to stay for dinner. "Jesus Bart, I know you want to go see
John, but you're worn to a frazzle and you haven't had anything to eat
since early this morning."
Bart relented and sat with the boys. They were all in their mid-teens,
boy-men, who had had their normal development stunted, physically,
mentally and emotionally. His heart went out to them.
A cute boy sitting beside him whispered, "I'm sorry John got hurt. You
said he was your partner. Is he your lover?"
The question blew Bart away, but he recovered enough to say,
"He's my partner on the police force. Personally, he's my best friend,
I love him very much."
The boy smiled. "He saved us down in the basement. When you see him,
tell him we love him very much too."
"I will." Bart said with a lump in his throat.
Later that evening, for his safety, Brandon joined the other
boys at the hotel. Ed Tekai wasn't about to spend the night apart from
him, so it was arranged for him to accompany the boys as a chaperone.
Similar arrangements were made to allow Mickey to share a room with
Dickie. Actually, the two couples shared a two bedroom suite with a
common sitting room and small kitchen.
A clear crisp, cold October night had fallen on the city. After a
meal in the hotel, the boys were escorted to the floor that had been
reserved for them.
Brandon and Ed had been touching physically and in spirit since their
reunion at the command post, but they longed for a private
reconciliation. Consequently, they bid everyone a good night and
retired to their bedroom. There, they slowly undressed,
marveling at the sight of every portion of flesh exposed to view.
Ed had difficulty keeping his breath under control until Brandon was
naked - a vision of muscle, all man, covered in blond hair so
fine that it
could barely be seen. In the midst of the picture lay
heavy genitals. Ed placed a hand on Brandon's chest. Inside that
powerful frame was a gentle, loving
passionate soul that adored and understood him. Ed would stand by this
Brandon had no better control over his breath than Ed. To him, Ed was
perfect man, small of stature and perfectly proportioned, in keeping
with his Japanese heritage. Brandon knew that within this sleek,
hairless body dwelt a patient, intelligent, intensely passionate soul,
qualities that he admired and loved. To Brandon, Ed was his soul mate,
one to be cherished, nurtured, protected and loved well.
The blond haired, gentle gymnast carefully lifted Ed and carried him to
the bed, where he made gentle passionate love that was reciprocated in
In the next bedroom, Michael Marks and his younger brother, sated after
sweet lovemaking, stood naked before the large window overlooking the
nighttime panorama of the city. Mickey wrapped his arms around the boy
and nuzzled the back of his neck. Staring out of the window, Dickie
whispered, "The lights of the city look like a basket of jewels."
Mickey murmured into his ear, "That's our world out there now, and
we'll be happy in it."
In the Intensive Care Unit of St. Vincent's Hospital, Bart sat by
John's bed. Holding his friend's hand, he stared at the still form and
listened to the rhythmic sounds of the monitors. "Come back to me
John," he said quietly.
To be continued
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