This story details explicit gay sex between men, teens and boys. If you find this kind of thing distasteful, or if you are underage wherever you live, then stop reading this now, and delete this file. The story is completely fictional; the author does not condone or encourage any of the acts contained herein.



Chapter 65

By: Tim Keppler

 Edited by: Bob Leahy

There's a silkiness to Jason's skin that just drives me nuts. It's so soft, and so smooth. It doesn't seem to matter where it touches me. The minute it makes contact, it's electric. It's like when you stuck one of your mom's bobby-pins into the electrical socket in the kitchen. Before it blew the fuse, it nearly blew you up. I love to caress him. I love to stroke him, and to touch him. You gotta promise not tell Kenny or Dinh I ever said this, but just a touch from Jason is nearly enough to get me off. So, you can imagine what it's like when our lips are locked, as they are now, and when my bare chest is pressed against his. It's even more intense when our dicks are snuggled between our legsas we prepare for sex. I can't tell you how much I love this guy. I can't count that high. Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Shakespeare both come to mind as poets I should be quoting to give you a sense of how much in love I am. But I can't be bothered. I'm too much in love to worry about telling you how much in love I am. He is (and remember, you're sworn to secrecy) the most beautiful guy I've ever seen in my life, and here I am kissing him -- and about to fuck him. Do other guys have that experience? Or do they just make do? Do they just tell themselves that they're with the most beautiful guy on the planet, or do they just let it go? How could they be, after all, with the most beautiful guy on the planet? After all, they're not with Jason, and I am? I am with the most beautiful guy on the planet. So they are, at best, with the second or third best. (No. I have those covered, too.)

As I enter him -- in one fluid thrust -- he whimpers, not in pain, but in...lust. He wants me inside him almost more than I want to be inside him. No. That's not possible! I want to be inside Jason more than I want anything. He can't want it more than I want it. Once inside, I start to withdraw. I am so keyed up today, I can't bring myself to give him time to get used to me, to my dick being inside him. I can't. I need to fuck him. I need to do it...now. That's what I do. I begin to fuck him...slowly at first...but...but... Oh, Jesus, I've got to make this last. I have to slow down. But there's that electric touch of his skin, that spark that is nearly killing me. I swear to god, I think his nipples are electrodes. As they press against my chest, I think they'll burn right through me. And as we kiss, my lips are vibrating. It's not that I really, really want Jason right now. I need him. I need him like an addict needs a fix. I need him more than I need air. I fucked him yesterday, and yet I can't imagine how I can have been away from him this long. God, he is just so soft and silky.

Just as I'm nearing the brink, the phone rings...and rings...and rings. Who gives a damn? The machine will pick up, and on the fourth ring, it does. I don't like answering the phone, so we screen everything. Anyone I like has my cell number and calls me there. Anyone else calls the land line. This is a land-line call. The machine is in the bedroom with us, and as much as I ignore it, as much as I concentrate on the feeling of Jason's ass enveloping my dick, I can't entirely tune it out. It's the police. There's been an accident. Please call them back as soon as I receive this call. The minute I hear the word "police" I begin to deflate. I'm not going to cum today. This is a de-facto red-marble day, and I almost want to sob. Instead, I break my kiss with Jason and kiss his eyes. "I'm sorry, baby. I lost concentration. I have to call the cops and find out what's going on. I'm so sorry." Neither of us is going to cum today.

Just as I'm getting out of bed, my cell phone starts to ring. I run for it, and what I hear when I answer it is a litany of Cantonese. "Hello," I say. "Hello?" But the Cantonese continues. Finally I pass the phone to Jason, and he listens. Then he grimaces, and then begins to cry. "No...no...no," he chokes. And, just as he does, the house phone starts to ring again. This time, I pick it up on the first ring. "Hello."

"Is this Mr. Jensen, Mr. Tim Jensen?"

"Umm...yeah. This is Tim Jensen."

"Hello. This is Barbara Villesvik of Valley Medical Center. I'm in admitting. We have two of your sons here, I believe, a Kevin Jensen and an Evan Jensen. Both boys were carrying identification listing you as their father. They're in the emergency room now. Kevin is in serious but stable condition, I've been told. Evan is in critical condition. We need you to come to fill out their admitting forms, provide proof of insurance and..."

"What the fuck are they doing at Valley Med?" I ask, abruptly, interrupting her.

"Umm...they've been shot. The police were supposed to have contacted..."

I don't know how to describe what I feel right at this moment. It's honestly other-worldly. When someone calls to tell you that your children are maybe dying, it's as if your brain separates from your body, and you watch yourself move in slow motion. You watch the agony blossom. I'm standing here in my bedroom, stark naked. I'm listening to my husband sob from the other side of the room about something I can't understand. I'm listening to this bureaucrat on the other end of the phone tell me that I need to come to the hospital at once and to bring money. And, I'm watching myself absorb all this. I'm listening to my breathing, hearing my heartbeat, hearing the click in my throat as my tears begin to well up, begin to clog my esophagus, as the snot begins to dribble. Finally, my conscious and civilized self just checks out, and the reptilian Tim takes over. I hang up the phone abruptly, and dress quickly in the dirty clothes I shucked as I prepared to fuck Jason. Then I make for the doorway, a naked Jason in hot pursuit. He touches my shoulder and I spin around. "Get dressed!" I order, and he runs back to the bedroom, returning 15 seconds later in pants and a shirt. No socks. Probably no underwear. We don't stop for shoes. We just dive into the car and drive, and I must be going 65 miles an hour on surface roads, careening around anyone who gets in my way. We're 20 minutes away from Valley Med, and I swear to god we get there in five. I leave the car parked at a curb, in a red zone. Who gives a flying fuck? And I am flying. I'm flying up the stairs to the ICU. I'm flying past the nursing station. And when I find them, I'm flying to their side.

Evan, my most recently adopted son, and Kevin are in the same room. Kevin is on the left, and he's crying. He's hooked up to all kinds of shit, but I'm comforted by the fact that he crying. I send Jason over to him, and Jason doesn't fuck with the usual moving of chairs and holding of hands. He just crawls onto the bed with him and holds him. I go to Evan, who is comatose. Literally comatose. He is still. According to the monitors, he's breathing, and his heart is beating, but he is still. A nurse has followed us into the room, and it looks for a moment as though she's going to do something authoritative, something like asking us to leave. But, when she looks at me, I think she realizes that such an action wouldn't be a good idea. So, instead, she leaves and calls the resident, who's with us in a matter of ten minutes. "What in the hell is going on?" I demand.

This doctor has been at this long enough to know when he's dealing with someone on the verge of killing him. He's very calming. He doesn't make any sudden movements. He's very soothing. "I really can't answer your questions about how this happened," he says, softly. "The young boy had a bullet in his leg when he was admitted. It was a relatively minor wound. We extracted it with a local anesthetic. We've given him a mild sedative and antibiotics, but the sedative hasn't really kicked in yet. The older boy is...umm...lucky to be alive. In his case, there was nothing to remove. It looks to me as though a bullet shattered a rib, and passed out his back. But it was so close to the heart! I don't know whether he was turning at the moment the bullet hit him, but that's my guess. The entrance and exit wounds are non-linear. He's a very, very luck boy. He was hysterical when he arrived, incoherent and raving. We had to sedate him heavily."

"Where's Cliff?" I ask. "Was there anyone else with them? Was anyone else injured?"

The instant I ask this question, Jason starts to sob. "It was Nathan," he mumbles, choking on his tears. "It was Nathan on the phone. The cops called him. Cliff is dead. He's dead, Tim. Cliff is dead."


Cliff had been living with us for several months, sharing Evan's room. He and Evan were crazy mad for each other. What do you do when you're in love? You get married...if you can. Of course, in California, we don't like faggots to get married. We prefer them to be promiscuous so we can validate all our ugly assumptions about what it means to be gay. The good people of California, having decided in their wisdom that Evan and Cliff unworthy of marriage, left my boys with only one option -- they could become domestically partnered. Cliff, at 18, could make this commitment on his own, and Evan, at 16, could elect to become Cliff's partner if I would allow it, which of course I would. You just had to see these boys to know that they were meant for each other. They talked endlessly, and always seemed to be in each other's arms. There was a gentleness about them that I found touching. They were very kind to each other, always looking for ways to help each other, ways to make each other happy. From a homemade valentine that Cliff gave Evan in February, to the colorful orange scarf that Evan secretly hand-knit for Cliff because the color complemented Cliff's complexion and he couldn't find one like it in any store. They seemed to love the same movies, the same books, the same music, and the same food -- although Vietnamese cuisine had been an acquired taste for Evan. He learned to like it, I think, because Cliff liked it. Cliff had expanded Evan's palate from the McDonald's drek that he used to think was "a treat" to something more interesting and complex.

They'd been planning a commitment ceremony that they wanted to coincide with their domestic partnership. They planned to sign their partnership papers at the ceremony itself in front of twenty of their friends -- school chums, and friends from the Center -- and, of course, their families. Kenny, Jason, Dinh and I would be there with the boys. And Nathan and his partner would be there as well. They planned to hold the ceremony in our back garden, among the flowers and the flock of five chickens that Jason had been tending for their eggs. The thought of probably thirty people, formally dressed, listening to this solemn devotional while five chickens wandered around rooting for bugs struck me as very civilized, and very sweet. Cliff had prepared a menu for a buffet that he and Dinh were going to cook prior to the ceremony and reheat. It sounded spectacular! Evan had planned to make the wedding cake himself -- nothing fancy, but significant for him. Evan doesn't really cook very well. He doesn't have the gift. So, baking a cake is a big step. But, Jason would help, so he'd get through it.

On this Saturday morning, they'd gone off to a local jeweler to buy rings. Nothing fancy, just plain gold bands. They longed to belong to each other, and they felt that matching rings would help them feel that way. They'd taken Kevin along with them because he'd been just so excited about the ceremony that he could scarcely contain himself. They'd gone to a jeweler on the east side, near Little Saigon, where Cliff thought he could get a good deal. Vietnamese owned, the store had a reputation for catering to the community, offering rock-bottom prices to those willing to haggle, and Cliff was a good haggler. They'd had to steer the owner away from the fancy diamond-studded stuff that was gaudy and expensive -- stuff that Kevin liked instinctively. Once they got the owner focused on what they were looking for, they started to make real progress. And then, another customer came into the store. What you see on the security videos is an Asian guy in his twenties. He's rather tall for a Vietnamese guy, but spoke the language fluently. The owner's wife moved to help him.

Something about this guy seemed to worry Evan. In the video, you see a look of concern on his face, almost of fear. He'd been leaning over the counter with Kevin to his left, and Cliff to Kevin's left, closest to the new customer. Abruptly, Evan moved back from the counter, grabbed Kevin by the shoulder, and moved him to his right, so he was now blocked from view by Evan's own body. It's at this moment that this new customer pulled out a gun, something semi-automatic by the look of it -- and began to spray bullets around the store. The owner's wife is hit first, and falls behind the counter, followed by the owner, followed by Cliff. Evan is taken by surprise with the gunfire. He swings around while trying to grab Cliff, but is himself hit. And, it looks like what he does when the bullet hits him is propel himself backwards, toppling Kevin, effectively covering him with his own body. Only Kevin's legs are exposed, and you can see the bullet hit him. With everyone in the store now down, the gunman smashes the glass cabinet holding the expensive diamonds, and empties two trays of rings into a plastic grocery bag. Then he flees.

But...not before the cops arrive. It turns out this guy had no brain. He'd already robbed the grocery in same strip-mall, and they called the cops. One of the baggers watched him make a bee-line for the jewelry store, and pointed him out when he emerged clutching his grocery bag of diamonds, a bag he'd gotten from the grocery itself. The cops cornered him, and he drew his gun. That was the end of him. They blew him away, much to my despair. I would have much preferred doing the job myself, and would have had no qualms beating this guy to death with my bare hands. Taking a bullet was way too good for him.

Cliff was dead by the time the ambulance arrived, as was the store-owner's wife. The store owner died of complications three days later. And Evan? He survived, but not by choice. When he awoke from his drug-induced torpor, the first words out of his mouth were, "Where's Cliff?" We had to tell him. There was no choice. If we'd said he was fine, but somewhere else, he'd have been out of bed in an instant looking for him. Habeas Corpus. We needed either to produce Cliff, or admit to the fact that he'd been killed. No choice. I think Evan cried for the next five days. He cried unrelentingly. He cried around the clock. We couldn't take him home because we couldn't figure out how to feed him. He wouldn't stop crying long enough to eat or drink. He became increasingly dehydrated, and was on a constant IV drip. He was absolutely despondent, passing in and out of consciousness as the doctors continued to sedate him. Kenny, Dinh, Jason and I set up a schedule to watch him because we were concerned that he might try to take his own life. After five days during which we'd hugged him, slept with him, and clung to him, he woke up from his sedation and didn't start to cry. He looked terrible -- sad, gaunt, and miserable. But he didn't cry. It was Kenny who woke up with him that day, and Kenny who cried.

"He's dead? You're sure?" he asked.

Kenny nodded, sobbing.

Evan's lower lip began to quiver, but he regained control.

"I'm sorry, Evan. I'm so sorry."

He nodded. At this moment, a piece of my Evan...died. A part of the Evan I loved, the vulnerable and trusting boy I'd rescued, ceased to exist, and I felt lonely. What replaced that sweet and trusting soul was someone else, someone who would never be trusting again, at least not in the same way, someone who would always look over his shoulder. And I realized that this was probably a good thing. This was probably how it had to be in this world we live in. But...I missed my Evan, the trusting boy I loved. The bullet that had passed through his body hadn't killed him. It had maimed him, but he was still alive. I had that to be grateful for that. But, I missed him so.


A week after Evan was discharged from the hospital, we held a funeral for Cliff. It was the same day that was to have been their commitment ceremony. The same guests attended. Evan wore the suit we'd bought for his commitment ceremony. Cliff had already been cremated. His remains were contained in a small walnut box that had been carefully sealed. I'd suggested that we distribute them somewhere, but Evan couldn't bear that...not yet. He couldn't bear to part with them. It was informal as these ceremonies go. I opened the gathering, and then we allowed people to simply reminisce. Cliff's former room mates talked about their memories of him, Nathan spoke, and of course Evan spoke, struggling and choke through something he'd written,. Dinh, I thought, would be last, because Dinh and Cliff were close. Because they were both Vietnamese, they shared a cultural identity, a language, and life experiences that the rest of us didn't really understand. Dinh's speech was entirely extemporaneous. He spoke of his experiences in Saigon, of his first meeting with Cliff, of their friendship, and of their identity as part of our family. When he was done, I was getting ready to end the formal segment of the ceremony and move us into the buffet, when one more speaker materialized.

The last speaker was a man in his sixties. He had grey hair, and was rather...stooped. He made his way slowly to the podium, and when he got there, he paused before starting to speak. He was dressed formally in a dark, though worn suite, wing-tip shoes, and a very narrow tie. His hair was grizzled, and his eyes were moist and puffy -- red.

I should mention that the funeral had been advertised. Well, not advertised, but a death announcement had been made in the Merc (San Jose Mercury News), and the date and place of the ceremony have been included. None of us were sure who else Cliff might have known. We wanted to invite everyone who might want to pay their respects. No one reads the obits. I understand that. There'd obviously been a news story about the robbery and shooting, and about Cliff's murder. But, we still felt that we should include an announcement of the funeral as part of the obituary. This man had apparently seen it, had perhaps even been looking for it, because no one else seemed to know him. I looked quizzically at pretty-much everyone, and got the same confused response from one and all.

"I am An Minh," he said in heavily-accented English. "I pleased to be allowed to come today for mourn loss of your comrade, your beloved friend." He paused. "Your loved one," he added, looking at Evan. "I cannot tell you how...sad friend's death make me. It tragedy for you, and it devastating for me. I not describe to you my...shame." The man is very close to tears. You can hear him choking as he speaks, and pausing constantly to get through what he has to say. "I here to share in grief. Must share in your grief. What done to your...friend, it was...shameful. It not merely...immoral...it ...pointless, destructive. It cause you great pain. I come here today to apologize to you...on behalf my son, and to beg your forgiveness. My son Hao Minh. He murder your...friend."

I knew I recognized the surname. It's common, but certainly not as common as Nguyen or Tran. I'm stunned that this man would come here today for what amounts to public humiliation. Evan, sitting in the front row of seats, is staring up at him with an absolutely-blank expression on his face. It would be impossible to know what he's feeling, except that he's begun to cry, which, except when he was speaking, he'd managed to avoid mostly. "What son did to you," Mr. Minh says, now addressing his comments exclusively to Evan, "unforgiveable. Wanton violence. I ashamed of him, and I have nothing to offer as excuse or explanation, I sorry to say. He was my...failure, and I want come today to apologize to you...for your loss." Then he paused, paused so long, staring at the surface of the podium, that I thought he was done speaking. Finally, he looked up, looked at Evan. "I know that you in love with dead boy. I know that this like losing ...husband, what you say...life partner. I know this. For me...passing of your friend...maybe even worse than...for you," he chokes, "because I know...that I was...part of it."

It's now that Mr. Minh starts to sob, covering his face with his hands. Dinh runs to the podium and leads him away, whispering to him in Vietnamese. He takes him into the house, into the living room, where they sit and talk softly. This is a brave and honorable man, a man clearly devastated by the actions of his son. This is a man who's taking responsibility for something that is probably not his responsibility at all. His anguish is clear. It's palpable. But so is Evan's. Having suggested that our guests move to the buffet and serve themselves, I sit down in the front row of seats, next to Evan, and hug him. "How do you feel, baby? Are you okay?" I ask him.

After several seconds, he shakes his head. "No," he says. "I don't think I'll ever be `okay' again. I feel empty...vacant...like a house you're getting ready to sell. You've taken away all the furniture, pulled down the curtains, and what you're left with are bare walls. When you speak, there's an echo. That's how I feel. When I speak, there's an echo, reminding me of how empty I am. I miss him so...," he says, draping his head over my shoulder as he holds me.

"I know. And you're going to keep missing him for a long time, probably forever. But...isn't that better than not missing him? Isn't it better to have loved someone passionately, and to feel the hurt of losing him, than to feel nothing because he meant so little to you? Don't get me wrong, Evan. I have some idea of how bad this must feel. When Andrew, someone I loved very much, died, it took me nearly a year to stop feeling like a zombie. There's a numbness that descends upon you, and you want that numbness because it deadens the pain. But at the same time it prevents you from being present in your life. Face your pain, Evan. Own it. I'll help you."

He nods, and we sit quietly for several more minutes, hugging, before going in to the buffet for food. Inside, it's somber, although there's also a lightness among some of Cliff's friends as they reminisce with each other. Years before he died, my father had been quite specific about how he wanted to exit this world. "I want a wake," he'd told me, "but not one of those dreadful Irish things. I want people to celebrate -- either because they hated me and are happy I'm gone, or because they liked me and have fond memories of our time together. It doesn't really matter to me. But...I don't want any of this maudlin crap you get at funerals. I don't want anyone `celebrating my spirit'. I don't want anyone saying what `a great humanitarian' I was. No bullshit. Just come, drink the wine, eat the food and laugh."

There's some wisdom to that, and in my father's case, it was something we worked at. It was what he wanted, so we tried to give it to him. On the other hand, humans need to mourn their losses, and, where possible, it's good to bound that mourning within clearly-defined social structures -- like a funeral. I loved Cliff, and will continue to love his memory for the rest of my life. He was sweet, vivacious, sometimes mischievous, and always engaging. But...at some point you have to get on with it. At some point you need to set aside where you've been and concentrate on where you're going. So, yes, we need to mourn. But, eventually, we need to get past our mourning and embrace what we have left. It took me a good long time to get past Andrew, but Kenny and Jason helped me do that. I'm hoping I can provide the same help and support to Evan as he deals with his loss.



Evan is not the only one who sustained a loss from this incident, is he? My poor little Kevin has not fared well, either. I've never been shot, but I've been told that the physical sensation is like someone stabbing you with a hot poker. It's a searing heat and is very painful. Kevin was shot in the meatiest part of his thigh, and it had to hurt. Worse, though, was the damage done to his mental well being. Carlos Castaneda, back in the 1970s, wrote a series of books about a native American philosopher named Don Juan. Castaneda's Don Juan was not the lothario from the opera, though. His Don Juan was supposedly a sage whose wisdom was exemplary, the product, presumably, of all the strange mushrooms he ingested. One of Don Juan's theories was that, rather than punishing your children yourself, you should have a stranger beat them for you. That way they would perceive their punishment as objective -- society rather than their parent would be showing it's condemnation for their behavior. It was a vaguely interesting notion. But, I imagine that the result would have been not unlike what we face with Kevin. Having been shot in the leg by a complete stranger, Kevin loses all faith in his ability to be safe. He becomes very timid, very cautious, and very withdrawn. He won't walk to school by himself. He doesn't like to be out and about. If you take him to the park, to the Rose Garden, he sits with you on the bench rather than going off to play with the other kids. And, forget about tucking him into bed and having him sleep through the night. Someone has to sleep with him. Someone has to hold him. He is a very-frightened little boy.

Dr. Cohen, my GP, gives me the name of a counselor for Kevin, but Kevin isn't willing to be away from us for more than a couple of minutes. He's very clingy, and is likely to burst into tears if he can't find Jason, Kenny, Dinh or me. So, rather than rushing him into counseling, I decide to take it slow and let him dictate the speed of recovery. That seems to be the right answer because over the course of the two-week period following the shooting, he begins to calm down a bit. He still won't willingly venture far from us for very long, but is less freaked when he loses sight of us for a few minutes. And then one Saturday morning we have a breakthrough. Kevin pads out of his bedroom at around 9:30am. He's wearing underpants. Nothing more. It's been a hard night for him. It was my night to sleep with him, and he woke up several times, screaming. Nightmares. I've been up for about four hours, unable to fall back asleep after getting him calmed and back to bed the last time. He makes his way to the office. Finding me at the computer, he climbs up onto my lap and clings to me. "How're you, Kev?" I ask, hugging him.

He nods. After several minutes of rocking, he asks, "What happened to the man who shot us, the man who killed Uncle Cliff?"

I don't know what to say to this, and spend maybe half a minute rehashing the last couple of weeks. Can we not have told him this? Honestly, can we have omitted the outcome? I don't remember him asking me this before. Can we really not have told him?

"He's dead, baby. The police shot and killed him. It's not okay for people like him to shoot people like you and Uncle Cliff. When that happens the police get really angry, especially if they think the guy might try to shoot someone else. In this case, the man drew his gun and looked like he was going to shoot at the police, so the police shot him first. He's dead, sweetie."

This apparently surprises Kevin. He sits up and stares into my eyes. "Really?"

I nod.

Finally, he nestles back into me. "I'm glad. I'm glad he's dead," he says, softly.

"Why?" I ask, curious.

He pauses. "Because I...umm...miss Uncle Cliff, and...umm...because...maybe...I don't have to be scared anymore."

I give him a squeeze. Sometimes I'm just a flat-out idiot. I just can't believe that none of us told Kevin that the guy who shot him is dead. Of course he's glad he's dead. Not because he's mean or vindictive, but because he's eight fucking years old. He's afraid of him, afraid of meeting up with him again, afraid of getting shot again, afraid of losing someone else he loves. The death of this man is a comfort to Kevin. I just can't believe we failed to tell him. Christ, I'm stupid sometimes!

And, in fact, this revelation is all it takes to move Kevin along to the next level of recovery. He agrees to go talk to "my friend" about what he experienced that day in the jewelry store. While the sessions are teary, I'm told, it only takes six of them in the course of two weeks before the psychologist tells me that he thinks Kevin will be fine. I think so, too. He's sleeping well, and is back to his adventurous self, motoring around the neighborhood, and clambering to go play with his friends whether we're with him or not. He is, once again, a healthy eight-year old.

Thank god!

Published first at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Nemo-stories/