Warning! This is a tale about men loving men. If you find this disturbing - click off. If it's unlawful for you to read this - click off. If you under age - good luck if you can get away with it.

This is not a story for getting your rocks off. Just thought I'd let you know so you won't waste your time if that's what your looking for.

Otherwise, I hope you enjoy my writing.

I appreciate feedback and do my best to respond to it all. I may be contacted at:


Billy's Story

Chapter 09

by JWSmith

edited by Terri Coleman

We stood on the edge of the side walk watching the protest. The long haired pot smoking weirdos aggravated my sense of rightness. Yeah, I agreed that the war was senseless. I didn't see us ever winning it. But this is the USA and I was proud to be an American. Neil seemed to be of the same mind, because when one of the freaks pulled out an American flag and another one a lighter, he was on them in a split second. He back handed the one with the lighter and grabbed the flag as his fist met up with the bearded jaw of the other one.

These were peace proponents. Yeah, don't make me laugh. The quickest way to get them to show their true colors is to punch one of them. They instantly forget about all the peace shit they're spouting and are ready to hit back. It was the same with this bunch of protesters. One of the sign carriers hit Neil across his back with the stick that his sign was attached to. To this day I still laugh when I remember that sign. It read " Stop the Fighting". I waded into the melee and punched him out. Two long stringy haired girls attacked me, doing their best to gouge my eyes out. Gina grabbed one by her hair and flung her back, and then punched the other one in the nose. Neil still had the flag clutched to his chest of he fended off several of them trying to grab it back. We three ended up back to back warding off around thirty peace demonstrators.

As quickly as it started it ended. Three faculty members and a campus policeman put a damper on it fast. The sheriff was called to arrest the three of us for starting a riot. We stood there grinning at the bunch of hypocrites while we all waited for a deputy get there. Uncle John himself showed up.

He took one look at Neil clutching the flag to his chest and knew immediately what had transpired. He started laughing. He looked at the group of protesters and in a loud booming voice, he said, "Well, it looks to me like your beliefs were put to the test today. Stop and think about it. Looks like you didn't hesitate to fight when personally attacked. Strong beliefs, huh? I'd say your just a bunch of cowards, afraid to support your country."

A couple of them started to protest. He dismissed them with a flick of his wrist and turned to the faculty members.

"Now explain to me why I'm suppose to arrest these kids that were only protecting the flag from being desecrated."

There was a lot of hemming and hahhing.

"So I thought." He turned to the news paper guy standing there with his pad and camera.

"Did you get all that, Pete?"

"Sure did sheriff."

"Good. These damned universities are turning into despicable dens of liberalism. Hell, I'll bet not one of those kids protesting have really sat down and thought about what this war is really about. Or why they are against it. God! I wish they each could live a year under Communism. Take away daddy's money and make them stand in line for a loaf of bread. That would change their minds real fast."

Patriotism was rushing through Neil's veins for days after the event. The town paper proclaimed him a hero with a full color photo of us on the front page showing him clutching the flag to his chest and in the background several sign carriers.

He decided that he would join the army. Gina and I both tried to talk him out of it. His grades were in the top ten percent of his class. He was an orphan. He, as owner of a cattle ranch, was a link in the food industry. None of the reasons why he didn't have to phased him.

"Alright, if that's what you definitely want to do than I shall do the same. I'll be damned if I'm going to sit around the ranch waiting for you to come back," I told him.

He grinned at me and said, "Alright, let's do it."

And we did, much to Gina's chagrin.

Neil was assigned to the Corps of Engineers. I sighed with relief, at least he wasn't going to be a grunt on the front lines. Having three years of pre med, I knew that I would be assigned to the medical corp.

"I hope you two know what you are doing." Gina said as the three of us stood outside the recruiting office in shock.

"Well, it's only for two years."

"I just want you both to come back alive."

"I doubt if either of us will see any combat." I said. How little did I know what we would see.

One thing that I didn't foresee was how miserably lonely I would be. In a few short months Neil had become the center of my existence. Now he was on the other side of the continent in basic training and I was sent to Northern California for mine. I had thought that we would be together at least through that. Wrong.

Six weeks later, after basic training I was given a short leave. I went home and saw Gina, Tom and Uncle John. And then I was sent to another six weeks of training as an Army Medic and then directly to Nam. OJT was the operative phrase for the rest of my training. On the Job Training. Learn it by doing it.

Let me just say my time in Nam working in a field hospital is still too painful to talk much about. It was intense, gory, and horrifying. Seeing all those young men maimed and killed for a idea that our country didn't seem to want to accept or support was just right down stupid.

I was trained as a surgical assistant. That meant I got to do all the dirty work. Prep and clean up. I helped to prep the patient for surgery. I made sure all the correct tools were ready and at hand for the doctors and nurses. When their work was done I cleaned up the bloody mess they left behind and quickly prepared for the next victim.

It didn't take long to become anesthetized to the horror of damage done to the bodies of these young soldiers. They soon lost their individual identity. They became just bloody wounds that needed patching up. With a numb mind, I did my work proficiently for eighteen months. I only had three weeks to go before shipping back stateside. Maybe four weeks before getting to see Neil again.

And then came the day that Neil lay on the gurney in front of me unconscious with his belly ripped open, his guts hanging out and an arm and leg in bandages and splints, and a large gash on the side of his face and head.

I hadn't heard from him for over a month. That didn't mean much, mail service wasn't always the best. He was in the Philippines the last time I'd heard from him. And now he lay on the gurney before me. I was sure he would be dead before they could patch him up.

"No," I screamed, "this isn't suppose to happen."

The shock was too much, I collapsed. Months later, I was told that I was carried out of the operating theatre and given a shot to keep me sedated, and that every time I regain consciousness I would become violent, screaming and sobbing.

In retrospect, I feel that if I'd just been allowed to get it out of my system, I'd have been okay. If I'd been allowed to rant and rave and mourned the injustice, I'd have gotten over it and accepted the facts and figured out how to go on living. But every time coherent thoughts began to trickle though my brain, I'd be doped up again.

I was shipped back to the states and put into a mental hospital where I was continually medicated to keep me docile. I have yet to figure out how a psychiatrist could possibly think that a person can be healed mentally and emotionally through the use of drugs.

Finally, a new young doctor was assigned to me. He started weaning me off of the meds that had kept me docile for the last four months. It was painful. God, was it painful to have to deal with the loss of my beloved Neil and get off the addiction to those drugs. But Dr. Glenn worked with me. We talked. He let me mourn and helped me find a way to go on living. As the addiction wore off I found I could even be happy to be alive again. I was looking forward to the day that I would be going back to the ranch, to Tom and Uncle John. I got an occasional letter for Tom. I couldn't read them. It was all too painful. I saved them unopened.

One day I had a visitor. I was scheduled to be released soon, so I figured that it would be Tom coming to take me home. But never had I thought that I'd see my beautiful Neil come through the door. He limped and used a cane. There was a mean red scar on the side of his face, but it only accented his innate handsomeness. I took one look at him and collapsed. I thought I'd for sure lost my mind.

God Bless Tom's foresight. He'd insisted that Neil and I sign powers of attorney and living trusts for each other before leaving for basic training. As soon as he'd been released from the hospital, Neil started searching for me. It took several months and a bunch of lawyers to find me.

And now that Neil had found me, there was no way in hell that I was going to be separated from him again.

I needn't have worried. Neil had taken care of every contingency. I was released immediately. And he whisked us back to New Mexico to the ranch. We flew from San Francisco to El Paso. Tom and Sheriff John were waiting for us at the airport with a new Cadillac de Ville. Neil and I lay in each other's arms the whole way back to the ranch. Every time I started to talk he would shush me and say there was plenty of time for talking when we got home.

It's weird how the war had affected us. Neither of us had seen combat even though I'd had to deal with the horrible results of it on a daily basis for two long years. I had nightmares and continually had to fight off depression. Neil was luckier than I, even though he'd been maimed by that land mine. He'd grown accustomed to the scar on the side of his face. He had several cosmetic surgeries schedule over the next couple of years at the V.A. Hospital in El Paso. But the livid scar on his side where the piece of shrapnel had gutted him and the one on his leg where part of his calf muscle had been removed affected him the most.

That first night I had so looked forward to holding his naked body next to mine as we slept, like we did those short months before going into the Army. But he slunk into the bathroom and locked the door. I just figured he had to go take a dump, but I didn't know why he would lock the door. We'd never been that private around each other in the past.

I was sitting on the foot of the bed pulling off my socks When I heard the snitch of the lock being released. I turned to look at him. He was dressed in pajamas. He wouldn't look at me as he tossed his clothes on a chair and slid into bed pulling the covers up to his neck.

"What's going on, Babe?"

He shook his head as tears welled in his eyes.

"Talk to me, Neil, tell me what's going on in your thoughts. You haven't said two dozen words to me since we left the hospital in San Francisco."

He didn't respond for the longest time. I sat on the foot of the bed still in my skivvies one leg drawn up on the bed, a sock still on the foot resting on the floor. I grasped his foot through the covers while I studied him and thought about what might be going through his head. He tried to pull away, but I wouldn't let him. I couldn't see the scar that slashed up his cheek barely missing his ear into his scalp. I sighed as I waited for him to open up to me.

"Your not going to want me any more. I'm scarred. Ugly." He whispered.

I stood and walked around to the side of the bed. I reached down and caressed the side of his face. He flinched. My heart broke.

"Neil, I saw you with your guts hanging out, bloody all over. I loved you more at that moment, than ever before. Your wounds and scars are marks of honor. You got them in the service of your country. I love your scars as much as I love every other part of you. I want you and need you now more than ever."

" There was nothing honorable about it. I was just lucky enough not to be closer when one of my buddies stepped on a filthy homemade landmine. He came home in a body bag." he screamed at me. He looked away and muttered, "I wish I had."

My anger flared. I was exhausted from the long flight and then the even longer drive, time-wise. He'd looked happy to see me when he came to the hospital and then after that he'd seemed more and more depressed. I had mourned his death. I'd struggled to find a reason to go on living and he lay here saying he wished he had died now that I was so happy that he was still alive.

"That's a stupid thing to say. I thought you had. Until you walked through the door this morning, I thought you were dead. My god! I am so thankful your not. I love you, Neil. Believing you were dead almost killed me. How could you wish such a thing."

"My body is scarred and ugly. You won't have any desire for me once you see it."

"Your body even with the scars will always be beautiful."

He started unbuttoning his pajama top, a look of disbelief in his eyes. I gently took his arms and placed them at his sides, and then finished unbuttoning the shirt. I couldn't hide the look of horror as I gazed at that terrible jagged slash in his side.

"See I told you. I'm ugly now."

Tears flowed from his eyes down the sides of his face as he stared at the ceiling.

"NO! Neil. You are not ugly. The scar is ugly, but it only accents how beautiful you are. I love you. I love you, Neil."

I leaned forward and started laying kisses on the scar.

"Stop. Don't do that. How can you stand to touch it?"

He tried to push me away. I again took his hands. This time I raised them above his head and held them with one hand while I used the other to caress him I continued to kiss his body, slowly rising up to his neck. He turned his face away from me which put the scar on the upside of his face. I kissed it from one end to the other. He turned his gaze on me and I placed my lips on his. At first he didn't respond and then he pulled his hands free, wrapping them around me pulled me hard into the kiss. His tongue invaded my mouth with a vengeance.

We made love to each other for the first time in nearly two and a half years. Although I shuddered, at least mentally, every time I looked at his scars, I was so happy to be back home with Neil safe and secure once more.

End of Chapter 09