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: J S.Collection@Verizon.Net
A big thanks to TLC for her editing.
Also, I would like to extend a grateful hand to Greg Bowden for his help and input. Without it this story would be really lacking. If you are not familiar with his writing by all means look it up under his name in the list of Authors. "Dusty and Me" and "Chip" are my favorites and I highly recommend them. Greg, Thanks.
Chapter 11 Back to Work
Charley's leg healed. Other than the two surgical scars on his shin, it was as good as new after the physical therapy to rebuild the muscles. He was lucky that the bullet hadn't been shot from a lower trajectory point. It would have shattered the clavicle, and done much more damage to his neck and shoulder muscles, and left a much larger angry red hollow.
Chess came around every couple of days to check on his boys, as he called us. Tom and his wife had us over to dinner and I ,too, fell in love with his two little girls. They were all over their Uncle Charley. We heard nothing from Robert nor Gloria.
I had finished my manuscript soon after Gloria had been banned from the house, and I had mailed it off to my editor who made his corrections and suggestions and had sent it back. I'd made the changes he suggested right away and returned it to him. Nearly a month had passed and I had not received notice that it was yet being published. I was antsy.
Charley seemed eager to go back to work just to get away from my anxiety. He'd been assigned desk duty while he was going through the physical therapy. The first morning he went back on patrol I had a most difficult time to keep from begging him to not do it. I had asked him once, when he'd mentioned going back on patrol, if he thought he should.
"You don't understand, Jake, if I don't get back on the bike, if I don't go back to work patrolling the streets then the ass holes win. Don't you see that?" he'd answered.
With that response I couldn't bring myself to tell him how I felt about him going back. I hugged him, told him I loved and wished him good luck.
After he left, I sat down at the kitchen table in front of my laptop. An image kept floating through my head of him laying in the hospital bed with all those tubes connected to him, his upper body swathed in bandages, his elevated leg in a cast. It left me incapable of writing a word. I sipped a cup of cold coffee and gazed out the window until I was stiff from sitting.
I shuffled out to the back yard and stood on the porch, stretching. Haze shrouded any logical thoughts, while 'what ifs' pummeled my mind. The plot of ground at the back of the yard, beyond the lawn, where Charley had once told me that he intended to eventually plant a vegetable garden, drew my attention. Physical labor, that's what I needed. I rummaged in the garage and came up with a shovel rake and a hoe.
After laying out the perimeter of the area to be tilled, fourteen spades wide and thirty-two long, I started digging. It's hard work pushing the shovel into the packed dry earth, lifting the spade full of dirt, turning it over and dropping it back into place. After completing ten rows I looked at my red burning my palms. I had three blisters on my right hand and two on my left. The blister at the base of my right forefinger had broken and the skin had torn.
I cursed my stupidity. I'd been raised on a farm. I grew up doing this kind of labor. You'd think I'd have had enough sense to find and use gloves. I stopped and washed my hands. My palms stung from the hot water. After drying my hands, and rubbing some lotion on them, I put a band-aid on the broken blister.
There's nothing that will block my mind faster than staring at a blank screen, so I closed my eyes when I sat down at the kitchen table in front of my PC and started typing stream of consciousness thoughts.
After fifteen minutes I stopped and read what I had written. Yes, there was a kernel of an idea for a new story in all the meanderings my mind had made.
I transferred the three sentences to a new page and deleted the rest. I wondered how Charley was doing back on patrol. And then I stared at the sentences at the top of the screen for a while, pondering what meaning they might have held. Deleting them, I pushed away from the table, made a glass of iced tea, took the chilled glass and sat on the top step of the back porch admiring the work I had done. I checked the time on my watch. Two thirty. Charley had been on duty three and a half hours. Five and a half more to go. This was driving me fucking nuts. A good run was what I needed.
An hour and a half later I exhausted but still feeling anxious. I decided to go over to the café and visit with Sal. I went into the bedroom and put on my Levi's, boots and leather jacket. I rolled my Chief out of the garage, and locked up the house. I hadn't ridden it in nearly two months. My butt felt at home on the leather seat. I pulled my helmet onto my head and started the engine. God, I loved that vibration in my balls.
I rolled into the street and gunned it. The Indian reared up on the back wheel and I flew down the street smiling evilly at a little old lady who glared and shook her fist at me from the sidewalk. I'd really missed riding my old Chief.
At a red light, I sat gunning the engine, thrilling to the vibrations deep in my rectum. It brought back urges and feelings that Jim used to sooth. I thought I had gotten over them. My stomach roiled. I pulled over to the curb and turned off the engine. Hugging my arms to my chest, I rocked my body until the emotional and physical upheaval passed.
When I felt in control of my body and mind once more I headed on to the café. Sal immediately wrapped her arms around my neck and kissed my cheek. She stood back and looked at me. "You look like hell, Jake." I passed off the comment with a toss of my head. "Charley stopped by this morning," she said. " He looked so good in his motorcycle uniform."
I'm don't know what emotion she saw fleet across my face, but she put her hand to her mouth and gasped. "I'm sorry, Jake, I didn't realize."
"What?" I asked. She shook her head and turned to get me a cup of coffee as I sat down at the counter. When she set the cup down she looked at me intently. "Does Charley know how you feel?"
"Feel about what?" I knew what she was talking about, but I didn't want to deal with it, so I was intentionally obtuse.
"Jake, this is Sal you're talking to. I've talked to enough policemens' wives to know what I'm seeing. Don't play games with me."
"I don't know what you're talking about, Sal."
She gave me a disappointed one sided grimace. "Okay, if that's the way you want it," she said walking away from me.
I propped my forehead on my cupped hands and watched the steam rise from the coffee, feeling like a shitty heel for treating a friend like that. The slight pressure on my palms made me aware of how tender they were. I pictured Charley in his motorcycle uniform. God he's so hot and handsome. I imagined him fucking me while wearing that uniform. Why had he never attempted to fuck me? Why had we both been so satisfied just rubbing our cocks against each other and sucking each other?
I thought about how I'd enjoyed fucking with Jim. Begged him to do it. Even when he'd had enough, I'd begged for more. Maybe, there in lay the crux of why I never asked Charley to do it to me. I associated fucking with Jim and he was the only other man I'd had sex with.
I didn't want to think about it, besides, Sal's baleful stare was getting to me. I glanced at her sitting on her stool behind the cash register. I stood and pulled a dollar bill from my pocket, dropped it next to the untouched cup of coffee, grabbed my jacket and helmet and with a shake of my head, I aimed for the door.
"Jake?" Sal called out softly, stopping me as effectively as though she had yelled. I looked at her. "I'm here, if you need to talk," she said with a gentle smile.
"Thanks, Sal." I grimaced, ducked my head and slouched out the door.
Chapter 12 Running
I tied my helmet and jacket on the back of the seat, and then, for several minutes, just sat astraddle my bike. My head spun with the dust devil of thoughts that whirled in my brain. I felt like I was being watched and turned to look at the window behind me. Through the glare on the glass, I could just make out Sal looking back at me. I kick started the engine, waved and roared off down the street.
With the wind whipping through my hair, blowing away all my problems, I rode without thought. A passing sign that read "University City 157 miles" caught my eye and brought me to back to reality. Panicking, I hit the brakes and pulled over to the side of the freeway. It was already late afternoon. How had I ridden so far and not been aware of it. Forcing myself to breath more slowly and feeling an urgent need to hear Charley's voice, I dug my cell phone out of my jacket pocket and speed dialed his number. It rang several times before I heard his voice.
"Jake?" I heard him say. His voice was a lifeline thrown to a drowning man. I was saved. "Jake? Are you alright?"
"Charley, I just had to hear you. Yes, yes, I'm okay."
Just then a big semi truck passed.
" What was that noise? Where are you? Jake? Talk to me, damn it."
"God, Charley it's so good to hear your voice. I'll be home as soon as I can get there."
"Where in hell are you, Jake?"
"I'm not sure. About a mile from hell's fury. I don't know."
"You're not making any sense."
"Charley, I'm headed back. I love you."
"I love you, too, Jake. You know that."
"I needed to hear you say it. Don't worry. I'll be home about..." I looked at my watch and calculated. "nine o'clock."
"Jake, what's going on?"
"I'll tell you when I get there." I broke the connection and stuck the phone back in my pocket, but before I could put my bike in gear the phone vibrated and rang.
It was my little buddy, Jason back in University City. I listened to the sadness in his voice as he told me that Pete had found himself a football jock and he was wandering the street with no where to go. I was torn, I really wanted to be there for the little guy, but the man in my life was waiting for me. I told Jason to go see the manager of my apartment and get a key. He could stay there until he found a place to live. I told him if he needed someone to talk to call me at any time. He sounded a little better when he disconnected. I called the apartment manager and told him to let Jason have a key and then I turned around and headed back to Kirksville.
The garage door started raising when I pulled into Charley's driveway, he must have heard me coming. I rode right into the garage and Charley attacked me as the door closed.
"God, you scared me. What's wrong? Where in hell have you been? " he demanded, as he squeezed the breath out of me, kissing my face and neck in between words.
"I love you, Charley," was all I could gasp as I clung to him. It was so good holding him and having him hold me. He let go and stepped back, giving me room to dismount.
Taking my face between his two hands he said, "I don't know what's wrong. Something's bothering you, we have to talk about it." He grabbed my hand, pulling me into the kitchen. "I thawed a container of stew. Hungry?"
"Starved," I said, pulling my jacket off and following him into the kitchen.
While he filled bowls with stew, and poured two tall glasses full of cold milk, I washed my hands. He'd also heated a loaf of hearty, crusty Italian bread. I grabbed a cube of butter and we sat down to eat.
After a few bites Charley paused and looked at me. "Are you going to tell me what's going on?"
I laid down my spoon, and the piece of bread I had in my hand. I stared at the bowl of stew. My appetite disappeared.
"If we don't talk about it, it will only fester," he told me.
Clearing my throat I looked into his beautiful eyes. "I lost it. I'd put off thinking about what I'd do or how I'd feel when you went back on patrol. I just lost it." I made a gesture of helplessness with my hands. He saw the band-aide and grabbed my hand. Noting how angry red the palm and finger pads were. He rubbed a finger over the other blisters. "What in hell did you do?"
I shrugged. "I dug half the plot for your vegetable garden."
"Damn, Jake, there's a pair leather gloves on the work bench in the garage."
"Who was thinking logically?" I pushed away from the table picked up my nearly full bowl and carried it to the sink. "Aren't you going to eat that?" Charley asked.
"I'm not hungry."
"Well, put it back in the pot. It's too good to throw away."
I did as directed and rinsed out the bowl. Charley had gone back to eating. I sighed and sat back down.
"So where were you when you called?" he asked, not looking at me.
"The sign said a hundred and fifty-seven miles to University City."
"Geez, Jake, that's nearly three hundred miles. It's only four hundred and thirty-two miles total, isn't it."
"Yeah." I agreed, wondering if he was just going to ignore what I'd said. I stared at the top of his head while he gathered the last bite of stew into his spoon and crammed it into his mouth.
"Charley?" He knew what I was asking. He deliberately finished chewing and swallowed. He lay his spoon next to the bowl, wiped his mouth folded the napkin and placed it next to the spoon. He pushed back from the table and raised his eyes to meet mine. His voice was unemotional, soothing, quiet. "It's my job, Jake. I'm a motorcycle patrolman. What do you want me to do? Quit? I will if you ask me to."
I felt like he was patronizing me. I knew he wasn't, but that's how I felt. "No, Charley I couldn't ask that of you."
"So what do you suggest?"
I sighed. "I'll get used to it."
"I don't want you to have to get used to it, Jake. It's... just a job. Maybe a high profile job, but it's still just a job."
"I keep seeing you laying in that hospital bed with all those tubes and wires connected to you."
"It could as easily have been you. If you'd been there at that moment, that sniper could have put the bullet in you. It was just chance that it was me. I really don't think it was because I'm a cop. The police report and the psychiatric profile both indicate that he was just out to shoot somebody. It could have been anybody."
"I just feel so helpless. There's nothing I can do to protect you."
Charley started chuckling. I couldn't help but smile at his beautiful grin. "The Army grunt is wanting to protect the big bad-assed Marine who was trained to kill with his bare hands? That's a good one, Jake."
"Hey, I wasn't a grunt. I was a Medic. My family's all army. It was expected of me."
Charley's grin disappeared. "Mine was too, I just thought the Marines could make me into the man everyone thought I was. But in the end... I was still gay, and in love with my best buddy." He turned inward, remembering.
"You never even told him....., did you, Charley?"
"No, I didn't tell him."
"He was in love with you, you know."
"What are you talking about?"
"He's the guy in the photo on the mantle, right?"
"He was in love with you, Charley. It shows on his face."
"I never saw that. I was in love with him, too. I guess we were both afraid to say anything." He looked intently at me. "But I knew he wasn't the one. He wasn't my soul mate, Jake."
I grasped his hand as he reached for mine. " God! I love you, Charley."
"And you...you know I love you, Jake."
My stomach rumbled. Charley laughed. "You'd better feed that growling creature or he might eat you from the inside out."
"Yeah, now I'm hungry."
"Sit still. I'll heat it up for you."
We'd touched on part of the problem, but still not knowing each other very well, we were both more comfortable skirting the issue for now. I still had to figure out how to tell him the rest.
I wish you all Health, Wealth and Happiness and time enough to enjoy it all.
Merry Christmas everyone, even all you far-left fascists that feel (NOT think) I might be offending someone by saying it. Here's to Christmas trees, Santa Claus, and Baby Jesus.