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 note of thanks to Ben for his technical advise on the following chapters. Your help, Ben, makes it so much more real.
Chapter 19 Blue Iris
After Dr. Chestnut left, I lay on my side as he had left me and stared out the window at the blue cloudless sky. I entertained myself by playing games with his last name and then decided he didn't deserve such. An orderly came in with a glass of apple juice. He held the straw to my lips. It was cold and sweet. I drank it all.
I felt like my mind had decompressed. I had finally admitted to another person that I had an addiction. At least I looked at it as such. I mean it was on my mind twenty-three hours out of the day, or so it seemed. I wondered if there were other men like me. Surely there had to be. I wondered if there were lots of them. Now that Jim had literally fucked my relationship with Charley, I wondered what it would be like to have other men fuck me. I knew there were clubs where you could meet other men and that their main objective was sex. The thought was abhorrent to me. I couldn't imagine letting a stranger that I wasn't emotionally involved with fuck me or even touch me in a sexual way.
My thoughts were interrupted by two nurses and an orderly coming in and preparing to move me out of intensive care. One removed the sticky thing on my chest that went to the heart monitor and then wiped the goo off me that held it on. The other remove the glucose bag from the permanent stand and attached it to a small one with wheels. And then she did the same with the urine bag. I noticed it was still empty I was wishing they would remove the catheter so the feeling of needing to constantly pee would go away, but she didn't. The orderly then pushed my bed out the door and down the hall to an elevator. One of the nurses had kept a running dialog to me letting me know just what was happening.
We went up several floors and I was place in a room by myself ,the bed next to a window I could look out of. I could see the mountains in the distance and wished I was on my ol' Indian out in the fresh country air.
A few minutes later after they had gotten every thing in order and left, another orderly came in bringing a big bouquet of blue Japanese Iris. Who knew that was my favorite flower? My mother? But she's been gone for nearly four years. Who else could it be? The orderly handed me the card that was attached to the vase. I asked him to roll me back onto my side so I could look out the window. He replaced the pillow against my back. I waited until he left to open open the note.
Jake, my love,
If it takes you forever to realize that you are deserving of my love, that's how long I will wait for you.
Jim and I had a long serious talk. Your reaction was a normal human response. One that you couldn't have refused having, even if it were possible.
You and I need to talk to each other.
I love you,
I closed the card and just held it. I'd heard women make comments about men not being able to communicate their feeling to others. I was beginning to see what they meant. If I could have told Charley what I'd admitted to Allen earlier, I wouldn't be laying in this hospital bed. I wondered if Charley would be calling me. I wondered what I'd say to him if he did. I wondered if he was expecting me to call him. I couldn't. I wondered where he'd learned that I like Blue Iris.
The day was coming to an end. I was beyond exhausted. I still had a pillow tucked up against me and I couldn't roll on to my back. I found the button next to my head. A couple of minutes after I pressed it a nurse came in, and I complained about the pillow. After getting me comfortable and insisting I drink some water, she smiled and asked if there was anything else. I was grouchy. I wanted to be left alone.
"Is it possible to keep everybody out of this room until tomorrow morning?" I asked.
"Sure, except for hospital personnel."
"Please, I can't take any visitors tonight. Is it possible to get a sleeping pill?"
"I think I could manage that right after dinner."
"How long is that?"
"We serve dinner at six. It's four forty-nine now." She shrugged as if to say,"You do the math.
"Thank you," I said and closed my eyes.
I finally got my pill which she identified as Ambien and told me I would feel fine in the morning. While waiting for it to knock me out, I thought about Charley. He had met and talked to Jim. Now he wants to talk to me. I couldn't imagine Jim saying anything good about me except that I might be a damned easy fuck. I wasn't all that sure that Charley was really interested in finding that out for himself. They'd both talked to Allen about me. I dozed into a drug induced coma.
I dreamed they'd ganged up on me. Allen was playing referee as the two of them competed to see who would fuck me first. It was a tie so they started advancing on me together. I woke up in a cold sweat, surprised that I wasn't paralyzed again. I stared out the window and watched the clouds turn pink as the new day approached. I told myself it was only a dream, and wondered if it had any significance.
I had drunk more than a quart of liquid yesterday and I still had no urge to piss. I must still have been dehydrated. The cell phone was poking me in the side. Without thinking, I reach for it and picked it up. And then I realized that I had done what I could hardly do yesterday. My strength was returning. I looked forward to the day.
I rolled onto my side and felt for the bed control. When I found it, I raised the head of the bed to where I was sitting up. I wanted a cup of coffee. At that early hour I was sure there was no way I would be given one even if I begged. So I sat back and sipped water while I considered yesterday's events and what I could expect this day.
I picked up the card that had accompanied the Iris and reread it. The dream faded away. I wished that Charley was here. I sighed and resigned myself to the fact that he wasn't and might never be again.
I went over the whole session with Dr. Chestnut. I found myself being angry at him for even considering Jim to be my friend. Friends don't take what is not given. Jim had taken and never considered what he was taking from me. And on the other hand, he had saved my life after making it not worth living. That sounded so melodramatic. I wondered if my whole reaction to what Jim had done was an over reaction. I still kind of wished that I hadn't untied his hand.
There was a light tapping on my door. It couldn't have been even six a.m. A large handsome young fellow, five or six years younger than me, peeked in. He gave me a big shy grin.
"Yes, I'm Jake. Come in."
"Hi, I'm Tim Corbin. I am on my way to class and since I'm about half an hour early I wanted to come see you and welcome you into the family."
"It's nice to meet you, Tim. Sit down and tell me what in hell you're talking about? How do I merited visitation rights before breakfast?" I was obviously still feeling out of sorts.
He grinned. "Being family has its privileges." And then as he sat down he lost the smile. "Oh, maybe I'm jumping the gun. Your partner, Charley, hasn't been up to see you?"
"No, I haven't seen him."
"No one else?"
He stood up. "I guess I'd better come back another time."
"Sit down and tell me why you are here." I commanded. "Charley won't be coming to see me for a while. And probably no one else."
Tim sat down. He looked nervous.
"Charley should be telling you this."
"Telling me what, Tim?"
"Well, he's accepted the position of personal body guard to my brother-in-law. Johnny, my partner, is the personal guard for his brother. So he and Charley will be working together a lot."
I blinked wondering what he had just said. I knew of Tim Corbin and Johnny Paolini's relationship through Pete and Jason. "Okay, let's see if I got that straight." I said to him. "Charley is now working for your brother-in-law as a personal bodyguard. And your partner, Johnny, is the guard for his own brother.... who is your brother-in-law. So they are both protecting your brother-in-law, Johnny's brother. Correct?" I knew it wasn't, but I hadn't even had any coffee.
"No. Johnny protects Joe, his brother. And Charley going to be protecting Dave."
"So who is Dave and how does he fit into the picture?" I'm cantankerous with no coffee and having a visitor before breakfast just made me more so. I damned well knew that Dave was the owner of my favorite bookstore and his new lover, Joe Paolini was the internationally known architect. Pete had told me all that when Jim was taking care of him after he got his arm broken when he pushed Dave out of the path of a speeding car.
Tim had turned red in frustration. "I'm sorry I've got you all muddled. Dave, that's Dave Gates, and Joe Paolini are partners."
" What do you mean by partners?" I asked, intentionally obtuse.
Tim closed his eyes before answering. "They are lovers. And Charley has been hired to guard Dave. And Johnny guards Joe."
"I see." So Johnny and his brother Joe are gay, as are you?" He nodded. "So where do I come into this picture?"
"As Charley's partner you are now part of the Gates-Paolini family."
"But I'm not Charley's partner."
"You're Jake Shipman?"
"Yes. I am Jake Shipman."
"Yes, you are."
"Look, I'm just going to leave. I hope that what ever is wrong...... I mean, I hope you get well soon."
"Tim." Feeling ashamed of myself for playing with him like that I felt I should say something.
"It was nice meeting you. Thanks."
"Your welcome." He left and then a second later he stuck his head back in the room. "Jake?"
"Charley and you, are you going to become partners? Charley seemed so certain you already are."
"Time will tell, Tim."
"I hope it works out for you," he said. I thought, 'Me, too.' as he disappeared again.
I chuckled to myself for a bit after Tim left. He was just a big overgrown kid, an innocent. I must be feeling better to get that much fun out of playing word games like that. I wished that Jason would come up soon to visit. I thought about how we had become close friends. He and Pete would get a bang out of this. It was through them that I knew who Dave, Joe, Johnny and Tim were. And here Charley was part of their family now, and they were trying to pull me in, too.
As I lay there staring out the window, it dawned on me that I was in a private room. That was why Tim had been able to just pop in. Was this standard for rape victims? Who had authorized it? I wondered if my insurance was going to pay for it? The thought of having to put out thousands of dollars for this treatment got to me. I grabbed the call button. The nurse hadn't even gotten into the room before I barraged her with questions.
"I don't have any answers, sir. I will request that someone from down stairs come up and talk to you."
"Please do that."
"Is there anything else you need?"
"Is it possible to get a cup of coffee?"
"Of course, sir. An orderly will bring you some right away. Anything you want at anytime, just ask ."
I got my coffee, it was good. It must have been from the nurses' private pot. I eventually got some breakfast. Solid food this time. A bowl of Cream of Wheat and dry toast. I discovered I was hungry. Besides more coffee, I drank two glasses of orange juice and a glass of milk.
A little later a nurse came in and informed me she was going to remove the catheter. I suppose I should have been embarrassed with her handling my privates, but I was too happy to be rid of the damned thing to care. Even the pain involved didn't bother me, I just wanted it gone.
Half an hour later I was definitely feeling a full bladder. the damned urinal was out of my reach. I had to ring for help. The orderly offered to hold the pee jug for me. I chuckled at his embarrassment and assured him I could handle it. I still only had the use of one hand; my other arm was still hooked up to an IV, but it was no big deal to maneuver the lip into place. It felt good to do it again. I got an image of laying in my piss soaked clothes, too weak to do anything about it and simply not caring . Emotions assailed me, anger ,shame, depression. I placed the jug on the table and pushed it away from me. Letting the bed down I rolled on my side and stared out at the cloudless sky.
The doctor came in, check me over, asked questions about my liquid intake and if I'd had to urinate yet. I motioned toward the jug still on the table he looked at the amount, took it into the bathroom poured it into the toilet rinsed the pot and returned it to the table.
"Well Jake, your making a good physical recovery. Keep drinking lots of liquids with electrolytes." He went about removing the IV from my arm and untaping it from the board. "We don't usually use the board and needle in your inner elbow any more, but you were so dehydrated we had difficulty finding the veins in the back of your hand or your forearm. How are you feeling today?"
I shrugged. "I want to live. I've got a couple more books I want to write before I call it quits."
"That's good to hear. We'll start getting you out of bed and on your feet today. Keep drinking lots of liquids. Dr. Chestnut will be in to see you later.
I nodded and he left.
Fifteen minutes later, a young fellow dressed in whites came in pushing a wheel chair. "Hi, I'm Gene. I'm your physical therapist." He took my chart and read it. He looked up at me with what I took as pity and it pissed me off.
"I don't need your pity. Alright?" I growled.
He looked contrite. "I don't pity you, Mr. Shipman. I do sympathize with what you've been through and what you will yet have to deal with."
"I don't need any sympathy from you, either."
He looked me straight in the eyes. "I was raped, too. By my uncle. I loved him. He was like a father to me. I know what your going through."
"I'm sorry," Immediately contrite. "That had to have been much worse."
He nodded with a small smile. "So you've not been on your feet for a while, huh? Can you sit up?" he asked holding out his arm to assist me. I was surprised, with a little effort and some help from him, I sat up. "Okay, now let's swing your legs around and off the bed."
I had my hand on the edge of the stupid gown I was wearing, and as he swung me around it exposed me from the chest down. Gene blushed as he checked me out. I couldn't help but chuckle. "I can see why the perpetrator wanted you," he said grinning up at me.
"Perpetrator? Perpetrator?" I was indignant. I snatched the flimsy gown around myself. "He's a damned rapist and you are incorrigible."
Gene grinned at me again. "If you can admit that, Jake you're way along towards healing. Let me go get you some pajamas." He ducked out of the room before I could reply, leaving me sitting on the edge of the bed. I propped my wobbly arms behind me, leaned back, closed my eyes and sighed.
He was back before I could get my thoughts pulled together. Kneeling in front of me, he stuck my feet into the legs of the pajama bottoms and pulled them up to my thighs, tucking the back edge of them under my legs to hold them up. "I was going to stand you up, Jake, but I don't think your ready for that. Let's lay you back down and we'll do some resistance exercises and then this afternoon we'll get you up on your feet."
With a lot of effort on his part he got me back into the bed. The pajamas fell down around my calves, but this time the gown was primly wrapped around me. "It's amazing what dehydration does to a body," he was saying, "but you were in really good shape to begin with so it shouldn't be too much work to get you back to where your were." He worked my pajama bottoms up over my hips under the gown. I felt like a slug for not being able to get my butt off the bed.
After getting me into pajamas, he put me through a mass of exercises, making me resist the pressure that he applied against the movement. After he had worked all the muscles in both my legs and arms, he made me work my neck and then had me doing abdominal crunches. I felt like I was barely getting my head off the bed. I was exhausted and breathing hard when he finished. He then had me roll over and do leg lifts and back arches. I was soaking wet with sweat and couldn't get up, he removed my pajamas and gave me a sponge bath. I got a hardon. He grinned, and tried to ignore it until he was finished and had me back in fresh pajamas, and laying between fresh sheets. He had me drink a bottle of Gatoraide. I would have thought that he would have called an orderly in to bathe me instead of doing it himself. Maybe he just wanted to see the rest of my body. Horny little fucker. I liked him.
After bundling up the used towels, sheets and pajamas, he took my hand, looking down at me, he told me, "Jake, I think you're going to be okay real soon. I couldn't get an erection for over a year after I was raped."
"How old were you, Gene?" He took a comb out of his pocket and ran it through my hair.
"Sixteen. You need a haircut."
"It must have been traumatic. A kid is at his horniest at that age. I suppose your uncle went to prison?"
"Yeah, that was worse for him than what he did to me. They broke his spirit."
"Where is he now?"
"He lives with me. We'll talk more next time. I have another patient waiting. I'll get an orderly to come in and give you a shave." He patted my hand and made a quick exit.
It wasn't five minutes before an orderly came in with a basin of warm water and shaving gear. It was a modern razor, thank God, not one of those lethal looking straight razors. I let him do it while I mulled over what I'd learned about Gene. Compared to him I figured I was really being a wimp.
I recalled a professor in a college psych coarse talking about being a victim. He'd said that many times it is a choice we make. The way I was reacting, I was being a victim, feeling sorry for myself, shunning Charley and not giving him a chance to accept what had happened. God, I had nearly killed myself playing the victim role. How sad is that?
With the shave finished and left to myself, I lay back and thought more about how I was going to let this affect me. I had had sex with Jim again after telling Charley I wouldn't. Even though it was involuntary, I'd enjoyed it. No one had to know that except Allen. I had a choice; I could accept it and deal with it or I could feel guilty about it and let it ruin my life. My choice to make. As for Charley? Well, he had to be given the choice of accepting or refusing what happened. I knew that if he refused me I would be devastated, but I'd live. But if he accepted me after what had happened then I would be the happiest man alive.
I'd barely thought this through before I had another visitor. I had seem him in the bookstore for years and never had a chance to meet him. That was back when he was simply the owner of the store, and now he was one of the wealthiest men in the world. He hadn't change at all. He still wore a plaid flannel shirt, Levi 501s,and cowboy boots. He'd aged a little since I'd last seen him, but he was still one handsome man.
"Mr. Gates," I said, when he knocked and stuck his head through the open door. "Come in."
"Hi, Jake, so you know who I am."
"Of course, your bookstore has been my favorite haunt for the last six years." I said.
He smiled at my comment and said,"Congratulations, by the way, on the success of your new book. I see it's up to number two in the top ten best sellers list."
"It is? Thank you for telling me, sir."
"What's this Mr. Gates and sir bit? My name is Dave."
I grinned and nodded. "So what brings you to a lowly author's bedside, Dave?" I asked."
"Well, a couple of things. First, would you sign my book?" he asked holding out a copy of my novel.
"The Mr. Dave Gates came up just to get a novel signed?" Laughing, I held out my hand for the book."
He gave me a lopsided grin and shrugged. "So I'm an opportunist."
"So what else can I do for you, Dave?"
"I've got some questions, but first, let me tell you I know what happened to you and why you are here. So, please don't feel the need to dissemble. Second. Jim Provost is in our employee. And I wanted to talk to you personally before we dismiss him. You are pressing charges?" he asked.
"Charges? I hadn't thought about that. I guess I need to talk to him before I make up my mind."
"Well, we were lo....buddies for a good while."
"But you're with Charley Hill now."
I felt like my head had been stuck in an oven. Why was everybody saying that? I'm not worthy of even kissing the ground under Charley's feet. I closed my eyes and stared at the insides of my eyelids.
"You haven't talked to Charley, have you?" he asked.
I opened my eyes and started to glare my anger at him, but the kind, understanding expression on his face turned my expression to one of chagrin. Still, I snapped at him.
"Not that it is anyone's business, but no, I haven't."
"You know you're hurting him, by closing him out." His voice was soft and gentle.
I felt like screaming at him to mind his own god damned business. But then the image of Gloria picking up her hand bag and pushing away from the table, saying, "I know you're going to end up hurting him." hit me, right between the eyes. "I know," I muttered, but I can't see him."
"You're talking to Allen Chestnut?"
"That's good. I'll tell Charley."
"Tell him I lo....Tell him I'm sorry." I tickled the edge of the sheet with my fingers.
"Of course, I will." Dave paused. "Jake? There is one more thing I need to talk to you about."
I raised my eyebrows in query.
"You're part of our family now. Even if you and Charley never get back together." He had a shy smile as he was telling me this. "We've adopted you and I'm afraid you have no say in the matter."
"Tim Corbin came up to welcome me this morning. I really don't understand what's going on. What is this family thing? What does it mean? And why me?"
"I guess there is only one way to explain this. It's a long story." He told me the whole tale of how he came into his wealth. He told me about Tim and Pete. I already knew some of Pete's story. He ended his story with, "So, Jake, it is now you. And by the way don't worry about the hospital costs, they're all taken care of." *Note at bottom of page.
"That is why I'm in a private room. I asked the nurse to send some one in to talk to me, but it hasn't happened."
"Don't worry about it, Jake. Just get back on your feet and write us another best seller. Oh, I nearly forgot," he said reaching into his shirt pocket and pulling out a card. "I need your signature on this card.
I took the card and looked at it. It was a bank signature card. "I don't understand."
"Call it an endowment, a gift. I just want to see you free to write to your hearts content."
"I don't understand. I can see you rewarding Pete and Tim. They both helped you, to put it lightly. What have I done that you would be so generous to me?"
"Well, you have written a novel that may well help to change the way the straight world looks upon us. And that novel is good enough to be a top seller, which means the straight world has taken to it. Sue was telling me she's had to reorder it four times since you signed books at the store. She's requested copies of your first novel too, if it's still available, she says lots of people are asking for it."
I shrugged at that. "That means a lot more money coming in for me. I don't need this endowment or what ever you wish to call it."
"You can do whatever you see fit to do with it. It is in a bank account with your name on it, it is yours. The bank needs your signature. Sign it and I'll return it to the bank."
"I don't know quite how I feel about this. Actually I feel a little resentful. I mean I really have done nothing to earn this."
"How do you think I felt when I inherited the Way fortune? Jake, you've got to realize my doing this is comparable to you giving someone a dime. So be resentful if you want, but don't feel guilty in accepting it. Sign the card."
"Did you do the same for Charley?" I asked as I wrote my name on the card and handed it back to him.
"No. Charley works for a generous salary."
"Does he know you've done this?
"Why should he? This is between you and me. Of course, you're free to tell him if you wish."
"This is going to take some thinking about. And, Dave?" he looked at me. "Thank you."
"You are welcome. It was truly nothing on my part. After you have your talk with Jim I would like to hear from you. I really don't know how to proceed with him. He seems to be such a nice fellow." He stood up to take his leave.
"I'll tell you about it, Dave." I said as he took my hand and squeezed it.
"You'll have to come over for dinner when you get out of here."
"I'd like that."
He smiled and left.
Chapter 34 of Those Golden Eyes coincides with this chapter.
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