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.
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No sooner had Dave gone then Allen came in.
"Good morning, Jake, you look like you're ready to get out of that bed and do some laps around the hospital this morning."
"It's all just looks, I'm still pretty weak."
"So how do you feel about life this morning?" he asked.
I shrugged. "Like I told the doctor this morning, I've got a couple more novels to write."
"I'm glad to hear that, I was told that you've already had a couple of visitors today."
"Yeah, Dave Gates dropped in to see how I felt about Jim."
"That's a good thing."
I looked at him in mock disgust. "You say that again and I'll start calling you Martha."
He blushed and grinned. "I see that you're getting your sense of humor back. That is a good thing."
I rolled my eyes and chuckled. "Yeah, I'm feeling pretty good. I made a decision awhile ago, Allen. I haven't had time to think it through with all that's been going on this morning, but that will come." I stopped and thought about what I was going to say. I must have been thinking for more than a minute because Allen got impatient.
"So, what have you decided?"
"I have decided that what happened is no big deal. I am not going to be a victim. I got roughly fucked without my consent by someone that I've been roughly fucked by before with my consent. Other than the bite on my chest I wasn't physically harmed. I think that what I did to Jim was sufficient payback."
Allen grinned. "So call me Martha."
"Better yet," I grinned at him, "I'll call you Mr. Good Thing and let you explain the name."
He laughed. "I like that better than Martha."
"Allen?" He straightened his face at my serious tone of voice. "I need to talk to Charley," I asked.
"That can be easily arranged. When?"
"So what are you waiting for?" he asked. I looked at him, confused. "Jake," he said, "you've got that cell phone laying beside your pillow. If you want to talk to Charley, then do it."
I felt like a moron. I'd forgotten completely about the phone. I picked it up and hit the first number in the speed dial. It only rang once before Charley answered.
"Jake! I was just calling you. How are you feeling? God, it's so wonderful to talk to you. You know I love you, don't you? Jake? Are you there? Your not saying anything."
I laughed. "How can I?"
"Oh God, I'm sorry. It's so good to here your voice and hear you laugh. I love you, Jake. When can I come visit?"
"Now?" I felt the doubts and bad feelings pushing at me.
"I'm on my way," he said and broke the connection. I looked at Allen. "He's coming over here. Now. Twice he told me that he loves me. Did you tell him to emphasize that?"
"I told him that it is important that you realize he loves you." Allen nodded.
I pushed the panic aside and thought about it. Just as I opened my mouth to say something the door flew open and in burst the most beautiful sight in the world. All of my fears dissipated. His grin would have put Alice's Cheshire to shame. "Hi, Allen," he said, as he strode to the bed. "I was wearing circles in the lobby floor trying to find the courage to rush this room." He paused and looked at me. "Jake." I was scooped into his arms and plastered with kisses.
I clung to him and laughed. "God, I love you, Charley."
He sat back holding me at arms length. "You know I love you, Jake. There's so much I have to tell you."
"I know some of it. I had a couple of visitors this morning. Dave Gates came up to see me."
"So you know I moved over here? Rather, I'm going to, as soon as you'll come help me. I quit the Police Force in Kirksville. I'm working for two of the neatest guys you'll ever meet. You know Dave, but let me tell you, Joe is just as great a guy as he is. And Johnny, he's Joe's younger brother, used to be a police detective, he works for them, too. And I met this guy today that I will be working with. I think he is a closet case. You know, he doth protest too much. I'm going to take him out to dinner tonight and figure him out."
"You're gushing like a school girl." I chuckled.
He pulled me back to his chest. "I thought I'd lost you, Jake. When Jim called me and said you were in the hospital and they weren't too sure you weren't too far gone to revive, I thought I would die if you....if you did. And then when you finally woke up and didn't want to see me I wanted to again...... Dave and Allen talked to me. They explained the trauma you were going through. I felt better, but I was so lost without you. You're right about Jason he is a sharp tack. We sat and talked until late into night."
"Charley? Babe?" I got him stopped. "We have the rest of our lives to talk, right now I need your help."
"Anything, Jake. You know that."
He still had me clutched to his chest. "Charley, let me lay back so I can see you." You'd have thought I was a broken doll he was so gentle and careful letting me back down on the bed.
Allen stood up and patted Charley's shoulder. "Listen, you two, I'm going to leave you to your privacy. Charley, can you be here tomorrow morning at eleven. Whether you realize it or not, there are some very important issues that you two have to deal with."
Charley turned to him still holding my hands. "I told you, Allen, I'll do anything necessary to get us beyond this."
"Great. I'll see you both here at eleven then."
Charley and I talked about my book tour, how we missed each other, how he'd taken care of the garden I'd started in his back yard. Actually, Charley talked, I just watched him and smiled. Eventually, Gene came in to take me to P.T. Charley kissed me and promised to be back later. Gene stood there grinning as he left. His eyes followed Charley out the door. "I don't know which of you guys is better looking," he said.
"Charley is, by far, I said.
"I won't say that."
Before Gene attempted to get me out of bed this time. He tested my strength against his resistance. "I think you're doing great, Jake. Let's see how you do standing."
He helped me sit up, which was a lot easier that yesterday, and pulled my legs around to the side of the bed. He helped me into a robe and then edged me off the bed as I held onto his shoulders.
It felt good to stand, but my legs started quivering. Gene pulled the wheel chair into position so I could sit. I collapsed into it and cursed myself for being in this condition. He pushed me through the door to the elevators and down to Physical Therapy.
After an hour of cajoling insistence he'd gotten me to work out through a dozen machines. Although I was tired and sweaty, the thin pajamas clinging to me, I felt good. I felt alive again. We'd talked more about his experience and how he'd come to take his uncle that had raped him into his home.
Gene's family, which had been so coddling through the trial, had ostracized him afterwards when he admitted that he was gay. He had a very good psychologist working with him and as he worked through his trauma and feelings of rejection and worthlessness, the psychologist had suggested opening a dialogue with his uncle whom he still loved.
"At that point, other inmates, where he had been imprisoned, had taken their vengeance on him and broken his spirit. Gene had convinced the parol board to release him early into his care. The same psychologist was now working with his uncle."
The more Gene told me the more admiration I had for him and the more determination not to let my experience affect me adversely.
After Gene worked me to exhaustion, and a soak in a hot whirlpool to revive me, he wheeled me back into my room where Charley was waiting. Charley lifted me out of the wheelchair and deposited me in the middle of the bed with a big kiss on my forehead. I heard Gene sigh as he left.
While I sipped another bottle of Gatoraide Charley sat on the bed holding my hand. His ebullience from earlier had disappeared. He was quiet, pensive. It worried me.
"Charley, what are your thinking about?"
He looked up at me and nearly smiled. There were tears in his eyes. "Us," he said.
I waited. When I saw he wasn't going to continue I asked, "What about us, Charley? Where do we stand with each other?"
It took him a bit to answer. "I don't know, Jake. I don't understand why you did this."
I felt the a wave of rage crash over me. How he could asked that, if Jim had told him the truth. "Did what, Charley? Get myself raped?" He heard the deadly anger in my voice and looked like I'd punched him in the gut.
"God, No, Jake. I understand completely that Jim drugged you. I know you had absolutely no control over what he did." I felt the rage ebb and the doubts started creeping back in. Charley slid off the bed and stood at the window looking out. "I think that what I'm trying to grasp..... is how you could just...... give up and lie down to die." He turned back to me. "Had you no faith in my love for you?"
I closed my eyes. I hadn't dealt with this myself, how could I explain it to him. The backs of my eyelids felt dry and hot.
"Charley, this is one of the things that I...,no, we have to work out with Allen. You've got to know that it was only your love that pulled me back from that black abyss."
He stared back out the window and didn't answer.
"I want to live. Live and love you and be love by you. I think that if you stopped loving me, any reason for living would just dry up and blow away. Please don't turn away from me."
Charley turned and grasped the sides of my face and covered it with kisses. "I could never turn away from you, Jake. If you'd died I think I may have followed you."
"I'm sorry, Charley."
"I'm the one whose sorry, Jake. I should never have let my job come before you. If I'd said no to them and been here to meet you, this would never have happened. I promise nothing will ever come before you again."
"I love you, Charley."
"And I love you, Jake. With all my heart and soul, I love you."
We clung to each other for several minutes. "So tell me about your new job," I murmured in his ear.
He released me and sat up, grasping my hand. " Well, it's all so serendipitous." Every once in a while Charley would surprise me with the use of a big word. He ignored my look of surprise. "Dad took Jason, Pete and I over to a restaurant called Gio Gio's. As we were being seated at the owners table in walks Dave and Joe who insisted on joining us and a minute later Joe's brother came in with his lover."
"Tim. He came to see me this morning." I injected.
Charley nodded."So in the course of conversation I was talking to Johnny who was a police detective until he quit to join Dave's security force protecting his brother Joe. Next thing I know I'm hired and told to see Johnny's old police detective partner, Paul Hansen. So I'm being paid this fabulous salary and my job is to get you well and on your feet before I go to Chicago for special training.
"Dave is one fantastic guy and handsome, too," I said. "He came to see me today, you know."
"And he informed me that the hospital and all the medical is paid for. And he also gave me this." I handed him the bank book. He looked at it. "Open it." He did and then he laid it on the table next to the bed. "He said it's an endowment to keep me writing."I explained.
"You accepted this?"
"He gave me no choice."
"Hmm. So what else did you two talk about?"
"Jim. He works for Dave and Joe, too. Dave wanted to know what legal actions I'm going to take against him."
"What are you going to do?"
"I don't know yet. I want to talk to Jim first."
"I see." He turned and kissed me on the forehead. "I gotta go. I'll see you in the morning. He stood up and strode out the door, leaving me wondering what he was thinking and what he was going to do. It frustrated me not to be able to get out of the bed and follow him.
I lay there feeling useless and frustrated. I rang for a nurse.
"I need to talk to Dr Chestnut."
"Is this an emergency?" she asked.
"I don't know. I haven't got a razor, so I guess not," I told her. That put her in a panic.
"I'll see if I can get him up here right away," she said.
"It's not an emergency," I told her. "I've just a got a weird sense of humor sometimes. Your question just set it off. If he can see me before he goes home for the day I would appreciate it."
She gave me a stern look and agreed to relay the message to him.
I was left to myself again. I stared out the window awhile and then remembered I had the cell phone that Charley had given me. I wondered again why he'd left so abruptly and what he was doing. Picking up the phone I debated calling him. Instead I called Jason, hoping he wouldn't be in class.
"Hey, little buddy, it's Jake."
"Jake. Are you okay? Where are you?"
I chuckled. "Thanks to you, I'm in the hospital."
"I had nothing to do with that. It was totally Jim."
"I know I was just yanking your chain. Why haven't you been up to see me?"
There was a change in his tone of voice as he answered. "I'm really pissed off at you."
"Me? What did I do?"
"Don't give me all that innocent shit. Look, I'm in the middle of the Quad with people looking at me. Can you have visitors now?"
"I'll be there in ten. What room?"
"I have no idea?"
I lay there holding the dead phone wondering what Jason was angry about. I didn't have long to wait before he came bursting through the door. He stood at the end of the bed and glared at me. Neither of us said a word for nearly a minute.
"You're angry at me." I said to break the silence.
"Yes, No, not really." His shoulders slumped and he slouched into a chair and dropped his books beside it. "No, not really." he repeated like he was arguing with himself. I guess I'm more disappointed."
That hurt. I could deal with him being angry with me, but ..........Disappointment? I guess I had failed him, too.
"I guess it's my fault." he continued, "I had no business putting you on a pedestal. You're only human. I just don''t know how you of all people could just lay down to die. I mean you are a big success as a novelist. You have a man that worships and loves you. You have good friends. Why, Jake?"
I heaved out a big sigh. "I'm sorry, Jase. I'm trying to work it out with Dr. Chestnut. Right now I don't have the answers. When I think about it, it's like looking into a deep dark hole, and I don't even have a flashlight."
"When Jim came and asked for Charley's telephone number he told me you were here but he wouldn't tell me why. Charley told me later. Anyway I dial Charley's cell number that you had given me and handed the phone to Jim."
"Charley was here that afternoon. Jim gave him my address and telephone number. I came to the hospital with him when you were taken out of IC, but I had to get to class.
"When you refused to see him he came back to the house and we talked a long time. That's when he told me about Jim's confession. Do you know he quit the police force? He did. Dave hired him on the spot last night during dinner. Of course, he won't start to work until you get out of here. He's staying with us until then. He's a great guy, Jake. We really like him."
"Thank you, Jase. You're a good friend."
"You look okay, Jake. Maybe a little emaciated. When are they going to let you out of here?
"Thanks, I know what emaciated means, Guy, skinny sounds better. I haven't asked how long they plan on keeping me here."
"Have you talked to Charley yet?"
"Yeah. He was up here just a while ago."
"So everything is cool with you two?"
"I don't know. Probably. I'm sure we can work it out."
"I hope so. I think you two were made for each other."
There was a pause in our conversation. And then I thought maybe Jason could help me understand Charley's reaction. "Jason?"
"Maybe you can help me. You're in kind of the same boat that Charley finds himself in."
"What do you mean?"
"Dave Gates came to see me earlier." I held up the little bank book. "How did you react to Pete accepting a large amount of money from him?"
"I was overwhelmed by the amount. But Pete only gets small bits of it until he is older and has graduated from college."
"So how do you feel about your boyfriend who was dirt poor suddenly having plenty of money?"
"I've had problems accepting that we were still equals. Before we were both struggling students trying to live on a little of nothing. Actually, I was better off then Pete, my parents insisted that I not work, where Pete had to have a job. And then we had that fiasco of Arlen kissing Pete. Well, you know all about that. Thanks for letting me use your apartment, Jake. You are a real friend." He paused a second in thought. "The one thing that helped convince me that Pete hadn't changed was when he opened a bank account with both our names on it."
"Yeah, I thought about doing that as soon as I can. Charley didn't give me a chance to tell him that before he left. But he was already preoccupied with what I told him about Jim, so I'm not sure why he left."
"Damn, Jake, that's tough."
"He's also upset about the same thing you are. I don't know the answer. I just felt like the only way I could deal with what happened was to go to take a nap. I wasn't aware of not waking up. It was just like my mind shut down."
"I'm sure Dr. Chestnut will help you figure it all out."
We talked a bit more and then he left for another class.
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