RAY OF LIGHT
story by SOLACE LENITY
This is a story about tragedies and
triumphs faced in the journey
For the most part, it is a
work of pure fiction, though some parts draw upon a host of life
this story will eventually contain sexual acts between consenting
adults. Gay characters have gay sex, so if this bothers you, or
if it is illegal to read such materials due to your age or where you
live, then please do not read further. All copyrights are held
by the author, so please do not duplicate, print, alter, or resubmit (or
anything else I may have missed ) this
story without first obtaining written
permission from the author.
This is my second story in the Raven Cliff
series. For those of you
who read OF LOVE AND CHANCE, you will find ONE RAY OF LIGHT to be
quite different. For one, it is told in limited third person
narratives, rather than various individual points of view. It is
much darker, more complex delve into the nature of
humanity. It contends with spiritual and social issues, but in a
completely different manner. In similarity, it is ultimately a
romantic love story that is not meant to be a quick fix, jerk-off
session. You might also recognize a few characters here and
there, for lives often interconnect in ways we do not realize. If
you haven't read OF LOVE AND CHANCE, don't worry, for this story stands
thanks to Paul for all his efforts with editing, and to Tob for
his input and feedback.
have any comments, ideas, suggestions, etc., I would love to hear
Please contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org
do I even bother?' Nathan
wondered to himself. It had been a terrible day as far as he was
concerned, for nothing seemed to have gone right. And,
it was only 9:30 in the morning!
Already, he had managed
Nurse Channing off several times. First, he had taken longer than
she felt was necessary in helping Mr. Ream with his bath. Then,
he had tripped over his own big feet and spilled seven breakfasts by
knocking over the
cart. If that weren't bad enough, he also accidentally set off
the panic button while cleaning in Mrs. Kirk's room. That sent a
team of soon-to-be-pissed-off professionals armed with the
defibrillator rushing to her room for an unnecessary Code Blue.
And, now, he had splattered Nurse Channing with... well,
It wasn't exactly his fault, he felt, but that did not change the fact
she was standing in front of him with bowel movement dripping down her
uniform. He had been carrying the bedpan to the
bathroom to empty
when she suddenly called out his name. In a startled state, he
and the bedpan went flying into the air, unfortunately landing on
Nurse Channing's chest.
'At least it wasn't her head.'
he inwardly joked. Then, he reassessed the situation. 'Man, am I
so screwed!' he sighed to himself. He continued to clean
up the mess, all the while regarding Nurse Channing through the corner
of his eye.
He just knew for sure that he would be dismissed from the CNA practical
after this. He had spent the entire summer in theory classes,
then began the clinicals in August. All he had was three more
shifts until he completed the required hours of supervised practice,
and he would earn his license. Then, he would be paid, provided
the hospital chose to keep him on staff.
Nathan understood it
was not a good idea to upset the nursing
supervisor to begin with, but to douse her with feces? Well, he
knew for certain that was not a wise career move. Disheartened,
he figured he would not be getting the extra pay that would have come
in quite handy.
What was worse was that Nurse Channing seemed to be the only one at the
even remotely liked Nathan. She was the only one who ever
encouraged him or said anything that could possibly pass as praise in
his work. He wondered why it could not have been one of the
other, less likeable nurses.
Nurse Barns was somewhat of an ass, Nathan believed. He liked to
throw his weight around and give orders, taking delight that the
student CNAs were at his beck and call. He had even sent Nathan
a few times to the cafeteria to pick up his lunch for him. Then,
when Nathan would return, Nurse Barns would chew Nathan out for not
having things finished, like he could actually be in two places at once.
Nurse Proctor was just down right mean, Nathan surmised. She had
no patience with him whatsoever. She seemed to thrill in putting
Nathan on the spot and then belittle him for his stuttering. She
had even told him several times that he would never be able to become a
nurse because he would never be able to give a sufficient oral report
at the change of shift.
has three hours to change a shift, kid. We only have 15
minutes. You can't even get the patient's name out in that time!"
Nurse Proctor had screamed at him.
That had brought Nathan to stinging tears, and he had almost quit the
program that very day. However, Nurse Channing had come to his
rescue. Without even realizing it, she had given him the courage
to keep going. She had complemented him on his thoroughness in
executing his duties and responsibilities in the treatment plans for
his mid-term care clients.
Nathan didn't figure he was the best CNA there was, but, in his
opinion, he was far from the worst. That is, at least where the
patients were concerned. And, he loved what he was doing.
He loved to listen to his patients as they told their life
He wasn't a great talker; he knew that all too
well. But, he believed he was a pretty good listener. He
also enjoyed taking care of patients, as it seemed to make him feel
his life had meaning and value. No, he hadn't been much more than
a street whore before he had met his new family, but through their
love and his experiences with the CNA program, he was just starting to
turn his life around.
Then, his mind wondered how his new mother and father would take the
news of his dismissal. Jason and Jena Wilson had so much faith in
him. The very thought of disappointing them brought tears to his
for he wanted so much for them to be proud of him. He needed them
to be proud of him. Then, maybe... just maybe... he could be
proud of himself for
That was why the extra pay from the CNA position was so important to
Nathan. He was going to have a sister soon, and he wanted to
surprise his new parents by setting up the nursery. He sighed
to himself, remembering how his new mother had broken the news.
"Nathan, honey, there are going to be
a few changes around here." Jena smiled. Nathan
loved to see her smile, as it seemed to brighten his entire
world. Her green eyes would twinkle with every movement of her
delicate face. She pulled back her long red hair, only to smile
even more. "It seems you are
going to have a brother or sister!"
Nathan remembered how his heart jumped into his throat at the thought
of this. He had dreaded the idea that his parents might someday
have a child of their own, fearing they would not love him
anymore. As he took in his mother and father, though, he knew
that was just silly thinking on his part.
Jason pulled Nathan into a firm hug, kissing his forehead gently.
"We wondered if maybe you would like
to be with us when it's born." He had said methodically,
yet kindly. Nathan's new father also possessed a stuttering
problem, and he and Nathan's new Uncle Roe had been very helpful in
assisting Nathan with his own speech impediment.
Nathan was shocked by this, but in a delighted sort of way. "M-me?" He asked. "Y-you w-w-w-want me to b-be with you?"
"Your the future nurse of the family!"
Jena laughed. "I thought if your
Papa passes out, you would at least be able to remain focused.
Somebody's gonna have to help me through this whole birthing thing."
She then joined her husband and Nathan in a family hug. "This is an important change in the family,
and I want the two main men of my life there with me."
Nathan beamed with the feelings of inclusion which radiated through him
at that moment. Then, he got to thinking. "Moma, w-what ab-bout Ethan?"
Jena laughed sharply. "Honey,
your Uncle Ethan would only set me off. He is far too spastic in
things like this, so I'm sure he will gladly pace in the waiting room
with everyone else."
"W-well, what about G-grandma Jean?"
Nathan asked thoughtfully. He was thinking there were many, many
others in the family that deserved that honor far more than he felt he
"Honey, everyone will
understand. The thing is, we want YOU to be with us,
sweetie. You're our son, after all, and this will be your brother
or sister." She smiled. "We love you, Son. You're ours, and
nothing will ever change that." She soothed reassuringly.
Nathan didn't think he had cried so much in his life, well, except for
the day when he found out what the baby was going to be.
"S-so, it's g-gonna be a g-g-girl!"
He enthused, in reply to his father's news.
"No, Son, it's gonna be a
His Papa grinned.
"Natalie Rayne Madison Wilson,"
his Mama added. "named after
her big brother. That will give you both the same initials, too,
once the adoption is final."
"Oh, Moma! Papa!" He cried, embracing them both as tears
soaked his face. "I-I l-l-love
you b-both." He sighed, resting in the comfort of their arms.
"We love you to, Son." His Papa soothed, gently running
his fingers through Nathan's hair.
Nathan had been deeply moved that two of the most important people in
his life would want to name their own flesh and blood child after
him. That had also opened his eyes to the fact that they were
telling him the God's honest truth: Jena and Jason Wilson loved
him just as if he
had been their own, and he truly was their son, no matter what.
All that remained was the legal actions of the court, but, in all their
hearts, he was already a Wilson. Still, Nathan was anxious for
the adoption to be finalized.
'Nathanael Ronen Meyers Wilson.' Nathan again dreamed to
himself. 'I can't wait to be
their son completely!'
The smile that had crossed Nathan's face during his reflection quickly
faded as he remembered where he was. With the last swipe of the
mop, he looked up slightly
to regard Nurse Channing, still standing before him.
She scowled at him indignantly.
"Nathan, I'm just not certain that this
is the right place for you." Her hands stretched out, and
Nathan read her actions to indicate that this meant the field of
Nathan's eyes went wide, then his head hung dejectedly. "I-I'm s-s-s-so sor-r-r-ry, M-ma'am."
He sighed. "I'll
c-c-c-clear out m-my things."
Nathan started towards the door sadly, then stopped in his tracks when
grasped his shoulders.
"Like hell you will!" She
'Great! She's not going to even
let me gather my things!' He sighed to himself.
Nathan slowly turned and looked at her through his lashes, unable to
look her in the eye due to shame. Her firm resolve softened
slightly, he realized, and she shook her head at him. Then,
"Son, in all my years, I have never
had this happen to me before." She smiled. "But, that doesn't mean you won't be a fine
Nathan went to reply, but his words hung in his throat. He closed
his eyes and hummed for a moment, putting his thoughts to melody.
Uncle Roe, acting as his speech therapist, had taught him this, and it
help Nathan focus much better. "Y-you're
not m-mad at m-me?" He finally asked.
Nurse Channing chuckled. "Don't
get me wrong, Nathan. I am far from thrilled with having bowel
secretions covering me at this very moment, but I don't guess it was
totally your fault. I should have made you aware of my
presence." She said knowingly. "I forget that you are so skittish
She went to the sink and scrubbed her arms. Then, drying them
completely, she rested one lightly on Nathan's shoulder. "Its just that you have such wonderful
bedside skills with your patients, son. One-on-one, you seem very
comfortable. You seem to come alive with such an energy when you
are with your charges, and you are like a whole different person.
But, that changes the instant you realize you are no longer
alone. You seem a bit... distracted...
when we nurses are
He closed his eyes again and hummed. "Well, y-you're g-grading me."
He said softly, finally looking her in
She rubbed his shoulder reassuringly. "Nathan, the fields of nursing are about
much more than
grades. Try not to focus on the evaluation part of it. Just
do the job of which I know you are capable." Nathan noted
a strong smile spreading across her face. "Then, I can check you
off so you can do private duty."
"P-private d-d-duty!" He
stuttered with excitement.
"Yes, Nathan, private duty. I
believe that is a placement
in which you will be more comfortable."
She smiled broadly, poking his chest lightly in emphasis as she said that. "I also
have complete confidence that your patients will receive the best
possible care you can offer. You go at it with both your head and
your whole heart, son, and that is what makes a nurse the vital link in
the health care system."
She turned him to the door and steered him down the hallway, ending at
her office. Once there, she motioned for him to have a
seat. As she left, Nathan's mind roamed freely, contemplating the
whole idea of private duty.
It was true, what Nurse Channing had stated. He was not so
comfortable being scrutinized by the nurses. It seemed his
whole life had been spent either under a microscope or as a target for
aggression. Up until the last year, anyway, when he had happened
into the lives of his new family.
He thought about all she had said to him as he looked around the small
office. He stood up and began to pace around, taking everything
in as his mind continued to roam. He read Nurse Channing's
certificates, surprised to see that she had graduated from the same CNA
program he was now attending. From the dates, Nathan guessed her
to be around 40, 42 at the most.
Emily Channing had also gone through the LPN program he was hoping to
get in. She had gone on to the university to obtain an Bachelor's
of Science in Nursing Arts, as well as a Master's within the same
field. Several other certificates and awards lined her walls and
Maybe she was right. The hospital might not be the place for
Nathan, but that did not mean he had to give up on his dream of being a
nurse. After all, Hospice was done in the patient's
residence. The more he thought about this, the more his smile
seemed to grow.
Nathan paid special attention to the HOSA (Health Occupation Students of America) medallions
that Nurse Channing had received. His instructor had mentioned
that he wanted Nathan to compete in this event come spring. He
felt Nathan showed promise, and Nurse Channing had also mentioned her
feelings that Nathan could win many of the events. He pondered
the idea of this for several moments.
The HOSA events included a regional, state, and national competition
for students attending technical education programs. There were
several scholarships and other prizes awarded, so his instructor had
said. Nathan wondered if he could really do such a thing,
though. The written and practical events would not be too much of
a big deal, he thought, but there was sure to be oral evaluations
involved. That thought scared Nathan to death, and his feelings
of self-doubt began to swirl out of control.
"Thinking about competing?"
Nurse Channing spoke.
Startled, Nathan gasped and jumped back slightly.
Her laughter put him at ease, as he turned to smile at her. "I-I just d-don't know. I w-w-would
h-have t-t-t-to speak during th-th-this?" He asked.
She had a sympathetic look on her face. "Yes, Nathan, but I still think you can do
it." She said softly.
Nathan then noticed she was wearing a clean uniform. Her
wet hair let Nathan know she had showered, as he again felt
embarrassment and shame for soiling her in the first place.
"I-I'm r-really sorry f-for the
b-b-bedpan." Nathan sighed.
Nurse Channing pointed out her clean uniform, turning around like a
fashion runway model. "It was
nothing a change of clothes and a quick shower couldn't fix, son.
Please, stop beating yourself up over it." She said in a
Then, her hand went to her chin in thought. "Now, where were we?" She
muttered. "Oh, yes.
Taking a seat, she pointed for Nathan to join her. "The experience
from the private duty assignments will also help you to get into the
LPN program." She explained.
"Y-you th-think I'm ready
f-f-for that?" He asked excitedly. Nathan knew
getting into the LPN program would be difficult, but it would move him
up into a better position within the nursing field. From there,
he could obtain a job that would help pay for his RN training, a
certification necessary to achieve his career aspirations.
Nurse Channing seemed to stare at him, making Nathan feel somewhat
uncomfortable. Then, she smirked at him. "I certainly hope
so. I sent in my letter of recommendation on your behalf to the
school about two weeks ago."
Nathan was completely surprised by this. "Y-you w-w-w-would do th-that f-f-for
She shook her head in an affirmative response.
"B-b-but, why?" He asked,
conveying his confusion by scrunching his eyebrows. None of the
other nurses seemed to think Nathan could do anything right. He
did not understand why Emily Channing held such faith in him.
She sighed, and Nathan felt a lecture coming on. "Nathan, why do you want to become a
She had asked him this so many times, so Nathan knew she already knew
the answer. He figured she wanted him to focus on it,
though. He closed his eyes, humming to himself as he relaxed and
formed his thoughts. "I want to
help p-people who are d-dying." He said a little
slowly. "I want t-to make
l-life as easy f-for them as p-p-pos-s-sible d-during th-their last
Nathan looked to see Nurse Channing smiling at him. "Well, son, there is your answer."
She seemed to sense his uncertainty and explained. "Son, most of the time, when I ask that
question, people will mention helping other people. But, that
help is followed by a statement about the money involved in nursing
salaries." She reached over and grasped Nathan's hand
gently. "You want to become a
nurse in order to do the job, Nathan. You have never once
mentioned anything about the pay. In fact, I believe you would do
it free of charge if you were in a position to do so. That is
why, son. You have the spirit of a true nurse, and I am proud to
see that. I just wish the rest of my staff saw our jobs in the
Nathan suddenly felt embarrassment washing over him. His cheeks
became hot, and he could not bring himself to look at Nurse
Channing. But, what she said was true. Nathan would gladly
help anyone he could, regardless of money. As long as he had the
basic essentials, he didn't have any other worries that required great
sums of money. In fact, Nathan wasn't even sure how much a
Certified Nursing Assistant made, much less what a Licensed Practical
Nurse or Registered Nurse brought home. No, the money truly had
nothing to do with why Nathan wanted to work in Hospice. It was
simply something he thought he might be able to do well enough to help
someone in a tragic situation, much like his family had helped him from
when they took him in.
He thought about how his life had been. The abuse Jasper and
Barbara Morton, Nathan's former step-father and birth mother, had
subjected him to had been traumatic to say the least. His life on
the streets had been just as bad, honestly. But, things changed
when the abandoned building where he and several others had taken up
residency had caught fire.
Nathan had been rescued from that building by a young man named Blade,
but it was his new family that had rescued him from the turbulent seas
of his former life. In Nathan's heart, he felt that this gift of
love should be passed on. He guessed that maybe this was his true
reason for wanting to be a Hospice nurse, to somehow repay the kindness
that was granted to him.
"B-being a nurse i-is an honor."
Nathan finally replied, bringing a strong smile to Nurse Channing's
"Yes, son, it is, because it lets me
meet wonderful people like yourself." She smiled.
Nurse Channing talked with Nathan for another forty minutes about the
private duty position in which she wanted to place him. He would
earn $10.50 per hour, which really surprised Nathan. For a guy
who hadn't yet finished high school, this was good money, much more
than he had ever thought it would be.
In addition, he would still receive school credits for the work
experience, and the shifts could be worked around his class
schedule. During the upcoming semester, Nathan would only have
his English 12 class to attend, and it was scheduled last. He
would be able to work a 6-2 shift and still make his class on
time. Then, after graduation, he could work a later shift if he
made the LPN program like he was hoping.
After their discussion concluded, Nathan went to the cafeteria for
lunch. He looked at the food others were carrying on their trays
with dismay. He wondered how anyone could eat the stuff.
Thankfully, his Aunt Hela had packed him a hearty lunch as usual.
Nathan sat down and opened his lunch container, taking out the rather
large meat loaf sandwich his Aunt Hela had made.
"I'll pay you six bucks for
that!" A deep male voice said, startling Nathan slightly.
He looked up to see a very handsome man in blue-green scrubs standing
before him. Nathan knew that meant he was an ER doctor. His
name tag read Kersey, and Nathan felt it was a nice name for such a
Dr. Kersey had sandy blond hair that was haphazardly arranged, looking
as if the doctor had ran his hands through it many times so far that
day. His light brown eyes were highlighted by long lashes, and he
possessed an award-winning smile. The good doctor was fairly
tall, standing around 6'2", Nathan guessed. He seemed to have a
sleek, yet fit body, as well.
Nathan pulled out the seat next to him, motioning for the doctor to
join him. He hummed quietly for a moment, calming himself.
Then, he smiled shyly. "I
w-won't sell y-you my sandwich, b-but I-I'll g-gladly share.
I-it's big enough f-for t-t-two peop-ple a-a-anyway." He said
When the doctor sat down, Nathan felt himself blushing. 'Damn, he's hot!' He smiled to
himself. Nathan looked to see the doctor smiling at him, only
causing his blushing to grow more intense.
"Thanks." He replied, in
his deep, manly voice, causing Nathan to almost gush with hormonal
charges. "My name is Garrett,
by the way. Garrett Kersey."
Nathan hummed to himself softly, then replied. "N-nathan M-meyers." Nathan
took half of his sandwich, offering it to Garrett. He then opened
a container of potato wedges, taking one, then pointing them out to the
doctor. "These are r-really
Garrett grabbed one to sample, and Nathan noticed his immediate
reaction. "Oh, these are
heavenly." He sighed with his mouth full. "So much better than the shit they serve
Nathan laughed. "Y-yeah,
th-that's why I alw-ways p-p-pack my l-lunch." Then, he
pointed to the sandwich. "W-wait
unt-t-til you try Aunt Hela's m-meat loaf."
The look on the doctor's face let Nathan know he agreed completely, as
did the moans of delight from tasting Hela's fine cooking. "Your aunt should open a restaurant."
He replied, once he finished a few bites.
"S-she has one." Nathan
smiled. "I-it's at our
h-house. I-it's a b-bed a-and breakfast. She h-has a
"Do you think she would deliver?"
Garrett asked excitedly.
"I g-guess." Nathan
replied. He had never really thought about that before, but it
would give Hela a lot of business, he felt. He made a mental note
to discuss this with her. "I-if
not, I-I c-c-could bring it w-when I w-work."
Garrett grinned widely at Nathan, then chuckled. "This job can get to you sometimes, and we
have such a short time for lunch. That is our only real break to
unwind, and it would be nice to at least enjoy what we're eating."
He seemed to be thinking, then continued. "I guess that old saying is right.
The way to a man's heart must be through his stomach." He
Both Nathan and Garrett ate in silence for a few minutes. Then,
Garrett started a conversation. "So,
you're in the CNA program, are you?"
Nathan shook his head in response.
"Do you like it so far?"
Garrett's gaze seemed fixated on Nathan, but, for whatever reason,
Nathan wasn't uncomfortable.
"I l-love it." Nathan
"Think you might want to be a doctor
some day?" Garrett inquired.
Nathan shook his head with laughter. "N-no. I j-just wanna be a
n-nurse. I-I wanna w-w-work in H-hospice."
Dr. Kersey seemed surprised.
"Wow! Hospice, now that is a field few people consider."
Nathan went on to explain to Garrett about his career path he had lined
out with his cousins during the past spring. He elaborated on his
desires for helping dying patients, which seemed to intrigue Dr. Kersey
Dr. Kersey told Nathan how he had come to the conclusion that the
medical profession was his intended field. Then, Garrett spun
very entertaining tales of his adventures in med school and his first
year of residency. Nathan was surprised to learn that Dr. Kersey
was 28 years old. Most of the doctors were much older, and while
Nathan thought he looked young, he had assumed he was at least in his
mid 30's. It didn't escape Nathan's attention that Dr. Kersey
never once made a gesture or comment that pointed to any agitation or
ill feelings about Nathan's stuttering. That fact, along with his
younger age, made Nathan feel quite comfortable around the doctor.
They had a nice conversation up until Garrett's pager went off.
Dr. Kersey quickly jotted down his work schedule for Nathan, asking him
if he would see if Hela would be willing to send him a lunch on those
days. Nathan assured him he would, then smiled as he watched
Garrett dart out of the cafeteria.
Once his lunch hour was over, Nathan returned to his floor, 3F.
There, he checked on all of his charges and attended their needs.
All the while, Nathan kept thinking about how hot Garrett was.
Then, he started thinking about Trace Andrews.
Trace was a good friend to Nathan, whom he had met in his biology class
during the spring. They had gone out several times, though their
relationship was pretty much on a just
friends basis. Still, Nathan thought he was one fine
looking young man.
Nathan began to laugh at himself. 'Lord, you're just a horny mess,
Nathanael. Quit thinking about all these guys and get your work
done.' He told himself firmly.
But, no matter what he tried to do, his mind returned to thinking about
all the hot fellows he had seen the past few weeks. He did manage
to get his work done, but his hormones were close to overload by the
time his shift had ended.
After he changed from his uniform, he walked out to the front parking
lot. There, Grams was waiting to take him to work at Max's.
He smiled as he sat in the car.
"Hi Grams." He said,
leaning over and hugging her tightly.
Grams seemed to regard Nathan a moment, then chuckled lightly. "I know that look, son. Your Uncle
Ethan and Uncle Kanawha had it many times when they were your
age. So, who is the lucky guy?"
Nathan blushed heavily, and he felt certain he was about to burst an
artery in his brain. Seeing that Grams was not budging from the
conversation, Nathan explained about meeting Dr. Garrett.
"Well, the doctor part is nice,"
Grams laughed, "but I think a 28 year
old is a bit unsuitable for a young man such as yourself. Now,
this Trace is a fine young man." Grams said pointedly. "Lord is he ever handsome, too. I
swan, what a body that fellow has."
"I-I know Grams." Nathan
sighed, totally embarrassed by her candidness.
Grams laughed heartily. "Honey,
I might be old, but my vision is still rather good. Things like
that never escape a woman, no matter what they might tell you."
Nathan was assaulted with a visual image of Grams feeling up Dr. Kersey
and Trace, just then. He shook his head to clear the
thoughts. "Gee, Th-th-thanks
f-for sharing that, Grams." He said flatly.
Grams gave Nathan a soft smile, then patted his knee. "I love you, son, and I only want what is
best for you. Just give it time, and the right man will come
'But what am I supposed to do until
then?' Nathan wondered, knowing how charged his hormones had
become lately. "Y-yeah, you're
right Grams." He replied.
She went on to tell Nathan the same story about Ethan, Kanawha, and his
Moma meeting the men of their dreams. He had heard that story so
many times, he could practically recite it by heart. Still,
Nathan had to smile at Grams. She loved him, he knew that.
But, she was also very inspiring when she wanted to be.
And, in all honesty, he had to admit that it was a romantic tale.
His Uncle Ethan had found his Uncle Shaft, Uncle Kanawha had found
Uncle Kal, and his Moma had found his Papa. Nathan just hoped he
would be so lucky.
As Nathan started to get out of the car, Grams hugged him firmly.
"Now you be careful, honey, and if it
starts getting bad, call the house. One of us will come and get
you. Cindy and Aaron are nice for giving you a ride home, but if
the weather gets as bad as they are saying, I want someone with more
driving experience bringing you home."
Nathan thought a moment, as terror took over his mind. "J-just don't s-send Nana." He
Grams shook with laughter. "Perhaps
experience was not such a
good choice of words. I promise, son, Nana is only a last resort
driver for the family. And, poor Chance, too."
Nathan giggled and hugged her tightly. "I-I'll see you l-later, Grams. I
"Bye, honey. I love you,
too." Grams called out before Nathan shut the door.
He waved as she drove off.
As he walked towards the front door, Nathan shuddered from the cold
winds. He pulled his jacket firmly around him. He couldn't
help but wonder if those who were homeless had found warm shelter out
of the bitter winds. There were so many of them, he knew, and his heart
went out to them all. At the same time, he quietly gave thanks
that he was not out on the streets this year like he had been.
"Well, how did your day go, Nathan?"
Max called out as soon as he entered.
"I-it was p-pretty good."
Nathan smiled. "I-I think I'm
g-gonna get t-t-to work p-private duty shifts."
The smile on Max's face warmed Nathan's heart. Max was a good
friend, Nathan had decided long ago. To be in his 50's, he was
also a handsome man.
Max had dark brown eyes and hair that was near white. It was
closely cut and well groomed, never seeming to actually grow.
But, that was because Max went to the barber every two weeks. He
had well tanned skin and a prominent nose, not obtrusive or anything,
just distinguishing. Max stood about 5'11" tall, and had a broad,
stocky frame. He was in fair shape, too, not well defined, but
definitely not flabby in any way. He had the body of a man who
worked hard but was not devoted to the gym. At any rate, Nathan
liked Max quite a bit.
"This private duty sounds kind of
exciting!" Max grinned, seeming to be enthused. "So, tell me about it."
Nathan explained all the details Nurse Channing had gone over with
him. The actual wage Nathan kept to himself, however. Max
paid him pretty well, but nothing near the $10.50 per hour.
Nathan did not want to offend him in any way, especially after Max had
hired him. After all, it was difficult for one with Nathan's
stuttering problem to find work. For that, Nathan felt he owed
Max a great deal.
"Well, I hope you will stay on here,
but I understand if you want to do something else with your time after
school." Max said neutrally, which caused Nathan a hard
time figuring out what to say next.
He decided being honest was the best route. "N-no, I'm not q-quitting, Max."
Nathan replied. "I'm s-saving
my m-money for N-natalie."
Max chuckled lightly. "Planning
to send her to college already, are we?"
laughed. "I-I want t-to
f-f-f-fix up her room f-for Moma and Papa."
"Oh, like a surprise?"
Max asked, his eyebrows raising somewhat.
sighed. "I've b-been looking,
a-a-and that s-s-stuff is high."
Max squeezed Nathan's shoulder lightly, giving him a dazzling
smile. "I think your parents
will be very surprised, Nathan. I'm sure it will mean a great
deal to them, and to Natalie, too, when she gets older."
Nathan grinned at Max, then started straightening things up as he told
him about his ideas. With his Uncle Kal's help, Nathan had found
a really nice crib that also made into a toddler bed. That would
last the baby for a few years at least. He had even found a
dresser with a changing table built on top of it, along with a matching
rocking chair. He had made a down payment on the furniture, and
had been making small payments every other week when he was paid.
At one of the department stores, he had put bumper pads, sheets,
curtains, rolls of border paper, blankets, and quilts on
lay-away. They were filled with colorful bears, and were mostly
pastel pink and purple. Nathan thought for sure his Moma would
love them, as did his Uncle Kal. He had even put four matching
stuffed bears and a mobile on lay-away, too. All together,
everything was going to cost a little less than two thousand
dollars. But, it would be money well spent, as far as Nathan was
As Nathan was cleaning off the tables, he felt a hand gently brush down
his side. "Hey beautiful."
An all too familiar voice called.
"H-hey Aaron." He
laughed, turning to hug his dear friend. Nathan still could not
believe Aaron called him beautiful all
of the time, simply because Cindy had stated she found Nathan
attractive. "I-I was w-wonering
when you w-would get here."
"Cindy was late, as usual, getting out
of class." Aaron smiled. "Otherwise, we would have been here sooner."
"W-where is she?" Nathan
asked, looking around the restaurant.
"In the can getting changed."
Aaron responded dryly. "I don't
know why she can't just wear something to school that she can work in,
too, but you know Cindy."
Nathan grinned in agreement, as he looked over his friend. Aaron
had a thick head of light brown hair, spiking out every which
way. His soft green eyes sparkled when he laughed, which was
pretty often. He had a small cleft in his chin that was charming
in Nathan's opinion. Aaron also had dimples which set off his
high cheeks and tiny little nose. The light tan of his skin only
seemed to further enhance his looks
Aaron was around 5'8" and possessed a slender frame. But, Aaron
was wiry and strong, Nathan had discovered from their wrestling around
together. On that particular day, Nathan noticed that Aaron had a
really cute butt.
Aaron put his hand to Nathan's face, giving it a light shove. "Quit perving on the ass, freak!"
He said in that same dry manner.
Nathan just laughed. "I n-never
even n-noticed it before."
Aaron turned around and raised his shirt slightly, wiggling his butt
for Nathan. Then, he looked over his shoulder smiling. "Well, does it pass inspection?"
"I-I've seen better."
Nathan shot. Honestly, though, he did find Aaron's ass to be
Aaron grabbed Nathan's hand and brought it to his butt cheek. "Maybe you need to feel how firm it is."
He replied, without cracking a single smile. Even so, Nathan knew
his friend was only jesting.
"Bet you never felt an ass like this before."
"Hmm. I-it k-kinda feels like
j-jello." Nathan grinned, pinching it lightly. "I-I th-think you need to w-work out
"If you're feeling up his ass, I think
you have your hands on the wrong set of cheeks." Cindy
jabbed, walking gracefully into the room. "But, then again, Aaron is all ass, so I
guess you could touch any part of him."
Aaron glanced at Nathan, giving him a wink. "Well, I guess someone wants to spend
Saturday at home alone. I guess Nathan will go out with me,
though. You will, won't you beautiful?" Aaron smiled.
Nathan laughed to himself at Cindy's theatrical way of wrapping her
arms around Aaron. "Watching
mold grow would be more interesting than a date with you, Aaron."
She smiled, kissing him lightly. "God,
I love you."
Cindy Blankenship, Nathan figured, was a very attractive girl, if you
were into them. She was shapely and fairly tall, standing at
5'10". She had a slender waist and nicely formed hips, leading to
a long set of sleek legs. Her dark brown hair was cut into an
angular bob, touching her colar bone along the front. Thick
lashes lined her deep brown eyes. Her full lips were always
outlined and covered with a warm brown lipstick. Nathan had never
seen her without her makeup, which she flawlessly applied throughout
She and Aaron seemed to complement each other fully, Nathan
believed. They both possessed a sharp wit, with a cunning way of
besting the other. They both were good-hearted people, too, and
were two of Nathan's dearest friends. He could never imagine one
without the other, though, for they were almost completely
inseparable. And, in their eyes, the love they held for one
another was evident for all the world to see.
Nathan just wished he would some day find a love like that. But,
he seriously doubted that would ever happen. He wasn't exactly a
great catch, in his eyes. His stuttering problem, combined with
his past experiences as a homeless teen, made him far from desirable to
most people. Still, Nathan could only dream.
At least, Nathan thought, he had friends and a family who loved
him. That gave him some comfort and helped to ease the loneliness
he found plaguing him the last few months. He and Trace were
going out with Cindy and Aaron, along with Chance and Aisa on Saturday,
but Nathan didn't believe anything would ever come of that relationship
besides friendship. He just didn't have those feelings for
Trace. Sure he was very handsome, but there was no spark there,
not like Nathan was wanting, anyway.
The phone rang, and Cindy soon handed Nathan a large order to
prepare. She went to work on the salads as Nathan began putting
the meats on the grill. Aaron sat at the bar, gazing off into
Nathan began to chuckle lightly just thinking about that. From
3:30 to 9:30, Monday through Friday, Aaron spent almost the entire time
at Max's... and he didn't even work there! He just hung out with
Cindy and Nathan, though he would gladly pitch in when Max would allow
it. Otherwise, he would do his homework and restlessly try to
entertain himself for hours on end. Aaron was truly devoted,
Nathan determined, both as Cindy's boyfriend and as Nathan's buddy.
Just as they were boxing the order, the snow began to fly like
crazy. By the time the customer arrived to pick it up, almost an
inch had already accumulated. The radio and weather station were
flashing warnings of the coming storm.
"I hope we make it home."
Aaron stated, staring out the front door.
"If it gets much worse, we are
shutting down." Max replied, joining Aaron. "I don't want you kids in any kind of
Despite the weather, though, the diner was quite busy, as orders
continued to come in. After the rush, everyone stood around
haggard, which brought a smile to Nathan's face. Aaron, whom Max
had allowed to help Nathan at the grill, was leaning his head on
Nathan's shoulder in utter exhaustion.
"I don't see how you keep up with all
those orders. It's too much to focus on." He sighed.
"Y-you just have t-to have a system."
Nathan replied, lightly rubbing his tired friend's shoulder.
Just then, Nathan's pocket began to vibrate. He pulled out his
cell phone, seeing that it was the mission number calling him. "Hello."
"Nathan, honey, it is getting terrible
outside." His Mama said in somewhat of a panic. "Your Papa and I will be there to pick you
up just as soon as we can, OK."
Nathan was worried about this. With bad weather, any sort of
accident could happen. "N-no,
Moma. Y-you shouldn't be out i-in weather l-like this.
J-just go on home. M-maybe Uncle Kal can p-pick me up."
He replied after careful thought.
"He is going to pick up Kanawha.
It could be a while before he can get there, Nathan. By then, it
might be too bad to make it home." She replied.
"I-I can just s-s-stay here i-if it's
that bad. You j-just go on home where i-it's safe."
Nathan was determined that his parents were not going to risk their
lives or that of his unborn sister on his account.
Max motioned to Nathan for the phone.
"Jena... Hey, this is Max... Yeah, I
was getting ready to close down... No, I think Nathan is right.
You should go straight home. I will bring them home myself.
I have the van out back. That will get us through this snow, so
don't you worry... No, Jena, I don't mind at all. Actually, I
should have sent them home already, so it's my fault they are here in
the first place... Yeah, I'll be careful, and you both be too... Ok,
here's Nathan." Max grinned at him as he handed him the
phone. "I'll go get the van
cleared off and warmed up. You guys get everything turned off and
"Hey, Moma." Nathan said,
putting his phone to his ear. "I'll
be h-home soon. I-if there is t-t-trouble, I'll call, OK?"
"All right, Son, but please be
careful. I love you." Jena said in a worried tone.
"L-love you too, Moma."
Nathan smiled as he put his phone back into his pocket. He didn't
like her to worry so much, but it made him feel good knowing that there
was someone out there who did care about what happened to him.
Even after almost a year of having his new family, the idea of someone
loving him so much was still new to him. It filled him with warm
feelings and a fondness he only hoped they knew he felt for them.
Cindy and Aaron both called their parents on the shop phone, as Nathan
finished shutting down the grill. Cindy closed the register,
while Aaron made sure everything was turned off. Soon, the van
pulled up out front. After double checking everything, Nathan and
his friends exited the diner. Nathan withdrew his key to lock the
He had been so surprised when Max had given him the key. It had
meant that Max trusted Nathan, and he felt greatly indebted to Max for
placing that level of faith in him. As he turned to get into the
van, Nathan reminded himself of what a special man his boss truly was.
Max drove very slowly, as the roads were quite slick. Nathan
bantered lightly with Aaron in the second row of seats in the
van. They also spent a great deal of time looking out the windows
at the quickly accumulating snow. Once the sun had went down,
couldn't help but feel a sullen mood taking over him. Something
worried him deeply, down in the pit of his stomach, bringing to surface
sense of dismay.
"You still remodeling?" Aaron
asked, and Nathan looked to see several boards and building materials
stacked in the back of the van behind their seat. The other two
seats had been removed, he realized, so that the lumber could be hauled.
"Yes. We're working on the guest
room." Max smiled, looking at the two of them in the rear
view mirror. "I hear you boys
are decent with a hammer, but Cindy is a real pro. Maybe I should
hire you to help us?"
"I wouldn't mind it a bit."
Aaron replied. "Cindy eats a
lot when we go out, and she never pays for anything." He
Nathan tuned out as Cindy shot a rebuttal. He only hoped his
parents made it home safely, as did his Uncle Kal and his family.
He just didn't want to even think of anything happening to them.
Nathan's family and friends had become the cornerstone of his new life,
and he would be lost if any one of them would meet with some
His thoughts continued to reach out to his family, as he stared blankly
out the side window. Taking a slight notice, Nathan realized that
Max was heading towards Cindy's house first. Aaron's home was not
far from there, so he assumed that would be where they would head
next. Then, it was across town to Nathan's home. He just
hoped the roads remained clear enough to allow them safe passage,
though he noticed the snow was already piling up.
A few minutes down the road, Nathan spied the tail lights of a pickup
truck. As they passed by, he noticed the door was ajar, but no
one seemed to be around. That sinking feeling again knotted the
pit of his stomach.
Max brought the van to a halt, then turned to see what was wrong.
Nathan shook his head slowly.
"I-I think th-they might need s-s-some help." He said
softly. "I-I just have a
b-b-bad feeling about it."
Max regarded him a moment, then sighed. "Well, all right then. Let's go check
The snow was already several inches deep on the road, and it was
pouring down at an alarming rate. As Nathan neared the truck, he
saw no signs of anyone. Then, he noticed a large lump in the snow
just a few feet in front of the truck, right were the truck's
headlights were shining. As he started towards the mound, his
heart began to race.
"Oh, G-god!" He shouted. "M-max, i-it's a p-p-person!"
Clearing some of the snow, Nathan found a young man. His body was
extremely cold, but there was still a faint pulse. As he removed
more of the snow, Nathan was startled to find that the young man was
naked. The marks on his body were unmistakable, for Nathan knew
them all too well.
"H-h-he's b-been b-b-beaten!"
He called to Max. "G-get Cindy
As Max returned to the van, Nathan removed his coat, covering the young
man as best he could. He checked the body carefully, particularly
the extremities. The skin did not look whitish or gray, and it
was still somewhat supple.
'At least there doesn't appear to be
frostbite.' Nathan sighed to himself. Nathan
called out to the young man, gently tapping his shoulder so as not to
jar the body. The unresponsive nature and the bluing of his skin
told Nathan much.
'Think, Nathan, think!'
He mentally chided himself. 'What
do you do for severe hypothermia?'
As his senses took hold, Nathan continued checking the
body. The way the marks seemed to be placed, Nathan worried about
possible head injury or even brain trauma. From his looks and
mature development, Nathan guessed the guy was close to his own
age. He brushed the snow gently from his hair, thinking to
himself what a handsome young man he was. He wondered what
horrible events led the young man to his current state.
"Oh, shit!" Aaron
shouted, then rushed to kneel beside Nathan. "Here, I'll help you get him in the van."
He started to reach for the young man.
"No. W-we have t-to make sure
h-his body doesn't m-move when we l-l-lift him." Nathan
explained. He thought a moment. "Get s-some boards and c-c-cloth of s-some
As Aaron took off to the van, Nathan pulled out his cell phone.
911, he waited for a response. "Y-yeah,
w-w-we... I-i-i... H-h-h-he..." Nathan hung his head
dejectedly, realizing his nerves were just too rattled to get anything
out. He looked up pleadingly to Cindy and gave her his phone.
"It will be OK, babe."
She said softly, patting his shoulder. Taking his phone, she
began to explain their location and what had happened.
Nathan stood up and paced around, trying to clear his head. As
his fingers raked through his hair, he noticed a second mound near the
Nothing would come out of his mouth, so he grabbed Cindy and pointed,
holding up two fingers. When she turned, her face went almost
white for a moment. "There are
two persons injured." She explained.
Nathan rushed to the second mound, carefully removing the snow.
He was startled to find a rather large cat resting upon the second
person's throat area. Nathan reached to remove the cat, but his
hands stopped abruptly.
'Red snow.' He
noted. That meant that the guys throat area was bleeding.
As he cleared more of the snow, he found a considerable amount of red
snow. However, it wasn't as much as it could have been, so Nathan
felt almost certain that the jugular veins and carotid arteries were
still intact. Still, the weight of the cat was obviously
controlling the bleeding.
Nathan grabbed the man's wrist, sighing in relief that there was still
a pulse. He finished digging him out of the snow, then carefully
brushed the snow from around his face and neck. Something about
this man called out to Nathan. He was very attractive, that was
certain. But, that wasn't it at all. Nathan couldn't place
what it was exactly, but there was a connection between them. Of
that much, he was sure.
Ever so gently, Nathan removed the small amounts of snow that were
trapped in the cat's fur. A faint heartbeat was present, and
again Nathan sighed in relief. Nathan stood back up and looked in
the truck for any possible signs as to what might have happened.
He found a throw blanket wrapped in almost a nest-like formation in the
A scene played through Nathan's mind, bringing him to tears. He
figured that whatever tragedy had befallen the man, the cat had
witnessed it. He could visualize the cat racing to its master,
checking him over with great concern. Nathan did realize one
thing that was certain. The cat had risked its own life in the
bitter cold to save the man, for without the weight of that cat to slow
the bleeding, Nathan was pretty sure he would have lost too much blood
called. He turned and walked back her way. "They say it will be a while before an
ambulance can get here. There have been several accidents, and
the snow is making their response time much slower."
"W-we have t-to get them th-there a-as
s-s-s-soon as we can." Nathan replied. "W-we'll t-t-take them."
Cindy explained this to the operator, then asked about the truck.
Nathan looked at her questioningly, but she smiled at him. "Hey, it has to be that guy's truck.
No sense in someone stealing it."
After another moment or two, Cindy handed Nathan back his cell.
She then walked to the truck and climbed in and
turned it off. Taking the keys from the ignition, she slid back
out. Before she shut and locked the door, though, she grabbed the
throw blanket, figuring it would be needed. She then handed
Nathan the keys.
Aaron and Max returned with some boards, painting rags, and drop
cloths. Nathan took a couple of boards to one side of the young
man. As he began tying the rags together, he looked at Aaron.
"Think y-you can c-clear s-space to
put th-them both?" He asked.
"I'm on it." Aaron
replied, racing back to the van.
Nathan placed one of the boards along the young man's left side.
Carefully tunneling under, he pushed several strips of the rags
underneath the guy. Then, he firmly tied them to the board on the
left side, placing it securely beneath the young man's shoulder and
Nathan moved to the right side, pulling the rags gently, but
tightly. Tying the rags to the right board, he had completed his
first homemade body-board. Nathan then quickly moved to the other
victim, repeating the process. This time, though, he ripped one
of the canvas drop cloths for steadying the man. Now, both bodies
were safe to transport.
When Aaron had finished moving things around, he returned to Nathan's
side where Cindy and Max also stood. Together, the four of them
lifted the young boy and carried him carefully to the van. Nathan
provided directions on what to do as they went along. It was
tough maneuvering the young guy into the back, but they managed without
really jarring him. They were able to even get a couple of
drop clothes underneath him to start warming his body back up.
Nathan was pleased with this. However, he figured the larger man
would be a much more difficult transport. And, it was. He
was much heavier, and the added length proved to be a challenge.
Still, they managed to get him loaded without any real cause for alarm.
The seat Nathan and Aaron had been using had to be removed and
placed along the side wall of the van. That wasn't a real problem
though. As Nathan and Aaron sat between the two guys, they both
checked over them, patting them gently as if to reassure them.
Max slowly started driving the van, turning to head to the
hospital. Nathan stroked the man's hair. Then, he petted
the cat carefully. He turned his attention to the young man,
again wondering what had happened to the two of them.
Aaron took off his coat, putting it across the young man. He then
turned to Cindy, asking for hers. That jacket was added to his
lower legs and feet.
Nathan really wished he could have gotten the man out of his wet
clothes and into dry ones, but that wasn't a possibility at the
moment. He just wrapped the drop cloth more snugly around him,
hoping it would be enough to help.
The trip to the hospital seemed like it was taking forever, and the
dead quiet was mind numbing. Then, Nathan remembered his
family. He handed his cell phone to Cindy and asked her to call
their families and let them know what had happened.
As she made the calls, Aaron wrapped his arms around Nathan
firmly. "You were amazing out
there, beautiful. You kept your head and knew what to do for
them. I found that impressive."
Nathan sighed, leaning his head on Aaron's shoulder. "I h-hope I did it right." He
admitted. Nathan was tired, and he couldn't swear that his mind
was working properly anymore. He began to relax as he felt
Aaron's hand rubbing the back of his scalp.
"Nathan, it'll be all right.
done all we can for them, so don't start beating yourself up now."
"I-I just feel b-bad for them."
Nathan sighed, melting himself into his friend's embrace. In his
mind, he again thought about how much all of his family meant to him
and all he had gone through in his former life. He pulled himself
from Aaron's hold, smiling at his dear friend. Then, he went to
checking the two victims once more.
As he looked over the young man, Nathan couldn't help but wonder.
Did he have a family? Did he have a loved one, a girlfriend or
boyfriend, who would be worried about him? Was he a street kid
like Nathan had been? As he remembered the nakedness of the poor
guy, Nathan had a terrible thought. Had this poor kid been
He gently caressed his face, again looking at the beautiful form that
lay near lifeless before him. Nathan knew all about the horrors
of rape, and his heart ached for the young man. He determined
then that he would gladly take his place if it could mean sparing him
even a few of the agonies Nathan had gone through during his life.
Nathan then turned his attention to the man. He was so very
handsome. Surely he had a loved one, Nathan figured. By the
devoted nature of the cat, Nathan guessed the man to be caring and
loving. What will his family do, if he even has a family?
Were his injuries too severe? What
about his poor cat?
Nathan was simply overloaded with questions. However, his last
thought brought tears to his eyes. Such a devoted creature would
be lonely without its master. He also figured its master would be
lonely without the cat. Again,
he knew he would willingly trade places with the man or even the cat,
if it were only
so carefully, Nathan lovingly caressed them both, his heart bursting
with empathy. But, what could he do?
A strong desire rushed through Nathan, and he did something he had
never before done in front of another living soul. In fact,
Nathan had never done this before, period. At least, he had never
done it in the way he did.
It wasn't in the Jewish way of Nathan's natural father, which Max and
Aaron had been teaching him more about. Nor was it in the
Christian way of Nathan's natural maternal grandmother, of which his
new family was teaching him. No, it wasn't in any way that could
be identified like that. It was in Nathan's own unique way, a way
that connected his heart and spirit to God.
His prayer was soft and simple, yet it voiced the deep concerns and
love he felt within his very being for the two men, his family, and his
friends. Nathan did not speak his prayer, for his stuttering
hindered what he tried to say. He had such a desire for there to
be nothing standing between him and God, so his prayer was somehow
vocalized in song. His words had been thought in English, yet
they came out his mouth in Hebrew. His hands rested on each of
the two injured men, as his spirit cried out on their behalf.
Nathan felt arms snaking around his back, firmly holding him as Aaron's
chin rested on his shoulder. There, Aaron's own words of prayer
whispered into Nathan's ear. His presence seemed to help Nathan
open up further, as he found himself more focused.
As the prayer was finished, Nathan opened his eyes to find Aaron
smiling at him. He leaned forward and kissed Nathan lightly. "See, beautiful. I told you that you
would eventually figure it out. Now, you have found your own way."
Nathan grinned, then turned to check the two men again. Though it
seemed like they had been traveling for hours, the van finally came to
a halt in front of the emergency room. Nathan dashed into the
hospital, quickly followed by Aaron. There, he started to explain
what was going on.
"W-w-we f-found t-t-two g-g-guys o-on
the s-s-s-side of the r-road." He expelled nervously.
The nurse looked at him scornfully, raising her eyebrow in
distaste. Then, she looked at Aaron. "Can you get it out any better, kid?"
She said in a rude manner.
Nathan's heart sank, as he wondered if Nurse Proctor were not
correct. Would he ever be able to get his stuttering under
control enough to be able to give an oral report? He seriously
doubted it, which caused his heart to break even more.
"Why you BITCH!" Aaron
That seemed to gather attention, Nathan noticed, and he flushed with
embarrassment. He felt certain he would get in trouble for this,
somehow. Several others approached as Aaron lashed back out.
"How dare you be so rude! What
the hell is wrong with you, anyway?" He screamed.
"What seems to be the problem
here?" A deep male voice stated calmly. Nathan
turned to see Garrett Kersey standing there. He looked worn to a
frazzle, but he was a sight to behold none the less.
"We just brought two guys here we
found injured on the side of the road. Nathan was trying to
explain what was going on, when this bitch copped an attitude with him."
Aaron explained gruffly. Nathan noticed the hateful look the
nurse shot the two of them, so he expected retribution at some point.
"Nathan, what's going on?"
Dr. Kersey asked gently, placing his hand on Nathan's shoulder.
A whirlwind of hormones welled up within Nathan, and he found it hard
to find his voice. He breathed deeply, closing his eyes and
focusing. Humming to himself, he began to form his
thoughts. "Th-they are o-out in
the van. T-two of them. One h-has p-p-probable
l-lacerations to the th-throat. The other h-has s-s-severe
h-hypothermia. P-possible h-head or brain t-t-t-trauma."
He slowly stated.
Dr. Kersey rubbed Nathan's shoulder softly. "Any other injuries for the first?"
"N-not that I n-noticed."
Garrett smiled at him. "What
about the second?"
Nathan shook his head. "I
th-think he was b-beaten."
"Gentlemen." The doctor
stated, and a few orderlies followed Aaron out to the van. He
looked at Nathan, grinning fondly. "Seems like you have a desire to be in the
ER, aye Nathan?"
"N-not r-really." Nathan
chuckled. He again felt an attraction for Garrett.
"You know Hospice is a fine thing,
Nathan, and I wouldn't want to discourage you from following that
path. But, you might find you have talents leading in the other
direction. You know, saving lives can be just as rewarding."
He said, patting Nathan on the back. "Well, let's see what we have."
Nathan walked with Dr. Kersey towards the two men. Garrett seemed
impressed by the makeshift body-boards. Then, he pointed
to the cat resting on the man's throat questioningly.
"S-s-slowed the b-bleeding."
Nathan stated, finding a smirk on Garrett's face as a response.
"Let's get going team."
He ordered. Then, Garrett turned to Nathan. "You did a pretty good job, buddy.
Just sit tight and I'll get your statements later." He
As Garrett disappeared through the swinging doors, Nathan felt his
crash. He looked around and found his three friends seated in the
waiting area. Joining them, Nathan tried his best to relax.
However, he couldn't. That same sullen feeling that he had felt
since sundown was plaguing his mind. He only prayed everything
would turn out OK for the two young men.