This chapter is dedicated to Sara, my friend and fellow cohort. If you haven't read her story "The Magic of Your Touch" listed under beginnings, you definitely should and then write and tell her so, and wish her a fast recovery. Her address


Chapter 9

by JWSmith

Dawn slowly lighten the sky. It was a typical Southern California summer day, grey, low coastal over cast; almost cold morning.[ Of course, cold is relative to where one lives. [In L.A. County sixty degrees Fahrenheit is almost cold; fifty six is cold. So what? We know we are spoiled.] Nathan stretched and thought about last evening. Damn he loved it when Jim could be open and be trusting with him. Life just could get any better during those times.

After making out in the kitchen for nearly three-quarters of an hour, only to be interrupted by one ornery teenager coming in to find something to munch on, Nathan had kissed Jim one more time and fled for his own bed. It would have been easy to woe Jim into having sex. He thought that Jim had been on the verge last night. But until Jim asked for it Nathan had promised that he would wait. Little did he know that by doing that he had played right into the mental problems Jim was having.

Nathan showered and shaved. He dressed casual. He had an appointment with a private patient later, but for now Levi's and an old sleeveless sweatshirt and sandals were comfortable. He knew that in a couple of hours the cloud cover would burn off and the temperature would soar into the high eighties. He wandered over to Jim's, letting himself in with his own key.

When he stepped into the kitchen he was startled to see Jim hunkered in the built-in breakfast nook booth. His head rested on his knees which were pulled up to his chest with his arms wrapped around them. He was dressed in the same clothes he had on yesterday. His hair was unkempt.

"Jim, are you ill. My god you haven't even been to bed. What's going on?"

. He looked up as Nathan moved toward him. His eyes were red rimmed. He had dark circles under them. There was no greeting forthcoming. He started throwing accusations.

"You lied to me. I knew you would. I wanted to believe you. You----"

"Slowdown, Jim. Jim, I haven't lied to you. Tell me what are you talking about?"

"You told me that you love me, that I'm the most important person in your life. You started making love to me and then you just jumped up an left. You didn't even care about how I was feeling. You just left."

"You are the most important person in my life. I love you very much. But did you ask me to stay, Jim?" He sat down on the curved bench seat and scooted around to Jim. He took him into his arms.

"No, but I thought the way we were going that you would stay." Jim made a feeble attempt to push Nathan away.

"Jim, I wanted to stay." Nathan hugged him tight. "There was nothing I wanted more than to stay and make love to you, but our agreement was that we would go slow until you are ready to get into more than just making out. You have to tell me when you are ready."

Jim pushed back from Nathan and stared at him as he thought about that for a moment, and then dropped his head against Nathan's chest and whimpered.

"Oh god, Nathan, with Bobby coming into my life, it has really brought out all my old fucked up feelings and insecurities. I thought I had it so all together. I've been like a needle on scratched record all night I couldn't get out of the groove I was stuck in. playing the same thoughts over and over." He rolled his head back and forth against Nathan's chest "Hold me, Nathan, make me think straight. I hate getting like this."

Nathan wrapped his arms around Jim. Jim moved his face into the crook of Nathan's neck. He let out a long ragged sigh. And then there was a long silence. Nathan said nothing as he held Jim and caressed his back. He was quiet for so long that Nathan thought he had fallen asleep.

"I'm going to have to get it back together if I'm going to be any help to the kid." Jim mumbled into Nathan's neck and then paused in thought again. He raised his head and looked toward the ceiling "Shit, I think he's in much better condition than I am."

Nathan squeezed him in a tight bear hug. He knew from what Jim was saying that his thinking was back in line, and on a healthy track. He felt guilty that Jim had gotten his head screwed up by their heavy kissing last night. If he had just known how Jim was feeling, he could have prevented him from going through the anguish he had put himself through., Since Jim wasn't telling him how he was feeling or saying what he was wanting from him, maybe he should take the lead and ask. He nudged him.

"Let's go get you showered and then I'm going to tuck you into bed for a good sleep. You look as bad off as that poor little mouse that I saved from Satty yesterday."

Nathan led him upstairs to his bedroom. Jim rested his head against Nathan's chest as he unbuttoned his shirt. Nathan unbuttoned his pants and let them fall to his ankles. Jim wasn't wearing any shoes so he step right out of them. Nathan turned him around and lifted his shirt off his shoulders and let it slide down and off his arms. He then undressed himself and led Jim into the bathroom.

Jim was like a drunk, the way he was laying his weight on Nathan. With one arm around his waist, Nathan adjusted the water temperature and then walked Jim into the stall and closed the door behind them. There was a little stool in the corner. Nathan hooked it with his foot and dragged it out and sat Jim down on it. Jim just relaxed back into Nathan as he started washing his hair. He was moving his head around as it rested right in Nathan's crotch. The movement and the soft hair brushing against his cock brought it to full rigidity.

"That feels so good, Nathe, don't stop." Jim said, enjoying the gentle massage of Nathan's fingers. Nathan chuckled.

"If you don't keep your head still, you're going to get an extra protein rinse. Here, turn and rest against the wall while I soap you down." Nathan knelt and washed Jim's body. Jim wasn't too tired to not know what he was doing. He smiled. Nathan grinned back.

"You like this, eh?"

"I wish I wasn't so tired; I would really be enjoying it a lot more." Jim said with a big yawn.

"Hey, Babe, you can enjoy this any time you wish. All you have to do is tell me you want a bath."

"I love you, Nathan. As soon as I get back on track I want to make love to you."

"Do I get to make love to you? Stand up and rinse off."

"You better. I don't put out if you don't reciprocate."

"Ah, you put out, do you?" Nathan turned off the water, opened the door and grabbed a big bath sheet. He wrapped it around Jim and started drying his hair. Jim didn't help. Just standing was the most he could manage.

"I know you're making fun of me, but I just to sleepy to care."

"I'll have you into bed in just a minute, Babe. And I wouldn't make fun of you. Although, I will kid you."

Nathan pulled the sheet up to Jim's chest. He sat down and brushed the hair out of his face, and then leaned down and kissed him.

"Get in bed with me and hold me, Nathe, until I fall asleep."

Nathan moved around the bed and slid in behind Jim. He molded his body to his. Jim wiggled his butt.

"I like the feel of that." He yawned.

"Well, it's not going anywhere else until you've rested."

Jim was already softly snoring.

Nathan held him as he slept. His mind was busy thinking about all that had happened in the last couple of days. Not only had Jim's life totally changed, his had, too. With Bobby coming into their life everything would be different than before. He considered what he was learning about Jim. He had apparently swept all the emotional garbage left from having been molested and raped as a juvenile into a closet and slammed the door rather than dealing with it, only to have the door flung open and all the garbage scattered when Bobby came into their lives. Well, this time he wasn't going to sweep it back into the closet. With Nathan's expert psychiatric help Jim would deal with it and get beyond it all. He knew that rape and molestation victims could easily drop into instant depression from just the simplest word or act, just as Jim had last night. It was going to take a lot of work and careful handling to get Jim back on track and keep him there. But with Nathan's love Jim would be okay.

Nathan's thoughts drifted to tomorrow; they had to be in juvenile court for a custody hearing to make Bobby's custody legal. He had called Susan's father who was the senior partner in the prestigious law firm of Merrill, Gladden. and Finch. He had asked George Merrill to recommend one the lawyers in his firm to represent Bobby and Jim in the upcoming hearing. George had insisted that he himself would take the case after hearing Bobby's story. There would be no charge; he considered Nathan the son he never had, and although he had at one time hoped that Nathan and Susan would marry, he still loved Nathan as his own son. And Nathan was sure that anyone he chose as his mate would also be considered family. The three of them were to meet with him tomorrow morning before the hearing. Nathan caressed his beloved's soft silky hair as he, too, dozed off.

He awakened to the sound of a soft knock on the door. He raised his head to see Bobby peeking in. He put his finger to his lips and carefully extracted his arm out from under Jim's head. As Nathan slid out of bed, Bobby's eyes grew to saucers seeing him nude and half aroused. He quickly closed the door. Jim stirred and mumbled. Nathan bent over and kissed him, bidding him to go back to sleep. He put on his clothes and went in search of Bobby.

Bobby stood in the hall for a moment, feeling lost and very vulnerable. He hadn't expected to see Nathan that way. It brought back all the feelings and fears that he had experienced with Robert. He fled to his room and locked the door. He crawled into bed and burrowed under the covers. He lay there quaking, waiting for it all to happen to him again. There was a knock on his door. He held his breath praying that Nathan would go away and not hurt him. He heard the door knob jiggle, and his name called again.

"I'm sorry. Please don't hurt me. I'm sorry."

When Nathan heard the scared little boy sound in Bobby's voice he knew what had happened. He hadn't thought about Bobby seeing him, of what the consequences could be.

"Bobby I have no intention of hurting you. Please open the door and let's talk."

There was only silence in response. Nathan assured him again that he wasn't going to hurt him.

"Bobby listen to me. I'm going to go down to the kitchen and make us some breakfast. Would you like a cup of hot chocolate with it?"

There again was no response. Nathan turned and went down to the kitchen. He set about heating milk for hot chocolate and put on some bacon to fry. After breaking four eggs into a bowl he added four tablespoons of water and a couple of grinds of black pepper. He whipped them until they were a pale yellow. He put bread into the toaster ready to push down. After getting the coffee pot to dripping he turned back to the bacon. As he put the crisp bacon strips on a paper towel to absorb the excess grease he heard the kitchen door open. He turned and smiled at Bobby as he meekly slid into the booth. Nathan had been certain that the thought of food would draw Bobby out of his bed room. Now he planned on ignoring what had happened until after Bobby had a full stomach.


Bobby nodded.

"We're having Bacon and scramble eggs. You like the soft or firm?"

"Soft, please."

"Coming right up."

Nathan pushed the toaster down. Poured the fat out of the frying pan and the eggs into it. He gently lift the edges as they cooked, moving them into a pile in the center of the pan. When all the liquid had solidified he turned them out on to two plates. He found a can of Ovaltine an stirred it into the hot milk. He set it all on the table.

"Would you get us some flatware and napkins, Bobby?" He asked. He turned to find the butter and some jam. He poured himself a cup of the fresh hot coffee and sat down across from Bobby. He picked up his knife and applied some butter to his toast. Bobby watched him for a moment and then followed his lead. When Nathan saw that Bobby had finished his breakfast he asked.

"Would you like to tell me what just happened."

Bobby laid his fork down. And folded his hand in his lap. His eyes were downcast.

"I'm sorry, Nathan, I didn't mean to."

"I don't understand. Have you done something you shouldn't have?"

"I saw you naked."

"And that was something you shouldn't have done?"

Bobby shrugged.

"What upset you about seeing me naked?"

Bobby took a moment before answering. Nathan waited.

"You were kinda-- you know-- like-- ah-- hard."

"Jim does that to me. So seeing me that way upset you. Can you tell me why?"

Bobby nodded but didn't answer.

"It''s okay Bobby. You can tell me."

Tears were running down Bobby's face when he looked up at Nathan.

"My daddy would come into my room like that. He would do things to me. He would make me do things to him. He would hurt me."

"That will never happen to you again, Bobby. You are safe here. Neither Jim nor I will ever touch you that way. We love you, Bobby. Remember that. We love you. We will not harm you. You are safe here."

Bobby nodded; he didn't look at Nathan.

"Bobby, come around here."

Nathan turned on the bench so he could hold Bobby. Bobby move to stand in front of him. He wrapped the boy in a hug and held him until he relaxed.

"I need a hug, too. Would you give me a big hug, Bobby.?"

Bobby raised his arms and wrapped them around Nathan's neck. The kitchen door opened and a tussled Jim walked in rubbing his eyes.

"Can I join you guys? I need a hug too."He knelt next to Bobby and they each wrapped an arm around him, bringing him into a group hug.

"I sure do love you guys." He mumbled.

Nathan finally broke away and offered to make him some breakfast as he set a cup of steaming coffee in front of him.

"Thanks, Babe, but I just want this coffee and some toast and jam right now."

Nathan made him some toast while Bobby sat back in the booth and watched the two men that had taken him into their lives. When Nathan set a plate with the hot toast on it in front of Jim, he sat down next to Bobby. The two of them watched Jim as he meticulously spread butter and jam on both pieces of toast before taking a bite. He felt their stares and looked up.


Nathan grinned at him. He turned and winked at Bobby, and then raised his eyebrows at Jim.

"Nothing. We just like watching you." He smiled at him and kissed him on his forehead.

"Well, I love you guys, too." Jim mumbled through a mouth full of toast.