J. J. Michaels
This story contains historical fact and fiction. References to people in history are for historical reference and not intended to be an actual part of this story in truth, it is purely fictional.
From chapter fourteen...
"Thank you my friend," Austin says holding him tight.
"Thank you Austin," he says as the door flies open and Alex is standing there bloody with a gun in his hand.
He lifts his arm and several shots go off ...
To be continued...
The look on Alex's face says it all as he falls to the floor. Behind him are Leonardo and Detective Santinello both with their guns drawn.
"I had a feeling something like this was going to happen," Leonardo says. "That's why I had my brother here come over and watch with me."
"He was supposed to be transferred for observation to the state mental hospital," Detective Santinello says. "But his hot shot lawyer got him freed before it could be arranged," he says.
"You kids alright," Leonardo asks noticing how Austin and Claudio are naked.
"Yeah but where is Donny," Claudio asks grabbing a robe.
"My God Claudio you don't think he's..." but he can't finish the sentence.
Claudio rushes past Leonardo and the detective as he heads for Austin's room. He opens the door and there tied up on the bed naked is Donny. He is covered in blood from the beating that Alex had given him.
"Donny please be alright," Claudio yells as the others come rushing in.
Claudio is untying him but he isn't responding.
"Babe please talk to me," he says holding him to his chest as he cries. He is cradling him as Detective Santinello radios for an ambulance. "My God please make him alright," he pleads.
"He has a pulse but a weak one," Leonardo says feeling his neck for a pulse.
Ten minutes later police and an ambulance arrive at the dorm. The medical personnel work on Donny before taking him off to the hospital. The medical examiner declares Alex dead and has his body removed. Students gather around to see what is happening as police ask Claudio and Austin what happened. It's an hour later before Claudio can call Donny's dad and tell him just what happened.
"They have him at the hospital now sir," Claudio says to Jake. "He was found tied up and nearly beaten to death."
"Where were you when this was happening to my son," Jake asks.
"Ah... sir... that is a rather long story and if you don't mind I would rather tell you in person," he says.
"If anything you did or didn't do got my boy injured or ... well there won't be anywhere on this earth for you to hide," Jake says angrily.
"Please sir it's nothing like that," he says but the phone goes dead. "Fuck now he thinks it's my fault Donny is in the hospital."
"What but how babe I mean Claudio," Austin says slipping with the name.
"I have to be at the hospital when he gets there and explain just why Donny was alone in another room. How the fuck am I going to make him see that this was Donny's idea for us to be together," he asks.
"I'll be there with you Claudio," he says but Claudio shakes his head no.
"This is something that I must do alone Austin."
Several hours later Jake, Giovanni, David and Darnell arrive at the hospital. Jake sees Claudio standing there and comes right up to him.
"Let's take a walk while the others check on my son's condition," Jake says taking Claudio by the arm.
"Remember love he's David's son and our son's lover," Giovanni says quietly to him.
They walk out of the room and David and Darnell are looking at him as Jake leads him out. He can feel all hope seeping out of him as he and Jake walk alone down the corridor. They come to the exit and Jake takes him outside and the cool morning air hits him and refreshes him some. They walk over to a bench and sit before Jake turns to face him and says...
"Now you have my undivided attention young man. I want to know just where the fuck you were when my son was getting the shit beaten out of him," he says staring directly into his eyes.
"I know what I am going to tell you may seem strange or even wrong but you have to believe me that it was Donny's idea," Claudio says. "I was in bed with Austin trying to make him feel better for what Alex had done to him. Donny was in Austin's room for the night."
"And you expect me to believe that my son knew and accepted the fact that you were fucking Austin while he slept in another room," Jake asks standing to face him.
"Yes sir that is exactly what happened sir," he says starting to get up and Jake strikes his face with the back of his hand.
"You cheating piece of shit," he yells at Claudio. "You don't deserve my son's love," and he hits him again.
"But sir please let me explain," he says in tears as he holds his hands up to protect his face. "Donny and I were ..." but Jake grabs him and starts to beat him before he can say another word.
Giovanni and the others come out and see the commotion between Jake and Claudio. Darnell grabs Jake's arm just as he is about to strike Claudio again.
"That's enough Jake," he yells. "That's my son you are hitting and if you strike him again you will have to answer to me," he says turning him to face him.
"Well you and your son can go fuck yourself as far as I am concerned," he says.
"Jake please he's my son too," David adds.
"David you of all people should know better than to admit that this piece of shit is your son," he says but David hits him hard knocking him on his ass.
"You apologize Jacob or else," David says holding his arms ready to strike again.
"Can we please act like adults here," Giovanni yells helping Jake up off the ground.
David is tending to Claudio's injuries as a hospital security guard comes up to them.
"What's all the commotion here," he asks looking from one to the other.
"Nothing but a misunderstanding," Giovanni says trying to calm the situation.
"Well please remember that we are in a hospital zone," he says then walks off.
"Now what the fuck is this all about," Giovanni asks Jake.
"That fucker was sleeping with another guy while our son was getting beaten to a pulp."
"Is this true Claudio," Giovanni asks.
"No matter what I say will matter so believe what you want," he says turning away.
"Please I want to hear it all from you," he says putting his arm around him. "I won't interrupt you but I want the truth son," he says quietly. "Will you others leave us alone for a moment," he says looking at Jake and Darnell. "David please stay here with me," he says.
Claudio tells him thee entire evenings events from the beginning up to the finding of Donny. Giovanni and David sit there and listen as he explains everything to them.
"That's just how the evening went sir," he says in finishing.
"I believe you son," David says holding him close to him.
"I know my son is a tender soul but I must say I do find it hard to believe that he would consent to you taking this Austin to bed to comfort him."
"I didn't want to sir but he insisted I do to show him how a lover should be," he says with eyes pleading to be believed.
"Well the only way to confirm this story is to wait for my son to wake up and tell us himself," he says getting up. "Until he does I would recommend you avoid Jake for your own well being," he says turning to leave.
"Giovanni you don't believe my son do you," David asks standing now looking at Giovanni like he doesn't know him.
"Frankly David I don't and I am surprised you do," he says turning to face David. "You have known Donatello all his life and is this something you think him capable of," he asks.
"Times are different now Gio and we weren't there," he says to his friend. "Please Gio give my son the benefit of the doubt," he begs.
"Would you if the tables were turned," he asks and turns leaving him standing there. "I would recommend you and Darnell take him home before Jake looses his temper again," he says over his shoulder at him.
Darnell comes back and from the expression on David's face he can see that things didn't go well.
"Darnell let's take Claudio back to his room and get his things," David says looking at his son sitting there crying.
They help Claudio to his feet and take him to the taxi that just dropped off a passenger. They get in and give the driver the address who takes them to Claudio's dorm.
"But I want to know how he is dad," Claudio says as the taxi leaves.
"I'll call and get his condition," David says. "I saw a nurse there that I knew and he will tell me how he's doing," David tells him. "Now let's get you back and let you rest son."
Inside the emergency room Jake is talking to the doctor that treated Donny.
"We are admitting him for severe head trauma and a broken arm. His brain has been traumatized and we won't know much of anything until the swelling goes down," the doctor says.
"Is he going to die," Giovanni asks coming in on the conversation.
"We won't know much of anything for at least the next twenty-four hours," he tells them. "If you will excuse me I need to monitor his condition. I have a specialist coming in to examine him also and determine our next step. I will keep you abreast of what is happening."
"Thank you doctor and please let us know when we can see him," Jake says.
"I will gentlemen now if you will excuse me," and he leaves.
"If my son dies I'll kill that bastard Claudio," Jake says.
"Now Jake please we have enough to worry about without you getting upset over him," he says. "Besides I told them to go home and not come back," Giovanni says.
"See even you didn't believe that piece of shit's story did you," he asks.
"I know it doesn't sound like something our son would do but let's wait for him to tell us himself," he says.
"If he can," Jake says bitterly.
Donny remains in a coma for the next several weeks and although his vital signs grow stronger he is still not regaining consciousness.
It is now spring and several months since he has been in a coma and he is starting to wake up.
"Oh my God you're awake," she says noticing his open eyes and she hurries from the room.
A few minutes later she returns with a team of doctors in tow.
"How are you feeling young man," one doctor asks as he checks his eyes.
He looks up at the doctor but says nothing to him. He looks around the room and the doctor can tell be the sudden elevation of his heart rate that he is anxious.
"Calm down Donatello," the doctor says but all Donny does is look up at him with tears now in his eyes.
He has the nurse call Jake to have him come to the hospital. He is hoping that his father's presence will quiet the young man down.
"Mr. Giovanni your son is awake but he is not talking or he is unable to talk," the doctor tells him. "This is not all that unusual but his anxiety alarms me."
"Why is he so anxious doctor," he says. "Could it be that he is remembering the events that put him in here," he asks.
"Maybe but it could be much more," he says. "We'll have to wait and see how he does the next few days. After all he just woke up and he may still be wondering what is going on with him."
Jake heads into his son's room and finds Giovanni crying looking out the window.
"What's wrong Giovanni," he asks as Giovanni turns towards him.
"He doesn't know me," and he cries more.
"Nonsense let me talk to him," Jake says.
He walks over to his son's bedside and sits on the side of the bed. Donny's eyes widen as he sits and he moves away from him.
"Son it's me your dad," he says looking down at him but Donny just shakes his head no. "Please son give yourself time and then you will recognize us."
"GET OUT!" he shouts as he finds his voice again. "I don't know you or that man over there either," he says and turns away from him.
"Please son give yourself time," he says. "We'll go and let you get some rest," then tries to kiss him goodbye but he is met with hostility.
"Just leave and don't bother to come back," he says sharply.
Later talking with the doctor the two are quite concerned about Donny's amnesia and hostility.
"That young man in there is not our son," Jake says rather angrily. "I want my boy back and I'll pay whatever it costs to get him back."
"Mr. Giovanni there is still hope that this may be just a temporary setback. He just woke up and let's give him some time to adjust to his surrounding and his situation. I have a specialist coming in to see him and we shall know more later. Why don't you go home and I will keep you posted," he says shaking hands with the two men.
Claudio cried all the way back to his dorm unable to believe that Jake and Giovanni could not or would not believe him.
"Why dad why won't they believe me," he asks as the taxi pulls up to the dorm.
Darnell pays the cabby and they head upstairs to Claudio's room.
"I don't know son but give them some time to adjust to what has happened."
They go upstairs and Austin says goodbye to them at Claudio's door to his room.
"I guess I'll see you later buddy," he says to Claudio. "If you need anything just call me," and he goes to his own room.
Once inside his room David asks him why he and Austin were in bed together.
"Dad I didn't want to but Donny said that Austin needed consoling after Alex and that he needed to see what a true lover was like."
"Didn't you hear Donny getting beaten in the next room son?"
"No dad or I would have been there instantly. Even Leonardo and the detective didn't hear them. I should have stood my ground with him and he wouldn't be in the hospital now."
"Hine sight is twenty twenty," Darnell says. "The important thing is that you are alright son."
"Well right now I think you need to sleep and we need to find a hotel room," David says.
"I have a hotel just downtown that is part of my chain," Claudio says. "I'll give them a call and have them give you a room."
He calls the hotel and they give him a list of several rooms available. He picks the presidential suite and then tells his dads.
"We'll be back in the late morning son," David says kissing him goodbye.
"Do you want to come with us love," Darnell asks holding his son closely.
"No dad thanks but I want to be alone," he says. "I'll be alright and will call you if I need you," he says hugging him. "I love you both and thanks for standing by me," he says.
They leave and Claudio looks around his room at the signs of Donny. He grabs his shirt he wore the day before and holds it to his face. He drinks in Donny's scent and he starts to cry. Soon he hears a knock at the door and he doesn't bother to answer but cries alone in the dark.
"Claudio please I can hear you in there crying," Austin says.
He tries the door and it opens. He sees him sitting on the bed holding the shirt crying. He walks over to him and sits beside him wrapping his arm around his shoulder.
"Shhhh," he says as Claudio puts his head on his shoulder and cries harder.
Austin lets him cry it out and when he is done he wipes his face with the back of his hand.
"I'm sorry Austin that you had to be drawn into this shit with my family."
"Hey buddy I was a big part of all this," he says. "Besides I was the one that you were in bed with and don't you think Donny's dads looked at me like as a bad guy," he asks.
"I'm still sorry for what you had to see and endure tonight buddy," and he turns to look at Austin and their lips touch.
Claudio pulls back some but looks at Austin who now has tears in his eyes and pulls him towards him kissing him hard and long.
"If I'm going to be accused of being a cheat then so be it," he says and kisses Austin again.
"Stop I love you Claudio but I won't be some cheap trick," he says getting up to leave.
"Wait Austin I'm sorry buddy I didn't mean to insinuate that you were some cheap fling," he says holding him close to him. "Please Austin stay with me tonight and no sex guy," he says and kisses him tenderly.
"No sex then alright I'll stay," and he kisses him back.
Claudio locks the door and they both undress and climb into bed. Claudio pulls him into a spooning position and soon they are asleep. The next morning a knock on the door awakens them. Claudio gets up and goes to the door half asleep not realizing he is naked.
"Good morning son," David says and then sees Austin in bed sleeping. "I see you had a good evening... alone," he says looking at his son's nakedness and Austin in his bed.
"We didn't do anything dad but sleep," Claudio says looking for his robe. "We didn't want to be alone and just needed the company."
"Son do you realize how this would look to Donny's dads," Darnell asks.
"Well fuck them and I don't give a shit anymore what anyone thinks... even you," he says turning away from them.
"Son please we didn't mean to upset you but you must admit this does look suspicious," David says.
"Well I don't care anymore so just leave me alone and leave," he yells now. "I'm old enough to take care of myself."
"Son please stop and listen to us," Darnell says. "We believe you and we are just concerned about your reputation."
"So not to change the subject but how is Donny doing," he asks.
"There's been no change son and right now he is still in a coma," David says.
"Well I am not going anywhere and I am planning to continue my education," he tells them. "I am not going to be home for Christmas either."
"Son why, is this a way of punishing us," Darnell asks.
"No it's just that I don't want to be far from him until I know that he is fine. I love you dads but I love him also and until he is back here with me I'm not leaving."
"And just how are you going to see him with his dads keeping watch over him," Darnell asks.
"I have my ways and... well I have my ways. Now don't take this wrong but you need to get yourselves together because if I remember right they don't want you around either," he tells them.
"He's right David," Darnell says. "We should go and get our things before they come back. I wouldn't want a scene and we can just slip in and out babe."
"I guess so... fuck this has gotten so blown out of proportion," he says. "Decades of friendship gone in a night and for what..." and he starts to cry as he realizes that their friendship has ended.
They leave for Jake's house to retrieve their belongings before heading back to San Francisco. Their plans for missing Jake and Giovanni worked out and they got their things and made plans for David's other things to be shipped. Once the shipper has picked up David's things they leave for San Francisco.
"I'm sorry babe that this had to happen like this," David says. "But I guess one never knows their friends until push comes to shove."
The school year passes and soon its spring and the end of the school year is approaching. Claudio and Austin are roommates but that is the extent of their relationship.
"He's awake Austin," Claudio shouts as he comes into his room. "My friend at the hospital told me that he woke up yesterday. The only thing is he doesn't know anyone," he continues.
"That's fantastic Claudio but just where does that leave you if he doesn't know anyone," Austin asks.
"I am slipping into the hospital tonight to see him. My friend there is working the night shift and he is going to sneak me in."
"Well I hope he remembers you my friend," he says but inside he is deeply in love with Claudio.
That night he meets his friend at the employee lounge.
"Dana just how are you planning to sneak me into his ward," Claudio asks.
"With these," and he holds up a set of scrubs. "You are going to be a nurse's aid," he tells him. "Now my friend come with me and let's get you changed."
He follows Dana to the area where he can change and strips down to put on his scrubs.
Once dressed he takes Claudio up to the ward where Donny is in and gives him instructions as to where and what he can do.
"Now just go into his room and look at his chart at the bottom of the bed. Don't touch anything or make any comments to him Claudio I mean it guy," he tells him.
"Don't worry Dana I'll do just as you say," he says stepping off the elevator.
He takes him to Donny's room and Claudio goes into it as if he was meant to be there. Donny is sitting in a chair with a robe on looking out of the window. He turns to look at who is coming in and stares at Claudio.
"It's about time you got here," he says standing up. "I've been waiting for my bath almost an hour now."
"Ah ... I'm sorry Donny but I just came on," Claudio says.
"Why do you look familiar to me," he asks.
"I don't know why don't you tell me Donny," he asks.
"Listen you asshole wanna be nurse just bathe me and get the fuck out of here," Donny snaps and drops his robe.
Claudio began to bathe him and his tears fell as he washed the man he loved. Here he was before him and he didn't even know him. He finished bathing him and dried him off before he left the room. He didn't want to say anything to him about their past together because at the moment he was not the man he remembered.
"He didn't remember me Dana," he says crying on his shoulder.
"Most amnesia patients are like that until they regain their memory."
"Well thanks for letting me see him. He is nothing like he was before," Claudio says. "He's more snobby and mean," he says.
"Personality changes are quite normal also."
"Well let me know if things change and he regains his memory Dana," he says.
"I will Claudio," and they kiss goodbye.
Back at his room he tells Austin about Donny and cries again in Austin's arms. Austin holds him tightly as he cries comforting him the best he can.
"I'm sorry guy for crying on you like that," he says wiping his eyes with the back of his hand.
"Don't worry about it buddy that's what friends do for one another," he says still holding him close. "Besides you know how I feel about you... and Donny."
"I know but I just felt foolish for crying ..." and Austin kisses him tenderly and passionately.
To be continued...
You can comment on the story at email@example.com ... I appreciate your comments. JJ.