Warning! This is a tale about men loving men. If you find this disturbing - click off. If it's unlawful for you to read this - click off. If you under age - good luck if you can get away with it.
This is not a story for getting your rocks off. Just thought I'd let you know, so you won't waste your time if that's what your looking for. Otherwise, I hope you enjoy my writing.
I appreciate feedback and do my best to respond to it all. I may be contacted at: J S.Collection@Verizon.Net
Those Golden Eyes
The agony flared in Jake's chest with every little bump the motorcycle passed over. By the time he was half way home he couldn't stand it. It had gone from painful to breath to having muscle spasms in his rib cage every time he tried for a deep breath. He thought of pulling off the pavement and just laying flat on his back in the gravel along the sided of the roadway, but he knew some Lookyloo would cause an accident if he did. He kept going. Thankfully, he soon came to a rest stop. He rolled the bike onto the grass and let himself slowly tumbled off of it onto his back. He lay there trying to relax enough to get a good breath of oxygen
A trucker had watched him from the moment he came off the freeway figuring he was in some kind of trouble. He climbed down from his truck and ambled over to stand looking down at Jake. "Did some idiot put a bullet in you?" he asked, looking for blood.
"No...broken... rib... spasms...," Jake gasped out between shallow breaths.
There big burly trucker looked at Jake, looked at his bike and then turned and stared at his truck before turning back to Jake. ""So where are ya headed?" he asked.
Jake slowly drew in a deep breath. "Uni City,' he gasped.
The trucker nodded. "My destination, too." He looked back at his truck and then asked, "Do ya think that with my help you can walk over to my truck, climb up into the cab and crawl into the bunk back in the sleeper?"
Jake studied the man for a moment."What...about...my...bike?"
"I'll roll it into the back and tie it down. I'm only half full."
"Why are you....doing...this?"
The trucker shrugged. "You can't get there by yourself." He scuffed the toe of his boot in the turf. "Besides, it'd be kinda hard for you to finish your next book laying out here in the middle of nowhere. Sooner I get you home the sooner I get to read it." He looked off at the horizon and then back down at Jake.
Jake grinned at him despite the pain. "I knew you...had a...motive."
"Oh, I'd a helped you anyway even if you were a nobody. But now I gotta good story I can tell," the trucker said, grinning back at him.
He helped Jake to his feet, and half carried him to the truck. He had to push Jake up into the cab because he didn't have the strength left to pull himself up. Jake crawled over the passenger seat and made his way into the sleeper where collapsed onto the unmade bed.
The trucker rolled the big old Indian around to the back of the truck, pulled out the ramp and rolled the motorcycle inside. He took some rope and tied it around the handlebars and then tied each end to the sides of the truck where it could move. When he crawled up into the cab, he looked in on Jake. "Don't you have some pain pills for that rib?" he asked.
"Yeah, right here...in my shirt pocket. I was afraid...to take them and...ride that bike. They make me...kind of dopey. I was afraid...I'd end up...in a ditch."
"Need some water? The trucker handed him a bottle of chilled water from the cooler he kept beside the driver's seat.
Jake raised up on one elbow and fished in his shirt pocket for the vial of pain pills. After swallowing the pills and drinking most of the water, he laid back. The trucker grabbed the heel of Jake's right boot. "Let me get these off of you and you can relax better. I'll have you home in a couple of hours."
"Thanks, Man. You are an angel...of mercy."
The trucker blushed and said, "No, I'm not, I'm just an old road wrangler."
"I don't even know your name."
"I'm sorry. Not very polite of me. I'm John Bodley."
"And I'm Jake Shipman. It's nice to meet you, John."
"The pleasure's all mine. May I call you Jake?"
"You can call me anything you want, John."
The neighbors were stood on their ears when John Bodley pulled his big semi truck up in front of Jake and Charley's. Some watched from behind blinds or curtains, while others blatantly ogled from the sidewalks. After the trucker had carefully helped and guided him out of the sleeper, though the cab and down to the ground, he nearly collapsed he was so woozy from the pills. The trucker lifted him back to his feet. He dug into Jake's pocket and found his house keys. With Jake's arm over his shoulders and his own arm around Jake's waist, he helped him into the house and deposited him on the bed. After unlocking the garage, he unloaded the old Indian motorcycle from the back of the truck and rolled it inside and relocked the door. He went back into the house to returned the keys to Jake, all the time ignoring the people standing around acting like they had never seen a big semi truck
Jake sat on the edge of the bed looking up at the burly trucker. "I don't know how to thank you, John. I feel you'd be insulted to be offered money, but it's yours if you want it."
"I don't want your money, Jake. Just pass the deed along to someone who needs it. And, maybe, you could send me an autographed copy of your next book."
"That I will do. Would you like me to sign a copy of Sands for you?"
"Ahh, that would be nice of you, for sure, but make it to my grandson, Mark."
Jake hobbled into his office, took a copy and personalized the front page, "To John, one of God's Angels on earth. Thanks is never enough, Sincerely, Jake." And then he took another one and signed it "To Mark, may you become as great a man as your Granddad. Good Luck, Jake Shipman."
When John read the inscriptions his eyes got a bit watery. "My grandson will treasure this as much as I will mine. He's sixteen and is wanting to be a Marine. He's like you, Jake. Maybe this book will change things for his generation. That's my hope, anyway."
He gave Jake a gentle hug and was on his way, leaving the neighbors to wonder what it was all about. Jake just closed the door on their nosiness. Not one of them had offered any help.
Jake found his way to bed, took another pain pill and relaxed. Jake wondered what the trucker had meant when he said his grandson was just like him. A writer? Or maybe he was just saying the kid was gay.
He glanced at the clock. Charley would be coming home in less than twenty four hours.
Jake was beginning to feel like he might survive after his return home. He'd lain on the bed for a few hours. He decided that a shower would make him feel better. He managed to sit up, but couldn't begin to unwrap his chest. He was going to need help. His first thought was about calling Jim, and then the memory of all that had happened with him flooded his mind. For a moment he was filled with anger, but then he let it go. No, Jim was out of the question.
He then called Jason and Pete. Luck was with him. They were both home, and they wanted to know how he'd broken a rib when he told them why he needed their help. They were there within minutes after he promised he'd tell them the whole story when they got there.
While Jason unwrapped Jake's ribs, Pete got a tub of hot water ready. Jake walked into the bathroom in his 501s. Jason help him sit down on the toilet lid to remove them. Suddenly Jake got modest. "I can't get naked with you two watching me.
Pete laughed. "You have to, Jake. You can't even get your pants off with out help."
"Well, don't go checking me out."
Jason giggled. "I've been waiting for this moment since the day I met you, Big Guy. You think I'm not going to look? You're crazy."
"Yeah, Jake, just ignore us and let it all hang out." Pete laughed.
Jake glared at them. They both stopped there kidding and looked repentant.
"All right, we'll behave. But I can't promise not to look,." Jason said in a serious tone looking Jake in the eye. But he couldn't keep it up he turned away snickering.
"Jason, please, I need to get into that water."
"Okay, okay. Stand up and unbutton," Jason said. Pete helped him stand up. Jake unbuttoned his pants and pushed them down over his hips. Pete stood in front of him blocking Jason's view. He helped Jake sit and then he knelt in front of him, grasping the hems of his pant legs and pulling them off. Jason made an exaggerated point of leaning over Pete to check Jake out. "Oh my." he whispered. Jake glared at him.
"Jason, cut it out," Pete said, holding his hands out to help Jake stand.
Jason grinned impishly. "Sorry. But I've got to say it as big and beautiful as the rest of you, Jake." Jake stepped into the tub. "Same for your butt, Big Guy."
Jake ignored him, settled into the hot water with a sigh and then glared at his little friend again. "Are you saying I have a big butt?"
Jason grinned and shook his head. "No way. I'm just saying its as pretty as the rest of your body."
Pete stepped in front of Jason and frowned at him. "Would you leave the poor man alone. Geez."
"Hey, Jake knows I'm just kidding him. He's my big brother. It's my right to kid him."
"Well, let him relax. He has to tell us what happened, so lay off."
Jason sat on the toilet lid and Pete hoisted himself onto the counter. Jake, safely hidden beneath the sudsy water, relaxed and told them about Robert and the fat cop's attack on him. And then he told them about the ride home.
"Wow," Jason commented. "Truck drivers look like a bunch of mean sons of bitches. You'd never think they might be kind-hearted and even read books."
When Jake was ready to get out of the tub both young men grabbed towels and dried him. Jake made of point of taking the towel from Jason and drying his private parts while Jason grinned and looked envious. Pete popped him with his towel making him yip and flee the bathroom. "Thanks," Jake gasped. "He sometimes doesn't know when to quit."
"I love the ornery little critter with all my heart. But sometimes he is a bit exasperating."
"But I'm always lovable," Jason yelled from the bedroom.
Her three sons had all grown up and started lives of their own. Chess had his law practice. She'd gone through the empty nest syndrome when Charley had gone into the Marines. She kind of when through the same thing again recently when he Moved to Uni City Going through the change (menopause) for Gloria was no easy thing. She'd always been the happy loving homemaker and mother. Gloria had what she some days felt was a creeping madness. One moment she'd be feeling normal and the next she was in a rage, anything and everything aggravating her. Her two daughter-in-laws could do nothing right.
And then Jake came on the scene, being he wasn't really part of her family, at least not a legal in-law, it was open season on him. He was fair game. Gloria had a difficult time accepting that her youngest son was gay and had found the love of his life. With her imbalanced hormones and being forced to accept facts that she didn't have any desire to accept, only made everyday life more miserable for her and Jake became her scapegoat.
When Charley finally realized what she was doing to Jake and put a stop to it, she began to realize the mistake she was making in not accepting Charley's sexual preferences. But by then she had inadvertently tapped into Robert's homophobia.
By the time that Robert attacked Jake and ended up in jail, her hormonal balance had readjusted and she was back to her old self. But she was now feeling responsible for the whole incident. Guilt ridden, feeling that everyone was blaming her for what Robert had done, she kept to her rooms. She couldn't look Chess in the face anymore. And watching him accept and take Jake into his life as another son only made her feel more guilty.
At first she tried to do the same. She welcomed the chance to try to make amends with Jake through the estate sale. Thursday, Friday and Saturday had gone well. She was feeling like Jake had really forgiven her for her previous maliciousness and that they were developing a friendly relationship. And then Robert had attacked Jake with that stupid cop's help.
No one said a thing about her being responsible for the incident. No one needed to, she took on the cloak of guilt all by herself. Now her second son was sitting in a jail cell waiting to be tried for attempted murder. His wife had filed for divorce, and Gloria felt she was the cause of that, too.
She had so much as accused her husband of being involved romantically with Jake, even though she knew there was any reason to even think that. Now she felt alienated from him and couldn't look him in the face. Chess tried to make amends with her, but she closed him out. Why? She couldn't tell you. He'd always been the one constant in her life. Her guilt twisted her thinking. She went from coming out of her rooms for the evening meal, to hiding and taking her meals alone, locked in the privacy that her rooms afforded. When Chess knocked on the door inquiring about her, she asked to please be left alone. When he honored her request she blamed him for abandoning her. She'd become as much a prisoner as her son.
Robert sat glumly on the lower bunk in his cell, his back against the wall and his knees pulled up to his chest. After his arraignment, being he was not allowed bail, he'd been moved to the county jail. For five days he'd sat in a cell and cursed the day that his brother had met that damned faggot, Jake Shipman. Everything in his life had gone awry since that pervert had showed up. It was Shipman's fault that he was sitting here in jail. It was Shipman's fault that he wasn't given bail. It was Shipman's fault that his wife was now filing for divorce. And it was Shipman's fault that his mother refused to come visit him. And it was Shipman's fault he could sleep , because every time he closed his eyes he dream about him Every time he'd thought about him a black-red anger had boiled up that nearly blinded him in his rage. Now his dad was trying to get him to see a psychiatrist. He wasn't crazy, Goddamn it. He was pissed off, that was all.
On the sixth day of sitting in a cell he was beginning to cool down and think. Where Jake was concerned it was hard to be
logical, but he was trying. Subconsciously, Robert knew that Jake wasn't responsible for anything that had happened, it was
all his own doing. Remorse was beginning to set in.
He heard the claxon as the cell block door clanged open. He didn't pay any attention to the sound of two pairs of feet echoing down the hall until they stopped in front of his cell. He looked up. The big black guard grinned at him. In a singsong, voice, he said,"You've got a roomy, Hill." Laughing, he opened the door. He knew what often happened to the smaller man when locked in a cell with a bigger stronger one. Robert looked at the man that was being placed in his cell. 'Damn he's big. Bigger than that fucking Shipman,'he thought. 'And he's hairy. Must be related to the abominable Snowman, except the snowman was never as handsome as he is. Even with that beard he's as good looking as Jake.' And then he cursed himself for having such thoughts.
The man walked into the cell and the guard locked the door behind him. "Bobby, this is Les," the guard said.
"My name is Robert."
The guard laughed. "Oh yeah, I forgot. Les, that pissed off little piss ant is Robert." He drawled out the name, and then turned back to Robert and gave him a toothy grin. "You look like a Bobby to me." Robert glowered at him and kept his mouth shut. He'd already learned you don't call the guards names if you want them retaliating. The guard sauntered off chuckling.
Les stood with his bedding and towel draped over his arm. He studied the little man that refused to look back at him. "You don't mind if I take the top bunk, do you?" he asked. "Being I'm taller it's easier for me to get up there."
Robert looked up at him without raising his head any more than he had to. He'd expected to be told that the bottom bunk was going to be the big man's just because he was bigger. So far, he'd seen very little politeness between inmates. What was with this guy? He shrugged. "Go right ahead. Big dog gets the bone."
Les chuckled. "Only if he wants it."
"What's so funny about that?"
"How long have you been in here, Rob?" Les asked turning the conversation away from the sexual innuendo.
For the first time in many years Robert didn't correct the name. There was something soothing and gentle about Les's voice that made it not important.
"Since last Monday. If you're counting time in other jails, since Saturday night."
"Are you doing time or wouldn't they give you bail?"
"Why don't you mind your own business?" Robert was fighting the feelings this man engendered.
"Just trying to be friendly and get to know you."
Les's voice was a cool wave washing over Robert's fevered brain. He fought against the soothing tidal pull of it. "And just why would you like to know me?"
"I just got sentenced to sixty days. We're going to be mates for a while. That's what that guard told me."
Neither man said anything more while Les made his bed.
When he finished he walked over to the bars and looked out. There wasn't much to see,aaaakk After a while Robert couldn't take the silence. "So what did you do?" he asked, looking up at him.
Les cocked his head and smiled. "Now who's sticking his nose in someone else's business?"
Robert grimaced. "Sorry." he looked away and said, "I'm here because I refuse to say I'm sorry for what I did."
"And what did you do, Rob?" Les leaned against the wall opposite the beds, with his hands behind his back.
Robert looked at him defiantly and then dropped his gaze. "I hit my brother's faggot lover over the head with a lug wrench."
"Ouch, that could have killed him."
Robert felt like the man had hit him, he hadn't stopped to think that he could have killed Jake. Sure, he'd been charged with attempted murder, but it just didn't sink in like Les's simple reaction did. He pressed his forehead against knees, grasped his hands his legs and rocked. Fuck. As angry as he got at Jake he didn't want to kill him. He just wanted to....
Les slid down the wall until he was sitting on the floor. He stretched out his legs. He didn't say anything more. He could hear quiet sobs as Robert rocked.
"I didn't want to kill him. I didn't. I just wanted......" Robert sobbed harder, words became impossible.
Les scooted round to where he was kneeling next to the bed. He reached out a hand and rubbed the back of Robert's head. "Did you kill him, Rob?"
Robert looked up at him, shocked at the question. He saw the gentle expression in the giant's face. It made him stop and ponder. "I could have. I was so angry, I could have killed him."
"But you didn't, did you?" Les's voice begged a negative answer.
"No, I didn't. He wasn't even hurt very badly. He was at the arraignment on Monday with my dad." The anger was back in his voice.
"What did he do that made you so angry, Rob?"
Robert glared his anger at him. "He.... he...." What was it about this man that made him feel like this? He wanted to reach out an touch his face? As he thought about it, he remembered feeling the same way before. Several times before. Just like he had wanted to reach out and touch Jake's face the other morning at breakfast. "He made me feel things I shouldn't."
"What did he do to make you feel those things?"
Robert looked away. He stared at the institutional green wall over the stainless steel sink. He closed his eyes and Jake's face appeared. The kind gentle eyes. Why did he have to have eyes that said they understood what he was feeling? He'd hidden from those feeling all of his life, and one look at Jake and he knew that Jake knew. He looked back at Les who had moved to sit on the end of his bunk. But Robert didn't notice that he had moved. He looked into Les's eyes. "He looked at me like you do," he whispered.
"And how is that, Rob?"
"Like he could see into my innermost desires. Like he knew what I was feeling and that he understood."
Les held his gaze. He could see the stark naked desire in his eyes. "So Rob, you think I can see into you?"
"I know you can," Robert whispered.
"You know there are no repercussions for you touching me. I know you want to touch me, Rob."
"If you want to badly enough, you can."
"No, I can't," he yelled.
"Is it alright if I touch you?" Les reached out a hand toward Robert's face. Robert leaned into the touch. Their eyes were still locked. "Touch me, Rob. I want you to," Les whispered.
Robert slowly raised his hand, still gazing into Les's eyes. When his fingers touched Les's face something snapped. Robert threw himself at Les, wrapping his arms around him and hugging him tightly. Les hugged him back as sobs again racked Robert's body. "Oh God, I'm so sorry, Jake. I didn't mean to hurt you. I just want to hold you. Please hold me."
Les gathered Robert into his lap and held him. He caressed the back of his head, and kissed his cheek. Robert sighed contentedly and held onto him. An occasional shudder shook his body. Time stood still for Les, his whole existence was centered on comforting this handsome little man Eventually, Robert relaxed and indicated that he wanted to lie down and Les lay beside him, held him, and made soothing sounds. Robert finally slept.
Saturday morning, Robert woke in the predawn hours. Although he was confined by solid walls with no windows, he knew it was around five o'clock. He yawned, thinking last night was the first time since he'd been incarcerated that he'd slept well. He started to stretch and realized that he was being held against another body. Memory came flooding back. He turned his head and looked at the man laying next to him and felt disgusted that he's let his guard down. He had slept with this man. It didn't matter that they were both fully clothed. Robert slipped out from under the man's arm, slid off the bed and slunk across the floor to sit against the wall. Again with knees drawn up to his chest and his arms wrapped around his legs, he rested his chin on his knees and stared at Les. How had the man gotten through his defenses?
How long he sat on the cold concrete floor staring at Les he had no idea. The thoughts of anger and disgust at having awakened in Les's arms had dissolved into daydreams of what he'd subconsciously wanted to do with Les. He forgot about Jake.
When he realized that Les was watching him the anger returned.
"Isn't it cold and uncomfortable down there, Rob?"
"Fuck off," Robert mumbled.
"I enjoyed holding you while you slept. I think you probably enjoyed it as much as I did."
"Fuck you, I'm not a faggot."
Les sat up and stretched. "You don't have to be a faggot to enjoy being held by another human being, Rob."
Robert glowered at him, but didn't say anything.
The day went down hill from there. The two men ignored each other as much as possible.
Friday morning finally arrived to find Jake back at his word processor. He'd discovered that an over the counter pain pill made him comfortable enough he could breathe without to much discomfort. He sank his mind into the words that poured onto the screen and before he knew it, it was noon. He called Tim to see if he'd heard from Johnny. Tim's response was laughter. "Are you kidding? I talked to him for an hour last night and for fifteen minutes this morning."
Jake put his feeling aside and asked if he was going to meet the plane. Tim told him that Dave had arranged for them to take a limo that would drop them at their respective doors. Jake didn't know that and felt a little put out that Charley hadn't told him, until Tim explained that Dave had just told him moments before Jake had called. With a promise to get together for dinner before the big event, Jake cut the connection and sat back staring at the computer screen.
Charley had been rather withdrawn since the morning he'd seen on TV the news about Jake's attack. He'd apologized profusely several times and told Jake he loved him. But other than that he'd been untalkative. Jake sighed and decided to call Chess. Without thinking he called the house number. Gloria answered. He asked her how she was doing. There was a drawn out silence before he heard her sigh. "I'm doing as well as could be expected. How are you doing?" she asked.
That surprised Jake. He really hadn't thought that Gloria gave a damn. "I'm on the mend. I will be getting the stitches out in the morning."
"I'm so sorry that this happened Jake."
"I am too, Gloria, I give anything to take last weekend back."
"Charley's coming in this evening?" she asked, changing the subject.
"Yes, his flight arrives at six fifteen."
"Give him my love."
"Take care of yourself, Jake." With that the line went dead. Jake was momentarily stunned. He looked at the phone, blinked and then dialed Chess's cell. "Hello, Son." The warm loving baritone voice embraced Jake.
"Charley home yet?"
"This evening. Six fifteen."
"Tell him to give you a big hug from me."
"How are you doing, Jake."
"I'm doing well now." Jake proceeded to tell Chess about his trip home.
"Damn it, Jake. I offered to drive you home. Why didn't you accept?"
"I should have. I didn't realize how bad it is to have a broken rib."
"But you're okay now?"
"Yeah, I'm fine now. Chess? Has Robert seen a counselor yet?"
Chess sighed. "No, Son. He's still being an ass."
"I've been doing a lot of thinking. I swear, Dad, that just before he hit me with that tire iron, he looked like he was going to hit the cop instead. And you know he didn't put much force into it. And he could have hit me more than once. But he dropped the tire iron and just watched the cop kicking me. He could have killed me if he had wanted to. Of course, he did kick me in the head, but I think it was just to cover his ass with the cop."
Chess was silent.
"He needs to get past his anger. He's angry with himself, you know. I am just the object he chose to take it out on."
"I've long suspected that Robert has some hidden issues he refuses to deal with. I never thought they would manifest themselves like this."
"Dad, if you can get him over this blind anger and get him to show that he is remorseful for what he did, then maybe the charges can be reduces to just assault and battery."
"Jake, would you please explain to me why you're not out to get Robert back for attacking you. Why are you defending him. Why aren't you angry at him? He's my son and I feel like I could beat him to a pulp I'm so angry."
"At first I was, Dad. But I've had plenty of time to think about Robert since I met Charley. I had a lot of Psychology in college. I nearly majored in it. Robert has deep seated issues he needs to get out in the open and deal with. I'm just a bit of the catalyst."
"You're just a bit of a saint, Son."
It was only moments after Jake finished his conversation with Chess that Dave called him. "I just called to tell you that Charley will be taking a limo from the airport, Jake. Since neither of you nor Johnny and Tim have a vehicle that will hold four men, I figured I'd save both you and Tim from having to drive out there."
"Thanks, Dave. That's very thoughtful of you."
"You're not too eager to see your man are you?"
"Are you kidding? Broken rib and all he's going to be assaulted when he steps through this door."
"Broken rib? You or Charley? I haven't heard about a broken rib."
Jake proceeded to tell him about his previous weekend. He didn't mention that one of his attacker was Charley's brother.
"Damn, Jake, what are we going to do to keep you from harm's way?"
Jake chuckled. "I do seem to be a magnet recently."
"Well, Charley will be home to take care of you in a few hours. Lock you doors and stay inside until he gets there," Dave joked.
"Maybe I should hide under the bed."
"You're too big, Jake. I'll talk to you later."
After talking to Dave Jake remembered his missed appoint with Allen. He called him and they ended up talking for nearly three quarters of an hour. Jake always felt better about life after a session with him.
The next few hours dragged slowly by. Jake eventually gave up on trying to write and decide to just relax and daydream for a while. The sun was getting low in the sky. He walked into the back yard and carefully collapsed into a chaise longue and soon fell asleep.
He awoke to a soft tickle on his lips. Opening his eyes, he stared into Charley's. His arms came up and pulled him down into a kiss. "Hi, Babe," Charley whispered, taking care to not put any weight on Jake's chest.
"Hi, yourself, Handsome."
Jake chuckled. "You'll never know how much. God, it's good to touch you again. I love you, Charley."
Charley knelt beside the chaise and studied Jake. Tears came to his eyes as he noticed the shaved areas cut out of his beautiful shiny brown hair. "Fancy haircut," he said to cover the emotion he was feeling.
"I was waiting to see what you think about just shaving my whole head and letting it all grow out evenly."
"When do you get the stitches out?"
"Tomorrow morning. Allen said to drop by his office and he'd pull them out for me."
"He's a shrink."
"He's also a medical doctor. He just doesn't practice medicine."
"Hmm. So let's go see a barber after that."
"So you think I should have my head shaved?"
"No. Just get a burr."
Jake raised a hand and caressed Charley's cheek. "I've missed you."
"Not half as much as I've missed you, Jake."
"Are your hungry?"
"I'm starved for you." Charley gazed into Jake's luscious brown eyes.
"You can have all of me." Jake playfully blinked his eyes at him. "Do you want some dinner first?"
Charley sighed and looked away from the chocolate depths he'd love to just drown in. "I haven't eaten since breakfast."
"So where would you like to go?"
Charley grinned. "Is there any place besides Gio's?" he asked sitting back on his heels.
"There is, but none as good." Jake said attempting to get up without turning over. He grunted as a sharp pain shot through his chest.
Charley stood and held out his hands. He felt like scolding Jake, but said nothing. He gently pulled Jake to his feet and into his arms. After a searing kiss he released him. "Then Gio's it is," he said taking his hand a leading him into the house.
At nine o'clock the lights were dimmed in the cell. Robert lay fully clothed on his bunk, his hands behind his head, staring at the bottom of the upper bunk. Les had ignored him all day. After telling him to fuck off, Robert couldn't blame him. He thought about how good it had felt to be held by the big man last night. It had been the first time since he'd attacked Jake that he'd slept the full night.His self loathing flared. Anger momentarily blinded him, anger not only at himself but at the whole world. As the flare faded he wished for the ten thousandth time he could be like his younger brother and just accept his feelings and to hell with the world that told him they were wrong. Frustrated tears flowed freely down his temples into his ears. He blinked them away as he warred with his emotions and desires.
Les slid off the upper bunk and removed his shirt. Going to the stainless steel sink attached to the wall next to the stainless steel toilet, he washed his face. He took his towel from the hook next to the polished stainless steel mirror and walked over to the bars as he dried himself. Strolling back across the room he hung his towel back on the hook and went back to the bars. He stuck his arms through them and rested them on the crossbar. He sighed and dropped his head against the cold metal.
Robert followed him with his eyes, wishing that Les would say something to him. But Les acted like he was the only one in the room. Robert thought about the similarities between Les, Jake and his brother Charley. They were all big men. They all accepted themselves. They were all loving and gentle. He wished he could be like them. And then as his thought wandered he realized that there was nothing stopping him except himself. He mulled this over for a while.
He been served some papers earlier informing him that his wife was suing for divorce. He couldn't blame her. He didn't really love her. His kids he loved and he knew he would miss being with them as much as he had in the past. But he would get to see them fairly often once he was out of jail. He wondered how much time he'd get for attempted murder. He wasn't guilty of that. Sure he'd hit Jake over the head, but it wasn't with any force. And he did regret it. He really did. He wished that he'd hit Jeb instead.
He thought about Jeb. They had know each other since grade school. They'd learned about sex together. And then they had turned away from each other for several years. Robert knew that Jeb occasionally would hit the rest stops outside of town looking for a blow job. He wondered if Jeb ever returned the favor. Jeb had loved sucking on Roberts dick back in the eighth grade. Robert had always wanted to suck him in return but because he was smaller than Jeb he refused to because he didn't want the bigger kid taking advantage of him. Jeb always threatened him after getting him off, not that he'd ever thought of telling someone else.
Robert looked at Les as he stood against the bars. The thin pants that the county issued the inmates clung to his lower body. Robert admired the round globes of his ass. A desire to lay his face against them and caress them overwhelmed him. He started getting hard. His self loathing anger started to flare up. Robert consciously squashed it. Remembering what it had felt like to be held last night, he found himself wanting it again. He wondered what it would fell like to be naked wrapped in Les's arms, snuggled against his naked chest. "To hell with trying to be straight any longer," he thought. "There's no reason to fight it now."
Robert cleared his throat. Les didn't move. "Les?" he said in a low voice. Les turned his head and looked at him. Robert couldn't tell what he might be thinking. "Can we talk?"
Les nodded, turned around leaning back against the bars. He folded his arms, stared at Robert and didn't say anything. Robert sat up and folded his legs. He looked at Les wishing he would say something, anything to make this easier. Les just looked at him, betraying no thought or emotion. Robert cleared his throat again. "I've been thinking," he said. Les almost unperceptively nodded. "I'm a total fuck up. I've been fighting my proclivities for..."
"Proclivities?" Les asked with a raised eyebrow. "Big word."
" I've been fighting my inclinations," Robert glared at Les, daring him to say something. Les just grinned. "All of my life I've fought my natural self. I am throwing in the towel. I'm tired. I've lost the battle. My life is totally fucked up. I've lost my wife and kids. I have no idea when I'll ever get out of jail. You offered me kindness and I blew you off. I'm sorry. If you could see your way to..."Robert broke down and wept. Les didn't react. After a few minutes Robert looked up at him, his vision blurred with tears. "Please, Les."
"What are you asking for, Robert?"
"Hold me. Love me? Let me love you?"
"Are you sure this is what you want? You're not going to turn on me in the morning are you?" Les still hadn't moved.
Robert shook his head. Snot blubbered out of his nose and big tears rolled down his cheeks. He ran his bare arm across his upper lip and wiped it on his shirt. He nodded and the nod became a rocking motion involving his whole body. "Yes. Yes, I am sure. And... and I promise I won't change my mind," he said looking up at the big hairy man, his eyes begging, pleading.
Les pushed off the bars and knelt in front of Robert. He reached up and pinched the snot out of his nostrils and wiped in on his pants. With his thumbs he wiped the tears from Robert's cheeks. Pulling Robert's head toward his own he kissed him on the lips. Robert didn't respond. Les backed off and studied him. "This is a two man operation, Robby. You have to love me back."
Robert nodded vigorously. Les pulled him into another kiss and licked his lips. Robert felt very vulnerable, but relaxed his lips and let Les's tongue enter his mouth. Robert closed his eyes and touched his tongue to Les's. It was like a switch turned on in his brain. This is what he wanted, needed and had refused to recognize. He began to make love to a man for the first time in his life.
Gloria looked at the little white pills in her hand. One would let her sleep through the night. Two would knock her for a loop. She considered the surcease that the handful offered. She thought about Robert spending the next few years in jail. It was all her fault. She thought about Chess. She hadn't spoken to him in days. She was certain he didn't love her anymore. How could he? She was such a bitch to him. She thought about how Charley was going to react to the scars on Jake's head. She was sure he'd blame her, and accuse her of pushing Robert to attack him. He had to hate her, too. She studied the pills, counted them. There were seventeen of them. Picking up the glass of orange juice and vodka, she opened her mouth and popped them in, took a big gulp and swallowed.
It dawned on her that she hadn't written a note. One was supposed to write a note. She walked over to her desk that sat where she could look out the window into the back yard. Pulling a sheet of personalized stationary form the right hand drawer, she sat, picked up a pen and poised it over the paper. Not a thing came to mind of what to write. She propped her chin on her upturned palm and thought. Minutes passed unnoticed.
Her thoughts were blurring. The pills shouldn't be working this fast. It must be the alcohol, she'd had two drinks already. Picking up the glass she studied the contents and then swallowed it all. She studiously picked up the pen again and placed the point on the paper. Sighing, she scrawled "I'm sorry" in large script. She dropped the pen and tried to prop her chin on her hand again and missed. She fell forward, her hand sweeping a vase holding a single yellow rose off the desk top. It hit the window, shattering the pane. She slept.
Chess had been sitting in the dark back yard enjoying a rare cigar. He'd noticed movement in Gloria' bedroom window. He
glanced up and saw her sit down at here desk. He wondered how to get her to open up to him. He knew she was feeling
guilty over the whole thing with Robert, but she refused to talk to him about it. The last week she'd been very recluse.
Suddenly he heard glass shattering, he looked up in time to see glass shards and a single rose falling to the ground. He
couldn't see his wife. Panicking he dropped the cigar and ran into the house and up the stairs. Bursting into Gloria's
bedroom, he saw her sprawled over her desk. At first he thought she was drunk, but when he tried to rouse her he got no
response. He lifted her and carried her to the bed. There he saw the empty prescription bottle. Reading the label he saw that
it had contained twenty-five potent sleeping pills. He grabbed the phone and dialed 911.
An hour and a half later he sat by her bedside in the hospital holding her hand. Her stomach had been pumped and the seventeen partially dissolved pills were all accounted for. A nurse came in and took her vitals, scribbled them on the form clipped to the board at the foot of her bed and then looked at Chess with sympathy. "There's not a thing you can do for her until she wakes up. The doctor estimates that that won't be until afternoon tomorrow. Why don't you go home and get some rest."
"I know. I just feel so helpless."
"That's understandable, but you be of more help to her tomorrow if you're well rested."
Chess stood and stretched. "You are right of course." He said good night and left the hospital. He drove home. The house
seemed so empty. For days he'd not seen Gloria, but just knowing she was in the house had been a sort of comfort. He went
into his study and poured a bit of brandy into a snifter, and then sat in his favorite chair and swirled it. He thought of calling
Tom, but after looking at the time he decided that one in the morning was too late. There was nothing Tom could do but
worry anyway, he'd call him tomorrow first thing and Charley. He laid his head back into the headrest and thought about
how he'd become so close to his youngest son's lover. In some ways he felt closer to Jake than he did to any of his own
sons. They had a connection that he couldn't comprehend. He accepted it but he didn't understand how it had happened.
Jake lay on his side watching his mate sleep. All these months later he was still amazed when he thought about the night they met. The tenderness he felt toward Charley was almost overwhelming sometimes. An hour ago they'd made love to each other, each filling the other in turn. He clinched his rectal muscles relishing the slight soreness. He wondered if Charley felt the same way.
Charley had insisted that they sleep apart so he wouldn't inadvertently hurt Jake's rib. He lay on his back with the sheet barely covering his hips. In the moon light Jake caressed him with his eyes, lingering on his rosy nipples and then gliding down his flat belly to the luxurious growth of blonde pubic hair that was exposed above the sheet. An urgency suddenly filled Jake with apprehension. He thought about it a moment, picked up the phone and called Chess. Chess answered almost immediately. "Are you all right, Dad?" he asked without greeting.
"I'm okay, Jake. Did Charley get back all right?"
"Of course he did. He lying here next to me sound asleep."
"You wore him out, did you?" Chess chuckled.
"He had a full day of training in Chicago before he caught the plane home," Jake explained ignoring the jibe. "Chess something is not quite right. What is it?"
Chess sighed and took a deep breath. "Gloria took an overdose of sleeping pills."
"She'll be okay. I got her to the hospital before the pills had completely dissolved. She'll be okay."
"That's good to hear. Have you heard anything new on Robert?"
"No, I don't expect to until at least Monday."
"I know it's crazy after everything, but I feel so bad for him. As soon as I can I want to talk to the DA. Robert may be full of anger, but he didn't try to kill me."
There was a long silence from Chess, finally he sighed. "You're too damned good for your own good, Jake."
"Oh bull shit, Chess. He's your son and Charley's brother. I could do no less."
"No, you could do no less. Anybody else would just let him take the full consequences, but not you, Son"
"Are you going to be okay by yourself, Dad?"
"Of course I'll be. I'm going to bed now so I can be at the hospital when Gloria wakes up."
Charley put the phone back on the night stand. Charley rolled toward him had placed a hand on his chest. "Who were you talking to at this hour of the night?" He mumbled.
Jake caressed his hand. "You dad."
"I didn't hear the phone ring."
"It didn't. I called him."
"What for?" Charley sat up and looked at the luminescent face of the clock. "It's nearly two." He turned and frowned at Jake. "What's going on?"
"Your mother overdosed on pills and alcohol tonight. I just needed to check and see that Dad's alright."
"You knew this and didn't tell me?"
"Calm down, Charley. Your dad just told me a couple of minutes ago."
"I don't understand."
"I don't either, Babe. I was lying here watching you sleep and an urgent need to call your dad came over me." I called him and he told me about your mother."
"So how is she? Will she be okay? How is Dad?"
"They pumped your mother stomach and she's sleeping it off. Your dad says he's okay. He is going to go to bed so he can be up early tomorrow."
Charley nodded and lay back down. He stared at the dark ceiling. Jake watched him. Charley turned and looked at him. "Is there something....... God I can't believe I'm asking this. Is there something going on between my dad and you?"
Jake wanted to reach out and touch Charley, but he kept his hand to himself as he answered. "Yes, there is. I don't understand it. We have this connection. We can feel each other's feelings sometimes. Like just now. I suddenly knew that he was wanting to talk to me, so I called him."
"Just out of the blue."
"Yeah. Just out of the blue."
Charley stared into the darkness above his head. Jake sat up with a little difficulty and moved around to sit Indian style facing Charley. "I guess it's time to tell you some things I've been holding back on."
"I thought that we had no secrets from each other."
"What I have to tell you isn't a secret. We are still learning to know each other, Charley. I'm sure that there's many things about you I have yet to learn. Why are you being like this?"
"What do you mean 'like this'?"
Jake studied him in the darkness. He reached over an turned his bedside lamp on low. He looked back at Charley. He shook his head as though what he was thinking was to ludicrous to be true. "Please tell me that what I'm thinking isn't true."
Charley glared at him. "I have no idea what you're thinking."
"You're jealous aren't you? You have such a wonderful relationship with your father, yet you are jealous of him accepting me as one of his sons." Jake scooted to the side of the bed a stood up. "I am truly disappointed." He walked out of the bedroom.
Jake filled a glass with cold water from the fridge and sat down at the kitchen table. He stared out at the dark night. Hearing a noise, he turned to see Charley standing naked in the doorway. He couldn't help but let his eyes fill with the beauty before him. Charley's troubled eyes locked on his. "It's not like that, Jake."
"So what is it then?"
"I am ashamed to tell you."
Jake leaned his head sideways and raised his eyebrows. Charley stared at the floor. "I was imagining Dad having an affair with you."
Jake looked back out the window and started a quiet chuckle that grew louder, until he was laughing. Charley didn't know how to react to that response. He stood there looking offended. Jake got up and walked over and embraced him. "I love you, sweetheart. I love your dad dearly, but it's you I am in love with. And that's for the long haul."
They hugged and kissed for several minutes. Finally Charley broke away and took Jake's hand. "Come one, lets go to bed we both need some rest. I've got to get up at six and go running with Dave and Joe."
"No, that's part of my job."
"That's barbarian. Six in the morning is the middle of the night."
"Well, it is if you stay up all night."
They got back in bed. Jake lay on his back and stared at the ceiling. "This is not going to work. The only way I will ever get to sleep is snuggled with you." he scooted over to Charley and laid his head on his shoulder, an arm over his chest and a leg across his mid section.
"Are you comfortable now?" Charley asked.
"Oh yeah. You?"
Jake dozed off he wondered why Charley wasn't concerned about his mother. He didn't know that Charley was at the same time wondering how Dave would take his asking for time to go see his mother and talk to Robert.
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