|The following is a work of fiction which contains consensual sexual
acts between adult males. If you are offended by this, or if it is illegal where you are
please do not read any further. All copyrights are held by the author. Please to not
duplicate, print, distribute or re-submit this story without permission from the author
This is a continuation of my story "Welcome to the Family" I would recommend you read it first to know the characters and their backgrounds.
Closets are for Clothes
"Anybody here?" Damon called out as he dropped his bag on the granite tile floor of the grand foyer then entered his personal code into the alarm pad. He already knew the answer knowing that his grandmother was in California along with her agent and lawyer. She had sent him an email telling him about the contract negotiations with a Hollywood studio regarding turning one of her earlier novels into a motion picture. Damon also knew that Elaine, his grandmother's housekeeper and her husband Donald were out of town on their own vacation and were staying at Angela's high rise condo in Boca Ciega, Florida. For this he was grateful since he wanted a few days of solitude to unwind after the week he had been having. After he adjusted the thermostat to bring the air to a more comfortable temperature he checked every downstairs room as he made way through the large formal Tudor style house. The house was usually kept so neat and orderly that he could easily tell if there was anything was missing or out of place.
At the rear of the house was a massive great room that had hosted numerous parties over the years, many of those with notable celebrities present. Besides being the largest room in the house it was also one of the most comfortable since Angela had it decorated less formally. After a quick glance around the room Damon went to one of the four sliding doors creating a wall of glass overlooking the terrace and pool areas. He released the security bolt and went outside taking in a breath of the fresh air. He turned on the whirlpool and set the water temperature to one-hundred-three degrees which is what he found most comfortable then stooped so he could reach in and test the pool's temperature. It was a little cooler then he would have liked but acceptable. Since it took much longer to warm it up he saw no reason to increase the thermostat, especially knowing that Donald, Elaine's husband and part time groundskeeper at his grandmother's estate would probably be winterizing and closing the pool down fairly soon.
Back in the house Damon went to the kitchen where as expected the refrigerator was almost empty. He knew that when his grandmother was going to be out of town for an extended time Elaine would remove anything perishable from the refrigerator as well as snacks in the pantry. Angela had always insisted that Elaine take them home for her children so they would be enjoyed rather than go stale.
"I guess that means I'll order pizza," Damon said to no one then made a mental note to get out before it got too late for a few grocery items for himself to eat during his stay.
He grabbed his bag and bounded up the curved open stairway to his bedroom on the second floor. Or at least he always considered it his, as did his grandmother. Even though he still had a room at his parent's house across town Angela always kept this one room made up and ready any time he wanted to stay.
Even though he had only a few items for the few days he was going to be there he habitually made sure they were folded and put away as his grandmother always insisted. He really didn't need to bring any clothes since he had as many stored in the closets and dresser here as he did in his own home, and certainly more than in his room back at school. He came to a dead stop as he was opening the top drawer of chest and saw the new framed photo. He had emailed his grandmother a photo of him and Jeff at her request only the previous week. She must have had the eight by ten printout made and framed almost immediately. Damon dropped the t shirt he was about to place in the drawer and grabbed the framed picture holding it as he stepped back and sat on the edge of his queen size bed. A tear ran down his cheek as he ran his finger over the photo, tracing the edge of Jeff's face.
"My life is so fucked up," he cried, "I'm not sure what I'm going to do now."
* * *
Jennifer moaned lightly as Brian nibbled on her earlobe. His large erect cock was still inside her vagina while they both came down from their post orgasmic high.
"You like it like this?" He whispered in her ear, he was behind her both laying on their side his right hand caressing her breast. They had always strived to try different positions and this was the first time to attempt rear entry coitus.
"You don't think it's a little weird?"
"Un uh." She moaned as she rubbed his penis through the thin layer of skin hoping a little stimulation would keep him hard and inside her a little bit longer. "A small guy can't do this."
"That much is true." Brian gave a couple of futile thrusts hoping to rebuild momentum for another go, but after four orgasms between them within an hour he knew they had reached their limit and his organ slowly deflated to normal size while he continued kissing his girlfriend and fondled her breasts.
"Ignore it," Brian called as she reached for the ringing phone causing him to fall out of her.
"I can't Brian, it may be about Jeff... Hello?"
Brian ignored her conversation as he sat up and removed the condom then took it to the restroom and flushed it. While he was there he used a moist rag to wipe his penis.
"That was strange," Jennifer returned the phone to the cradle as Brian returned to the room and stood next to the bed.
"What's that hon?"
"It was a man asking for Daddy, but he wouldn't leave a message."
"Who would be calling here for him?"
"I don't know, but it sounded like he was trying to disguise his voice."
"I wonder if we should be concerned." They both pondered for a moment.
"I'll tell Daddy when we see him later," she licked her lips as she took in the sight of his naked form. "Right now I want my big hunk of a boyfriend next to me."
He crawled back in bed and spooned behind her with his arm around her waist. "Isn't this a little dangerous? I mean they could come in anytime and I really don't want your dad pissed at me."
"Relax, they've already left for the hospital and won't be back for hours. I need you right now I've not been able to do this since they've been to town."
"I know I've missed you too babe, it feels weird sleeping at the frat house."
They laid there for a while and almost dozed off, "Jen?"
"Why is it I get the feeling that you're not totally happy Jeff's total memory returned?"
"Why do you say that?" Brian felt her tense up and almost wished he hadn't brought it up.
"For one, it's been your body language the last couple days. I've seen the way you've reacted any time Damon is mentioned."
"Does it make me a bad person if I wish he was normal?" She finally answered.
"Normal as in not gay?"
"I would say that's debatable babe." Brian propped himself up on his elbow and turned her so they were facing each other. "I can't imagine anyone wanting their brother to be gay. I know I wouldn't want my sister to be a lesbian, but she is. The question is, do you love him any less because he is?"
"No... I don't guess so?"
"Then what's the problem? I know he adores you."
She chuckles, "I know this is going to sound cliche, but I guess I've always hoped I would have a little niece or nephew or two to spoil."
"There's always ways that could happen. I think both Jeff and Damon would make good parents." Brian remembered back to the cookout and watching his friends interacting with Michelle's children.
"Yeah I guess... Don't you want to have your own kids?""
"Well yeah, and I think it would have been nice to have a sister-in-law to go shopping with and have girl talk." She changed the subject.
"And..." he chucked, "you always have Damon to go shopping with."
She laughed, "Yeah, he and I always did enjoy that. Maybe I do have that sister-in-law after all!"
"I wouldn't tell him that."
"Watch me." They both laugh.
"Seriously Jen, I know I've mentioned it before, but you really ought to consider GSA, or P-Flag. Both have meetings here on campus and both are very good."
"I'm just afraid to."
"Why is that?"
"I dunno, it's just silly nerves I guess."
"How bout I go with you?"
"I'd like that,"
He gave her a kiss. "You know we'd better get up and get dressed, I've already missed my morning class and I have to go to my next class."
* * *
"There you are... I didn't think we would ever find you!"
Linda left Jeff's side to give her sister a hug. "I'm so glad you made it and I know Jeff is."
Jeff had been quiet so far that morning while he was lost in thought. Twenty-four hours prior he thought he had things under control but after his late night visitor left he was left with some things to think about. While the sisters talked about Jeff's condition and caught up on the hometown gossip Jeff looked up and saw his visitors, his focus though going right past his aunt to where Ryan stood nervously behind her. Jeff didn't get to see much of his cousin over the summer since Ryan had spent most of his time in football practice with two sessions a day. He stood before Jeff wearing thin blue gym shorts with the Adidas logo emblazoned on the side just above the leg opening. His buff chest well highlighted in a light gray t-shirt with his high school mascot logo silk screened on the front. The sleeves had been cut off slightly angling out from the seam, with a few stay strings hanging sticking out of the frayed cut. The bottom couple of inches were also frayed from being cut exposing tight abs and a thin trail of blonde fuzz that started just below his navel and disappeared under the waistband of his shorts. Jeff was impressed by the size of his delts and biceps which had developed nicely since the last time Jeff had paid attention. Ryan's blonde flat top was hidden behind his backward facing ball cap.
"Looking good Cuz!"
"Thanks Jeff!" Ryan beamed upon receiving praise from his favorite cousin.
"But what's with the face fuzz and tat?" Ryan reached for the pointed sideburns he had been trying desperately to grow.
"Doesn't that look really tacky?" Betty Titzer shook her head as she commented about her son. "All his buddies are doing that now so he just had to, down the road he's going to wish he never did."
"I don't know Aunt Betty, commere Bro? What is it?"
Ryan went to Jeff and flexed his arm as much to show off his bicep as to give Jeff a better look at the small tattoo on his lateral deltoid. "It's my name in Chinese."
"Sweet!" Jeff was impressed, especially since he had never had the nerve to have his own ink done. "I can't believe how you've grown up Ry, you used to be that little bratty kid that followed me around."
Ryan blushed. "It's all thanks to you Cuz, I took your advice on what exercises to do and kept it up."
"That's all it seems that boy does is lift weights, he's already outgrown the set I bought him at that yard sale last year, says they're too easy." Ryan blushed at his mother's admission.
"The boy's gonna be ready for the Marines next year!" Wayne boasted. Ryan wasn't his real son but with his real father being dead and Jeff out of town Wayne had 'adopted' his nephew and was as proud of him as he was his own son.
The women continued their chatter while Jeff and Ryan compared work out routines.
"What are you doing here in September bro? How'd you get Coach Simms to let you off? Or does he even know?"
"He gave his blessing!" Ryan beamed.
"D'ya blow him or something?"
"Jeffy!" Linda hadn't been paying attention to the boys' conversation but heard that.
"No," Ryan blushed, "when he heard about the wreck and how Mom didn't want to drive this far by herself he told me to take all the time I need."
"Da-um! Simms must be softening in his old age."
"He remembers his star players," Wayne added to the conversation. "He still has your picture and that article bout you from your senior year above his desk."
"He wants you to stop by when you're in town." Ryan said. "He knows you helped me train."
"I can't really take too much credit Ry, All I did was send letters and email answering questions and giving suggestions. I hardly set up a routine."
"Yeah, but I told Coach about what you said and he was impressed, said you suggested things he'd never thought of. Even mentioned the possibility of you being a trainer."
"Hot damn, you serious?"
"I'm so proud of both my boys!" Wayne beamed, "Both of ya turning into fine young men." Wayne turned to Jeff, "Play your cards right Son and you may just end up Simms' replacement."
As Jeff and Ryan returned to their conversation and Wayne turned his attention to a NASCAR race on the television when out of the corner of his eye he noticed Larry Blackburn at the door. Wayne flashed him a look and he immediately backed out of sight. Wayne glanced around to see if anyone had noticed then quietly slipped out of the room.
"What the fuck you doing here Blackburn? I don't want them to know what's going on?" When he saw his lawyer friend freeze and look over Wayne's shoulder, Wayne himself turned to see his wife and her sister standing there.
"Don't want us to know what Wayne?"
"It's nothing woman, just go back in there."
"No, Larry wouldn't be here if it was nothing. What's going to happen to Jeff? Is he in trouble?"
Larry gave a pleading look to Wayne who rolled his eyes then motioned for everyone to return to the room.
"I spoke with the prosecutor's office today..."
"Oh no!" Linda put her hand over her mouth.
"They still have not received the report from the police officer on the case so even they still don't have all the details. But based on what they have they are going to go ahead and file charges against Jeff for DUI and reckless driving. They have a backlog though in the courts so since he's still incapacitated they've not set a date for his hearing, but we're talking at least a couple of weeks."
"What does that mean?" Wayne asked.
"It means he can't leave the state, or even town at the moment."
"Am I going to have to go to jail?" Jeff nervously asked.
After a pause Blackburn confirmed. "Fraid so Jeff, I would say that much is certain. The best I'm going to be able to do for you is see how little of a sentence I can get you. When I leave here I'm going to the courthouse and find out about the judges and see if I can't have a hearing set up the one who they say is lenient."
"And that's the best you can do?" Linda had one hand on Jeff's arm and a tissue in the other dabbing at her tears.
He relayed what little other information he had then excused himself saying he was going to his room and freshen up before going to the courthouse. Linda was pissed at Wayne for hiding information from her and gave him the cold shoulder while she visited with her sister.
During the commotion Ryan had moved behind the bed and leaned against the window sill. He had been nervous about the visit wondering what Jeff's reaction to him would be after the letters he had sent. But since Jeff had seemed cheerful it would seem all was fine between them. But it still left his questions unanswered, why had Jeff not responded? He wished everyone would just leave the room so he could talk to Jeff in private. His train of thought was derailed when he saw the box on the floor. Tucked into the dishes and containers that Linda had already washed in the lavatory sink was four envelopes. He could recognize them as being ones he gave Aunt Linda to put in her weekly care boxes to Jeff and Jennifer. During the turmoil between the adults Ryan reached for the letters and discreetly slipped them into his pocket. He remained unusually silent the rest of the visit wondering if anyone had seen him.
* * *
As Damon stretched awake he became painfully aware of the ache in his back from sleeping on the sofa and his stomach crusted over with semen from his late night jack off session. He looked around the great room of his grandmother's house and saw the half empty pizza box and empty beer cans and the previous evening slowly came back to memory. After a swim and relaxing in the hot tub he had left for the pizza and beer and also stopped to rent a movie. He had parked his car in the garage when he returned then stripped to his boxers and kicked back on the sofa.
He slowly stood and made his way to the kitchen where started a pot of coffee. While he was standing at the toilet draining the previous night's beer he sniffed and realized he hadn't had a bath in two days. He was startled when the phone rang while he was eating the breakfast sandwich he had nuked and watching the morning financial news but he ignored it knowing the call would go to his grandmother's voice mail and her personal secretary would probably retrieve it within the hour. After breakfast he signed on to his laptop and placed a sell order for a stock he had researched the week before and the news had just confirmed his suspicion. He smiled knowing he had turned a good profit on the 500 shares in only a matter of months and how his portfolio was rapidly increasing.
After a long hot shower where Damon used every setting on the massaging shower head he stood in front of the full length mirror in the bedroom and looked at himself. He didn't know how any man could fall for him, especially Jeff. While he wasn't fat like his brother or even slightly overweight like his father his body was far from the well chiseled Adonis he considered Jeff to be. He used the gym enough to keep the weight off but even if he had a six-pack it couldn't be seen under the fur. He was happy though as he rubbed his hand across his unshaved cheeks realizing that while most of Riley's genes came from their father he definitely looked more like their Italian mother. That hopefully meant he would stay thinner, keep a full head of hair like the men on her side of the family. And hopefully he would be less likely to inherit the diabetes or high blood pressure from his father's side. As he stepped away from the mirror he debated going out back in the buff knowing that he was alone and there was no way anyone could see to the patio or pool areas without invitation. But he decided to slip on some Speedos since he honestly thought a man looked sexier with a tan line than dark all over.
He grabbed an apple and filled a large tumbler with iced Dr. Pepper then headed out back, once again ignoring the ringing phone.
* * *
Jeff's family left earlier than normal since he was doing better. With Doug's assistance he was starting to get around on his crutches with no problem but not enough to where the doctor would release him. Then there was the problem of him living in a second floor apartment and not knowing how difficult it would be to navigate the stairs. That is, if he was even released since they still had no idea what the judge was going to decide.
Jennifer had offered to spend the night at the sorority house then after nervously looking her room in the apartment over for any conspicuous incriminating evidence left so her Aunt Betty could sleep in her bed. They had brought a cot for Ryan to sleep on in the living room. It was when Ryan was in the bathroom changing that he took the letters from his pocket and looked them over and wondered why Jeff had never opened them. He slipped them into his duffel bag, thankful actually they were unread then returned to the living room where he watched TV for a while before falling asleep.
The next morning after a large breakfast at which Linda seemed in an unusually good mood and Wayne was smiling more than the previous day they returned to the hospital where Betty and Ryan said their goodbyes before heading back home to Spring Hill.
* * *
Damon unconsciously tuned the radio to a country music station, something he never would have done before he met Jeff. He applied a 15 SPF then kicked back and enjoyed the late summer sun. He tried to clear his mind of all thoughts, especially those involving Jeff in order to enjoy the solitude.
"You are here?" Damon lifted his hand to cover block the bright sun from his eyes as his father approached. He was then glad he'd opted to wear the Speedos. "Why aren't you in school son?"
"Uh, things were happening," Damon stuttered, "why would you be looking for me here?"
"Your roommate Brian called the house yesterday."
"He did? Why?" Damon sat up.
"He's been trying to find you, says you need to call him as soon as possible. Damon what is going on? You're not in any trouble are you son?"
"No Dad, I'm fine.... It's Jeff." He updated his Dad on Jeff's situation including losing then regaining his memory. A compassionate Stephen Jung had pulled up a chair and sat across from Damon while he listened. "So now, he's pissed and doesn't want anything to do with me. I just needed some time alone."
"I can't say that I completely understand what's going on son, your mother and I are still getting used to this being gay thing you sprang on us."
"I'm sorry Dad, I know I'm a disappointment."
"No Damon, you're not. We're still proud of you and your achievements and how you've turned out to be a responsible young man. Hell, your mother has even joined a support group. I think she's taking over." Damon laughed knowing how his mother could be when she set her mind to it. "You didn't tell me the reason for yours and Jeff's argument so I'm sure it's none of my business and I'm not going to interfere any more than I would with Riley and his wife when they have their problems, which is almost weekly." They both chuckled. "The point is, I hate to see you hurting. This would be easier if you..." Stephen stopped himself before finishing.
"You can say it Dad, it would be easier if I were straight."
"Well, yes. And I'm sorry for thinking that way. But if you were, and you were having girl problems this would be easier. But I guess the same thing applies because I would probably be telling you that maybe it just wasn't meant to be and that there were plenty of other fish in the sea. Don't worry son, you'll find someone else who will be worthy of Damon Jung." He placed his hand on Damon's knee.
Damon knew his father was trying to cheer him up. "Thanks Dad."
"Now, maybe you'd better call Brian and find out what he wants. Oh... and I think I would keep this from your mother for now."
"Why's that Dad?"
"I think she already has a list of people to fix you up with, both male and female." Damon laughed knowing it was probably true.
* * *
Nurse Karen recognized Damon coming up the corridor of the East Wing and stepped out of the nurses' station to intercept. "I don't think you're supposed to be here."
"I'm here to visit a patient. Jeff Schultz in 6E21."
"I know who you are and..." Karen hesitated. She was not accustomed to interfering but was quite aware of Jeff's attitude change over the past couple days. And while she wasn't totally sure of the nature of their relationship she did know his demeanor changed the very same morning she saw the ripped photo of the two on the floor. "...I don't think you should really be going in there."
"I know he asked you to leave after an argument. I don't think it would be good for you to get him worked up again. And his family is in there with him and I know they don't want you around either."
"Oh," Damon was dejected realizing she was probably right and did not want to create a scene and was about to leave thinking he could just catch Brian at home later.
'Wait!' He thought then stopped... "Is the whole family in there? What about Brian?"
"Is that the sister's boyfriend? I think so... he was the last time I checked in."
"He's the one who called me and told me to come by, do you think you can get him to come out... without drawing anyone else's attention?"
"I think I can do that." She asked him to sit in the small sitting area at the end of the hall. After fifteen minutes he was about to give up and leave when Brian came and sat next to him.
"Glad you could make it Damon."
"The nurse says I shouldn't go in though, are you sure?"
"Yeah dude, he said he wanted to talk to you. Karen's right, the 'rents are a little peeved at you right now. I'll see if I can't get them out of the room at least for a little bit. It's almost dinner time so they're probably getting hungry."
"Cool. Bri, how is he?"
"He's calmed down since yesterday Bro, but play it by ear and don't get him worked up. You may have to take it slow."
Brian filled him in on Jeff's mood and what had been said about him then told him to wait there until the family was gone. Damon waited what seemed like an eternity and had paged through all the pamphlets on the wall rack when Karen finally came and gave him the all clear.
Damon was excited yet cautious after his last visit to the room he knew to be prepared. As before he stopped at the threshold to the room where he could see Jeff engrossed in the television. Jeff noticed Damon and briefly acknowledged him before returning his attention to the NASCAR race in progress.
"This is an improvement, no yelling at least." Damon thought then walked into the room.
"How are you feeling?" Damon felt stupid asking the obvious question as he approached Jeff's bedside.
"I'm glad to hear that."
"Sure you are." Those words cut like a knife at Damon. Jeff had turned his head and did not see the tear running down Damon's cheek.
"Jeff, Brian said you wanted to see me but I guess not."
"Damon wait, I'm sorry. Josh stopped by last night, it appears he had a change of heart and wanted to apologize. So I guess I owe you one for being such a bastard."
"Jeff, despite my past I really do love you."
"And how do I know that? How do I know I'm not just another trick in a long line of many? What other skeletons do you have hiding in your closet that are going to show themselves?"
"You've said you didn't know about my past, I guess it's time to tell you everything."
Jeff switched the television off and adjusted the bed to a more upright sitting position to give Damon his full attention. "I'm listening."
Damon closed the room door and sat in the chair next to the bed usually reserved for Jeff's mother. "I won't lie to you Jeff, I was a slut. It's something that I'm not proud of but a part of my past that I will always have to live with. Hopefully time will erase that reputation. But even before I met you I had put those days behind me. I didn't lie to you before; since you've came into my life I've not wanted another man.
"I know you dated girls and have only discovered your gay side in the last couple of years but I've known for as long as I can remember. I had my first experience when I was fourteen with a class mate and was hooked on sex. Even though we made out, experimenting, I guess you could call it I couldn't wait until I got my drivers license and could check out the park I had heard about where men cruised for sex. It wasn't long before all the chicken hawks dove in seeing fresh meat. I didn't know any better but I did know right away that I liked it, and wanted it. Over the next couple of years every chance I got was spent cruising and looking for someone to have sex with. If no one was out I had a list of regulars whom all I had to do was knock on their door and we would be in bed within minutes."
"So what happened to turn you into a saint?" More than slight sarcasm was in Jeff's tone.
"What's that?" Jeff couldn't help but laugh.
"His name was Harold Richards so you can imagine the joking he took with that." Damon explained returning the laugh. "He was one of the chicken hawks, one of the first I had met who kinda took me under his wing. And yes, I was with him numerous times. To me it was all just sex but he was in love with me but I didn't want to settle with one guy especially one so old. Or at least when you're eighteen a guy in his forties is old."
"Hey, I'm twenty-five and I still consider that old." They both had a slight laugh. "So what about Mr. Dick?"
"One night after..." Damon blushed slightly. "After we were finished Harry had a heart to heart talk with me. He started with the basic question of asking me what I wanted out of life. I don't remember the exact answer I gave him but it was something to the effect that I had my whole life in front of me so who cares. He wasn't amused and accused me of being a spoiled rich kid."
"I thought you told me one time you weren't rich."
"And personally I'm not."
"Come on Damon, I've been to your house and I know who your grandmother is and what your Dad does."
"That's what I've gotten all my life. And I guess I learned from my brother's mistakes and how he liked to throw the family name around. I guess when I was really young I may have bragged a bit, but since I went to a private school with some kids from much wealthier families it was no big deal. I guess it was there I realized how people treat you differently when you come from money so when I went to a public high school I just wanted to fit in. And when I did start cruising I definitely did not want people knowing who I was so I could be sure nothing would get back to my family. Only Harold and a couple of really close friends ever knew.
"Anyway, that night Harold told me point blank that I needed to change my ways. He said that I had already given myself a reputation of being a young whore, a slut who cruised the parks and put looking for a trick above all else and looking back he was right. He tried to tell me that a reputation like that was difficult to get rid of and would make it really hard down the road for anyone to take me seriously. He also said I needed to be a little more careful in what I did and a lot more choosy in who I went home with saying I may get more then I bargained for. Of course I was young and invincible so I brushed it off and laughed at it. "
"What changed your mind?"
"It was just a couple days after that, I remember it well. It was the summer between my freshman and sophomore year. And after that year of being away and having to spend so much time studying I was trying to make up for lost time. It was a Tuesday afternoon, only a couple of weeks before I was to head back to school. I was in the park and sitting on a picnic table talking with my best friend Shawn and a couple of other guys. We were laughing and cutting up when another friend, Keith pulled up saying he had been looking for us. He told us that Jerry, his roommate and another friend was in the hospital and that we should go up and see him that he needed cheering up.
We all agreed and climbed into his car. Jerry was a hairdresser, yeah I know how stereotypical. But he was really good and built up a nice steady clientele. Enough so that he could afford an apartment in a converted Victorian in the historic district that he furnished with period antiques. On the way to the hospital Keith told us that Jerry had been fine but just suddenly became ill. He convinced himself that it was just the flu or something and took over the counter drugs, ate soup and spent a lot of time in bed. Keith could tell it was something else but Jerry wouldn't listen and refused to see a doctor saying he couldn't afford it. Being self-employed he had no health insurance. His parents had kicked him out when they found out he was gay and wanted nothing to do with him. Keith said the days went by and Jerry got worse, he wouldn't eat and started losing weight, fast. The last straw was when Keith came home and the place reeked of urine, Jerry had gotten so weak he couldn't even get out of bed and just pissed all over himself. He was powerless to resist when Keith pulled him out of bed and practically had to carry him to the car and take him to the hospital. Keith said that when he was allowed in the room that Jerry looked awful and had lost what little color he had left except for a yellowish tint. Keith stayed at his side for the next two weeks as Jerry continued to go downhill. That morning Keith had tried one last time to call Jerry's family who'd just hung up on him. That's when he came looking for us hoping that seeing some friends would cheer Jerry up. As we stood outside the hospital room Keith tried to prepare us that it was not the same old Jerry we knew.
"Jeff, to say I was not prepared was an understatement." A tear ran down Damon's cheek as he continued. "The Jerry whom I had known was lively, cheerful and quick witted; always the first to crack a joke. He was no where to be seen. He had lost so much weight he was basically skin hanging on bones. You could see his skull under his face. He always had a full head of bouncy blonde hair that he kept to the latest style that was always perfectly in place, even after sex. His hair was now thinned out; I would say he had lost half of it. I think we all had to hold back a gasp. But Keith had achieved his goal, when Jerry saw us he did manage a smile. He tried to talk but whatever he said was so hoarse we could barely understand, and that was between coughs every couple of words. It was me though who he looked at and held up his hand. I went to him and held it. I could tell he wanted to say something, I leaned over and he whispered in my ear. He said, 'don't let this happen to you, I...' and that was it. I felt his hand go limp in mind and looked to see his head slump over. He looked far from peaceful, his eyes and mouth were still wide open and what looked like foam oozed from his mouth. The equipment began beeping and within seconds the hospital staff came in wearing face masks and gloves and asked us to leave. Needless to say none of us had been present before when someone died and was more than a little freaked out. We were still standing in the hallway not more than ten minutes later when they wheeled him out in a body bag, they wore all plastic body suits like they were afraid that if they just touched him they would get it.
"But it gets worse. Even in death his family disowned him; there was no funeral, no wake, no visitation, no service of any kind. His body was cremated almost immediately and his family didn't want his ashes. We found out later they were dumped into a communal pauper's grave. But what gets me is that didn't stop his family from almost immediately going to the apartment that Jerry shared with Keith. Since the lease had been in Jerry's name the landlord let them in and they swept through taking anything of value. They didn't care about the antiques or artwork other than how much they could sell it for. Keith showed up while they were there and they called him every derogatory name in the book and told him to step aside. When they packed his TV and stereo he tried to stop them. But they wouldn't accept that it was his and not Jerry's. They pushed him out of the way and said: 'Oh yeah, gotta receipt to prove it?" He couldn't and didn't know what to do other than let them take it as well as most of Jerry's things. By the time they were done the place was trashed with only a few things of no value left. Then the landlord came by and told him he had to pay a deposit and put the place in his own name to stay, and that the rent was going up $100 a month.
"When I left the hospital I was a total disaster. I knew I couldn't go home because my parents would want to know why I had been crying and I didn't want to have to explain. I was way too much of a disaster to be around them. I didn't want to go to Harold's and hear the "I told you so" speeches. So I did what I guess I've always done and went to my grandmother's house to hide out. I went in and slammed the door behind me and ran straight to my room. Since I stayed there often, especially when she was out of town my family never questioned it. I stayed in bed the entire night and most of the next day."
"You must have been close to Jerry to take it that hard."
"To be honest, we were friends but not best friends. I was not as close with him as I am now to Brian, and well, even Josh. But he was a friend none the less so seeing what happened was an eye opener. But Jeff, the real reason why I was so upset was because I had been with Jerry not six months before he died. In fact, that was the discussion in the hallway at the hospital. All five of us who were there when he died had recently had sex with him."
"No shit?" Jeff was beginning to understand where Damon was coming from and showing a concerned look on his face.
"No shit." Damon held his dead down, he almost didn't continue. "Jeff I was so worried that I had it and that scared the shit out of me. Seeing the way Jerry's family disowned him and how he died alone was just as scary as the AIDS part, I guess worse. I was also worried about it hitting the tabloids. I could see the headlines "Famous author's grandson has AIDS." I was concerned about it devastating her career. I honestly contemplated suicide but thought that would be worse."
He then had Jeff's full attention and compassion. "But you didn't, what happened."
"It was the next day, and while I was laying in bed trying to think of a way that would be painless, I also was worried about giving my grandmother a heart attack if she was the one who came in and found my body. That is when Shawn showed up, Shawn Patterson was the friend I messed around with when we were fourteen and stayed best friends for years. He was also one of the few who knew about my family. He had called my house looking for me and my mother told him where I was. He tried to get in but security wouldn't let him. Bless his soul he had to park like a mile up the main road then jump fences to get in. He came up banging on the doors, I didn't know who it was and wanted to be left alone so I ignored it. He finally yelled my name below my window and got my attention. I let him in and we talked about it. He was in about the same situation I was in not wanting to embarrass his family, they own the largest jewelry store chain in town. We ended up both being the rock that the other leaned on to get past it. We decided that it wasn't for certain we had it and decided to go to the county health service for a test. Luckily we both checked out negative, but were warned that it could be months or longer before the virus turned up in the bloodstream. I have been tested religiously every six months since then and thank God I'm always negative."
Jeff was secretly relieved, for a moment he was worried that Damon was trying to tell him he was positive. "What about your friends?"
"They were not so lucky. Two of them, Mark and Greg were dead within six months after Jerry. Keith tested positive, I haven't seen him, but I did hear over the summer that he's doing pretty good. Shawn though I have no idea, when the school year started we went in different directions. I went to school in Indiana while he stayed local at U of L. I have not seen him or heard from him since. I tried calling last summer but his brother answered the phone and called me a faggot." Damon began crying, "He said that Shawn was gone and not to call back."
"Man, so even though he tested negative with you, he must have had it anyway."
"I don't know. I don't know what happened. I was going to search and find out but since Shawn was a good friend it hurt too much."
A silence fell over the room while both were lost in their thoughts. "I'm really sorry Damon; I didn't know you had been through so much."
"That's OK, Jeff. I should have told you before I guess looking back I'm embarrassed by what I was. Even though I've moved on I guess you know Josh hasn't and still tried to pull me back."
"But it is you; and a part of what makes you individually you, and perhaps part of why I love you so much."
Damon smiled as he looked up meeting Jeff's eyes. They held their gaze for what seemed like hours until Damon stood and went to the bed. Jeff puckered, inviting his lover to him. Damon leaned over and kissed him.
"I've really missed you Damon, I'm glad you didn't give up on me."
"Does this mean you forgive me then?"
"I'm sure if you can accept a good ol country boy redneck like me then I guess I can accept you for who you are. I know junior sure does." Jeff looked towards his crotch to the tent being made in the thin hospital sheet.
"He does does he? Should we do something about that?" Damon reached under the sheet and grabbed his lover through the hospital gown.
"Oh, yeah." Jeff moaned his appreciation, "keep that up and you may get a handful of thank you."
The door opened and they heard a gasp. Damon quickly withdrew his hand and Jeff sat up in the bed to hide his hard on.
"I guess I'm glad to see that you guys have made up, but I could have been Mom and Dad. In fact they're at the nurses' station and will be here in a minute." Jennifer scolded just as the others stormed in the room.
"Good news son looks like..." Wayne Schultz's excitement came to an abrupt halt when we saw Damon
"It's OK dad, I called him. I wanted to apologize for treating him like shit yesterday. It must have been the medications."
Wayne just grunted and his wife was speechless. Brian was the one to break the tension. "Guess what Jeff, we just saw Doctor Bowen and he's going to release you tomorrow!"
Despite the cheerful mood Damon could feel the tension his presence was causing and decided to quietly slip out. Brian followed him into the hall to ask how things went and was glad to hear it sounded like his friends would be back together. Damon felt better then he had since the accident as he walked to the parking garage. As he made his way through traffic back to the Fraternity house he smiled to himself thinking about himself and Jeff and their future together.
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