This story contains graphical descriptions of homosexuality between consenting adult males. If this is not your desire to read such kind of articles, or you are not of consenting age in wherever you are residing, please do not continue.
This story is written completely based on fantasies. The author does not know, or own, the celebrities, establishments, cities or countries mentioned in the story, hence has no knowledge on the sexuality of the celebrities mentioned. It is of pure coincidence if the story should resemble any real life experience of any individual.
In an alternate universe, where our familiar 98 Degrees do not exist and other celebrities are simply common people with common jobs......
End of Paradise
I heard the first shot. Before I could fully understand what was happening, Drew was already in front of me. He tipped us over with the bench. We landed with him on top of me.
"Stay down." Drew told me. He was over the fallen bench in pursuit of the gunman before I could react or at least see if he was hurt.
"No, Drew! Come back!" I yelled out at him. I knew it would be dangerous for us to going barehanded against the armed man, but I couldn't just stay there, knowing Drew was going after our assailant.
Then I heard the second shot.
I stood up from behind the bench.
"Did you finish him?" The woman asked impatiently.
"There has been a problem."
"What problem?!" She screamed.
"He's got protection."
"What protection? I'm paying you a million to eliminate this man and you'd better do your job."
"Some pro was with him."
"I thought you were the pro."
"This man took two bullets, stormed upon me in seconds and almost got to me. If that's not a trained pro in the business then I don't know what he is."
"I don't care. You have the money and you're going to finish the job."
"I'm sending you a cheque with amount doubled of the deposit. I'm outta this."
"No, YOU CAN'T!"
"Yes, I can. That's the rule in the biz. Go find the 'Helpdesk' or the 'Apprentice'. If that protection was so good, only they can take care of him. But the 'Helpdesk' has a rule to only kill if that's national security related."
"Screw that fucking arrogant 'Helpdesk'. Tell me how to get to that 'Apprentice'."
I witnessed it.
Drew fought the gunman. He almost got him, before he took a blow at the back of his neck and fell. I ran screaming out his name.
This was not happening... I couldn't lose Drew like this.
Fortunate or not, the gunman took off before I reached Drew. He was trying to stand up. As he did, he gave me a pained smile.
"He's gone. You're safe now."
I looked at him, saw wounds bleeding in left side of his chest and lower abdomen.
He fainted and fell into my arms.
It was around ten at night. In the emergency room, I sat there alone. I was too torn up inside to be crying. I had to be strong for Drew.
Nothing was making senses. We didn't do anything, yet someone just showed up and decided to shoot at us. And Drew was injured and only God knew how bad it has been.
Was it some kind of sick joke? I was just starting a new chapter of my life with someone I believed who could be around for the next sixty or seventy years. Having Drew come into my life was truly a blessing. But he was threatened to be taken away from me now. I thought such things only happened in novels, TV or movies. But it's happening to me.
Now, it seemed that my life was turning into some kind of soap drama.
I still hadn't told Drew that I loved him. There was no way I was letting him go without him knowing that.
I've never liked the hospital. Death was the only thing the hospital meant to me. Not the joy of birth, but only the grief of death.
My mom died giving birth to me. It's always been a regret not to know her. She loved me. She had to love me to be carrying me in her womb for nine months, suffering the agony of labor and facing the high possibilities of dying. Dad said she had a history of eclampsia from her mother side.
I remembered growing up with just dad and me. He was working two jobs at a time to provide a stable warming environment for me. When I saw him alone by himself, he was always tired and grieving. Tiredness came from working hard, and grieving because of the loss of mom. I learned how deep one could love somebody from his depth of love for mom. Whenever I was around, he would try and hide the grief. But he couldn't hide the loneliness of losing his soul mate.
Dad was very loving to me, even though he had never been verbal about it. He said he saw mom's eyes and smile in me, so I smiled for him whenever I could.
Dad cheered for me at almost all my football games. When he didn't, I knew he was working an extra shift in order for me to go on a school trip or something similar. He was always doing his best for me.
My grades dropped when I started working part-time. Dad wasn't too happy about it. He gave me a lecture on how important education was, and how he could've given me a better home had he finished college with a better job. I just told him it hurt to see him exhausting himself working for the household by himself. I wanted to share his burden. He hugged and kissed me, told me how proud of me he was. I promised him I would finish college no matter how difficult it would get.
I was never among the popular kids in school, contrary to what most believed about some football jocks. I was quiet, didn't have many friends, and never showed up at the parties. Whatever time I had, I spent it on football practice, chores around the house, part-time jobs or burying myself in studies. I wasn't about to let my dad down on my promise to finish school. It would be easier if I were smarter. Although I was the brains among the jocks, I couldn't see myself as the scholarly type.
Dad passed away four days after my high school graduation.
On his deathbed, he told me he was sorry to leave me alone. He would want me to live a happy life. He wanted to be there for me if I needed him. He wanted to see the day I settled down with someone I loved and had my own family. But his health was failing him.
There I was sitting alone in the hospital, trying to figure out what I was going to do. At eighteen, I lost the only family I had and the future was plain uncertainty to me.
Getting no scholarship of any kind, I started working. I didn't forget my promise.
A couple of years passed by, I finally saved about enough to start full-time for college. Then I met Tobey. I once thought he would be the one there with me till the end. Gambling changed him, changed my life.
I was quiet and reserved before. Now I was closing up myself to the world. I figured involvement would only lead to getting hurt.
Life was uneventful and stable for two years. And things changed rapidly when Drew came along.
Good things didn't last long for me. Now I was sent back to this place of grief, facing the possibilities of losing Drew.
A strong hand landed on my shoulder, giving a light squeeze. A somewhat familiar voice behind me said, "Jeff?"
I turned and saw a taller, older version of Drew.
"I'm Nick, Drew's brother." The man paused. "We spoke a few times on the phone. Remember?"
"Nick, I'm sorry..." I muttered, hardly hearing my own voice.
"It'll alright, Drew's going to make it. This is really not the best time to meet my brother-in-law-to-be. But I've heard lots of good things about you." Nick looked down at me. He was trying to give me a reassuring smile like everything would turn out fine. I saw Drew in his smile.
I sure hoped Drew would be alive and well.
A man in his late forties approached us. "Mr. Lachey?" he asked.
"That'd be me." Nick answered.
"I'm Dr. McKeinster. It's about your brother, Andrew Lachey. Can I have a word with you in my office?" He turned sideway and indicated Nick to follow him.
I stood up and followed. The doctor motioned me to stop and said, "Sorry, family only."
I looked over to Nick, hoping he would help me out there. I desperately needed to know what's going on with Drew. Shouldn't they just push him out and announced that he was all well and ready to leave?
Nick gave me a small nod. He then told the doctor, "He is a family."
The doctor just nodded his head and turned leading his way.
Once we sat down in Dr. McKeinster's office. He began to speak.
"I'll go straight to the point and try to use layman's terms to explain Mr. Lachey's situation. Feel free to stop me and ask at any point if you're not sure what I'm saying."
The doctor stopped, cleared his throat and continued. "There're two wounds caused by gunshots, one on his upper left chest, right below the collarbone. The other at his lower left abdomen, about an inch and a half from his navel."
"The shot on his chest was clear from the heart and the main arteries. It however punctured the left side of his lung. The other shot messed up some of his intestines. There was some bleeding but nothing major that you should be worrying about. Mr. Lachey seems to be in very good physical condition and I'm very sure he will recover from these injuries in no time."
I was relieved. At least, I knew that Drew was going to stay. Glancing over at Nick, he still had a serious questioning look on him. Did he read something from the doctor that I didn't quite catch?
"Doc, go on. I know something's up with Drew." Nick asked, a little impatiently.
"There's a slight bruising at the back of your brother's neck. We checked and found the spine has been displaced from its original position. It was apparent that Mr. Lachey's neck was hit, by probably bare hand or padded hard object. It also appeared to us that Mr. Lachey might have reacted fast enough to avoid a direct impact of the object on his neck. Otherwise, the impact would have been fatal."
"The results of a spine displacement are quite severe. With the displaced spine crashing against the vast amount of nerves going in and out of the brain, the patient may result in losing his use for one or more of his limbs, loss of sense of touch, or entering a permanent coma. And the worst would be death."
A shiver ran over me. Paralysis? Coma? Death? What was the doctor talking about? He was just saying that Drew would be fine a minute ago...
Nick reached over and put his hands on mine. "Be strong, Jeff. No matter how hard it is, Drew's going to need you there for him."
Dr. McKeinster nodded in agreement to Nick. "We have a doctor in our country who's very well known for his experience and credits in spine surgery. His name is Dr. Christian B. Humphrey. He's among the top surgeons of the field. Success rate are over 80 percents. He's probably the best you can get. Should you decide to have him taking care of Mr. Lachey, I should be happy to bring him into the case."
"We want the best for Drew. When will he be able to perform the surgery?" Nick asked.
"I'll need to call and arrange. Of course the sooner Mr. Lachey receives his operation, the better he'll be able to heal. We should know about Dr. Humphrey's availability on Monday morning the latest." The doctor hesitated a moment, then asked, "Before you make the final decision to call in Dr. Humphrey, are you sure you're going to be able to pay his fee?"
"How much is he charging for such kind of surgery?"
"Judging from your brother's situation, I estimate it would be something from seven hundred fifty to eight hundred thousands."
"We'll find a way to. Please help and make sure Dr. Humphrey can come to perform the operation as soon as possible." Nick said. "Is it possible that we go and see how Drew's doing?"
"Yes you can, although he's still unconscious. But you have to be careful not to touch him. We wouldn't want his condition gets complicated if any unnecessary pressure is placed on his spine."
"Understood, doc. And thanks for your time and efforts on Drew."
Turning to the door, Nick dragged me awe-stricken out of Dr. McKeinster's office.
to be continued...
From the author:
Yeah, I'm an attention-sucker. Tell me about what you think of this.
Copyright © by Jasper Jeff