concerns adult and teenage gay
males who may be involved in sexual situations. If it is illegal for
read such stories, or if you do not like to read such stories, please
copyright 2006 by the author who retains all rights.
is a work
of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents
either are the product of the author's imagination or are used
fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is
This is my
third submission to Nifty. My
previous submissions can be found in the High School section under
Kiel’s Story. Any comments or questions are
welcome at: email@example.com.
thank you goes out to all who
write. I appreciate knowing someone is actually reading this stuff,
like it or not. I try to answer all emails, even flames. (I’m a writer,
for rejection.) Although sometimes it takes a little time to get back
you, I do
try to answer. If I'm remiss in replying to yours, I apologize.
The Pastel Cowboy
by Carl Holiday
10 – Recovery and Return
doing this fine morning?”
Zach looked up with
his one good
eye and saw a short, skinny woman, with straight, shoulder length
and hardly any breasts, but with the warmest smile he’d seen in a long,
while. Her name tag said, “Margo Ledbetter, LPN.” He waited a moment as
events of the previous night flooded through his mind and he silently
inventory of his body. There was the cast on his right arm, the bandage
his left eye, and an incredible pain throughout his body. It didn’t
seem to be
in any particular place, but everywhere at the same time and same
looked at the IV in his arm and the push button switch that had fallen
his bruised left hand. He picked it up and depressed the button.
Ledbetter said. “Still in a lot of pain, Sunshine?”
Zach nodded. He
certain if he was awake or if this was only some weird dream. Maybe he
still out in that alley. He felt a chill on his skin and felt blood
down his leg. Had he been knifed? He didn’t remember seeing Conan with
but he was definitely bleeding. He tried to turn himself in bed. He had
away from Conan. Blood was squirting out of a knife wound in his upper
Slowly, he became
aware of a
hand pressing against his left shoulder, and looked up into the nurse’s
gray eyes. Up close, she was a lot older, probably someone’s momma. A
thought passed through his mind as he wondered if her boy was cute and
He looked behind her and was surprised to see Conan coming at him with
“What is it
Ledbetter asked, pulling at his dressing gown.
“No!” Zach screamed
knife sunk into his chest.
head and immediately wished he hadn’t as pain exploded through his
fell back onto the pillow gasping for air. He saw Conan move back, away
him, his blood dripping off the knife. He looked down at the blood
from his heart. He was dying.
“Come on, calm
down, I don’t
want to have to give you something,” Nurse Ledbetter said.
Zach tried to smile
way she said it, like he really didn’t want her to give him something.
to do this on his own and then he remembered words being whispered in
“Don’t even think of telling who I am.” Was that Conan? Or, someone
another time. He was so out of it, he couldn’t remember when, or how,
came to him.
Suddenly, he felt
on again. He looked up into the nurse’s eyes as his breathing began to
He felt his body tighten as muscles contracted. He had to get out of
hospital. He was in danger. He began to struggle against her tightening
“I need a little
here,” Nurse Ledbetter called out.
Zach looked around
with his uncovered eye. A movement of blue material caught his eye and
another set of hands push down on him.
“Zach, honey, calm
on, Sunshine, calm down,” Nurse Ledbetter’s voice felt strange as it
in through his panic.
He felt a burning
in his right hip and looked over into the eyes of an older,
face. She was smiling, but it was a determined, forced smile, as if he
years old and she’d caught him fiddling with his dick in the bathtub.
everything kind of went blurry.
“He had a little
earlier this morning,” a voice said as Zach’s awareness slowly came out
fog of induced unconsciousness. “It’s understandable in cases such as
been through a lot in a short time. He had a reaction to the pain
and was hallucinating, which caused a panic attack. We had to give him
something to calm him down so he’ll be a little groggy for a few hours.”
“Will he be
alright?” Paul asked.
Zach opened his
good eye even
though it wasn’t focusing properly, he watched the two men discuss his
situation. He wasn’t certain he wanted to face Paul. They’d told him to
careful, but he ignored both of them and the police.
“He’ll probably nod
you,” the doctor said, but Zach felt more awake than earlier. “I’d
didn’t tire him too much. The police have already been here. At least
caught the bastard.”
“Yeah, but it
like much will happen.”
“Oh, he’ll get it
All those earlier incidents are going to come back and haunt him. Daddy
going to be able to save his dear baby’s ass this time around. Daddy
much to lose if he’s spread across every paper between here and
“I don’t know, he’s
got a lot
of connections from what I hear,” Paul said looking over and catching
eye. He stared for a moment then turned back to the doctor.
“You’d be surprised
quickly connections can be broken when it gets out that this isn’t the
time Daddy’s tried to use his connections to save his bastard’s ass.
Houston and the people up here won’t put up with
that kind of
“Well, I’ll be
happy if Zach
comes out of this with just a little more sense than when he went in,”
said looking back over at Zach. He gave the boy a stern look, but Zach
stared back at him.
“What was it
about common sense? Your protégé doesn’t have much time
left before it’s too
late for him.”
beginning to think
he hasn’t been listening for a long time. Well, doctor, I think Zach
returned to the land of the living. I’ll step out for a few minutes, if
need him first. I think I could use a cup of coffee.”
Zach watched Paul
the doctor walked over to the bed. He was young, probably not even
the youthful look of his face, which was long with deep set hazel eyes
thin black brows. His short, curly, black hair was receding into a
commercial, but his smile was pleasant and inviting. The nametag over a
full of pens and stainless steel tools said, “Robert E. Lee, MD.”
“How’s my patient?”
“Edwin or Edward?”
“Edgar, for my
“The other is for
“No, my father,”
said. “You seem awfully chipper for someone who’s been beaten
then drugged senseless.”
“I’m trying really
stay awake,” Zach said. He smiled as he tried to hold back a chuckle.
“Well, kiddo, hold
I’m going to make you hurt,” Doctor Lee said as he pulled back the
this looks interesting. You’d expect a lot more bruising down here, but
appears to have come through this without any damage at all. Yes, this
isn’t it? Um, this needs a little closer examination.”
Zach watched as
long as he
could as the doctor’s fingers went to work on his rapidly swelling
the doctor’s mouth took him in, Zach lay back on his pillow and stared
small spot of discolored paint on the ceiling. This was a man who knew
was doing, only Zach couldn’t quite understand what the doctor was
wasn’t supposed to be happening. Doctors weren’t supposed to give their
When Zach felt a
pressing against his pucker he spread his legs and shut his eyes,
pleasure in the warm, moist sensations over the length of his engorged
and, now, the probing finger was vigorously seeking that nubbin of
Doctor Lee’s head and began to luxuriate themselves in the soft texture
tight curls. He pressed his hand down on the back of the doctor’s head
himself added excitement as his orgasm neared. The good doctor was
of him and when Zach felt the finger reach the object of its desire his
Cracked ribs sang
out as air
was drawn into the boy’s expanding chest, then quickly forced back out.
couldn’t imagine anything hurting so much and wanted to scream in
agony, but rapturous
delight forced unintelligible words from his mouth. He’d heard of
tongues, but was certain it wasn’t meant to be like this.
His hips were
uncontrollably against the increasing rhythm of Doctor Lee’s
tongue, and a finger that was giving him a prostate exam only an expert
give. The end was so near and Zach didn’t want to do anything to delay
inevitable. A stream of meaningless vocalizations gurgled out of his
he felt himself surge down the doctor’s throat.
Zach’s one good
onto the bed and grabbed a handful of sheets as his body stiffened
overwhelming orgasm of ecstasy. Gobs of pleasure spewed out of him in a
ending chain frenzied delight. His drug numbed body reverberated as
sensations flooded away from the wonderful manipulations of the young
Soon, Zach could
still as his sated body relaxed in a wondrous afterglow of warmth and
happiness. He looked up into the good doctor’s eyes as full, moist lips
descended onto his own. Two fingers painfully tweaked his right nipple
wanted so much to roll over and give himself to this beautiful person.
“I think you’re
going to be
okay,” Doctor Lee whispered. “Of course, you won’t be returning any
a few weeks, but I’m certain you know other ways to please.”
“If we had time,”
whispered, “you could have me, now.”
“I think we’d
better let your
body recover a little more before we go that far,” Doctor Lee said. He
rubbed his hands over Zach’s body, pausing at each patch of discolored
“My ribs,” Zach
watched the young doctor slender fingers softly poke and prod him,
they touched a painful spot, and then squirming when they zeroed in on
sensitive area. Doctor Lee seemed to be looking for ticklish spots more
painful ones and Zach was having trouble not laughing out loud.
yourself so much,” Doctor Lee said when he poked up into Zach’s left
hit the one spot Zach never told anyone about.
“You were the one
me,” Zach said, squirming under the doctor.
“Yes, but I am the
I know what I’m doing,” Doctor Lee said as he bent down and gently
lips onto the boy’s mouth.
“You do it very
said when the doctor rose again. “Will I see you again?”
“I don’t think
advisable. We’ll keep you for another night in case you have another
attack. You’re lucky to be alive, you know that? If the police weren’t
and hadn’t heard you call out, you’d be wrapped in plastic in the
the Public Safety Building right now. If you hadn’t moved your face to
boot in the cheekbone, it would’ve plowed into the side of your skull.
not a good place to be kicked.”
Zach watched the
quietly pull the gown down over him and the bedcovers up in the
direction. He shut his eyes for a moment and smiled at the thought of
doctor lying next to him on the bed after the incredible mutual orgasm
were certain to have. He wanted that feeling, again. That feeling
His eyes snapped
open as a
shiver swept through his body. Why had he thought of Jeremy at a time
this? What was going on within him that he couldn’t stop thinking about
boy’s wonderful smile, the touch of his fingers, and the smell of the
under the boy’s ear? Zach stared up at the ceiling as a little tear
down his cheek. He tried to brush it away with his right hand before
realizing only his left hand was usable for such work.
He looked around
the room and
realized he was alone, again; alone to suffer his pain and anguish. He
he missed Jeremy. He was a fool, a stupid fool. All he wanted last
having sex with someone, anyone other than Jeremy, and he didn’t know
felt like that.
A few hours later,
in with Franny in tow. Zach had been waiting, thinking Paul had gone
and would be back soon after Doctor Lee left him, but the longer he
longer it seemed Paul was going to show up. Eventually, Zach simply
to sleep whether of his own volition or from the aftereffects of the
hypo he wasn’t certain, not that he really cared.
He watched Paul
expecting some foul comment on the previous night’s activities. With
there, he wasn’t all that certain Paul would hold his tongue, but Zach
in any mood to talk, either.
“Are you going to
Franny asked at the side of Zach’s bed. He looked scared.
“No, I don’t think
said. He didn’t want to sound flippant, but suspected Franny was a lot
than he appeared.
“Is he going to
asked, turning to Paul.
“He probably wishes
but Zach’s got a lot of life yet to live,” Paul said.
“But, he’s in the
Franny said. “My grampy died in a hospital.”
“I’m not going to
said. He wanted to get out of the bed and comfort the little boy, but
wasn’t going to be. “How old was your grampy?”
“A hundred three,”
said. He was pulling at the blanket on Zach’s bed with nervous fingers.
Daddy’s grampy. He was old.”
“Maybe it was his
go,” Paul said, kneeling down beside Franny.
“That’s what Mommy
“Well, I’m not that
“But, you’re in the
“I came here
because I was
“Uncle David says
’cuz you’re stupid,” Franny said. He looked up at Zach with teary eyes.
“Yeah, well, maybe
Zach looked at
there didn’t seem to be any sympathy there. He didn’t expect sympathy
Paul told him he thought with his dick and he had. This was all his
need to be with another man had gotten the best of him until Conan gave
worst he had to give. He looked down at Franny and felt something warm
heart. He cared. He felt he had hope.
“Come up here and
me,” Zach said.
Franny looked at
only shrugged his shoulders. The little boy scrambled up onto the bed
onto Zach’s left side where he lay on his right side close to the older
Zach put his left
the boy and whispered in his ear, “You have to be very quiet or the
make you leave. Can you be quiet?”
Zach stared at Paul
uncovered eye and wondered if he was still going to be able to get down
studio. If there was too much scarring, especially around the face,
wouldn’t want to paint him. Strangely, though, this didn’t seem to
He felt miserable for being so foolish. He thought he was better than
“How’s it going?”
He sat down in the chair beside the bed. “The doctor said you had a
attack this morning. Are you okay?”
“Kind of groggy
from the shot
they gave me,” Zach said.
“I suspected as
you were sound asleep when I came back from the cafeteria.”
“I was?” Zach
asked. His mind
raced back to just after Doctor Lee left him, but there weren’t enough
for him to recall being asleep that soon. He remembered being awake
wasn’t there and then nodding off, but he couldn’t remember waking and
falling back to sleep. Maybe it was the aftereffects of the drug they
same here and he hadn’t been watching the television. All he could
lying in the bed waiting for Paul to come in and then waking just
and Franny just came in. He couldn’t even remember relieving himself,
certain that must have occurred at least once or his bladder would be
at his inattention to its needs.
“Wake up. Come on,
can you at
least wake up to say goodbye to Franny?”
“We’re going to get
lunch and we’ll be back in a couple hours.”
Zach looked over at
was now standing beside the bed. Franny was looking out the window. He
“Are you coming
asked. He felt an overwhelming sense of sadness come upon him. It was
enough to make him feel like crying.
“I gotta ’cuz I
with Uncle David,” Franny said. He was still looking out the window.
tell the little boy was still nervous about being in the hospital.
“Too bad you can’t
out to that ranch we were at yesterday,” Zach said. “He seemed to enjoy
with Brent and Chantelle.”
“Yeah, well, that’s
to happen,” Paul said. “Come on, Franny, let’s go get a burger.”
“Bye, Zach,” Franny
a little wave.
“Bye,” Zach said.
Franny didn’t come back after lunch. Zach lay in his bed mostly feeling
for being in his current situation and bored out of his mind with
read, nothing to watch on the television, no one to talk to, and
nothing to do
except keep nodding off and waking up realizing nothing about his
to the slightest degree.
Sometime in the
nurse came in and got Zach out of bed. He figured she was just checking
if he was going to pass out. When he didn’t, she handed him a flimsy
put over his gown and pointed him toward the hall.
“Take a walk,” she
the door turn right and once around the nurse’s station.”
Since it was
something to do,
he didn’t complain. Why he decided to go slow, he wasn’t certain, but
made his way along the hall, Zach started looking into the other rooms.
three rooms, he figured he was on a pediatric floor because there were
kids in the rooms; and, as best he could figure, a lot of them were
When he made his
circuit, he began to pay closer attention to his neighbors. There was a
girl in the first room. She couldn’t have been much more than six and
and plumbed; and, she was very much asleep. A woman—Zach guessed her
also asleep in the chair beside the bed. A constant beep from the heart
filled the room with its obnoxious tone.
The next room had a
maybe twelve, with casts on both his legs and his left arm. Zach looked
over his clothed body then, again, at the boy whose face was turned
window where a young man, maybe an older brother, was sitting. They
The boy in the next
alone. He reminded Zach of Franny. Skinny, small, long dirty blonde
an unruly bang hanging over his eyes, but it was the empty eyes staring
him that froze Zach’s feet to the floor. This little boy was very, very
he said to himself.
“Hi,” Zach said at
“Doing anything special?”
“No,” the boy said
in a barely
“Mind if I come in?”
The boy didn’t say
as Zach walked into the room. A red light on the IV monitor was slowly
and the television was on, but there wasn’t any sound. There was a cast
boy’s right leg from his toes almost to his groin. Another covered his
hand and arm up to his shoulder. As far as Zach could tell, the boy was
The chair was over by the window and looked as if it had been moved
there to be
out of the way. Zach pulled it over to the bed and sat down.
“My name’s Zach.”
The boy stared at
didn’t say anything. Up close the eyes were pale blue, but there didn’t
be too much awareness behind them. It was as if a boy’s body simply
this place. If it hadn’t been for the initial whispered response, Zach
have suspected the boy couldn’t talk at all.
“Do you have a
“Kenny,” the boy
said with an
“That’s a nice
said. “I’ve never met a Kenny before. Are you from Sommersville?”
couple tears welled up in his eyes. He turned away from Zach and began
Zach stood up and
hand on the boy’s shoulder and whispered. “Hey, Kenny, what’s wrong?”
“Oh, there you
are,” said the
nurse who got him out of bed. “You’re supposed to be walking.”
“He looked alone,”
as he continued to softly caress the boy’s shoulder.
“He is and you need
walking,” the nurse said. “You can talk to him later.”
“I’ll be back in a
bit,” Zach said softly patting Kenny’s shoulder. “Okay?”
“Uh, huh,” Kenny
through faint sobs.
When he got into
Zach stopped and looked at the nurse.
“His parents were
an accident out on I-35,” the nurse said. “His father didn’t make it.
mother is in ICU. She may not make it, either. His grandparents are
They’ll be here tonight.”
“Sounds like he
friend,” Zach said.
“That would be
nice, but you
need to walk. Do three more circuits then you can talk to him for an
hour or so.
I’ll come and get you when it’s time to walk, again. Okay?”
By suppertime, Zach
laughing at nothing in particular. He had his meal in Kenny’s room and
big show of being able to put food in his mouth and swallow. He was
everything he could think of to make the little boy laugh. Even going
so far as
sticking two carrots sticks up his nostrils, which is what he was doing
older adults walked into the room.
Kenny was in a deep
fit, but instantly became quiet when he saw the adults. The man was
fit with a little gray in his sideburns. He was wearing a gray suit, a
shirt with a dark tie, and dress shoes that squeaked on the tile floor.
woman was a foot or so behind the man. She was grayer and puffier with
flesh. Zach immediately recognized her as a grandmother. He wasn’t
the man was.
“Kenneth, how are
“Grandpa John! You
Kenny shouted and held his arms up while his grandmother hugged him.
“We need to pray
man said. “Almighty father we come to you begging forgiveness for the
sins this boy has committed. You smote him and he suffers regret for
from your welcoming bosom. . . .”
Zach knew his
not welcome, so he pulled the carrots from his nose, put the tray on
and stood up. Kenny’s face was covered by his grandfather’s hand while
grandmother knelt on the floor whispering something Zach couldn’t quiet
He picked up the tray with his left hand, tried to balance it so the
would slide to one side, and headed toward the door. Then he heard the
grandmother’s soft voice.
sooly gawan . . . .”
Zach stared at the
kneeling beside Kenny’s bed and felt nauseous at the sound of the
words sliding out between her bright red lips. He looked at the bed and
of Kenny’s eyes between his grandfather’s fingers. He looked scared,
These people didn’t come to comfort the boy.
“. . . this lost
deevanab swoona beesomt . . .”
toward the man as incomprehensible words come out of his mouth, too.
was trying to say something, but the man’s face blocked the words
the boy’s mouth. His eyes told Zach he was very, very scared, but Zach
there was nothing he could do. This was family and he walked out into
concentrating on the tray of half eaten food.
When Paul and
the next morning, Zach was sitting in the chair in his robe and gown.
up at Paul then smiled at his little friend.
holding out his arms. The boy ran into Zach’s enveloping embrace.
“I missed you,”
whispered, “and Uncle David is mad at you.”
“That’s okay,” Zach
“Ready to go,
“I don’t think I
can get out
of here in this,” Zach said, pulling at the robe. “My jeans were cut
off me. My
t-shirt is shreds.”
“I’ll be back in a
Paul said. “Keep Franny occupied, okay?”
Zach watched Paul
suspected something wasn’t quite right. His mind seemed to imagine Paul
Zach’s bag down in the Explorer and would be back in only a minute.
still wrapped in his arms and he was reluctant to let the boy go. It
holding on to a teddy bear, a bit of needed comfort in a barren place
“Want to watch some
television?” Zach asked.
he pulled away from Zach. He was looking at the floor as if embarrassed
He wasn’t certain he wanted to know the answer, but felt he had to ask
“Uncle David is mad
“You said that.”
“He yelled at Uncle
Franny said as a tear trickled down his cheek. “I was scared.”
“Hey, I’m sure it’s
“Uncle David called
name. He said you were a horse.”
“Uh, huh, a dirty
don’t understand why he said that.”
“Well, he didn’t
me a horse, it was something a little worse than that.”
“Yeah, I’m sure.
about it, okay?”
Zach turned on the
TV and got
on the bed. Franny climbed up and lay down beside him. A whore? Is that
David called him? It sounded like something David would say. A filthy
yeah, that’s what he was. Just like Steven, he’d sold himself for
than a few extra dollars.
In a few minutes,
back in the room carrying Zach’s bag. Zach looked up and saw the face
“That didn’t take
said. “It’s almost as if I’m not going back to the motor home.”
“David doesn’t want
around the boys,” Paul said.
“Other than Franny,
“Franny’s too young
grasp the situation.”
“He said David
called me a
“See, he doesn’t
“He said David
yelled at you.
Did you try to defend me?”
“No, I was trying
with him. We’re a long way from home to be denying you transportation
“So what’s the
“I’ve got you a
for tonight. Tomorrow morning I’ll take you to the airport and put you
plane to Seattle. A friend of mine will pick you up at the
take you out to the McDonald house until we get back. Hopefully, by
I’ll have convinced David to let you stay with us.”
“How did you know
“Bud McDonald and I
back and he’s bought a few of my more innocent works. I hear his
you are friends.”
“Yeah, I know.”
“I want you to know
reluctant to let you stay with us,” Bud said as he zipped out of the
parking garage. “Your history with Jeremy isn’t what I’d call
“I’m sorry,” Zach
been stupid. I thought he’d be happy with someone his own age.”
“You’re only a year
“Yeah, and two
along in school.”
“Is that such a big
“I thought it was,”
said. He looked out his window at a minivan they were passing. Printing
the windows said, “North Park Tabernacle of Joyous Praise,” and he
Kenny’s grandparents speaking in tongues as they tried to exorcise evil
out of their six year old grandson. He wondered what Kenny had done to
antagonize them or if he had simply gone blindly along with his
knowing he was living a sinful life. He felt sorry for the boy, but
wasn’t anything he could’ve done. On the other hand, there was
could do about his situation.
“I can’t stop
him,” Zach said. “Whatever I do, wherever I go, something reminds me of
and what he meant to me. I only wish he’ll at least accept me as a
“He’ll do more than
I will not have you two sleeping together under my roof,” Bud said as
onto I-5 and notched the coupe up towards eighty. Zach tried not
they began to weave in and out of lanes, almost as if they were in the
the pack on a racetrack and Bud was intent on getting into the lead, no
Zach wasn’t certain
to sleep with Jeremy, even though he’d already done it. He wanted to
over, reset their friendship to the beginning, to some time before that
that birthday night when he was the birthday present, a whore with a
ass. He wanted to be a normal seventeen year old boy who just happened
gay and in love with another boy. Jeremy being sixteen didn’t seem to
But, what was he
going to do
about Steven? Could he just abandon Steven? He hadn’t heard anything
Steven’s aunt told him to stay away and get on with his life. Could he
or did he need to go to the hospital and try to see the man who he
meant so much to him that he’d give up a beautiful person like Jeremy?
“I don’t want that
“I wish I could
Bud said. “But, I promised Paul I’d give you a place to stay until he
“I won’t do
said. “All I want to do is, what?”
“I don’t know what
I want. Is
“I think you need
“What? A shrink?”
“Lock me up in Fir
“No, nothing that
but you’ve been through an awful lot in the past year. I think it might
you had someone to talk to.”
Zach look out his
the cars they were passing and wondered what he’d say to someone he
He’d never considered going to any kind of counselor. Even at home no
suggested he should go to someone who might talk him out of being gay.
Everyone, including his parents, simply assumed he wouldn’t, or
He felt a tear
his cheek as he thought about being so close to home only a few days
that moment, as Bud sped north on I-5, Zach knew he should be at home
what he was going to take with him to Stillwater. Oklahoma State had
been his first choice, if he could get
Aim high, that’s what he’d always heard about setting goals. Go for the
And, then, they took it all away from him because his former friends
made up a
bunch of stories.
Maybe talking to
such a bad idea.
“Isn’t this the
was in?” Zach asked as he followed Bud into a bedroom suite on the
of the house.
“He’s living with a
know in New
Bud said. “He needs a lot of help and they live
close to the best care he can get. He’s a nice boy and I want to help
him all I
can. Since you’re not going to be here permanently, this should suit
“I want to thank
you for what
you’re doing,” Zach said as he set his bag on the floor.
“Jeremy is taking
test right now, Sara took him. Paul is in Switzerland with his mother.
Do you need anything?”
“No, not right now,
you know someone who I can talk to.”
“I’ll take care of
said. “Remember, Zach, no trouble. None!”
“No, no trouble,”
He sat down on the bed, then fell back when Bud walked out the door. He
up at the ceiling as he thought about what was going to happen when
“I told you not to
anyone,” Conan said as he slowly shoved the nine inch kitchen knife
stomach. Green slime oozed out and Zach vomited.
“I didn’t say
said into the microphone. The lights in the interrogation room were
eyes, but the green slime oozing out of the wound in his stomach spread
bright green and orange stain across his tightly bound thighs. “I
“Then who told
asked, bringing the knife close to Zach’s face. “You were the only one
“Zach! Wake up!”
exclaimed as he
pushed the blade into Zach’s mouth.
open, but light in the room was too subdued for him to immediately
where he was. A girl was looking down at him. It was Sara. She looked
screaming,” she said.
“A bad dream,” Zach
Zach turned his
and looked into Jeremy’s concerned face. Not unexpectedly, Bud suddenly
appeared in the room.
“What’s wrong?” Bud
“He was having a
“Are you okay?”
“Yeah, I guess I
asleep,” Zach said.
“Are you sure
“I’m fine, a little
and a little sore, but I’ll be okay.”
“What happened to
“Did you pass your
test?” Zach asked.
“I asked you
said as he sat down next to Zach.
“If you’re hungry,
food in the kitchen,” Bud said. “I’ll be in the library if anyone needs
“He failed the
for the third time,” Sara said.
“After three times
have the test figured out,” Zach said.
“What happened to
“I was beaten up,”
“How many were
“One with good
said. “You know, I am hungry and I have to take a pain pill.”
“Come on, I’ll make
sandwich,” Jeremy said.
“Don’t let him,
said. “He’s a terrible cook.”
“Like you’re any
“I can do
crêpes,” Sara said.
Zach followed the
sister out of the room as memory of the nightmare slowly faded from his
awareness. Except, Zach was convinced he needed to talk to someone. He
want anymore of these dreams. It was bad enough what Conan did to him,
have him linger on was not a good thing.
“Our mother can’t
“Who do you think
“But she can’t boil
without burning it,” Jeremy said.
“But she can do
“Tell her you want
me to make
you a sandwich,” Jeremy said.
“I’m not getting
two of you,” Zach said. “I’m the guest here. Oh, damn, I forgot my
“I’ll go get it,”
“It’s in my bag,”
“Don’t let her make
Jeremy said as hurried ran back up the stairs.
“Come on, I’ll get
stuff for sandwiches,” Sara said.
“You like arguing
“He’s my brother,
I’m supposed to do.”
Zach was lying on
looking up into Jeremy’s brown eyes, which were as he remembered them
first night not so many months ago. They had just kissed, a lingering,
meaningful kiss, but lacking enough passion to get them further than
Jeremy fully clothed, sitting on the edge of the bed with Zach under
“I want you,”
Jeremy said as
his finger traced along the bandage over Zach’s eye.
“I don’t want to do
until I’m better,” Zach said. “Jeremy?”
“Can we go back?”
“To before we met?”
“What do you mean?”
“Can I get to know
“I love you, but I
you. Can I get to know you before we have sex? Will you do that for me?”
“Yeah, I guess.”
“Good, thank you.
kiss me good night.”
Jeremy leaned down
his lips over his lover’s. Zach thought back to a happier time in his
a younger boy rode his favorite cow pony in a pasture full of steers
doing anything other than relishing the hot sun on his bare back and
the feel of the galloping horse under him as it wheeled and weaved
steers, but barely spooking them as they were too used to having the
his horse out with them on hot summer days. He wanted Jeremy so much,
wanted to feel like a kid, again.