Part 33

Written by Trevor

Edited by Jack


(Life after School)
Please note this story contains boy-to-boy sexual activity and if you
don't enjoy this kind of story read no further.
This story is also based on actual events but all the names and locations have been changed to protect those involved.
This story is not to be published, or reprinted, without the express permission of the author.



Because of the three week break between my stories here is the final paragraph of the previous chapter


I began looking around to make sure the rest of our people were all right but couldn't find Peter or Steve and then noticed John and Bruce were also missing.

I began calling their names and started back into the hotel to look for them but was held back by firemen and police.

"But my son and his partner and two of our friends are still in there." I screamed.

I was asked which rooms and I told them and several fire fighters were despatched to look for them.

Both Derek and I began sobbing and crying out their names and this increased when the firemen came back out empty handed.


Now read on


The search continued for those missing not only my boys, John and Bruce but also three other guests. The firemen were gradually getting the fire under control while searching for those missing but to no avail. All of us were nervous wrecks by this time and I was clinging to Derek both of us sobbing with Ian and Roland also hanging onto each other. My mother was suffering from smoke inhalation and was taken to hospital along with several other guests. The media had arrived in force and were trying their hardest to get to me but the police did a good job keeping them at bay. I'm sure if any reporter did get through I would have flattened them.

The ambulance officers wanted to take us away and put us in a hospital bed but we all refused to move until we knew what had happened to Peter, Steve, John and Bruce.


Gradually the fire fighters brought the blaze under control and eventually only a few embers were burning while thick, black smoke was still flowing skywards. They were now able to begin searching more thoroughly and methodically. The top floor was still intact but a search failed to find anyone up there. The search continued floor by floor until it reached the ground floor and no sign of any one.

The hotel manager approached the fire chief explaining that there was a cellar so a squad headed off down there. Over the radio the call went out we've found them, we all jumped up heading closer to the entrance but the police barred our way. The call went out for some stretchers and our hearts stopped beating momentarily.


Several ambulance officers headed into the hotel and once again we had an agonizing wait. Next thing we knew was a stretcher coming out, we ran over to see who it was but it wasn't one of our guys. A couple came out walking unsteadily with fireman helping them and we all gave a cry of joy because one was Peter and the other was Bruce. I ran over to grab Peter and he began crying, "Oh dad it's terrible so terrible."

"Why son what's happened where's Steve?"

"I don't know I think he's coming out but I'm not sure dad it was terrible."

He collapsed into my arms and ambulance officers took him off me leading him to an ambulance where they sat him down and began checking him over.


It was an age before anyone else came out and Steve's parents were going frantic with worry. Finally, another blanket figure appeared and it was Steve. Apart from being filthy black with soot and smoke, he appeared to be not too bad. Peter ran to him and they hugged and kissed in the middle of the hotel garden. Bruce had recovered quite well and came over to see if John had been brought out. We told him not yet but we were sure it would be soon. Two more came out one on a stretcher but we believe all they had was a broken leg.

There's only two left we heard over the fire chiefs radio. Then he turned his radio right down so no one could hear and two more officers went down carrying more stretchers. At last the final two came out and when we saw them our hearts dropped one was already in a body bag while one was strapped to a stretcher with breathing apparatus drips and tubes everywhere. He was put straight into an ambulance and driven away at speed before anyone could see who it was. I asked the chief did they have any idea who the one which went to hospital was and he said, "Hang on a minute his wallet has been found and is coming up now."

We waited with baited breath, Bruce looked terrible deadly white and shaking like a leaf. "I don't know what I would do if anything happens to John I love him so much."

We cuddled him saying soothing words of comfort to him but that wasn't working.

The one in the body bag no one knew who it was because all the hotel guests and staff had been accounted for. A police officer came up with a wallet and several of them stood around going through it. I heard my name mentioned looked up and one of the officers who was looking my way turned back abruptly. Finally A more senior office approached me suggesting that I sit down. "I believe the deceased person is Samuel Johnson who is your father I believe?"

"Yes he is how do you know it's him."

"By his drivers licence in his wallet, now your mother was taken to hospital wasn't she?"

"Yes, that's right, if you like I'll go down there and tell her, my sisters are with her as well."

A look of relief spread over his face when he realized that he would be off the hook.

"Thank you I appreciate that it's a job I hate doing and I'm sorry for your loss."

"Don't be he wasn't a very nice man, in fact what was he doing in there because he wasn't a guest? The management threw him out because he was causing trouble."

"Well that might explain a few things it's early yet but the fire brigade think that the fire was lit deliberately."

"I wouldn't be surprised if he wasn't the culprit."

Bruce had been listening to all this and he interrupted the conversation, "Excuse me but the last one to go to the hospital do you know who that was?"

"I think it was a Mr Waddington, why do you ask?"

"He's my partner is he hurt badly?"

"I'm not sure he wasn't conscious when he was brought out."

I thanked the police officer and said to Bruce and Derek," come on let's get down to the hospital and see what's happening."

A police officer offered us a ride that we accepted collecting Peter and Steve who had just been looked at and given the all clear by the ambulance people.

At the hospital it was organized chaos, but Bruce soon found a doctor to tell him about John and it wasn't good he was badly burnt and had scarred lungs from the fire. They were just about to take him into surgery so Bruce rushed off to see him before he went in while we looked for my mother.


We found her in a cubicle looking not too bad considering with no major damage just a bit of smoke got into her lungs so she was on oxygen for the time being. My sisters and their boyfriends were gathered around. I suggested everyone sat down were they could.

"I hate to have to tell you this mum but one person didn't get out alive."

"Yes and I suppose it was your father because he started the fire, I might have guessed."

"How did you know mum?"

"Call it a calculated guess, he wanted you dead no matter what, I'm sorry for all the trouble he caused you. He was a silly stupid man who did some silly stupid things, and now he's gone." She broke down crying her heart out because deep down she loved him after all he gave her three wonderful kids. It was beginning to get light outside and it began to dawn on us all that we didn't have any clothes to wear. All we had on was our night attire plus a pair of pants Derek and I managed to scramble into before we got out. I looked around and most of the hotel guests were in the same boat. Just as we were thinking about this the Salvation Army came walking into the hospital with loads of clothing of all shapes and sizes. Plus a representative from the hotel chain who owned the one burnt down arrived with alternative accommodation for us all.

Once we were clothed and given directions to the new hotel, a bus arrived to take us there. A police officer approached my mother about formally identifying the body and I said I'd do it.


We arrived at the new hotel and got our rooms sorted out and then had breakfast. By now the news had spread and I had several phone calls while having breakfast. Bob my manager called first, frantic for news and then Alec Guinness called checking up on us, all after four of his main people were in the fire, me, Derek, Ian and Roland. The next call was from Michael and Robert panicking about us, which was remarkable considering what they went through with the kidnapping and all before Christmas. They told us because of what happened they wouldn't bring the boys down but give them an extra week at Disneyworld.

Bob rang back and in his usual abrupt manner said, "After what happened do you want me to replace you in the pantomime?"

"Just a minute." I said, then repeated what he said to Derek. He just nodded his hand whispering that he's had enough of Brighton for now.

"Ok Bob find someone else."

"Will do." The phone was slammed down and he was gone.

"So guys what are we going to do, we've got about four weeks with nothing happening."

"I don't know, but for goodness sake let's get out of here and go back to London."

"There's only one problem with that Derek, we haven't anywhere to live. Don't forget we let the house go and we were going to look for another one when we'd finished here."

Everyone was silent for a while working out what to do. My sister's boyfriends said they would be taking mum back to Worthing first thing in the morning.

"What about dad's funeral?" I asked having completely forgotten about him.

Mum shook her head, "I don't know, I suppose we should start making arrangements right away."

"Leave that to me mum I'll arrange a funeral director to do everything for us and I'll let you know the date when it's all fixed."

Mum stood up giving me a kiss and cuddle saying. "You're a good son Cliff I love you."

The next rotten job I had to do was to go down to the morgue and identify my father. A police car came to take us and as we approached the morgue, which was situated at the back of the general hospital, we noticed a group of reporters outside obviously waiting for us.

"Sorry about this gentlemen, but they're like leeches once they lock on to a story."

"That's ok officer we're used to dealing with the media."

The minute we got out of the car like bees around the honeypot they swarmed, pushing and shoving trying to get the best picture and the front spot.

"Is it really your father Cliff and did he try to murder you and your boyfriend."

I held up my hand for silence and got it.

"I don't know for sure if it is my father. That is why I'm here right now to identify the body. If it is my father and he did start the fire then perhaps it is god's way of handing down justice. As you are aware, he has in the past made several attempts on my life. This time he didn't care who he took with me to my grave, not only innocent people but his two daughters his wife, my adopted son and his partner and some dear friends. He was a sad and sorry man unable to cope with the fact that I was a homosexual and for that it looks like he has paid the price with his life."

When I'd finished they began hurling a barrage of questions at me.

"That's all I'm going to say at this stage thank you for your time."

Grabbing Derek's hand I went into the morgue building, where I was greeted by a couple of police officers who took me into a waiting room with comfortable armchairs and they invited us to sit down.

We hadn't been sitting long when a guy in a white coat came in along with the two officers and directed us to a small window with a curtain hanging. He drew back the curtain and there was my father lying on a hospital gurney with a sheet covering most of his body and just his head and shoulders showing. Parts of his body and face that we could see were badly scarred and burnt but it was obviously my father. Derek grabbed hold of my hand to give me support squeezing it tight.

"Is that Samuel Johnson your father?"

"Yes it is."

After I'd said that the curtain was drawn again and that was the very last I wanted to see of my father.

"When will the body be released?" I asked.

"We will be performing a full post mortem, so I would say two to three days."

The man in the white coat told me. "I will arrange for a funeral director to handle everything and he will contact you and do whatever you do between yourselves."

He nodded and one of the police officers said, "We have a private entrance out the back which we will take so that you can avoid the media."

I thanked him, we moved through a number of corridors, and outside into a waiting police car that took us back to our new hotel.


By now both of us were very tired, but we still had a fair bit to do. I spoke to the hotel manager regarding a funeral director and he put me in touch with one he knew of. My mother was having a bit of lunch in the dining room and I asked her where would she like her husband buried. "I'd like to have him back in Worthing so I can put flowers on his grave from time to time."

I told her if that was her wish then it would be done. "There's an insurance policy for his death I think." She said. Mom then went on to tell me the name of the insurance company they dealt with and I said I would get the funeral director to sort that out.

"If the policy doesn't cover everything we will cover the balance." I told her.

I called the funeral home and within minutes, he was here, and all the arrangements were made. I told him we only wanted a graveside service. "He doesn't deserve a church funeral after all the evil things he did.

Once all that was got rid of and the funeral guy left, I put my arms around Derek, "I don't know about you lover but I'm dead on my feet and can't take much more of this. Let's go lie down for a while and try and get some sleep."

Peter and Steve were already asleep while Bruce was still at the hospital waiting for John to come out of surgery. The doctors had given him no indication of what condition John was in except that his condition was grave.


We got to our room and just collapsed on the bed falling into a deep sleep immediately. The next thing we heard was a knocking on the door and as I opened my eyes, I noticed that it was dark. I called out, "who is it?"

"The waiter sir, we're closing the dining room soon. Did you require an evening meal?"

"Yes thank you, we'll be right down."

Neither of us realized we had been asleep for such a long time. We quickly dressed heading to the dining room and got there just as Peter and Steve came in. We ordered realizing that we were hungry.

"Any news from the hospital about John?"

"Bruce rang earlier and because we were all sleeping he left a message at reception. John is on the danger list and in intensive care, and that's all the information we have at the moment." Peter told us. Steve's parents came in to join us, they had already eaten but joined the conversation.

"We'll be going back home tomorrow morning, because Steve told us you might be heading back to London?"

"Yes I think we will, mum is going home with my two sisters and their partners, so it looks like the parties over."

"It's not exactly been a great Christmas has it?"

"No Steve, it's now time to put all that behind us and look forward to the future."

The waiter came in with a phone call for me. After he had plugged the phone in I answered it.

"It's Bob here, Alec has decided now that you are out of the Pantomime, He'll be tagging an extra week onto the play so he would like you all back in London no later than next week and tell Derek he has to have the sets out of storage by the end of the week bye."

Typical Bob gets to the point and when he's finished hang up.

"Well that's solved our problem of what we were going to do, I did think it would have been nice to join Michael and Robert at Disneyworld but that idea is out the window now."

"By the way, anyone seen Ian and Roland?"

"Not since this morning Peter, anybody else seen them?"

In answer to our questions they walked hand in hand into the dining room and it was obvious what they had been up to, by the dreamy look in their eyes.

"Hi guys, any more news on John?"

We told all we knew and then we brought them up to date about returning to London. Derek reminded me that we still don't have anywhere to live and need to start house or apartment hunting as soon as get to London.

Ian said, "Don't forget I still have my rent free apartment provided by you know who and we can all stay there until you find something else."

"Are you sure you still have that place?"

"No, but I'll find out when we get there, and if the locks are changed then we are in the same boat as you two are."

"I know it's getting late but I think we should head down to the hospital to find out how John's doing. I don't know about you guys but I feel guilty leaving Bruce for so long on his own."

They all agreed with me so we headed out after ordering a taxi. At the hospital at first they weren't going to let us in due to the fact that it was way past visiting hours, but one nurse recognized us and said an exception could be made after all we had been through.

We were taken to the intensive care section and asked to wait outside. Not long after Bruce came out and when he saw who it was he collapsed into our arms sobbing his heart out.

"Thank you for coming, I'm worried sick that my darling John isn't going to make it."

Holding onto him tight in a group hug, we did our best to pacify him but it didn't work.

"What's the story Bruce, how bad is he?"

"He had collapsed lungs which are black due to the soot and smoke he inhaled and one was so bad they had to remove it. The other one is still not working to its fullest capacity but the doctor thinks it will come good. His throat is badly burnt, along with his face so he'll be scarred for life." He broke down again unable to go on. Gradually he brought his emotions back under control before continuing, "He does have some other burns but they are the worst." We continued to hold onto him until he gradually stopped crying.

"Is there anything we can do to help John?"

"Thanks, but just pray for him and hope that he will pull through, without my dear lover I don't know what to do." He began crying again and we continued to pacify him the best we could.

"Would you like to see him? He's not fully conscious but recognizes voices. Only two at a time are allowed in." It was decided that Derek and myself would go in first because we have always been the closest. The room was dimly lit and we could make out this figure lying there with tubes coming out everywhere. He was on his back eyes closed not moving. Machines were helping him to breathe and a male nurse was sitting at his bedside monitoring him continually.


We moved closer and I took his hand squeezing it gently. His eyelids fluttered as he became aware someone was there. "You can talk to him and we think he hears everything being said." The nurse told us. "Hi John it's Cliff and Derek your two favourite people, after Bruce that is. Now it's important that you hurry up and get better, we love you John, love you very much."

Derek then spoke, "John, this is Derek and I agree with everything my lover told you. Please, we love you so much, so keep fighting this and get better."

His eyelids began to flutter like crazy and the nurse pointed this out to us telling us that he was hearing every word.

I had an idea and began to sing a song which he had taught me a long time ago in music class. It was Ave Maria. I sang it quietly and softly for him and not only did his eyelids go non-stop but a tear appeared in first one eye and then the other. I looked across at the nurse and he was crying as well while Derek had his arm around me hugging me tighter and tighter.

John's grip on my hand got firmer and firmer and some of the machines began to react. A doctor came in and couldn't believe what he was witnessing. John's eyes opened slowly and he turned ever so slightly until the pain stopped him to look at me. The hint of a smile could be seen under all the tubes and mask on his face and he mouthed words with no sound coming out, "I love you."

That did it I couldn't continue as I broke down. The doctor moved us to one side as Bruce also came rushing in to see what was happening. The doctor checked all his machines while the nurse wiped John's eyes and face. When he had finished the doctor motioned for us to leave and both Derek and I leant in to kiss him on the cheek.

Outside the others wanted to know what happened but the doctor spoke up first, "Thank you for doing that, you brought him out of his unconsciousness making him more aware of what was going on around him. He is in a lot of pain so the medication we have him on will keep him pretty dopey anyway. Bruce and you guys if you could keep encouraging him to fight and keep on living I think he'll pull through." Breathing a sigh of relief, Bruce thanked the doctor while Ian and Roland went in to see him.


"One thing I haven't quite worked out yet is what all of you were doing in the cellar?"

They looked at each other and Peter decided he would provide the explanation.

"All four of us were in the same bedroom if you get what I mean." We grinned and nodded, "When the fire alarm went, we put on some clothing and started to make our way downstairs but the smoke was so thick we couldn't see a thing. Crawling on our hands and knees down the stairs we lost our way and continued going down past the front door and into the cellar where we found others also down there including your father who must have hid down there after he started the fire."

"How did you know he'd started it?"

"He told us, he said he was going to be finally rid of his poofter son and all his cock sucking friends. I don't think he realized he was talking to us."

"How did he come to die?"

"He tried to get out but the flames and the smoke were too much for him and if he hadn't opened the cellar door we would have been better off because the door was a tight fit and not much smoke was getting through."

Ian and Roland came out so it was then Peter and Steve's turn. John asked us if we would be around tomorrow and we explained we had to go back to London but would call in before we left.


Both the boys looked quite shaken up when they came out from seeing John and we kissed Bruce goodnight before heading back to the hotel. We had a nightcap before heading off to bed. "Do you realize we haven't seen our car for a few days I wonder where it is?"

"When did we last see it?" My lover asked, "When the bell hop took it to park the night before the fire. The hotel didn't have an underground car park, so it must be in Brighton somewhere, we'd better ask the hotel management in the morning."


After a quick shower, we headed for bed laying there our arms around each being very quiet.

Derek said, "What are you thinking darling?"

"I was just offering up some silent prayers for John, you?"

Smiling he said, "The same as you."

We kissed for a while before sleep overtook us.


Next morning before breakfast we told the hotel manager that we would be leaving today much to his relief, because after all we weren't paying and were now guests of the hotel chain.

"Do you have any idea were our car might be?"


"All the vehicles were moved to a holding yard and I'm sure yours will be there. I'll send someone to pick it up for you."

I thanked him heading in for breakfast. Mom and my sisters were just finishing up eating before heading off for home, while Roland, Ian, Peter and Steve had just began breakfast.

Steve's parents had already left and Derek and I felt guilty that we weren't there to see them off.

The hotel manager came in with the keys to our car telling us it was outside fuelled up and ready. We thanked him for his hospitality and promising that the next time we came to Brighton we'd try and make sure his hotel didn't burn down.

"There's one thing we really must do before we go anywhere today." Derek said, "And what's that?"

"We need to buy some decent clothes, these Salvation Army clothes might be ok for round here but not for London."

We all agreed, deciding that after we had been to the hospital to see Bruce and John, we would go shopping.


After saying goodbye to everyone including a tearful farewell to mum, we headed for the car and I don't know how we did it but all six of us managed to squeeze into our four seater. Luckily, we didn't see any police on the way. At the hospital we made our way directly to intensive care to find a tearful Bruce sitting in the waiting room.

"What happened Bruce what's wrong?"

"He's, he's had a relapse, after you guys had been here last night he started to come good, even opened his eyes for a while but during the night his breathing got bad and he is now not breathing at all. A machine is doing it for him."

"Can we go see him?"

"Not right now the doctors are working on him, they seem to think they might even have to take him back into the operating theatre."

We held onto Bruce who was close to losing it completely.

We stayed with him for a couple of hours until the doctor came out to see him.

"I'm afraid it's not looking too good for John, the damage to his lungs and throat are very bad and were fearful of infection setting in. I think we might have to put him to sleep, an induced coma, for a day or so because every time he swallows he does a bit more damage."

"When does he swallow doctor he never opens his eyes?"

"True but he is still partially conscious all that time and because his throat is so swollen he automatically tries to swallow. The best thing Bruce is to go and have a rest yourself because you're not helping John by getting yourself into such a state, and you need to be here and strong for him when he begins to improve. He's going to need a lot of care not only when he first goes home but more than likely for the rest of his life."

Bruce nodded his head in agreement even if it was a reluctant nod. The doctor turned to us saying, "Are you going to be here as well?"

"Afraid not doctor we have to head back to London and get back into rehearsals."

It suddenly dawned on the doctor who we were, "That's right your Cliff Steele the famous actor."

"Actor maybe, famous no."

"Well I already have my tickets for the play."

"I'll make a deal with you doc. You pull my dear friend John through this and I'll put on an extra special performance the night you come to see the play and we'll meet and have a drink and a meal after on me."

He grinned from ear to ear saying, "That's a deal and does that include my boyfriend as well?"

That remark made us all grin even a bit of one from Bruce. I shook hands with the doctor saying it's a deal. He went back into John's room, and we said our goodbyes to Bruce telling him that we're sure he's going to pull through.


We left the hospital to go shopping, buying fresh of everything, because all the clothing we owned went up in smoke. We did have a couple of suitcases of stuff in storage with our furniture but that was all. Ian and Roland decided that they would rent a car to go back to London rather than catch the train. Once the shopping was done we loaded our car up and with the boys in the back me driving this time and my darling Derek next to me. We headed off to London with the other two following in their rental.


We made good time and about two hours later pulled up outside Ian's old apartment. He dashed up stairs but was soon back down. "They've changed the locks and someone else is living there. We had a group meeting on the footpath and decided a hotel would have to do for tonight until we checked out what was on the market. Because this was really the end of our so-called Christmas holiday we picked a more up market hotel, we didn't quite make it to the Dorchester or the Savoy, they were just a bit too expensive, but it was a very nice four star place.

After dinner, we went straight to bed everyone feeling the strain of the past few days catching up with us. We phoned the hospital in Brighton to be told no change in John's condition. A shower and then it was straight into bed and we were so tired and worn out that nothing sexy happened which for us was most unusual. Next morning the other two couples commented that they were the same.


Over breakfast, we worked out a plan of action. Derek and Ian had to go the storerooms where the sets for the play were stored to check them over and arrange for them to be delivered to the theatre. Derek also had to arrange for stagehands to be taken on to assemble the sets and also work behind the scenes when we opened. Our rehearsals didn't start till the following week so we still had enough time to go house hunting.

Derek and I had decided because it looked as if we would be in London for the next couple of years at least that we would look at buying a nice home. If we moved out of the city to work we would rent the place out.


So, after breakfast we all went our separate ways. The boys came with me while Ian and Roland went with Derek. We called in to see Bob my manager first and he gave me a couple of estate agents to go see. The first one didn't have much to offer that we liked. We agreed we wanted to be out of London a bit this time but not too far because we had to consider the boys school.

We must have looked at about ten places and didn't like any of them. The second agent we called on had a better selection but still nothing took our fancy. The agent told us he had one more home to show us a little bit more expensive than we had budgeted for but very nice. The minute we got out of the car the boys said wow, and wow, it was. Set back in its own garden with a circular driveway was this five bedroom Victorian house with a stained glass panel on the front door and bay windows downstairs at the front. From the outside it was everything we wanted in a house. Heading inside there was a grand staircase leading to the upper floor. While it had the appearance of an old home from the outside the indoors had been renovated throughout and was modern looking with all new appliances in the kitchen and brand new central heating in every room, yes even the washroom.


The price was a bit scary and we would have to seek a fairly substantial bank loan to pay for it. I talked it over with the boys and they agreed it was a great place. I arranged with the agent for us to return tomorrow with Derek and that we might be making an offer. That put a smile on his face as we headed back to the hotel. Not long after we arrived the other three joined us and excitedly I told Derek about the house we had looked at.

"It sounds great I can't wait to take a look tomorrow."

"The only snag is our bank manager will have to be very kind to us because of the price, still we might be able to negotiate and get a bit more off the asking price."

The next job was to phone the hospital, and luckily we got to talk to Bruce who told us, "He's just lying there not moving not breathing on his own, I don't know what to do. The doctor keeps telling me all I can do is wait and see, but the wait is killing me."

While I kept talking to Bruce the others had a quick conference behind me and I put Ian on the phone.

"Bruce, Roland and I will come back down to Brighton in the morning and keep you company if you want?"

"Oh guys that would be great I do need someone to help me through this I don't know anyone in Brighton. Thank you guys you don't know what a relief that is to me. I love you all."

Once Bruce had hung up Ian turned smiling, "He's so grateful that we're going back down to him."

"I wish we could join you but there's a lot to do here right now, You'd better take a copy of the play Roland and start brushing up on your lines while your down there."

He nodded a yes and Derek said that we'll be down on the weekend if we can, coming back on Monday morning.

"We'll all have to be back on the Monday for work but hopefully John will have turned the corner by then."

We all agreed with Derek.

"I'd better call the funeral director about my father's funeral, I forgot all about him and he has no idea where I am."

Authors note: There were no cell phones back then.

Once I got him on the phone he told me that the funeral had been arranged for Friday morning in Malvern, Worcestershire. He had already contacted the rest of my family and the graveside service and burial would be at 10 am. I thanked him before hanging up the phone.

I told the others and Derek said, "Are we going my darling?"

"Yes we'll have to, while he wasn't a very nice man he was my father and we will have to be there to support mom."

I then rang my mother to make sure she was all right with the arrangements. We agreed to all meet at a local hotel for a couple of drinks before heading to the cemetery.


By the time, all the calls were made it was getting late so we kissed the boys and the other two goodnight before heading for bed. After the usual shower, we were laying side by side in bed both staring at the ceiling.

"Can we really afford this house Cliff, its a lot of money?"

"Not really, but look at it this way it will be an investment for the future, plus if times get tough which they do in the business we are in then we have an asset to fall back on."

Derek moved so that he was almost lying on top of me, I love you Cliff so very much."

Before I could respond, his lips met mine in a long passionate kiss that lasted a long time. It wasn't a sexy kiss but one that was filled with all the love we both had for each other.

We broke apart said goodnight and holding on to each other with Derek's head resting on my chest we went to sleep.


Back in Brighton, at the hospital it was close to one am when John's machines began making a lot of noise. The nurse on duty immediately called the doctor on call who came dashing in. Taking one look at John, he called a code blue that meant John was having a heart attack. A panic stricken Bruce was ushered from the room, as a team of nursing staff rushed in with the equipment needed to try and save John's life.

First he received an injection and then the doctor used a couple of paddles attached to a machine to shock the heart into starting. Calling out "clear" the power going through the paddles into John's body made him jump. A nurse checked for a heartbeat shaking her head she said "Nothing."

The doctor shouted "clear" and repeated the procedure and again John's body jumped. This time the nurse said, "We have a heartbeat but it's very faint."

More drugs were pumped into his body as the beat of his heart slowly got stronger.

The doctor remained with his patient for a while longer until he was satisfied that for now John was back in the land of the living.

He went out to join Bruce who had broken down completely. "He had a massive heart attack Bruce, but we were able to bring him round and his heart rate is close to normal. Every part of his body including his heart is under great strain right now and all I can tell you is that it is a waiting game. Either tomorrow or the next day I will try to get him breathing again and hopefully he will be able to cope. Now I would like you to go in there and talk to him tell him how much you love him and want him back in your arms, words like that, well you know what to say. Use little phrases and nicknames you use between each other. Being gay myself, I know the kind of talk that goes on between two people like you and I. This is going to be a big strain on you as well, and I have prescribed some pills to help you, because you have to be strong for John, you are a major part of the healing process."

Bruce put his arms around the doctor hugging him, kissing his cheek and thanking him over and over again.


Bruce went in to join his lover who once again was resting peacefully. Sitting down beside the bed, he held onto John's hand while resting his head on the pillow close to his lovers ear.

"Darling I love you, please try hard to pull through this, I need you in my arms once again, I love you." He kept this up repeating over and over again words of love and encouragement, until he fell asleep with his head still on his lover's pillow. The doctor called in a couple of hours later to check on his patient, smiling when he saw the scene of the two lovers so close. After checking John's vitals and making some adjustments to his drips and equipment he quietly left the two of them alone.


The excitement of checking out the house together, had Cliff and Derek awake earlier than usual. After a session of making out, they hopped into the shower with of course more sexual activity the end result being both of them receiving the first course of breakfast running down their throats.

They were the first into the dining room and after ordering breakfast, they sat quietly holding hands. Peter and Steven came in saw their two father's gazing into each other's eyes and Peter couldn't resist making a comment, "Look at that Steve, they're like a couple of love sick cows."

I looked at Peter and frowned, "Sorry dad couldn't help it, but that's just how you looked."

"And you two never do?"

"Well by the look of it we didn't go quite as far you two did this morning."

"Peter you're far too smart for your own good."

"I know dad."

"You always have to have the last word don't you?"

"Yes dad."

I gave up just as breakfast arrived. Ian and Roland joined us and as we ate, I asked the waiter if it was possible to have a phone brought to the table. He said he would organize it for me.

As soon as it was plugged in, I called the hospital to check on John. Bruce came on explaining about the heart attack and how it was still touch and go.

Ian got on the phone telling Bruce that they would be down there before lunch to support him.

"Thanks you guys, you don't know how much that means to me."

After he had hung up I made a suggestion, "I think we should head down to Brighton just as soon as we have done all our business up here today, what do you guys think?"

"I think my darling that John needs to hear you sing a song to him again, that worked so well last time."

Everyone else agreed, so we headed out explaining to the hotel reception that we may not be back tonight but hold onto the rooms for us.

Ian and Roland still had the rental car, so we headed for the hotel parking lot, where we kissed goodbye, before going off in different directions. Our prospective house was about forty minutes drive away from the hotel. We arrived early and spent the time showing Derek the outside of the building and once the estate agent arrived, we went inside. Derek wandered around amazed at the place. Once we'd been all over it Derek and I excused ourselves and went into another room to talk things over.

"Well what do you think?"

"It's a beautiful home and has been well maintained. I say we make them an offer and see how we go. We have enough for a deposit and then we'll go and talk to the bank who I think will have no problem advancing us the money."

We walked back in with an offer for the agent who told us that he felt certain the owners would accept. Also, we asked if we could move in right away while the contract was being settled and we would be willing to pay a reasonable rental for living there. We headed back to his office to begin the paperwork. We paid a small holding deposit. While we were still in the office, he went into a backroom and called the owners, coming back in about five minutes later to tell us we have a deal and we can move in as soon as we like at the rent amount we suggested.


Once we got outside, we had a group hug much to the annoyance of some passers-by. We headed back to the hotel hitting the phones, with Derek making an appointment for tomorrow with the bank manager, firstly I rang the hospital getting hold of Ian who told us that John was still in a pretty bad way with no change in his condition, "He's not getting any better but then again he's not getting any worse."

"That's not good news, we'll try and get down there later tonight, and can you make sure the hotel has rooms for us?" He agreed and then I told him about the house.

"That's great news I suppose Roland and I will have to start looking for somewhere to live as well."

"I haven't spoken to Derek yet, but this is a five bedroom place so we might be able to come to some arrangement and you could live with us."

"That sounds good, I'll let Roland know."

"Give my love to Bruce and tell him to hang in there."

We broke the call and my next job was to arrange for the furniture in storage to be taken to the new address. They promised it by lunchtime tomorrow, which was good. We would still have to buy a whole lot more furniture but at least we would have beds to sleep in, linen along with some cooking utensils.

Derek told me that we were meeting the bank manager at 9.30 am next morning so we would have to make the trip back from Brighton early.

"It's a pain having to go down to Brighton tonight but we have to do it for the sake of John and Bruce.'

"I agree Derek, I don't know about you but I'm terrified John's not going to pull through this."


Finally, we contacted Bob our manager and also Alec putting them both in the picture on what was happening. Alec made the first rehearsal for after lunch on the following Monday just in case we had to travel from Brighton. We had a quick bite to eat and then the four us were heading down the road to Brighton. Although it was late when we arrived at the hospital, the staff on duty had been notified of our coming so there was no problem being allowed in. Ian and Roland were sitting talking to John. The doctor had given Bruce some medication and put him in a bed not far from his partner. When we questioned Ian on this he said, "The doctor thought that Bruce was close to a total breakdown so he gave him some knockout pills and put him to bed. He told us he should sleep all night and hopefully be much better in the morning."

Derek and I went in to see John and he was lying in the same position, as he was when we left. His eyes were closed and a machine was still doing the breathing for him. He looked deadly white and his eyes were sunk into his face.

We sat together holding his hand and talking to him telling him about our new house and how he had to get better so he could come and stay with us. We talked about the past about the school plays and musicals the fun we all used to have. Finally, I began to softly sing to him nothing-special just one song after another. There was no reaction at all this time but Derek remarked later on, "I don't know about you but I felt he was listening to everything we said taking it all in."

I agreed with him commenting further that it was a strange feeling. Peter and Steve went in next but didn't stay all that long, "I ran out of things to say dad, it was weird having a one sided conversation with no one answering you back."

I agreed suggesting that maybe Steve could be the one answering for John.

"That would have been even stranger dad someone else answering for someone who looks almost as if their dead."

He stopped in his tracks turning quite pale, "Oh dad I'm so sorry I didn't mean it that way and imply that John is dead or going to die far from it."

"That's alright son I understand the words just came out wrong."

I gave him a big hug thinking that we haven't had much time for hugs and kisses just lately.

It was close to three am when we decided that we'd better get a couple of hours sleep. In fact once we got to the hotel and woke up the night porter we had time for just three hours before we had to be back on the road. There was certainly no time for any romance that's for sure.


We rushed through breakfast before making a quick visit to the hospital and found Bruce awake but looking like a zombie. He apologized for not being there last night, we looked in on John to find there was no change in his condition. A quick kiss goodbye and we were gone. Ian and Roland headed back to the hotel for a quick nap. We made it to the new house in record time leaving Peter and Steve there in case the furniture arrived early while we dashed off to see the bank manager.

He took us straight into his office and we got right to the point explaining all about the house and how much we wanted to complete the purchase.

He looked all the documents over including some pictures and admitted it was a fine looking house.

"I don't see any problems advancing you the money for this house; subject of course to our engineer checking the place out making sure it's structurally sound. The only problem I can see that will stop you getting the money is one minor detail."

I looked at Derek and he too had a worried look on his face, "What problem is that sir?"

"Only joking, but I would like four front row seats for your play please, I've been trying to get tickets for a while but could only get them towards the back so if you can swing me some front or near front seats that would clinch the deal." He laughed and we both joined in relieved that he was joking.

"That's no problem we'll get that organized next week and the tickets sent to you with our compliments."

"Don't get me wrong I'll pay for them."

"Don't worry about that sir, it'll be our pleasure and I hope you enjoy the play."

We signed a few papers before shaking hands and heading back to our new home.


The removalists had arrived with our furniture from out of storage and the boys had already began instructing them were everything had to go. It soon became apparent that we had no where near enough furniture for every room and would have to buy more. At least we had beds to sleep in although the young guy working on the furniture truck we overheard asking his mate, `why are there only two beds and four guys?'

We didn't hear the answer but from then on he looked at us with a strange look on his face.

Once the beds were assembled, we all took a nap being exhausted after only about three hours sleep and all that driving back and forth.

We still didn't have the phone on so we walked down the road to a call box to contact the guys at the hospital. Bruce came to the phone and sounded once again like a zombie. He told us that there was no change and the doctor was getting worried because of an irregular heartbeat, which they were unable to control. We told him we wouldn't be down tonight but would try again tomorrow to visit.


We then did a bit of shopping getting some food in. Back home we hooked up the TV settling down after we had eaten to relax for the first time since we don't know when.

It was great to relax with our partners, watching a movie in-between making out. Eventually we all kept dropping off to sleep so we decided to have an early night and head for bed.

We had our own shower and bathroom while the boys shared with the other rooms.

We both undressed and hopped into the shower to find out WE HAD NO HOT WATER.

"Shit its fucking freezing." I shouted getting out quicker than I got in with Derek right behind me. At the same time we heard a big yell from the direction of the boys bathroom. We dried off superfast got dressed heading downstairs looking for the boiler room or whatever. We met the boys on the stairs and all burst out laughing.

"That took about four inches off my dick." Peter wailed. "Why don't we have hot water?"

"I don't know the central heating's working, so should the hot water."

We headed for the cellar, which was locked so we hunted through all the drawers in the kitchen until we found a bunch of keys.

We went through the bunch until we found one that worked. There was a light switch at the top of the stairs and it looked as if nobody had been down there for a while judging by the cobwebs. It was a strange setup because the central heating furnace was in the laundry room on the ground floor while the one for the hot water we soon discovered was in the cellar. It was a gas heater so it took no time at all for us to light the pilot light so we could have instant hot water. We began looking around the cellar that we didn't think of looking at when we were buying the house. In a dark corner there was another door, which I cautiously opened, my brave companions right behind me up my back.


Slowly we went inside and I found a light switch, which lit a single bulb very dim and covered in dust, "it looks like no one's been in here for a long time."

"Maybe we'll find a body or a skeleton which has been here for years." Said Peter giving a ghostly laugh that scared the living daylights out of us.

"Don't do that Peter."

"Sorry dad."

Looking around the room which wasn't all that big we got the surprise of our lives. Up against the walls were racks upon racks of wine bottles from floor to ceiling. We gazed open mouthed at what must have been close to a couple of thousand bottles. I picked one out at random, wiping the dust off it to discover that it was a vintage Bordeaux.

"Hell guys, there must be thousands of pounds worth of wine here, I wonder who it belongs to?"

"Because the house is yours does this mean it now belongs to us?" Steve asked.

"What do you mean us; you're not even old enough to drink." I answered with a laugh.

Derek went into another corner were cardboard boxes full of bottles were stacked.

Pulling one out he remarked, "Fucking hell this is vintage port over a hundred years old and must be worth a fortune."

"I think we should take that bottle upstairs and sample it, what do you reckon?"

"It's not really ours to take, and it might be sour by now."

"Well we won't know if we don't try it."

So, we trooped back upstairs Derek clutching his bottle treating it like gold. We found the glasses and Derek opened the bottle, sniffing the contents he said, "It smells ok."

He poured four glasses, two full ones and two with just a drop in for the boys.

Everyone waited for someone else to take a sip and finally I took the plunge sipping the dark brew.

"Oh that is so smooth and lovely, I've never tasted Port as sweet, smooth and mellow as that."

The others tried it and all said the same, we had a couple more drinks and then a couple more with the boys taking just a little bit more each time and before we knew it, the bottle was empty and we were finding it difficult to stand.

"If I could find the cellar door I'd go get another bottle."

"If I could find the stairs I'd go to bed." Said Peter who began giggling and soon we were all rolling on the floor laughing and giggling like little kids.

Derek and I climbed onto the sofa and fell asleep in each other's arms while Peter and Steve slept on the floor at our feet.

Next morning we all felt stiff and sore but remarkably not that much of a headache. The boys after sleeping on the floor most of the night we're very sore, apparently half way through the night they crawled onto one of the armchairs which was warmer and more comfortable.

At least we all had nice hot showers. Over breakfast, we discussed our find of last night in the hidden cellar.

"Because we're buying the house does this mean that all that wine is ours?" Peter asked.

"I don't know son, we will have to make some discreet enquiries, but not until the contract is signed and the property is ours. If it is ours we could sell it and pay back more or less what we borrowed from the bank."

"Oh come on Derek do we need to sell it all, I mean there's a few nice drops of plonk down there."

"Yes, and you'd have fun drinking it all away."

"Only joking, it would be a nice investment for Peter when he finishes university, or go towards our old age, to keep us in a manner we're accustomed to."

"Joking aside Cliff, the first thing is to say nothing about it until the property is ours." Then we can plan what we're going to do with it."

It was decided unanimously that we would not say a word about it for now.

Derek and I went down to the public phone box firstly to call the hospital and check on John and the news was no change. Then it was the telephone company to arrange for the phone to go on in the house and finally check with the funeral director to make sure everything was arranged for my father's funeral. He assured me everything was arranged for Friday the day after tomorrow. We were fast running out of coins for the phone but just had enough to call mum and make sure she was all right for the funeral.


With all that out of the way, we went back to collect the boys, before heading down to look at some furniture stores. The first one we went into we wandered around for ages looking at furniture with no one coming anywhere near to look after us.

I called a salesman who was sitting behind the counter reading, but he took no notice, so I walked a bit closer trying to attract his attention. Finally, feeling pretty pissed off by this time I walked right up to him tapping on the counter. He looked up a sneer on his face that told me I was wasting my time here, but I was pretty well riled up by now and ready for a fight.

"Yes, what do you want?"

"I was thinking of buying some furniture but with your attitude, you can stick your furniture up your ass."

"Yes you sort would like that wouldn't you?"

I spun around asking him to repeat what he just said.

"Look we don't serve the likes of you in here so you, your boyfriend and your two underage bum buddies can fuck off out of my store."

I was about to jump the counter when Derek and the boys came racing up.

"Don't do it Cliff, bigots like that aren't worth it let's go spend our money somewhere else."

I was mad and upset it took all three of them all their strength to pull me out of the store.

"Did you hear what that fucking creep called me?"

"Most of it dad, but it's not worth the bother just ignore him and we'll go somewhere else."

I was still angry as we got back into the car so Derek drove in case I drove into a tree or something in my fury. The next store we went to was different again with a couple of sales staff running around helping us.

I told one of them about their friend down the road and the guy I was talking to told me that he was no friend of his. "I had a couple of gay friends of mine, I'm not gay by the way, came in to buy a whole house full of furniture because they were just setting up home together and he ordered them out of the store and I followed them telling him that I couldn't and wouldn't work for a prick like he was."

We were so impressed and happy with his attitude that we spent a lot more than we intended, buying some very nice pieces to match the style of the house.


We paid him and I took his name and address promising some tickets for the play. When I said that, it dawned on him who we were.

"Just a minute while I go and fetch the owner of the store I'm sure he'd love to meet you."

He walked off and I remarked to the others I'd say this is going to cost me some more free tickets.

The owner in fact was a beautiful looking blonde woman in her early forties I'd say. She shook my hand introducing herself before going through the usual niceties of admiring my acting and singing and so on. I thought here comes the big ask for tickets, but boy was I wrong. She asked the salesman how much our bill was, which just happened to be several thousand. She thought for a minute before surprising the hell out of me.

"Would you like to make a thirty second TV and cinema advert for me in return for the cost of the furniture?"

I didn't have to think twice and said of course I would right off the bat.

I gave her Bob, my manager's, number asking her to arrange it through him before making arrangements for the delivery of everything we'd bought to be delivered tomorrow early.


"Well that worked out all right didn't it?" I remarked as we headed back to our old suburb where we used to live so we could have lunch in our usual café. The owner welcomed us with open arms because he hadn't seen us for quite a few months.

He made a big fuss of us and we had a most enjoyable lunch that dragged on well into the afternoon. We passed Peter and Steve's old school realizing that it was a lot further away than we first realised from our new home.

"Does that mean we won't be able to go to school every day dad?" Peter asked.

"No it doesn't it just means we'll all have to get out of bed a bit earlier to get you here."

Steve nudged his boyfriend whispering, "Nice try."

We headed once more back to Brighton and the hospital to find that John's condition was the same. We met the same young doctor as before and he told us, "I'm getting very worried, his wounds are slowly starting to heal and we've managed to keep him infection free but it's almost as if he's given up. I was going to bring him out of his induced coma to try to get him breathing on his own but I don't think it would be wise right now. We're finding it difficult to keep his heart beat regular, which is also a worry and if he has another heart attack like his last one I'm not sure if I can save him."


That news wasn't what we were hoping to hear. I asked if Bruce was aware if the situation and he told me that he hadn't told Bruce as much as he had told us because he was also worried about Bruce' mental condition which right now was in a fragile state.

Derek and I went into see John and was shocked to see how much worse he was looking. I muttered to Derek, "If my father were alive right now I'd fucking kill him for what he did."

Derek hugged me whispering, "We have to stay positive and focused for Bruce and John's sake my darling."

I nodded knowing he was right, we began talking and singing to John going back to our early days at school talking about the secret storeroom that everyone in the school knew about. The sexual romps we had in their home along with his Royal Highness, Ian and so on.

I said to Derek, "Can we change the subject I'm getting horny."

"Me too."

We laughed but got no reaction from the poor figure laying before us.

"Please don't die on us John, you have too much to live for. You have Bruce, your lifetime lover, you have all of us who love you dearly so please make a big effort and come back to us."

I couldn't go on because of the tears rolling down my face so we went out and the boys went in looking worried and puzzled at my tears.


Derek took me in my arms holding me tight kissing away my tears just as Ian, Roland and Bruce came back in from taking a break. Bruce seeing my condition thought the worst, "What is it, what's happened, something's happened to John I know it."

"No Bruce there's no change yet, I just got a bit too emotional in there that's all."

Once the two boys came out from seeing him, we said our goodbyes explaining that we had furniture coming tomorrow and on Friday we would be going to the funeral, "We don't want to go but we will for my mother's sake." I explained.


It was a quite sombre drive back to London and after a bite to eat we had an early night. We didn't feel like making love being too worried about our dear friend. Next morning we'd not long finished breakfast when the furniture arrived and after unpacking it and placing it were we wanted the house started to look like a home. The next arrival was the telephone technician who took no time at all to install the phones. We had one in the dining room and one in our bedroom. Peter asked for one in his bedroom as well but the answer to that was a resounding no.

Once the phone was working, we called everyone giving them our new number. The hospital told us the same thing we'd been hearing for a few days now, no change.

We called mum inviting her to come back with us after the funeral and spend the weekend with us in our new home. She agreed and we told her we would take her back home on Sunday.


The rest of the day was spent generally getting the house into shape and how we wanted it.

It was about midnight and we had just gone to bed when the phone rang.

It was Bruce sounding dreadful and in tears, "What is it Bruce what's happened?"


To be continued.


Writers Corner:


Quiet an eventful chapter with lots of things happening, but the major worry was Bruce lying in his hospital bed close to death. Sorry about the cliffhanger, but I've learnt a lot from Jacob lately and that's one of the things he's taught me.

Will poor John live or die that is the question? I'd appreciate your thoughts on that one.


Then there was that Bigot in the furniture store, sadly these type of people still exist and I suppose there always will be someone like that in the world. The wine cellar is a bit of a mystery and it will be interesting to see what the outcome of that will be. Of course Cliff with his liking for all things alcoholic will be in his element which won't please Derek.


Next week we have rehearsals starting plus lots of other exciting things taking place so please come back in three weeks' time so you don't miss anything.

Don't forget if you have time to let us know how we're doing and if I miss anything in my corner I'm sure Jack will pick it up in his.


Rebirth is my next story but don't forget to keep up with Jacob's chapters as well.

Hugs Trevor


Editor's corner:


OMG! What a cliffhanger. Trevor certainly has learned from the best and is now fully competing with Jacob. I desperately want John to live and recover as much as is possible so he and Bruce can enjoy their lives together.


Indeed, this has been a chapter full of events. The aftermath of the fire, the discovery of Cliff's father's corpse, the injuries sustained by the others, and of course, John's critical condition all add up to an emotional and dramatic chapter.


I am pleased that Cliff and Derek have found a wonderful home and that all went well for them as they arranged for contracts and financing. The wine cellar was a real treasure find. As one who enjoys a nice glass of wine on occasion, especially a sweet flavourful port, I can fully understand how excited Cliff must be, and how frightened Derek is that Cliff will partake of this find just a bit too enthusiastically.


When I read through the scene where Cliff and Derek and the boys were in the first furniture store, I thought back to some of Jacob's experiences in "Jacob, finding his way." Even today, there are just too many bigots in this world. What hypocrites they are thinking of themselves as "church-going" folk. Their hatred blinds their vision. It was so good to see Derek and the boys exhibit such strength of character as they pulled Cliff back as he reacted to that salesperson in the first furniture store.


In the next chapter, we have the funeral service and most important of all, the unknown fate of John. Let's all hope that Trevor will give us a good outcome to John's fight to live.


Please send your comments and let us know what you are thinking. I know Trevor really loves to read your comments. As he said, next week is another chapter of "Rebirth" and although I am looking forward to it, I will anxiously wait to see what happens in this story.


Huggs to everyone.