Finding Love: A Journey
(Copyright 2007 by the author)
Disclaimer: This is a fictional story dealing with love and consensual sexual
activities between males. If you are not of legal age, reside in an area where
viewing such material is illegal, or are offended by homosexuality and/or
homosexual themes, leave this site now.
The characters in this story do not always practice safe sex. Remember this is fiction. You should always use a condom for the your protection and especially for the protection of the one you love. The author recommends only safe sex. Be wise and follow safe sex practices.
Several songs are quoted in this story. The copyrights to these are held by the artists or their publishers and not by the author. They are quoted as a tribute to the artist and the piece.
All persons in this story are fictional and any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental.
All other disclaimers apply. The author retains all rights. No reproductions
are allowed without the author's consent. Comments are appreciated at...
We promised Chris that we would be back later, but that we had to go
home because Peter's folks were coming to dinner and all of us had
to join in in helping Sadie to get things ready. Chris thanked us
all, and before he left for the new room, Brad gave him a nice kiss
on the cheek. Chris smiled at me, and I went to him and also kissed
"Jeez," he said, "I could get used to all this affection. It's really nice."
"You haven't seen anything yet," said Sadie, "as she stepped to the bed and gave Chris a warm hug and a kiss. Followed by Diane, and then to my total surprise, a hug and kiss from my dad.
"Wow! Will wonders never cease?" Chris said.
Sadie hurried about the
kitchen, trying to organize things for the dinner later that night.
Diane and Doug decided they wanted some down time, so they slipped
away to their master bedroom. It would be the kind of tryst that
only newlyweds could understand.
Sadie didn't mind being alone in the kitchen. After all, it was her domain. She was safe here among the things she understood and which she could control. She made herself a cup of hot tea, allowing herself a moment to consider what had happened this day. She was not naive about much of the world today, but she had her faith which sustained her. Father Jim had been a wonderful priest for her. He was young, informed, and accepting of a changing world.
Gary came in from outside to tell everyone that the police were finished. All the wreckage had been removed, and the fence company had been contacted, had come to review the situation and had taken away the damaged gate. They had installed a temporary gate which would work, but which was not in keeping with the rest of the fence. They had told Gary that the gate would be repaired no later than the end of the next week.
"Doug will be happy to hear that," Sadie said. "Would you like a cup of coffee or tea or a beer?"
"I'm off duty now, so that beer sounds pretty good to me. Where's Father Jim?" said Gary.
"He was still at the hospital, but he was planning to come here with Brad and Jacob or with the Li's. Oh, the Li's are Peter's parents. Peter was the driver who was hurt. He's awake and showing good improvement. Chris, the passenger, is doing really well. What about your car, Gary?" Sadie asked as she handed him the bottle of cold suds.
Gary laughed, took a long slug of the cold beer, and then said.
"Well, what's left of it, you can't really call a car anymore. It will be replaced by the boy's insurance company, I'm sure. But since he was killed, I don't intend to pressure it too much at the moment."
"I understand," Sadie said, "Do his parents know about the accident?"
"Only as much as it was possible for us to tell them. They were distraught, at least it seemed that way. I sensed that they were a little removed from the situation. One police office told me that Shanks had been in some trouble before and that his parents were not quick to come to his aid. I thought Shanks was a sad case. It's too bad he got the other two boys involved in the crazy stunt. They are both alive and will have to deal with all of this, but Shanks will never have to do that."
"Will they get in much trouble, Gary?"
"It's hard to tell. This is going to be a hate crime, so that means it's more serious. I don't imagine that the two other guys hated gays as much as Shanks did, but it will be difficult to prove they did or didn't."
"Whatever happens, I just hope that they are punished in some way for their part in it."
"We can only hope, Sadie, but you . . ."
The phone rang interrupting Gary. Sadie answered the phone,
"The Neilson residence, Sadie speaking."
"Sadie, this is Tim. We've heard about what happened this morning. Are Brad and Jacob okay? Todd and I are really worried.
"They're okay, a little frazzled. Brad's brother and his boyfriend were injured."
"Sadie, may Todd and I come over to see the guys? We really want to be sure that they're okay. They were so concerned and kind to both of us that we feel a real need to be with them for a little bit."
"Tim, they're on their way home from the hospital, Please come over; it will be a wonderful surprise and will pick up their spirits. How about you both stay for dinner tonight? Father Jim and Gary Williamston, he's a policeman, will be here, and of course, Jacob's dad and new mom, and the Li's, who are Peter's parents. It won't be anything spectacular, but it will be good food."
Sadie could hear some conversation in the background and assumed it was between Todd and Tim. After a bit, Tim said,
"You're sure it won't be an imposition, Sadie. We would both love to be there."
"It's not a problem, Tim, believe me. What about work at the restaurant?"
"It's not a problem because I don't work on Monday. We'll be over in a bit. We have to get a ride from someone."
"Where are you guys?" asked Sadie.
"We're at Palm High School. I skipped cross country practice and got a ride with a friend. I had called Todd so he was waiting for me. Sadie, we're scared and worried."
"You sit tight. Be outside in the pickup area. I'm sending Gary to pick you two up. He'll be driving the SUV. He's leaving now."
"Thanks, Sadie, as usual, you're a sweetheart." Tim hung up the phone.
He turned to Todd and told him everything he knew. Todd looked longingly at him.
"Tim, I really want a hug so badly right now. Since I heard about what happened, that's all I could think of. All I could see was Brad and Jacob hurt or worse dead. It's been awful."
"I need the same hug, Todd. It's been a terrible day. I'll hug you many times later, but now we have to use every bit of our energy and caring for those two guys. We love them like brothers and they are hurting a great deal more than we, so let's not forget that."
"I won't, and as usual, you are so right. That's why I happen to love you, Baby."
"Mutual, now let's get outside and wait for the SUV."
"You don't mind my drafting you for this job, do you Gary. These two guys are friends of Jacob and Brad. They're worried and want to see the guys. I told them you would pick them up. Here's the keys to the SUV, they're at Palm High in the pickup area. Look for two handsome boys. Names are Tim and Todd," said Sadie.
"I don't mind at all. I'll be back in ten minutes. Hopefully the boys and Jim will be here by then. I want to convince Jim to stay for dinner. We have to figure a way to get home tonight, but that shouldn't be a problem. See you shortly."
Taking the keys from Sadie, Gary left. Sadie was soon back preparing for dinner.
Chris joked with the orderlies
as they pushed him on the gurney through the hall of the fourth
floor to the elevator and then to the sixth floor. When the reached
the sixth floor, he was wheeled down the hall to room 669. Chris
grinned at the room number. He wondered what Peter thought of it.
Waiting at the door of the room were Mr. and Mrs. Li. Lorraine came over immediately to Chris, stopping the movement of the gurney. She gave Chris a kiss on the cheek and warned him to stay calm when he saw Peter.
"Peter looks worse than he is, so just remember that."
"Okay, Mrs. Li, I won't upset him, I promise."
Mr. Li moved over to Chris's side speaking,
"We know how you two feel about each other, so it's going to be a shock when you see him, and frankly he's going to be upset when he sees you. Just remember, you're both alive and you're both going to make complete recoveries. Now go in there and tell my son you love him; that will take care of his concerns more than anything we can say to him."
"Thanks Mr. Li, it will be easy to reassure him of my love."
The two orderlies glanced at each other with amused looks on their faces. They said nothing, but Mr. Li, was aware of their reaction and make a mental note that they were not to care for the two young men.
They were all business as they pushed the gurney next to the hospital bed, and then transferred Chris into the bed. They left immediately, but not before the floor nurse came into the room. Chris could not see Peter as the nurse was in the way, but he held his tongue.
A few final checks, a smile, and the nurse left. Chris looked to his right and when he saw Peter, a gasp caught in his throat and he struggled not to begin weeping. Peter was asleep, thank God, Chris thought, or I would have made a real mess of this reunion. The Li's stood to the side waiting for Chris to say something. Finally in a voice close to cracking,
"He looks so hurt, so tiny."
Chris reached out his hand and tried to touch Peter, but he was too far away.
"Please help me," he begged.
Immediately, the Li's stepped to the side of the bed and pushed it closer to Peter's bed. They were smiling as they did it, but when Chris could reach Peter's hand, he grasped it tightly in his own, and then his tears began. He was joined quickly by Lorraine Li, and then by the stoic Mr. Li.
As Chris held his lover's hand, Peter began to awaken. He looked over at Chris, and instantly he began to weep.
"Don't you dare. . .don't you dare, EVER to leave me, Chris Mason. I love you."
"I'm not going anywhere, Peter Li, you are my partner for life and I love you. Now go back to sleep so that beautiful body of yours can heal. I'll be right here."
"But Chris, I want . . ." and Peter was again asleep.
"We're going to leave now, but we'll be back this evening. You need to sleep, too, Chris, especially if you want to be able to help with Peter's convalescence," said Mrs. Li."
"Thanks for being here for Peter and me. I don't know why my folks aren't here. Guess my dad had important business, and my mom probably had to go home to start dinner, or maybe they had an important social engagement."
"Get that sleep, Chris," said Mr. Li as he and his wife left the room.
Chris turned on his side, looking fondly and with love at Peter. What were they going to do now? With that question on his mind, he fell asleep.
Outside the room, the Li's stopped and looked at each other. Lorraine Li couldn't keep it in,
"What is the matter with Chris's parents? How can they not be here with him?" she asked her husband.
"Lorraine, only heaven knows what make some people act like that. It's the father where the problem lies. Elizabeth loves her son even if he is gay. Now let's drive over to the Neilsons."
Brad and I had gone to the
cafeteria for a cold soda. The place was nearly empty. We sat at a
table near the window that looked out over a courtyard. Brad seemed
quiet and I wondered what he was thinking. I had been thinking about
Chris and Peter and the hardship that the accident would cause them.
Brad was rolling the soda can between his two hands as he looked out the window. I remained quiet, but he must have sensed my slight movement because he turned and looked at me. I smiled. He returned the smile.
"Are you okay?" I asked.
"How can I help, Sweetheart?"
"Well . . . no, we can't do that here," he said with a laugh.
I snorted and reached out and patted his bicep. He put down his soda can, and placed his hand on top of mine. I loved it when he touched me and my smile and slight gasp communicated that to him.
"Do you believe in God?" he asked quietly?
"Where did that come from?"
"I've been thinking. If there is a God, how could he let all this happen to Chris and Peter?" he said.
"I don't think we can ever know why God lets things happen. God knows and we are not able to understand because we can't comprehend all that God knows. We are His creations and He is the Creator. In the unraveling of time, we may come to see a purpose in what has happened, but in the immediate, that's impossible, Brad."
"That was pretty heavy stuff you just said. You're so fuckin' smart that it scares me a little, Jake. What you just said is so logical. It made sense to me and I know that you are on the right track. But I still can't understand why the better people get hurt."
"Are we better people, Brad?"
"Well, we didn't get hurt. How do you explain that?"
"I can't. I'm frustrated and damned angry," he said.
"Guess I didn't help much, did I? Well, I tried, but you have to understand, cute quarterback, that it is a really difficult idea, for a sexy swimmer."
Brad looked at me, squinted his eyes, stuck out his tongue, and guffawed.
"I like the sound of this better than when I talked with you a little while ago. What's so funny?" asked Father Jim.
"It's just flipper boy being a clown, Father," said Brad.
I know my face got red, and I couldn't look Father Jim in the eyes. I was ashamed, in a sort of way, for trying to be intelligent about something I really didn't know much about.
"Flipper boy?" asked the priest.
Now Brad had a red face. "It's just an affectionate term, Father."
"Really?" Father Jim asked as he put down his styrofoam cup of coffee.
"Yeah, he calls me things that might be associated with swimming since I'm on the swim team at the high school," I said.
"I see, and do you have any affectionate names you call Brad?"
"Care to share them, Jacob."
"I would rather he didn't Father. It might embarrass me," suggested Brad.
"I just called him Cute Quarterback," I said.
Brad scowled and I suspect if Father Jim hadn't been looking I might have gotten a salute from his middle finger. I could see the smile on Father's face widen and then he emitted a giggle.
"Cute Quarterback, huh? What would your linemen think of that, Brad?" asked the priest.
"Puh-lease!" said Brad.
I snorted, coughed, and laughed. Brad gave me a rap on the arm.
"You're just a baby," he said.
"Usually I'm your baby."
Father Jim laughed, and then asked,
"Okay, guys, so what's happening?"
"Brad asked me if I believed in God."
"Really? What brought that up, Brad?" asked Father Jim.
No one spoke for a minute and I was just about ready to explain when Brad decided to reply,
"I wonder how there can be a God that let's good people like Chris and Peter suffer so much. They didn't do anything except come here to help me. Chris was being a good brother and Peter was being a good friend. They didn't deserve to be injured. They just didn't deserve that."
Father Jim took Brad's hand and looked him in the eye, there was only kindness in his face,
"Brad, you are asking a question that doesn't have an easy or a good answer. I'll try to help you understand, but it may not help. In the final analysis, it may be something that only you can work out. I know Jacob will help you, as will I, and Sadie, Diane and Mr. Neilson. But even with all that help, it may not provide you with the answer you want.
"The reason I say that is because none of us will be able to give you the answer you want because there really isn't an answer you want to hear. You want to blame God, and it isn't God who hurt your brother and Peter. Let me try to explain.
"God gave us free will. In so doing, He provided us with the ability to do good or evil. The choice is ours, not God's. We can't have it both ways.
"What happened today only shows that since we have free choice, we can do what we want. Herman Shanks chose to do what he did. Your brother and Peter chose to do what they did. You and Jacob chose to do what you did. When all of these decisions met, all freely chosen, the accident and the injuries and death happened.
"We can't blame God for that since he didn't do anything to cause it. That doesn't prove what you may want, Brad, and I apologize that I can't do a better job without going into some very heady stuff."
"No, no. I understand what you said, Father, but does that show why I should believe in the existence of God?"
`Not really, Brad. I guess because I am a priest, I believe that our faith provides us with all we need to believe in God. But we are not all filled with the same faith."
"I think what Father means, Brad, is that belief in God is a matter of faith not fact. Whatever we see or know, a flower, a new baby, a rainbow, the sunset, the voice of one you love, his smile, all those wonderful things must have had a cause, a creation. Whatever force was the cause or the creator, we call God," I said.
"Did God make it possible for us to meet and love each other?" asked Brad.
Father Jim smiled as did I. Brad looked at both of us with a look of irritation.
"How about an answer?" asked Brad.
"Of course He did," said Father Jim.
I laughed and added,
"He must have made it possible, Brad. You're so cute, and intelligent, and . . .
"Oh, shut up, Flipper's Friend!"
"So, Brad, I guess I haven't been of much help, have I?" asked Father Jim.
"Not really, but that's okay. I'll work it out sooner or later. You did say some things that will help and Jake helped more than I let him know. I don't want him to get too big a head," Brad said.
"Really?" I said.
"I love you the way you are, Jake. I don't want to change anything about you," he said.
Father Jim smiled at me. I know my face got a bright shade of pink. Brad smiled at me, too, and as usual, I started to melt. Father took control,
"Look guys, the reason I hunted for you is that I thought I might bum a ride home with you. Is that possible?"
"Sure," said Brad.
I laughed and cautioned Brad,
"You won't be able to get fresh with me with Father Jim in the Mustang."
"I'll walk, Brad, because I don't want to curtail your amorous abilities," offered Father Jim.
"Thanks, Padre," said Brad.
"Don't worry, Father, the sun is still out. Brad's amorous talents are directly connected to light and dark, so don't worry."
"Really, huh, Jake. Come here."
Brad grabbed me and planted a firm kiss on my lips. Father Jim applauded.
We left to check on Chris and Peter.
Travis Mason was glad that his
wife was in the shower. It gave him time to make some arrangements.
He got off the bed and went to his suit jacket that was hanging in
his closet. He took out his Blackberry and checked a number. He
pulled his cell phone out and quickly and quietly dialed the number.
He waited impatiently for someone to answer the phone. Finally he
heard the click of the receiver being picked up.
"Regency Readjustment Colony, Reverend Colechester."
"Hi Reverend. This is Travis Mason. I've talked to you a number of times. May I bring my youngest son in the next three days? I want you to help him find out his real sexual orientation.
"Yes, yes, let me see. Ah, yes. Name is Bradley?"
"Yes, that's him."
"Will you need any help?"
"No, I have it all figured out. It's a long drive, so be patient."
"Oh, patience is one of the strongest virtues of our program. Take your time. By the way, Mr. Mason, does your wife know about this?"
"Not yet. I'll tell her once Brad is at your institution. Don't worry about her."
"Be careful, Mr. Mason, or your wife could have you arrested for kidnapping."
"Yeah, yeah, I know. I'm an attorney. Don't worry about me. You will enroll him under a fictitious name so that he can't be identified in your records."
"As you instructed, Mr. Mason. That will be taken care of, but we won't share the pseudonym with you so that you won't inadvertently mention it."
"God will bless you for what you are doing."
"He will be the only one. Thanks and goodbye.
The phone went dead and a chill passed over Trav's body. He couldn't have second thoughts about this. He had to be strong if he wanted to save his son from eternal damnation. He did wonder a couple of times if he might be placing his own soul in danger of damnation, but Revered Colechester had assured him that he was doing the right thing.
It was expensive, too. The charges for everything was an enormous $850.00 per week. The usual time needed was one year, sometimes two years. That would be $40,000. to $80,000. more than four years at Gainesville. But this was more important than a college education.
"God might bless him, but Travis Mason knew his wife Beth would not. She would curse him to hell. So be it!
The last thing Travis did was to pull the pistol out of its hiding place. He checked everything and was convinced that he would not need to do more than show the pistol to Brad. He would never have to use it. Never!
Gary pulled the SUV up to the
pickup area at Palm High School. He saw two young men, good looking,
by the way, waiting. He brought the SUV to a stop. The two young men
moved to the vehicle. The cuter of the two, opened the back door.
"Hi, Mr. Williamston I'm Tim and this is Todd. Thanks for coming to pick us up. We really appreciate it."
"Glad to meet you two. Sadie is a cheerleader for you guys."
"Sadie is a saint and a wonderful person. I love her," Tim said.
Todd pushed Tim into the SUV, adding as he did so,
"Sadie met me first and loves me, too, Tim."
"No need to argue about it, guys, Sadie loves you both."
In the back seat the two boys fisted each other. Gary, watching in the rearview mirror, smiled. It was interesting to see how the boys had bonded with Sadie. But that was not a surprise to him. Father Jim felt a closeness to Sadie, and after today so did he.
"How did you guys meet Jacob and Brad?" Gary asked.
"I was at the beach on Saturday. It had been a terrible day and I was sitting alone feeling sorry for myself. Jacob and Brad came up the beach and Jacob noticed my agony, and it was he who came to me and helped me. Brad followed quickly. I knew Brad from school and I had met Jacob the day before. They're two great guys. I guess that you know that we're all gay."
"No, I knew Jacob and Brad were gay, but I didn't know anything about you guys. In fact, you didn't come up in conversation until you called this afternoon."
"Crap!" said Todd, "I should have kept my mouth shut."
"It doesn't matter, Todd. I'm not ashamed for being gay and for being in love with you," said Tim.
"Look guys, you don't need to worry about me. I'm not a bigot. In fact, much of my job deals with assisting those who are the victims of hate crimes. Many of them are gays."
"Thank God for people like you," said Tim.
"How about you Tim, how did you meet the guys?"
In short order Tim related the whole episode at the restaurant and how when he finally got to the Neilson house, Sadie and he talked and bonded.
"Those three, Jacob, Brad, and Sadie are wonderful folks. All of them accept you for you. They don't ask more or less of you. They just hope that you will be honest and yourself. They have given me much to hope for with Todd and life in general," Tim said.
"I'll second that. Those two guys are special human beings. How could anyone hate them? They're just in love and they want everyone else to be as happy as they are. I know a little about how Brad feels about telling his parents that he's gay. I have a problem with that, too."
"Coming out to your parents is always difficult. I remember how difficult it was for me," said Gary.
"You're . . . you're . . .gay?" said Todd.
"Welcome to our little group," said Tim as he smiled.
"You two are the only ones who know my secret. Could we keep it that way?" asked Gary.
Tim looked at Todd. They both smiled, and Tim quickly kissed and hugged his boyfriend. It was what Todd had wanted so badly. They both felt relieved.
"Your secret is safe with us," said Tim.
"Agreed." said Todd.
"Why don't you two enjoy the ride to the house? I have to keep my eyes on the road, so I won't be watching you," Gary said.
He did glance in the rearview one more time, but the two boys had disappeared. His heart glowed. Would he ever dare tell Jim he was gay? No, he doubted he could ever do that. He would not wish to make Jim uneasy around him. He would be a friend, his desires kept in check by his knowledge that the apple of his eye was a priest. He would have to look other places for his sexual satisfaction. Jim was out of bounds.
<Gentle laughter from the back seat.>
Oh, to be young again, thought Gary and he was embarrassed as his penis began to plump up. Just imagining what the two boys were up to was stimulating. My God, what would any intimacy with Jim provoke in him? How he hoped that he might know that joy!
"Guys, we're almost there. Get yourselves together," Gary warned.
Two flushed smiling faces appeared above the back of the front seats.
"Thanks, Gary. We appreciate your understanding," said Tim.
"Yeah, Gary, we appreciate it."
"No problem. Now you have to hold all those raging hormones in check. Understand?"
"We understand," the two boys said in unison.
Gary pushed the intercom button and waited. The images of the accident flashed through his mind. The temporary gate opened and Gary drove the SUV into its garage.
The three got out of the SUV and headed to the kitchen and Sadie.
Father Jim and the lovebirds
made their way to Room 669; the number not unnoticed by Jacob and
Brad. They wondered if Father Jim had made the connection. Jim was
wondering if the boys made the connection. He was sure they had.
They were surprised to find Chris lying beside Peter in Peter's bed. He was actually hanging on because he didn't want to hurt his lover. They both appeared to be sleeping. They were about ready to leave when Chris opened his eyes.
"Don't leave. Come here and talk to us," Chris said.
Father Jim moved quickly to the bed. He leaned down and whispered quietly into Chris's ear. I noticed that Chris blushed, and got up and with Jim's help, got back into his own bed. As he got out of the bed, I noticed that Peter opened his eyes, but didn't say anything. By this time Brad and I were at the bedside. Chris held out his arms and Brad enjoyed a warm hug from his brother.
`Hey, Cutie," he said, "I need a hug from you, too."
I looked around, knowing what he was talking about, but having a little fun.
"Don't wise out with me, Jacob, I want a hug from you, my brother's squeeze."
Laughing, I hugged Chris, and as I did, he whispered in my ear, but loud enough for everyone to hear. "Is my lug head brother being good to you?"
"Yes, Brad is good to me, Chris. He's never mean, he's always a gentleman, and he's a gentle lover."
"He certainly isn't like his brother," said Peter.
Chris struggled to a semi-sitting position, and asked,
"Whatcha mean by that nasty remark, Peter?"
"Just this, Chris isn't mean, and he's a gentlemen, but boy a gentle lover he is not," Peter said.
"Perhaps we should change the subject before this gets embarrassing," offered Father Jim.
"I'm not embarrassed, are you guys?" asked Peter.
"I'm not embarrassed, but I'm not happy either. It hurt me that you don't think I'm a gentle lover," said Chris.
"Hey, hey! I didn't say that you weren't a great lover. I just indicated that you were not particularly gentle," said Peter with a laugh.
Brad couldn't take it any longer, and said,
"Well, if we are going to rate lovers, I have to say something about Jacob. He's . . . he's magnificent!"
I blushed deeply, but said nothing.
"Oooooohh!" came the response from Peter and Chris.
Father Jim just stood there, a little red creeping up above his white collar. But he withstood the banter. Finally he said with a laugh,
"You know when you guys have this kind of chat, you leave me out completely." In his own mind he recalled that Darren had always complimented him on his lovemaking, but that had to remain his secret.
"Sorry, Father, I started this silliness. I apologize," said Chris.
"Don't apologize, Chris, I'm not upset. I enjoyed the fun. So, Peter, how are you feeling?"
"A little like a freight train ran over me, but I guess I'm doing okay, Father. I hurt more than I am feeling, lots of medication. I felt better when Chris was in bed with me. I think it was the warmth of his body and his arm around me. I felt safe again and I could sleep."
"My fault, Peter. I told Chris that he should get out of the bed as I didn't think the hospital would approve and as a result might separate you two. That's why he got out of your bed. You can never tell who might step into the room, and if the wrong person saw it, there could be all kinds of trouble. So I suggest you cool it while you are here in the hospital," said Father Jim.
"We understand, Father. It was just that we were so worried about each other. Just that few minutes together helped us both. We now know that things are going to get better for us," replied Chris.
Brad and I were getting itchy as we wanted to get home to help Sadie with the preparations for dinner. There were guests coming and she would need help. Diane and my Dad would have to entertain guests and we could help Sadie. Brad had been holding my hand, and now he was pulling me toward the door.
"Chris, Peter, we have to leave so that we can help Sadie with dinner. There are people coming, so we need to get home. Love both of you," said Brad.
"Hugs and kisses from me," I said.
"Not so quick, Jacob. I want that hug and kiss and so does Peter. Does he have your permission, Brad?"
"Yes, but he doesn't need it. He's his own man," said a smiling Brad.
"Are you sure, Sweetheart?"
"Yup, just do it quickly," said Brad with a laugh.
I went first to Peter and hugged his gently and kissed him on the forehead. Then to Chris who pulled me into a big hug and planted a huge kiss on my lips.
"Enough, already," said Brad.
"He's jealous, Jacob. Your boyfriend is jealous," laughed Chris.
Brad came and pulled me away from Chris's bed. He hugged me and gave me a wow of a kiss. My head was swimming. Father Jim and the other two were laughing.
"You bet I'm jealous. Jacob is a very special person and he's mine. Hands off you two lecherous all-banged-up college studs. Understand?"
"We're outa here, guys," Brad said.
"See you later," I added.
"I have to go with them or who knows what might happen. I'll say `hi' to everyone for you and report that you are already mending. It's great to see you both doing so well. God bless you," said Father Jim.
"Thanks for checking on us," said Chris.
"My sentiments, too," said Peter.
Tim was the first through the
kitchen door. He rushed to Sadie and hugged her. She kissed him on
the cheek and held his hands as she said,
"Tim, it's so kind of you to come and check on the boys. It shows how much you care," said Sadie
"Sadie, Todd and I love those guys. They're special in so many ways," Tim said.
Todd moved to Sadie and Tim and they pulled him into a group hug. Todd kissed Sadie on the cheek, and then he surprised Tim by planting a kiss on his lips.
"Ms. Sadie, thanks for inviting us to dinner. We really appreciate it. Tim's right, we really think the world of Jacob and Brad. They're what real friends should be. I know I will never be able to repay their kindness or yours," said Todd.
Sadie gave the boys another hug, and noticing Gary said to him,
"What did you think of these two?"
Gary laughed lightly and responded,
"These two are prizes. That's my analysis. They are real friends and they seem to love each other. It's not quite like Jacob and Brad, but it's getting close."
"My opinion, too. Now you guys get out to the pool and say hello to Mr. and Mrs. Neilson," said Sadie.
"But what about Jacob and Brad; I mean how are they? Did they get hurt? We heard someone got killed and others were badly hurt. What's really happening?" demanded Tim.
"Calm down, Tim. Jacob and Brad are fine. It was Brad's brother Chris and his boyfriend, Peter who were injured. Two young men were hurt in the truck and the driver was killed. I don't have their names so I can't tell you more than that. Peter was hurt more than any of the others, but he and Chris are both doing well . . .'
Gary interrupted, "Sorry guys, but the rest of the information is not now available, but when we can release it, I'll be sure you get the info."
"Thanks, Gary, we would appreciate that," said Tim.
"Now get out there and say hello to your hosts," Sadie said.
"What about the guys? When will we see them?" asked Todd.
"They are going to have some time to themselves, so I'm not going to mention that you two are here. I'm planning to send them to Jacob's suite. After they've had some private time, I'll call you guys in and you can go up and see them. You know where the suite is, right?" said Sadie.
Two red-faced young men acknowledged they knew. They left immediately for the pool area.
"What were the red faces all about, Sadie?" asked Gary.
With a sly grin, Sadie answered,
"They know where the suite is, because they spent part of Saturday night there."
"Yeah, but Jacob swears there was not sex between the four of them. I believe him."
"Yeah, I would, too. Jacob is quite a guy for a high school senior. One thing I've noticed is that he always tells the truth, even when he realizes that someone may not like to hear it. I think that's maybe why he and Brad hit it off so well," said Gary.
Laughing, Sadie added,
"It's a long story, how they met and everything. But when things quiet down you might want to ask Jacob to tell you about it."
"I may just do that," Gary said with a chuckle.
The sound of the Mustang driving into the garage interrupted the conversation. Jacob and Brad were home.
It was good to get home, even
though as we pulled into the driveway, images of what had happened
this morning filled my mind. I imagined how terrible it must have
been for Brad, but I decided not to say anything. Father Jim was not
"Brad, this must be very difficult for you, but you have to realize that each time you confront your feelings about this place, they will recede a little and it will get better."
Brad sat quietly behind the wheel, not moving and not saying anything. I was a little alarmed, so I asked,
"Are you okay, Brad?"
With a deep sigh that must have come from his soul, he looked at me and his eyes were filled with tears. Father Jim noticed and reached over the back of the seat and rubbed Brad's shoulders. I kissed him on the cheek.
"I feel so responsible," he said.
I was angry now, so I yelled at him,
"Damn it, Brad, you know that's bullshit. You know that we're not responsible. I thought we had this all out earlier. Herman Shanks is responsible. If you say you're responsible than you're saying that loving me caused this to happen. Is that how you feel? Is that what you believe? If it is, then I guess I should get out of the car with Father Jim and you can go home. Because I know that loving you had nothing to do with the twisted mind of Shanks. I'm so angry with you, Brad Mason that I want to punch you hard and in the nose or someplace where you feel it and know how pissed off I am."
"Now calm down, Jacob," suggested Father Jim.
"No, Father, I'm sorry, but I won't calm down. We had this all settled and Brad even got angry with me. You know a little about all of this. So sorry, Father, but this time I don't want your help, your opinion, your theology, nothing. Damn it all, Father, let Brad handle this himself," I shouted.
I had just finished my near breakdown when Brad grabbed me and shook me violently. He was crying and I could see copious tears running down his cheeks. I felt like day-old-cold pizza.
"You . . . you . . ." and he embraced me so tightly that I couldn't breathe, but I didn't pull away.
"You . . . you . . . are right, Baby. I'm a damn jerk. Jake, please, please forgive me. As usual, you're right. It was all settled and I had to start it all again. It's settled. Understand, Jake. I will never bring it up again. Herman Shank's bigotry and hatred caused it. I told you once that I loved you enough to die for you, and yet I behave like this. Can you forgive me, Jake? Can you forgive me, Father?"
"Why don't I go inside and let you two have a couple of minutes to pull yourself together. I have no reason to forgive either of you as you have done nothing that would require forgiveness," offered Father Jim.
He pushed the seat forward a little and squeezed out of the car. He turned and looked at us as we had separated, he smiled and then as he began to close the door, he added,
"Forget yesterday, remember today, look forward to tomorrow."
As he disappeared into the house, I took my lover's hand into mine and brought it to my lips and kissed it. I looked at him noticing that through his tears a smile appeared. My whole being melted.
"Just love me," he said, "and everything will be fine."
"I have loved you since the day I met you, Bradley Mason, and I will love you forever, so don't you dare ask me to just love you because I always will. I will tell you I love you every day, probably every hour, so you'll know."
"Do you forgive me, Jake, for ever wondering about your love?"
"Yes!" was all I said.
We got out of the Mustang and went into the house. Sadie hugged both of us and herded us off to my suite for some rest. We didn't resist.
To be continued...
"The measure of love is to love
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