Caden is sitting in the room, still upset, when a doctor entered, carrying a folder. The doctor sat down and looked at the red-eyed man in front of him.
Caden was studying his face and decided that he didn't like what he saw. The doctor's face seemed solemn and dark. What he needs now is news about his brother.
"I was told you might be in here. I'm Doctor Nichols."
The doctor smiled at Caden, and he decided that maybe the doctor isn't all that bad. The doctor has jet-black hair with a slight amount of gray along the temples. His face now reassured his patient's brother.
"Let's go over the good news, shall we? Your brother is stable. We have him on machines because when we got him into the emergency room, he quit breathing on us and slipped into a coma..."
Caden's head dropped to his hands and tears started flowing. Suddenly, he found Ethan's words haunting his mind, "He... he may not even be able to leave the hospital." Caden wants to punch something. Riley does not deserve this kind of life.
"Mr. Bishop, I understand the pain that you're going through right now, but to be honest, I don't think he'll be in the coma long. He is strong, despite his injuries. Frankly, it's not the coma that bothers me. Your brother sustained a very serious brain injury. Based on the damaged that we've seen on the scan that we ran, Riley will likely have to relearn everything all over again. He'll have to be taught to walk, talk, read, write, and how to feed himself all over again."
Doctor Nichols paused to let everything sink into Caden's head. A sad and lost older brother was now having doubts about his little brother's future. Maybe he would be better off somewhere else. No, those are Ethan's words, not his, and Riley's place is with family. Caden will do whatever it takes to get Riley well again. Even if his brother comes home with a disability, Riley is still his brother. Riley deserves his brother's love. He deserves to be treated with respect.
"So what you're saying is that my brother will never... never be like he was before the assault?"
"That is a good way of looking at it, yes. For as hard as this is on you, you should know that this will be even harder on your brother. He will have memory issues, and he'll lose friends."
"So he could wake up and not know me?"
Doctor Nichols nodded his head affirmatively.
"We won't know anything until he wakes up. It's highly possible he'll wake up with no recollection of who you are. It's also possible that he'll have no recollection of what happened to him. Right now, the biggest hurdle is the coma. When you're done talking with me, I want you to go to his room and talk with him."
"He'll be able to hear me?"
"You'll keep me informed?"
Caden didn't know what to think. He was scared for his brother, upset with Ethan, and afraid of what the future might hold for both him and Riley. He didn't want to think of a future without either guy by his side. There is too much time invested in both of them. Love is what's keeping Caden going right now.
"Can... can I see him now?"
"Yes. Follow me."
Doctor Nichols stood up and walked out of the room. Caden followed him out the door and through the hallways, to his brother's room.
The room was large, with most of the space taken up by machines meant to keep the occupant alive. On the bed, Caden could see his brother. Tubes seem to go everywhere. He could see a large bruised area where his dad's fist collided with Riley's skull. An orderly brought in a chair for Caden so he could sit while visiting his brother.
Doctor Nichols turned and walked out of the room. As the doctor left the room, Caden stood up and moved close to the bed. He pushed a lock of light brown hair out of his brother's face.
"Hey baby brother, it's me, Caden. You come out of this, you hear me? I love you! I love you no matter what; gay, bi, or straight, it does not matter to me. I just want you back. Mom and Dad have both been arrested for what Dad did to you. You don't even know that I'm gay. I... I wish that I could have been there to protect you."
Caden's voice started quiet, but his emotions were getting to him, and as they did, he got a little louder. Tears started to fall once more as he looked at his brother's still form. Caden sat back in the chair and put his hands up to his face. Crying was something he had given up, or so he thought, but these events have brought the tears out of him. Nothing could keep the tears from falling.
Caden was oblivious to the male nurse who passed by him so he could check on Riley. The same nurse who was having fantasies about his boyfriend. The nurse came and left, but while he was working in the room, Caden fell asleep in the chair. When he woke up, he noticed that someone had put a blanket over him. He was sort of hoping for some sign from Riley that his little brother might be doing better. Someone had also brought in a small tray of food, some soup, an apple, and a cup of juice. He ate the food, and drank the juice as he watched the activity outside the room and in the room. One thing he did notice was the cute nurse that came into the room.
Normally, Caden wouldn't notice the cute guy in a crowd, but for some reason, he noticed this guy. If he was not with Ethan, then maybe this guy might be worth asking out. Suddenly, Caden pulled himself back from the brink of making a huge mistake. There is not a single part of him that wants to cause Ethan any pain. It is best to just ignore the guy and focus on his brother. He stood up and walked out the door. He needs to use the restroom.
Entering the restroom he stepped up to the urinal and relieved himself. When he was finished, he zipped up and washed his hands before walking back to his brother's room.
Entering the restroom, he steps up to the urinal and undid the button on his jeans, unzipped them, and then lowered his briefs down past his balls. He then let out a stream of urine. When he was done, he fixed his briefs, zipped up his pants, and put the button back in place; He washed his hands and then walked back to his brother's room.
Once there, Caden grabbed his notebook and looked over some notes from work. He sat back down and worked on some plans. Caden works at a shelter for street kids in Tylerville. He is their community outreach specialist. He loves the work and he loves the kids. Today, he is going over some notes on a charity ball that will hopefully raise a bunch of money for the shelter.
As he started reviewing the notes, he realized that he couldn't focus on work. As he closed the notebook, out of the corner of his eye he thought he saw some movement in his brother's fingers. He touched his brother's hand and tried to feel for any reaction, but there was nothing. The movement that he thought he saw must have been an illusion.
Since he has not checked his voice mail, he decided to find a place where he can use his phone. Deciding that maybe some fresh air would do him some good, he heads for the outside. Grabbing his phone, he checks for messages. There are no voice mails or texts. He walks back inside and shows the person at the front desk his card and his id. The old man sent him to the elevators. Looking at his watch as he exits the elevator, he realizes that it is 8:55 pm and in five minutes, visiting hours will be over. He walks fast to Riley's room, grabs his stuff, and heads out. He gets outside again and forgets that Ethan went home in the car. Pulling out his phone, he calls home, hoping that Ethan is there.
"Hello, are you ready to come home?"
Ethan's voice doesn't sound happy. In fact, he sounds kind of pissed.
"Are you okay?"
A fair question considering the tone of Ethan's voice.
"I'm good. You want me to pick up?"
"Yeah, I'm tired."
"Meet me out front."
Caden sits down on the curb and waits for Ethan to show up.
Ethan didn't' want to run out to get him, but he couldn't exactly leave him at the hospital either. Since Caden's brother has been in the hospital, he's been pulled from his home to sit with his brother, and now he's being pulled away again. His day off from work was ruined, and tomorrow promises to be more of the same. The nurse that he flirted with is looking better and better to him. Ethan is feeling his love for Caden slowly draining out of him. He grabs the keys, walks out the door, and heads for the car.
As he starts the car, images of the nurse run through his mind, so intense are the images in his head, that if they were in print, they would be sold as porn. He is imagining the nurse standing in front of him with his scrubs slowly coming off, revealing hard muscles and an even harder cock. The nurse moved closer and waved his member at Ethan. Ethan squatted down in front of the nurse and went to town.
Ethan quickly brought himself out of it. Maybe, he should have pulled over, but he didn't. Instead, he kept driving down the highway, while his penis got harder and harder. With the hospital in sight, Ethan glanced down at his crotch and noticed a wet spot showing on his jeans.
'I know this will just go to waste. Caden's not going to help me out with this tonight.'
He reached down and repositioned himself.
'Hmm... I wonder if he'll even notice the bulge in my pants.'
Ethan made no attention to Caden getting into the car. He wanted to see if Caden would pay attention to a his lower half.. Ethan was wrong though, Caden did notice the erection showing through the jeans, but he didn't understand. Why, if his boyfriend was mad at him, would he be aroused?
"So how is he?"
"He's been stabilized, but he slipped into a coma while being examined."
'Great! Now I'll never get any sex.'
"His doctor thinks that he might come out of it in two or three days though, so that's good, but he's going to have an extensive rehabilitation time. He'll have to relearn just about everything."
'Wonderful!' Ethan's inner voice was filled with sarcasm. He really didn't want anything to do with this whole mess. Right now, he wanted Caden to notice his bulge and do something about it. Anything would be nice right about now; even a kiss would be nice. Caden seemed distant tonight, and Ethan hated him for it.
'Come on babe touch it! Please!'
Caden didn't feel like talking, so he kept his lips sealed. A part of him was still angry at Ethan for abandoning him at the hospital. His brother's condition was all he could think about right now. Nothing seems worth doing. Normally, the sight of his lover's arousal would have set off a chain reaction in his body. Tonight, though, his emotions are keeping that from happening. Ethan deserves his attention, but there is not enough of Caden to go around tonight.
"So do you want to go out and do something?"
"Do you want to go out?"
"Ethan, I just want to go home and hit the bed."
"Me too." He smiled as he grabbed his crotch. There is little doubt about what Ethan wanted to do tonight.
"I can't, stud, not tonight."
"Your loss." Ethan did not intend to go to sleep without getting his hardon dealt with, and he planned on doing it in his bed. As they arrived at the apartment building, Ethan practically dragged Caden up the stairs. Caden's body wanted to crash on the hallway floor, but he couldn't sleep there. His feet feel like they are made out of lead. Even his spirit feels like it's somehow been cast into irons.
When Ethan opened the apartment, his lover's body was moving on autopilot until it found the bed. Minutes, if not seconds, later, Caden fell asleep. Ethan strips and gets into bed and takes matters into his own hands. His actions and moans didn't even rouse his sleeping lover. Caden has never before denied him, and the fact that his lover has ignored his needs just irritated him to no end. He finished his self-love session, cleaned himself up, and grabbed a blanket from the linen closet. If there isn't going to be action in the bed, there is no reason to be in bed, so he moved to the couch. Morning came much too soon for Ethan.
Ethan woke up and made his way back into the bedroom to make it appear that he had slept in the bed. Climbing into bed, he pulled the sheets across his naked body. He draped a one of his muscular arms across his lover's warm body. He closed his eyes and pretended to sleep; knowing that at any time the alarm would go off. Knowing his partner the way he does, he knows that he'll sleep until the alarm goes off, which means he has ten minutes before Caden wakes up.
Exactly ten minutes later, the alarm goes off and Caden wakes up. He notices the supposed sleeping form of his lover next to him. He smiles and removes Ethan's arm from around his body. There is nothing like waking up next to the guy you love. Ethan is so peaceful, and usually so caring, but something is missing. He places a kiss on Ethan's lips that sends shivers down Ethan's spine. A kiss that sends a signal down to Ethan's penis that wakes it up. Caden gets out of bed, and heads for the phone.
Caden did not think that he could stand to be at the shelter with his brother at the hospital. He dials the number at work so he can leave his message on the machine. The phone rings several times before it goes into the answering system. Without listening to the message, Caden presses '6' to get to the Employee Message section.
"If you're an employee of the Tylerville City Wide Shelter, and you need to call off please push '1' now."
Pushing the number '1' on his phone causes another prompt to come across the phone.
"Please leave your name, department, job title, and the reason for your absence."
"Caden Daniel Bishop, Community Outreach and Publicity, Community Outreach specialist. I am taking a family sick day. My brother, Riley, is at the hospital in a coma. I may need to take several days off. Just have Mike Wilson call me, he has my number."
"You're calling off?"
Caden did not hear his guy wake up. He also didn't hear him come into the living room.
"Yeah, I'm going to take a few days off so I can be up at the hospital with Riley."
"You do know that the rent is due next week. We could use some money in our checking account."
"Look, I wasn't planning on my brother being attacked, and I certainly wasn't planning on him ending up in the hospital in a coma, so give me a fucking break!"
Caden didn't swear all that often, but when expletives did leave his mouth, it usually meant that something, or someone, has crawled under his skin. After yesterday's stress, his patience has already disappeared, and to have Ethan reminding him about the rent being due just was not something that is important now.
"Look, we've had this discussion before, we need the money. You agreed that I could keep my modeling and acting career as long as I helped around the apartment between gigs. You have to admit that the apartment has never looked this good."
"Don't you dare change the subject on me, there is plenty of money in the account to cover our rent for this month, and you know that, so don't you dare throw that in my face. Yeah, I told you that you should continue your modeling career, but you need something else too. You're not getting calls from your agent like you did when I first met you. My job pays well, don't give me any garbage, bottom line here, my brother is in the hospital, and I need to be there because the rest of my family won't be there. I'm heading up there as soon as I shower and get dressed."
Ethan could feel the anger coming from his boyfriend. No matter how good of an argument Ethan could come up with, somehow, Caden always made more sense; besides, arguing with Caden always made him feel stupid. Their argument also left resentment in Ethan's mind.
Caden stepped out of the shower and the sight of his shirtless torso was enough to put Ethan Jr. at attention. Ethan wanted to jerk the towel away from Caden's waist, but his partner wasn't in a playful mood. Caden disappeared into the bedroom and stepped out a few minutes later, completely dressed.
"I may not be back tonight. I want to spend the night at the hospital, if I can. You know, in case he wakes up or something."
"Sure man, whatever."
'What is it with him?' Caden didn't get what was going on with Ethan lately. Grabbing his keys and the papers that Ms. Moore gave him, he walked out of the apartment. Unlocking the door to his car, he got in and headed straight for the hospital.
Caden didn't need the argument with Ethan this morning. It made the drive to the hospital even more stressful. Caden parked the car and got out. With a click of a button on his remote, the car locked itself. He turned and headed toward the hospital. Entering the building, he checked in at the front desk and then headed to his brother's room. As he stepped off the elevator, he saw a familiar face. Ms. Moore's. Riley's caseworker approached him.
"Can we talk?"
"Follow me and we'll get started."
For whatever reason, he suddenly got a knot in his stomach. The stress of his entire situation is not helping him right now. They entered the same room that they were in yesterday. Immediately, she opens her briefcase and pulls out a file. She opens it and pulls out some papers. She glances at them and then looks at Caden.
"Here, Ms. Moore, these are for you."
Caden gives her the papers that she gave him yesterday.
"Thank you, Mr. Bishop," she said with a smile. Something about his face troubles her this morning.
"Is there something you need to tell me?"
He almost could not get the words out of his mouth.
"You... know how I told you that my partner and I are stable. Well, he has been acting strange since yesterday. We've had a couple of arguments and I just don't know what to do."
"Well, you have time to work things out between the two of you. How healthy would it be for Riley to be in the middle of you and your partner's arguments?"
Caden understood what she was saying, but he did not like it
"I'm afraid that is up to you to decide. I do have some good news; your parents have given up their parental rights I will keep you informed. Thanks, Mr. Bishop."
"You're welcome, Ms. Moore." Reaching out their hands, they exchange a handshake and then go their separate ways. Getting to Riley's room was a top priority, but as he was about to enter the room, Doctor Nichols showed up.
"Hello, Mr. Bishop, how are you today?"
"I'm good; so what do we know?"
The doctor flipped through the charts and then looked at Caden.
"I'm sorry, but there have been no changes in your brother's condition from yesterday. Are you going to be staying all day again?"
"Yeah... I'd like too. Oh... would it possible to spend the night?"
Doctor Nichols smiled.
"It's fine, I will have a cot added to the room tonight."
"Thanks, Doctor Nichols."
For the most part, today was a quiet day. Caden spent time working on stuff from work, writing in his journal and talking to Riley about all the mess with Ethan. The hours on the clock seemed to move with the speed of a snail. Finally at around 9:00 pm, Caden was tired and went to bed.