PT 20

Black void, white fury


Hi everyone! Here's the new chapter I promised sooner, heh heh. Well just a couple of days after I posted the last chapter, Dreamy wrote and told me she was discontinuing her website EroticDreams.com for personal and financial reasons. I was sad to see this happen, but I wish her all the best. Of course, Superdrewby is still up and running and adding new stories all the time, including a recent new chapter of Reclaiming Austin, by Billy TK-- which is also in the college section here on Nifty-- speaking of whom, I want to thank him for his help and suggestions regarding this chapter! (See notes at the end of the chapter for specifics.)

In other news, I want to say sorry to all of you who voted for the pic of Jerry on my website, because I have found the one, the perfect guy for Jerry! Check it out. This guy IS Jerry, as far as I'm concerned. I know with total confidence that if this guy would have been one of the choices in the voting, he would have won hands down. He even instantly replaced the original guy I have visualized in my mind's eye from the beginning when I write the story.

I've also found another new writer friend named Carson Shepherd. Unfortunately, he hasn't posted on Nifty, only on Literotica, but his stories are definitely worth the clicks to get there. He has a new one going now called Dear Diary that is shaping up to be as excellent as his previous ones like, The Good Old Boy, and Between Want And Need To.

I want to say "hi!" And thank you to Kevin and Mike for all their enthusiastic help and support with my stories! You guys are the best! And aka "Barry", I appreciate your efforts at shopping TJ around to influential folks in the entertainment industry. Who knows what may come of it? It could be wonderful!

And I want to say "hi!" to all the new people who've written to me-- lots of women as well lately! Over the course of this story, I've heard from just about every corner of the globe. Off the top of my head, I've received letters from the US, Canada, Mexico, Many EU countries, Australia, New Zealand, The Philipines, Indonesia, South Africa, China (forwarded to me from France, oddly enough) and Brazil, plus a Caribbean island a while back that I can't remember right now and don't have time to search my mail to find out, heh heh. Anyway, I salute all of my international TJ fans and I echo the sentiments on www.sorryeverybody.com <http://www.sorryeverybody.com>. I'm so sorry America did this to the world! But 49% of us tried to stop it!

And to all of the (somewhere between) 18 and 23% of gays who voted for him... All I can say is: when he appoints a couple or four Supreme Court justices and they overturn all the protections that gays have won over the years... just think back and realize that YOU helped him do it. Remember, Justices Scalia, Thomas, Rhenquist et al, as well as an estimated 600 federal judgeships Bush will fill with like thinkers, firmly believe and say right up front that Americans-- not just gays-- ARE NOT guaranteed any right to privacy and that LGBT's as a group deserve NO protections whatsoever--- and there will be no shortage of well funded Christian law groups ready to challenge every state law and city ordinance that protects GLBT's. They're already doing so. There will be so many more insidious assaults on our way of life in the next four years, not just on gays. I hope I'm wrong. I really do. Enough said. I'll get off my soapbox and leave the politics alone unless or until something major happens that I just can't keep my big mouth shut about, heh heh.

Ok, now let's check in on the guys as this crisis unfolds. Hang onto your hats and your hearts and buckle up...

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I get to tell this part-- with help, cuz I'm not much of a writer-- since I stayed slightly more rational through all of this than Tyson, and a whole lot more rational than Jerry.

Danny had just let me into the backseat with Tyson, and Jerry was buckling himself into the driver seat when I heard them. A pickup truck with two guys in the cab and three in the bed swerved over into the wrong lane, yelling all kinds of names and shit. We found out later they were all high school students from the Spring Branch area of Houston.

As they swerved in close, yelling, I could just see Danny's confused look when he turned back to look at them as a fist swung an empty Lone Star Beer bottle down from the back of the pickup and I watched it shatter across the top right side of his head while the guy yelled, "HEY FAGGOT!"

As they raced away I heard him exclaim proudly, "GOT him!" to his buds who high-fived him.

I watched in stunned disbelief as Danny's head snapped sideways from the force of the blow. His eyes rolled back in his head and his entire body seemed to short-circuit, twitching and wobbling around like jello for just a moment, then he crumpled down to a sitting position on the street with the car door trying to close on his ribs. His head came to rest on the car seat facing the back and a piece of beer bottle fell off of his shoulder, clinking on the metal door stoop in the sudden silence that engulfed the car.

A little "Agh!" escaped my gaping mouth.

Another car coming not far behind the pickup had watched it happen and pulled in at an angle to shine their lights right on the side of our car, lighting up Danny and the interior as they screeched to a halt just about five feet away.

I swear, we were all in complete shock. Neither Jerry nor Tyson even realized what had happened, since they couldn't see out above the roof line from their side like I could. They stared dumbfounded, uncomprehending or just stunned for a few seconds at Danny lying there, just as the other car trained their lights on him before they came to a stop. I was pulling myself up to look over the back of the seat to see his face just as Jerry saw the blood start spreading out over his white leather seat.

I still get chills all the way to my toes every single time I remember Jerry thundering in gut-wrenching horror, "NOOOOOOO!!!!"

His color drained away from his face as he raised both hands, palms out, like to stop something or warn someone, then his body jolted around like he was being electrocuted as he scrambled to get out of his seat belt and across the console.

"NO! NO! NO! NO! NO, DANNY!" he yelled. His eyes were bugged out and he was shaking violently as he tried to get to Danny, banging the steering wheel so hard with his knees it made the car roll like a boat, making Danny's limp body move around a little.

During that, Tyson cried out, "DANNY! Oh my god, Danny! OH MY GOD! Lemme see him!" as he almost crawled over Jerry's back to get to him from between the seats.

I couldn't get to Danny at all from behind his seat as I clutched at the headrest to see over it and just about had a heart attack.

As panicked and jittery as Jerry was, he lifted Danny's head very carefully and gently turned his face up. We could see the exposed skull in the center of a two inch gash pouring blood and we all cried out at once. Chills ran down my spine and I panicked. The driver of the other car had just made it over.

He yelled back at his passenger, "Adam, GO CALL 911!"

He opened the door all the way, told everyone to calm down, reached down and touched Danny's shoulder then felt his neck for a pulse. He gently pried his left eyelid open to see if his pupils were responding. I couldn't tell if they were responding properly or not. Adam got out and ran toward the end of the residential block, heading back over to Westheimer to look for a pay phone.

The guy said, "I'm not a doctor or anything, but he's bound to be in shock. We need to stop the bleeding somehow."

Jerry flew out of the driver side door, leapt over the hood, came around and shouldered the man aside, scooping Danny into his arms, crying and wailing in the most anguished and panicked voice I've ever heard, "HEEELLLP! SOMEONE HELP US, PLEASE!" His voice was cracking and rasping some of his pleas, "PLEASE HELP US! PLEEEASE! CALL AN AMBULANCE! PLEEEEASE! HEEELLLLP!"

Tyson and I both scrambled out from the driver side too and ran around to where Jerry was now sitting on the asphalt in the same spot against the open door with Danny encircled in his arms and and sitting sideways in his lap. He was clutching desperately, rocking him, wailing and pleading like he couldn't breathe, "God, please help him! Oh God, please help him!" But he looked up and yelled out again at the top of his lungs, "HEEELLLLP! PLEASE! PLEASE, SOMEONE HELP US!" as tears poured down his cheeks.

Blood ran down over his knuckles where he held Danny's head against his chest just under his chin. He was whimpering and crying between shouts, kissing his head, bringing his left hand up to the wound, then holding his trembling fingers away and staring in disbelief at the blood on them in the glare of the bright car lights, trying to decide if he could accept that this was reality, real blood. Danny's blood... HIS Danny's blood. He stared at it and couldn't deny it was real... hot on his fingers, wet and salty on his lips... too real. He visibly shuddered, tightened his grip and rocked him in his arms again, crying, kissing and mumbling incoherently down into Danny's hair. The little medallion Jerry had given Danny earlier tonight caught the carlights and sparkled in my eyes as I trembled.

The guy tried to calm Jerry, "Adam went to call an ambulance, calm down. Don't move him unnecessarily, ok? We don't know if there's any neck or spinal damage."

Adam apparently hadn't thought of the houses we were in front of for a phone, maybe because it was so late, so I ran up to the house we were parked in front of and started banging just as the man inside was opening the door anyway. The words raced out of my mouth in one breath, "Please call 911! My friend's hurt really bad! Some guys in a pickup busted a bottle over his head as they drove by fast and he's out cold! His head's split open and he's bleeding bad! Please call 911!"

The man assessed the scene that he could see from his front door while I was talking. He could barely see Jerry's head on the other side through the open car doors, and could hear his desperate cries, but he couldn't see him holding Danny. He could see the other car angled into Jerry's car and that other driver standing there looking down at them while Tyson tried to get another look at the wound.

The man's lover said from behind him in the living room to me, "Don't worry, honey, I'm calling 911 right now! Go see if you can help him, Jim!"

They were fully dressed and looked like they had just gotten home from partying themselves. Jim, who looked like he could be singer Joe Cocker's brother, pushed past me to go see what the deal was.

His lover gave the address and said there had been an assault to the head with a beer bottle and that the victim was unconscious and bleeding in the street. I turned and ran back down the walk while he answered their questions. When I got around the car, I saw the other driver, Tyson and Jim gently prying Danny from Jerry's grasp and bringing him very carefully around to lay in the grass beside the car, being extra careful not to move or turn his head and neck. I reached down and grabbed his ankles while Jim and Tyson held his arms and under his knees and the other driver held his head as we lay him down as gently as possible. The driver got a little pillow out of his back seat and put it under his head and used a small towel to try and contain the bleeding.

We all got on our knees and formed a circle around him. I was shaking, staring at all the blood on his lifeless looking body, feeling even more scared and helpless. I looked at Jerry and Tyson and saw the same terrified looks in their eyes as well. I couldn't believe this was happening. Danny looked so small lying there, like a little kid. He looked so innocent; my feelings ranged from fear to sadness to rage.

Jim checked Danny's pulse and said, "He's breathing steady. He's just knocked out. He's got a bad concussion, obviously, and some glass is embedded in his skull it looks like. Did anybody get a license plate or description?"

The driver said, "Yes, we saw it happen and Adam got their plates. He went to find a phone to call 911. He should be back soon. I'm Delbert."

Jim introduced himself and lifted Delbert's hand and the towel a few inches off of Danny's head, looked the wound over and said, "I would do something to clean this up a little, but that cut is so big I'm afraid to mess with it. I can't see the glass well enough in this little bit of light. But I don't want to move him inside, `cause the ambulance should be here soon. Keep some pressure on the wound, but try not to grind the bits of glass in."

Jerry was on his knees looking down at Danny and gently stroking his face. He started wailing again, "Oh God! Oh God! Where ARE they?! WE NEED AN AMBULANCE! PLEEEAASE!" he cried out to the night as a line of cars worked their way around Delbert's angled Chrysler Codoba in the street. Several of them, who couldn't see us for the parked cars along the curb, honked impatiently as the ones close to us crept by and tried to see what was going on.

Jim reassured him, "Lane already called them, don't worry."

Jerry started to stand up, declaring, "I'm taking him to the hospital right now."

Delbert pulled down on his arm and said patiently, but firmly, "No, calm down. You might do more damage if you move him anymore. The paramedics will be here any minute and they can probably do a lot right here for him. Calm down, ok? I know it looks bad, but the paramedics will know what to do."

Jerry slumped back to his knees, waving his hands in exasperation and helplessness. He leaned down, grasping Danny's shoulder and thigh with his hands, kissing his stomach where his shirt had gotten pulled up while being moved, and he cried, mumbling into his navel, "I'm so sorry. I love you. I'm so sorry. Please live. I love you, please... I can't..." he choked on his sobs and squeezed Danny's thigh, "I can't... please baby, please don't die. I can't live..." He sobbed and kissed his stomach again. "I'm so sorry I let them do this. I love you. I love you with every bit of my heart and soul, baby. I can protect you. I can, I swear, just give me another chance. I'm so sorry. Please forgive me. I love you..."

Jim reached across and touched Jerry's shoulder comfortingly. "He's not going to die. He's going to pull through this, ok?"

Tyson was beside him and pulled Jerry back up into a hug on their knees, trying to calm him while crying himself, "They're on their way, Jerry, they're on their way right now, bud. He's gonna be ok, Jerry. Help is on the way."

Jerry had Danny's blood all over his hands, shirt and all around his lips and chin from when he was holding him and kissing his head and he just looked terrified. Chills ran up and down my spine continuously. I didn't know what to do. I was so scared, and listening to Jerry just broke my heart into little pieces and made me cry harder. I was paralyzed with fear and sadness. Jerry was on the other side of Tyson from me and I was going to move around where I could hold him and comfort him too, but I couldn't let go of Danny's ankles. I was holding onto them like I needed to for some reason and just couldn't seem to let them go. Something in my head was yelling at me to release them and go comfort Jerry... but I just couldn't let Danny go. It was like if I held onto him, he would hold on and live. I mean, I had no idea how life-threatening the blow to his head was; it looked deadly to me, so much blood, out cold, barely breathing, it seemed to me at the time he could slip away at any moment.

All of us were crying now, including Jim and Delbert after hearing Jerry say those things and I could see by the looks on their faces that they completely empathized with Jerry's and our anguish. They could picture themselves in Jerry's place with their own lover lying there, feeling just as helpless and scared-- only they both would have better understood what had happened, living here in the Montrose and knowing this type of thing occurred all too often.

Jerry still couldn't take it all in. He just couldn't understand random hate violence like this. The little he had heard about violence toward gays had all seemed far removed from our little suburban world. He had to be just as shocked and bewildered as I was that the very first fucking time we all came to the city to partake of the gay scene, something like this happens. It was unreal and it was unfair as hell. Like that feeling you get when you hear about a rookie cop getting killed in his first week on the force or something; it happens, but it just seems so damn unfair.

All Jerry knew was that the boy he loved more than life itself lay unconscious and bleeding in front of him for no reason. He had just lost it, crying and trembling uncontrollably, his head darting around to search for the ambulance every few seconds then back to Danny, while Tyson still had his arm around his shoulders, trying to comfort him-- which surprised me, but I was really happy to see. The look in Jerry's eyes was so haunted, so scared and full of pain, I get tears every time I picture it, and I had dreams about that look and his cries for help for a long time afterwards.

Neighbors, gay and straight, came out of their houses and stood around us in clusters, asking Jim's lover, Lane, what had happened. Just then, Adam came running down the sidewalk, out of breath, yelling and pointing behind himself, "The ambulance and cops are on their way! Someone else already called them. But I just saw those guys in the truck turn the corner about two blocks down, back onto this street going the other way and it looks like they're busting out car windows with a baseball bat! I don't know if they've hit anyone else."

Tyson was thrown back on his ass in the grass as Jerry shot up like a bolt of lightning and streaked in the direction Adam had pointed. No one realized what he was doing until he was already over fifty feet away.

Everyone started yelling at him.

Jim yelled, "Come Back! Don't go down there! They'll beat the hell outta you or kill you! Come BACK!"

I yelled, "Jerry! Don't go down there! Wait here! Let the cops deal with them!"

Adam yelled at a fast disappearing Jerry, "Don't be stupid and get hurt too, Jerry! There's FIVE of them and they have weapons! Come back here!"

I looked at Tyson and he looked at me while everyone else kept yelling at Jerry. We both sprang to our feet in the same instant and took out after him. I heard Jim get up, yelling and following us as well, but he was older and kinda heavy, out of shape, and probably a bit drunk.

At first, as we ran, I was telling myself we were going to try and catch up to Jerry and stop him from confronting those guys...

But I knew I was ready to help him take them on if we caught up with them-- at least even up the odds some. I wasn't all that much of a fighter, y'know? I'd only been in four fights in my whole life, mostly when I was like thirteen-- but I was ready now. Danny had told me Tyson was a scrapper, and I could see he was thinking the same thing when I looked over at him and saw the angry, determined look on his face as we ran. He glanced at me as if to say, `You ready? Let's do this.'

My rage and thirst for blood increased as rapidly as my pulse. Every time my toes grazed the sidewalk and I saw that fist swing the bottle down across Danny's head in my mind's eye, I heard, "HEY FAGGOT!" "HEY FAGGOT!" "HEY FAGGOT!" It kept going through my head like a clarion call, ratcheting my anger higher and higher.

About three long blocks away from where Danny lay unconscious and bleeding, we had veered from the sidewalk to the street, trying to catch up to Jerry when we saw the pickup moving slowly, about a half block ahead of Jerry and a full block ahead of us. One of them was swinging his baseball bat like a pro down on the rear window of a parked car as the other two knelt down low on the same side to watch. We heard the WHUMP and the unique crackle safety glass makes as it splintered into a million square pieces and sagged in the middle.

They were whooping it up, high fiving each other and guzzling their beers like they thought they were immune to any consequences for what they had done, like it had already slipped their minds that they had just possibly murdered someone they'd targeted for being gay, even though, in reality, they had no fucking idea if he even was gay.

They knew the Houston Police Department didn't put the Montrose particularly high on their list of areas to protect. That was common knowledge all over Houston. The Montrose, the Heights, Fifth Ward, areas like that, just didn't get police coverage like River Oaks and the Galleria, or even middle class Spring Branch. What cops were to be found in the area were usually harassing queers, and in a couple of cases, outright killing them-- and getting away with it every single time.

I could see at least five cars in a row with shattered rear windows, with a `67 Mustang's shrieking alarm piercing the night as if the pony was in pain.

As he neared them, we watched Jerry accelerate to a blinding speed.

He fucking launched himself through the air, diving up into the back of the full sized Chevy pickup in an Olympic worthy leap, slapping the rim of the tailgate with his hands then his feet like a big cat to propel himself headlong even faster into them. The three guys never saw him coming.

I so wished I could see their faces in the street light as this force of nature broadsided them like a tsunami, slamming them all into the back of the cab like dominoes with a tremendous thud, sending the baseball bat flying up and over the cab to bang rattle and roll its way down the windshield and hood as the truck skidded to a halt amid crunching, cracking, screaming and frenetic thrashing from the bed.

Both Tyson and I stopped in our tracks at the sight just about forty feet in front of us. To me, it looked like everything in the back of the truck became a hyperspeed jumbled ball of bodies, feet, fists and heads-- like in a comics strip or cartoon fight, but without the cloud of dust-- while everything around it slowed down. There was just this blur of swinging fists, flailing arms and legs and screaming and yelling, all in fast-forward in the truckbed, while both doors of the pickup opened in slow motion and the guys stepped out cautiously with weapons in hand, drunk, confused, trying to figure out what the hell was happening in the back of the truck.

I could just picture their cocky little hate filled minds thinking, `Faggots don't fight back; especially over a few car windows, so what the hell could it be?' having already forgotten what they did to Danny. `Did my drunk buds just get in a fight with each other?'

I flinched at his voice when Tyson muttered defeatedly, to himself more than to me, "Oh man, this is all my fault."

I looked at him like he was crazy, "Do what?!"

He didn't answer me. He just bolted for them, setting me off too, just as the curly blonde haired driver raised his hand to swing his tire iron over the side into the melee, starting but stopping his swings, trying for a good shot that wouldn't hit one of his friends. Tyson surged ahead of me and tackled the driver from the side. The tire iron fell clanging on the street where he had been standing.

I didn't even see them land, cuz I ran for the other side to tackle my man-- who saw me coming. He was bigger than me and got his baseball bat raised, but was visibly drunk and didn't get a chance to swing before I knocked the wind out of him with a flying shoulder-butt to his solar plexus. I heard the air exit his body with an "UNGH!" and felt his chin hit the middle of my spine as his arms and legs kinda wrapped around me just before we hit the open truck door and heard it wrench almost off its hinges with an ear piercing grinding metallic screech.

All I know is, I was somehow able to keep both of us upright and against the groaning door with punch after punch in his gut with alternating fists. He dropped the bat when I rammed him and never got a chance to get even one solid hit on me. Then I let him slump enough to make it convenient to knee him in the nuts, hard. As he doubled over gasping for breath I grabbed his hair with both hands and slammed his face down on my knee with a very satisfying crunch, along with the extremely pleasing-- I have to say musical-- crack of his nose breaking. It hurt my knee like hell, but it was worth it.

I let him slide to the ground holding his nose and trying to breathe. He curled up in a fetal position on his side and moaned into his hands. He kept moving his hands down to his crotch then jerking them back up to his face. He couldn't decide whether to hold onto his nuts or his nose. Hard to say which pain would be worse. He was too stupid to use one hand below and one on his nose.

I'll tell ya, everyone says how violence solves nothing... Well, I gotta say: It felt good, man. It felt real good, and I would do it again in a heartbeat to that fucking piece of dogshit. And it did solve something: It took him out of the fight. I know that's the wrong way to look at it and I apologize to my better nature for feeling that way... but I still do.

I was standing there heaving for breath, just looking down at that slimy motherfucker writhing on the ground and thinking how I should go ahead and kick him too, looking at the truck door hanging at an odd and twisted angle, and was about to let go with a big adrenaline-fueled belly laugh when I was jolted by a scream of pain from in the bed of the truck.

Jerry was doing Kung Fu shit on all three of them at once, getting medieval on their asses up there and I just watched in complete awe. In that moment, I actually thought, `Enter the dragon!' Bruce Lee would have been proud of him. Two of them were hitting him back as best they could-- and he was definitely taking some solid hits-- while the other one was trying to use his own baseball bat on Jerry; but there was too little space between them for him to get any force into his erratic swings, which mostly glanced off his shoulder.

Jerry was fuckin' amazing in action. When the dude in front of him swung at him, he ducked and the guy hit his friend square in the jaw. Jerry came back up and jabbed him in the gut. The other guy finally got some force into his swing and tried to aim the bat downward on Jerry's head but he deflected his arm and made the bat hit his friend's shoulder instead, getting another loud cry of pain out of him. Jerry twisted his body and drove his fist up under his chin in the throat of the biggest guy-- bigger than Jerry-- wearing a light blue Houston Oilers jersey and looking like a linebacker himself.

I heard the fragile bones in his neck shattering and the "Ack!" he squawked out with the impact. Jerry instantly followed that hit up with an open-palmed blow to the guy's solar plexus with his other hand. The fucker staggered backwards gasping desperately for air that he simply couldn't get and fell over the tailgate. I watched him kind of sit over the edge on thin air as the back of his knees caught the rim of the tailgate and then his feet went sailing over his head as he somersaulted backwards to land face flat on his belly on the street, out cold or dead. I didn't have time to guess which; it was all happening so fast.

I glanced over and saw people who had come out of their houses, some yelling about their broken car windows, some yelling for the cops, but most of them just watching us. They, of course, had no idea who was who in the fight. Only a couple of cars came by while this was happening. They would slow down to watch, then speed up to get the hell out of there.

I saw a flash light us up from behind me and wheeled around to see that some stupid fucker had climbed up on the brick ledge of a flower bed and was taking pictures of the fight! What the fuck?! I was about ready to charge over to him and snatch the camera away and yank the film out of it when more sounds of pain diverted my attention back to the pickup truck.

I looked back up and cringed as I saw Jerry grab the batwielding guy's arm and twist himself around lightning fast, facing mostly away from him as he gripped the guy's wrist in his right hand and used his left elbow to slam down and break the guy's arm over his upper thigh. Believe me, the sound of bones being broken is not something you ever forget. When the guy screamed in agony, Jerry grabbed the other guy's arm, to hold onto and neutralize him, as he pushed this one back and then side-kicked him in the face with extreme prejudice. I was trying to figure out how he kicked the guy in the face in barely a two foot space between them as the guy's head flew up and back while his arms spread out-- one dangling oddly from about halfway between the elbow and wrist-- and he went over the driver side into the street much the same as the first guy had. He didn't get back up either.

Jerry then turned his full attention on the remaining dude, who realized he was now alone with this maniac-- too late. When our eyes met for an instant, I saw the abject fear in the boy's eyes as he frantically turned and tried to jump over the side toward me and get away, but Jerry grabbed his neck with both hands, twisting him down off his feet and straddling him in one fluid movement as he started pummeling his face.

Just about then, Jim made it to us and was yelling at Jerry to stop, looking up and down between him and the two bodies he could see lying on the street and glancing forward to Tyson and Blondie goin' at it up in front of the pickup. Then he yelled at me, "STOP him! He's killing him! Stop him!"

Jim climbed up in the pickup bed and hovered behind Jerry. He was real wary of getting close to him in his blind rage. Jerry, crouched over, was punching the guy he was holding securely between his knees by the fucker's shirt collar so fast and so hard in the face his fist was like a jackhammer. The guy was totally limp by now and I knew we really had to stop him as I vaulted up over the passenger side. I could hear the crack of his knuckles impacting squishy skin and skull and could see the dark glistening of blood all over the guy's face and Jerry's fist that looked nearly black in the ghostly bluish white of the street lights.

Jim and I each grabbed one of Jerry's arms at once, while I yelled in his ear, "STOP, JERRY! THAT'S ENOUGH! STOP! NOW!" Jim yelled similar things at the same time on his left side.

With my legs braced and every bit of my upper body strength put into holding it, I couldn't stop Jerry's right arm from sending his fist down into the guy's face several more times-- couldn't even slow it down a little-- as I yelled at him.

Then suddenly, he froze in mid jab. After a surreal moment of stillness, his fingers slowly unclasped the guy's collar and let him fall limply to the bed on a pile of empty Lone Star bottles, some now broken, next to an Igloo ice chest with its plastic lid shattered and caved in.

Jerry had been, and was still, making this steady high pitched little whining, keening sound, kind of like a wounded dog. I don't think he was even aware we were holding him. He didn't see us. He just stared unblinking down at the still and bloody body between his feet.

I still had hold of his right arm and I felt the blood racing through his corded veins, with his muscles spasming and twitching from the extreme manic workout they had just been put through. It was scary, actually, to feel the power in his sweaty arm and feel his whole body trembling and twitching and heaving for breath, especially because I was aware that he could toss me off like a bug at any moment and start in on the guy again if he wanted to.

Right then, a cop car came screaming down the street from in front of us, followed by an ambulance, while a fire truck turned the corner back behind us and headed towards Danny. None of us moved a muscle, except to look up over the cab at the cop car as it slammed on its brakes, stopping just short of Tyson and Blondie, still fighting up in front of the pickup, bathed in the brightness of all the headlights.

The pickup engine was still running and I could hear Lynyrd Skynyrd "That Smell" playing in the cab. I was looking down on them and saw that Tyson seemed to have been getting the better of his guy, but they were pretty evenly matched in size and skill apparently. I glanced around and could see the still feet and legs of the two on the street. My left foot was stuffed between his legs and up into the guys' asscrack in the pickup bed. None of the three were moving.

Lynyrd Skynyrd drifted out into the warm night air, "Ooh ooh that smell, can't ya smell that smell? Ooh ooh that smell, the smell of death's around you..."

The cops jumped out and the driver, a big Latino cop, stood over them with his nightstick drawn and ready, yelling at them to separate and freeze, while his partner, one Officer Thorston, drew his gun, stalked over, pointed it at us and barked, "Y'ALL STAND STILL AND PUT YOUR HANDS ON THE BACK OF YOUR HEAD!"

Jim and I released our holds on Jerry's arms and we all three did as he ordered. Jerry looked down in a daze at the pistol pointed right between his eyes. Tyson and Blondie separated and put their hands up behind their heads too. Cop one barked at them to lie face down on the pavement and they both did, keeping their arms stretched out from their sides as instructed.

The ambulance driver rolled down his window and said that he would call another couple of units to this scene, but he was going on to the original call, which was for Danny. The Latino cop waved him on and proceeded to handcuff Tyson and Blondie, leaving them lying face down on the street. He then reached into the squad car for his radio and requested backup and to send a car to the original scene. Before he could even finish, another HPD unit pulled up at the rear of the pickup and two more cops got out, guns drawn and pointed at us. They asked what the status was as they worked their way to the back end and stood over the guy sprawled out beneath the tailgate, nudging him with their shoes, trying to judge if he was a threat-- or whether he was breathing, I dunno. One knelt down and checked his pulse.

The new squad car driver, Officer Jaimeson leaned over and looked in the truck bed while Officer Thorston, kept his gun trained on us-- on Jerry in particular. Officer Jaimeson shook his head and whistled. "Did you do all this?" he directed the question to Jerry, whose hands were covered in blood all the way up past his wrists, with blood splatters and smears all over the creamy white shirt Danny had bought him, trembling with adrenaline and trying to catch his breath. His eyes were still glazed and unfocused.

Jerry didn't respond or even look over at him. He just stared blankly at Thorston's gun barrel, but Jim spoke up calmly, keeping his hands interlocked behind his head, nodding at the beaten hulks of teenagers scattered in and around the truck, "Those boys drove by fast and slammed his friend in the head with a beer bottle with such force it knocked him out. He's in very serious condition, possibly life-threatening, with his head split wide open. He was still unconscious when I left him back there. You can see all the cars down the block here where they busted the windows in with baseball bats. This boy and his friends tried to stop them and hold them for y'all... like a citizens' arrest."

"Well it looks like they stopped `em pretty good, eh?" Officer Jaimeson said, a cross between bewilderment and reluctant admiration in his voice.

His partner, Officer Dixon, who looked barely older than us and was really good looking, had gone around the other side and called out, "There's another one down over here. I don't think he's goin' nowhere on his own. Better call another ambulance."

I heard the guy whine, "He broke my fuckin' nose!"

I smiled.

The Latino cop, Officer Hernandez, stepped over the one guy on the driver side, who was starting to stir and moan, and looked in the pickup bed. He cocked his head and asked, "How many goddamn ambulances do we need?"

The guy at Jerry's feet still hadn't moved a muscle. Dixon responded, "At least four. Those two up front are still able to walk, but they look like they might just need some attention too, though." He reached into the truckbed and felt the guy's wrist by my right foot. "He's alive... I think." He looked at the battered bloody face and shook his head slightly.

Hernandez leaned in and shut the pickup engine off, stepped back and said, "Alright, the three of you climb out of the truck one at a time, very slowly, with your hands visible at all times, then put both hands flat on the hood," he nodded toward the second cop car. Two civilian cars had stupidly driven up on the scene and were trying to see if they could get around the jumble of vehicles and flashing red and blue lights, while at least forty bystanders watched from the yards and sidewalks. I noticed then that another cop car was pulling up to the corner, presumably to stop traffic.

Jim and I both started to move at once, but he stopped and let me go first. We all climbed down and spread our hands flat on the hood of the squad car, with the bright flashing red and blue lights and the passenger sidemount spotlight right in our faces. We heard several sirens working their way toward us through the Friday night bar-rush traffic.

Officers Hernandez and Dixon handcuffed the three of us, brought Tyson and Blondie over as well and Hernandez started muttering about all the faggots they had to deal with as he kicked my feet apart to search me. A powerful surge of fear and disgust ran through me as I thought about Houston Police brutality stories I'd heard since moving here. For some stupid reason, I blurted, "They're the ones who started this."

He muttered menacingly through clenched teeth, "Shut the fuck up," as he grabbed the back of my head and slammed my face down on the hood.

Goddamn, that hurt! Fortunately, I was able to turn my head just enough that my cheek bore the brunt of the impact instead of my nose. I decided to shut up and just let the adrenaline still pumping through my veins focus my hatred on authority figures who were supposed to protect us but were instead just as hateful and brutal toward us as those fucking middle class thugs.

When he did that, Tyson, standing beside me exclaimed, "Hey! What the fuck?!"

But Hernandez was busy lying over my back-- kinda humping my ass-- and saying urgently into my ear, "Don't say another fuckin' word or I'll break your fuckin' arm, cocksucker," as he wedged my arm and made the cuffs dig into my wrists.

I winced in pain and whispered, "Ok, ok."

Tyson knew better than to say any more. He'd known better than to say what he had said, but it had just slipped out upon seeing the unprovoked brutality of Hernandez. There were no more incidents of police misconduct after that moment that I witnessed-- other than hearing Hernandez describe us as a bunch of cocksuckers to other police when they arrived. They searched all of us that were able to stand, read us our rights and gave us breathalyzer tests.

Along with a couple of Jim's neighbors, Adam had made his way to us about then. He tried and tried from the sidelines to get them to let Jim go, as he hadn't fought with anyone. Officer Dixon told him to shut the hell up or they'd take him in too. But Officer Jaimeson eventually stood with Adam to get his statement after Adam told him he actually saw the guy assault Danny with the bottle and pointed to the guy lying in a heap with a broken arm on the driver side of the truck. I smiled again when I realized Jerry, not knowing which guy had done it, had broken the very arm used to attack Danny.

Four ambulances and several more cop cars showed up before they took us down to the Camaro to meet up with the cops there. Before we left the truck, EMT's treated Tyson and Blondie while others treated and loaded the fallen onto stretchers, hooking up all kinds of machines and IV's to them, working frantically on the guy Jerry had hit in the throat to keep him breathing. A KPRC Channel 2 TV camera crew showed up just as we drove away. Oh shit! That freaked me out big time! I pictured this on the evening news tomorrow and got chills down my spine.

By the time we pulled up at the Camaro, I saw they had already taken Danny away, of course. We all sat handcuffed and locked in our cars while our cops conferred with the cops at that scene, took some pictures of the bloody Camaro seat and broken glass on the ground and more witness statements. Delbert and Adam's Cordoba was still aimed at the Camaro with its lights on. The news crews showed up after about fifteen minutes and came over and tried to get film of us in the backseat, but Officer Dixon shooed them back behind the yellow tape strung up around the scene.

Jerry and I were in one car, Tyson and Jim were in another and Blondie was in a third by himself. As we sat there, seemingly forever, I was wishing they had put Tyson in with us. I really wanted to see him, talk to him and find out if he was ok. After going over every image of the ordeal in my head again and again, I tried to focus on earlier in the evening for a bit, to calm my nerves a little, anything for a diversion from replaying yet again the unbelievable chain of events since leaving Numbers.

Everything had been going so great with Tyson tonight! We really seemed to be making a connection. I thought back on the evening, all the times our eyes met, the times he kissed me-- three times, to be exact, plus I instigated kisses twice. I kept wondering why he made me feel so shy and unsure of myself-- in a pleasant, tingly sort of way-- like I was some love-struck boy in middle school or something. I kinda liked that feeling though, and it was a lot like I'd felt around Jerry not so long ago, just not quite as intense.

Just before we left Numbers, upstairs in the `quiet lounge', we looked down through the angled out wall of glass overlooking the tiered seating, dance floor and stage, all jam packed with horny men under flashing lights, lasers and fog. He had held me from behind, arms wrapped around my waist, still sweaty from dancing. He'd whispered in my ear how he thought I was `so hot' and how he couldn't wait to get me back to the hotel. I had a major hot flash when he said that and I told him I was ready to go right that second. He had laughed that laugh of his that just makes my heart flutter and turns my legs to jelly.

I wanted him so bad, and had thought about how, even though Mark had been the `clean cut' type guy and was very sexy, Tyson, with his long hair and rebellious attitude turned me on so much more. But it wasn't just those things. It was the look in his gorgeous blue eyes, the way his lips curled when he laughed or smiled, the way he talked about his brother and Celia & Jet, showing such love and caring for them, all these little things about him that made me think that maybe he had that `something' that I was looking for.

At the same time though, I was glad I was in the back seat with Jerry. I was sure he needed a friend really badly right then. We hadn't spoken since being put in the car, but I hoped that having me there was at least some comfort for him.

He was still in a daze, in shock I think. He hadn't made a sound, staring straight ahead, mostly unblinking the whole time.

Suddenly, he looked over at me, his eyes focused for the first time, and croaked out in a panic, rapid fire, like he'd just arrived, "Where's Danny?! Oh God, Dave! Did I kill anyone?! I didn't kill anyone, did I? They're all alive, aren't they? Is Danny ok? Where is he? I can't believe all this. This can't be real. What happened, Dave?" He was trembling uncontrollably again as tears poured down his cheeks and he was pleading with his eyes for me to undo the whole night somehow.

"Calm down, Jerry, calm down, buddy. No one's dead. They took Danny to the hospital." I feared much worse, but I said to Jerry, "I don't know how he is yet, but he's gonna be ok." I was equally unsure when I said, "You didn't kill anyone... I'm pretty sure."

His voice was shaky and breaking, higher pitched than his normal deep bass, but still loud, "I lost control, Dave. I've never, ever totally lost control like that in my life! I can't do that! I know too much. I'm responsible for what I know how to do! My mind just... snapped. Oh God, Dave! I can't let myself totally lose it like that! Are you sure they're all still alive?"

I looked out the window at the cops all in a semi-circle around the passenger door of his Camaro with the red and blue lights doing their chaotic dance over them and said, "I'm pretty sure... but I'm not for certain, Jerry."

He slumped down in the seat and leaned against me, crying, his body jerking with his sobs, "I had to-- Danny didn't do nothing to them! They could've killed him! He could be dead right now! Oh god," he gulped hard and lay his forehead down on my shoulder.

After a moment, he said, "Dave... when it happened... when he fell down, just sitting there and I saw the blood... I looked at him and I thought..." his voice wavered unsteadily and barely made it out, "I, I thought he wwwas dead. I thought they killed him, Dave," and he let out a guttural wail from so deep down in his soul it physically hurt me to hear it. I shuddered.

Then he croaked, "I wanted to die. I really thought at that moment... If he's... if he's dead... I wanna be dead too."

I had the footage, forever etched in my mind, of the impact and the wobbling around as Danny's eyes rolled back in his head. Then collapsing and sitting there lying over on the seat, of Jerry lifting his head and seeing the gash, and the bone chilling thought, that had washed over me and siezed my heart in that instant, that this beautiful person who I'd gotten so close to, loved so much already, had just been murdered right before my eyes. I knew how it made my stomach lurch and knot up and how I'd had a falling sensation of sadness and grief that just sucked me downward-- and I knew that what I was feeling couldn't have been a fraction of what Jerry was feeling in that moment.

Sitting in the car with him now, tears spilled down my cheeks as Jerry's tears soaked my shoulder. I couldn't muster the ability to say any comforting words to him. Chills ran down my spine and I wished we didn't have our hands cuffed behind our backs, so I could hold him and at least show him that, way down deep in my heart, I understood how he was falling into the void, the blackness of overwhelming loss, when for all we knew, Danny could possibly be dead now.

And in that moment, it struck me that here was this guy, who was the ultimate male in my eyes, who was so strong, the embodiment of all things virile, everything you think of when you picture strength, determination, competitiveness, all those associations, and whom I had secretly loved from a distance for so long... crying on my shoulder. I had so many emotions inside me, fighting each other as furiously as Jerry had fought those punks.

I had to admit to myself that I still loved him. I had witnessed his love in action. I had been blown away by the depth of love and emotion he had poured out to Danny that day in their room at the beach house. I remembered my knees going rubbery and this wave washing over me, the realization that someone actually existed who had the combination of all those `manly' things that turned me on so much and a loving tenderness and vulnerability that made my heart pound in my chest so hard I was afraid they would hear it from all the way out in the hallway.

That day, standing in that doorway, I actually hated Danny, was so jealous of him. I can admit that because I love him now. But that day, witnessing intense love like I'd never even imagined, just saturating the air around us to the point of `flashover' when a fire explodes through a room... I just remember thinking that there couldn't possibly be even one other guy out there like Jerry, and that I had blown it, had totally missed my chance. I hadn't been bold enough, persistent enough before he met Danny, and I had lost out on the most wonderful guy in the world.

Fortunately for all of us, I had pretty much gotten over all that before Jerry and I sat in handcuffs in the back seat of a Houston Police cruiser while Danny lay in a hospital emergency room somewhere. The events of the evening were a surreal whirlwind in my mind as I tried to focus on somehow comforting Jerry instead of going over them again. But I still couldn't think of anything to say.

After a long minute, his voice came low into my shoulder, with a dead-steady calm to it, "I would've killed them." He paused a couple of seconds. "If they'd killed Danny-- If I knew he really was dead... I would've, Dave. I would've killed them all, Dave... and I wouldn't be sorry. I woulda done something to make sure the cops shot me dead after I killed all of them."

Another chill ran through me while goosebumps broke out on my arms and neck and my response came out in a heavy sigh, "I know, Jerry," I lay my head gently against the top of his head on my shoulder. "I know what you mean, buddy."

Momentarily, officers Jaimeson and Dixon climbed back into the car without even looking back at us through the black lathe cage between the front and back seats. Our three squad cars formed a convoy on the nearly deserted, bleak and impersonal looking streets of Houston, heading downtown to HPD Headquarters on Riesner Street.

As we drove in the silence, occasionally broken by the crackle of the police radio, I thought how suddenly everything can change, how arbitrary life really is. A slideshow of the evening kept playing through my head and I alternated between sadness and rage, squirming in the seat against the handcuffs that dug painfully into my wrists and thinking, `What does it matter? Why even try to be a good person, a peaceful, loving person, when ignorant, hate-filled cowards can just ambush you and take it all away in a heartbeat? When everything you've ever thought or done can be wiped out in one swing of a bottle at random... why bother caring at all?'

I understood what Jerry meant, what he felt. I thought, `If I were him, and they HAD killed Danny, I'd do it. I would kill them all... if they killed the one I loved so deeply. Yeah... I'd kill them all.'

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>MORE TO COME<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

As always, I would love to hear from you at: desertmac2000@yahoo.com <mailto:desertmac2000@yahoo.com>

Oh, and in my intro notes I thanked BillyTK for his help on this chapter, because he's a brown belt in Judo (same as Ju Jitsu) and a red belt in Eslam Kung Fu and a yellow belt in Tae Kwon Do and he gave me pointers. I didn't want to say it up there in the intro and tip you off to what was coming in this chapter, heh heh.

So write to me and tell me your thoughts!

Until next time,

Love y'all!!!! Mac