Skip – Part 33
"You okay, love?" Skip asked.
I was laying in the dark, sweating.
"I think so," I said. "I was dreaming."
"You were saying pens."
"Pennsylvania, I think."
"Have you ever been?"
"Only to Philly a couple of times. There's an Andrew in my dream too."
"Our Andrew? Doc?"
"No, I don't think so."
"So why Pennsylvania?"
"I think I'm getting a job offer, with GE again."
I had worked for GE for 15 years, right out of college.
"Prophecy? Would we move?"
"I hope that we would move. You do know that I won't go anywhere without you, love. If it's not right to go, we won't. If it's right for me but not for you, we won't go. Billy, I hope, would join us, but ... Anyway, it's going to happen today, or tomorrow. Just something from my dreams."
"Your dreams come true sometimes. I'm game if it comes to that. As for the moments we're in, it's 5:30 a.m. Can I be inside of you?"
"You have to ask?"
"Well, in polite company anyway."
"You're entitled to just do it, lover and love of my life."
He did. And he did it very well at that.
"I do love you, Aaron, so very much, for every moment we're in. I might have mentioned that a time or two."
"Yeah, you have. You're kind of shy though. You should tell me anytime you're moved to do so."
"I do. And, trust me, I'm not all that shy."
"If I tell you that I love you, do you think I'm just copying you?"
"Would it be sincere?"
"Then you're not just copying me. Tell me."
"I love you, Skip. And I love our bro here, too," I said as I kissed Billy awake, although a bit early.
"You love me, Aaron?"
"Oh yeah my bro, very much, for every moment we're, like Skip loves me."
"What a fine way to wake up. You both are everything to me. I will never need anything ever again."
"How about another kiss?"
"Well, if you insist," he said, smiling.
"And my cock?"
He backed up against me and I entered him. Two lovers, no waiting. Skip slid into me again as I slid into Billy, setting a fine rhythm. Billy grabbed my cock and squeezed it with his ass. I did the same to Skip, both of us moaning.
"I guess you don't mind that I woke you earlier than usual?"
"Nope," said Billy. "I slept enough. All is right with my world when you love me."
"Every moment, every day, forever."
"Guess I'm covered then. Nice to know I have no worries for life."
"Not as long as Skip and I are around to love you."
"You love me, bro?"
"I love you bro, forever. No worries for life."
"Mmmm, nice. Can I do you two?"
Skip pulled out of me. I pulled out of Billy and raised my legs.
"You don't waste any time, huh Aaron?" Billy said with a smirk.
"Well, technically I'm very shy. Love me, love my hole."
"Yes, to both."
Billy entered me smoothly. In the meantime, Skip entered Billy.
"How is the Billy Sandwich?" asked Skip. "Do you need mayo?"
"Nope, but, uh, chocolate would do it nicely."
"Hmmm," Skip said as he pulled out of Billy and went to the kitchen. He opened the fridge and brought out a new bottle of Hershey's chocolate syrup.
He came back, re-entered Billy smoothly, and then pulled Billy's head up gently. He poured some syrup on Billy's cheek. Billy leaned down and I licked the sweet chocolate up.
"Sweet, not that you need any help, but ..."
"My turn," said Skip, pouring a dab on Billy's neck.
He licked the chocolate up, poured some more, and licked that up too.
"Oof, I could get a sugar high off this stuff," he said, passing it to me.
I smeared some on his forehead and both cheeks, and then licked his face clean. I put the syrup down and gave my attention back to Billy, or rather, he gave it to me. After a while, he gently pushed Skip off him and laid him on his back. He entered Skip in one long easy slide and made love to his brother while I re-entered Billy. I too made sweet love to him. He loved being in the middle, so we kept him there until he unloaded into Skip and I unloaded into him. Skip then came around, entered me, and gave me a very nice fifteen minutes of quality time with his dick. He came hard inside of me. He rolled me onto my back, kissed me, and held us both for a few minutes. Billy and I curled up and went back to sleep while Skip got up, showered, had breakfast, kissed us both for a few moments each, and then left for work.
"God, I love him so much. He does everything right," I said.
"He loves us. Is that doing everything right?"
"He loves us. We are three, bro, until we die."
"I don't want to think about dying."
"It's out there. Death keeps those who are wise more humble."
"Will we be together?"
"You're so sure."
"What if ..."
"Sshhhh. Love me now. Now is all I will ever care about."
He held my body against his, rubbed my back, looked into my eyes, and kissed me like I would be dead in five minutes.
"I won't die today, bro. Don't be afraid of losing me. We're past that."
"You're still rejecting your kidney. You sweat badly at night, most every night. I get up and wipe your face and chest. You have a new tumor."
"How do you know?"
"I just do."
"Two, actually, but the second one is small. I know I should tell you, but ..."
"You should tell me. You should trust me."
"But you think I might die."
"I can't lose you."
"Someday, but not today."
"You're so sure."
"I love you. Is it enough to keep you here?"
"Yes. More than enough."
"Please don't die, Aaron. Please don't leave me alone."
"I won't. And you won't ever be alone."
"You might. And I would be."
"Terribly alone, even in a room full of people."
"Billy, you know Andrew is working so hard for me. I let him do anything to me that he needs to. I can take the drugs and the pain and the surgeries. That's how I won't die. Andrew will not let me die."
"More surgeries, love?"
"Maybe. Anything is possible. Trust me, bro. I'm sorry I didn't tell you. Skip didn't either."
"I understand, Aaron. I'm okay. It's not lying, you know, the not telling me about the tumors."
"It's still withholding information, maybe telling you I don't trust you to handle stuff."
"I can handle stuff. I have a lot of practice. And I do know you trust me with your heart, so that's good enough for me. But you can tell me anything. We don't need secrets, even if they protect our feelings. In the long run, they don't."
"Sshhhh. I love you Aaron, in the awesome times and in the struggling times. We are three and we are one."
I could not say anything. I will not withhold stuff from him again. He knows anyway. The boys tell me I am easy to read, so he read that I was in pain, and knew why. It explains why he held me so tightly, even when he did not say anything to me. I did not know that he cared for me overnight. He must have slept so badly if he cared for me every night.
"No, love, I don't. It takes a few minutes. When you are okay, I sleep again. Skip is awake with me, and then sleeps too."
"Oh, love, I'm so sorry. Maybe I should be in the hospital."
"No. We asked Andrew. He can work on something for the sweating, but it's just one of your body's defense mechanisms. It's a way to get the toxins out of your system. I love you and part of that is taking care of you always. You are not a burden, so don't even think that."
"Sometimes I am."
"Not even one time since I fell in love with you."
"When did you know? The first time, I mean."
"Same as Skip. From the first time I saw you. I knew your history, from Skip. I knew about the cancer, that it wasn't a kidney infection. Like Skip, I knew I could love you and help you live. You needed two reasons, so Skip and I gave you us."
"I didn't love you until after our first time together. I loved Skip from the first time I laid eyes on him. Well, lust too, but his heart did win out over the lust."
"I know all that. Do you feel bad, about what I meant to you, back then?"
"No. The past is past. I love you now. Tomorrow I will love you more."
"Is that a wish? Or a promise."
"You tell me."
"It's a promise," he said, correctly of course. "I went from 99% to 100% on a promise, so I know."
"I ached so badly when you didn't know me. Then I figured out that it was because you didn't know we were lovers. You knew you loved Skip more than as a brother, but it's not usual to love more than one. You needed to find me."
"I did. And I did. And I can and do love more than one, more than two even."
"Me too. David and Sam are special. Michael and Will. Not like you and Skip, but well enough."
"They know how they fit into your life. David and Sam are special to each other. Michael and Will were meant to be. Our brothers at school love how you love them, and know exactly how it is. They are not denied anything. I'm still amazed, but only sometimes, at how you put people into your heart and give them love."
"It's not magic."
"Only to me."
"No. Well, 1%, like lust, but 99% is belief in you and bro. What I say to you, I have or will say to him, so he knows."
"He already knows."
"Yeah. But I like to tell him. He would have died, and almost did, even with me pulling him back. You went closer to death than anyone I know, but we still pulled you back ..."
"Because I wanted to come back."
"Yes and no. For a while, you did not. Dying would have been easier—just not better."
"I would have missed out on a great deal. Look at me, and my dreams. I'm almost a real paramedic, love. I'm only half done with training, but I've had practical experience. I saved a young woman last month. I know I won't save everybody ..."
"But you'll save more than you lose."
"Losing one is unacceptable."
"You said that about Sam, and we did not lose him. But an accident, or a shooting, or a fire is harder to bring someone back from than hate."
"Harder just means I put more heart into it. I lack skills yet, but I'll learn them."
"Kate was dead long before the paramedics got there. I should have been, too, but they did bring me back. I didn't know that Kate was dead, so I had reasons to live."
"So will patients who will die."
"Yeah. It's part of our training to know when we've done all we can. We can't pronounce someone dead, and we maintain treatment until we arrive at the hospital. Dignity matters, even in death. Especially in death."
"And you'll hold a hand, and say a prayer, and mourn them properly."
"I have been to a cemetery already, and put flowers on the grave of one that I could not save. Sometimes death really is better, because there's peace. I'm still human, though."
"I love you for being human. You're not a god, or God. You're an incredible man, and I love you more for all that you are. I don't care about what you're not, because what you're not is stuff that you will never be. Anything you want to be, you will be. Your patients will live. They probably won't know it's you who saved them, but does that matter?"
"No, they won't know. And no it doesn't matter."
"Let's make some breakfast, love. I can feel your tummy rumbling."
"Let's go see Jills."
So we did, after we showered, kissed for a long while, and dressed. It was only 10 below this morning. Yesterday was nearly 40 below and we had not ventured outside except for a newspaper around the corner.
"Sit by the fire, loves. Pancakes and blueberry compote? Sausage or bacon?"
"Pancakes for sure. Bacon for two, please, Jills," I said. "Can we give you a hand?"
"Sure," she said.
Billy and I applauded Jillian, and she bowed magnificently, as she would if making a curtain call. Jillian most always knew what her boys were up to. She knew one of two things would happen, and since our order was simple, she did really know what to expect. She was beginning her bow as we started to applaud her. God love Jillian. Billy and I drank our coffee by the fire.
She joined us for breakfast. We were early enough that her cup of tea and a slice or two of toast at home was no longer getting her by. Jills is a slender woman, but she ate as much as Billy or I did. I was 10 pounds to the better, hitting almost 100 pounds. She was pleased, because mostly it was due to her cooking for me post-chemo.
It was still cold but milder with no wind. We walked to the Common.
"Hey bro, let's rent ice skates at the Frog Pond. Do you have your ankle braces on?"
"Good idea and yes, I do."
We were two of a small handful of other skaters. I had been skating since I was old enough to walk. With nine months of winter, you found things to make winter more enjoyable. Ice hockey was a childhood passion. Billy took off at high speed as soon as he tied the laces. I finished up and took off after him. I decided to show off. I had grace where he had speed. I walked backwards on my skates, turned a couple of times, and then chased him all around the rink, making him giggle like a schoolboy. When I caught up to him, I gave him a quick but affectionate hug and then sped off. He did not quite have the backwards gliding down, so I decided to teach him instead of teasing him. He watched me, imitated me, sped off, glided backwards a good length, and promptly fell on his ass. I picked him up, brushed the snow off his ass and legs, and then showed him again. He was patient and interested in doing it right, so it was fun to teach him.
"Do you own skates?" I asked Billy.
"I do, but I've outgrown them. I'd like a new pair. Wanna go shopping?"
"Yeah. It's cheap enough to rent, but we could skate more often and not worry about money. We should hop the train at North Station and go out to Natick. I suspect prices in town are more expensive."
I loved when we did things at the last minute. We took the train, and then a bus, and then walked a few blocks, but that was okay. We could have driven in half the time, but the weather, traffic, and parking just were not worth it. We tried on a couple styles of skates. Sometimes I have trouble getting boots to fit properly, and most times I can't get size 10 ½ . I have to settle for size 11 and then stuff the toes. These skates fit perfectly. I also bought a pair for Skip. He and Billy are both size 9, so we knew his would fit since Billy's fit just right.
"Aww cool! New skates. Good job guys!" said Skip, after we surprised him after dinner.
He tried them on. "Sweet! Let's go out on Saturday?"
"Yeah. Early though, because it'll get crowded by mid-morning."
Billy and I arrived at Andrew's office at 2:00 as usual. Andrew brought me to the back. Billy thought about it for a few moments. He sat down on the sofa in the outer office, looking sad. Andrew closed the door. I took off my shirt. Andrew, using the imaging scanner, inserted the first needle into the larger of the two tumors. I lay on my side, probably looking about as sad as Billy did. I heard the door open. Billy stood there, looking in.
"I, uh, need to be with you love. It's not right to sit out there."
"You're not obligated, bro. This is hard. Patrick will tell you that."
"I know. Doesn't mean I shouldn't be here."
He sat down and took my hands. He kissed me and then looked at only my eyes. Andrew very carefully inserted the second needle. This was harder because the tumor was smaller. It, however, was also very dense.
"Crap. This may hurt, Aaron. It won't go in unless I push hard."
"Do what you need to Andrew."
I looked at only Billy. He sat so that he could not see at all and also blocked my view. Andrew pushed hard. A tear ran down both cheeks. It did hurt, like a son of a bitch.
"Aarrrrrr," I cried.
"I'm sorry, love. It's in now."
Billy wiped away my tears, and then his own. He kissed me. I held his head and kissed him a second time. Andrew started the flow of my meds. Three meds would combine to break up the tumors from the inside. They burned badly. New tears flowed anew. I felt so bad for Billy because he had not been through this with me before. It had to be hard.
"Yes, love. I don't care. It's worse on you."
So I lied. Not often enough that he would hate me for it. I closed my eyes and let Andrew finish doing what he does. It takes about a half hour for this part. I would have felt better if Billy waited outside. So would he. I looked at Andrew. He could say nothing to make me feel better. He took my one free hand and held it. He is the finest doctor, ever. His heart is huge and his generosity has already been proven. $9,000 for Will, whom he barely knows.
"God bless you, Andrew."
"He does, love, and he brought you to me. The heavens will sing the day you finally hit remission."
"Count on it. I'll join the chorus myself, but the earthly one. You're making sure of that."
"I love you, Aaron, simple as that."
"I love you as much, Andrew. Even now I have a better life than I would without you."
He nodded. He held my hand until the half hour passed, and then released it only to take the needles out of the tumors. He put large Band-Aids over both wounds to keep them clean. Billy helped me up and brought me out to the sofa. Andrew hooked up my PICC line and then left. I knew he was going down to the cafeteria for some sort of treat for Billy and me. I was not fussy about treats, so he did not ask what I wanted. He knew Billy would be fine with his choice as well.
In the meantime, Billy covered me with the blanket and held me tightly. He kissed me. Amanda brought us both small cartons of OJ. She kissed both our foreheads and went back to her office. Andrew's staff was the best on earth. They too cared for Will. I would introduce Will to them someday.
Billy kissed me. I looked at him. He was crying, not sobbing or anything, just tears running down his face.
"I hate this. You know? I hate it so much that you have to put up with this. You're five years into this. It's hard."
"What kind of hard?"
"Hard to see you suffer."
"Hard to be around me? Hard to love me anymore?"
"Hard to see you suffer. But very hard. I ache that I can't do anything to make this go away. The cancer is just so ..."
"Aggressive. What's really wrong? I know, but I want you to tell me."
"I'm sooo afraid to lose you."
"You were afraid to lose Skip. You didn't."
"You still weigh about half of what you should. You grow tumors like people grow vegetables. You are so restless at night. And I can't fix any of it."
"You can, and you do, every minute of every day. You love me, you hold me, you kiss me and make the best kind of love to me. You let me love you and hold you, and kiss you, and make the best kind of love back. I need nothing more than you and Skip, ever."
"I'm not enough. Skip either. Nor Andrew."
"You already said it. I've had cancer for five years. That's a long time. I'll have it longer. And I'll live ..."
"Or you'll die. How can we be sure?"
"We can't be. Do for me everything that you did for Skip. More if you have to. I'm not going anywhere, love. You know that Andrew will NOT let me die."
"Andrew is human too."
"Yes, of course, but with infinite knowledge. He loves me too. Not the way you do ..."
"Yes, Aaron, the way Billy does," Andrew said, stepping. "I have all the fears that Billy does. Fortunately, I'm in a position where I can do something. I'm trying hard, but it is hard, just as Billy said. Billy, I'm sorry for eavesdropping."
"I'm glad you did. So, now you know. If Aaron dies ..."
"Aaron will not die of this cancer. I don't make promises that I cannot keep. We are working very hard and will work harder."
"But it's not enough," Billy said.
"It is enough, love. Do for me what you did for Skip, and I will live."
He looked at me. I held him tightly. Andrew knelt behind Billy and hugged him tightly.
"I do love Aaron, very much. How could I not? There is a lot to do yet. I know that I can't stop the tumors from growing, yet. But I can kill them."
"I believe you, Andrew. I do trust you, but I'm so scared."
"I know, Billy. I'm not. You and Skip should do what you have been doing, every day. Don't live in fear because it's not a life. You know Aaron's rule."
"The moment's we're in."
"Do they mean anything to you?" Andrew asked.
"They mean everything to me."
"Then hold him."
"What about the moments you're in Andrew?"
"They can be better," said Billy.
He pushed the blanket away and stood up. He held Andrew very tightly for a moment and then kissed him very lightly on his lips. He kissed him for a long moment on his forehead. He sat Andrew down beside me, and covered him with the blanket.
"Hold our brother so you know what it feels like."
Billy left the office. I will catch up with him in a while. It was easy to figure out where he was going.
"I meant what I said. That I love you the way Billy and Skip love you."
"I don't doubt you."
I held him and he held me. He kissed my forehead. I kissed his cheek and then his lips. We looked at each other and then we kissed each other on the lips more deeply, beyond doctor and patient. His were soft and tender, like his heart. He kissed me because he understood Billy's fears, and because he had Billy's permission. He kissed my neck. He was warm and gentle.
"I do know what it is like to love Aaron Langille. I love that you have Skip and Billy. Sam, too, David, Patrick, Paul, and the rest that I have not met yet. I will not let them down. I'd rather die first."
"I know the sentiment, Andrew. I would give my life for any one of them. Billy gave me his kidney. The death of that kidney is part of the reason for his sadness."
"I can understand that. He feels like he let you down."
"I know. Inside, so does he, but like any of us, he's human. You should sleep, my friend. I will hold you in my arms and in my heart. In my arms for the rest of the two hours, and in my heart forever."
I kissed him again. "I've held you in my heart for a long time."
"Thanks for that."
I tucked into his neck. He held me and told me he loves me. I dozed off and knew that I was safe.
I found Billy in the chapel, talking to the chaplain. I stood for a moment until he saw me, and then I walked to the cafeteria. He will know where to find me. A friend, and a lover, will give his friend and his lover time to work things out, and never alone.
"Your tumors really disturb me, love. You have three now."
"Two, that I know of."
"And one that you don't."
"How do you know?"
"I feel it. There are three hot spots low in your back. There's more than one reason I hold you close to me, love. I came into your life to love you with all my heart AND to keep you safe. If Andrew has not found the third tumor, you should call him."
I kissed Skip warmly.
"Hi Claire. I have something to share with Andrew. Is he home?"
"Yes, he is. Hold for a moment."
"Aaron. I think I know why you're calling. I would guess that Skip found a third hot spot."
"Yeah. You know about it?"
"Only yesterday, when you were in my ... office."
"Billy did us a favor, no?"
"Billy did us a large favor. Are you worried about it?"
"Yes and no. Skip too."
"Both yes and no?"
"I understand. I called Washington for a stronger mix of your meds. But it'll make you sicker for a while until I can re-make the anti-emetic formula. It's time consuming."
"I'm okay with stronger meds and no anti-emetic. You know what you're doing, so carry on."
"Hold on to your lover, Aaron. He doesn't need to be worried about you."
"I can do that," I said, looking at Skip. I winked at him. He could probably guess what Andrew had told me.
"Andrew says that you have to make passionate love to me, right now," I said so both could hear me.
Andrew laughed aloud. "Have a good night Aaron."
"Oh yeah, well, if it's doctor's orders."
Skip grabbed me as soon as I hung up and took me to the oversized chair. He undressed me in short order. In a moment more, he was inside of me.
"Doctor's orders. This is my kind of prescription," I said, holding tightly to him.
"Ain't modern medicine wonderful?" he said. "I bet they don't teach this in Med School though. Too bad."
"Maybe we can submit a course and description to some schools. We could demonstrate too, if we had to."
"Yeah, I have no shame, or at least as much as you do," he said to me.
"Then that would be `no shame'. Tell me that you love me."
"I love you, Aaron. Heart, soul, and body."
"I thought you loved me for my mind."
"Wow. You're amazing."
"I are. Nah, no time to be modest. Humble is overrated."
"I can be humble for both of us."
He kissed me so I would stop talking. I was done talking anyway. He felt so good inside of me. He loved me just right, physically and emotionally. We followed doctor's orders for a good hour and then he took me to bed, where he held me as if I will be gone tomorrow. I can deal with the fear. He can too. Been there / done that.
The fire roared fiercely, pouring black smoke into the night sky. The heat was intense. It started three hours ago. We had been here for over two hours. The firemen were trying desperately to get it under control. The latest engines arrived, making this a five-alarm blaze. A whole block of row houses has been destroyed. The mission now was to prevent it from spreading to the next block. We were called out at 12:30 a.m. It was now 4:20 a.m. The firemen were tired but persistent. I was holding an oxygen mask to the face of a young girl, one of the last to be treated before being sent to the hospital.
At 7:30, I was showering at the squad, trying yet again to get the smell of smoke out of my skin. Billy liked the scent of my smoked-turkey-like body. He often joked about mustard and mayo, but I usually talked him out of it. Usually.
** Hi my love,
I know it was a tough night out there. In case you don't
know, I love you very much. I know you helped a lot of
people overnight. I'm proud for all that you do. Time to
sleep, love. I'll see you at 4:30.
Love you always,
With that thought in mind, I settled into the big boy chair and went to sleep.
Comments: aaronj.2007 [at] yahoo [dot] com
Note to readers: We've had a lot of requests lately to meet up with us. Sorry guys, but it's not going to happen except in very rare circumstances. Nope, we don't do Facebook or any sort of IM either. Keeping up with email is quite enough. As much are we are open to the Internet, at least in these journals, our privacy is important too. I suspect most of you know that. Aside from that, there are very practical reasons as well.
I am in school full time for the next three years with five courses most semesters. (By the way, Environmental Science is a WAAAY cool major). I'm also a fulltime paramedic and work very long hours six days a week. My day is 19 hours long, which give me five hours to pay attention to Skip and Billy when they're home.
Skip travels four days a week, usually out of state. He too works very long hours. Billy travels three days a week ... ditto on the very long hours. We started touching lives of people who were bashed, abused, and those with cancer. The mission is very important to us three, and Billy's classmates who help us. Our alone time is hard to come by, so alone time is just for us. Sixteen of Billy's college mates (of 18, two are gone) are scattered across the country. Most are married and raising families. Their private lives are private, so no, one cannot get in touch with them.
We've been together 17 years—we're very committed to each other. Alone time is part of our secret to success. We three are going to Europe for six weeks in late summer, to be with a very special somebody. (You'll read more about that as time goes on). So, please respect our privacy. We do and will answer as much email as we can. Otherwise, we just do not have the time. It would also take away from those in need. I will not do that, not after 12+ years of being able to help so many.