Hey Folks,

Thanks for the great response to the chapter 1! As I mentioned before, this my first foray into writing this type of story, so I hope you enjoy reading it. I'm definitely having fun writing.  Several of you commented that chapter 1 was rather short, so hopefully you'll find the length on this chapter more satisfactory.

This is, of course, entirely fiction -- the child of my brain and fantasies alone.  This story will contain graphic depictions of gay sex (not yet, but soon, I promise!).  If you have not yet reached the age where such tales are legal for you to read, please hit the `back' button on your internet browser, and surf your little butt somewhere more appropriate.  If you're under age, and continue reading anyway, I don't want to know about it. ;)

If you are of age, I hope you'll take a minute to send an e-mail to westley02@yahoo.com to let me know what you think.  Even if there's something you don't like, let me know that too, assuming you can do it politely.  Any suggestions to improve my writing or the story will be taken under consideration.  Flames will be promptly deposited in the trash; otherwise I will attempt to respond to all correspondence.

Special thanks to "M" for taking the time to look over this chapter and make sure there are no glaring mistakes, or major points of confusion.

And finally, an extra special thank you to DonnaP, Registered Nurse, who proved an invaluable medical resource for this chapter.  Thanks for letting me bounce ideas off you, for answering all my questions, and especially for the final sanity check of the Garrett scene to make sure it was medically feasible.



Chapter 2

The wave of grief that came over me at the thought of losing Chad so soon was stronger than any emotion I had ever experienced.  I felt my legs start to give out, but somehow managed to control my descent to the sidewalk.  I sat there for a few seconds as tears welled up in my eyes.  It was a struggle to force any words out of my mouth, but I knew if I didn't say something and soon, I would have no chance of ever seeing him again.  "Please don't leave me," I managed to rasp out.  It was barely audible, even to myself.

"I can't deal with this right now, Simon.  What do you even want with me?"  I could hear fear and anger in his voice, and maybe just a hint of sadness that somehow gave me a glimmer of hope.

"I love you."  Those weren't exactly the words I had intended to say, but they were out before I could consider stopping them.  The words were true enough, but this was hardly the time to be making such a declaration.  But then again, such a truth can never be a bad thing, can it?  At least he'd know before he abandoned me.

"How can you say that?  I'm nothing like you!  I don't have any special abilities.  I'm just plain, old Chad, struggling college student who loves to dance."  I cringed at the vehemence of his words.  Any hope of salvaging this relationship was slipping quickly through my fingers, and my grief threatened to overwhelm me.

"I don't care about any of that.  I fell in love with you the first moment I saw you two days ago."

Before I could say anything more, he interrupted me, "But, I'm just a Gap, Simon!"

That cut through my grief like a scythe, and I was on my feet again and moving towards him.  If there's any word in the English language that will piss me off quicker than `faggot,' it's `Gap.'  "Don't you ever use that word to describe yourself!  Other Spikes might think that way, but I don't.  And I don't think you do either!  You're not deficient in any way."  

Spikes had coined that word to describe normal humans in such a way to make themselves seem superior.  It implied that there was something missing in a normal's genetic makeup that made them inferior to us.  Like they were the anomaly.  That superiority complex was one of the biggest reasons I had left my community and come to the city in the first place.

Chad shied away from my outburst, and started backing away again before I could reach him.  Realizing the effect I was having on him, I stopped.  He backed a few steps further and stopped as well.  I breathed a sigh of relief that he didn't just keep going.  I didn't mean to threaten him, but I couldn't let him think I thought of him that way.

I looked him in the eye and said softly, "To me, you're perfect."  I thought I had gained control of the tears that had threatened earlier, but now they were flowing freely down my cheeks.
His features softened.  "I have to go, Simon."

Oh, God.  Panic mode.  "Please wait -- just a second."  There was no controlling the tears now.  I was going to lose him forever, and I couldn't let that happen without a fight.  I struggled to maintain control of my voice long enough to convince him to give me another chance.  "I don't want to lose you, so please just listen for a minute.  From what you've seen tonight, you know I have the ability to make you stay here with me, but I need you to understand that I would never force you to do anything you don't want to do.  I respect you too much.  Please believe that.

"I really have fallen in love with you.  I know it seems sudden, and I know you don't believe me.  Hell, even I'm trying to figure out how you got under my skin so quickly and easily, but you did.  I don't want to go on without you.

"I know you're scared.  Given the way Spikes have treated normals in the past, you have every right to fear me.  But I'm telling you, you don't have to.  I'm not like other Spikes.  I left my community for good because I and the others could not see eye-to-eye on much of anything, really.  Their arrogance is probably the thing that pisses me off the most.  I came into the city, hoping to just blend in.  I figured I would just keep to myself as much as possible, and if I didn't use my gifts, no one would ever know I was different.

"But then I saw you.  You looked incredible out there on the dance floor.  I had never seen anyone so beautiful, so carefree.  I watched you for three fucking hours that first night.  No one else in the entire club even existed, as far as I was concerned.  I wanted to approach you, but how could I?  You were so perfect, and I was so far beneath your notice, I didn't figure I had a chance in hell.  So I left.

"But I couldn't stay away.  You were like a god, and I was your faithful worshiper.  I came back the next night and watch you again.  It took me three days to work up the balls to approach you tonight.  By some miracle, you gave me a chance.  Now I'm so afraid it's over, and I've hardly gotten to know you at all.

"I know this is difficult for you.  I know you're scared.  But, if I had my way, you'd never have reason to be scared of anything ever again.  I want, with all my heart, to protect you for the rest of your life.  I know this is sudden, and if you need to think about all this for a while, I really do understand, but I'm begging you to consider what I've said.  Please give me a chance."

I heard a groan, and looked over to see that Ray was starting to regain consciousness.  Steve, on the other hand seemed to have passed out, most likely from loss of blood.  I had to do something about the both of them, but I wasn't done saying everything to Chad that I needed to say.  I looked back to Chad, and said, "I have one more thing to say, but have to deal with these morons.  Will you please just give me a moment?"  Chad nodded.  I took that as a positive sign.  If he was willing to wait, maybe I was going to get that chance I was begging for.

I went to Ray first.  He was still pretty groggy, so it didn't take much effort to hold him still while I tore some strips off the bottom of his shirt and tied his ankles together, and his hands behind his back.  I dragged him over to the steps so I could keep an eye on him while I checked on Steve, and dared him to move.  As I positioned him on the bottom step, I noticed the gun lying on the steps just above Steve where he had dropped it.  I knew better than to touch it, but I definitely didn't want Ray getting any bright ideas, so I pointed to it, and concentrated enough to lift the weapon and toss it over the side of the steps.  The whole pointing thing really has nothing to do with my power, but I've found it helps me to focus my mind on what I'm doing.

Though Steve had passed out, he was still breathing.  As I focused on his wounds, I could see in my mind much more than my eyes could show me.  One bullet had lodged in his thigh just above his left knee; the other had shattered his right kneecap before passing on out the side of Steve's right knee.  I felt a twinge of remorse at having caused so much damage, but it passed quickly.  He deserved a lesson in human decency.  Even so, it wouldn't do to have him die here as a result of my actions.  If I'd wanted to kill him, I'd have caused the bullets to ricochet back at him a lot higher than I had.

Blood was still flowing from both knees, so I figured that was my highest priority.  I was beginning to wish I'd studied medicine rather than physics.  Whatever I was going to do, I thought it would be best if I had Steve lying flat rather than sprawled over a couple of steps as he was.  I focused on his knees again, and this time locked them tights so they couldn't move.  I then asked Chad to help me lower Steve off the steps to the sidewalk.  I could have levitated him, but I had quite a bit more I was going to have to do, and it was best to conserve as much energy as I could.

Once we had him stretched out in front of the steps, I once more concentrated on Steve's wounds.  I located each of the severed blood vessels and pinched them shut to staunch the blood flow.  It was putting a strain on me to do such delicate work on a live body, and I had no idea how long I'd have to concentrate on keeping Steve immobile.  I just hoped Ray wouldn't cause any trouble, because I doubted I would have the strength to deal with him if he did.

I hoped the sound of sirens in the distance meant that someone had heard the gunshots earlier, and had called the police.  They seemed to be headed our direction, but I couldn't be sure yet.  The sooner they arrived, the better off I'd be.

Chad was getting fidgety, so I knew I'd better finish what I needed to say to him before he decided to bolt.  I led him a few feet away so we could have a little privacy, but I'd still be able to keep an eye on our former attackers.  

"Now, where was I?  Oh, yeah.  I know you need to think this over, and I want you to take as long as you need, but I have to know what you decide.  I'll be at the club tomorrow night, and the night after that, and as many nights as it takes for you to come back and tell me what you want to do.  I'll be as patient as I need to be to give you time to think this through, but I've got to see you one more time, no matter what.

"If you come and tell me not to bother you again, I promise you I'll leave this city, and you'll never see me again.  It will break my heart, and it will be the hardest thing I've ever done, but I won't cause you any more pain than I already have.  But, if there's even the slightest chance that you think we could make this work, you will make me the happiest man on the face of this planet or any other.  I will show you every day just what it means to be loved by a telekinetic, and I guarantee you you'll love the advantages.

"But either way, you have to come tell me what you decide.  I won't just give up on you.  If you never show, I will eventually die of old age one night sitting in that damn bar, still waiting for you."

Chad's eyes were moist, but he just stood there for a few seconds before saying softly, "Oh, Simon^"  Whatever else he might have said was abandoned as the sirens grew louder.  He turned abruptly and ran away from me.

"Please come back^. stud," I whispered.

I walked back over to the steps.  Fatigue was really trying to set in, and I wasn't sure how much longer I could maintain the concentration needed to keep Steve's knees locked, and the blood vessels capped off.  Ray had his eyes clenched tightly shut, and I could tell he was in some serious pain from the bump on his head.  I gripped his chin in my hand, with my fingers and thumb on either side of his face and squeezed tightly to get his attention.  His eyes burst open.  I stared into his eyes, and said, "If you dare mention one word about there being more than just the three of us here tonight, so help me God, you'll live to regret it."

I let him go, and moved to the other end of the step and sat down heavily to wait for the police.  I could finally see them just a few blocks away -- 2 police cars, and an ambulance following close behind.  Thank God.  I was feeling really lightheaded but refused to let go of my hold on Steve's body.

One pair of officers stayed near their car and trained their firearms on Ray and me, while the other pair of officers and two paramedics approached us.  One of the officers, apparently figuring I was the only one not incapacitated, began asking me questions as the paramedics began checking on Ray and Steve.   I deferred answering the officer's questions long enough to explain to the paramedics what I'd been able to determine, revealing in the process that I was a Spike.  I asked them to hurry with Steve because I wasn't sure how much longer I could stay alert.  They could see I was turning somewhat pale, and suggested that I lie down to conserve as much energy as I could.

I lay back and rested my head on one of the higher steps, as I explained to the officer what had happened.  Of course, my tale left out any references to Chad or where I had been earlier that evening.  I didn't know what the officers might think about gays, but I didn't see any reason to offer that information -- letting them know I was a Spike was already a big enough strike against me.  

It didn't take long for the paramedics to splint and bandage Steve's knees and get him loaded on a gurney.  Once they assured me they had him under control, I barely had time to tell the officer where to find Steve's gun before I succumbed to the darkness.

When I awoke, it took me a few seconds to figure out where I was.  I had been taken to a hospital, and according to the clock on the wall, it was nearly 4:00 AM -- a good six hours since I had left the club with Chad.  I could see an IV taped to my left arm and some fluid dripping slowly from the bag above it into my arm.

The thought of Chad was all I needed to bring me fully alert.  Where was he?  Did he get home ok?  Would I ever see him again?  What if the doctors wouldn't let me leave here today?  Chad could show up at the club and I wouldn't be there, and I'd miss possibly my last chance to ever see him.  

Whoa, whoa, whoa!  That line of thinking had to stop, or I'd drive myself crazy in no time.  I took a deep breath, and tried to think about something other than Chad.  I felt much better than I had earlier, but I was still kind of tired.  I closed my eyes, and forced myself to calm down.

I awoke again to the sensation of something squeezing my right arm tightly.  "What the...?" I started, trying to sit up.  A strong hand in the middle of my chest forced me to stay put.

"Relax.  I'm just taking your blood pressure," said a male voice.  I opened my eyes and looked to see who was talking.  Damn.  They sure don't make nurses like they used to.  This guy was 5'8" and beefy.  His angular face was capped off with spiked, blond hair, and highlighted by deep blue eyes and a smile that put my mind at ease, and caused my dick to stir, just a little.  He wasn't Chad, but he was still pleasant to look at.

I smiled back at him.  "So," I said, leaning over to look at his name tag, "Ryan is it?  Do you always put the squeeze on your patients to wake them up in the morning?"  That earned me a good-natured laugh.

"Only when they're as cute as you," he said.

"I hate to disappoint you, but I'm taken," I said, then swallowed hard.  "At least I hope I am."  Damn it.  Can't I go for five seconds without thinking about Chad?  I had it bad.  It was looking like a very long day, and no guarantees that it wouldn't be the start of an even longer week, or possibly month.

"You don't sound so sure of that."  He had finished taking my blood pressure, and was pulling the cuff off my arm.

"I'm not, really.  I think I might have scared him off for good last night.  How long am I going to be stuck here?"

He put his hand on my shoulder and gave it a gentle squeeze.  "As soon as the doctor can come in and check on you, I think they'll be releasing you.  There's a police officer who still wants to talk to you before you leave, though.  I'll send him in when I leave so you can get that out of the way.

"I'm really sorry to hear about your boyfriend and I'd be glad to listen if you want to talk about it.  I'll be due for a break by the time they get you processed out of here, so stop by the nurses' station before you leave, and we can go grab a coffee or something.  If I'm not there, have them page me."

"Thanks, Ryan.  That really means a lot.  I may just take you up on your offer."  He patted me on the shoulder, and left the room.  I wondered if he had heard about my adventures from the night before, and if he knew I was a Spike.  I decided that if we were to talk later, I wasn't going to bring that up.  I could use a good friend right about now.

There was a knock on the door, and the police officer who'd been questioning me the night before poked his head in the room.  "Mr. Greene?  I'm Officer Denton.  Can I speak with you for a minute?"

"Come on in, Officer.  Sorry I wasn't able to talk too much last night."

"No problem.  The doctors tell me that if you hadn't stuck around and helped that man, he could have bled to death by the time they could have got him back here.  You're the first Spike I've met, but you certainly don't seem like all the ones I've heard about."

"Thank you.  I'm glad to hear their reputation hasn't affected your opinion of me, though I'll admit most the ones I've met certainly live up their reputation as assholes."

Officer Denton chuckled.  "I'm sure they do.  Listen, I just wanted find out if you want to file assault charges against the guys who attacked you."

"I absolutely want to press charges.  I was able to defend myself, but if they'd tried that shit on someone else, they would probably have gotten away with it."

Denton assured me that there should be no problems making those charges stick.  They had already run some forensic tests to confirm my story.  They found gunpowder residue on Steve's hands, but none on mine.  They had been able to locate the gun and one of the two missing bullets (the other was still in Steve's leg).  The only prints on the gun belonged to Steve, so all that really remained was to prove that the bullet actually came from Steve's gun.  There was the possibility of an argument that I used my telekinesis to fire the weapon, due to the trajectory the bullets had to take to enter Steve's legs as they had, but the gun powder residue on Steve's hands would cast plenty of reasonable doubt on that.  He asked me to sign a statement before leaving me alone again.

The doctor finally showed up around 11:00, checked me over and declared me fit.  He unhooked the IV and gave me the whole "drink lots of fluids/get plenty of rest/don't overdo it" spiel.  I assured him I'd do my best to avoid having to see him again any time soon.  He wanted to call an orderly to wheel me out to the front door, but I told him I had plans to meet with a friend in the cafeteria before I left the hospital.  He balked at first, but finally relented and allowed me to walk out on my own.

I stopped off at the nurses' station and, of course, Ryan wasn't there.  The duty nurse said he was with one of the more critical patients and might be a little while.  She agreed to give him a message that I'd be down in the cafeteria whenever he got free.  I thanked her, and headed down to the gift shop to pick up a couple magazines to keep me busy while I waited.

As I looked through the latest issue of People, it seemed that every picture reminded me of Chad.  Before long, I was so frustrated that I threw the magazines in the trash and resigned myself to just drinking my coffee and doing some people watching.  Of course, that wasn't much better -- especially when I noticed a couple of guys on the other side of the cafeteria having lunch together.  They weren't doing anything overt, but it was pretty obvious from the way they looked at each other that they were an item.

I buried my head in my hands and rubbed my face vigorously and let out a rather loud, exasperated sigh.  "Hey, hot stuff."

I looked up, startled at the interruption, to see Ryan looking back at me with an amused expression.  I could tell the amusement was forced, though.  His eyes, which this morning had been vibrant, now seemed to droop and were more gray than blue.  "Hey, Ryan, what's wrong?"

"What do you mean, `what's wrong'?  I thought we were here to talk about you."  He smiled, but again it was clearly forced.  There was no way I was going to burden him with my paltry issues.

"Forget about me.  You look like you've been beaten twice and forced to run a marathon."

"That obvious, huh?"  I nodded, and he continued, "It's just been a really long day.  I'm at the 12-hour mark of an 18-hour shift and the patient I just left is one who really drains me."

"Why's that?"

"I became a nurse because I wanted to help people, and there's absolutely nothing I can do for this kid.  I want so badly to help him, and there's really nothing I can do.  We're keeping him drugged up so he doesn't feel anything, but if he doesn't start responding to treatment soon, he's going to die."

"What's wrong with him?"

"It appears to have been another hate crime, only this kid wasn't fortunate enough to turn the tables on his attackers, as you were.  We're not really sure what happened, though.  His parents have told us that he was attending a dance at his school and was supposed to walk home with a friend.  Both of the boys are here and haven't been awake for anyone to ask any questions.  

"Garrett's main problem is he was shot with a .38 caliber pistol.  The bullet lodged in the back of the sinus cavity to the right of his nose.  The police found his skateboard nearby and it had a hole in it that appears to have been from the same bullet.  They speculate that he tried to use the skateboard as a shield when he saw the gun, and it slowed the bullet down enough that it didn't fully penetrate the sinus wall.

"If that were the only issue, the doctors would have had no problem going in and removing the bullet.  Unfortunately, the boy was also beaten with some kind of blunt instrument like a baseball bat or a pipe.  He has contusions all over his body, but he took at least five blows to his head.  As a result his brain is swollen, and is putting pressure on the bullet.  The impact of the bullet has created a small fissure in the sinus wall and they're afraid that if they remove the bullet, it could cause that wall to collapse, and brain matter would get contaminated by exposure to the sinuses."

"Oh my God, that's awful!"  From Ryan's comment about me being fortunate, I guessed that he really didn't know how I had survived my attack.  I wondered if I could do anything to help the doctors with this kid's problem.  If I could possibly help save his life, it was worth the risk of revealing my secret to Ryan.  "Maybe I can help."  

"How's that?"

"Look, I didn't want to say anything about this, because it usually brings a whole new dynamic into my relationships, and I was hoping we could become friends."

Ryan still looked confused.  "Simon, if you know a way to help Garrett that the doctors here haven't considered then you will be not only my new best friend -- you'll be my hero.  This kid is only 15 years old, and it breaks my heart every time I look at him."

"OK.  Here's the deal.  I wasn't just `fortunate' last night, as you put it.  I was able beat those guys because I'm a Spike -- a telekinetic to be specific.  You've been so nice to me, I figured you didn't know, and I didn't want to ruin a potential friendship by telling you."

He reached across the table and put his hand on mine, giving me a gentle smile.  "You really didn't have to worry about that with me.  I try not to let prejudice, or the stories people tell, influence my opinions.  I want to give people the benefit of the doubt.  You've not given me any reason at all to think badly of you."

"Thanks for saying that.  You don't know how refreshing it is to meet someone who thinks like you do.  Anyway, I've spent a lot of time honing my skills, and you'd be surprised just what I can do with my mind.  I'm confident that I can get that bullet out and hold the integrity of the bone long enough for the doctors to do whatever they have to do to seal it properly.  I can't guarantee anything, but if you can convince the doctors to give me a chance, I would like to give this a shot."

"Are you serious?"  Ryan was around the table pulling me into a tight bear hug that had me unable to inhale until he let me go.  I was happy to see his eyes were blue again.

"Calm down, slugger!" I laughed.  "Like I said, there's no guarantee, but if you get me a chance, I'll do my damnedest."

He grabbed my arm and started dragging me toward the elevator so quickly I practically fell trying to get my feet moving fast enough to keep up with him.  What was it with all these hot guys dragging me everywhere lately?

We ended up back at the nurses' station where they were surprised to see Ryan back from his break so early, but when he told them that I had a suggestion that might help Garrett; they became just as excited as Ryan was.  Ryan asked them to send a text message to Dr. Fallon to meet him at the nurses' station at his leisure, and mention it was in regards to Garrett's case.

When the doctor arrived a half hour later, Ryan led us to an empty office, and explained to Dr. Fallon what I wanted to try.  "This is very unorthodox, Ryan," Dr. Fallon said, "but it just might work.  I've talked to the paramedics who brought Simon in last night, so I've heard just how talented he is."  He turned to face me before continuing.  "You're something of a hero around here already, son."

My face was warm from the blush I knew would be setting off the sprinkler system any second now.   "You're forgetting that I'm the one who caused the damage to those guys in the first place, sir."  

"Nonsense.  You defended yourself because you needed to, and then showed compassion on your enemies and did what you had to do to save their lives.  Like I said, you're a hero.  Most people would have run and left them to die after what they tried to do to you."

Ryan was looking at me with open admiration, as Fallon continued.  "Garrett could die if that bullet dislodges on its own.  You're the best chance we've got of removing it safely, but I've got some other people I'll need to convince of that.  Ryan, I know you're supposed to be on break, and I've heard both your and Simon's stomachs growling the whole time we've been talking.  Why don't you two go grab something to eat in the cafeteria, while I go talk to my boss and Garrett's parents?  I'll have you paged when I have an answer."

Dr. Fallon started out the door, but stopped and turned around again.  "Oh, and Ryan?  Thanks for bringing me some good news for a change."

Once we were back downstairs, Ryan guided me through the cafeteria, pointing out the more benign offerings, and steering me away from things he knew to be inedible.   We both ended up deciding on some roasted chicken breasts and mashed potatoes.  As we ate, Ryan looked at me and said, "You are incredible."

"Why do you say that?"  

"I know very few people who would volunteer to do what you're trying to do for Garrett, even if they had your abilities.  And, who the hell takes the time to save guys who attack them?  This so-called boyfriend of yours must not know you very well if he's willing to give you up."

In all the excitement, I had hardly thought of Chad in the last hour or so.  The mere mention of him caused me to start rehashing that situation again.  I slowed in my eating, and started making designs in my potatoes with my fork.  "He doesn't, really.  He just met me at Club Brawn last night.  We were on our way someplace where we could talk without shouting when those fuckers attacked us.  Once he saw I was a Spike, he got scared."

"You just met him last night, and he's already affected you like this?"

"No^ yes^ shit.  You don't understand.  Chad is perfect.  I mean, we're talking love at first sight.  I saw him at Brawn three nights ago, and it took me until last night to talk myself into trying to talk with him.  We seemed to hit it off really well until I scared him off."  

"Well, if things don't work out with him, you be sure and let me know."  I laughed and went back to picking at my chicken and thinking about Chad.

A few minutes later, Ryan's pager beeped with a message to meet Dr. Fallon in Radiology in 20 minutes.  We finished our lunch, and I got a refill on my coffee.  I knew this wasn't going to be easy, and I was going to need the caffeine.

In the Radiology waiting room, we were greeted by Dr. Fallon, who introduced us to Garrett's parents.  "Simon Greene, I'd like you to meet Garrett's parents, David and Caroline Barton.  They asked if they could meet you before we proceed."

I extended my hand to Mr. Barton.  "I'm very glad to meet you, though I wish it weren't under such circumstances."  He looked a bit nervous, but took my hand in a firm handshake.

Mrs. Barton extended her hand as well.  "Thank you so much for offering to help our son," she said as I took her hand and held it lightly for a couple of seconds.

"When Ryan shared with me what was going on, I couldn't help but make the offer.  I only hope I'm able to help him.  All of the staff here at the hospital seem to care a lot for your son."

Mr. Barton wrapped his arm around his wife, and said, "Forgive me for not being quite as accepting of this situation as my wife, but I have to ask: Why are you doing this?"

"Sir, I understand your skepticism, but let me tell you a little about myself.  You already know I'm a Spike.  At age 10, I discovered I was a telekinetic.  I was playing baseball with some friends one day, playing short stop.  The player on first base started to move off the base just as our pitcher threw a ball toward the plate.  I saw the movement out of the corner of my eye, and turned my head just as I heard the smack of the bat connecting with the pitch.  Without turning back, I somehow knew the ball was headed straight for my head.  I flinched instinctively, and amazingly the ball stopped in mid-air.  When I relaxed, the ball dropped to the ground in front of me.

"I was scared.  I'd never even met a Spike, but I'd heard all the stories and I just knew all my friends wouldn't be friends any more when they figured out what I had done.  So, I did the only thing I could think to do, I ran from the field before anyone could react to what had happened.  When I got home, I ran straight to my room.  I had no idea what my parents would do when they found out their only son was a Spike, but knew it wouldn't be good.  I packed a bag as quickly as I could, and crawled out my window, desperate to get as far away from them as I could.

"That was nearly 12 years ago, and I haven't returned home since.  I wandered around for a while, not really having any place I could go.  I was afraid to be around people, because I figured somehow they would instinctively know I was different.  I began testing my abilities to see just what I could do, and learned that the more I used my abilities, the better I became.  I also learned that using them for extended periods of time would really drain my energy, so I had to be careful.

"I survived for a couple of months by stealing food from people and hiding out in public parks.  I would sometimes hang out in grocery store parking lots, and as people came out to their cars, I would use my powers to lift things out of their bags when their backs were turned to unlock their cars, or to put other bags inside.  One day, I heard some people talking about a Spike community that didn't sound like it was too far away, and I decided to try to make my way there.

"I hitch-hiked in the general direction those people had mentioned, but I wasn't sure exactly where to go, and was afraid to ask anyone about the place for fear they'd identify me as a Spike.  But, I'd gotten close enough.  As I was sitting at a picnic table at a rest area where my last ride had dropped me off, this woman sat down across from me.  She really freaked me out when she called me by name, and told me she knew what I was looking for.  She then told me she was a telepath, and was a member of the community I was trying to find.  She offered to take me there, and I accepted.

"Each Spike community has its own schools, so I was able to complete my education.  They even had other telekinetics who were able to help me hone my skills.  I learned that the more I understood something, the easier it was to manipulate.  I wanted to be the best that I could be, and decided that the best way to do that was to go to college and get a degree in physics.  The community was very supportive of my decision.  My skill level had already surpassed any other telekinetic in the community, so they were eager to do what they could to keep me happy -- especially if it made me more beneficial to them.

"I wanted to attend Georgetown University, so the community got me set up in an apartment in Arlington, so my permanent address would not reveal my ties to a Spike community.  They even doctored my transcripts to show that I'd attended and graduated from a local Arlington high school.  I was accepted, and over the next four years or so earned my degree.

"What the community didn't expect, however, was that I made several normal friends, and through those friendships began to see that I wasn't really any better than they were.  The attitude of disdain and superiority the community had tried to foster in me fell apart in the light of the acceptance of people that I found myself caring for more and more.  If I'd ever found a situation where revealing myself as a Spike could have helped any one of them, I would have taken that risk without a second thought.

"After graduation, I moved back to the community and found that I really didn't fit in any more.  Their superiority complexes began to irritate me, and I was really glad that among the skills I had developed was the ability to shield my thoughts from the telepaths.  If they'd picked up on just how much I'd come to despise them, I wouldn't be standing here today.  As it was, we had several arguments over how things were done in the community, but in most cases, I was a minority of one.  I had pretty much decided that I needed to leave the community, when they tried to get me to join in one of their raids to capture more `Gaps' to become their slaves.  

"That set me off.  I let them know in no uncertain terms that I hated the way they treated normal humans, and would not help them to debase them any further.  They tried to convince me that I owed them so much, and that I really needed to reconsider my decision.  In their conceit, they didn't even consider that I could come to any other conclusion.  So, that night I raided their coffers, took enough money to see me through three or four months, and I left.

"That was a week ago.  I've been here for three days now, and I'm starting to make friends.  I hate the reputation that Spikes have made for themselves, and I'm ashamed to be one of them.  Anything I can do to divest myself of that image, I will do it."

That was clearly not what David Barton was expecting to hear from me.  His mouth hung open as if he wanted to say something, but after a few seconds, he closed it again.  His wife placed her hand gently on my forearm and spoke for him.  "Please forgive David for doubting your motives.  We truly are grateful that you're here, and are willing to help us.  Our son means the world to us."  Her eyes filled with tears, and David pulled her closer to his side, and leaned down to kiss the side of her head, then led her over to sit on one of the couches.

Dr. Fallon put his hand on my shoulder and guided me over to a couple of other doctors who had arrived while I had been talking to Garrett's parents.  "This is Dr. Whitman who will be applying the bone graft to seal the sinus wall once you've removed the bullet, and Dr. Marks, who is here to keep an eye on you.  We understand that your abilities tend to drain you physically when you use them on animate subjects, so he'll be watching your vital signs and will be able to give you a stimulant if that becomes necessary before you finish."

The four of us continued to discuss the procedures we'd be performing to make sure everyone understood what to do.  They informed me that we would be doing this in the Radiology lab so that they could use a fluoroscopy machine to monitor my progress.  This machine would give them live x-ray images of Garrett's head, so they could watch what I was doing.

In addition to removing the bullet, I would also have to hold the brain tissue away from the bullet and the fracture in the sinus wall.  In order to cut down on the amount of time I'd have to spend on such a strenuous activity, they suggested that once the bullet had been removed from the hole, that I leave the bullet in the sinus cavity until Dr. Whitman had the graft in place and had applied a sealant.  Once he finished, I would finish up by guiding the bullet out through Garrett's right nare and nostril.

After our discussion, Dr. Fallon went back upstairs to prep Garrett and bring him down, while Dr. Marks had another bed set up for me.  He had me remove my shirt so he could attach electrodes to my body, and place a cuff on my arm to monitor my vital signs during the procedure.

My first sight of Garrett when they wheeled him into the room brought tears to my eyes.  The right side of his head was bandaged to cover the bullet entry wound, and the left side was just a massive bruise from the beating he had endured.  I really hoped they found the bastards who did this to him.

"Are you ready, Simon?"  Dr. Fallon asked.

I got control of myself and nodded.  "Yes.  I'll try to keep a commentary going as I work, so you'll know what to expect before you see it on your screen.  First, I just need to feel around a bit to get my bearings."  With that I looked at Garrett's face, and began to concentrate.  As I began to delve inside, I closed my eyes so I could focus better.  The first thing I saw was the shattered cheekbone where the bullet had first entered.  The doctors had said that, provided everything went well today, they'd be able to go in within the next few days for the reconstructive surgery there.

Going further, I saw that Garrett had been lucky in that no bone fragments had been carried any deeper.  At the back sinus wall, I found the bullet lodged, and noted the small fracture that Dr. Fallon had mentioned.  On the back side of the wall, the bullet extended deeper than any bone splinters.  I could tell that the surface of the brain tissue had just barely been scratched, and it appeared that any bleeding had already been absorbed.

"OK.  This doesn't look like it's going to be too difficult," I said.  "I'm ready to start whenever you are."

Dr. Whitman acknowledged that he had the bone graft and sealant ready to go.

"I'm going to apply some light pressure to the brain tissue to push it back away from the bullet and the fracture."  Dr. Fallon acknowledged that he could see the gap forming, and I continued, "You probably won't be able to see this, but I'm going to telekinetically reinforce the sinus wall by applying pressure to both sides.  I'm ready to remove the bullet."

"Simon, your blood pressure and pulse are increasing," interrupted Dr. Marks.  "How are you feeling?"

"I'm feeling the strain, but it's not too bad yet.  Dr. Whitman, stand by."

"Ready, Simon," Dr. Whitman acknowledged.

"I'm drawing the bullet out now."  I concentrated on the bullet, and started to rotate it -- extremely slowly -- counter-clockwise, while applying light pressure to draw it back into the sinus cavity.  It took only a couple seconds to work it free.  "The bullet's free, but wait just a second.  I'm going to try to put the bone splinters back in place as much as possible."  I eased the bullet to the floor of the sinus cavity, and focused on the bone splinters around the resulting hole.  I pushed them back as closely as I could to their original positions.

`That looks like it's about as good as you're going to get, Simon," said Dr. Fallon from the fluoroscopy screen.  Dr. Whitman took that as his cue to move in with the bone graft.  Dr. Fallon gave him directions to guide it into place.

I opened my eyes momentarily, and looked at Dr. Marks.  "I'm starting to feel a little light-headed.  If I pass out, I'll lose my grip^"  I didn't even have to finish my thought before I felt him swab at my arm, and give me an injection.  Soon I felt liquid energy speeding through my veins, and I was able to maintain my concentration as Dr. Whitman got the graft in place, and applied the liquid sealant to the graft and the surrounding bone.  I was amazed at how quickly the sealant hardened.  

Dr. Whitman withdrew his instruments from Garrett's nose, and said, "That should do it."  Dr. Fallon consulted his screen, and confirmed that everything looked good.

"OK.  I'm going to release my reinforcements to the sinus wall first.  I should sense if anything's amiss, but keep an eye on your screen, just in case."  I slowly released the pressure on the back side of the sinus wall, and then the front.  "So far, so good."  I then eased my hold on the brain matter and allowed to rest once again against the bone.  "That's it.  Everything's back in place, and I'm ready to bring the bullet the rest of the way out."  I levitated the bullet, and angled it towards the nare and eased it through into the nasal passage, and out Garrett's nostril, where Dr. Whitman was ready with a pair of forceps to pull it the rest of the way out.  I gladly relinquished control of the bullet to him, and relaxed my mind, and was quickly asleep despite the recent shot of stim.

I awoke alone in a small recovery cubicle, glad to see that there were no new patient tags, nor IVs hooked up to me.  I felt pretty good, so I sat up.  I was still dressed, except for my shirt and shoes which were both lying in a chair beside the bed.  I took that as a sign that I was free to go.  As I picked up the shirt, a note fell to the floor.  I put the shirt on, and then picked up the note.

Dear Simon,

You were awesome today. Please, come find me on the 4th floor before you leave.


I tucked the note in the pocket of my jeans, and finished dressing.  I found a clock out in the hallway, and saw that it was nearly 5:30.  For such a long day, time had certainly flown.  Club Brawn wouldn't open until 7:00, so I figured I had enough time to go talk to Ryan, and still get back to my hotel and get freshened up before I went to see if Chad would show up tonight.

When the elevator doors opened on the fourth floor, I almost hit the close door button without exiting.  There were several TV and newspaper crews standing around the nurses' station, and I knew instinctively that they had somehow heard about what I had done.  Fortunately Ryan was there, and discreetly nodded towards the main hallway.  I headed that direction and walked away from all the commotion.

Ryan followed a few seconds later and caught up with me quickly.  "Hey, Simon!  How're you feeling?"

"Pretty good.  The nap helped a lot.  What was all that back there?  Is that what I think it is?"

"Yeah, it's exactly what you think it is.  A reporter, who had done a story on Garrett right after his attack, showed up while Garrett was in surgery and managed to get them to tell him what was happening.  I really didn't know all this would be waiting for you when I left you that note."

"It's no big deal, but I really don't have a lot of time.  I made a promise to Chad that I would be somewhere tonight, and I can't break that promise."

"Listen, I really just wanted a chance to say goodbye, and to thank you for what you did today.  And, Dr. Fallon asked me to tell you he wants to speak to you again.  He wants you to come by to see him in the next couple of days, when you're feeling up to it.  

"Hey, I don't suppose you'd be willing to talk to those reporters if I make it clear to them that you can't stay long.  I'll tell them that you're tired and want to get home, but you've agreed to a brief statement.  If they don't get to talk to someone, they'll be here all night -- or at least until we call security -- and we've got patients to take care of."

I rolled my eyes, but said "For you, I'll do it.  But it really does need to be brief."  

Ryan put his hands on my shoulders and planted a friendly kiss on my lips.  "Thanks!" he said and led me back towards the nurses' station.  He cleared his throat to get the reporters' attention.  They quieted and looked at the two of us as he continued, "Ladies and Gentlemen, this is Simon Greene."  The buzz of conversation quickly drowned out whatever else Ryan might have tried to say.  Ryan raised one hand, and brought the other to his mouth.  He inserted two fingers between his lips and produced the shrillest sound I think I'd ever heard.  That got everyone's attention again.

"Listen to me.  Simon is very tired, and would like to go home, but I've convinced him to say a few words to you.  I know you have lots of questions, but we will not have time to take them tonight.  The hospital staff will schedule a press conference for tomorrow, and the doctors will make themselves available to answer your questions at that time."

"Will Simon be at that press conference?"

"I have not discussed that with him yet.  We'll try to get him here, but he may have other commitments.  Simon?"

I wasn't ready to commit to being at the press conference, so I ignored that issue entirely as I addressed the group.  "Good evening, folks.  As I'm sure you've already heard by now, I am Simon Greene, a telekinetic Spike.  You've also heard that I've done a few things that Spikes are not known for.  Namely, I've volunteered my abilities to help the doctors in this hospital save the life of a 15-year-old boy.

"I cannot give you any update on Garrett's condition.  That will have to come from his doctors when they're ready to reveal that information.  I will tell you that I was successful in removing the bullet from Garrett's sinus cavity, and the doctors were able to seal the breach in the sinus wall.  I will look forward to meeting Garrett when he wakes up, hopefully in the next few days.

"My only motivation in helping this boy was concern for his well-being and the trauma this situation has caused his family and friends.

"There's really nothing more I can say at this time."  They started shouting questions at me, but Ryan took my arm and led me back down the hallway, as other hospital staff stepped in to hold the crowd back and keep them away from us.  He took me to a back stairway, and told me where it would let out.  He asked me to wait in the stairwell for a minute, and rushed back into the hall.

He returned a couple minutes later with a hooded sweatshirt.  "Here, put this on.  It might help keep people from recognizing you as soon as you step outside."

I thanked him with a kiss to the cheek and headed down the stairs and back in the direction of my hotel.  I managed to reach the hotel a half hour later without incident, and went directly to my room.   I stripped out of my clothes as soon as the door latched behind me, and went to the bathroom, using my powers to flip the safety lock on the door as I went.  I took a look at myself in the mirror.  God, I needed a shave, but I had too little time, so the scruffy look was going to have to do tonight.

I turned on the water in the shower, and set the temperature just short of scalding, and stepped in.  Mmmm, that felt good.  I let the water beat against my back and shoulders, reveling in the heat as it seeped into my tense, tired muscles.  I really wished I had more time to enjoy this, but I reached for the soap, and lathered up my body, giving an extra couple of strokes to my dick.  I didn't have time for that either, damn it.

I quickly rinsed off, and plunged my head beneath the stream of water, vigorously rubbing my fingertips all over my scalp to get my hair thoroughly wet.  Lather. Rinse.  No time for a repeat.  I shut the water off and grabbed a towel to dry off as quickly as I could.  I finished my toiletries, and went back to the bedroom and glanced at the alarm clock.  6:45 -- Shit!

I pulled on a pair of boxers, followed by a fresh pair of faded jeans with holes at both knees.  A white sleeveless t-shirt and a black ball cap pulled down over my eyes completed my ensemble and I was out the door.

Club Brawn was only a ten-minute walk from the hotel, so the doors had barely opened by the time I arrived.  I joined the line and was inside by a quarter after.  The booth where Chad and I had sat briefly the night before was open and I laid claim to it.  Before long a cute little blond waiter in a cutoff Absolut t-shirt approached the booth.  "What'll ya have, babe?"

I needed something with some kick to help mellow me out a bit.  I was too worked up wondering if Chad would show tonight.  He definitely wasn't here yet.  "How about a Screwdriver with Absolut Vanilla, if you have it?"  I shouted back to him.

"Interesting twist.  I'll have if for you in just a sec."  I noticed how well his tight jeans showed off a nice ass as he moved on to take more orders before heading to the bar to get them filled.  He couldn't keep my attention, though.  Every time someone walked into the club, I looked up to see if it was Chad.  

The waiter returned with my drink.  "Here you go, hon.  You want to pay as you go or start a tab?"

"Start a tab, please."  I took a sip of the drink.  Ooh, that was good -- almost as good as that shower earlier, but it hit me in a totally different place.

"Sure thing.  My name's Scotty.  If you need anything, just yell."

"Thanks, Scotty!"  Yelling was the only way to communicate in this place.  I wasn't paying much attention to the music though.  My thoughts were entirely focused on watching for Chad and wondering when and if he would show up.  I knew I'd told him I'd give him as much time as he needed, but the longer he took the more of a mess I'd be when he finally showed up.

An hour later, I'd finished the Screwdriver and was nursing a Molson.  I'd mellowed out a bit, but that combined with lack of an appearance by Chad was starting to depress me.  I didn't know how long I could stand to wait here, but I made up my mind to wait until at least 10:00.  If he didn't show up by then, he probably wasn't coming -- at least not tonight.  On the other nights when I'd come to watch him, he'd been there by 7:30, so I figured 10:00 should be safe.

Scotty came back before I'd finished the beer, and sat down across from me.  "Hey, bud.  What's the matter?  You were pretty keyed up when you first came in, and now you look like you could start crying on me any minute."

"It's just been a long day, and I'm getting tired.  I was hoping a friend would show up, but it doesn't look like he's coming."

"You want to talk about it?"

"Not right now -- but thanks for asking.  I appreciate the concern."

"Ok.  If you change your mind, let me know.  Let me at least buy you another beer?"  Scotty asked with a grin.  "We can't have hot guys like you all depressed in a club like this, you know?"  I offered him a weak smile, and nodded my head to accept the beer offer.

By 10:00, my stomach was reminding me that I hadn't had any dinner earlier, so I figured it was time to give up on Chad for the evening.  I called Scotty over so I could cash out my tab, giving him a generous tip in the process.  He offered to call me a cab, but I told him I felt like walking.

About half way to the hotel, I found a fast food restaurant that was still open, so I went in and ordered some food to take back to the hotel with me.  I didn't really care what it was, but I needed to eat something.  As I walked back outside, I heard someone calling my name.  I looked up the street, back the way I had come and saw, "CHAD!!"

That's chapter 2. Please drop me a note (westley02@yahoo.com) and let me know what you thought!