Jolan's Path-Chapter 6

The following story is fictional and is intended for an adult audience. It is not meant to suggest anything about the sexuality of Justin Timberlake or any other celebrities included in this story. This story is fiction, meaning not real. It's all for fun. If you are under age, it is illegal in your country, or you don't like stories about gay sex, please stop reading this now.

Chapter 6

Justin smiled at Trace.
"So why is Cynthia all of a sudden deciding to move to New York?" Justin said, his own thoughts briefly on his having to go back.
Trace sat down on the end of Justin's bed.
"So what did you do all afternoon alone with Cynthia? Apparently something wonderful."
Trace blushed a bit; Justin smiled, putting his arm around his friend, sitting down beside him.
"Nothing needs to be said, my friend."
Trace smiled, Justin smiling back.
"Cynthia wants to go back to New York. To try teaching again. I think she feels she's being smothered here. She'd gotten the taste of scholastic life, of doing something before. She still wants to teach."
Justin smiled, sitting beside him.
"That's great, Trace. She can be close to you as well."
Trace smiled, then his face became serious.
"I've fallen in love with her, Jus. I've never met anyone like her. She's so down to earth, real and so beautiful. Her eyes are so captivating, so loving."
Justin smiled, listening to his friend's soul.
"She's worried about telling her mother, about leaving her. She'd already submitted resumes to several school boards. She says it's a little easier now that she knows her Mom has Henry to be with her."
Justin nodded, Trace looking at his friend.
"And what about you, Jus? And that young man in the next room?"
Justin looked surprised, standing up.
"It's not hard to see, Jus. I've never seen you fall so hard for someone before. Even Jessica didn't have this effect on you."
"What do you mean?" Justin said softly, feeling trapped.
Trace stood, putting his arm around Justin.
"What I mean is, that I think you're beginning to have strong deep feelings for this young man. Strong romantic feelings, Jus. It's very easy to see. Even Cynthia sees it. But you need to stop and think, Justin."
Justin looked at his friend, feeling a rare Trace lecture coming.
"You don't know anything about this young man, Jus.  I know you always want to think the best about everyone. But you have to face reality here. He could be a fugitive, or involved in some drug gang stuff. Something bad went on here. You heard Henry's description of Joe's previous injuries. The boy was  tortured, raped and beaten."
Justin nodded, then sat down again.
"I know, Trace. Joe said the same thing himself. That for all he knew he could be someone involved in crime. I refuse to believe that. I believe with all my heart that Joe's the victim here. That somehow he was thrown into a nightmare not of his making. Well, I've woken him from that nightmare. And I'm going to make sure he's safe from now on. I feel in my heart I have to help him. I just feel it."
Trace nodded, his hand on Justin's shoulder as he sat beside him.
"What happens when you have to go back to New York? And then back to L.A.?"
"I'm taking Joe with me, Trace. He can get help in New York. There's a good health center there according to Henry. They might be able to help him regain his memory. He needs that help, and I'm going to see he gets it."
Trace nodded, seeing that Justin had it all planned out.
"I think you've forgotten one thing in all your plans."
"What's that?"
"You've forgotten Joe. You can't pull this young man into a new life unwilling, even into yours, Jus. You don't even know if he's willing to do all this. Or what his preferences are in regards to romance and love. I think you need to talk to him first. I believe in my heart there's something else going on here. That Joe's the center of something unbelievable. Oh, man! His conscience actually walked out of his body! His mind wandered away. Now he has tattoos appearing out of the blue! This kid's different, Jus."
"I know, Trace. But none of that changes how I feel. I feel like I've been destined to meet him. It's like he's been waiting for me. For four years he lay here, in silence and unmoving. Until the day I came here. Then all this happens. He wakes up out of the blue the first moment I meet the real him. It's destiny, Trace. I believe in my heart it's destiny."
Trace sighed, looking into Justin's blue eyes.
"What about his feelings, Justin? What happened to him out there in the past is buried deep in his subconscious. It will eventually come out. As will all the pain of what happened to him.  Having a relationship with him may be very traumatic, and difficult. I just don't want to see you get hurt in all this. And you can't forget that there's Jessica, too. Are you willing to risk what you have with her for a chance with him?"
Justin looked at Trace.
"I know, Trace. I know what's going on in my life. Jessica is a part of it. But she's not the central part anymore. Somehow, I think it's him that's destined to be that."
Trace smiled, hugging Justin, his best friend.
Justin smiled, feeling Trace's unending love and friendship.
"I know it's a precarious tightrope I walk. But I believe my heart, and my soul is strong enough to be there for him. And I need to talk to Jess as well. It's only fair that she knows what's going on."
Trace nodded.
"I agree, Justin. I'll let you do this on your own. But you know I'll be here for you always. And I see what you mean by destiny. Look where destiny's brought me. Into Cynthia's loving arms."
Justin smiled, patting Trace's back.
"Let's go see our friends of destiny."
Trace smiled, the two walking out of the room.

Trace left Justin in the hallway with a hug, heading downstairs.
Justin smiled, walking to Joe's door.
He opened it, staring in shock at the vision before him.
Joe stood by the bed, his body turned sideways, the young man naked.
A towel covered most of his center, the young man just having come out of the shower.
Joe turned, wrapping the towel around his waist, but not before Justin had taken in every inch of Joe's nude form.
It had taken Justin's breath away.
His body was smooth, his back blemish-free, taut and slim.
Justin's eyes had fallen on his round ass, two globes of smooth whiteness.
Tight, bubbly and firm.
Joe had turned, facing Justin, Justin seeing his smooth torso, and muscular legs.
Both legs were covered with dark hair.
That was the only hair on Joe's body, save his armpits and a brief glance Justin had gotten of his center.
"I'm sorry, Joe. I didn't realize you were changing." Justin stuttered, Joe quietly looking at him.
Justin was staring into those grey eyes, both surrounded by beauty.
Joe's wet hair was long.
Long black curls hung on his shoulders.
His hairstyle reminded Justin of how J.C. used to wear his hair.
Long, curly and cascading.
But Joe's looks were so different from Josh's.
Joe's features were Greek or darker.
Justin sensed the boy was of European lineage.
All Justin knew was the young man's face held a classic beauty.
"What are you staring at?" Joe said softly.
"Oh, sorry. I was just looking at your face. You're a very good looking guy, Joe. All the girls, and even boys, will be swooning over you."
Joe blushed, lowering his eyes, Justin smiling at the beauty of the redness in his cheeks.
"Hey, you're the idol here, Justin. I'm sure you're still at the top of the teenager idols."
"Nah, those days are past. Now I'm the God of the urbane yuppy set!"
Joe chuckled, Justin smiling.
"Actually I wasn't changing, just showering. Henry had shown me where the shower was at the end of the hall. And I have no clothes to wear. He's trying to see what he can find."
Justin looked at the young man.
"Well, you're a little shorter than me, but about the same build. Hang on for just a second."
Justin left the room, returning shortly with one of his suitcases.
"I always bring lots of extra clothes. I'm sure something here will fit you. I just met Henry in the hallway, he didn't have much luck. The stores aren't open until tomorrow either."
Joe looked on quietly, not believing that Justin was going to give him his clothes.
Justin sat the bag down on the bed, opening its top.
Justin pulled out three golf shirts, and two pair of jeans, as well as a pair of chinos and several pair of boxer briefs.
He laid them all out on the bed.
"There! Your selections are at hand. Go ahead, choose what you like!"
Joe's eyes widened, Justin smiling at him.
"Justin, I can't take these! They're yours. And they look very expensive."
Justin put his hand on Joe's naked shoulder, feeling the smoothness of his cleaned skin.
An instant flash of electricity went through him.
"Hey, it's my gift to you. Plus, we can't have you walking around in just those undergarments. Tomorrow we'll go into the village and see if we can get you some regular clothes."
"Thank you, Justin." Joe said shyly, looking down at the clothes on the bed.
Justin's eyes were on the young man's naked torso.
His body was so smooth, yet radiating so much warmth.
Two small nipples stood out on his firm chest, Justin quietly staring.
The boy's body was a little undefined, from the years of laying idle.
Justin figured that a few weeks in a gym would make Joe a vision of total masculine beauty.
Joe picked up a light tan-colored golf shirt and a pair of Justin's designer jeans.
"Cool, those are from my own label. That color would look hot on you. Against your darker skin."
Joe's eyes widened.
"You have your own designer label?"
"Yep, William Rast it's called. Trace and myself formed the company, to sell clothes for the urban crowd. It's named after our two grandfathers."
Joe smiled, looking at the jeans.
"Quite nice. Very stylish and I love the tight legs. My legs are so skinny."
Justin took a quick glance downward, seeing the toned legs.
"They look fine to me."
Joe blushed, picking up a pair of white Calvin Klein boxer briefs.
Justin remained where he was, quietly watching Joe as he pulled the briefs up his legs and under the towel.
He pulled off the towel then, and grabbed the jeans.
Justin made his eyes scan the room not wanting to be blatantly gawking at the young man's body.
But Justin had caught a glimpse of the basket in the front of Joe's briefs.
It was large and full.
Justin's cheeks flushed, closing his eyes for a moment, trying to focus.
He turned back just as Joe was pulling the golf shirt over his head.
Justin saw the sunrise tattoo on his side, the goldenness of the sun looking a little brighter than before.
"Where did you get that tat, Joe?"
Joe stopped looking around.
"What tattoo?"
Justin walked up to him, touching his side, his finger resting on the tattoo.
"This one. Henry noticed it yesterday."
Joe looked down to where Justin's finger lay, seeing the sun.
He stared in silence for a moment, Justin sensing the young man was lost in his thoughts.
He stared long at the yellow sun.
"The sun child?"
Justin stared at the youth for a moment, the man's eyes staring in silence.
Justin touched his cheek with his other hand, Joe coming out of his little trance.
"I don't remember ever getting a tattoo." he said softly, his eyes on the tattoo, Justin's finger remaining where it was.
The two stood close together, their eyes meeting.
Justin stared into the grey eyes staring back at him.
They were both lost for a moment, Joe breaking the awkwardness.
"Well, what do you think?" he said, stepping back, Justin's fingers leaving Joe's side and cheek.
The golf shirt now slid down, covering the young man's chest.
"Looking good. The shirt fits good, the pants too, although you need to roll the legs up a bit. Like I said, we're almost the same fit, me being a bit taller."
Joe smiled, sitting on the bed and rolling the jean legs up a bit.
Justin handed him a pair of navy sport socks, Joe smiling.
"Thank you, Justin. For all this, and for all you've done for me. I don't know how to thank you."
Justin smiled back at him, handing him a pair of sneakers.
"Hey, bud. No thanks required. I'm just glad you're going to be alright."
Joe looked around the room after he'd laced the sneakers, the shoes just a little big on him.
Joe's feet hit the floor, his eyes looking up at Justin with a look of concern in them.
"Where do I go from here? How do I get my life back? Am I willing to learn the truth? Do I want to know who I really am? What if I've done something wrong? So many questions."
Joe sighed, lowering his head, Justin sitting down beside him, putting his arm around him.
"You go on from here with your friends' help and love. We're all here for you. They're waiting downstairs for you, and I'm right here. Let's go down and we'll talk about some stuff. Okay?"
Joe nodded, smiling at Justin.
"Thanks, Justin."
"Hey, it's Jus. Okay?"
Joe smiled a wide smile, Justin smiling back.
"Okay, Jus."
The two got up together, walking out of the bedroom.

Joe and Justin walked into the kitchen, everyone sitting at the table smiling at the two.
"Welcome downstairs again, Joe." Shelly smiled, standing and pulling out a chair for him.
He blushed, sitting down in the offered chair.
Justin smiled at everyone, sitting down beside Joe.
"How was the journey, son? Feeling okay?" Henry said, looking at him.
"I feel great, Doctor Chambers." Joe said, smiling at him, looking around the room.
"It's Henry, son. We're all friends here." the older man said, smiling at him.
Joe looked around the room, gazing at each person.
"I want to say thanks to all of you. For all you've done. You especially, Doctor–I mean Henry. To give your life over to caring for me for so long. You gave me a safe haven here, wrapped in your protective love. You and Shelly both. How can I ever repay you?"
Henry patted the young man's arm, Shelly smiling at him.
"No thanks are needed, son. Henry and I made a pact the night you were hurt. To always be there for you. We felt it was our duty after what happened to you that night. And after no one came forward to claim you as family, Henry felt his love for you take over. He'd been looking after you ever since. Love knows no conditions, son." Shelly said, Henry smiling at her, then at Joe.
Joe was sitting in tears, Justin putting his hand on his shoulder.
"You okay, Joe?"
"That saying–love knows no conditions. I remember it from somewhere. I've heard it before." he softly said, wiping his eyes.
"See? Stuff is starting to come back to you! You're going to get it all back! I know you will!" Justin said, smiling at him.
Joe smiled a small smile, looking across the table at Cynthia.
"Love knows no conditions. And life needs to be grasped. Every bird needs to fly." he said, staring at her.
Cynthia looked at him, sensing his grey eyes singling her out.
In those eyes she saw a deep sense of understanding.
She looked away, unable to keep his tender gaze.
Trace looked at both of them.
"You okay, sweetie?" he said, Justin quietly looking on.
"Mom, I need to talk to you about something."
Shelly smiled at her daughter, standing up again.
"I'm just going to dish out the food, sweetie. We can chat while we eat."
Shelly went to the stove, Trace taking Cynthia's hand in his, the two exchanging looks.
Justin got up, going to the stove, helping Shelly bring back all the food.
And there was a lot of it.
Henry and Shelly had been cooking up a storm.
Roast beef, sweet potatoes, corn, salads, seasoned chicken thighs.
The table was soon full, Justin and Shelly returning to their seats.
"I think the newest member of our group should say grace." Justin smiled.
All eyes were on Joe.
Joe looked around at all the smiling faces, then blushed a little, bowing his head.
The others bowed theirs.
"Bless us this day for all the wonderful food we are about to receive. And bless all those here today that have helped me, God. Helped me come back from the darkness. If only I knew where I've been. Or where I must now go. But I trust you to guide me on the path of my life. I shall not be alone now, for I am surrounded by new friends. Guide us all, dear Lord. With your love. Amen."
"Amen." the other five said, smiling at Joe.
"That was beautiful, Joe." Cynthia smiled, the young man smiling back at her.
She saw in his eyes a look of friendship and encouragement.
Shelly began passing around the dishes, everyone filling their plates.
Justin quietly watched Joe as he tentatively put food on his plate.
"Don't overdo it Joe. Take a sample of each, and let's see how you do with it."
Joe smiled at Justin's caring smile, nodding.
Cynthia looked at him for a moment, then looked at her mother.
Shelly smiled at her daughter–and at Trace–and began speaking before Cynthia could.
"Cynthia, there's nothing for us to talk about.  I already know, my dear. You've fallen in love with this special man."
Cynthia and Trace both smiled, Trace taking her hand.
"Yes, that's true, Mom. But I have something else to discuss. I've decided to go back to New York, Mom. I want to teach again."
Shelly looked a bit surprised, Henry quietly looking at her.
"Do you think that's wise, Cynthia? Your handicap could limit you greatly." Shelly said.
Trace looked at Shelly, the two exchanging looks.
"My handicap won't limit me in my eagerness to help those children. Perhaps it can show them that anything is doable. That I'm not disabled, only handicapped."
"Are you doing this because of him? Are you going to New York to be with Trace at his request?"
Cynthia looked at her mother, the others looking at both of them.
"No, Mom. You know I have a strong will. Trace has shown me with his caring–and yes, his love–that I'm not a fragile little girl. I'm not an invalid unless I want to be. And I don't want to be. I can do this, with his love and with yours."
Shelly nodded, Henry's hand going in hers.
"I've been thinking about this for quite some time, Mom. The greatest obstacle for me was your being alone. My leaving you here all alone. Now, I see you won't be alone. You've found Henry to love you, and you both have each other to care for. That makes this so much easier for me to do now. It's time I lived again on my own. Life is waiting for me."
Shelly smiled at her daughter, then at Trace.
"You've always been courageous, Cynthia. You have a lot of your father in you. I won't say that I'm ecstatic that you're leaving. But I do know you've been showing all the signs of a caged bird. A bird that's wanting to fly.  I can't keep you grounded, it's not right. All I care about is your happiness."
Cynthia smiled, leaning over and kissing her mother's cheek.
"I am happy, Mom. And doing this will make me beyond happy. I want to teach again, and I want to learn what it's like to be loved by someone who sees beyond my disabilities. I see that in Trace's eyes. His love is unconditional."
Trace leaned over, kissing her softy, the two smiling at each other.
Henry and Shelly both saw the love developing in front of them.
Justin smiled, seeing Trace's utter devotion to Cynthia.
Justin always knew when Trace's heart was given completely.
He saw that here before his eyes.
Justin looked at Joe, the young man smiling.
Justin replayed the last few moments in his mind, realizing what the gaze had been between Cynthia and Joe. It had been Joe that had made Cynthia open up her heart to her mother, and reveal her truths.
This young man was very special.

The group had a wonderful dinner, the talk now all about Cynthia's plans.
Joe had eaten relatively well, a contented look upon his face.
"You're a wonderful cook, Shelly. It was all delicious." he said, smiling at her.
"Thank you, son."
They relaxed around the table, drinking coffee and eating ice cream.
Joe had begged off, his stomach feeling full, only drinking a glass of water.
Justin sensed it was time to push the conversation in a new direction.
"Joe, Henry and I have been talking. I want to help you."
Joe looked at Justin, smiling.
"You have already helped me, Justin. More that you needed to."
Justin smiled, putting his hand on Joe's shoulder.
"There are wonderful doctors in New York City who can help you with your amnesia. I want to help you get your memories back. I'm willing to take you there with me–if you want to go, that is."
Joe looked surprised, staring at Justin.
"New York City? That sounds unbelievable. Why do you want to do that?"
The other four around the table were quietly listening, all their eyes upon Justin's face.
"Justin?" Joe said, waiting for an answer.
Justin looked nervous, Joe continuing to stare at him.
"I've had a feeling since the first night I met you, Joe. A feeling that in some way I'm meant to help you. Destiny brought us together, for some reason. I believe I was meant to help you. So that's what I am going to do."
Joe looked uncomfortable, moving in his chair.
"You know nothing about me, Jus? How can you help someone you don't know?"
Justin put his hand on top of Joe's, his other remaining on his shoulder.
"I want to know you, Joe. I want to find out all about you. It's called friendship, Joe. I want to be your friend."
Joe looked surprised, staring into Justin's face now.
He saw the intensity of Justin's gaze.
He thought he saw something more behind those blue eyes.
Could someone as famous as Justin Timberlake really want to be his friend?
Joe stared around the table, seeing everyone tenderly smiling at him.
He saw friendship in all their faces.
The greatest he saw in Justin's.
"I feel like I'm so fragile, so weak. Like I'm nothing in this world. I'm so unimportant that I lay there for four years and no one sought me out. How can you postpone your important life for someone like me?"
Justin's eyebrows furrowed, intently gazing at Joe.
"You are important to me, Joe. Don't ever count yourself short. We all see the strength and specialness in you, my friend. I want you in my life. Trace knows very well how hard it's been for me to make good friends, true friends. I don't do it easily. But with you, it's come so easily. I see so much friendship, decency, honesty and truth in you, Joe. I want you in my life."
Joe listened to all Justin was saying.
"Alright, Justin. I'd like to be your friend, too. I'll take your offered help. A friend's help."
Justin's face changed, a wide smile crossing it.
"Awesome! That's fantastic!" he said, Joe smiling now.
"I'll call the hospital tomorrow, Joe. We'll schedule you an appointment with the trauma center." Henry said, patting his other arm.
"I've got a new apartment in NYC, Joe. There are extra rooms. You'll stay with me." Justin said, then looked at Cynthia and Shelly.
"You'll be my guest as well, Cynthia. Until you get organized. I'm sure Shelly would sooner have you stay with me than with Trace. You know, temptation and all that."
Trace and Cynthia both blushed, Shelly smirking.
"That's a wonderful offer, Justin. But I trust Cynthia to follow her heart."
Cynthia smiled, Trace smiling at her.
"Thank you, Justin. I accept your offer."
Everyone smiled at her, Trace kissing her lips.
"Trace knows my values, we're taking it slow."
"Yes, our love needs to grow." he said, Justin smiling at the calmness and love he felt coming from his friend.
Joe's eyes were directed at Henry again.
"I owe you a lot, Henry. For all you've done for me. How can I repay you?"
Henry smiled, patting the young man's shoulder.
"You've repaid me with you sitting here now. Alive, awake and surprisingly healthy. I still can't comprehend that. How you've rejuvenated so quickly. It truly is miraculous."
Joe stared at him for a moment, then lowered his eyes.
"I know. I feel somehow different. Like there's an energy growing in me. Like I'm coming alive."
Henry quietly looked at him, Justin looking at him as well.
"Was there anything found with me, any small clue to my identity?"
"No, Joe. You were nearly naked, save for a pair of dirty gym shorts you wore. Nothing else. I wish I could be of more help." Henry said, his hand reaching out to pick up his coffee cup.
Joe watched Henry's hand move, his eyes glued to something on his finger.
Henry wore a gold ring on his right hand, a blue stone in its center.
Joe's eyes zoned in on it, his mind flowing to that ring.
"The ring. The ring of the heart of history." he softly said, everyone looking at him in silence.
"Why did you say that, Joe?" Justin said, Joe's eyes raising and meeting his.
"I got a picture in my mind of a ring. A golden ring with a grey stone. I saw Henry's ring on his finger and it popped into my mind. But this ring was different. It was glowing." Joe said, rubbing his temples.
"You don't know what this ring means? Whose it is?"
"No, it just popped into my head."
Justin's arm was around him, and he looked at Joe with tender care in his eyes.
"Headache again?"
Joe nodded, Justin's fingers going to his forehead.
Joe relaxed, Justin rubbing his temples, Joe closing his eyes.
"You called it the heart of history. What does that mean?" Henry said, Joe opening his eyes, Justin reluctantly removing his fingers.
"I don't know. It just echoed in my mind. I think it has something to do with me."
Justin looked at Henry, Henry nodding back.
"I think you've had enough excitement, Joe. Let's get you back to bed."
"I've been in bed for four years, Justin. How about the living room couch?"
Justin smiled, nodding.
"Okay, Joe. Let's relax in there."
Joe and Justin got up, the others following them into the living room, Shelly and Henry watching them go.

Cory stood on the balcony, looking out into the darkness of the late fall evening.
They were still in London, their flight back to America leaving in the morning.
He and Simus had talked all through dinner, Simus relaying in great detail the meeting with the Council, and more on the history of the Dragos family. Simus felt a kinship with this young man, a joining of forces.
Their love for Jolan.
Cory had been stunned by some of the revelations, by some of the truths.
By what Jolan Dragos represented.
His mind flashed back to the young man he'd known for over three years.
To the young, giving soul who'd become his best friend.
Simus quietly watched the young man staring out into the night from the balcony doorway.
"It's a bit chilly out here, Simus. You should go back in."
Simus walked up beside him, staring out at the lighted view.
"There's a chill in my heart that may never be warmed, son."
Cory looked at the man, staring at his beautiful face.
"Your brothers sired sons, Simus. In preparation for the final truth. Why didn't you?"
Simus looked into the young man's blue eyes.
"I was proclaimed at an early age as the Seeker, Cory. My life given over to finding the lost ones. I had no time to find love, to find fatherhood. All I ever had were ghosts in the night."
Cory quietly looked at him, seeing the resemblance between Simus and his brother Joel.
"You look so much like your brother, as does Jolan in his way."
Simus smiled, his hand going to Cory's shoulder.
"The Dragos lineage shines in all our faces. Joel's was the most beautiful. His son was a blossoming beauty when I saw him last at the age of nine. And the photograph shows Jolan may surpass even him."
Cory stared at the man, seeing the beauty of his face, the stunning older beauty.
"I wouldn't say that, Simus. You are handsome as well."
Simus looked quietly at the young man, looking into his staring blue eyes.
"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, son. We all see our own flaws."
Cory nodded, sitting down on a stone bench.
"Where do we look now for them, Simus?"
Simus sat down beside him.
"We return to America, son. Something will happen. I sensed that Tolmar senses that, too. He said that he would make himself known. I take great comfort in that. I need to find him, Cory. Not just for the family, but I now know for my own heart. I loved my brother with all my heart. I've failed him. I hope my helping Jolan can atone for some of that."
"We'll find him, Simus. And Joel and the others."
Simus looked into Cory's blue eyes.
"You have a great optimism, Cory. I envy your young heart. Jolan has a wonderful friend in you. I think he'll need that ahead."
Cory smiled at him, staring into Simus' grey eyes, feeling a slight tremble in Simus.
"Are you alright, Simus?"
Simus trembled a bit more, his head looking upwards for a moment.
"I just felt a tremble in the lineage. As if some great force passed us by."
Simus stood, looking again out into the darkness.
Cory stood again, standing by his side in the ensuing silence.
They stood for a few minutes, the brisk night wind picking up.
"It's getting late, and you're freezing. Let's head to bed."
Simus nodded, bowing his head.
Simus looked at the ring on his finger, staring at the grey stone.
He stared one last time out into the dark night.
"Where are you, Jolan? Please let me find you. Let my soul find some forgiveness." he said, tears now rolling down his cheeks.
Cory's arm went around the man, guiding him back into the hotel room.
Cory walked the older man into the bedroom, closing the door behind him.

Joe relaxed on the couch, Justin sitting beside him in a chair.
Joe was stretched out, his lean body laying across the couch, his head at Justin's end.
"Feeling better, Joe? The headache gone?"
"Yes, Justin, a lot better." he smiled up at him, Justin smiling back.
The friends sat together, chatting about the last few days, Joe quietly listening.
"I still don't know why I was out there in that state, or who I was looking for. I have no recollection of anyone close to me."
Joe laid his head back, closing his eyes.
Justin sat beside Joe, his hand rubbing his shoulder.
"Another headache?" he softly said, Shelly and Henry coming into the room, the kitchen cleaned.
"It's petering out, Justin. I think I'm trying too hard to remember, that's causing them."
Henry sat on the other side of Joe, looking at him.
"I can give you some drugs, Joe. But I assume you'd want to keep your mind clear."
Joe nodded, opening his eyes.
"Thanks, Henry. It's not that bad now. And I do want my mind clear."
Henry smiled, Joe looking at him quietly.
"I sense there's something you're not telling me, Henry. Something you're hiding from me. What's going on? Is it about my past?"
Henry looked a little surprised, his eyes going to Justin.
Joe followed his gaze, staring at Justin.
"You know about it, too. What is it? Please tell me." Joe said, sitting up now, Justin seeing him looking concerned and confused.
Everyone was quietly watching the young man, all knowing what Joe didn't.
"I don't think now's the time for this, Joe. Let's get you stronger and then we'll deal with it." Henry said, Joe still looking at Justin.
"Justin, please." he said, Justin seeing the pleading look in his grey eyes.
He didn't want to upset Joe, to tell him what Henry had discovered.
But he knew he couldn't ever deny Joe the truth.
"Alright, Joe. I'll tell you."
Joe nodded, remaining still.
"After your accident, Henry and Shelly went to the hospital to make sure you were okay. Henry learned from the doctors that there were other injuries besides your accident trauma."
Joe looked confused, still staring at Justin.
"Other injuries? From what?"
Justin tried to remain calm, Joe seeing a deep hurtful look in his eyes.
"Tell me, Justin." he said, steeling himself against something.
Justin's eyes glanced at Henry, Henry nodding, his face a mask of concern.
"The doctors found lacerations, bruises and burn marks on your body. There were rope burns on your wrists. As if you'd been tied up. They concluded that you'd been beaten, tortured, and abused."
"Abused? What are you saying?" Joe said, the young man rising to his feet.
Justin rose with him, looking at him with deep compassion.
Henry stood as well, Joe's eyes going from Justin to Henry.
"You were sexually assaulted, son. The doctor said the contusions suggested that you'd been repeatedly raped."
Joe staggered a bit, Justin about to put his arm around him.
"No, don't touch me!"
Justin backed up, giving Joe some space.
Joe looked down at his wrists, seeing no marks.
The years of unconsciousness had healed all his wounds.
He started trembling, Justin and Henry intently watching him.
The others were staring at him, their eyes showing deep compassion and comfort.
Joe didn't see that.
He saw everyone staring at him with loathing and embarrassment.
For his being weak and pathetic.
"I was raped. . .I was violated by someone or some people. That's how weak I was, how common I was. And you want to be my friend??" Joe said looking around, his voice gradually rising.
Everyone looked with deep concern at the young man, Shelly rising to her feet, walking to him.
"That's not true, Joe. We don't think that. We see someone who was beaten, hurt and abused. We all still want you to know we're here for you."
Joe turned, looking at Justin, tears now falling from Joe's eyes.
"And you? Am I just a pathetic charity case for you? Is that why you're doing this?"
Justin looked shocked, walking to him, Joe backing up.
"Please, Justin. Leave me alone. That's what I deserve. I'm damaged, I'm worthless, and I'm nobody. You don't need me in your life."
Joe walked out of the room, the others standing in silence, Justin's eyes wet with tears.

End of Chapter 6

And so, the story continues.
Joe has a lot to deal with, the truth of some of his past surfacing.
What is the meaning of the ring?
Who is the sun child, and what is (s)he?
What happened to this troubled young man?
And where is his family?
Can Justin break through his shattered soul, his now ashamed being?
Read on, the plot thickens.
Up next, a reunion of sorts.

Lost in the newness of this,



P.S. Where have all my fans gone?
Is this that boring?
Let  me hear your views, or dislikes.
And any suggestions will be most appreciated.