Jared the Paramedic III ~ Redemption
Copyright © 2018-2019 Snowblind. All Rights Reserved.
Chapter 17: Introspection
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Patrick had got a tray of food and sat down in the school cafeteria. As he was sorting out the placement on his tray, Jett put his tray down across from him.
"Can I join you?"
"Sure you can, Jett. Anytime you want."
Jett looked over at Patrick's tray, "What did you get for lunch?"
"I love the Salisbury steak they do here with mashed potatoes."
"Aww man, that looks good. I got the lasagna and it is normally pretty good, but I missed the Salisbury steak there."
Jett slowly reached over to Patrick's tray, which was met with a growl and him pulling the tray closer. The two young men laughed.
"How did you do on the calculus exam?" asked Patrick.
"I think I did alright; It was tougher than I expected. I appreciate your giving me some tutoring on it."
"No problem. You doing anything after school?"
"Wasn't planning on anything."
"How would you like to go do a cross-country run, weights, and some swimming?"
"You serious, Patrick? That would be so cool."
"You have your truck?"
"We can grab a couple of my brothers and all four of us can go do a workout."
"I'm new to the family structure you guys have. How many brothers do you have? I thought it was just you with your mother."
"Well, we sort of call Jared dad but that usually gets a slap to the back of our heads. His husband Liam and Grandfather Mathew and Grandfather Tom."
"Are they gay, too?"
"No, the grandfathers are straight as arrows but they are our patriarchs, advisers, and spiritual counsellors. Then there is Tyler and Troy who have helped raise me like big brothers, Jesse and Zane, Adam who is my boyfriend, and Mark and Conner. Melanie is Jared's cousin and she keeps us in line. Nikita and Trevor too. You may remember Conner, he graduated last year from this school."
"I remember him a little. Smart guy in class but never hung around except for sports like volleyball, badminton, etc."
"Yeah, his dad who wouldn't allow it. He threw Conner out on his 18th birthday for being gay."
"How did you get involved, Patrick?"
"My dad died when I was young so it was just my mother and I as long as I can remember. We were living in the apartment block; Mom was working at the hotel at the front counter or where ever she could for extra money. Tyler was a neighbour for a long time and I got to know him. He began to help my mom by letting me go there after school or sports instead of going to an empty apartment when Mom was working. That's been going on since I was like 11 or 12 years old. Tyler was a big brother and a dad to me all rolled into one. Troy began to show up a lot when I was there until finally one day Troy moved in as a boyfriend. That's when Tyler and Troy sat with my mom and me to explain they were gay. My mom didn't care, and now I had two big brothers who were like dads to me. I met Jared and Liam at the apartment when they came to play scrabble or for dinner. I always felt comfortable with them all, like brothers."
"That's so cool. I've never had close friends like that."
"It is very special to me. We have a connection like brothers but with Tyler and Troy, it's more than just brothers. I had always wished they were my dads."
"Pretty cool buddy," said Jett.
In a very low voice, Jett asked, "When and how did you come out?"
Patrick ate some of his sandwich before he answered. "My 18th birthday on a canoe trip. It was so cool. Jared took me along with everyone else when they went canoeing together for a weekend. They had a cake for me and even gave me this gift to wear," explained Patrick as he pulled his gold necklace with the medal of St. Christopher through the neck of his shirt to show Jett.
"Wow, that's a really cool necklace. I seem to remember from Sunday school years ago, St. Christopher is the protector of children."
"There is, however, one problem with having so many brothers on your birthday," Patrick stated as he put the necklace back under his shirt.
"I had nowhere to run to avoid the bumps. They even got me for a pinch to grow an inch."
Jett chuckled while he nodded his head in understanding. "That would be difficult."
"It was a wonderful time. We had lots of time on the trip to talk, have fun, and even learn a lot of new things."
"We did cliff jumping in one area, lots of fishing, swimming, and even laying in the sun to get a tan. The best part was learning more about each other. Mark, Conner, and I became really close during the trip."
"You meant Adam, your boyfriend?" Jett asked confused.
"That happened after the trip. We had lots of time to get to know each other as friends first. Actually, I was so confused as to what I was, but that trip gave me time to think."
"What would've happened if you had decided you weren't gay?"
"First of all, it's not deciding. That sounds like being gay is the same as deciding on what colour your car will be. You are as you were made by the Creator. All the guys were fantastic and encouraged me to look deep inside of myself for the answer. They also made it clear it didn't matter what the final result was, they loved me as a brother no matter what. No pressure."
"Wow, Patrick. I would love to have that as a support group."
"Well Jett, you have me as well as Jared and Liam now. That means you're well on your way to having the same group to support you."
A small group of jocks approached the end of the table where Jett and Patrick were sitting. "What are you doing hanging around with this thing?" the young man asked Jett as he used his raised thumb on his closed hand to indicate Patrick. "He's a loser."
Jett looked up at the speaker, "Anton, the only loser here is you. Go away with your willnots."
"Huh? Willnot? Is that something Patricia here taught you?"
"No, that's what you and your friends remind me of. The shit that clings to the hair on my ass and willnot let go when I take a dump."
Anton moved closer and brought his right hand up with the index finger extended with the intention to jab Patrick with it. No one even saw Patrick move but suddenly his thumb and index finger were firmly trapping Anton's index finger's proximal phalange between them. With the application of pressure, Anton screamed in agony and fell to his knees. Patrick released his grip immediately. Jett looked at Anton and then up to Patrick who had returned to eating his meal. A teacher quickly came in response to the scream.
"What's going on here? Why is Anton screaming in pain?" asked Mrs. O'Brien.
Anton was using his other hand to massage the sore finger. "Patrick did it."
"Did what?" the teacher asked.
"Pinched my finger?"
Mrs. O'Brien looked at Anton. "You are telling me that all 6'6" and 300 lbs of you was just screaming because skinny little Patrick here pinched your finger?"
"Yeah, he assaulted me."
Jett started laughing. "Anton, football players are such wimps. Awwww, 'He hurt my widdle finger.'"
"Ok, ok," said Mrs. O'Brien. "Patrick, what happened."
Patrick had put his utensils down on the plate. "Mrs. O'Brien, Jett and I were chatting away when Anton interrupted us. He was about to jab me with his finger so I briefly grasped it to deflect it away from me."
"He pinched it hard."
The teacher looked at Anton, "Seriously, you screamed because you were pinched?"
The cafeteria began to laugh at Anton.
"It really hurt."
That caused louder laughter.
"Anton, I assume you know where the office is? I'll meet you there in a few minutes. The rest of your friends can just disappear."
"Patrick, is that what really happened?"
"Absolutely Mrs. O'Brien. I will not lie; to lie is contrary to what I believe in."
Jett jumped in now, "Mrs. O'Brien, it was just as Patrick said. We were just sitting here talking when Anton approached us. After calling him a loser, he tried to jab Patrick with his finger and Patrick appeared to grab it for a second, deflect it and then release it. Anton started screaming. I saw it, and have no clue why he was screaming."
She looked at the two young men, nodded her head and left to find Anton at the office.
Jett looked at Patrick, "What did you do? I mean I saw you move but I don't understand what he was screaming about."
"Do you trust me, Jett?"
"Put your finger out like he was going to do." Jett did so. This time Patrick moved slowly so his friend could see what he was doing. He reached up and grasped the joint at distal of the proximal phalange, and squeezed lightly as he twisted it slightly. Jett's eyes flew wide open at the immediate sharpness of the pain he felt. As soon as Patrick knew that Jett had felt it, he stopped.
"What the hell? Is that what you did?"
"There are a lot of things you can do to disable an attacker without harming them or the use of violence. It's a simple technique."
"Who taught you that?"
"Well, some was in the self-defence class at the Caanen Breck Centre, and some of it is difficult to explain at this point."
"Interesting answer. There is a hell of a lot more to you than what I thought."
"You need to come out with us to the cabin and learn. It's really opened my eyes as to the important things in life and where I fit in."
"That is exactly what I am missing right now, Patrick." Jett exhaled, "I don't know where I fit in."
"Be assured of one thing brother; you have been invited to meet our family. We welcome all those who need us."
Jett looked at Patrick for a long moment before he said, "Sometimes I just wish I would drop dead, to end the pain."
Patrick looked at Jett and could immediately sense his agony. Patrick's senses opened which immediately brought the darkness in Jett's aura visible to his vision. The young man had to turn it off as he experienced the turmoil and pain Jett was feeling inside. "Jett, I had no clue you were this upset. Did you tell Jared and Liam?"
"Your the first person I've ever said that to."
"Promise me you will not hurt yourself or even worse, commit suicide."
"You don't pull punches, do you?" Patrick's eyes had an intensity Jett had never seen in anyone before. "I'm not planning anything like that."
Patrick stared at Jett before answering, "You give me your word?"
Jett felt Patrick's eyes shooting right through him which unnerved him. "I give you my word."
"Jett, when our family stand together there is nothing in this world which can defeat it. As a team, we each have been given many gifts which blend together to help those who need it."
"I wish it was that easy."
"If you believe in us, allow us to help you, it is that easy Jett."
Jett looked into Patrick's eyes, trying to read them. He couldn't see or sense any deception from his friend. "Ok. I'll give it a try."
"Good. We need to get to English class but let's do the workout tonight."
Jett smiled and extended his hand, "Deal." Patrick shook it.
Conner and Mark were in the pool swimming laps with Nikita and Trevor. Patrick had got a message to them that he was bringing Jett to give them the hint to put bathing suits on. They may have been the speedos that don't hide much, but they were a bathing suit.
Jett drove Patrick out to the village in his truck after school. Patrick explained all the different symbols at the front gate to Jett before they entered the village. He also had to explain the tree crossing signs. As they pulled into the recreation building area, Jett was astounded at what he had seen so far. As soon as the two of them walked into the rec centre, the other four young men attacked them. Grabbing Patrick, they tossed him into the pool. Jett was standing there with his eyes wide open when they went after him.
The two young men were standing in the water. "Well, that's the wettest welcome I've ever had from anyone before," a drenched Jett said.
Patrick climbed out, stripped down to his bikini briefs. Jett was right behind him, stripping down to his boxer briefs. They dove back into the pool, attacking the others. The six of them wrestled in the water, eventually playing water polo.
The young men were sitting on the pool deck after having raided the refrigerator for some bottled water.
"I can't believe the equipment you guys have access to here," Jett exclaimed.
Nikita answered with his usual Russian accent, something Jett hadn't picked up on until now, "We've been taught to exercise the body, the mind, and the spirit to make them all strong."
Conner added, "I know I've been gaining in size and weight."
"I definitely have as well, and add to that confidence," Trevor stated.
"We all go to the LGBTQ2 centre for self-defence classes, which also promotes the physical abilities with discipline," Patrick explained. "We're doing better at it all the time."
"I know I've been better at studying for university; actually just better grades too since I've started this," Mark said as he put his empty bottle of water on the table. Second thoughts must have occurred as he picked it up again, bouncing it off the side of Conner's head.
"Peckerhead," Conner exclaimed. "But I love you anyways."
Jett was watching the other five young men interact with each other, the chemistry was amazing. He watched them joking, slapping and pinching at each other, all in fun. Jett had really forgotten what it was like to just hang out with some friends. He came back to reality when Patrick asked him a second time, "You ok?"
Jett blushed as he said, "I was just thinking about how much I missed just hanging around with some buddies. Everything for me has been hockey since early last fall. My dad and I live, breathe and do nothing if it isn't hockey related. Don't get me wrong, I love hockey. But it becomes a chore and not a sport by this time of the year."
"Are you going to make it into the NHL?" asked Mark.
"I don't know. It would be nice, but..." Jett paused for a moment. "I don't know if it's for me."
"How do you mean?" asked Patrick. "I mean if you don't mind talking about it with us."
Jett smiled at the group. "You guys are the first people in a long time asking me how I feel; everyone else tells me how to feel. My dad even tells me what to think."
"So how do you feel about playing in the NHL?" Patrick asked again.
"It scares the hell out of me. I mean people depending upon me to perform. The team has to win; the vendors need the crowds to employ people, the stadium needs to make money, the fans pay to see good games, the networks show the game and they're selling ad time. The better the team, the more revenue the ads bring in."
"Wow," a stunned Patrick said. "Are you over thinking it, Jett?"
"This is what my dad has been screeching at me for years. Be part of the team, never let them down, winning is everything."
"And I thought my dad was bad," said Conner quietly. "He mainly just beat the shit out of my brother and me but he didn't play head games like this."
Mark reached over to put his arm around his boyfriend. He gave him a gentle kiss on the side of his head. "But now you have me, our family, and my dad too." Mark looked at Jett, "My father was too busy to be a dad at one point. He also didn't know how to handle my being gay. He wasn't mean, he just wasn't there anymore... always at work. He seemed to change after meeting Jared, and then he changed a hell of a lot after he got shot. He calls Conner and Adam his other sons and is always around now. He gives us space, but the three of sleep together a lot in the same bed. He comes in and tucks us in and has been known to give each of us a kiss on our heads, too."
"He got shot?" asked Jett in shock.
"Yeah. He's a Sergeant with the police and he was shot in a bank hold up."
"I remember that."
Conner finished the story, "It was my dad who shot him in the bank."
Jett's face was blank until he said, "What the fuck?"
"My dad was robbing the bank, and he was wanted for the murder of my brother and mom. Both dad and his partner were shot."
Jett was shaking his head in disbelief at the story. "Now you two are boyfriends?"
Conner took Mark's hand into his. "Jett, we were drawn together for some reason. Our paths in life were meant to be one; I'm just finishing my paramedic course and Mark is at university. I graduate from college in a couple of weeks, in a way I wish my father was still alive." Mark gave him a funny look. "I would tell him his son is graduating from college as a paramedic, something he told me I was too stupid to do as a faggot. I used his anger as my motivation to prove him wrong."
"Conner's been hired to work with the rest of the guys at the ambulance service, but he's on some time off right now," explained Patrick.
Jett was confused again. "How do you get time off before you even start?"
"He was involved in the rescue of a baby and a truckload pipe, so they gave him some time off to relax," Mark said with pride.
"That was in the news! There was a paramedic under the pipe holding a baby... was that you, Conner?" asked Jett as eyes opened wide.
Conner smiled, "Maybe." Mark pinched his ass to stimulate further thought of his answer. "Yowch. Yeah, Ok Markie." He looked at Jett as he answered, "I was the was the one holding onto the baby as the pipe crushed the vehicle around me."
Jett didn't know what to say. Finally, he said, "After everything your father did to you, if you can do all that I can succeed, too."
"Let us help," Patrick said as he offered Jett another bottle of water. "We're just a bunch of guys who have found ourselves together as a safe place for each other. Anyone who needs help, we extend a hand."
Nikita spoke up, "It's true. They take people into their circle like Trevor and I. We have our story too, but you get the idea. We are friends, the way it is supposed to be. Accepting and supporting each other."
"So Jared lets you guys use the pool and stuff with no problems?" asked Jett.
"It's hard to explain Jett," Patrick started to explain. "We are all family now, have you noticed the bear paw on three of us? That's the tattoo of the tribe. We even stay in the apartments upstairs lots of nights. It's like a second home to us. Even when no one is here, we are very safe. There is an incredible security system which monitors everything around or in the village."
Trevor laughed, "The computer was speaking to Nikita in Russian earlier. I think it speaks it better than him."
Nikita laughed and promptly stuck his tongue out at his boyfriend. "It definitely has better vocabulary than mine. I was poor proletariat growing up; didn't use no fancy language."
"I see I have a lot to learn about you guys. More than I ever realized."
"I need to warn you though," Patrick started explaining. Jett looked concerned. "If you drop in or come with some time in the future, you might catch us unprepared for you."
"I don't understand."
"We don't normally wear a lot of clothing around here while swimming, etc," Mark said quickly.
"Well, those speedos aren't a lot of clothing," Jett said with a big smile.
"Here and at the cabin, most of us go nude," Conner finished.
Jett's face went blank. Conner added, "We put the speedos on for you so you weren't scared or offended."
"Do you guys have sex all the time like in the movies or all the stories on the gay fiction sites?"
The guys all laughed, but Trevor answered. "Jett, I only have sex with my boyfriend and he with me. This is not a gay orgy hangout. We're all in committed relationships and although we hang around together nude, it's not about sex. You see the real us, nothing to hide behind."
Patrick took over. "They did the same thing for my 18th birthday canoe trip last year; all wore clothes so they didn't shock me, and then explained it to me so I could choose. It's not about sex, it's just natural. None of us have sex out of our relationships, although looking around at eye candy is no problem. Adam, my boyfriend who is at the police academy says go window shopping all you want, just come home for the goods."
"Don't you get embarrassed if you get a hard-on?"
"They happen all the time," stated Mark casually. "Its natural, and not a big thing."
"Just in your case," quipped Patrick.
Mark lifted his chin, stuck out his lips and made several smooch kissing sounds at Patrick. "At least mine is real, and not an extension."
The others at the table were all throwing rude comments and playful insults about each other while Jett zoned out to think. "These guys are so genuine, it's incredible. Maybe with these guys, I can figure out where I fit in, and what I should do with my life." He was snapped back into reality when his ass got pinched.
Patrick was smiling, "Hungry?"
"Let's go up to the kitchen and see what's there."
"You guys can help yourself like that?"
"We have to cook it, clean up after, but yes. They would rather see us together cooking as a family rather going hungry as individuals."
"Sounds good," Jett replied as his stomach growled.
The six young men all ran upstairs to the kitchen in their speedos and underwear. Jett hadn't even thought of it until they sat down to eat. "I'm wandering around this place in my underwear like I've done it for years. I could get used to friends like this."
End of Chapter Seventeen
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