Nifty is an incredible place to view free stories but needs money to keep up its good work. Please donate when you can to keep this service alive and well.
Jared the Paramedic III ~ Redemption
Copyright © 2018-2019 Snowblind. All Rights Reserved.
Chapter 21: Growing Rifts
THIS STORY IS COPYRIGHT © 2018-2019 BY SNOWBLIND. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. DISTRIBUTION FOR COMMERCIAL GAIN, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, POSTING ON SITES OR NEWSGROUPS, DISTRIBUTION AS PARTS OR IN BOOK FORM (EITHER AS A WHOLE OR PART OF A COMPILATION) WITH OR WITHOUT A FEE, OR DISTRIBUTION ON CD, DVD, OR ANY OTHER ELECTRONIC MEDIA WITH OR WITHOUT A FEE, IS EXPRESSLY PROHIBITED WITHOUT THE AUTHOR'S WRITTEN CONSENT. YOU MAY DOWNLOAD ONE (1) COPY OF THIS STORY FOR PERSONAL USE; ANY AND ALL COMMERCIAL USE EXCEPTING EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS REQUIRES THE AUTHOR'S WRITTEN CONSENT. THE AUTHOR MAY BE CONTACTED AT: firstname.lastname@example.org
While Liam was driving back to the village, Jared was in the recreation building, swimming lengths of the pool. After 30 minutes, he grabbed the edge and hung there while catching his breath.
"I was wondering if you were going to ever stop," said Jesse from a chair on the deck.
Jared used his hand to wipe his face of water and wet hair. "You could've joined me."
"I was in early this morning."
Jared turned to face him, "I see your nose growing."
Jesse laughed, "Well I did think about at least. I just couldn't get going this morning, but I did manage to use the universal weights. I'll do cardio tomorrow."
Jared put both hands on the pool edge and pushed himself out of the water. He stood up, shaking his head to slough of the water in his hair. When doing his laps, Jared wore a tight speedo to ensure his jewels had some protection. It definitely didn't leave anything to the imagination of anyone who would've seen him wearing it. But, it wasn't uncommon for everyone in the recreation area to be entirely naked.
"I got a juice for you," said Jesse as he handed a bottle to his brother.
Jared drank it down quickly and sat in a chair next to Jesse. Neither said a word for the next few minutes, both in their own worlds. They may have been in their own worlds, but they were thinking about the same problem; Liam.
Finally, Jesse asked, "Have you heard anything from Liam since he left for the cabin?"
Jared exhaled, "No. Nothing at all other than a text when he got there safely and last night just before he went to bed. He texted that he loved me."
"You sound like you're not sure."
"I'm sure he loves me. What I'm not sure of is what the problem is, or how I can help." Jared let out a long breath and then added, "Maybe I'm wrong, Jesse. Maybe he doesn't love me." Jared was wringing his hands slowly, but very steadily.
Jesse reached over and placed his hand onto Jared's hands. The wringing motion stopped, and Jared turned his head to look directly at Jesse. "Jared, he loves you. I sense that with everything in me as a lawyer and a cougar. I just don't know what the issue is causing him problems."
Jared's eyes were sad as he looked at his friend, "I sense the same thing. I'm lost as to what the problem is, and he denies it when I try to speak with him. He has also managed to block me when I tried to probe his memories."
Jesse started to say something but was cut short by Jared.
"I know, it may not have happened because it was for personal gain. I also know it was wrong to try, but I will answer for the transgression if I am challenged."
"Jared, that's not what I was thinking. If anything, you are to be commended for waiting this long and trying so many different times to find the problem before you tried to probe his memories."
Jared smiled at his friend. "Thank you. I know who I'm calling to defend me if I'm challenged."
"Any time, anywhere brother," as Jesse reached out with his fist to knuckle punch. Jared returned the gesture, making contact with his friend.
"You know what we haven't done yet?"
"What's that, Jesse?"
Jared thought for a moment, and replied, "Maybe that's what we need. A celebration."
"We could hold it here in the rec centre, play some water volleyball, swim, hot tub, etc and have dinner upstairs."
Jared was in deep thought about it. "That is what the intention of this building; for us to hold gatherings. Grandfather could formally bless the village, or at least this rec centre."
"We'll get it catered, so we don't need to worry about cooking."
"That would be nice."
"Do we need to discuss it with the rest of the brothers?"
Patrick had just dried off from a shower after gym class when he felt a presence behind him. The young man pulled his underwear on before turning around. There were four jocks standing there watching him; one of them was the young man he had previously been in a physical fight with.
"Patrick – where you get your all-over tan? With your gay buddies?" asked the one known as Ben with sarcasm dripping in his voice.
Patrick stood up straight, shoulders back, and looked at each one of them individually. He had never done this before and it unnerved two of the aggressors.
Finally, Patrick spoke. "I have been out camping with my brothers, and their sexuality is their own business. In fact, it is no one's business let alone a topic for gossip."
Ben began to laugh, and he playfully gave a shove to the young man standing next to him. "You see Oliver, I told you he was gay."
Patrick didn't react to what had been said, choosing to pull his shirt on in a calm set of movements.
"He didn't deny it. See I told you guys," stated Ben.
Patrick pulled his pants on, again very calmly.
Logan, one of the other young men with Ben finally said something. "Ben, why did you bring us here? To watch Patrick get dressed? Why would you want to watch Patrick get dressed? Who cares what anyone is."
Ben moved quickly and was in Logan's face yelling, "You one of them too? I didn't bring you here to watch him dress. He got me suspended for fighting last time."
"You mean you got yourself suspended after you attacked me in front of a teacher," stated Patrick with authority in his voice.
Ben threw Logan against the lockers and reached for Patrick. That was a mistake, a very big mistake. Patrick blocked Ben's hand, knocking it to the side and then hit him in the sternum. Ben crumpled and lay on the floor. Two of the teenagers stepped back with their hands up, palms out while stating clearly, "We're not involved." The fourth one disappeared running. He returned a moment later with the coach.
Ben had caught his breath by then and stated, "Patrick assaulted me."
The coach looked at the four young men and Patrick. "This is the second time you made that claim, Benjamin. What I see here is Patrick getting dressed after his class and you four, who have no phys-ed or sports right now being in the locker room with no purpose."
"I came in to get a book I left behind," replied Ben quickly.
"Where's the book?"
"It wasn't here in the locker so I don't know."
Ben looked at him, "He assaulted me and you're asking about books?"
Coach looked at Patrick, "Nice try at deflection from the topic; I take it that means the book explanation is not true." He turned to Patrick, "And your explanation?"
"Ben grabbed Logan and threw him up against the lockers to scare him. Right after, he reached out to grab or hit me so I defensively knocked his hand away followed with a tap to the sternum to wind him so he would stop." Patrick had said this very calmly yet in a very commanding voice. The coach and other teachers had been discussing in the staff room how Patrick suddenly seemed to be very focused in his studies. They also noticed he had not lost his sense of humour or mischievousness but that he only used it at appropriate times. He was different, more mature. They had remarked that it was as if Patrick had grown up and become an adult over the past couple of months. He had never been a problem before, but now he had a high level of self-confidence which was something he hadn't had previously.
The coach looked at Logan and asked, "Did that happen?"
Logan didn't hesitate, "Yes, exactly the way Patrick said."
One of the other students named Sam spoke up, "Coach, Ben has had in for Patrick for a while now and I'm sick of it. He's starting rumours and spreading gossip about him whenever he can. He also tried to hit him and Patrick just blocked him – it was cool, I never even saw his hands move."
The Coach looked at Patrick, "How did you block him?"
"I've been attending self-defence classes at the LGBTQ2 Community Room with some of the police, paramedics, many of them which are now my brothers, and other people. We've been learning a couple of different styles of discipline and intensive physical workouts."
Ben pointed at Patrick and spoke excitedly, "I told you he was a fag, going to the gay place. You don't have any brothers unless that's a gay term."
The Coach looked at Ben, then at Patrick. "I will deal with what Ben just said, but may I ask if you have to be a member of the group to join these lessons?"
"Not at all," Patrick replied. "We have people of all ages and professions there. Some are members of the LGBTQ2 Community and many others are heterosexual. There are no requirements other than being ready to learn, to practice, to work out, and to respect humankind."
"Humankind?" Ben mocked. "You're not human?"
"I am human Ben, and I'm learning to be a better human. I'm learning to be the best person that I can be and to do the best that I can at everything I do. I am also learning to live the way we were meant to live."
"Can I bring my wife?" asked the coach.
"Absolutely Coach. The women share many of the training activities with the men but they have a few special ones just for them too."
"As for my brothers, I have been welcomed into a family as a brother. I even have cousins and a grandfather now – something I've always wanted my entire life." Patrick opened his shirt and showed the coach his tattoo. "This is the family tattoo to indicate being a member of the Bear Clan, and also having the protection of the Bear Spirit."
"A first Nations family adopted you?" asked the coach.
"It's complicated, but we are considered to be our own tribe. We are made of up many different ancestries of the original ones, myself included. I have also been given the tribal name of Tadika or fast runner by the Shaman of the tribe. You would meet many of my brothers and my cousin if you come to the classes."
"Well then, I look forward to doing that, Patrick." The coach looked at Ben and said, "Let's go to the office and turn you over to the Principal for disposition."
Ben was fuming. "This isn't over yet, Patrick."
Patrick stared at the young man and calmly stated, "It is over any time you wish it to be over for it was never an issue with me. You are the only one wanting it to be one."
The Coach looked at Patrick in awe of both the young man's new self-confidence and his elocution. He was really witnessing firsthand what the other staff members had been speaking of. He turned to open the door for them to leave.
It was also the first time Ben had had a shiver run down his spine as he listened heard to Patrick speak. He began to second guess himself about picking a fight with this guy. But it was too late, and he needed to finish it. Ben looked at his classmate, and just for a couple of seconds, Patrick's eyes appeared to glow white for just a second as he stared back. Ben closed his eyes, and then looked again. It must've been his imagination.
The Coach and Ben left, followed by one of the other young men. Logan and Sam remained to speak with Patrick and ask him more about the classes.
Unknown to anyone, there had been a presence watching and observing everything taking place. The spirit of Max was laying on top of the lockers, ready to assist his little human if he had been needed. Misiminôs smiled and relaxed fully by lowering his head so his chin rested on his front paws. He closed his eyes after telepathically sending a message to both Kâkwa and Jared about how their little human had handled the situation. Max was very, very proud at how well Patrick had been learning his lessons.
Liam had gotten back late in the afternoon and he and Jared had just cleaned up after supper.
Jared suggested to Liam they take a walk together along the riverbank. The two men walked along the trail in silence. It wasn't an uncomfortable silence, but Jared knew it was a silence which was hiding something. He just didn't know what.
They arrived at the place where the river flowed over some large rocks, creating some gentle rapids. These rapids, if you stood and watched them, would reach into your inner being to instill serenity. The way the water flowed over the rocks, created a series of small white caps and finished in a long washboard appearance before returning to absolute calm. The repetition of the gentle movements, as well as the sound, would normally calm any aggression or anger.
Jared stood there watching the water, his hand holding Liam's tightly, as they watched the water flow. Out of the corner of his eye, he could see Liam's eye beginning to water. He quickly turned Liam and pulled him into his arms.
"Soulmate, it is obvious something is bothering you. Please, let me help you."
Liam didn't say anything, as he held Jared tightly in his arms.
"Liam, the eagle and the bear need to be together. When one is in pain, so is the other; we are one spirit together. Please, let me help you."
Liam closed his eyes tightly as the tears ran down his checks. "Jared, it is not time yet. But I do know where to turn when the time has come."
"Please talk to me Liam," begged Jared.
"I wish I could," Liam replied quietly. "But... but I can't. My pain of not being able to speak of it with you is the only pain that exceeds the pain of the problem."
Jared looked into his husband's eyes and felt a great sadness grow within him. He looked down, closed his eyes, and quietly said, "Together, we are strong. Together, as one, we could've stood against everything which challenged us. Like we are at the moment, Liam, we are two."
Jared let Liam's hands go and began to walk away and back to the house without another word. Liam watched Jared walking away and along the trail, and fell to his knees crying. All Liam could think to himself was, "If you knew, you would hate me instead of just being mad."
Liam could not see the tears pouring down Jared's face as he walked away.
End of Chapter Twenty-One
Comments Appreciated at Snowblind94@yahoo.ca
Snowblind's stories can be found at nifty.org and storylover.us.