"What's going on?" Antoine asked with concern glaring from his eyes.
Dad replied, "The media's at your house." Dad said.
"Why would they be there?! They have no right!" Antoine said with a major case of anxiety in his voice. He shifted in his seat… he became rigid. His eyes were distant.
Dad replied, "Antoine, Peter's life was threatened. He was abused and the abusers promised retribution if their involvement was ever disclosed. Somehow the media learned our names and where we live."
Antoine said with steel in his voice, "They will do no such thing. But why … is the media at our house? My mother, is she okay?"
"She's fine. Your family's involved because of association with ours. They've somehow made a connection. And they want a story. The media is ruthless when they get on something that will 'appeal' to the public."
"That will not happen." Antoine said decisively.
The second we arrived at his house much to our surprise and dismay Antoine jumped from the limo before it had even parked. He ran to the house and pushed by Fugi who was standing on the porch with a member of the press.
Fugi was a friend of the family. Had been forever, or so it seemed. He has a daughter named Alicia. At one time we were sorta smitten with each other though we ended up being friends.
The last interaction we had had was the previous summer. Her family had come to our house for dinner. Dad and Fugi were working on some sort of project or something. Alicia was actually pretty cool for a girl that is. We'd gone to the TV room, turned on an old Star Wars movie. We sat next to one another. Before we even realized what we were doing, her hand found mine and I found hers. She leaned in against my shoulder and I leaned into hers. We fell asleep.
I woke up before she did. When I awoke, her hand was casually draped across my lap and her fingers were located directly over my raging hard dick. I got up from the sofa, put a blanket over her shoulders then went to the bathroom. That was one of the very first times I'd jacked off.
I never told her what had happened even though we continued to email and call each other on a fairly regular basis. He wrote of a relationship with a guy on the surf team, and then how it broke up, and how she was devastated, and how she swore off of guys for the rest of her life. Funny thing is that several weeks later she wrote and said that she'd met another boy. They had so much in common that it was almost funny. She was sure that it would last forever… so far she's right.
Right after Peter came into my life I wrote her and told her, basically I came out even though I wasn't at all sure where "Peter and I" were or where we'd be going.
She wrote back and called herself a 'fag hag'. She was supportive and was the first person who said that love takes many forms, goes in many different directions, and ends up in the same place as most people – love and commitment.
Anyway, back to the story. Dad had called security. They arrived quickly and soon had the situation under control.
Dad and I exited the vehicle after the scene had been cleared. We were escorted to the house. Antoine answered the door and ushered us into their living room. There Peggy stood. She lit into dad pretty good but then settled down considerably after he explained what had happened, and what our concerns were at that time.
Their house was small but it felt warm and cozy. The living room furniture was plain but certainly not boring in that it was plaid – in big black and white checkers. The carpet, while worn, was colored a dark burgundy with a deep dark rich trim.
As I was taking inventory of their living room, Antoine spoke up saying "Do you want to come to my room while the 'rents talk business or whatever it is they need to talk about?"
"Sure. Where is your restroom? I need to make a pit stop first."
To say I was impressed with his room would be an understatement. Obviously it was the master bedroom in the house. It was very spacious, warm and inviting. A large computer desk and office type chair was at the far end of the room, flanked by tall dieffenbachia plants on each side, at least a 42" plasma screen TV hanging on the wall opposite the computer desk. In the middle of the room stood a circular bed that had not yet been made however the covers had been arranged so that it did not look 'messy', not that I was concerned, in any way, of his room being messy, I wasn't.
I was impressed to say the least. I had never before seen a circular bed before.
The east windows were expansive. They were wide open that allowed a nice breeze to flow across the room. Several plant stands were in front of the windows, filled to capacity with varying kinds, sizes, colors and configurations.
"Welcome to my plant palace." Antoine giggled then added "Please sit. Get comfortable. I'll turn some music on. Do you like Bon Jovi?"
"Yeah, I sure do. He's got it going on, definitely." I replied.
Peggy walked into Antoine's room then went to his walk-in closet. "Honey, we need to pack a bag or two for a couple of days away from home. We've been invited to spend a few days with David's family until this situation blows over."
"Okay. But what about my plants? Never mind, I'll just give them a good watering." Antoine said faithfully.
The next few minutes were spent selecting clothes for Antoine to wear. He was neat and fastidious with his selections and arranging them in the suitcase he had pulled out of a corner in his closet.
Satisfied with the selections made, he easily picked it up. He carried it to the hallway but soon returned and announced "Oops, forgot some essentials."
He went into the bathroom, gathered up several items. He went back to his closet, got a few more things and put them into an overnight bag. He neatly tucked the bag into his suitcase and closed it. "Let me water my plants then we can go."
I sat down on his bed then laid back. The bed was exceptionally comfy. I was convinced that Peter would like it as much as I did so I put that on an imaginary list of presents for sometime in the future. As he watered his 'babies', as he called them affectionately, I could not help paying attention to his physique, slender but built like a brick shit house nonetheless.
He caught me adoring his fine ass. He simply smiled and patted it affectionately all the while shrugging his shoulders. Okay, enough staring had been done. My male appendage was responding. It was tugging against the zipper on my pants.
I got busy to put my mind elsewhere. I made up his bed, all the while tucking in the sheet and covers neatly. One lone pair of underwear had gotten kicked under this bed. With some difficulty I retrieved them. I noted a large crusty area in front and snickered to myself. Antoine, clearly embarrassed, snatched them from my hand and tossed them into the clothes hamper located next to the door of his room.
Although Antoine's very dark skinned… he nevertheless turned several shades of red before dismissing the 'find' and got busy watering his plants.
Peggy entered, "Be sure and close up your room. We'll be gone away from home."
Antoine headed toward a large window on the east side of his room but before he got there he looked at Peggy and said, "Mom, my plants need sunlight and water."
Peggy said, "Close up your room." Then turned and walked out of his room leaving us there. Antoine's mind was spinning. He was trying to figure out a way to keep his plants alive and healthy.
I spoke up as an idea formulated, "Could you like close the blinds halfway and leave the drapes open… that way they'd get plenty of light. Would that work?"
Antoine looked at the windows and his plants, thinking. He looked at me and smiled. Without further delay he took my suggestion and used it then looked around and found the room was light enough to sustain their life. He said, "Thank you, it works just fine."
With a full security escort we took off for home and made it pretty quickly. The distance, while not very far as a crow flies, was about doubled because of how the streets ran.
Dad programmed their identities into our security system, taught them how to use it, how to turn it off, how to hone in on certain areas, and assured them the bedrooms were not hooked up into video although the windows were.
After Peggy had her belongings stowed away in the guest room she went to the kitchen and began dinner preparations, all the while shooing us away so that she could work without interruption.
She made the best ever stir fry for consumption ever. And she made plenty of it for all to eat and enjoy.
After eating and cleaning up, Antoine and I went upstairs to the room Peter and I shared. We got involved in a video game… although Antoine had never played on a game board he quickly picked it up, and on some fluke kicked my ass.
When the game was over he excused himself, went the bathroom and closed and locked the door. I changed clothes, the dressing on my stump, and began somewhat tidying our room.
Jeremy entered. I'd wanted to change the furniture around so that the head of the bed was centered to the floor to ceiling length windows. Jeremy volunteered. I didn't turn down his offer. Soon the furniture was arranged exactly the way I wanted it to be.
Allen and Angel entered and began dusting the places I could not reach. Antoine asked where the vacuum was. I pointed toward a receptacle box nestled in the wall. He quickly vacuumed all the Dust Bunnies that had gathered under where the bed had previous been.
Just as we finished, dad entered the room and announced it was time to go to the hospital. Peggy entered and said to Antoine, "Behave. We'll be back in a couple of hours or so. There is a good movie on TV."
Antoine's shoulders fell as soon as Peggy exited. Everybody noticed the change in demeanor. Allen and Angel offered and Antoine accepted hugs then they took off for their own room and closed their door.
Jeremy announced he was heading to work and that he'd be home late. With that he took off leaving Antoine and I alone.
Antoine looked deeply into my eyes. I said, "I'll be right back or you can come with me."
A knowing look passed between us but neither of us said anything. Nothing needed to be said. I knew Antoine's secret.
I went downstairs. I found dad in his office. I said, "Dad, can Antoine come with us?"
He replied, "It's fine with me but go check with Peggy first."
I took off and found Peggy sitting in a lounge chair next to the pool. She was deeply contemplating something, of what I had no idea. She looked up when the door opened. She smiled.
I walked to Peggy and softly said, "Can Antoine come with us? He and Matt are friends. It's okay with dad if it's okay with you."
"Yes, it's fine with me. David, can I ask you a question?"
"Sure." I said and then sat down next to her.
After a moments' hesitation Peggy spoke, "Can you tell me why Antoine's demeanor has changed over the past few weeks… he seems different. I've been trying to put my finger on it."
Not wanting to spill Antoine's confidence I replied, "Have you talked to him about it? I don't really know for sure but I think he'd talk to you about it under the right circumstances."
"Up until today, we've been alone. He's not said anything."
"Maybe he just needs some time to figure things out on his own. He's pretty open with me. And no I don't know exactly what he's thinking and feeling so I'm not holding what I know back from you. If I thought he were in danger then I'd say so."
"Okay, I can buy that. Are you ready to go?"
"More than red-eye. Uhm, Peggy, I need to tell you something." I said with a small snicker.
"Oh no… here it comes. Sweet cheeks to the rescue."
I blushed fiercely. My face felt like it was going to burst into flames. She snickered, "Got ya!"
After cooling off, I got up then said, "Dad likes you!"
There… the cat was out of the bag, so to speak. I took off for the house. Peggy followed.
We decided to see Matt first even though I wanted to see he who I loved with all my heart and soul.
Matt was sitting up in a chair. He smiled broadly. Antoine followed us in lastly. When they saw each other – the moment was priceless. Both grinned. Without a care in the world Antoine walked to Matt, sat down on the floor next to him, patted Matt's hand tenderly and then asked how he was feeling.
Matt replied that he was feeling better but still had a long way to go before he'd be 'just fine'. Dismissing his own discomfort and recovery he turned the conversation to Peter, "How's Peter? Is he okay?"
Dad responded, "He was much better when I talked to the nurses this morning. We're on our way to see him but we wanted to stop here first and see how you're doing. I would just imagine that Peter will want to know how you are."
Matt said, "Will you come back… you know after you see him?"
"We sure will. Can we get you anything?"
"No, I'm fine. I don't need anything other than to know Peter's getting better. Uhm, well, maybe one thing… can I get back in bed?"
Antoine was up in a flash. He helped Matt to stand and walked along with Matt to the hospital bed. Matt sat down then Antoine effortlessly picked Matt up 'just enough' so that he didn't have to swing his legs to get into bed. Antoine then arranged the sheets so that Matt was sufficiently covered and comfortable.
Antoine then reached for a button on an IV pole and pushed it twice. He put his hand on Matt's forehead as Matt fell off to sleep. I could see the look in Antoine's eyes – he wanted to do more than to just touch Matt's forehead but restrained himself.
Peggy noted the gesture, as did dad. They both looked to me. I said nothing nor did I change my body posture to confirm or deny their thoughts, suspicions, or whatever.
We then headed for the PSICU to see Peter. Dad insisted that I ride a wheelchair with him driving. I didn't argue. I knew there was no point. When we arrived in the unit Peggy excused herself to go talk to Peter's nurse.
I got out of the wheelchair once we arrived at Peter's door. On my crutches with dad at my side we entered.
Peter was sitting up in a special wheelchair. He was fast asleep. A blanket had fallen off thus exposing his entire body for everyone and anyone to see. I walked over, leaned down, picked up the blanket then draped it across his legs and lower belly to give him his privacy.
He woke up. He smiled. And he reached for my hand.
He was very pale and disheveled. His hair was all over the place. And he was slumped over favoring his right side, somewhat. He looked incredibly uncomfortable.
From his eyes, though, he was smiling. He reached for my hand and squeezed it firmly. I reached in and kissed his bare cheek. Tears began free flowing out of my eyes and down my cheeks. I couldn't stop myself… I reached around my Peter and gently hugged him. He weakly returned the gesture. Despite the breathing tube… he did in fact eek out a smile of his own.
Dad scooted a chair so that I could sit next to my Peter. I took hold of his hand, squeezed firmly, all set to not let go of him – ever.
Antoine and Peggy entered. Because there was only chair and a desk chair in the room Antoine went scavenging for others. He found but two and offered them to Peggy and dad. They sat down. Antoine sat down on the floor next to my chair. He didn't say anything but I could tell that Peter was glad he was there.
I said, "Matt's doing good. His color is good. His urine output is good. You know what that means, right?"
Peter nodded. He smiled.
Peggy got up and walked to Peter, "Are you uncomfortable?"
Peter readily nodded. He did indeed appear very, very uncomfortable. Just how he was sitting made my back hurt.
"How long have you been up honey?" Peggy asked softly.
He shrugged his shoulders.
"Do you want to go back to bed? Are you ready?"
Peter shook his head no then wrote on his pad of paper "Hurts real bad."
"Honey, we need to get you up and around some. We don't want you to get pneumonia or blood clots in your legs from lying in one place. The more you are up and around the better you'll be, then again we don't want to wear you out." Peggy said softly yet assuring him he could get back into bed at any time. Peter nodded weakly as if surrendering.
Dad got up from his chair, moved it next to Peter then said softly "Do you want to sit on my lap?"
Peter shook his head no but at the same time attempted to get up from the chair. He pointed to a pad of paper and a pen sitting on the bedside table. He was just too weak to do anything on his own.
Antoine got up, fetched the writing tools and handed them to Peter. Peter wrote, "Stand up."
Peggy went into nurse mode. She got up to check his tubes and whatnot to see if they were long enough to reach. Assured they were, she got on one side of Peter while Antoine got on the other side. Dad stood in front of Peter then grasped his hands. With much effort on Peter's part he did indeed stand up though he bent over favoring his right side.
Peggy (playfully) admonished Peter to stand up straight. With some effort and with grimacing looks he did straighten up. He looked at me intently then slowly raised his arms.
With dad on one side and Antoine on the other to support him I took Peter into my arms and held him gently while at the same time hugging him as firmly as I dared to. Peter nestled his head into the crook of my neck. He dropped his hands from my shoulders and rested them on my hips.
Peggy said to Peter, "Are you ready to get back into bed?"
Peter nodded weakly. He was shaking from his exertions of being up… the important thing was that he was indeed standing – and we were hugging. I kissed him on a side of his lips that I'd found clear of tape and tubes.
With support from mom, dad and Antoine, they helped him lie down. A sheer look of relief passed across Peter's face once he was again in bed and comfortable.
Peter turned to Peggy then with his fingers indicated he wanted a shot for pain. Dad took one hand, I took the other. Peggy injected some pain medicine into his veins. Quickly his eyes closed. As he faded off to sleep I whispered in his ear, "I love you."
We returned to Matt's room and gave him the great news. Peggy gave us the medical report: Peter's blood count was slowly rising into the low-normal ranges, he was breathing more and more on his own, his kidney output was great, his chest x-ray was clear of pneumonia, his brain wave test was totally normal, and his attitude was positive (as we already knew it was – duh).
Matt asked for a dose of pain medicine. As we did for Peter we held his hand as he faded off to sleep.
After arriving home we gave reports of how Matt and Peter were progressing from their ordeals.
For the next several hours we told the basics of our stories with dad filling in some of the missing pieces, those things that he could talk about… most of it he couldn't talk about though. He did share that Sandstone and his entourage skipped the islands and the US for that matter. Antoine looked up at dad with an intensity I'd never seen him display before after we were told that they had escaped to Cuba… and that there wasn't anything that could be done because there was no extradition agreement with that country.
Antoine then screwed up his courage and told some of his story: that he got to this country and particularly to Hawaii because he'd been working as a 'drug mule' and had been since he was very small child. The last few times he'd been required to ingest the stuff and when he'd arrive at a destination they'd purge his system thus expelling the 'cargo' as he put it.
His parents had been arrested. That's when he went to live on the beaches, and because he was living on the beaches and got sick… that was how he met Peggy.
Lastly, he shared with dad that he was afraid the drug cartels would find him, kill him and or those around him, and that they were largely successful most of the time.
Dad made note and assured Antoine that things would somehow work out so that everybody was safe.
It was then my turn. I didn't have that much to share but I did say that Peter was afraid for many of the same reasons Antoine was fearful.
Peggy had but one question for her soon-to-be son, "Have you ever done the dope? Were you forced to use it?"
"No ma'am. I've seen what they do to people. I've been drunk twice. I get so sick – bahhh." Antoine exclaimed readily.
Dad said something we'd never heard him talk about before: "Antoine, I did drugs when I was a teenager at about your age. I share your sentiments exactly. I was drunk several times in college, and as you say bahhh. As I grew up and got out on my own – well, my life turned around. It continues to turn around. My life is very fulfilling. I have family whom I love, care for, and who I will go to all lengths in order to keep safe. It's not all one sided though. My boys give of themselves freely. They are my light. When their mother died I was lost… however I had them… we pulled together."
I said, "Can we get security get relaxed some? Can't we be with our friends, go to the mall… you know…"
"I've been thinking about that. With all that's going on I'm afraid we're going to have to suck it up until the threats are neutralized. I have my reasons for keeping it the way things are, trust me."
Peggy asked, "So how did we get involved?"
Dad thought for a moment then carefully replied to Peggy, "We've had media attention. By virtue of my company we're often times in the limelight because of my company's developments. More recently though…"
Just then the house phone tone indicated an incoming call. Dad looked at the caller ID. He said, "It's my mother."
He set the call on speaker phone, "Hi mom."
Grandma Blake: Hi honey. <Crying>. I'm afraid I have bad news: your dad died this afternoon. They think it was a heart attack. Son, they won't know until they do an autopsy… oh God, I don't want him all cut up.
Tears welled up in dad's eyes. They freely fell down his cheeks an onto his shirt. Peggy immediately moved closer to dad so that they were touching.
A whole bunch of thoughts started flying. Grandpa was my rock and strength. He and grandma came to Hawaii when mom got sick. They took care of Jeremy and I when mom had her surgeries, chemo, radiation, and were here when mom died. So we were very close to them. Tears fell freely from my eyes as well. I then thought of Jeremy who was at work.
I sucked up my sorrow, wiped my eyes, blew my nose then got out my cell phone and called Jeremy's. He answered on the second ring, "Hey squirt. I'm at work. They'll get pissed if they catch me? Are Peter and Matt okay?"
"Yeah, they're doing okay. We saw them this afternoon. Jeremy, grandpa died today. Can you come home?"
Jeremy sniffled loudly… he was having a hard time maintaining. I hated to tell him the news over the phone… but he wouldn't leave work unless he had good reason. Brokenly he said, "Yeah, I'll get a ride. See ya in a bit. Love you."
"Love you too."
Click. Meanwhile grandma was saying, <crying & sniffling> "he'd had been working out in the garden. When I called him in for lunch he didn't answer. I went to check on him… he was lying face down on the sidewalk leading up to the house … and well … I called the paramedics. He was already gone. <crying>. I'm sorry to have to tell you this on the phone…
Dad gathered himself together: I'm sorry mom. I wish I was there with you right this minute.
Grandma: I know honey. I'll be okay. Just give me time.
Peggy said: Jim'll be there. I'll see to it. Don't worry.
Grandma: Jim, who's that? I'm sorry. I'm just not myself.
Dad: Peggy's a really good friend. We just met a few days ago. She was/is Peter and Matt's nurse. Well, we've hit it off.
Grandma: Oh, I'm happy for you. Send me a picture of her so I can see what she looks like. After all, I am your mother.
Dad: Just a moment. I'll accommodate your request… hold on…
With that dad urged us altogether. He set the timer. We all huddled together, including Peggy and Antoine. The system snapped a picture. He captured it with the phone and sent it to grandma.
Grandma: Oh, she's pretty. Hi Peggy, please excuse my rudeness. Who's that boy?
Dad: That's Antoine. Peggy's adopting him.
After a pregnant pause grandma replied: Oh, I see. He's mighty … handsome.
Peggy said: Mrs. Blake, I'll get him on a plane. The earliest flight, I'm sure, is tomorrow morning.
Grandma: I'm sorry. How's Peter? … Oh my you have so much on your plate. If you can't make it, I understand…
Dad: I'll be there mom. Don't worry. I'll get a morning flight and will be there by tomorrow evening. Peter's doing better. Hopefully you can meet him soon.
Grandma: I'd love to but I don't know what I'm going to do with this big 'ole house. Your dad loved it. I've grown to love it but I can't take care of it.
Dad: We'll work something out. Do you want me to call Jerrod and Becky?
Grandma: No, I've already called them. They're booking flights. I expect to hear from them soon.
Dad: Okay… Peggy's already on the net looking for the earliest flight. I'll call you when reservations are made. I'll rent a vehicle so don't worry.
Grandma: I'm not worried. My best friend Bessie is going to stay the night with me. I hope you can bring David and Jeremy…
Dad: We'll work something out. They probably won't make this flight… we'll try to get them there for the funeral though.
Grandma: Okay. I'll look forward to seeing you.
Dad: Me too. Mom, I love you.
Grandma: I love you too. And I'm glad you aren't alone. I'll be sure and call the Richter's and tell them. Alice and Horace live next door… I'll be sure and let them know the bad news.
Grandma: Okay. They were very close friends of ours when we lived on the farm. Dick isn't in very good health. Be sure and give them my best.
Dad: I'll do that. Okay, I'll see you tomorrow evening. Love you.
Grandma: Love you too. Good bye.
Dad: Good bye mom. See you soon.
Dad handed me the phone. I hung it on the cradle then lost my composure and cried hard.
Once my composure returned, I looked over at dad. Peggy had him in her arms as he released his sorrows into her bosom.
I looked at Allen and Angel… although they hadn't met grandma and grandpa yet tears were freely flowing nonetheless.
Peggy said to dad, "Jim, I'll stick around here to keep your boys in line. Speaking of boys, hi Jeremy."
Jeremy walked over, knelt down on the floor then cried into dad's lap. I moved over just enough so that Jeremy could sit between me and dad.
When the initial set of tears passed by, I got up. Antoine intercepted me. We hugged deeply as once again I lost my composure. He was there for me.
Once the moment passed, we wandered to the pool and sat down on chaise lounges while dad and Peggy made arrangements for dad to fly to L.A.
Jeremy and I shared some stories of how grandpa was when we lived on the farm with them until they gave the farm to dad and moved to the suburbs of Los Angeles.
Jeremy, Allen, Angel and I began removing our clothes. Antoine looked away then got up and headed for the doorway to the kitchen. I said, "Antoine, we're going for a swim. Please join us."
"Okay I'll join you but first I'll put my swimming suit on. I'll be right back." Antoine said.
"You can go natural. We're all guys." Jeremy said. The rest of us nodded.
Antoine hesitated then said, "I'll be right back." And then he went into the house.
We finished undressing and then entered the pool. We were very subdued and was not in any mood to play, instead we just hung around the edge of the pool and mainly kept quiet.
Antoine arrived. He joined us.
Jeremy said, "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to make you uncomfortable or anything. I hope you're not uncomfortable."
"No, I'm not uncomfortable. This is your home. I'm a guest."
Jeremy added, "That's why I'm concerned about your comfort."
Antoine regarded Jeremy very carefully. Once he was assured of Jeremy's sincerity he said, "I'm comfortable. Thank you."
After maybe an hour passed we got out of the pool and dried off. Our nakedness didn't seem to bother Antoine… I looked for any sign of discomfort but found none. We then headed inside and went our own ways.
I stopped in the bathroom, took a dump, wiped, took a shower then headed to my room sans clothing.
Antoine was standing in the doorway to his room. He was clearly puzzled. Knowing, or thinking that I knew his plight I went to the bathroom, retrieved a towel and took it to him. He had no clothes on. He told me that he was waiting for his opportunity and then thanked me profusely for taking him a towel which he wrapped around his midsection. After a quick hug he took off for the bathroom, wasting no time.
I went to bed. My mind began swirling… lazily, those pieces of put together threads separating me from the outside world found their way to the floor replaced by a new set of put together threads lying only against my back. Soft and silky they caressed my lonely skin. Bored and not quite sleepy enough I allowed my mind to travel to distant places if only to the barren topsoil of the ancient forest located just below that dip in my skin traveling the speed of light to a lone tree standing out there all on its own. Soon the rain began, earthquakes and rain do not logically mix yet they coexisted in perfect harmony, hit its peak followed by the sound of close-by thunder. Then it was over. Peter had been on the top of that tree covering it completely. I felt safe. The depths of that earthquake were gone, the thunder rolled off into the distance until it was totally silent. Total silence. Total darkness.
Good night Peter.
Good night world.
Good night grandpa. I love you.
To be continued