Matt said, “If your idea concerns David then it’s a no-brainer. Have you talked to dad yet? No, of course you haven’t… you’re talking to me.”
“And there is something wrong with talking to you?” I snickered.
Matt’s answer was to take the washcloth from my hand. He soaped it up good then proceeded to quickly wash my body. He paid some extra attention to my gonads and especially that area just behind them. With very little warning, I felt “full”. Did I argue? Nope. Did we have fun? Yep. Did I get a nice protein shake? Oh, hella yeah, no doubt.
On the other side of the fence, Matt thoroughly enjoyed receiving an injection of life sustaining and life giving fluids.
Bow legged, we got out of the shower, dried off, brushed our teeth, and then I brushed out Matt’s hair taking from it excess water that hadn’t been removed with the towel. He looked spectacular. When I attempted to brush his ‘other’ hair near where his other head lay he gently pushed my hand aside and then said seductively, “Later.”
“Promise?” I replied quickly.
“Come on Casanova. Let’s go work on the plan.”
“How so very selfish of me – I wanted physical loving with Matt over David’s problems.” I thought sadly.
As if Matt were reading my mind, he said, “I love you always, Antoine. Not loving you is impossible. You have brought joy and purpose and wholeness to my life. I’d have given up had you not taken care of me in the hospital. We’re bonded for life. And… you’re not selfish, not by a long shot.”
With that said, Matt grabbed my prong, gently squeezed, kissed me meaningfully then he took off. Of course, I took right off with him. I liked following him because his back side is just as beautiful as his front side and face. Shit, there I go again.
Mom was in the kitchen sitting on a bar stool as we walked in. She didn’t look all that great. Her face appeared haggard, drawn in, and pale. Immediately I walked directly to her, pulled her into my arms, hugged her gently then kissed her on her cheek, “Morning mom. Are you okay?”
Mom replied, “I’ve been sick this morning. The doctors said this will pass over the next two weeks or so. I’ll be fine later on. What are you and Matt up to? You smell good.”
“Well duh, mom, we just got out of the shower? We used soap.”
Mom gave me a halfhearted snicker, put her arm around my waist, squeezed gently then released.
Matt was in the kitchen getting stuff out to make breakfast. Mom scrunched up her nose then got up and left the room saying, “Yuck. Food.”
I followed her to see where she was going, I was concerned for her. When I saw that she’d sat down in one of the chaise lounges out on the patio, I went and helped Matt fix breakfast which we ate and then cleaned up the kitchen.
Once we were finished with those chores, Matt and I headed outside to sit with mom. She was reading a magazine but laid it down when Matt and I arrived. I kissed her on the cheek. Matt did the same then together we sat down next to her.
“Have you seen David yet this morning? Last time I saw him he and Peter were still asleep.” Mom asked.
“Uhm, no. I’ll be right back.” I replied readily and then headed to David and Peter’s room.
When I arrived at their room, the door was wide open. David was sitting on the side of their bed. The shower was running. David looked up, saw me, smiled briefly then put his head into his hands.
“Are you having a bad morning today?” I asked softly.
“Yeah. I’ve got a headache. Don’t tell Peter, please? He’ll just worry.”
“Can I sit down with you?” I asked.
“Actually, I’m going back to bed. I was just waiting for Peter to get finished so I could go to the bathroom. He got up before me.”
“Do you need some help?”
“No. Why the fuck do people think I’m some kind of god damned cripple? Give me my fucking crutches, I’ll go myself.”
I handed David his crutches. He took them gruffly, got up on them then headed into the bathroom. Before he got there he fell. He falls occasionally so I wasn’t alarmed … that is until he turned around and looked me in the eyes… they were filled with unshed tears, he was trying so hard to maintain. He nodded.
That was my cue. My brother needed me. When I got to the doorway to the bathroom, I said loudly, “Peter, hurry up.” Then my attentions were turned to David. He’s bigger than I yet I had my mind set to help him up, a task that was handled quickly but he was largely dead weight.
Peter looked out of the shower. When he saw David on the floor and with me holding him up, he quickly got out, soapy body and all. Quickly, he grabbed a towel, wiped off then joined me on the floor.
Just then Angel popped his head in David and Peter’s room. He called, “Allen, David’s bedroom. Go get mom.”
David said weakly, “I can't go like this.”
I saw Allen dash through the open area between our bedrooms with a towel around his middle parts. Angel came over then between him, Peter and I we got David to bed just as mom and Allen arrived.
Quickly, mom helped David lie down, checked his forehead, looked into his eyes, took his pulse then sent me to the medicine cabinet in her and dad’s room to get the blood pressure cuff. I raced back to David’s room and handed the cuff to mom. Peter looked at me; he was scared half to death. He worried me actually because he’d managed to be the strong one between the two of them. He’d been denying his true feelings, his hurt, his anger, his sadness… I’d seen it all too clearly. He wasn’t much of a hider as he thought he might have been.
When Peter saw me really looking into his eyes, he got up then went into the bathroom and shut the door softly. Another minute passed before I heard the shower turn on. I looked into Matt’s eyes… he nodded then turned away to pay attention to things mom was saying for him to do. Mom looked back at me then she turned away to tend to David.
“Mom, when’s dad going to be home? I need to talk to him.”
“He won’t be home until late this afternoon, or early evening. Some new client is in town. Where’s Jeremy? Could you get him for me?”
“Sure, no problem mom, I’ll be right back.”That said, I headed Jeremy’s room, opened the door and was greeted with Jason’s ass up in the air pounding my brother for all he was worth.
Necessity was the first priority. I said loud enough to be heard, “Jeremy, mom needs you. David’s sick this morning.” I then turned, left their room and closed the door behind me and returned to David’s room where I went to the bathroom door, lightly knocked then walked on in closing the door behind me because Peter was sitting on the throne.
In his eyes, I saw the most haunted view into his soul that I’d ever seen until then. Even after his ordeal in jail… his eyes had never shown that level of pain and suffering that he was experiencing right then.
Peter said dismissively, “Can’t you see I’m taking a shit?”
“You’re my brother. Our bond is strong.”
“Okay, I’m not taking a dump. I should get in the shower, rinse off and then get back to my David. He’s my life, Antoine.”
The way he said it, and the way he looked in my eyes, scared me. I involuntarily shuddered knowing the truth behind what he was saying. I had the same bond with his blood brother Matt. So I understood what he was thinking and feeling; no I was not in his same situation yet … what was happening? Was the bond I shared with Matt also true to a certain degree with Peter?
After making sure the bathroom door was thoroughly closed I locked it and then said to Peter, “Come on, let’s rinse you off. We need to talk.”
Peter looked down the floor, sat there for another moment then looked back up and directly into my eyes. I saw a sliver of hope emanating from them, if only a little bit. It was enough to begin.
Peter tore off a supply of toilet tissue from the dispenser… and well he did what needed to be done. He looked at me and said, “I was done.” He shrugged his shoulders, got up and then joined me in the shower.
Without delay, I began by washing his hair taking care to deeply massage his scalp, his neck and upper back. I then worked my way down to the top of his golden globes, stopping at the cleft where one side is divided from the other. I then knelt down where I gave him deep massage to his feet, calves, knees and then his thighs up to about 2 inches below his hangers. Meanwhile, Peter soaped up a washrag and finished his private parts, and then rinsed off while I washed my body completely.
Peter said, “I can’t lose my David, Antoine. I just can’t.” He then laid his head on my chest and put his arms around my shoulders. I pulled him into me where I held him firmly. There were no sexual overtones, none at all. I’d never do anything to hurt or harm Matt, and Peter would likewise do nothing to hurt or harm David. Although we were forehead to forehead, shoulder to shoulder, belly to belly, thigh to thigh, toes to toes, and yes penis to penis, neither of us elongated in need, want, or anything else. We were just passing and receiving energies from our brotherly bond.
“Peter, I’ll call Sensei. Maybe there’s something he can do. He helped Matt. He’ll help David. We need to talk to dad. I love you Peter. I love David. And I love my family. A few months ago I had nothing. Mom said a day would arrive where I could pay forward all that I’ve received. This will be true for you too. Come on, let’s go.”
We got out of the shower... Matt was sitting on the toilet. He looked so damn cute... I couldn't resist kissing his soft suculent lips. Peter handed me a towel which I used to dry my body.Peter was brushing his teeth while Matt and I were talking. With his toothbrush hanging out of his mouth he looked at us curiously.
After Matt finished providing his sewer offerings, he headed to the triple sink where he washed his hands and dried them. He and Peter then hugged deeply. When they parted, Peter very delicately, intently and curiously looked over Matt’s body in great detail leaving no stone unturned. He looked at me. I nodded, knowing what he was doing and thinking, and why.
When we exited the room we sat mom lying next to David on his bed with her hand across his chest as he slept peacefully. Matt kissed me then got into bed and took the other side of David.
I looked at Peter, he nodded. We then we took off for dad’s office.
I sat down in dad’s chair. Matt sat in a chair next to dad’s huge mahogany desk. He said, “Dad might get pissed for being interrupted. Mom said that he was meeting with a new client today.”
“No he won’t. I promise.”
That said I quickly punched in dad’s private phone number at his office knowing he wouldn’t get pissed. In fact he always likes hearing from his sons no matter how busy he is at any given time of the day or night.
On the third ring…
Dad: Hello. Who do I owe the privilege of talking to?
I looked at Matt. He smiled.
Matt: Hey dad. Are you pissed that we called you?
Dad: No. I’m never too busy…
Me: <chuckling> I tried to tell him.
Dad: Oh hey Antoine. Always glad to hear from my sons. I’ll never get tired of hearing your voices.
Matt: Hey dad…
Matt then looked at me to take over from that point.
Me: Dad, David’s not feeling good this morning. He’s got a bad headache. Mom and Peter are with him. He’s asleep. I wanted to talk about something. We’ve got to help him.
Dad: Okay. I’ve made some calls. We have connections in San Francisco. They have contacts in LA. I’m waiting to get an appointment for David at USC… they have a world class cancer treatment center. I also have a call into a cancer treatment hospital in New York. What did you have in mind, how do you want to help?
Matt: Dad, we have to take David to Singapore. They’ll help him. I know they will.
Me: That’s our idea, dad. I know they’ll help. If there’s a chance then that’s the best one.
Dad: Boys, that’s a very, very long trip. I’m not sure David’s up to it.
Matt: But dad… look at what they did to me…
Dad: I’ll think about it. Mom and I’ll talk about it. We need to see what care David can get here on the islands first. If it doesn’t sound right then we’ll go to LA or New York.
Me: Dad… New York is almost 17 hours. Singapore is 21 hours. I’ll bet you can…
Dad <sadly>: We’ll see. Your mom and I need to discuss David’s situation and get a plan going.
Matt: Why can’t you make the decision yourself?
Dad: Because your mom is my wife. We’re together in this just like you and Antoine are together. Would you make a big decision like this without talking to Antoine?
Matt: Well, no, of course not. I get your point. Okay, dad. Hey dad?
Dad: Uhm hmmm.
Matt: I love you. You know what to say…
Dad: I’ve learned through experience. So will you. Okay boys, I have another call coming in. It’s Dr. Miller. I’ll talk to you later. Love you.
Me: Love you too dad.
Matt: Me too. Thanks dad, you’re the greatest.
Dad: Bye now.
- Dad’s POV -
Dr. Miller: Good morning, Jim. I hope I’m not interrupting anything but my call is rather urgent.
Me: Go ahead.
Dr. Miller: Jim, Dr. Borkwin and I have put our heads together about David’s case. I wanted to let you know what we’ve come up with.
Me: I’m all ears. According to Matt and Antoine, David’s down sick with a headache this morning. My wife’s at home. She’d call me if anything serious was going on.
Dr. Miller: Could you come into my office at about 10:30 this morning?
I looked at my watch. It read 9:45am. My clients were to arrive at 10:00am.
Me: I’ll be there. I’ll leave right now and get my wife.
Dr. Miller: Okay. If you’re late that’s no problem. See you soon.
Me: Okay, thanks for calling.
I called the head of administration, got him on the first attempt – which is quite unlikely as he’s often busier than I. I brought him up to speed and then took off for home. The travel home is about 20 minutes longer now that we’ve moved down the beach to a secluded area off the main roads.
I called Peggy en route, told her that Dr. Miller wanted to see us, and that I’d be home in a short while.
Traffic was light at that time of day. I made it home in just less than 35 minutes. Peggy was waiting. But before we left I went to check on David. Seeing that he was sound asleep and resting comfortably, Peggy and I took off for Dr. Miller’s office after giving and receiving hugs. Peter and I had a difference of opinion:
Peter: Dad I’m going with you. I need to know what’s going on.
Me: Not this time son. I think it would be a better idea for you to stay here with David, and be here when he wakes up.
Peter: But dad, don’t leave me out of this. I insist.
Peter stood up then walked to me. He wasn’t angry though I don’t think it was too far away. I replied, “No, not this time son. You need to stay with David. This is my decision.”
Peter: Dad, David is my life. I need to know what’s going on. Don’t treat me like I’m nobody.
Me: David is our life too. Just as you are; as is Antoine; as is Matt is; as is Jeremy is; as is Allen…
Peter: As is Angel. I know dad. Sorry.
Peggy: Be strong for David. He needs you just as much as you need him. Stay with him. Call your dad or me if anything changes. Do that for me, will you, please?
Peter: I’m not as strong as David. He was always there for me. He’s been my rock.
Me: So be his rock. You are just as strong as David is, maybe even stronger in many ways.
Peter looked at me pensively, like he was trying to formulate a response. When he could find no response, he hugged then kissed Peggy, then repeated the same to me. The anger just below the surface I’d seen earlier was replaced with determination, and acceptance of what I’d just said to him.
After we’d taken off, Peggy said, “Do you know what Dr. Miller wants to talk with us about?”
“No. He just said that he and Dr. Borkwin consulted together. He wants to talk to us. I’m concerned though. He’s had no trouble with talking to me about things before… even during Helen’s illness, and David’s cancer.” I said and then had a difficult time keeping my eyes on the road as my eyes filled with tears, as my chest tightened up, as my breathing became ragged… I kept on going. Peggy handed me a Kleenex taken from the console.
She said, “You know you’re going to have to let it out. Otherwise it’ll eat you alive. Honey, advances are being made each and every day. Cancer treatment is growing and growing and growing. I’ve no doubt that Drs. Miller and Borkwin and other doctors are looking at every possibility for David’s care. You and I are together every step of the way in this. I wish I could be of more help to him…”
“Honey, just continue to be who you are. He gets so much strength from you. As do we all. Just do what you’re doing.” I replied… the stranglehold of emotions dissipating at least for that moment.
The rest of the ride into town was quiet between us. I found a parking spot not too far from the main entrance. Much to Peggy’s chagrin, I obtained a wheelchair for her then we made our way upstairs to Dr. Miller and Borkwin’s office. There were no patients in the waiting room and we were not kept waiting for more than 5 minutes.
We were ushered back to Dr. Miller’s office. Dr. Borkwin was there also. Both had serious expressions on their faces.
After we sat down, Dr. Borkwin said, “As you may have guessed, we’re here to talk about David. Dr. Miller and I have talked between ourselves and our oncology team here at University.”Dr. Miller continued, “Jim, Peggy, you know I don’t mince words. I’m direct. I’ll not make an exception now.”
I nodded knowing Dr. Miller. Peggy looked at me. Peggy said, “We need that right now. We can’t just sit here and do nothing so let us know what we’re up against.”
I said, “What have you came up with?”
Dr. Miller looked at Dr. Borkwin then said, “David has a very large tumor on his spine that’s growing inward. There’s a very large blood vessel that runs in front of the spine… we’re concerned that it may rupture. The results would be catastrophic, the outcome would be fatal.”
“Can’t you operate and fix it now before the vessel ruptures?” Peggy asked clinically.
“I’m afraid not. The operation has never before been performed. There are too many vital organs involved. David could end up paralyzed if he even made it off of the operating table.” Dr. Borkwin offered.
Dr. Miller picked up, “Peggy, the tumor is malignant. The dangers of surgery are such that we’d not do the operation. I am certain David would be in a worse condition… and quite frankly I don’t think he’d survive it. There are other concerns as well.”
Dr. Borkwin said, “David has other tumors. In addition to his stump, he has tumors up and down his right leg, and a fairly large one in his right hip bone. There are others in his ribs, pelvis, and even his skull. They’re relatively small. We need to bring David into the hospital so that we can biopsy his heart and lungs, colon, and his brain. I suspect, since he’s got bone disease, that he’s also metastasized to his major organs.”
I spoke up, “He was clear of tumors 3 months ago, what happened?”
Dr. Miller said, “Jim, as you know the kind of cancer that David had, that we treated him for is a very aggressive type. Once it metastasizes it takes off as if it had a life of its own.”
Dr. Borkwin stated, “We’ve talked to our oncology staff. There’s hope. They’re concerned with the rapid growth rate. They’re concerned that chemo and radiation might take too long for David to survive treatment.”
Peggy said, subdued, “You’re saying that David is going to die soon?”
Dr. Borkwin and Dr. Miller, both, looked at each other, Dr. Borkwin replied, “Nobody has a crystal ball. With continued growth spread… we’re estimating maybe two or three months. I’m afraid that number might be a bit high since we do not know the true extent of internal organ involvement. We’d like to get David into the hospital today so we can move ahead, if that’s agreeable for you.”
I took in a deep breath and then slowly exhaled. Peggy was openly weeping. I reached for a Kleenex from Dr. Miller’s desk and gave it to her. She then sat straight up and said, “What about USC or NY. There’s a wonderful holistic treatment program in Tulsa. Then there’s the center in Houston…” She couldn’t continue. I wasn’t much better. In fact, I came very close to losing it but there was hope.
I said, “What about Eastern medicine? You haven’t seen Matt since he’s been back. Dr. Borkwin, I wouldn’t have believed the transformation he’s experienced if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes.”
Dr. Borkwin perked up. Curiously he asked, “What transformation?”
I then went on to explain that his scars were gone, that he’s no longer in any pain or discomfort, that he’s eating good, that he’s gaining weight, that he’s growing, and that he’s a happy young man – all the result of Eastern medicine he’d received while in Singapore.
My decision was made. Peggy and I were on the same page in the same book. After she nodded, we both knew we were on the same word in the same sentence in the same paragraph.
- Harry's POV -
My body was slow to recover from 'that' experience, clearly the strongest experience I'd ever had.
I showered, did my hair, brushed my teeth then sauntered into the living room where dad was watching some western show that had him cracking up.
I walked into the bathroom where I gathered up my stuff, took it into the bedroom and began stuffing the dirty clothes into a laundry bag. I retrieved my cell phone, money and the bracelet I'd bought dad. I tossed on a pair of underwear because I was still about 50% hard in that it was angling down at a 45 degree angle with the reference points being my stomach and the floor. Feeling somewhat presentable I headed to dad, stood in front of him quietly waiting until he observed my presence. I had to wait not more than 15 seconds.
He turned off the TV. “Dad, I don't know if you'll like this or not.”
I handed to him the bracelet. He looked at it very carefully, began smiling and said, “Is this for me?”
“Yup. Look inside.”
He did look inside then he looked back to me while putting on the gift to his right wrist. He got up, pulled me into a hug. He said, “It's really kewl. Thanks. I'll wear it all the time. Ya know, I like being a full-time dad to you. Shall we keep it up?”
“Oh I don't know...” I said then broke up into laughter, knowing he liked my gift to him.
“Go get dressed. Let's get something to eat. My treat.”
What that said I got dressed in cammy shorts, a t-shirt and my tennis shoes.
Dinner was seafood. My favorite of all times. Dad had lobster and a steak. I had a swordfish steak, twice baked potato and fried brown rice.
We finished just in time to return to the hotel, get our stuff together, take a massive dump and got my ardor under control.
The trip to the airport was largely uneventful save for the idiots on bicycles riding against traffic lights. The cab driver was cursing and quite angry. I'd traveled under much worse conditions. I just couldn't recall them.
I stayed awake until after we took off from Tokyo. Dad woke me up some time later, pointed to my lap. He didn't say anything but when I chanced a look down I saw my hand tightly gripping my junk through my shorts. You could clearly see the elongation pattern. Talk about embarrassed. He went back to reading his magazine. I laid one of the travel magazines over my lap and fell back to sleep.
Sometime later I heard dad talking on his satellite phone. His whole demeanor had changed. He said, “David's sick. His cancer is back.”
'Oh shit no. Is it bad?”
“I'm afraid so. There's not much the doctors can do.”
*** To be continued