Knock, Knock, Knock . Amazing how such an innocent sound has the ability to stop your heart from beating. Mark just about jumps out of bed, but I grab him and tell him to stay. He gives me a pleading look but settles back down. The door opens, John and Angela walk in. John is wearing a shit eating grin and Angela looks confused then comprehension seems to cross her face then her jaw drops. "Well now it all makes sense! You should have told me earlier of course. Think of all the shopping we could have done!" She scolds me. "Oh-oh-oh the mall has a great sale this weekend! We are so going!"She sounded like a kid on Christmas morning. I roll my eyes at her. "Don't look at me like that. Think of it as your duty to grace your sister with your gay fashion sense."
"But, Ang you pick out all my cloths, remember." Then John and I just burst out laughing, Angela looks confused again.
"Will someone mind telling me what's so funny?"
"It's just something John and I talked about earlier. He said the first thing you would do would be to drag me off to the mall. You can't tell anyone Ang, Please don't tell anyone, not yet anyway." Mark is watching all this with wide eyes.
"What's bothering you, Mark?"
"You're all so accepting of this. If, or when, I tell my Mom she's going to kick me out just like she did my Dad."
John, Angela, and I all answer at the same time. "Well you will just have to come live with us if that happens." I look at my siblings and smile. I love my family very much and the fact that they're so accepting of this is just blowing me away. From the look on Marks face I would say he's blown away too.
"Thanks guys, but I don't know if I could impose on you all like that and I don't think your Dad would let me stay there anyway. He already has 5 mouths to feed."
John answers this time. "Mark, if Dad thought he could get away with it, he would have kidnapped you by now so he could keep you. You moving in willingly would probably put him on cloud nine. You have made quite the impression on him this week." Now that is something I would love to have happen, not that I want him to get kicked out, but to have him with me all the time. Talk about the best thing ever.
"That's assuming he won't kick me out once he finds out about me."
"Do you really think Dad would kick you out for being gay?" Angela asks.
John says "As I said before, he would love it. Anyway, Dad will be here in about an hour. So unless you want to finish coming out to the rest of the family today, Mark might want to get out of the bed. Also Tim and Rich and a few others want to stop by, I told them I would ask you. There are others too but you can figure that out later."
"If they want to come up they can but I want the guards gone while they are here."
"Talk to Dad about that. He may be willing to swap their suits for security uniforms of the hospital though to keep the speculation down." At that, Mark looks like he just remembered something.
"What is it Mark?" My voice is shaky I'm sure this line of questioning will lead nowhere good.
"It's about the guards and the way you interact with them. I don't see how you could have told them that you would have them fired if they touched you. I don't see why they even believed you. Sure your Dad is paying for them but it's not like they work for him or anything. Then there is the comment the doctor said earlier. About your Dad not being someone he would want to cross. I know your Dad is some high ranked VP but how much power can he actually have; it's not like he owns the company or anything." I was taking a sip of water when he said this last part and spit it back out and started choking. Angela and John are both giving me worried looks.
Marks asks, "Are you OK, what happened?" Then it seems to dawn on him my reaction. The way we always seem to change to subject when we talk about our dads job, or the money, or anything like that. The way we skim over everything when asked what our Dad does exactly. "Oh I see. Well that sure explains a lot."
"I don't know what you mean, explains what?" I'm turning red I can't help it.
"Don't bull shit me guys. I won't say anything to anyone, but don't lie to me directly." I sigh and turn to John.
"Call Dad, tell him he needs to come up here, we have a problem he needs to take care of." I turn to Mark "Once my Dad gets here he will explain everything, we can't be the ones. But after, if you have any questions, I will answer them for you."
"OK, but am I right?"
"I can't answer any questions 'til after you talk to our Dad. You can't talk to anyone about this anywhere though OK." I change the subject.
"So how is everyone and school. What is everyone saying about me." John steps out with his cell phone I assume he's talking to Dad. So I'm left talking to Angela while Mark sits there listening to our conversation, he may have got off the bed but he's still holding my hand. His thumb is rubbing the top of my hand and making little circles over it.
"Well of course there are rumors and half of them are wrong. The fact that they can't find Lee is adding to the hysteria too. Everyone is wondering why Mark is out. No one seems to know why Lee attacked you, but that is a good thing. Our lunch group wants to come and see you too by the way. Nicole Ross wants to come up here and give you a sponge bath." Her eyes roll. "So watch yourself, she's still trying to sink her claws into you. At least now I know why you were never interested." I interrupt her.
" 'Til the beginning of the school year I was not sure I was Gay, Straight, or Bi."
"Beginning of the school year? You mean when you met Mark is when you realized it? Wow, now that really explains stuff. That must have been a big mind fuck then for you. Well knowing why you went nuts makes me feel better because you took a long drive over a very steep cliff." My mouth falls open. Mark is trying not to laugh but not doing a very good job at it.
"Thanks, nice to know my sister thinks I'm nuts. As for the people coming up here, sure why not but I may not be here much longer. They should come up tonight if they're going to."
"Good, I'll call them, you two behave." She winks at us and then leaves.
"So Mark, what's for dinner?"
"I can run out and get subs for us if you want."
"Sounds good to me. You don't mind do you? I don't want to make you feel like you have to, it's just the food here really sucks."
"I don't mind at all, but I'm out of cash, do you mind paying?"
"I was going to anyway. What sub places are there out there? Is there a Quiznos?"
"Yeah I think there is. Is that what you want?"
"Yup, I'll have a Prime Rib and Peppercorn regular size, with a cookie. Thank you so much for doing this. Take John and Angela with you too so they can get something then we can all eat together." He gets up and leans over and gives me a quick kiss then leaves. I think I'm falling in love with him but I can't tell him that; he'd bolt for sure. I can't figure out what the shower thing was all about. I'll have to ask him about that latter.
I can hear voices outside my room. It sounds like my doctor and my Dad. The door opens and yup I was right. My Dad takes the chair next to me and the doctor starts looking me over. He says I'm healing well and I should be able to go home tomorrow night but that I can't go to school for a few days and I have to take it easy, and I can't shower without help. That makes me happy because it means I can take more showers with Mark! I tell him thanks and he leaves. My Dad is just staring at me.
"Hey Dad" my voice squeaks. I know I'm in trouble. "How was your day?"
"Do you mind telling me why you're intimidating and threatening to fire my guards?" I cringed back, I knew this was coming. Best to just get it over with.
It all comes out in rush as one long sentence. I hope he can understand it. "I wanted a shower and no one would let me out of here. I hate being trapped in this room. It gets 2 channels on the T.V and I have nothing to read. If it weren't for Mark being here I would killed myself from boredom by now. The guards are way over kill. I can't even have friends come up here because I'm afraid they will start asking questions like Mark did, and look where that led. Now he knows everything well just about everything. I can't stand this any longer I want to be able to move around a little." I exhale in one big huff. He looks amused by my tirade.
"I know I go overboard some times when it comes to you kids, but the guards are there to protect you until Lee is found. As for friends and what they think, I'll have the guards dress like security personal from the hospital until you leave. Also you're not going to school until this is over with either. I'll have your teachers send home your work and have a tutor take over your lessons until you can resume classes."
"You can't do that! What about swimming and my friends. You can't put me on lock down just cause the police suck at their jobs. His Dad probably killed him anyway."
"Why do you think he killed him?"
"Cause his Dad hit him a lot."
"I'll pass on your idea, but you're still on lock down. Now, where is Mark? I understand I have to have a conversation with him."
"He went with John and Angela to get dinner for us."
"And no one thought to invite me or your other brothers to your dinning party?" At least he's joking around with me now, that's a good sign.
"Sorry no old people, they kill the party, but the twins are welcome to join us. They have not been here much."
"Thanks, I'm not that old you know. As for the twins, well they don't like hospitals and you being in here frightens them. So when you get home expect to have two new shadows for a while, and few sleepovers I expect."
"That's fine with me. I love having them around, well most of the time." Mark walks in and smiles at me then sees my Dad and gives me a "what should I do" look.
"Hey Mark, you can sit on the bed and eat, John and Angela can have the other chairs."
My Dad speaks up. "Actually do you mind if I borrow Mark for a minute or two. I promise to bring him back to you." For some reason, that makes me blush.
"Sure we can wait to start eating."
They go out and John and Angela bring the chairs over and start sorting all the food. "So who all is coming up to see me tonight?"
"Tim, Rich, Cody, Christian, Matt, and Dylan," John says
"Cool, it will be good to see them. Anyone else planning to come up?"
"No one else could get up here tonight."
"Well they're letting me out tomorrow night, but I can't go to school for a while."
"We could have people stop by the house if you think you're up to it." Says Angela, she loves any excuse for a party. Mark and Dad come back in, Mark did not look as nervous as before, he looks calm.
"Well I don't know if I'm ready for a party but I think it would be good to have a few people over. Assuming Dad does not lock down the whole compound." I look pointedly at him.
"If a party is what it takes, then go ahead. I will have guards there though and they will be watching everyone." I glare at him.
"Well we want to eat so you can go bother someone else now."
He comes over kisses the top of my head. "OK kiddo I'm leaving, if you need anything just call."I turn to Mark, "So how did your talk go?"
"Not bad, it's shocking but I'll get used to it. Don't worry I won't say anything to anyone."
"Cool, let's eat." We ate dinner and talk a little bit then John and Angela headed home.
"You can go home tonight if you want. You don't have to stay here with me if you don't want."
"I think I'll stay if that's OK with you." I smile from ear to ear when he says that. He leans over and gives me a quick kiss just as there is another knock on the door. He pulls back and I say come in.The door swings open, in walks Cody and Dylan both wearing big smiles. I see their gaze move to where our hands are moving apart. Cody has one of those all American looks to him. Tall, broad shoulders, built, with blond hair, blue eyes, and the perfect tan. Whereas Dylan is somewhat short skinny and, while he is toned, he does not have the developed muscles like Cody, He has brown hair and brown eyes. They're two of my best friends even though they're in Johns grade.
Cody speaks first. "How are you doing Alex?"
"Not bad, except the whole getting my ass kicked and having my face broken among other things." I say jokingly. "Have seat. You just missed John, and Angela. They came up to eat with me and Mark."Dylan looks over to Cody with an uncomfortable but clearly "I told you so" look. "What is it guys, is something wrong."
Dylan answers. "It's just there are rumors going around about you two. You know cause Mark has been here the whole time. People are starting to talk about it. Cause besides him and your family, no one has been allowed to come 'til today."
"What is it people are saying?" They both look uncomfortable now. Dylan is squirming in his seat. Cody is the one that answers. "They're saying you're gay and that Mark is your boyfriend. Well, it's Nicole that keeps pushing that idea. It doesn't matter to us either way, but you guys should know that some people are buying into her ideas."
"I swear I could kill that girl. Just because I won't go out with her, she has to start shit. Mark saved my life and is here to help me out and keep me occupied so I don't go nuts."
I change to subject. "So I'm getting out tomorrow night and will be having a party this week end. Are you guys in?"
"Who all is coming?" Dylan asks
"Probably the swim team, the football team, and the lunch table crew. Why does it matter?"Cody answers "We just want to know who we would be hanging out with that's all. You know, so we know if we have to watch our, and your, backs. Since your attack a lot of us are looking over our shoulders."
"Well you don't have to worry about that. My Dad's paying for security to be there." Just as I finish talking Tim, and Rich come in and I repeat the invite. They say they will come. We talk a little about swimming and how I'm out for a while. They tell me that the coach is looking for a temp replacement 'til I'm back. While we're talking, Christian walks in and I once again repeat the invite. We talk for a little bit then he leaves as do Tim and Rich. Leaving Cody, Dylan and Mark as my only visitors. We talk some more about random stuff and plans for Thanksgiving break then they get up to go. As they open the door a startled looking Matt is standing on the other side about to knock.
"Hey guys, you taking off?" Cody and Dylan say that they are and leave. Matt comes in and sits down next to me in the chair.
"So, you getting any better man. School's just not the same without you. There's no one to cause trouble now."
"Ha ha, Matt very funny." He starts talking about homecoming and wants to know if we want to go as a big group since most of us don't have dates. I tell him I will think about it if my Dad lets me out of lock down. I tell him about the party. He asks about the attack and my injuries I answer all the questions the best I can, then he says something about it getting late then heads out.
Once he leaves Phil comes in. Phil is one of the commanders of the Erebus. What would be a General in a normal army.
"Hey Alex, How are you doing?"
"Not too bad Phil, but what are you doing here."
"I came to make a deal with you before you make all our lives harder than they have to be.""What are you talking about?"
"I'm talking about your guard detail. After your stunt today your Dad wants me to triple your guard detail."
"If I could talk your Dad into allowing you to return to school in exchange for you allowing an undercover guard to follow you around. Would you take that offer."
"If I get to meet him first, and if he can blend in. Then yes, that would work for me."
"Good because I have the perfect guy. His name is Anthony. He is 19 but he looks like he's 16 and could pass for a mature looking 15 year old. I'll work on the cover story to explain everything. He's waiting outside. Do you want to meet him now?"
"Sure why not, bring him in." He calls out for Anthony to come in. He introduces us and we talk, then they leave. Mark and I are left alone for the night.
"I'm glad that worked out for you Alex. One thing I don't get is who that guy was."
"That was Phil he's a division commander for the Erebus Guard. He Leads the Nyx Division of Erebus. Think of them like Secrete Service for the civilian world. If he's the one coming to give me a hard time then that means that the guys outside are his." He looks confused.
"What is The Erebus guard are they like a security detail?"
"My Dad didn't explain this part to you I take it."
"Nope, what are they?"
"They're my Dad's private paramilitary and security force." He interrupts me.
"What! Your Dad has a private army? Holy shit Alex ,why the hell would he need one."
"They contract out to governments and other companies, as well as provide security for Mt. Olympus and the companies high ranking Executives. There are three divisions in the Erebus Guard. The first is the Enyo Division, they're the normal solders, then there is the Nyx Division, who are like the Secret Service and CIA, they do the undercover stuff as well as provide security for people, the last group is the Metis Division, they do the investigation, they're like a CSI on steroids. Does that help explain things a little better."
"So why does he name so many things like that and where did he get the names from."
"That's kind of a funny thing. See my Dad is obsessed with Roman and Greek Mythology; just about everything has a name from the Roman and Greek Myths."
"OK, so its been killing me to know. How rich is your dad, and does he own anything else besides Olympia?"
"Well, lets see, he owns The Neptune Corporation, The Pandora Foundation, and The Gia Corporation along with The Olympia Corporation. As far how rich he is, I know that without the company holdings he is top 20; with them he's number 1. I don't know how much he makes or is worth exactly but it's somewhere in the trillions." He looks stunned.
"I'll get used to this eventually, don't worry. By the way, I'm going to be out most of the day tomorrow just so you know, but I'll be here when they let you out." He says.
"OK. I'll find something to do. Let's go to sleep now, I'm wiped out from today." He comes back into the bed we make out a little, then spend some time talking. That reminds me what I wanted to ask him about.
"So what was up with the shower earlier today? Not that I didn't enjoy it, but it's out of character for you. Then you wouldn't let me do anything back." He's quiet for a bit then he answers.
"I wanted to do something for you to show how I feel. I'm still confused about us, but I did not want that to stop me from making you feel good. As for me not letting you return the favor, well you are not exactly in the condition for any playing around."
"When you say us, does that mean we are boyfriends then?" The tone of hoping is very noticeable in my voice.
"I would say were heading that way, but I still need time."
"You can have all the time in the world as long as I get to keep you in the end." I hope that does not scar him off. I'm getting a little intense.
"That sounds good to me." Is his reply. He cuddles up to my side the best he can without hurting me and I wrap my arm around him and pull him in closer. We then fall asleep in each others arms.