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The Light, Book 2

by Joe Writer Man

Chapter 18

*-* Sunday, Antoine's POV *-*

I awoke to the soft yet rhythmical and deep breathing from the guy I love with all my heart lying across my chest, his arm lying across my neck, his hand gently cupping that which designates me as male and squeezing it almost imperceptibly yet with my urgent need to pee his motions felt nearly as good as when my prong of pleasure was deeply embedded inside his love tunnel. I was rapidly reaching that point of no return. His breathing suddenly changed in that it changed to a more rapid rate... and with the sudden tempo change and a more firm grasp... it happened. My prostate and seminal vesicles violently contracted causing a massive gush of nectar to exit my penis with equally violent muscle spasms until I was spent.

It was then that I heard a snicker. Almost simultaneously Matt raised his head up enough for me to see his face... he was smiling from ear to ear and then he moved around just enough to tenderly kiss my lips. His kisses were urgent, needy. I realized he hadn't, as of yet, reached his plateau. We quickly rearranged ourselves to where I was looking directly into his little eye. Without the slightest hesitation I engulfed his penis with my warm, most and wanton oral orifice and began working it, hoping against hope that he'd reach his pinnacle of success to fully wake him up as he'd done to me.

Not to worry. Matt urgently raised his hips with a frenzy of need. I doubled speed and closed my lips around his prong even firmer... success. Matt reached his moment sending his male juices deep down my throat and into my esophagus and on into my stomach. Once his moment passed I continued to very gently and softly suckle to make sure all his love potions had exited and aftershocks were complete. When both had happened, I moved my face up his torso to the point where our mouths touched. Gently and softly we kissed and whispered sweet things to one another. After a few moments of bonding our love yet again, silently yet urgently we got up, went into the bathroom where we relieved our stored up urine into the toilet bowl. We shook the appropriate number of times and then got into the shower where we got ready for the day.

Our first words spoken that morning were "I love you. Good morning." I added, "I like waking up that way."

"You got that right!" Matt exclaimed.

After drying off, I pulled on a jock strap, a pair of underwear and running shorts and socks from the built in chest of drawers. Matt did likewise. When our shoes were on we took off for the kitchen to grab something quick for breakfast before we took our run down the beach to surprise Jesus and AZ and Maria.

No sooner had Matt opened the door than we were attacked with a vengeance by those two boys. While AZ leaped into my arms Jesus enveloped me into a deep, deep hug and held on for this life. Both were squealing their delights at seeing the whites of our eyeballs. Of course, I was equally as glad to see them too, no doubt. Just as quickly, AZ jumped down, pushed his brother aside and then attacked Matt in a similar fashion.

Once our initial greetings were complete, they led us into the kitchen. Maria was standing at the stove busily preparing breakfast. Her eyes opened, she grinned ear to ear then met us halfway. Deep, deep hugs were plentiful. With the initial exuberance past she shooed us outside while she finished our meal.

I sat down in a chaise lounge chair and in breakneck speed had three guys sitting next to me... AZ of course sat on my lap. We got caught up on the happenings during our absence. Jesus was proud to report that he had faithfully performed his morning rituals. He was anxious to show me his progress however David and Peter, Jeremy and Jason, Andy and Harry and Benji soon appeared, all sans clothing. All were greeted by Jesus and AZ though with less vigor.

Maria beckoned us after 15 or 20 minutes. She'd made ample quantities of Mexican omelets for the feeding frenzy.

When mom and dad appeared I immediately noticed that mom was pale and withdrawn. Immediately I got up, went to her and inquired, "Mom, are you okay? Please, sit down in my chair." Without hesitation I led her to my seat and helped her down. She looked none too happy with the food all around the table.

Maria made mom a cup of hot green tea and gave her two slices of dry toast. Mom couldn't tolerate the spicy food smells so she and dad went to the pool. I followed and sat down next to mom after making sure she was comfortable.

Mom said, "It's just some morning sickness. I'm sure the travels just upset my system. I'll be okay in a little while. Good morning sweetheart."

I kissed her cheek. Dad said, "Go finish your breakfast before it gets cold." Before I left we exchanged hugs. I returned to the table and finished up the wonderful food Maria had prepared for us.

To give mom the peace and solitude she needed we took off for the beach, sat down in the sand, allowed the waves to wash over our legs, and shared our musings with one another.

Jesus carefully and with rampant curiosity looked at both Matt and Peter's bellies. He was totally awed over the absence of surgical scars from their kidney donation and receipt operation sites. He was even more impressed at seeing that all of Matt's other incision scars had been removed. He had many questions. We answered them to our knowledge. He inquired many questions to Benji – they seemed to bond immediately as I kind of figured they would.

When our conversations began waning, Jesus urged me watch him do his routines. I joined him and did mine. I was definitely out of shape and undisciplined. He was in definite form. Plus, he had added two additional facets to tradition. To say I was impressed would be an understatement. They were difficult. He had mastered them. He surprised me with them... so much so that I found myself on my ass – once, twice. On his third attempt I was ready and with much seriousness had him on his back pinned and held tightly. Due to my weakened state he quickly worked his way out of my hold. He made sure the tables were turned, and he did it quickly. He broke his hold just before pushing my face in the sand and 'allowed' (yes he allowed) me to stand on my feet.

While I was impressed with his abilities I was also concerned at his aggressiveness, and said so. Contritely, he profusely apologized. His eyes beamed at hearing my praise and assertions that I was simply out of shape but I did caution him about the aggressiveness he'd exhibited.

When we finished our routine we took off for our 5 mile run after telling the guys that we'd be back later.

On our way down the beach we stopped at Jesus' home so he could take a dump, and put on a jock strap and running shorts. He was quick to show me that his testicles were larger than they previously were, and how they had dropped. Of course I gave him praise and support and acknowledgment for his growth and development.

That said and done, we continued down the beach at a very fast pace. We reached the rocks, ascended them and then found a place to sit. He cuddled into my chest and belly with my arms tightly held around him. While he had the distinct beginnings of a Warrior he was still a boy and needed my love, reassurance and physical closeness. I got to thinking about my earlier childhood and how my father had done none of what Jesus now needed and wanted. That caused me to tighten my hold on him. I also found that by showing him all that I had needed and wanted I was healing those old hurts.

His needy and wanton moments passed over a period of time of about 30 minutes, or so. As had been our custom, we stripped naked and frolicked in the surf before beginning our journey back home.

On our way back home, running at a slower pace because I was so out of shape we stopped to rest at the mission. Father Ben was sitting in the slider seat nestled under the trio of palm trees next to the rectory. He grinned and warmly greeted us.

I told him of my travels, why we traveled and the results for David. If he had any reservations about the spiritual aspects he said nothing condescending about them.

He shared of his travels too. He'd gone to New York City to attend a symposium. He told us of a bad storm during his going out flight. He shared how he'd met a boy and had the opportunity to hopefully calm and abate his fears. I shared with him about our flight home from Singapore and landing at Maui's airport the previous evening. He said the boy's name was Stephen but that everybody called him Skeeter. The boy was going to Chicago to see his boyfriend and his family during spring break.

Father Ben got my attention, away from Jesus. He wanted to talk to me. Father Ben suggested, to Jesus, that he look for some seashells. Jesus looked to me for approval. I told him that he did not need my approval, yet he waited for it anyway. I playfully smacked him on the butt which sent the boy scurrying with an evil grin on his face. I knew I would later be in trouble. I would try to be ready.

The priest wrapped his arms around mine, kissed the top of my head, and, not satisfied with that, he pulled me into a deep, deep hug.

Though I loved his hugs, at the same time I wondered why the showering of affection. We broke the embrace, however, he put his hands on my shoulders and said, "Antoine, I know it's been a very long time since Manual died. I can see the hurt still inside of you, and I don't blame your feelings... I'm still angry in many ways. There is a way we can help make that pain a little more bearable."

"I couldn't do anything, Father. I was too late. We were all too late, except for Pablo, the son of a bitch." I said, feeling a set of fresh tears filling my eyes.

"I know. But you need to be corrected: Maria is not a bitch. Sometimes our choices of words is incorrect."

"He's a bastard then!" I replied.

"That he is. You are absolutely correct as his father ran away for good as soon as AZ was born. He'd ran away after each of the children were born, but he came back, angrier than ever. I never thought I'd say this, but, when he died, it was a blessing. Now about what I was going to tell you... Pablo's trial is coming up soon. I think it would help you to testify. I've already talked to Jim, your dad, just this morning... he wants to talk with you later today."

"My father knew the trial was coming up and he didn't say anything?" I asked incredulously.

"Don't get all worked up... he didn't know about the trial date until last night. I found out last week, while you and your family were gone overseas."

I said, "I'm sorry. I'm not angry at you or my dad. I'll do my best, Father. I'll tell the truth."

"I know you will, Antoine. I know you will."

Jesus returned a few moments later, after carefully looking at us from the shore.

Father Ben chuckled when Jesus filled my pants with sand. Of course, I chased him all around the yard, but stayed a bit back so that he would think I couldn't get him. I could have gotten him at any time... and he knew it.

After giving and receiving hugs, we took off. By the time we arrived home, I was tired and my muscles hurt. My thoughts were that Jesus had indeed kept up his regimen. I vowed to do another run later in the day, and to get back into my training ritual.

Several hours later, Jesus prodded me for another run. Reluctantly I agreed. I had to quit at 3 miles because I was simply too tired to continue. We fast-walked back to the house. Without prompting or delay, we stripped naked and got into the pool where we lounged around. It was soon apparent that Jesus was ready for more. Jeremy offered to run with Jesus. Jeremy went into the house, got dressed in running shorts but no shirt then they took off. I giggled knowing that Jesus would give Jeremy a run for the money.

Meanwhile, my legs, butt and lower back were cramping from the physical exertions, and although I didn't say anything about my discomfort Matt quickly caught on and urged me out of the water. We dried off then made our way to the new massage room that mom and dad had built into our new home. While Matt prepared the various oils I peed in the adjacent restroom and returned where he was ready for me. Expertly, efficiently and lovingly Matt massaged my tired and sore muscles... then turned his attentions to my third leg that fiercely spasmed and then relaxed!

During his massaging to my glutes his finger had trailed into my puckered hole and got the itch going. I straddled the massage bed in such a way as to allow him unencumbered entry to my lower recesses. Very quickly, he provided me with a highly enriched protein shake. Just as he pulled out, mom and dad entered. While mom looked better she definitely wasn't her normal exuberant self. She indicated that she was sure her problems were related to time lag, the rough flight home, and from the entire trip. She was quick to point out that she'd travel 20 times if dad or any of her children needed care. She also said she had a routine appointment with her gynecologist the following day.

I felt myself leaking so we were quick to excuse ourselves. Quickly, I made my way to the bathroom in our room, sat down and let loose with the remnants of Matt's deposit, and other natural and commonplace residue, and then showered.

Returning to the pool area we found Peter carefully examining David's stump to make sure none of the walking had caused any difficulties. It hadn't. He was just fine.

*-* Monday *-*

Bright and early the alarm clock sounded startling me and Matt awake to begin another day in paradise. I'm a morning person so I had no trouble getting up and out of bed, hitting the bathroom to pee, putting on my jock and pair of running shorts, a shirt, and a pair of socks and shoes. I headed into the kitchen, dining room, dad's office, and the pool area. I was alone so I took off for my 7 mile run down the beach to the rocks for my morning exercise ritual. When I passed by Maria's home I stopped and inquired of Jesus' whereabouts. Maria said that he'd left about 30 minutes previously, and that she was getting ready to head to our house where she'd prepare breakfast and clean. After we exchanged hugs I continued my trek to the rocks and arrived 15 minutes later.

Jesus was high up on the ledge overhanging my once place of refuge. He didn't see me due to paying careful attention to the rugged terrain which was a good thing because the trek was dangerous for someone not experienced in rock climbing. Jesus had long ago demonstrated that he was indeed good at negotiating twists, turns, backtracks and climbing and descending. I had no real concerns about his safety. When he descended into the cave he stood at its mouth and looked out over the wide expanse of ocean. I'd done the same thing many times, and like me he'd found a peaceful solitude. He looked down and saw me standing, watching his every move. He waived vigorously and motioned for me to join him which I did without difficulty. I took hold of his hand and led us into the cave room where we sat down. The boy said, "I'm glad you're back. I missed you so bad."

"I missed you too, little one. My family and I went on a long trip to a distant land so that my brother could experience healing."

I then told him of our play time at the park, all we did, all the sites we saw, and finally of our trip home and the extreme turbulence we'd experienced along the way. For the time being I omitted telling him of how and where the jet landed to save him from worry.

By the way the sun was shining we knew we needed to head back so that I wouldn't miss breakfast and be late for school so we headed out, negotiated the rocks just fine and then went to his house so that he could get showered and dressed for the day. He urged me to join him in the shower. I did. He giggled when he reached his pubes then without provocation, without any shame or guilt proceeded to jack off sending his seed onto the clear glass shower door. He urged me to do likewise because my male gland was fully elongated so I did and ejaculated ropes of sperms and fluid onto the door. He found it extremely funny while I experienced many spasms until I was spent. We then finished washing our bodies and then paid special attention to removing evidence of our emissions. As he got dressed, I noted the time was 7:45 so we quickly headed up the beach, arriving home at 8:10. I got dressed while Jesus ate breakfast and then I joined him and the rest of my family. Jeremy drove us to Alice and Horace' house for school.

*-* Dad's POV *-*

We arrived at the hospital a little after 10:30am. Peggy's gynecology appointment was at 11:00. She was feeling okay, so the appointment was routine. Her gynecologist gave her a clear bill of health and agreed with Peggy's conclusion that the trip was stressful as was our arrival on Maui. The doctor performed a sonogram which revealed mom and baby were just fine, and that all was on schedule. While we were at the hospital we headed for Drs. Miller and Borkwin's office however both were in surgery and would be for several hours. We decided to stop in and see Dr. Rasmussen. He was in the office and after only a short wait we were shown into his office. After warm greetings, we commenced to inform him of David' healing and the removal of Peter and Matt's incisions and their discomfort that resulted in their having had ribs removed. He was interested so much so that he indicated he'd talk to Drs. Miller and Borkwin later on in the day.

I needed to get to the office however we decided to first go to the beach and experience peace and tranquility from watching and hearing the waves crashing into shore.

When we got up from the picnic table to leave we noticed a group of boys, older teenage boys milling about around the Escalade. At first we thought nothing of it but as we headed up the beach toward our vehicle they began walking toward us.

As we got closer pangs of concern started flowing through my body. The boys were fanning out yet continued their overall direction toward us.

Peggy put her arm in mine. Softly she said, "I know those boys. They're homeless. They're also wild and known to be drug addicts."

"Where the fuck was security?" I thought.

My concerns were justified. We stopped still. They continued their journey toward us. Soon they arrived. There were 6 of them. Two were on our left side, two on our right side and the biggest of the bunch was facing us. One of them, a very large Hispanic male said, "Give us your money... empty your pockets and toss them to the ground. Don't do anything stupid."

Peggy did not have her purse... it was in the truck. I reached first for the money clip in my pocket. I knew there was right around $1,000.00 tucked in it. I hoped that that satisfied them. My cell phone was also in my pocket. I quickly found the Red button, pressed it twice and then retrieved the money clip and tossed it to the sand."

"Kick it toward me." The big guy said.

I stood still as I saw a black vehicle coming down the mountain... but he didn't seem to be in any hurry. I complied with the boys' request by kicking the money clip toward him. Had I been alone the boy would probably have received a snoot full of sand in his eyes however Peggy and our unborn child took absolute first precedence.

"There is approximately $1,000.00 in the money clip. We have nothing else. We're going to head for our car and leave. We don't know anything and will not call the police."

It was then that I noticed several other vehicles had joined the first one, and that they were moving very quickly. The first of the two boys on our left side looked up and over. He'd noticed them too. He said to the others, "I don't like this. Let's hurry up." He then pulled a large switchblade knife from the back of his pants. The rest did likewise.

I had to do something. I could have handled them, or at least put them down, but doing that would have separated me from Peggy... which was not even an option.

The boy who'd pulled the switchblade first held it high then began walking toward us. He was too far away from me to make any offensive or defensive move to protect us.

The big boy grinned. He was sick and demented, the look in his eyes wild, his demeanor determined and aggressive. I stole a quick glance toward the road and saw that those black cars had stopped, their occupants were exiting. The most threatening of the boys advanced quickly then a loud pop, then he dropped, unmoving to the sand. I took hold of Peggy and dropped her into the sand. I joined her and put my body across hers. I then felt a searing hot pain tear through my upper arm. I'd lost track of the boys on our right while paying rapt attention to the boys on the left and in front of us. At the same time another shot rang out... one of the boys on my right side dropped across my back... he was unmoving. My arm was useless. I couldn't push him off me.

The men arrived. They were screaming to the other boys to hit the sand. Two of them did. Two of them did not. I felt a searing pain above my right ear and then my head was slammed into the sand. I whispered to Peggy, "Are you okay, baby?" She squeezed my hand then I noticed her head was also indented into the sand. She was lying beneath me.

"Jim, the threats are neutralized." It was Fugi's voice. I then felt the body lying atop my head removed. Fugi screamed into his phone, "We need paramedics NOW." And then he gave our location. At the same time, once my head and shoulders were free I rolled off of Peggy and then turned her over and quickly checked her because her head, shoulders and back were covered with blood.

Peggy sat up and began wiping sand sand from her face. She was okay, thank God. She went into automatic nurse mode by tending to the cut above my ear. I told her my worst problem was my right arm. By then, no less than 15 security personnel had congregated and had the scene secured. I heard sirens getting closer and closer and closer as each second passed.

I looked around. There were 3 bodies lying motionless close to us. The other boys had their faces dug into the sand and each had two agents with knees smashed into their backs thus holding and securing them.

I wondered why Peggy was holding me securely around my upper arm. "You have a little cut that is oozing blood, honey. Just stay still."

What she didn't tell me at the time was that I had a deep gash and that I'd been bleeding profusely from it. It did dawn on me that the blood on her was somehow mine.

The paramedics arrived and began working on me. I said, "My wife is pregnant... take care of her."

One of the paramedics, one that I'd seen before said, "Mr. Blake your wife is just fine. We're going to be doing a lot of things for you so don't be alarmed. We'll get you to the hospital. By the way, I remember you because my partner and I took care of your son Angel a few weeks ago."

I looked him in his eyes and recognized him. He was one of the good guys. I felt comforted knowing Peggy was okay and he was taking care of me.

The rest was a haze.

*-* Peggy's POV *-*

I was permitted to ride with Jim in the ambulance. Fugi told me that he'd make sure our vehicle got home. He also suggested that he'd contact the boys. I told him not to, not yet because there was nothing they could do. I planned to call Jeremy once we arrived at the hospital, and after we knew something definitive.

Dr. Blackwell, a well respected trauma surgeon, took Jim's case because his partners Drs. Miller and Borkwin were still in surgery, and would be in surgery for several more hours.

Jim had a major laceration that ran from the base of his neck to the middle of the outside of his upper arm. Two arteries had been nicked through and through. Dr. Blackwell was more concerned because Jim could not move his arm thus the thought was that several nerves had been cut. Immediate, urgent surgery was necessary. Dr. Blackwell, when I asked how long Jim's surgery would last, assured me that the procedures would take quite some time and even longer because of the suspected nerve injuries.

When he was wheeled into surgery Fugi whisked me home. I showered, changed clothes and then was taken to my boys at Horace and Alice's house.

When I entered their home all my boys came to me and listened intently while I informed them that their dad was undergoing emergent surgery because of an injury to his arm and the skin on his scalp. Antoine, seeing sand burns on my face, did not accept nor appreciate my holding back critical crucial information. They relaxed, somewhat, when I told them that I was okay and that their dad was going to be, in time, okay. Naturally, they were very, very upset and angry that their father had injured. I did not tell them that security was absent, and that they'd been slow to react and respond when they did arrive. I'd deal with that later myself.

Juan arrived. He'd investigated. He reassured us the incident was isolated, and not a part of any organized activity. Antoine was livid. Benji was concerned with Jim's treatment. He said he felt like another son to Jim. That brought tears to my eyes, and then I broke down because Jason and William said the same thing.

Antoine left the room but not before saying he was going home. He didn't wait for me to reply. I wondered where he really was going, and what he would do when he got there. The thugs were in jail, or the morgue. Still...

I called Maria to tell her to prepare a quick lunch for us since we'd have to leave very soon.

Antoine was home however he was naked in his flower garden, kneeling and facing east. His clothes were on the table. I didn't really want to interrupt his meditation but at the same time knew I had to talk with him. Jeremy was with me. He whispered, "Mom, let him be for awhile. This has hurt him more than you'll ever know."

Jeremy led me into the kitchen. Maria had fixed sandwiches of cold cuts and fruit. I picked and gnawed at a few celery and carrot sticks, took a bite of the sandwich, and then not able to withstand the absence of my son from the dinner table I took off for his garden. I sat down next to him. The boy had tears freely flowing down his cheeks, landing on the ground.

"Antoine, honey..."

My son's face was contorted with grievous emotional pain. When he looked into my eyes, I'd never before seen such a sad look on anyone's face. With his voice breaking, he said, "I have failed my family." Then he returned to his meditative state, ignoring my words of comfort, my words of praise for his worth, my words of love for him, and how he's a valued member of our family.

Just then Matt joined us. Matt sat down next to Antoine, put his hand on Antoine's shoulder and then whispered something into his ear.Antoine sat bolt upright and pushed Matt away then stood and walked to me. He said angrily, defeat written all over his young beautiful face, "I failed you and he who calls me son, my dad. I must go."

That said, Antoine turned to leave and took one step forward. I extended my hand to touch his face, to tell him that he was not a failure and never would be but Matt interrupted my thoughts. Matt looked to me, "Mother please leave. I'll talk to Antoine. You're stressed enough."

"Matt, I'm his mother. This is something I must help <I looked to Antoine> my son to work through."

Uncharacteristic, to counter my parental authority, for Matt, he said, "I am his bonded one. We must speak alone."

I felt myself getting hot. My maternal instincts rising quickly, I replied, "Antoine's my son. He is my bonded one. Antoine, you need to understand that I am with you no matter what. So is your dad. So is Matt. And so are your brothers. We need to talk." To Matt I said, "He who IS my son IS my son, and he always will be."

Antoine, seeing the rift between Matt and I, looked to me then to Matt then back to me, and then to the ground. His shoulders were shaking, his eyes were profusely leaking. He kept saying, over and over and over again, "I failed."

Then with a sob he stood and announced that he was leaving, never to return. Matt helped me to my feet.

Angrily, angrier than I'd even been in my life, I shouted, "Antoine, you stop right this minute. You will go nowhere. You will listen to me, and you will listen to your Chosen One, Your Mate for Life."

Antoine stopped dead in his tracks. He turned around and looked at me. He had this very disturbed, haunted look deep inside within his eyes. In vivid detail and fully colored I saw his shame and shattered heart and spirit.

With tears running down his own face, Matt said to Antoine, his soul mate, "There's nowhere you can run to. You are the person I love with all my heart and soul. There is nothing I won't do for you. You are my hero, Antoine. You alone gave me reasons to live when I was sick and dying. You alone saved my life when I was kidnapped because I was being a stupid ass, sorry mom. You led me to a healer. You also led David to the healer. Peter was healed. And... Angel... he too was healed. Not only that but our family bonds were formed and strengthened. Without you none of this would have happened. Without you I am nobody."

When Matt was finished, I said softly, "Antoine, do you remember when we talked about your adoption? We both said we'd not quit when the times got rough. Now is a rough time. You are a young man of your word. What's it going to be... are you quitting on me?"

"I failed you. I told you I'd leave if I ever hurt you. I am dishonorable."

"Son, you were in school. You had no way of knowing. You were doing exactly what you should have been doing. No doubt your brothers, Alice, Jason and William were safe in your presence. I want you to do something before you go..."

Antoine looked up first to me then to Matt. "I am listening."

"Honey, wait until you've had the opportunity to speak with your dad. You owe him that much. Don't leave before talking to him."

"I am ashamed." My son said dejectedly. He got up and headed into the house but Matt's words, "Mom, I need to talk some sense into him. And well, I may add a few colorful words... if you don't mind that is..."

I looked to Matt. His eyes had that caged tiger look in them. He wasn't going to go down easily. He wasn't going to quit. Neither was I.

Silently, I got up and walked into the house. I shut the French doors to afford them their privacy.

Everybody looked at me expectantly. I shrugged my shoulders, "Matt's going to talk to him. We'll all go out in a few minutes."

"She's right you know. You're quitting. What the fuck am I supposed to do? I mean my life started when you and I became bonded. Is this how we're supposed to end? JUST LIKE THAT?" <I said snapping my fingers>. "Well, fuck that shit. I ain't giving up."

I reached to my man to kiss him, to give him a token of my undying commitment. He permitted the kiss but didn't return it. "What would your Sensei say?"

When Antoine didn't answer, I retrieved his phone from the table, searched his address book then pressed speed dial #6.

Sensei's voice, I knew it well from our experiences though sounding a bit weak and shaky, said, "Hello."

"Hi Sensei, this is Matt Blake."

"Oh hello, Matt. Did you get home okay? I heard of a large storm out over the Pacific Ocean?"

"Yes sir, we arrived home though the landing was a bit rough so to speak..." I said but Sensei interrupted me by saying, "That was a close one."

"Yes sir."

"I am honored that you would call me. To what do I owe your cherished communication?" Sensei asked with concern in his voice.

I looked to Antoine. His eyebrows had lifted as soon as the connection with his Sensei was made. I said to Sensei, "Mom and dad were assaulted on the beach today. Dad's in surgery... and well Antoine is taking it... he feels responsible because he was NOT THERE to defend them."

"I see. This is highly unusual for a boy of his magnitude. His demeanor is such that he would have defended his parents' honor at all costs, including his death if necessary... let me speak to him, if he's available."

"He's right here." To Antoine, "Babe, your Sensei is on the phone. Maybe he'll talk some sense into your thick head." I handed him the phone. Slowly, he took it from my hand then put it to his ear, "Speaking with you is my honor, Sensei."

I leaned over, kissed Antoine on his forehead then took off for inside the house so that his conversation would remain private, but he took my hand in his and urged me to sit next to his side.

While my babe was talking to his Sensei, his mentor I helped Antoine into his underwear and shorts, taking a moment to kiss his maleness quietly resting against those two orbs of flesh we both like to play with in less stressful times.

*-* Antoine's POV *-*

After Matt handed me the phone I realized my Matt was my lifeline, my bonded one, the one who shares the most intimate connection with me as a human, as a spiritual being, our bond complete. Then why was I pushing him away? What right did I have?...

I raised up twice as Matt urged on my underwear and shorts. I then took Matt's hand in mine and squeezed firmly.

Sensei spoke, interrupting my thoughts, "No child, the honor is solely mine. To what honor and privilege do I owe your phone call to me?"

I felt my reserves crumbling. My Sensei, this man who I'd known since I was a very small child, said that the call Matt had initiated was an honor and privilege? I did not see it that way. At first I saw Matt's call to Sensei as an invasion but then that was not true. Being truly bonded we held no secrets. I looked to Matt. His eyes held nothing short of total and complete love, support and caring. My reserves became nearly nonexistent.

I said to Sensei, "My father has been injured and is undergoing western medicine surgery because I was not there... and I should have been there to defend his honor and his and mom's physical being. I was not. My mother, her face... she suffered abrasions. She is afraid."

"Ahhhhh, so, you were not in their presence, so therefore... we will back up Antoine-son. Were you in your designated place which was where?" Sensei said softly yet firmly.

"But, I should have been with them..." I replied defeat oozing from every pore of my being then added, "I was in school Sensei. We are home schooled."

"I see. You were in your designated location then, correct?" Sensei asked solemnly.

"Yes sir."

"Why do you carry guilt? Why do you carry shame? Neither are yours to carry, Antoine-son. Your parents would have been worried for your safety had you not been in your designated place, yes?"

"Your assumption is correct. I would have defended them to my death. But because I was in the correct location at the correct time..."

The realization overtook me like a large rock rolling down a mountain side and stopping at a place much harder than the rock itself, causing it to shatter in a million pieces. At the moment of realization Benji appeared, walked to me and put his hands on my head and held me to the area of his belly just beneath his rib cage. Any remaining thimble of reserve left at that point in time, right then and there. I said to Sensei, "I must go to my mother and father. Their forgiveness will complete the circle. Thank you for talking with me. I see now. I shall endeavor to honor my parents by being with them in their time of need."

Sensei said very quietly, "Antoine-son, their time of need has passed. Be their son first and foremost. This is the honorable thing to do."

"Yes, yes I see now. Thank you. Goodbye Sensei, I must go to she who calls me son and whom I call mother, and to they who call me brother and friend."

"Yes, yes. Allow yourself to be their child. Be well. I must go now." Click.

I clicked the phone which finalized our call. I looked to Matt and then to Benji, "Our parents need us as their children."

Benji urged me to stand. When I stood he pulled me into a hug, Matt sandwiched behind me. I looked up and saw my family waiting expectantly. I walked to she who calls me son and to whom I call my mother, "My mother, I could not have been with you in your time of need, but I am here for you now. Please forgive my selfishness and for giving you reasons to be sad, disappointed and hurt because of my absence and disrespect."

"Honey, you did not disappoint me. You did worry me for taking this onto your shoulders alone. The best thing we can do right now is to go to the hospital to be with your father and my husband, my bonded one."

I nodded solemnly then pulled mom into a deep, deep hug. She returned it with her own. Our family then engaged in a group hug. Energies passed to, from and through each one of us. Our resolves complete we went to the hospital then were shown to the surgery waiting room where we waited for news of dad's surgery.

Approximately 2 hours later, a man, who appeared to be dad's age, entered the waiting room and said to mom, "I'd like to go to a conference room. Jim's surgery is complete. He is doing fine."

We arrived in the conference room. Dr. Blackwell first identified himself to us then wasting no time said, "Mr. Blake's laceration to his neck and shoulder was deep. As you know two large arteries were cut through and through. We were able to repair them without difficulty. We were also able to repair the muscles without difficulty. Thankfully, the knife that he was cut with was very sharp. We were able to find the nerves and repair them too. I feel he will do very well though he will require significant physical therapy to regain full use of his extremity. Was he right handed?"

Mom said, "No, he's left hand dominant thank God."

David asked, "When can we see him?"

"I would say within the next hour or so. He's in the recovery room. He's waking up and is talking coherently. We'll be moving him to his room shortly. The staff will require a few minutes to get him settled in and comfortable."

Standing, Benji spoke, "I must see him immediately, please. I can help with pain management without using western narcotic drugs."

Dr. Blackwell said with authority, "I'm sorry. That is not possible. Also, visitation is permitted only for people over the age of 16... hospital rules. Are there any other questions?"

Benji sat. Clearly, he was unhappy yet respectful of the rules.

Mom stood. She said, "Dr. Blackwell, thank you for operating on my husband. Would you please ask Dr. Miller or Dr. Borkwin if they would come visit with us? They are our regular physicians and they traveled far with us. They both participated in my sons' healing."

"Oh sure, no problem. They are just about finished with their operations. I'll let one or both of them know you wish to consult with them. They are my partners. They were also my professors. I learned all I know from their expertise, patience and desire to teach medical students." Dr. Blackwell said genuinely. I immediately felt comfortable with him and knew that dad had received the best medical care possible.

With that, Dr. Blackwell left leaving us alone. Mom said mischievously, "Rules are made to be broken."

As predicated, a nurse entered the room and advised mom that she could see dad but we needed to stay put. When the nurse left the room mom looked at Benji then me. She nodded knowingly. We went to dad's room.

He was mostly sleeping when we entered but quickly awoke when he felt our presence. He looked to me. His eyes bored holes into my soul. He said, "Everything's okay. Don't blame yourself for something you had no control over. This is not your fault."

I walked to dad. With tears in my eyes I said, "Father, I would have..."

"No, don't go there Antoine. The important thing is that you are here right now. All we have right now is this moment."

Just then dad grimaced as a muscle spasm shook and tore through his body. Mom said to dad, "I'm going to get the nurse so you can get a shot for the pain. You're probably having muscle spasms from injured nerves." She looked to Benji then to me and added, "It might take me a little while. You know how busy nurses can get at times..."

Benji looked at me then to mom. He nodded. Mom blinked her eye then left the room leaving us alone with dad. Dad had fallen back into a drug induced sleep.

For the next hour Benji and I held dad's hands, Benji his left hand and me his right. Benji grimaced several times. I felt dad's pain also. I saw the raw nerve endings feeding his arms, and I felt his fear that he'd only be a partial human being... many of the same feelings I'd experienced with David, Matt and Peter.

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