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The Light

by Joe Writer Man

Chapter 71

*-* Meanwhile... back Home on Maui, as told by Jeremy *-*

Previously, Chapter 70

"I'm all over it Jeremy. Thanks for calling me." Fugi said proficiently, urgently. He then terminated the connection.

I started to break down, my strength and reserves fading quickly but then the break down ceased when I heard the door to the garage open and the sounds of two women laughing and carrying on.

With resignation taking over, I exited dad's office and quickly made my way to the kitchen where mom and Maria were standing talking.

They took one look at me... that's when I lost it. Mom quickly walked over, pulled me into her, rubbed my face with her hand, and then asked me what was wrong...

I somehow gathered up my wits and told them all I knew about what was going on with Peter and dad.

Peggy stood up from the bar stool where she'd been sitting and listening to me explain all I knew about the situation and how I'd called Fugi. Evenly, she said, "David, Antoine, get yourself a change of clothes together. I'm going to make arrangements for us to fly up to Honolulu."

"I'll do it Peggy. I know the passwords and stuff. Four for Honolulu as soon as possible, right?" I said.

"That's right. Okay boys, let's do it."

I logged into our travel account and made online arrangements for us to fly to Honolulu. It was the last flight until morning. Once the itinerary was ready I sent the document to the printer in dad's office, snatched it up, and took it to the bar where Peggy's purse was located then headed up to my room to pack a change of clothes for David but he was already in his room. He was a mess. Immediately, I sat down on the bed, pulled him in for a hug and whispered, "It's going to be okay. Right now he needs for us to be strong."

David quickly rubbed the tears from his eyes then headed to his dresser where he gathered a bunch of stuff and put the garments into a gym bag, sat the satchel on his and Peter's bed then got dressed.

"I should have been there, Jeremy. What the fuck is wrong with me? I should have insisted." David said while sitting back down on the bed next to me. I put my arm around his shoulders, pulled him in close, and tried to figure out the right words to say.

Not finding a correct set of words to say that would bring any kind of peace and solitude, I just said from the top of my head, "Maybe you should have gone. Maybe I should have gone too. Maybe all of us should have gone to be with him. We didn't though. Now we have to be strong and support him. So let's get our shit together and do just that."

David said, "He wasn't okay this morning. He was upset, worried... it was like he knew something bad was going to happen with the whole fucking situation... I tried to relax him..."

"I know you did everything you could. The thing about it is that we deal with now, what's happening right now. We're gonna have to be strong. I know it's gonna be tough, but we have to. Can you do this?"

"Yeah, let's get moving. You're right... for a change." David said. Normally, his words for an invitation for some good, friendly, brotherly bantering about but the situation said differently. Instead, I turned his face toward mine. We kissed briefly and then I headed for Matt and Antoine's room. Antoine was just finishing up with getting his shit together.

With a cold steely voice Antoine said, "You know somebody's going to pay for this, don't you?" He wasn't really asking instead he was telling me. The look in his eyes scared me for a minute... I'd never seen him with that much determination... the person or people was already indicted.

I said, "Don't Antoine. You don't even know, for sure, what's going on. Be cool. Peter and dad are going to need you to be strong for them, but not all crazy and shit. Just keep it right here and now. Deal with the other stuff later. Are you guys ready?"

Reluctantly, Antoine nodded and then grabbed hold of his travel bag, looked into my eyes and said, "Thanks, bro. I'm not going to anything stupid. When my family gets hurt, whoever it is will pay."

"Let the legal system handle it." I said weakly, realizing what I'd just said.

Antoine angrily replied, "Yeah, that's what started this whole fucking mess." With that said he added, "Trust me... if they fuck up then some heads are going to roll.

I shivered in my skin. I said, "Bro, if they don't handle it them I'm with ya all the way because they can't get by with what they did. But we've got to handle it right."

My bro noticeably relaxed and then stuck his hand out to bump knuckles. Instead, I pulled him into a hug and squeezed firmly. When we parted we both stood there for a moment. I had a desire to kiss his lips to just show him how much I loved him, supported his need to get to his lover, and to make sure justice was served... in the right way. Antoine nodded then headed out of his room and into the hallway. He stopped, turned around to face in my direction. Our eyes met. We closed the distance between us, hugged deeply once again, and then we kissed. The touch was electrifying, for both of us.

In companionable silence we headed downstairs where the family was gathered.

Allen said to Peggy, "We'll hold the fort down until you get back. Give Peter our love and a great big hug, and tell him we love him." To Antoine he added, "They need you, Antoine. Don't do anything stupid."

Antoine replied, with steel in his voice, "My brother's been hurt."

With that said he headed to the garage, waiting for no one. Once he was out the door, Peggy asked, "What's going on?"

I replied, "I think he's okay. We had a little talk upstairs. He's very upset about this whole thing but I think his head is on straight."

"I'll talk to him. Can you take us to the airport?"

"Sure thing. Let me get my wallet... I'll be right back. We've gotta get a move on it." I handed her the itinerary then took off to my room, taking two and three steps at a time. I grabbed it off of my dresser then went flying downstairs. By the time I arrived they were loaded into my truck waiting to go.

We made it to the airport in record time, much to Peggy's dismay with my driving but didn't say a whole lot because time was tight.

After hugs and kisses were given and received, they disappeared into the terminal, leaving me, Allen and Angel watch them go.

Angel said, "I wish we were going."

Allen replied, "Yeah, me too. We'll call them later, okay?"

With that said, with his suggestion being agreed upon we took off. We drove off then parked in the satellite parking drive way and watched a plane take off... since it was the last inter-island flight I knew it was them. I said a silent prayer asking that they be taken care of, that they be safe, and then ended up saying another prayer for Peter, Matt and dad.

We then headed home but not before stopping at a BK for hamburgers and fries.

Later, after arriving home, Peggy called to say that they'd arrived fine and were staying at the Hilton on the strip.

Not 5 minutes after hanging up from talking to Peggy, Richard called on the house phone and advised us they were staying at the Grand, that Peter and Matt were cuddled up and sleeping soundly.

I called Peggy and passed on the information Richard had provided.

Knowing that there really was nothing more that could be done than was being done, we went to the pool, stripped down and swam several laps before getting out, going inside then after setting the alarm system we headed to my room where we showered together and then piled into my bed.

After a satisfying jerk-off, I fell asleep. From the way Allen and Angel were acting, I was sure that they wanted more than a circle jerk but sleep overcame my body before I could tell where that would lead to.

I vaguely recall waking up sometime later. All I'd heard was some heavy breathing and then sleep quickly returned.

After arriving in Honolulu, after getting the rental vehicle the first order of business was to get something to eat so we stopped at a fast food joint. The boys' eyes were glazed over; stomachs were making their presence known in no uncertain terms. One of the things Jim had told me about child abuse is that the worst kind is to leave a teenagers belly empty and begging for food.

Although they didn't seem interested in eating, no sooner had we sat down than they began wolfing down without abandon. I was hungry too, hungrier than I'd thought.

Satiated, at least for the evening, we headed to the hospital to see Jim.

On the way there Richard called to provide a status update on Peter and Matt. He said they were sleeping peacefully on the sofa in the room, cuddled together.

I seriously thought about going to see them but did not because I wanted them to sleep for as long as they could.

Upon arrival at the hospital we were told, in no uncertain terms, that visiting hours were over, that we'd have to return the following day, and that because we were not officially family then they could provide no information on whether or not Jim was even in the hospital.

That did not settle well for me.

Promptly, I pulled from my purse my nursing license and ID badge which showed them I was an employee of the university health system.

Their attitude changed dramatically, for the better. Not only did we receive Jim's room number but we also escorted there with dignity, respect, and was done prompt without fanfare.

Jim was sound asleep. Only the bathroom light was on so I couldn't really see him. As I moved to the side of his bed, in the din of light I saw that his face was largely covered by ice bags, only his nose was sticking out. He was snoring up a storm, interrupted only by a few occasional gasps every now and again. I wasn't worried about his breathing; it was pretty typical of a patient under heavy sedation.

With hesitation David walked over to the side of the bed next to me and peered into his dad's face. Jim did one of his gasps... which caused David to jump back for a brief second. I took hold of his hand and joined it with his dad's.

Immediately, Jim stopped snoring, cleared his throat and asked, "Who's that? What are you doing?"

David replied, "It's me dad, it's David. Peggy and Antoine are here too."

"David? Why are you here? Why aren't you in school? We'll be home tomorrow..." Jim said questioningly, then his whole demeanor changed, "Where's Peter? What happened to him? I've got to get him out of there. Big misunderstanding. Peggy, get my clothes."

With that said Jim pulled off the ice bags, reached for the bed controls and turned on the overhead lights.

I gasped at seeing the extent of the bruising on his face. "Jim, calm down. David and Matt are with Richard. They're staying at the Grand. We're here for support as you've both been through quite an ordeal today."

"I don't care about me. Did Peter get out of jail?"

"Yes he did. Richard, from what I could tell, got him out. It all went down pretty late so they're staying at a hotel until morning."

"But why are you boys here? I don't understand. You have school." Jim said amazed and surprised, at the same time, that his son would travel to the hospital on a school night.

David said, "Dad, I have to be here. You're my dad, and Peter's my, he means everything to me."

Jim replied, "I'm glad you're here, but you don't need to be, I'm going to be okay."

"I do too need to be here! What happened to you? I mean, you got the shit, sorry Peggy, dad, who did you fight with?"

Jim quietly contemplated what he was going to say next. That worried me a bit because he's always so open about things. When he did speak, there was a trace of hesitation in his voice, "I fell down the stairs at the courthouse. It's a long story but we got a break in Peter's case, and well I was excited..."

I said, "I still don't know what happened, Jim. Did you hit your face or something when you fell down... that must have been a sight... a grown man falling down stairs?"

"Dad, what happened?"

Jim squeezed David's hand, and through his beat and battered eyelids replied, "It was all a huge misunderstanding... Richard and I were talking about Peter's case when we were at breakfast... the boys were there... Peter got upset that we were talking about him and not including him... he ran out of the restaurant... I went after him... he went off on me... I'm afraid I got pretty darned mad at him for the language he was using and the disrespect for an adult..."

After a pause Jim continued, "I'm afraid that Peter flipped out. He started hitting me, and despite my best attempts he was able to connect... several times... he was arrested. I don't know what happened to him after the arraignment. All I know is that a homeless person, who hung around courthouses a lot, I suspect, found a loophole that would get Peter out of jail... I was running down the courthouse stairs when I tripped and fell... here I am."

"Did you hit Peter, dad?"

"No, but I was defending myself... he flipped, David.

"I don't understand why he did that. That's so not like him. Something had to set him off... are you sure you didn't... I mean what got him going?"

"David, I got very angry with his disrespect and cursing me... you know how I get when that happens... he could have, I suppose, thought that I was going to hit him... the thing is that he wouldn't stop, and in fact broke free and was headed into traffic, which scared me." Jim said then continued after a brief pause, "Where is he? I need to talk to him. We need to get this straightened out."

I replied, "Jim, he's with Richard in another hotel. We're going to go see him in the morning. Richard was able to get him to sleep."

"Good, then bring him up here in the morning. Drag him here, if need be. Call Fugi, he'll talk some sense into the boy if you can't." Jim said decisively.

David replied, "I'll make sure he gets here. I need to know what happened too, you know."

"Okay, you guys get yourselves a room. Did you eat? What time is it?"

I spoke up, "We've eaten. It's 10:30 at night. We'll stop and see Peter first thing in the morning and then bring him here."

"Okay... tell him I'm not mad but we need to talk about this."

"Dad, you're not going to send him away, right?"

"No way. But we need to work this out. It's serious, David. It's very serious."

"Okay dad, I just needed to know. I love you." David said while leaning down to gently hug his father, and then he kissed his forehead.

I motioned to Antoine that his presence was needed, and wanted, even though Jim hadn't asked for it.

My son did walk to the bed. He leaned down and whispered something in Jim's ear. Jim's expression, even bruised and battered, changed dramatically. He pulled Antoine down to his face and whispered something into Antoine's ear. Antoine's eyes popped wide open in surprise. And so on and so forth three times. When their communication was finished, Jim pulled Antoine's head down and kissed his cheek, which Antoine returned in kind.

After David provided Jim his affections he and Antoine walked to the door then with but a moment's hesitation left the room, leaving Jim and I alone.

"Peggy, what really happened?"

"Jim, I don't know exactly what happened. When I talked to Richard he said the matter was under investigation. He also said that no charges are being filed against your son. We'll know more tomorrow."

A nurse entered and gave Jim an IV dose of Morphine, which put him out like a light. I leaned down, kissed Jim on the forehead then took off to see where the boys had gone to.

They were quietly sitting in the waiting room, rose up from their seats, and then we headed down to our vehicle, with a hospital staff escort. The acting administrator apologized for enforcing procedure, and hoped we weren't angry or anything negative like that.

Under the circumstances, already knowing hospital procedure for after visiting hour visitations, I totally understood their procedures, and said so. All and all we worked out the misunderstandings and went about our ways.

We got a room at the Hilton on the beach. The boys were quiet, subdued, and were not easily engaged in conversation.

The room had two spacious bedrooms in addition to a large living room and kitchen, so after fixing myself a drink, I went off to one of the rooms, closed the door and made myself at home, leaving them to talk between themselves.

I had just started flipping channels when a light knock on the door interrupted surfing. I got up, answered the door and saw David standing there wiping tears away from his eyes.

I drew him into a hug and held on while he shared his emotions. Nothing needed to be said. I was quite upset too but held my emotions in check so that I was there and strong for the boy in my arms.

From my days of nursing, of watching after kids who were in their darkest days, I found his comfort level with sharing his deepest emotions moving.

I looked up and saw Antoine observing our interactions. When our eyes met he nodded then headed for the bathroom. Soon, the shower water began running.

David began coming back, issuing a shudder every now and again. I pulled him in and hugged his shoulders very tight. "You're okay, David. Honey, there's nothing you could have differently. We'll get through this. We'll come back stronger, trust me."

"I guess." David offered. He then walked to the end table, retrieved Kleenex which he used to wipe tears from his eyes, and to blow his nose.

He took in a deep breath and then exhaled it rapidly, like it gave him a new strength to forage on. As he walked by, I reached up, kissed his cheek and patted his lower back.

He then walked into the main room, knocked on the bathroom door, and then entered and closed the door behind him.

Twenty or so minutes later both boys exited the bathroom door with towels wrapped around their midsections, and with their hair still dripping and disheveled. Their demeanor had drastically changed though... instead of being sullen and depressed they were smiling.

Both boys walked over and David spoke first, "Peggy, I need to talk to Peter, tonight, right now. He needs me."

"Get your cell phone, call him, say hey and just let him lead the conversation after you tell him you love him no matter what he did or will do. Go ahead call him." I said then got up and went outside on the terrace, watching the shimmering lights way before disappearing into the ocean.

I walked into the room that Antoine and I would be sharing, pulled out the cell phone from my pants pocket then sat down on the bed and pressed #1 SEND.

It rang 5 times then went to voice mail. His message "Hi, you have reached Peter. Please leave a message." BEEP, was clear and concise using his sexy voice. I shuddered and once again felt tears well up in my eyes but I remained strong and replied happily (happier than I felt), "Hi, it's me. I called to tell you that I love you and will be with you no matter what. Call me. I love you." Click.

Morosely, I went outside to be with Peggy. She looked at me expectantly, "It went to voice mail. I told him I loved him, twice, and that I would be with him forever."

"Don't worry, he knows you love him. The feelings are mutual, you know. I think you boys should get to bed and get some sleep. Tomorrow promises to be a long day. Get some rest, okay?" Peggy said.

After a generous round of hugs, Antoine and I headed off to the room where a large king-sized bed awaited our presence, and closed the door behind us.

Unabashedly our towels fell to the floor leaving two very naked boys standing over those pieces of cloth. In a normal amount of time we donned our nylon-silky soft running, pulled the covers down then got in, arranged the covers so that they were comfortable, and then just laid there and relished the quiet, interrupted only by our breathing.

Antoine reached up, turned off the light and then settled in and immediately went to sleep. I laid awake for quite a long time before entering dreamland myself.

I was awoken some time later. My shorts were soaking wet, my loins felt like they'd experienced a colossal orgasm yet I could not recall any such dream, and in fact had not, at all, felt horny when I had gone to bed. I shucked off those running shorts, wiped up with some Kleenex, rolled over and fell back to sleep.

*-* Wednesday, Peggy's account *-*

After lying awake most of the night, replaying events over and over and over again, I finally fell asleep so when the alarm began buzzing at 5:30 I groaned groggily.

After hitting the snooze button twice, 8 minutes apart, I dragged my butt out of bed, put on my housecoat, then headed to the common bathroom. I opened the boys' door. They were both sound asleep. Antoine was spooned up against David's back with his arms draped on David's chest and under his arms. I didn't bother to wake them up, thinking they could get a few more winks while I took my shower and put my face on.

Then I noticed something that caught my breath. The bed was moving. Rhythmically. As if they were having sex. As if they were caught in the moment. Yet they knew not that I was standing in the doorway watching. Neither woke up. Neither was aware of what was happening. I debated... I debated on leaving, and decided to head on to the bathroom but before I could go a slight grunt emanated from the room. David was definitely being jiggled, and then stillness ensued.

I headed on to the bathroom where I got undressed and entered the shower.

After drying off, brushing my teeth and putting on makeup I exited the bathroom and entered the living area where both boys were sitting watching the morning news. Both boys had towels wrapped around their midsections, though their legs were wide open thus exposing their male glands and butt cracks from a frontal view.

I'd seen both of their stuff before so it wasn't any big deal though the sight of them humping, at least Antoine had been humping, remained in my mind. There was no need to say anything about what I'd seen. I'd just not seen a boy having a wet dream before. Neither had been awake, and neither seemed to have shame or guilt about their bodies. So many kids are ashamed of what they have that they are cold and closed in their minds.

Seemingly, even though nobody said anything or was even paying attention, both boys, at the same time, closed their legs, and continued watching the TV. I shrugged my shoulders, smiled inwardly, and then headed to the kitchenette where I fixed a cup of coffee and sat down at the table where a newspaper was waiting. The boys were chattering, talking away about this and that, though I couldn't really understand what they were saying to each other.

At 7:15am, I announced it was time to get ready for the day. Both boys anxiously arose from their seats on the sofa. David's male gland was standing straight out... his towel had fallen off. He quickly looked back over his shoulder and saw that I had seen what he probably didn't want me to see. His face turned red. I chuckled.

Antoine, meanwhile, while shielding his front side allowed his towel to slip down just enough for me to see the top of his crack.

"Okay, boys, that's enough of that." I chuckled. They headed off to the room they'd shared and disappeared.

We headed down to the restaurant but David said, "Let's go get Peter and Matt. They're probably hungry too."

Why didn't I think of that?

Their hotel was within walking distance which made the trip short, and besides that the exercise was good for us.

I'd written a note on my phone when I'd talked to Richard the night before. They were in room 1100. The elevator quickly took us to the floor. Instead of the door opening, a woman's automated voice said to press the buzzer, that authorization was required from the parties inside.

The buzzer was quickly answered, "Yes."

"Hello, this is Peggy Hilyard, David Blake, and Antoine Garza. We're here to see..."

The elevator doors opened before I could finish.

The door opened out into a massive suite. A fully dressed Richard was standing in the doorway. He smiled nervously then motioned for us to enter, which we did.

Antoine and David looked all around from where they were standing, looking for the loves of their lives.

Richard said, "Hi guys, there are two people who need to see you. They've been camped out on the floor in front of the TV since they arrived last night. Peggy, can I talk to you for a moment first, in private?"

The boys looked at me. I nodded, they didn't have to ask for my approval yet they did, I wondered why. They then took off to search for their loved ones. I got this tremendous sense of dread by just looking at Richard's face. I tried to look away, but the grave nature of his expression fully took hold of my senses. He looked toward another room in the suite then quickly looked back to me and said, "Peggy, Peter was brutally attacked in his cell yesterday evening. I'm sorry."

When he said nothing further, with rage taking hold of me, I spat angrily, "Just what the hell do you mean he was brutally attacked?"

Without even waiting for an answer, I took off in the direction the boys had headed to. It didn't take long for me to find them. They were all huddled together in a mass of arms and legs. Then I saw who was in the center of them... it was Peter. He was being held in a cocoon. The look on Antoine's face told me that had I been a stranger then my very life would have been in absolute mortal danger. There was no doubt in my mind, all doubt of what he was capable of was erased in that very brief slice of time. An icy cold shiver ran up then down and then back up my spine. The chill settled in my eyes, I felt it congeal into a mass of ice cold slush. I tried to cry but the fire in my belly and heart would not permit the tears to become reality, they evaporated before they could form.

At the same time, my heart was gushing blood. With everything that was happening inside of me I had no doubt that the blood was gushing without any direction whatsoever.

Motherly instinct took over. Yet I was confused. Richard had said that Peter had been brutally attacked yet his arms and the top of his head, the only body parts I could see of him, were unscathed, or they appeared to be.

By then, the brief but very real look of hatred had left Antoine's face. He noticeably relaxed, closed his eyes, and then the look of hatred was immediately replaced by terror and sadness, one that I don't ever recall seeing on someone since 9-11. He nodded then whispered something into Peter's ear.

Peter sat bolt upright. I will never, ever, for a million years and a million years after that forget the haunted look in Peter's eyes. Despite Antoine's urgings for Peter to stay put in their loving arms, Peter stood up, hobbled to me and then very quietly said, "I'm sorry that dad got hurt; it's my fault."

His face then went neutral, as if he had no feelings whatsoever... the boy was dying inside right before my very eyes. He lowered his head like he was looking for a place on the plush carpet. I don't know why it is or was but my eyes followed his gaze downward... there was nothing there to see, other than a putrid green carpeted floor.

"Peter, your dad's okay. He wants to see you so he can tell you how much you're loved and cherished by him and your family. You two have something to work out but I can guarantee you that he doesn't hate you, and that he will not send you away. He loves you Peter, and so do I. It sounds like you got afraid. It sounds like you were fighting for your life. Your dad and I understand that, okay. Give yourself the opportunity to talk to him. I'm positive that you and he will work it out. Peter?"

Slowly, very slowly Peter looked up and into my eyes, and although he averted his gaze to someone behind me, I held steadfast, not ever letting my eyes wander away, even though I wanted to, just to see who was next to me. Finally, he did look back into my eyes when Richard stood beside me. I said to Peter, "May I hug you?"

Slowly but surely, Peter raised his arms and cupped his fingers as if he were going to grasp hold of something. That was my cue. I took the last remaining step and pulled him into my arms and held on snugly, tight but not bone crushing tight. He and I had hugged before... that one was not the same. His body was trembling, his nose was sniffling, and then he sneezed. Quickly he wiped his nose and mouth on his upper arm then returned to the hug.

Then just as quickly, he released the hug, walked over to David and pulled David's arm around him protectively.

Richard handed me a cup of coffee and said that he'd called room service for breakfast. David replied in a manner very unlike him, "No, we need to be alone, just Peter and our family." Antoine nodded but didn't say anything though he did look to me, for what? Approval? Yes that was it... he was asking for approval, like he didn't know what to do next.

"Yes, I think that is a very good idea. Thank you, Richard for the invitation but we're not going to take you up on it. We need to go. I hope that you and Jim will talk today."

"Yes, Jim and I have things to privately discuss." Richard replied quietly.

David asked Richard, "Can we use your restroom?"

"Yes, absolutely. Peter, Matt, will you please show David where it is. I will stay out here with your mother."

Antoine walked to me, put his arm around my back then whispered in my ear, "Mom, I think Peter needs you more than you know, and more than he's going to ask you for... right now."

I looked to Peter but he took hold of David's hand and led his love into a hallway. Peter looked at me, and waited to see what I would do.

I kissed Antoine's cheek then followed Matt and Peter into the bathroom and closed the door behind me. Matt said, "Peter, go ahead and show her. She needs to know."

Peter shook his head no then turned away, walked to the toilet, unzipped his pants and peed. He turned back around, faced me and then lowered his pants, sat down on the toilet seat as tears filled his eyes as he began doing that which needed doing.

I walked to him, knelt down and took his hand in mine, held it firmly while he moaned and groaned his discomfort. I knew then the manner in which he had been brutally attacked.

When he rested, I gently lifted his shirt up to inspect the incision. It looked fine. His pulse rate was okay. None of the signs and symptoms of shock were present so I wasn't all that worried about his physical well being although I did take the paper from him and cleaned him up. The paper had but a trace of what appeared to be blood on it, but certainly not enough to be alarmed about.

When that was finished I patted his back, helped him up then assisted his getting put back together.

"Do you want to take a shower, honey? I think it would be okay."

"No... I mean if you want me to then I will..."

I had so many questions to ask Richard.

"That's fine honey. Are you all finished in here?"

He turned around and flushed the toilet before inviting me in for another hug. I vowed right then and there that I'd never get enough nor be able to give enough hugs to that child.

A quiet knock on the door interrupted my thoughts. Matt answered it. Antoine entered the bathroom. He said, "Mom, all the tests have been done. We can go. Peter do you want us to give you a shower first?"

Peter nodded sheepishly, all the while looking at me for any sign of disapproval with his change of mind.

"Okay, I'll step outside and talk with Richard. I have a few things to ask him."

Just as I turned to leave the spacious bathroom Peter said softly, "Would you stay, please? Nevermind, you don't need to..."

To answer his question, I lowered to toilet seat and sat down.

With that, all 3 boys stripped down as if I weren't there... yet I was there and Peter knew it and was comforted by my presence. I just felt it in my heart and soul.

They were not quiet, that's for sure. They were even quietly laughing and carrying on like boys will do, or so I was learning.

Peter twice opened the door... just to see if I was still there. He was actually smiling. There was light in his eyes, I saw it, and I felt it too.

When they were finished I took great care to thoroughly towel the water off Peter, and then spent a good amount of time drying his hair. I then helped him into his shirt and began the manual process of straightening his mop the best I could with what we had to do it with – a bath towel of all things.

The mood had lightened considerably. By the time all were finished and dressed again, we were mostly back to 'normal', whatever normal means in the conventional sense of the word.

Peter seemed to be even more okay once we got out of the hotel though he got very skittish in the car on our way back to the hotel where we planned to eat breakfast.

After arriving, the valet took the car and we went inside directly to the restaurant where we decided to have the breakfast buffet. The boys loaded up plates and filled them with enough food to have probably feed half of Lower Manhattan. Not a morsel, not a crumb was left on their first go round of plates as they took off for second rounds.

While Peter had been very quiet, he was nevertheless warm and inviting, and into his soon to be brother Antoine, and was much attuned to his life mate, David.

When they came back, I left for another plate of fresh fruit and another cup of coffee.

When I returned, Peter was sitting in his chair shaking. David had a panicked look on his face. Antoine had a very, very concerned look on his face and Matt was glued to him.

"What's wrong?" I asked Peter very softly, as softly as I could possibly be.

"I asked Peter about yesterday, that's all." David said ashamedly.

"Peter, do you want to talk about it?"

Peter closed his eyes then drooled what appeared to be remnants of an orange out of his mouth and onto his wrinkled shirt.

"Come on boys. I think Peter needs to rest. Let's go upstairs to our room."

"Antoine, do you have your credit card?"

"Yes ma'am. I'll pay. Wait for me, okay?" Antoine asked imploringly.

I nodded affirmatively while he ran up to the maître without a check. He signed something then came right back over … no more than a minute had elapsed.

With Antoine on one side of Peter, and Matt on the other side, with David leading the way and me following up the rear, we slowly and quietly went up the elevator to our room. By then, Peter had recovered, somewhat.

After arriving in our room, I sat down on the edge of the bed, and then said, "Peter, honey come sit with me. I'm right here. I'm not going anywhere. David, come with him, okay."

They both sat down on the edge of the bed with me. I pulled them both into my arms. We sat quietly, just breathing in one breath at a time. Then Peter did something quite uncharacteristic of him: he put his face into my chest, began crying and clutching onto me as if his life depended on my support; I had no doubt that it did at that moment. We just went with the moment, savoring our closeness and togetherness, and support and needs for connection.

With tears running down his face and snot exuding from his nose he looked into my face with the saddest eyes I'd ever seen he said brokenly, "I need help. I hurt my daddy today. He does nothing except to support me and love me then look what I did." Peter then totally lost it. He was wailing his pain out, screaming and berating himself and hoping to die. He said so. He said that he wanted to die; I knew he wanted to … and would if we did not intervene.

David got angry, no, he wasn't angry … he was determined to do everything he could do to bring Peter back into the moment. He said the magical words when I could not think anything but 'clinical'. He said "Peter, nobody hates you. Dad does not hate you. We do not have hate in our blood. Hate is impossible in our family. What happened to make you think dad would hate you, or why do you think we will or would hate you?"

"Matt said I hit dad. Did you see him?" Peter said sniffling … then got quiet, his tears dried up, he looked at me blankly, and it was as if his lights to his soul were darkened.

Thinking quickly back to my psych nursing days, I thought of the psych guys I used to refer patients to. Hou came to mind immediately, but, he practiced in Maui the last I knew …

Not knowing who else to turn to, I said "Stay with Peter. Do not leave him from your sights. I'll be right back. I'm going to call a doctor friend of mine."

After going out on the terrace, I went through my cell phone but Hou's number was not in my address book so I called information that connected me directly with his office.

"This is Dr. Choi's office. This is Alexander, how may I help you?"

"This Peggy Hilyard, I need to speak with Dr. Choi, this is a very urgent matter."

"Dr. Choi has a moment before he goes into session. His client is here but I am sure he has a moment to talk to you. Just a second, please."

No more than one moment passed when the phone was picked up. "This is Dr. Choi, hello Peggy; it's been a long time. I thought you had left the Department of Health."

"Hello Hou. Yes, it's good to hear your voice again. It's been a while. I left public health a few months ago …I need a big favor, please."

"If I can, I'll help you, you know that."

"Hou, I have entered into a relationship with a wonderful man. He has two sons, and four adopted or soon to be adopted children. One of the boys, Peter, is in crisis, he's breaking with reality. <I walked out onto the balcony, closing the French doors>. Dr. Choi I suspect that Peter's been raped. This is the second time he's lost it in two days. Can we get an emergency consult, please?"

"Lost it? What do you mean? Please explain."

"Peter is detaching from reality. He's done it twice in two days; he is in detachment right now as we speak."

"Peggy, I have to ask this question... is he now safe? Is he in danger of being harmed?"

"Yes he is safe. And no, he is in no danger of being hurt. We are his family who love him."

"Yes, this does sound serious. Can you bring him in right away?"

"No, we are on Oahu on business. He's with me. I don't really know what else to do other than to take him to the hospital …

"You say he's 'breaking with reality', like he's almost a mannequin?" Dr. Choi asked inquiringly.

"His eyes went blank. He was emotionally there, and then he was gone. I just asked him what had happened … then he went away. His eyes are open but I can no longer see anybody home. He's broken away …"

"This is very serious. Do not, in any way, push him... I will tell you what Peggy, Alexander and I need a little vacation anyway. I will have him cancel my appointments for the rest of the week and we'll catch the next flight possible. Where are you staying?"

"We're at the Hilton, on Waikiki, room 716. I am going to take him and David down to the ocean – he always finds that resting and relaxing. Maybe he'll come back to us there."

(Meanwhile, as heard in the background … "Alexander, cancel the rest of my appointments for the rest of the week, book us to Honolulu, ASAP. We'll return on Monday.)

"Sorry Peggy … we'll get the next available flight. Don't try to move him. If he recovers and comes back, it will be damaging to him psychologically to 'wake up' somewhere he is not expecting. Do me a favor, book me a room as close to yours as possible. One bed is fine, Alexander is my life partner. Tell me, Peggy, is there someone he's particularly close to?"

"Yes, absolutely, he and David are inseparable. He's gay, Hou. I know you have no problem with that <very, very strained, very tight giggle>."

"His orientation is of no matter to me, Peggy. I'm gay too, so maybe that might even give me some credibility with him. Once we get through to him …"

David came out of the room then grabbed my arm, frantically saying "Peggy, Peter is sick to his stomach. God, I don't know what I can do … hurry!"

"Peggy, the nausea is a normal condition. May I please speak to David? I think he needs me almost as much as Peter needs him."

"Just a second." I said to Dr. Choi then quickly went into the room where Peter was hanging his head over his knees dry heaving. "David, this is Dr. Choi, he's a psychologist …" then handed the phone to David.

"Hello, who is this?" David asked frantically.

"Hello David. My name is Hou. I'm a doctor and a friend of Peggy's. I understand you have your hands full right now, but I need for you to listen to me if you want to help Peter, can you do that?"

"Anything. I love Peter with all of my heart … I'm losing him." David said apologetically, nervously, frantically. Then David began breaking down into controlled sobs, with tears leaking freely from his eyes.

"First thing is: you need to remain as calm as possible. When Peter comes back, if you are upset it will be bad for him. Do not leave him alone even for a minute. Talk to him, tell him how much you love him and how you will always be there for him. Can you do that, David?"

David dried up his eyes, took a deep breath then sat down on the bed, handed me the phone and then pulled Peter into his arms. Peter responded woodenly by laying his head into David's chest. "Peter, baby, I'm here. You're going to be okay. This is all going to work out, but please come back to me. I love you baby." <Sniffles>.

"David? Are you there?"

"No, this is Peggy, just a second I'll give him the phone."

At that moment, Antoine and Matt came out of the bathroom wearing towels. After seeing David and Peter sitting together on the bed they then quickly surrounded their brothers, or soon to be brothers.

Knowing that too many people can confuse, and perhaps even set Peter back I said softly "Boys, go get some clothes on then go down to the beach or downstairs. Do it now."

Peter looked up, saw them then became frightened and began shaking lightly. He covered his face then buried it into David's chest.

"David, are you still with me?" Dr. Choi said.

"Yes, but why are Antoine and Matt leaving … I need …" David began to say then Peter got violently sick to his stomach, tossing his cookies explosively. Worse yet, he pushed David away, so much so and so quickly that David did not have time to react and he fell on the floor.

David, as quick as he could, got up and off of the floor then looked at me with a crushing juggernaut of pain in his eyes, not physical although he could have been hurt ..., no his pain was emotional, his feelings were shattered into a number of pieces.

"Hou, here's David. Peter violently retched and pushed David onto the floor." I said softly after turning my head away from the boys.

"Yes, let me talk to him." Dr. Choi said seriously.

*** David and Dr. Choi

"Hello. You've got to help him, please. He is not the Peter I know. Please bring him back." David sniffled.

"I can tell you love him a great deal, and that is going to be very important for both of you. For now, understand that Peter needs you. Too many people can frighten him, so Peggy asked them to leave the two of you alone. Just hold him. Keep telling him how much you love him. Peggy is there, and I will be there in a few hours. I know you can do this."

"I'll try. I'll do anything." David said meaningfully.

"I know you will, hang in there David. Don't give up." Dr. Choi said firmly and caringly.

David handed me the telephone then pulled Peter into his chest, holding him tightly, whispering love, encouragement, assurance and care into Peters' ear. Peter immediately calmed down however his eyes were still vacant.

After putting the phone back to my ear I heard Dr. Choi say in the background, "Alex, forget commercial, book us a private jet ASAP! Destination: Honolulu. Hurry."

"Hou, water is very restful and relaxing to Peter, we have a Jacuzzi in the room so I'm going to run them a bath. I'll get you a room as soon as I get them settled in. Give me a call when you arrive at the airport then I'll get them out and dressed."

"That will be good, Peggy. Alexander is booking us a private jet. We should be there within the next 2 hours." Dr. Choi said convincingly.

"Okay, we'll see you soon. I cannot thank you enough."

"I look forward to seeing you again, Peter needs intervention; I'll do what I can, we all will."

I put the phone down on the bedside table then turned the Jacuzzi water on and got the temperature to very warm but not hot then went over to David and Peter, assisted getting them undressed and out of their soiled clothing. I put their clothing into a dry cleaners bag then tucked it away and out of sight.

By then, Antoine and Matt were dressed and heading out the door but before they left, I hugged them deeply. We said nothing. Nothing needed to be said right at that moment. I retrieved a credit card from the wallet in my purse then said to Antoine handing it to him, "Give me a call in an hour or so …" but then seeing the frightened and lost looks on their faces and in their eyes … but before I could change my mind Antoine said firmly, looking me intently into my soul "Mom, we want to help."

"I know sweetheart. Okay, let me check on him, I'll be right out. Trust me. I'll explain what is happening."

"Come on Antoine, I'll explain what happened yesterday." Matt said softly.

"No, wait, I want to hear what you have to say because you may very well provide what we need to know in order to help Peter. Go. I'll be out in a second." I said then kissed both boys on their cheeks and provided to them a love pat on their butts in an effort to break the tension. Antoine smiled wanly. Matt gave me a quickly toothy smile then they took off and sat on the stairs just outside of our room.

David and Peter were sitting on the bed. David was gently rocking Peter in his arms. When I got a washcloth to wipe Peter's face and hands, I lifted his chin so that I could see into his eyes. He was gone again. I kissed both boys on their foreheads then said to David, "Honey, I'll be back in a few minutes. I'll be just outside of the door on the stairs sitting with Antoine and Matt."

David nodded. I noticed that his leg had some remnants of Peter's illness so I went into the bathroom, rinsed the washrag then returned to David where I wiped his leg clean then tossed the washrag into the sink.

As I walked toward the door to leave, I saw clearly that David's eyes had a frightened, haunted look to them … why, I wondered, should a 14 year old boy look like that …? Why should a 14 year old boy have worry lines drawn on his face?

I had no answers. Then an answer came, it stood out in front of all others: David is deeply and irretrievably in love with his mate Peter.

By then, the water in the Jacuzzi was about a third full so I went outside to find Antoine and Matt standing together with their arms around each other. Both boys, I swore, also had worry lines on their faces. How can this be?

Rather than letting my emotions get to me, I put my professional hat on, went clinical for a moment … then that quickly went out the door when tears began running down Matt's cheeks. I went to him, drew him into a hug saying gently, "Matt, what happened yesterday? I'm going to stay quiet and listen, okay?"

Matt nodded. Antoine put his arm around Matt then kissed his cheek. Matt looked at Antoine deeply, then together they kissed their lips together.

Matt cleared his throat, wiped away the tears from his face with the sleeve of his long-sleeved shirt then began by saying, "Dad and the lawyers were talking, kind of like we weren't even there. The one attorney, I forget his name but dad knows him, said that the case is all, uhm well, up and that we will have a hard time with it."

Matt continued "Anyway, Peter got really pissed off then stormed out of the restaurant. Dad followed him out, they had some words out in the parking lot then Peter took off for the ocean. The lawyer, the big one, told me to stay put that he would, instead, go outside to see what was up. I told him basically to screw himself, that that was my dad and brother out there."

"I got out there just in time to see dad grab Peter to keep him from going across the busy street however Peter took off and went across anyway, nearly getting hit 3 times by cars whizzing by. I was screaming at him to come back but it was like, well, I don't think he heard me."

"By the time I got down there, dad had taken off after Peter then caught up with him. When I arrived, dad had a really hard hold on Peter's arm so that he could not get away, yet Peter did get away after dad raised his arm up …" Matt began lightly choking with what he was saying … I gave him all of the time he needed to regain his composure.

I reached out to Matt with my hand and caressed his cheek then said, "Go ahead, honey. This is crucial information that I need to have so that we can help your brother. I know it's hard, honey. I need to ask you a question first …"

Matt nodded affirmatively.

"Did Jim actually hit Peter?"

"No. But he was madder than hell … sorry … my mouth …"

I shrugged my shoulders and said "Just don't drop the bomb and we'll be okay …"

Matt looked into my eyes and continued, "Dad and I stood there for a minute, not really believing what we were seeing then I took off after Peter with dad on my heels. When I caught up to Peter, he was lying on the sand with his head buried, with his hands covering his face, he was shaking and crying but he wasn't saying anything that I could understand. It was then that I saw dad's face and how it had been pummeled... Peter did that... I didn't see him actually hitting dad... I should have known though... I had tripped a couple of times and went down when I was running because my legs got real tired, real fast, my hip was hurting, my legs were killing me and I was out of breath but I kept going as fast as I could. I really tried." Matt said as tears began running down his face. The look in his eyes told me right then and there that enough was enough. I took him in my arms, and then held him tightly as his body shook the pain he'd been holding inside.

Automatically, without invitation, Antoine gently pulled Matt into him and held him firmly; taking into account that Matt was quite sore from both his operation and the ordeal of the previous day.

At that time, I thought I'd had received enough information to begin to put the pieces back together but Matt continued after pulling himself together, "I got down on the ground with him, so did dad, I was so scared. Peggy, I couldn't reach my brother, no matter what I did or said. When I was lying with him, his cell phone rang but he didn't answer it."

"Anyway, when the phone rang again, a few minutes later, I answered it. It was David. He asked how things were, I said that we were in the middle of a shit storm, sorry … <I nodded for him to continue> … anyway, I put the phone to Peters' ear. He opened his eyes for a second then closed them up tightly again."

"A few seconds later, the cops came and put handcuffs on Peter. They basically pushed me out of away. They even pushed dad away but when they saw he'd been hurt then they took him to a picnic table and sat him down and began working on him. He was bleeding from his mouth and nose. It was horrible. I thought I was having a nightmare... but it was worse than a nightmare, I was seeing it all happen."

"After they cuffed Peter, despite me telling them that he'd had a big operation on his stomach, they roughly stood him up then led him to a squad car, pushed him, and then they took off... just like that. Heck, dad even tried to stop them. He pleaded with them to stop... but they wouldn't."

"I pushed through the crowd... they, but Peter was already gone... they were trying to keep me away from dad. Dad got up against their wishes, and sat me down next to him on the picnic bench. Anyway, dad signed some papers and we were permitted to leave."

I added, "They probably had him sign an AMA form. AMA is when a patient goes away against medical advice. Go ahead."

Matt nodded, "We returned to the restaurant, picked up our car then headed for the police station. The police station told us that Peter had been taken directly to jail, at the freaking courthouse so we tore out of there... God, dad was pissed... Dad parked the car then we took off inside looking for the lawyer dude. We found him drinking coffee with two other men."

"Dad's lawyer friend jumped up and went looking for Peter. He returned about 30 minutes later and said that Peter had been arrested for aggravated assault, that he was being held in a holding cell until arraignment, which was going to happen later on."

Matt looked into Antoine's face. Their lips kissed tenderly. Matt wrapped Antoine's arms around him, reached down and scratched his crotch and then continued.

"He showed dad the charge sheet. There were a bunch of charges... felonious assault, and other things I didn't catch. What caught my attention though was when that lawyer dude told dad that Peter would likely be spending the night in jail because bond was initially denied. Something about being a flight risk, or something, I don't remember."

"I hate to tell on dad, but we went down the back stairs to the smoking area. <Matt blushed heavily> Anyway, dad smoked two cigarettes back to back. The lawyer smokes too... I didn't know dad smokes..."

I piped up, "I didn't know either. That man!"

For the first time in some time we all smiled at Matt's indulging a secret.

Matt said, "Yeah... don't give him a hard time though. Okay... this is hard... so bear with me... the arraignment happened. The judge denied bail and ordered Peter to spend however long it took to get his case transferred to Maui – maybe 24 hours, maybe 48 hours; it just depended on a whole bunch of things... transfers, that's right."

"After it was over, they wouldn't let me or dad go see Peter before he was taken away. We watched him being led out of the courtroom. Peter turned around to look for us but they made him look forward and pushed him along... like he was a f-, sorry, criminal or something. It was terrible."

"The judge called the next case so we left with the attorney... oh, his name was Richard, how could I forget? Anyway, they talked for a while then Richard said he had some business to take care of and would try to get Peter freed on his own recognizance since he had no prior record."

"Dad and I went down and sat in the courtyard. We didn't talk about anything really important. I think dad was just figuring out what to do next."

"While we were sitting there, we saw Richard walk down the courtyard carrying a bunch of papers in his hand. He was walking aimlessly, not paying any attention to us. It was windy outside... anyway he tripped and those papers scattered all over the place... some of them even blew across the street toward the ocean. Dad got onto me because I thought it was funny... I guess it wasn't but I couldn't help it. Dad got up and helped Richard pick up as many of the papers as possible. Other people were helping out too."

Antoine reached into Matt's face and kissed his lips gently, just for a second. Matt took a deep breath and continued, "Okay, dad smoked 3 cigarettes, Richard gave him one... when he finished that one he said he needed to use the restroom. So did I. So we went back into the courthouse and found one with the directions Richard had given to us. I had to take a hella dump so I went off in a corner and did the deed. Anyway, dad and I met at the sink. While we were washing our hands a wino came in and handed some papers to dad. He said that those were some papers our attorney had lost, that he'd found them down by the beach. He seemed really, really excited. He showed dad some information on the form, and said that Peter's arrest should be nullified. I guess I was rude because I took the paper out of the wino's hand and looked at it myself. The wino pointed out that the box indicating that Peter had been read the Miranda rights was not checked."

"I thought back long and hard and told dad that Peter had not been read his rights. Dad got excited. After finishing up doing our chores we took off for the courtyard to find Richard. Richard was still smoking. I grabbed the papers from dad's hands and took off to give them to Richard. Dad followed me. I mean dad was running too... that's when he fell... he tripped on one of the steps and went down. I heard... well, dad screamed out in pain. For a minute I was torn on what to do next... dad told me to give the paper to Richard and show him what the wino had showed us, so I did. I then went back to dad and waited for EMS to arrive."

"And then what, little man." Antoine asked seriously.

"Well, EMS arrived, got dad stabilized then were ready to take him away to the hospital. When dad told them that I was to go with him they balked until I said I had nowhere else to go, so they let me ride along. Richard said that he had enough to get Peter released, and for us to not worry about him."

"We got to the hospital. The doctors said the break was open, meaning the bones were seen, and that he needed emergency surgery. I told them I knew all about operations, and showed them my scar... they didn't seem all that impressed... so I went to a conference room and waited, and waited, and waited. Finally, about 3 hours later I asked somebody where my dad was, and was told that he was in a room on the orthopedic floor. The morons. I'd not been in dad's room very long when you guys got here."

"So, where was Peter?"

"I don't know. I don't know when he was released or anything … we went to the hospital, remember?"

"Okay, I want you boys to get lost for an hour or two. I know it sounds weird... but Peter can't have too many people around him right now. Take your cell phones. Call me in one hour, and do not leave the hotel grounds, or at least don't go anywhere you can't see the hotel, okay? Do this for me. Do this for Peter."

After exchanging hugs and kisses the boys took off.

*** Meanwhile on a Lear jet taking off from Maui: Dr. Choi and Alexander **

Alexander: "So, what's so important on Oahu, Hou?"

Choi: "There is a young boy in crisis. I'm not sure of the particulars yet, but I can tell he's having a major meltdown."

Alexander: "Well, if anyone can help, I know you can. When you rescued me, I didn't know what I was going to do. After what they did to me in Juvenile, I wanted to die. You saved my life so I know exactly how good a man you are."

Choi: "I was just there. You did all the work."

Alexander smiled. They were quiet for a time when Hou spoke: "Alex, I haven't told you yet today, you know that I love you with all my heart and soul, don't you?"

Alexander wrapped his arms around his lover and with a tear running down his cheek said: "I love you too, honey. Let's go help this boy, he needs us."

The rest of the flight was quiet as each processed his own thoughts.

The very first thing I noticed after going back into the room was that the water in the Jacuzzi was just above the jets. Quickly, I turned off the water supply knowing that when they sat down, the water level would rise several inches.

"Honey, do you need to use the bathroom?" I said softly into Peters' ear.

Lamely, he slightly shook his head no.

"Are you sure Peter?" David asked softly.

Peter replied in the same manner then shrugged his shoulders half-heartedly.

"Come on, we'll help you into the bathroom." I said softly and decisively.

Peter got up then walked into the bathroom under his own power. Soon we heard the sound of a boy peeing in the toilet.

David got up to see what Peter was up to when he had not returned. David poked his head out of the door and urgently motioned for me to come into the bathroom with him.

After arriving, I found Peter sitting on the toilet with his pants and white bikini underwear around his ankles. Inwardly I gasped the second I saw them: they were caked and stained with reds and browns. This was a new finding since they had been clean when we'd left Richard's room early that morning.

My heart raced. My palms got sweaty. My eyes narrowed; they became acute. David left the room with tears threatening to spill from his eyes. I patted his back as he walked out, clearly unable to process everything all at once.

Seeing that Peter was under control with taking care of his business, at least for that moment, I went and retrieved cotton balls from my purse that I used for putting on my face then returned to find Peter furiously masturbating. He was looking at me but nobody was home.

Quickly, I stepped back and turned around away from him to afford his privacy. I was going to have David go in to be with Peter however he was lying flat on his stomach crying, sobbing.

Momentarily torn between who needed me the greatest, I went to David, sat down on the bed beside him then began rubbing his back softly in circles, trying to bring comfort and strength to him. David sat up on the bed then took me into his arms and squeezed hard, too hard, the bones in my back popped like they would have had a chiropractor done his or her thing.

Then we heard it. Peter reached his moment. He breathed out loudly three or four times catching fluid in his larynx during the process, making that unmistakable guttural sound caused by sexual release.

David, back in control of himself, got up and urged me to follow him into the bathroom to check on Peter. Peter was still sitting on the toilet, and clearly he was exerting himself, bearing down... from the sounds of things he was being successful.

David meanwhile tore off toilet paper and proceeded to clean Peter's front side while Peter continued exerting and succeeding.

They both finished at about the same time. Peter tore off a large piece of toilet paper and reached it out to me. David looked at me and nodded after Peter refused to give the paper to him. I wiped his bottom, noting that there was some blood on the paper, but not enough to be alarmed about, like he wasn't hemorrhaging or anything bad like that.

I reached for Peter's pants to pull up but he batted my hand away and removed his clothes then without a word got up and woodenly walked to the shower and entered. He looked at David expectantly then he began stroking his penis. He didn't seem right though. Normally I do not embarrass easily... but... there comes a time and a place when a mother's presence is not needed or wanted, when it is not warranted.

David, meanwhile, was removing his clothes, taking care to leave his underwear on. He was obviously ready to mate... that's right, that's the best way to put it.

I said to David, "Be careful with him. Sheesh, David this is hard for me... but do not do anal sex to him, okay."

David blushed fiercely but our eyes met, he slightly nodded. By then he was undressed to the last possible moment so I quickly exited the bathroom and closed the door but did not latch it tight.

I'd just sat down on the sofa when I heard screaming coming from the bathroom. Quickly, I raced to the bathroom, opened the door, and was met by the sight of two boys inside the shower, seen through the clear glass shower door.

Dr. Choi called my cell phone and said that they had procured a charter flight. He asked me about Peter's state of mind.

At the same time, I heard footsteps coming closer from the direction of the hallway where the bathroom was located. Before I could even look up, Peter began a screaming tirade at David and then to me, "You people fuckin talk about me like I'm not fuckin even fuckin here, bitch. Everybody fucking does that, and I am fucking sick to fucking death of it. So STOP IT! GOD DAMNIT!!!"

He might as well have hit me in the gut when those words flew, careened out of his mouth uncontrolled. I'd never seen someone with so much hate and distrust in his eyes as I did just then. I'd been a nurse for a long time, had seen some really mean and violent folks in that time … Peter shocked me to the core with what he had said and how he had said it.

"Peter, take your shower. Do it now."

After giving me the finger he returned to the bathroom. The next thing I heard was the slamming of the shower door, so hard that I was very surprised that it hadn't shattered.

I went into the bathroom to see what they were up to, to see if Peter had calmed down. David was sitting on the shower floor. When our eyes met he shook his head no. But Peter appeared calmer as he washed his hair; his eyes were closed so he didn't see me enter. Because I didn't want to tempt fate for another outburst I returned to the living area but left the bathroom door open.

I picked up the phone that was sitting on the sofa. I said to Dr. Choi, "He's progressing. I'm not really afraid of him but I'm seriously concerned about the escalation of his angry emotions."

Dr. Choi replied, "Peggy, likely he's in the midst of an acute PTSD episode. I'm sure he's unaware of his surroundings. I'm on the verge of suggesting an urgent intervention, including a mediation regimen to bring him back. Do you feel that your life or David's life is in jeopardy because if they are then I must insist on a mandatory intervention?"

"Right now he's calm. He's rapidly cycling in and out. So far, I don't feel our lives are in danger, nor do I think he is actually a danger to himself."

"Okay, Alexander and I are boarding the plane. We should be at your hotel within 2 hours. If things dramatically change for the worse then you must get intervention. I hope that you understand the gravity of the situation escalating."

"Yes, I will. I look forward to your arrival. We're in room 716."

"Okay, we'll see you soon."

Just as we hung up, Peter went off again. He screamed, "Get the fuck away from me god damn it. Just get out of here and get your god damned fucking hands off of me."

I called Antoine and told him to return ASAP, that Peter's behavior was escalating. He said they were on their way and would arrive momentarily. I then sat the phone down on the table and returned to the bathroom ready for anything.

The boys didn't see me enter. Peter's back was to me and David was cowering from a corner of the shower, on the floor. He reached for his crutches and quickly stood up and faced Peter. He said, "Peter, please don't. I need you as much as you need me, please."

"Just leave, David. Just leave me alone. Go. Get the fuck out of here." Peter said with no trace of doubt in his voice, none whatsoever.

"Peter, please … I love you."


"Okay, I'm gone. I'll leave you the fuck alone – does that make you happy? Never mind, I'll crawl out of here, get out of my fucking way." David cried out, angry, and hurt beyond his limits.

David didn't move fast enough to suit Peter's demand. Peter opened the shower door then bodily pushed David out of the shower. David hit the floor violently, and then Peter stepped out and kicked David in his back as he was trying to get up and out of the bathroom. David was petrified. His eyes were filled with angst and pain though he was pounding the floor with frustration.

I entered and said to Peter, leaving no doubt as to the severity of my voice, "Peter, stop that right this instant. David is doing nothing more than trying to help you. He loves you beyond words, now stop pushing him away!"

Peter's facial expression changed to 'gone'. Gone was the viscous attitude, replaced with distance. He was staring at one of the shower fixtures. I helped David up from the floor and helped him to sit on the toilet, and then quickly assessed him looking for any injuries from his ordeal.

David's eyes were filled with heart wrenching pain but I saw no evidence that he'd been physically hurt. I wondered if that pain was from being kicked or if the pain was from his heart being torn out of his body, or both.

I decided the best thing to do was to remove David from the situation as quickly as possible however I heard the door to the hotel room open. Antoine called loudly, and then in an instant, before I could reply, he was in the bathroom surveying the situation. I said, "Help me get David out of here. He's not safe."

Without a second thought Antoine easily picked David up from the toilet and bodily carried him into the living area and then returned, all within a minute, no more.

Peter backed up and into the wall of the shower then scooted down until he was sitting on the floor. He put his head in his arms and dropped both as far into his lap as he possibly could.

Antoine asked curtly, he was all business, "What happened?"

"Peter went nuts. He's here but he's not here too. I've never seen him like this."

Silently, while David and Antoine were talking, Matt undressed and then got into the shower with Peter. They sat companionably, silently, all the while Matt was rubbing Peter's arm back and forth, and lengthwise, over and over again.

Seeing the situation considerably calmed down, I grabbed David's crutches and took them to him. David was scooting on the floor toward the bathroom. He said, "I can't leave Peter alone... he's my babe, he's my rock, and now it's time for me to step up and be there for him."

After giving him the crutches, he hoisted himself up and walked into the bathroom.

Seeing that the situation was under control, that there was no current and imminent danger, Antoine asked David, "Are you hurt?"

"Yeah, right here." David replied while putting his hand up and over his heart. He then began crying softly.

At the same time Peter began screaming again, to nobody in particular. Antoine said to David, "David, there's nothing you can do here, right now. Please go sit on the sofa in case Peter loses control of himself. I won't hurt him but... mom go with him, okay, please?"

David grabbed a washcloth, wiped his eyes and nose of their fluids then got his clothes and headed for the main room. He was so upset.

I looked to Antoine, and said, "Will you stay here with them?"

"I will stay here with them. Go, be with David." Antoine said coldly, colder than he had intended, I was sure of it.

Quickly, Antoine undressed to his bronzed ebony skin with his male member dangling innocently, and then got in the shower and sat down next to those he and we loved with all our hearts.

Antoine looked up into my eyes and passed nothing but love through them. I walked over, kissed his lips then left the room and closed the door behind me, leaving them to do their brotherly healing.

I walked into their bedroom and saw David lying face down on the bed. His shoulders were shaking; his was breathing heavy and labored, all the while screaming into his pillow.

I sat down on the bed, next to him, began rubbing his back up and down from his neck down to his naked and upturned butt. On the first down stroke of love, I pulled the cover up and over his globes, and then continued my ministrations until he began calming down, and even when he was calming down I continued stroking lightly and telling him everything would work out okay, eventually, but in its own time.

When David got quiet I had thought he'd fallen asleep but when I stopped massaging his back he turned and put his head in my lap, his arms around my midsection and grabbed my midsection and buried his head.

I continued to rub his face and head very softly, speaking gently but assuredly telling him that this would all work out in time.

David's eyes closed, his arms relaxed, and his breathing changed from difficult to deep and rhythmical. Despite being sound asleep, his body jumped a couple of times. Not the kind of jump that was intentional, rather they were spontaneous lasting only a second, no more.

His nap was short. He awoke with a start but relaxed within a second, no more than two. His first words were, "I'm sorry for cursing. I'm really sorry."

"It's okay, honey. Things were really bad, and well sometimes we just lose control of what we say, and sometimes what we do. I think this is what happened to Peter. Please, don't take personally what Peter said and did to you. He was hurt very bad. He's very, very angry inside. He doesn't know how to deal with that hurt so he's lashing out. And he's lashing out to those who love him the most because he feels safe. I know it doesn't make much sense. A doctor friend is on his way. He's the best there is when it comes to children who have been sexually abused."

David choked a sob back, and then looked into my eyes. The way he looked at me with all the pain in his heart very nearly broke my reserves of strength. I continued, "Yes, Peter was raped. I suspect he was abused more than once, by more than one person, and I am positive it was done to him with force. This was not his fault, and it is not your fault, and it is not your dad's fault, David."

"If I would have been here then it would not have happened..."

"David, no, don't even go there; don't even start that otherwise you'll never stop wondering what if you would have done this or that, or not done this or that. It'll never stop."

"But I love him; I was supposed to protect him, oh my God... I wasn't there."

I looked down into this child, lying on my lap feeling the weight of the world on his shoulders, and said, "David, you were exactly where you were supposed to be – in school, and nowhere else, and there is nothing you could have done to prevent what happened from happening. Peter is going to need professional help to get through this situation. More importantly, he's going to need those who love him the most to stick with him come hell or high water."

"I love him, Peggy. He doesn't have to go this alone but he's gotta come back to me. I can't help him if he's not here... that wasn't Peter in there cursing, screaming, hitting and kicking me... it's not."

"No honey, while it is Peter... this has been all too much for him to process. As long as you and we are here with him then he's got every chance of making it out intact. He's going to wonder if you love him, and he'll be wondering if you'll ever want to make love with him since he's been violated... these are things that he must overcome, and these are things that you and he will have to work out between yourselves. We'll be here to support and love you guys through this, no matter what."

"But how do I make him know it... I love him. I want to make love to him, and even more important than that is that I want him to make love to me – in every way, not just physically, I can do without the physical part so long as I have my Peter back."

With that said David unwound himself from my lap and started to get up but I held his face in my hands, kissed his lips softly and said, "Take it slow David. Don't put pressure on him, okay, he's got to deal with this in his own time. It may take a while, or it could happen right away. Dr. Choi will know more about how to proceed. Just be honest with the doctor."

"I'm always honest, Peggy. I never lie."

"David, I don't mean that way. I've never suspected that you lie about anything. What I mean by being honest is to tell Dr. Choi everything he asks a question about. Don't hold anything back because that little piece of information could break things wide open, and I mean in good ways as well as not so good. The important thing is to remember is to just be open."

"Okay, I can do it. I'm going to go check on Peter. I have to."

With that said David got up and off the bed, grabbed his crutches and padded his way out of the bedroom. But before he got through the door, Antoine and Matt were carrying a largely unresponsive and dripping wet Peter. David immediately went to them, leaned down and kissed Peter's lips with passion.

Once we got Peter situated into the Jacuzzi, all the boys got in and held him in their arms.

In short order, Peter returned to us, wrapped David's arms around his torso and buried his head in David's lap.

Assured they were okay, at least for that moment, I went out into the hallway of our floor then began walking up and down it to burn off some of my stress. Maybe leaving them alone was not necessarily the right thing to do, but I did it anyway. I needed to regroup. After getting a Coke to drink from the pop machine on our floor, I sat on the steps, cried a little bit then after the wave passed by I retrieved my cell phone then called Jim.

Jim: Hulloooo.

Me: Hey babe, it's me. How are you this morning?

Jim: I'm really sleepy. I think I'm okay though I won't be running any marathons anytime soon.

Me: You do not run marathons anyway. <I giggled nervously>

Jim: Ahhh, yes, right you are. <Giggles>.

Me: Have your doctors been in yet this morning?

Jim: Uhm, yeah, they just left. Crutches today, home tomorrow. This relieving myself in bed is not my cup of tea. There is a lot to be said about … okay, well never mind. Is everybody back there okay? How are you?

Me: We're all hanging in there actually. <I didn't mean and didn't say we are hanging by our bootstraps on occasion however …> Uhm, Jim, I flew into Honolulu last night, don't you remember? You were very dopey so I don't really expect you to remember, you had just came back to your room from the recovery room after surgery. I brought Antoine and David with me, mainly because Peter and Matt had an especially rough day, as well as you.

Jim: Yes, that's good. No, wait. This is, what, Wednesday? They have school … Peter got released right away, right? Matt was with me, he came in the ambulance with me …

Me: Peter was released later however you were on your way to the hospital, or had already arrived, and yes Matt was with you. Richard and Judge Kendall had things under control, or so I was told, I wasn't here yet. Richard had taken both boys to the hotel with him, so I did not see them until this morning.

Jim: So you have them now … how are they? I miss them. I'm so sorry that I was such a damn klutz. Let me talk to them before we hang up.

Me: Oh … they're in the Jacuzzi, they just got in. I'm not going to take a chance on my phone getting dropped in <giggles>. I just stepped out for a little while to get some air.

Jim: Okay. Well, bring the boys up here this morning then you all can take off and go back home, I'll be fine.

Me: Jim, Peter is under the weather this morning; he's really sick to his stomach. He shouldn't be going out under any circumstance right now.

Jim: Are you going to bring here to the hospital ER to get checked out. I'm sure they will let me sneak down to see him …

Me: No not yet, Jim. I checked him over as a nurse. Jim?

Jim: I'll call him then. What room number are you in, and in what hotel are you staying.

Me: Jim, please don't call him until you and I talk in person. I need to explain some things. Just trust me.

Jim: I trust you. Is he okay? I have to know.

Me: Jim, you are going to have to trust me when I say he's sick and cannot come to the phone. Let me talk to you about it later when we're together in person, please.

Jim: Okay. Have you talked to Jeremy, Allen or Angel this morning?

Me: No, they are next in line to talk to. I just called to see how you were. Honey, I've got to get back into our room. I'll see you soon.

Jim: I look forward to seeing you. Give the boys my love. Love you babe.

Me: I love you too. Be good.

Jim: Ha haa, always.

Just as I was getting up, I saw a white Jaguar enter the parking lot. As they circled around the parking lot looking for a place to park, I immediately recognized Hou.

Shit, I had not made reservations for them.

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