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The Light

by Joe Writer Man

Chapter 72

After finishing my drink, and realizing none of us were dressed for company, I began to get up from where I was sitting on the stairs with plans to go inside but my cell phone rang; the brightly illuminated caller ID displayed Dr. Choi's name and number.

Me: Hello

Hou: Hi Peggy, this is Hou. We have arrived.

Me: Great. Thank you so much for coming. I appreciate that you would drop your schedule to see him.

Hou: It's really not a problem. If you could meet us so we can get our room then we can get Peter back to normal. How is David holding up?

Me: David is majorly stressed. Peter inappropriately raged on him and me too, saying filthy file things, verbally pushing us away. His behavior scared me … Hou, none of us are dressed for company; can we have 30 minutes to an hour to get it together?

Choi: Not a problem, we'll go get the room you arranged and we'll meet you in about an hour.

Me: I'm sorry, with everything ...; well I forgot to get you a room.

Choi laughing: It would have surprised me if you had gotten it. I'll deal with it and see you in an hour. What room are you in so I can request one close to yours?

Me: 716.

Choi: Fine, we'll see you in one hour.

Me: Thank you so much. I do not know how to repay you.

Choi: Again, no worries.

After a moment of silent prayer, I entered our hotel room. The boys were lounging quietly with JB playing softly in the background as jets of water cascaded eagerly over their upper bodies. The boys looked up expectantly, even Peter. Seeing a light within Peter's eyes turn on gave me hope for him.

"Guys, Dr. Choi from Maui has arrived. Both he and another young man are here to help get us sort things out. I know him very well from when I worked public health nursing, stationed primarily on the beach which is where Antoine and I first met." Antoine smiled and nodded his head affirmatively.

Peter's eyes... his smiled quickly faded. He appeared to still be 'here' but his facial expression turned to fear, then quickly it changed to show resignation. He looked down into the water swirling around his waist then looked up again. That time he had determination written all across his face.

Without saying a word, he got out of the water and headed to the boys' bedroom and soon returned with a belt in his hand. Without hesitation he walked to me and offered the belt. I had no clue what he was doing, "Honey, put that belt back in your pants. Your britches will fall down..."

Peter put the belt in my hand and closed my fingers around it, holding it securely.

He then turned around, bent over at the waist, and began slapping his wet naked butt with his hand.

My heart sank in my chest deeper than the Titanic at realizing that he wanted me to spank him.

Almost in the same breath I saw him reach for something in front of him, very close to his waist.

David immediately arose from the water, sat on the edge and reached for Peter's hand, but he was too far away. Matt and Antoine did rapidly get out of the water. Matt reached for Peter's hand.

Having a really good idea what Peter was doing, because his arm was twitching purposefully, I tossed the belt toward the door and then said, "No don't. He's hurting really bad inside... Peter, honey, nobody's going to whip you... oh child."

I walked to him, turned him around to face me. He was rapidly massaging his penis, which was hard and standing straight out from his body. Antoine, naked himself, slowly walked up behind Peter and gently grasped Peter's hand and held it at his side, saying "Peter, this is going to work out. Come with me, let's sit on the sofa and talk for a little while, okay?"

Matt retrieved David's crutches. David took them and, after getting them correctly placed, walked over to where Antoine and Peter were sitting down. David sat next to Peter, took his love's hand away from his penis, leaned in and kissed Peter's lips.

Peter began slapping his face, hard, yet his face was registering no signs of discomfort. He was gone into his own world again. He wrestled his hands out of David's and then began stroking his penis again. Knowing that boys, who are not present in this world, often reach to that which brings them a semblance of pleasure, I said, "Let him be. Sometimes when we're hurt so bad we reach for the only thing that brings us pleasure... so let him be. I'm not embarrassed. I've seen other boys, and girls too, do this."

Peter closed his eyes tightly. His concentration was fierce. "Mom..." Matt whispered then he urged me to turn away. He pulled me into a hug, squeezed firmly as we both heard a heavy intake of breath and gurgle from behind us.

I whispered into Matt's ear, "It's okay child. Thank you though." I kissed his cheek then turned around. David was wiping Peter's tummy and thighs. Peter was lying in Antoine's strong arms with his eyes closed.

Antoine mouthed the words, "I love you mom." He blew a kiss to Matt who was standing beside me with his arm nestled safely in mine.

Together, Matt and I walked to the boys, got down on my knees then pulled Peter's head into my bosom, rubbed his neck and upper back tenderly, gently, all the while whispering, "Peter, are you here? We love you."

I'll never forget what he did next: his eyes opened. They looked deep inside of my soul and then my heart broke one more time, "Thank you for spanking me. I was bad."

David choked incredulously.

Antoine's eyes opened as big as saucers.

Matt said to Peter, "Mom didn't spank you. Nobody even hit you." Matt then grasped Peter's hands in his and assisted Peter to stand, and then they joined together as only identical twin boys can do. They stayed still and silent for about 5 minutes or so with their eyes closed, their arms around each other, their chests breathing as one or so it seemed, their bellies melded together, their legs together like two pieces of a puzzle, the edge of Matt's feet covering Peter's.

Then the most amazing thing happened: the worry lines, the lines of pain left Peter's face. Matt's face, though, had tears freely running from his cheeks and onto his brothers' back.

Antoine got up and walked to me. Very quietly, I could almost not hear him, he said, "Mom, they are sharing their spirit. Peter's pain is dividing. Matt is accepting his brother's pain as his own. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. We must leave them be for any disturbance could be very detrimental."

I nodded and kissed his cheek. My son then went to David then urged us all to leave the area.

We sat down at the small dining room table, remained silent, and waited, and waited, and waited some more.

David leaned into Antoine's ear. Antoine nodded then he turned to me and whispered in my ear, "We're going to the bathroom. We'll be right back."

*-* As told by Antoine *-*

David sat on the toilet where he expelled that which needed expelling while I waited anxiously by the sink. When he finished and flushed, we changed places. While washing our hands, David asked, "What's going on in there? What's happening?"

"They are sharing their inherent bond, David. Identical twins have a special bond. They often times feel what their twin is feeling but is terrified too much to say, or if the affected twin cannot describe what is happening inside then they communicate to each other in a language that only they understand. Think about it for a minute, David... where is Peter when he's not with you?"

Recognition passed through and stayed on David's face. He said quietly, "He's with Matt, of course. I see now. Do you think they're done yet?"

"Maybe. Peter's pain is great, David. Mother speaks very highly of Dr. Choi. Peter will do well to speak with him about his pain. David, please talk with the good doctor also. He will bring you healing too."

"Antoine, why is Peter turning to his brother and not me? Am I doing something wrong? Peter and I share everything, and I mean everything, I don't understand."

"David, you are doing nothing wrong. Your spirit is strong, very strong, but right now we want only what is best for Peter. You and David's spirits will join. Be strong David. I have no doubt that..."

Just then both Peter and Matt barged into the bathroom and made a beeline to the toilet where they both puked into the bowl, holding onto each other for strength and stamina.

Immediately, we went to our mates and offered them our support.

When their moment of profuse nausea passed David and I helped our mates into the shower where we lovingly, caringly, tenderly, and gently gave of our love and support and commitment and hope that our troubles would pass by and that we would be stronger on the other side.

Matt was gently awakening from his deep spiritual experience. Hungrily, eagerly, the love of my life took us to heights we'd never before known. As we returned to the present, the only thing holding us up was our body weights, and the faint sounds that emanate from human beings as they share their deepest and most light filled moments known to man.

Through my training, damn it anyway, I was aware of what was happening next to us in that shower however I had neither the strength nor the inclination to observe that which is private.

With our eyes still closed, using feel as a sense to guide us, Matt and I got out of the shower, dried, and then headed out to face the world, and whatever it was to bring to us and to our family.

Before we exited the bathroom, though, Matt whispered into my ear so as to not interrupt the quiet that had descended over the room, "Antoine, the experience did not help Peter very much. I lost consciousness because his pain is so great. I saw David's love deep within my brother. It was like a little flickering light, barely seen, but from a great distance I saw that it was very, very strong, and undying."

"Are you okay, baby?" I whispered with tears streaming freely from my eyes.

Matt used his fingers much like a squeegee and his lips like a sponge to dry them while replying, "Antoine, I faded out... I lost consciousness... at the worst part... Peter took me there... baby, you were there with him... you saved his life."

"NO! I wasn't there but I would have killed those motherfuckers if I would have; I swear to God I would have taken them out." I said passionately.

"Would you shut up? He brought you inside. He told me that he went to a place deep inside of you and David... where he felt safe and protected. Don't you see? Instead of taking a life, you kept a life alive. I love you so much. For being a smart guy, you sure can be a dork sometimes."

My love called me a 'sometimes dork'.

"I love you too, babe, but we must talk about this 'dork' thing, sometime."

No sooner had those words exited my mouth that we heard the shower door open.

"Wait, I'll get your crutches..."

"They're right here, babe."

"Are you guys okay?" Matt asked softly, but loud enough to be heard.

David poked his head around the corner. A pensive look was on his face. He replied, "Yeah, I think so. What happened?"

"Is Peter okay, David?" I asked softly.

Just then Peter's head poked from around David's, "I'm here. Why don't you just ask me? Why the fuck is it that everybody talks about me and not to me?"

The look on Peter's face turned from irritation to instant rage. Then he relaxed but his eyes were distant, almost vacant but not quite. He still had life.

Matt took hold of my shoulder when I started walking toward Peter, "Don't. Just leave him alone, okay, please. He's traveling inside of himself. He's got to find his way out."

As if he were disembodied, Peter walked past us, opened the door and then headed into the main living of the suite with a neutral expression on his face.

I helped David wrap a towel around his midsection and then he followed Peter. We did likewise.

*-* As told by Peggy *-*

When Peter entered the main room, he plopped face down onto the second sofa, grabbed the remote control, turned on the TV and began flipping channels.


He looked over to me then quickly looked back to the 62" as he continued to surf.


"What?" He snapped, still switching channels.

"Peter we have company coming. Please get dressed. At least put on some underwear and shorts."

His response was to get a red face, to give an exertion, and to expel a large pocket of gas, which elicited a giggle.

"Peter, put on a pair of shorts."

Just then David, Matt and Antoine entered the room. They quickly got into their travel bags to retrieve clothes which they put on.

David said to Peter, "Dr. Choi is on his way. I'll help you get dressed."

Peter turned over onto his side then angrily flung the remote control against the brick fireplace wall causing it to shatter. Then as fast as he could, without any regard for the pain he surely experienced in his incision, flung himself off the sofa, stood up, glared at me then snatched the clothes bag from David... Antoine, meanwhile, positioned himself between me and Peter. David took several steps back, fear crossing his face.

Matt, undeterred, walked to Peter and said, "Peter, get dressed. It's no big deal, okay, really it's not."

Peter touched Matt's shoulder with his finger then took a pair of underwear that David was holding, and then without incident put them on. David handed Peter a pair of red Docker's shorts which Peter took and put on without incident.

Antoine, observing the interaction, said softly to Peter, "Brother, it is okay to be angry but do not put it onto people who love you. Acting out your anger to those who love you is not appropriate. I take my anger and run on the beach with it. Soon it is gone. It is healthy. It makes me feel good."

Peter hissed, "You have no fucking idea." With that said Peter resumed his position on the second sofa, put his hand down his shorts and began rocking gently back and forth.

David began walking to Peter but I put my hand up which stopped him. He walked to me and sat down next to my side. Matt joined him on my other side. Matt said, conversationally, "Peter's going to need you. Peter, did you hear that? You're going to need David more than you can ever imagine."

Quickly, Peter turned onto his back, unclasped the snap and then lowered his shorts and underwear. He was hard. With conviction, he said to David, "Come suck me. I need you."

"Sorry Peggy, but this is screwed up. Call me when it's over." David said then got up and headed toward the door.

Just as he arrived, a knock startled all of us. The tension had been so thick that surely a scalpel, a guillotine, even, would have been required to cut through it.

I said, "I'll get it. David, please sit down."

Antoine quickly got up and strode to the door. He peered through the peep hole and announced, "It's a Chinese man and a Filipino-American man. I see no weapons."

I looked to Peter. He wasn't paying any attention to anybody in the room however he had stopped his motions and instead just stared at his penis with rapt attention.

David, taking the lead walked to Peter then without ceremony knelt down, tossing his crutches aside, and closed Peter's fly, taking care to tuck Peter's penis safely inside. David then whispered something to Peter, leaned down and planted a nice kiss on Peter's lips.

David was repaid with a hard open hand slap on his face from the love of his life which knocked David onto his butt.

David, holding his cheek, as if he were feeling the skin for the very first time in his life, sat up then reared his arm back and gave Peter a very loud, very hard slap to Peter's cheek. He then said, "You son of a bitch. Fuck this shit. I never ever and a million years forever though I'd ever hit you. And I never, ever, ever, ever thought you'd hit me."

Another set of knocks interrupted the deathly silence in the room.

Slowly, Peter sat up. He winced as if he were in pain. He held his stomach and looked down to it. It looked fine. He quickly looked to David.

"David, what happened? Why are you sitting on the floor? And why's your face so red? And why are you crying?"

Peter was totally stupefied. Clearly, he had no recall of what had just happened. I said to Peter, "Peter, honey, David, honey, Dr. Choi's here. He can help us sort things out. David, I really don't think what happened was intentional."

With that said I went to the door, opened it and was greeted by Hou, "Peggy, it's nice to see you... it's been a while. This is Alexander. He's my life mate. He's also my office manager. Oh, hello boys. My name is Dr. Choi. I am here to help you sort out... "

"Please come in. I'll make introductions. Dr. Choi, Alexander, this is my oldest son Antoine."

Antoine smiled then shook Dr. Choi's hand then Alexander's.

David, still seated on the floor, worked his way up to a standing position and greeted our visitors. Matt was next. He did likewise but recognition immediately passed across Alexander's face. He smiled warmly, "Peter, is that you?"

I said to Dr. Choi, "Matt is Peter's twin brother. Peter, come welcome our guests, okay? Please? Dr. Choi, we've had a difficult morning today."

Peter got up from his perch on the sofa, walked to Alexander and then started for just a moment before he broke out in ear to ear smiles, "Lex, is that you?"

"Peter? Am I dreaming? Is that my lil' bro? Hold fuck!" Alexander exclaimed excitedly.

Wasting no time, Peter went to Alexander, hugged him deeply without reservation, tears flowing, rapidly, freely from his eyes.

I looked to David. The poor boy looked so frail. His cheek was bright red. And, oh his eyes looked so sad like he was on the brink of crying. I walked to him and took him into my arms. He melted, took a deep breath, and then broke loose and headed in the direction of the bathroom.

Dr. Choi, seeing David departing said to me, "May I?"

I nodded. Dr. Choi headed toward David. Dr. Choi placed his hand on David's shoulder, said something that nobody else could hear. David reluctantly nodded then they headed into the boys' bedroom and closed the door.

Alexander and Peter parted. They were still smiling exuberantly. Alexander asked, "Where is Hou?"

I replied, "Dr. Choi and David are speaking to each other in private."

Peter asked, "Is David okay? Where is he?"

I replied, "David is dealing with some pain. Dr. Choi will be able to help him with it. Let's all sit at the dining room table. Alexander, what would you like to drink?"

"Anything is fine. Water's fine too. Thank you." To Matt Alexander said, "Matt, I didn't know there were two of you… <snickering>... I thought there could only be one Peter Jamison. Oh my God."

"We're twins. Thanks mom." Matt said to Alexander and then to me as I handed him a glass of water. The doctors had told him to drink a lot of it to keep his kidneys functioning properly, to work out and away from the shock the operation had on him.

"Twins? I had no idea. Well, meeting you is totally my pleasure."

Alexander was a very likeable guy. He knew how to break the tensions.

*-* David's take *-*

I didn't even have the mind to invite Dr. Choi to enter the room first, nor did I wait until he entered, or even bother to close the door, instead I went to the unmade bed and sat down. Dr. Choi performed the hospitable ritual and then pulled up a chair and sat down in front of me.

"David, Peggy has told me a little bit about what happened to Peter yesterday. I'm sure this all very difficult for you. You are very upset. Let me assure you that we will do everything to help. Understand that he's been through a very difficult event and that he's going to need time to heal. Please understand that he will likely never be quite the same. I do not wish to alarm you. I am asking you to be patient. There will be good days, and there will be difficult days. I have reason to believe that good days will far outnumber those days he has troubles. Tell me, how are you doing?"

"I'm doing okay... I guess." I said then honed in on a piece of lint on the floor between my feet as I felt tears welling up in my eyes. My lungs were getting tight. My throat was threatening to choke me. Then a sob escaped, I looked up into Dr. Choi's eyes then down again and said, "Okay, I'm not doing very well."

For the next little while I told Dr. Choi what had happened. When I would Peter this or Peter that he'd stop me and bring me back to the present by saying something like, "David, you're really upset now. Tell me what you're feeling right now."

When I was all talked out and feeling a little bit better he said, "You are under a great deal of stress. David, please be you. Peter needs to see you as you normally are. It is what he is familiar with. Can you do this?"

"Okay, I'll try. It's hard though. I don't know that guy sitting in there. Really I don't. I honestly don't know who he is."

"David, what happened to Peter is a life changing event. There is no reason for him not to 'come back', as you say. The most important thing you can do is to just be yourself. Just be who Peter knows. David, likely there will be occasional days just like today before he does come back. I just want you to know this in case it happens. That way you will be prepared for it when it happens."

"But we slapped each other. I can't deal with that."

"And you have no need to. Leave the room if you feel that he is going to be violent. Leave before the argument escalates. Stay in control David. You will be much more in control of your emotions. And you will not have shame or regret. I do not think he will remember that he lost control.

Dr. Choi then went on to explain some about disassociation. What he told me about how a person gets during those times describes exactly what Peter was doing.

I took in a deep, deep breath, let it out, walked to the door, opened it and permitted Dr. Choi to leave first, as is proper. I felt stronger. I felt better. And oh how I loved Peter so very much. He's my husband. We were having one of our bad times; one of those in sickness or in health situations. I silently renewed my commitment to the one I love.

*-* Peggy's view *-*

While Dr. Choi and David were in talking in the bedroom, I noticed that Peter sat next to me the entire time. Even though he was engaged in conversation with everyone around him, he was always touching me 'just a little bit', be it my toes with his, or my elbow with his, or is little finger with my own, or with his and my eyes, or something little like pushing my glass just a little closer, or something. He was interacting. He was with us. And he was genuinely happy. He grew distant, a little bit, when Alexander excused himself to the bathroom but Peter wasn't totally 'gone', as in 'gone'.

Antoine kept a wary eye on the whole situation, such a hard job he took on for himself. Yet... I was glad he was with us. He had frightened me when he turned violent on David, the love of his life. Knowing these things happen with people who have undergone traumatic things -and- actually seeing them is quite different in the present, when you actually see it happen.

When David and Dr. Choi emerged, David immediately walked over, pulled me into a deep, hug, shuddered lightly and then turned his attentions to Peter. They kissed tenderly. The boys decided to play a board game so I called room service, asked them what they had, and was told that their favorite game was Scrabble.

The boys like that idea so I ordered it and a boat load of popcorn, extra butter. But then I thought that wouldn't be the best thing to do since greasy fingers and board games do not mix, very well. The boys settled on plain.

Once everything was settled, Dr. Choi went to the balcony to talk between ourselves for as long as we could.

I fixed us drinks and then we settled down.

"Antoine is the boy I'm adopting. The other boys, they are Jim's adopted children who I'm growing very fond of, in fact I love each boy in my own way. As much as I resisted I'm afraid I'm getting very attached to them – and to their father."

For the first time, I felt a genuine giggle well up inside of me. I said, "We'll probably end up needing a legal team on retainer to straighten everything out... with the blended families, I mean."

Dr. Choi smiled. He said, "I am very happy for you, Peggy. You certainly deserve a loving family to call your own."

Not only had I referred children to him, he'd helped me through several difficulties I'd experienced in my own lifetime.

"Soo … are you still in public health?" Dr. Choi continued.

"No, I left the agency a few months ago. Funding dried up effectively putting me out of a job. I went to University Hospital where I'm a critical care nurse although I am currently on sabbatical. When everything gets settled down in our family I hope you and Alexander will join us for dinner on a regular basis."

"I'm sure that can be easily arranged. And we will have you to our home on a regular basis too."

We talked for a while about nothing of any significance yet it was important at the same time. Periodically I would in and check on the boys. They seemed okay and getting along without incident. Peter would even look up and smile then get back to his game playing. The atmosphere was surreal. It's like it didn't happen.

I made this observation to Dr. Choi. He replied, "Peter feels safe, Peggy. I suspect the issues will occur when he is stressed out, or if he perceives a threat, or if he perceives danger – whether or not the danger is real... then likely he will have an episode of disassociation. Tell me, are the boys competing? Are they keeping score?"

"Oh, the boys play Scrabble all the time. Sometimes they get fiercely competitive, and other times they don't keep score. It all depends on their moods at the time. There is no real rhyme or reason."

"Peggy, will you please excuse me for a moment? I must attend to a personal attention."

"I'll fix us some fresh drinks and check in on the boys."

We went into the room. They boys were in one of their fiercely competitive games. I dared not look at the spelling words they were using from a dictionary, or from words derived from 15 year old minds... and oh yeah, Alexander was 19.

As I walked from the bar area to the patio area I observed that while Peter was having fun, he was also appearing a little distant. The change was not enough to be concerned about; I just said to myself that I'd check on them a little more often.

Dr. Choi took my seat. From that vantage point he could observe their interactions, at least from a distance. From where we were sitting a person in the dining room would have to be looking for us to see us.

We then went on to talk about old times, some of the patients I'd referred, and a few of the patients he referred back to our service. We talked easily; just as we had always talked.

On one of the drink runs, Dr. Choi insisted that he play host 'this time'. He actually wanted to check on the boys, first hand, to make his own assessment.

When he returned he said, "Peter is very quiet. Is he always quiet like that?"

"No, not usually. He's been coming out of his shell. Jim said he was a timid little mouse when he first came to live with them. He was afraid of his own shadow. Just since Antoine and I have been with them... he's been growing. He's very affectionate. Jim says that he was very neglected by his custodial parent and her brother. He was also seriously abused by them. The last time he suffered under them, the injuries put him in the hospital with potentially life threatening injuries. Anyway, her parental rights were severed which opened him up for adoption by Jim. Hou, I've never seen a child react the way Peter has... oh, I've seen one or more symptoms in other boys but not altogether like I've seen Peter display."

"I am nearly positive that Peter has many difficulties that have been present for a very long time. It is very likely this incident has brought many of those difficulties into the present. Tell me, what do you know about his traumas of the past..."

*-* As told by Antoine *-*

I took an immediate liking to Alexander. He was open, honest, forthcoming, appropriate, fund to be around, and the life of the party. He was also a flaming hot queen when it came to thinking up words to put on the board for our team. Initially, our team consisted of me and Alexander but then because Matt and David were hopelessly falling behind Alexander went to their side and was kicking my butt. While David and I didn't have the sexual innuendo down to a science he was blasting them with history and English verbiage while I was kicking butt with proper English and foreign terms. All in all we were having a blast.

After about an hour we declared a break time. Everybody had to use the facilities, get a drink, or both. The popcorn boxes had long ago been emptied so I gathered them up and tossed them into the can on the patio.

Mom and Dr. Choi looked up when I entered, and smiled. I went to mom and gave her a great big hug and a kiss on her cheek.

"How are things going in there?"

"They're going good. I am ashamed to say, no not really, that I am beating all of them at their own game, and I'm having fun doing it. You ought to see some of the words they are coming up with... I've never heard of such things."

Mom rolled her eyes, "Don't even begin to tell me. How's Peter? He seems to be withdrawing a little bit?"

"Yes he is. Matt tells me Peter did not sleep well last night. Perhaps he is just tired."

Dr. Choi asked, "How are you doing? Are you doing okay?"

I replied honestly, "I am a little bit stressed. I am afraid for my brothers. They are very unusual."

Dr. Choi sat up in his chair, "Please explain why you are afraid for them?"

"Because they became violent with each other. That is not like them. There is tension in the air. I am not really afraid. I am very concerned. I shall lie awake tonight."

Dr. Choi frowned slightly. I am sure he was unaware of it. My sensitivity went up 1 notch. He then said, "Just be yourself. Peter needs to see you just as you are normally. It is very important for him to see normalcy and stability. He will cling to it. He will hold onto it like a teddy bear. It is his safe environment. Can you do this?"

"Yes. I am Antoine. I am finding myself softening up. My brothers, even though they are not yet my legal brothers are my brothers nonetheless. I am who I am but I am not yet who I want to be."

When I returned to the dining room Alexander and David were waiting for Peter and me to return so we could resume the game.

We waited 15 more minutes. David said, "I'm going to check on Peter."

"May I go with you?" I asked seriously.

David looked at me. Nervousness outweighed his outward calm appearance. I sensed it in him. I got up, walked to him and put my hand on his shoulder. He barely nodded but his eyes told that my presence would be appreciated. He had fear in his eyes. His right eye was red and puffy, one result of the morning's difficulties.

I put my hand on his back as we walked through the living area into the hallway where the bathroom was located. I hoped my touch would bring him peace and serenity. When we arrived, the door was closed. I tried the handle. The door wasn't locked.

David looked at me pensively then his eyes filled with resignation. A lone tear escaped from his right eye, the one that was bruised from being slapped very hard.

I kissed my brother's forehead then opened the door and entered. When I didn't see Peter, I said, "Peter, are you in here?"

"I've got the fuckin cramps." Peter replied with a noncommittal ring to his voice.

"Is there anything I can do for you?" I asked. David silently entered and stood to my side. I noted that his little finger wrapped itself in mine. The dude was afraid.

"Yes, I need a new asshole. This one isn't any good anymore."

David snickered, despite his best attempts not to. I smiled then wiped it away when next I said, "Can we come sit with you until your cramps go away? David's here."

"Sorry David, this butthole is closed and is going out of business. Sorry." Peter said seriously.

David walked past me. I followed at a very close distance. I hated feeling that I had to protect a brother from a brother, a lover from a lover, and everything that entailed.

David put his body against the wall, handed me the crutches and slid down until he was sitting the floor with one arm on Peter's thigh. David said, "Hey lover boy. Bend over and give me a kiss, right now."

Peter bent over but then was immediately gripped by a cramp, causing him to double over and lie on his thighs, breath heavily, and turn pale. Although the area was cramp I managed to sit on Peter's other side. I began running my hand up and down his spine to just above his butt crack, telling him to breathe deeply and relax. He tried, but when the spasms took hold he had a hard time with just letting the pain flow out of his body.

After 3 or 4 minutes the cramp subsided. David brushed the hair that had fallen down into Peter's eyes. He then kissed Peter quickly but tenderly. I kept rubbing his back, knowing another spasm would occur within a few minutes.

When he had his next spasm I became worried. Mom and Jim, dad, had told me and Matt that if we got those kinds of cramps or belly pain after sex then we should tell them immediately because it could be from a very serious complication of male-male sex.

When that spasm passed I moved around to sit in front of Peter's face then took his face into my hands and said, "Peter, look deep into my eyes. Do not waiver. David, put your hands on Peter's back and then hold them steady. Okay Peter, now think about our home on Maui. Take yourself out in the ocean and stop where we usually stop to ride the waves in. Listen to the waves all around us. Feel the nice warm water surrounding our bodies. Let your body totally relax and let the water hold you in its arms. You are safe. You are loved. You are cherished. Feel the water all around you? Nice warm and inviting water. Now just let yourself relax. Make your feet feel like they weigh ten thousand pounds. That's it Peter. Just relax. Everything's kewl, really kewl. Don't worry about anything. Just relax."

When Peter's eyes closed I supported his forehead with my hands and used my thumbs to massage his temples, all the while telling him that he was safe, that he was loved, and to just relax his entire body because we'd hold him safely.

Within 10 minutes his bowels had released their toxic poisons to the outside where they would no longer harm him. Within 5 minutes after telling him to wake up Peter emerged. As is usually the case he was at first disoriented as to time and place but quickly recovered. He laid his head down on my shoulder and was soon asleep, breathing deeply and rhythmically.

I whispered to David, "I'm going to lift him up and carry him to bed but first, take care of his need. Be very gentle."

After getting Peter to bed and settled in I went to the patio where mom and Dr. Choi were talking. When I approached they looked up. I said, "Mom, Peter has been having very severe cramps. You and Jim, dad, told us to inform you of such matters if they occurred after intercourse."

Mom immediately got up, as did Dr. Choi. I led them into the bedroom where Peter was lying comfortably, sound asleep as evidenced by his breathing and failure to acknowledge our presence.

Dr. Choi, seeing Peter lying peacefully, said, "I am not a medical doctor. I am sorry."

Mom said, "I'm not a doctor either but that doesn't stop me from checking my boy. Antoine, surely you boys brought some..."

Matt said, "I'll be right back."

All evidence pointed to Peter being fine although his 'area' was understandably very inflamed and swollen, and would obviously be very sore.

David was much calmer and relaxed knowing that Peter was okay, but I had a burn in the pit of my stomach that wouldn't quit. Even though I was calm and collected, or appeared to be, I was burning up. I relaxed when I swore to myself that I would avenge my brother's harm.

David crawled into bed with Peter. Mom covered them up and made sure the pillows were arranged just right then we exited the room and closed the door to let them sleep as long as they could rest. I was hoping against all hope that David's strength would pass into Peter because I knew Peter's road was going to be long, and at times – intense.

*-* Peggy's account *-*

It was getting late in the afternoon. We still needed to see Jim in the hospital where he'd been taken after breaking his leg the previous day.

Antoine was fidgety. His eyes had changed since we'd left Peter and David in the bedroom after making sure that Peter hadn't been seriously injured in a physical way. He was up and down checking on them every 10 minutes, sometimes more frequent.

Alexander, attempting to diffuse the situation made a quirky remark, "You're going to wear a path in the concrete." I had been thinking the same thing but hadn't said anything.

Matt stood up and went to the love of his life, took hold of Antoine's shoulders and began massaging them, as I'd seen Antoine do for him many, many times.

Mom spoke up, "Boys, why don't you go down to the beach and walk around for a while. Peter is in good hands here. He needs the sleep. Go on son. We'll frequently check on the boys. Come back in an hour or so. You need the fresh air."

All three of the adults looked at me then to Matt then to me again. They were telling the truth... they would check up on Peter as they said they would do... a pang of shame and guilt took hold as I thought about my doubting their word.

I turned to Matt and said, "One hour." He went to the bar, retrieved our cell phones, handed me one and kept the other for himself. He said to mom, "Call us if there's any change, or if Peter wakes up, please."

Mom got up, walked over and then put her arms around my waist and pulled us together, tightly. She said, "Deal with your anger son. It is doing you no good. It is harming you. It is like a cancer. Trust the system. It will work. Do not go to their level. Do not let them have victory over your soul, child."

I shuddered violently. In a desperate attempt to keep from losing my well taught discipline of control I hugged her deeply, and pulled her in tightly, and then held it, until the emotion passed.

"Thanks mom. Okay, we'll go but only for one hour. You are right."

She playfully patted my butt, and she said something that she'd never said before, "Make sure you use the restroom before you go."


Is that what mothers do to their children?

Nobody had ever told me to use the restroom before going somewhere.

Matt giggled.

I'd been had.

Mom belly laughed. As did Alexander. Dr. Choi sat in his chair smiling, clearly amused.

With that said and out of the way, like good little boys, we headed into the bathroom to use it before we went outside to play.

When I started to head for Peter and David's room, Matt took my hand and led us into the bathroom, instead. Quickly he closed the door, took my hands in his, and then brought us together into a crushing kiss, a kiss that was welcome, and a kiss that I returned.

Matt said breathlessly, "Make slow love to me tonight, please."

I answered his request by pulling him in and kissing him passionately, as if there was no tomorrow.

My maleness was fully elongated. Matt's fingers expertly traced its outline slowly and deliberately through my shorts and underwear. With all the tension and unrest of the day... Matt was insistent... my legs were like bowls of Jell-O... seemingly in slow motion he took me to the toilet, unfastened my shorts, dropped them to the floor, forced me to sit down, and then he took me in and devoured that which designates me as male until I could stand no more.

Turnabout is fair play, as the saying goes.

We both then stood at the toilet at took care of that little business.

Just as I was bringing up my shorts and just as Matt was snapping his... we heard screaming, horrific screaming coming from the living area.

*-* As told by Peggy *-*

I had just poured Dr. Choi and me fresh glasses of iced tea when Peter came into the kitchen. He was raging. He was not there. And he was loaded for bear. David was trying to grab Peter's shorts to stop him... from what. The look in David's eyes had nothing but terror in them.

Before he could get the words that were forming in his mouth out – Peter tore through the kitchen, hit the door jam on the way out to the patio balcony but quickly recovered then not missing a beat headed for the... wall.

Everything happened in slow motion.

Dr. Choi arose from his chair.

But Alexander was faster. Not slow motion.

Peter jumped. High. As if he were going to... He was going fast, too fast. The trajectory. It was all wrong.

"PETER NO!!!!!!!! STOP!!!!!!!!!!" I screamed.

David was hysterically screaming, making no sense.

Dr. Choi lunged at the very last possible second, before...

Alexander, taller than Dr. Choi grabbed Peter's waist. Peter's torso was already half way over the...

Peter repeatedly screamed, all the while fighting, clawing and scratching, "LET ME GO YOU SON OF A BITCH MOTHERFUCKERS!!! FUCK YOU!"

Let him go they did not. Thank God.

They then wrestled him to the ground, kicking, screaming, cursing, biting, hitting, beating, clawing, scratching... and they didn't let go, not for one second did they let go.

*-* As told by Antoine *-*

Within a split second I was in on the patio balcony, only to see Peter raging out of control. Dr. Choi and Alexander were lying atop Peter's kicking and screaming form.

Immediately, I ran to Peter then began to tear them off our brother, but mom stopped me. She said, "He was going to jump!"

Terror filled me to the core. Jump. Who Peter? No, it couldn't be.

Much to my surprise, I pushed Dr. Choi and Alexander off Peter. I grabbed Peter in my arms, sat him up, and then mashed his body into mine, telling him over and over again to not do something stupid.

*-* Peggy's view *-*

Antoine said forcefully, "You're going to hurt him. He just had major surgery. Let me handle this. Peter, wake up. Come back. You're being stupid, bro. You can't leave David like that shit."

Peter connected a hit on Antoine's chest but Antoine ignored it. Instead, he squeezed even harder on Peter, kept telling him to calm down, that he was safe, and that he wasn't going to release him until he stopped fighting.

I was surprised that Peter hadn't connected with Dr. Choi or Alexander. He'd been throwing lethal blows that surely would have hurt them had he directly connected.

Dr. Choi, while leaning into Peter's face took his head into his hands and said forcefully, "Peter, wake up, come back to us right now."

When Peter was unable to return to the present, and he continued to fight, Dr. Choi performed a very unconventional tactic... he open handed slapped Peter's face. I thought Antoine was going to attack Dr. Choi for striking his brother yet the tactic worked. He stopped fighting. His cursing and screaming stopped, and then he broke down into quiet sobs.

Antoine released the hold he had on Peter then wrapped his arms loosely and protectively around him. Dr. Choi, meanwhile, put his hands on Peter's shoulders saying much calmer, "We couldn't let you do what you were going to, Peter. Everyone in this room loves you. You couldn't let them down. You would never have wanted that."

David, filled with terror, rage and fury tossed his crutches to the floor, sat down and got into Peter's face. Angrily he said, "You son of a bitch. You son of a bitch you just about quit on me. You son of a bitch. This is fucked up, Peter. I love you god damn it. How many damn times do I have to tell you that I love you?"

Very slowly, very tentatively, almost afraid like, Peter raised his hand, hovered it over David's shoulder then let it rest, but then pulled it away when Dr. Choi got up from the floor, and softly said to Peter, "Let's sit. Let's sit and go over exactly what's going on, okay?"

Dr. Choi, Alexander, and Antoine lifted Peter to his feet.

I was shocked at what I saw. His lower belly and the front of his thighs were scraped, and had that white concrete powdered look to them. He had a little abrasion on his chin.

A violent chill cause me to shudder almost out of control. The thought that he had just about succeeded in permanently quitting was just about too much to take in and process all at once.

I looked down to David. He was shell shocked.

I surveyed the scene... Dr. Choi and Alexander were behind Peter, one on either side. Antoine had his hand securely around Peter's belt. Peter was safe.

I handed David his crutches. Between my help and a helping hand from Antoine we raised him to a standing position. He fell into my arms. He said brokenly, softly but just loud enough to be heard all around, "What would I do without my Peter? That might as well have been me jumping off if he would have done it."

While Dr. Choi, Alexander, Antoine and Matt escorted Peter to the living area, I walked side by side by a very quiet David with my arm around his shoulders.

Dr. Choi was arranging chairs around in a circle. Peter was placed next to Dr. Choi. Alexander sat on the other side. David sat in front of Peter, and I sat next to David, and Matt sat next to me, and Antoine sat down on the floor in front of me. He leaned his back against my legs. I reached around his strong upper body and patted his chest lovingly.

Just as we were about to get started, Antoine got up, walked around to the back of the chair Peter was sitting in, laid his hands gently on his soon to be brothers' shoulders and whispered something into his ear. Peter flashed a quick grin. Antoine kissed him on the cheek then backed away so that Alexander could take his place. My son returned to his place, patted my hand and drew my arms down over his chest, and then held onto my wrist.

Alexander then leaned into Peter's ear and said, just above a whisper, audible to all close by "I love Hou, lil bro. Listen to him, he can help."

Dr. Choi, looking directly into Peter's eyes, holding his hands said, "Peter. I said to you that everyone in this room loves you. I meant it. Lex-Lex, as you call him, is my mate, just as David is yours. He loves you, so, as a result, and without question, so do I. We are here to help."

"How, how can he possibly help?" Peter said sadly, his grin gone to the wayside.

I sat down on the floor in front of Peter then took his hands from Dr. Choi's and squeezed them meaningfully.

"Peter. Do you remember the last time we saw each other?" Alexander said softly.

"Yeah, I'll never forget …" Peter said sadly with tears streaming down his cheeks.

"It was a shit storm..." then to me he said, "I want to apologize for my language, but I will only use terms like that sparingly." <I nodded> "I got busted that day." Alexander said painfully. A lone teardrop escaped his right eye, rolled down his cheek then landed on Peters' forehead as he leaned over and kissed the top of Peter's head.

"Yeah, I remember … what happened? I never saw you again."

"I'm sorry bro. Everything was out of my control. It was a fuckin nightmare, I don't know how else to say it." Alexander said sadly then he quickly looked at me and opened his mouth to say "I" …

"Please do not apologize. Just speak freely. We're here to help Peter and if the language is required to help, then just do it."

"So, what happened, Lex-Lex? What went down? Why did you leave?"

"Well, I was invited to that party, the one you decided not to go to cuz the guy gave you the creeps, remember?"

"He was a total asshole." Peter said then quickly looked at me. I nodded.

"Well, I shoulda listened to you. It was me and about 10 other guys we knew from the streets. We were all taken to a warehouse down by the docks." Alexander said knowingly then paused.

I felt the bottom was about to drop out so leaning forward I rested my arms on Peter's knees so that he would feel my presence, and love, and caring, and commitment. Dr. Choi moved behind Alexander, put his hands on his shoulders then whispered something into his ear. A pained expression passed Alexander's face. He nodded then continued, "There were a bunch of customers standing around. They were waiting for us. The place was fabulous. There were beds, sofas, pillows, and all that stuff all around. We were separated from each other... I found that odd but a really cool dude picked me up and took me to one of the sofas. Immediately, I started undressing because I wanted what he had, even though I didn't know what he had."

"Since it was classy joint, when he asked me how much, I sad $25.00 for a blow job, $50.00 if I fucked him, and $200.00 if he fucked me. By then I was stripped down to my underwear. When I put my thumbs in the waistband, he pulled out a pair of cuffs, and before I could do or say anything, I was under arrest. All of those customers were undercover vice. We were all busted."

"We were carted off to the juvenile hotel, strip searched, handled roughly, and treated like a pack of dogs. When they took me to my cell... there were too many... I tried to fight but there were just too many... what happened to you happened to me."

Tears were freely flowing from Alexander's eyes. Dr. Choi took Alexander into his arm and held tightly.

Then Peter's eyes glazed over. He began screaming, "THOSE MOTHER FUCKERS!!!!!!!!! I WILL FUCKING KILL THEM!!!!!!!!!!!"

Peter then lay down and began beating his head on the floor but Antoine quickly swept Peter into his arms, and said, "No Peter, that's my job, so don't you worry. I swear to God I'll kill them, each one of them, one by one or all of them together. I swear!"

"NO! I'm not worth it. Matt needs you. Please don't do that. It would be stupid."

Antoine had tears in his eyes. He looked into my eyes. He had determination in them... I saw that 'look' again, that look of fierce determination to exact justice.

With the full realization of exactly what happened to Peter, I seriously thought about nodding thus giving Antoine full rein, yet reason took over. Seriously, I shook my head no.

Antoine nodded then averted his gaze to Matt who'd just entered the area. He appeared confused, I saw it, I felt it; the scene was unfolding right before my very own eyes… Alexander stepped in. He said, "I've got Peter."

That released my son. Immediately he got up and went to Matt. Matt pulled my boy into a deep hug and held on.

Alexander, meanwhile, said, "it's okay now lil bro. You're here with people who love you. We have both been through a shit storm and we lived to tell about it. But Hou found me right after it happened. I wanted to die then he showed me how much I wanted to live."

Just then I felt something touch my back and wrap its arms around me. I turned just enough to see and feel David's presence. He was shaking. Tears were flowing freely from his eyes and down his cheeks, landing on and sliding down his chest.

I pulled him into a hug then whispered into his ear, "Honey, Peter's really afraid right now, but I think he's made a breakthrough. Peter, honey, someone's here to see you."

Peter looked up. The second he saw David, with Alexander and Antoine's assistance, he got up from the floor, walked over and stood in front of David. Both boys were so afraid. I felt David trembling, and saw Peter's muscles doing the same thing. Their eyes locked. All else around them was oblivious.

I put my hands on Peter's back, and with minimal pressure, gently pushed him toward the love of his life. Then they went on automatic pilot. Their lips found their mate's. Hungrily, wantonly, it wasn't hard to figure out that their tongues were dueling for supremacy. Peter's arms went around David, his hands and specifically his fingers were digging deeply, and holding onto David's butt cheeks thus pulling them together. God forgive anyone who got between them.

When they parted, both were breathing heavily, panting to regain oxygen content in their lungs.

Somewhat recovered from their forage into their deep, deep, lasting and undying love, David said with tears freely flowing, "Peter, I love you with every last bit of whom and what I am and what I stand for. I am here for you now, and I will be here for you to the end of time then beyond that until the sun no longer comes up, and then some more. Nothing that any of those bastards did to you can change one little bit of how I feel. Nothing!"

After the room became quiet again, this time with much less tension in the air, Dr. Choi said quietly "Call room service, order up a bunch of fruits and cold cuts. Order a lot of juices, no soda. This is going to be a long afternoon. You may want to go visit Jim."

Peter brokenly asked "Where's dad … what happened … why isn't he here?"

Matt, carefully choosing his words, said "Uhm, dad fell down the stairs at the courthouse and broke his ankle. Richard showed him paperwork that got you out of jail. They used plates and screws and some other stuff to fix it. He's going to be okay though."

Peter seemed satisfied with Matt's answer however his mood became sad, scared. He fidgeted, then he detached once again, not with anger, instead his face turned hard, and harder as he said slowly, "David, there were 4 guys and 2 guards in that cell. They all had a piece of me. They all fucked me. Antoine, I used the meditation you taught me to get through it. It really helped a lot, thanks. David, I'm sorry. What I said earlier, about us just being brothers and nothing more, is what I want it to be … I feel filthy dirty. I'm used goods now. Anyway, I want to go take a shower, alone. I need to get the filth off of me."

Alexander spoke up when Peter began to release David, devoid of any emotion saying, "Peter, 7 guys and 2 guards ganged up on me, oh yeah the vice cop had me too. They split me in half. I wanted to die. Hou is my man. He takes good care of me. I get afraid but we've worked through a lot of that stuff. I'll never be the same. Things get better. I no longer see myself as damaged goods. What happened did happen but I'm no longer paralyzed. Give David a chance. David, be patient. Peter, be patient."

That said, Alexander went to the bathroom, closing the door behind him.

David, with confidence, said "I don't care if 100 guys fucked you. I don't care if they pissed on you, or shit on you, or anything. They did what they did to your body, not to your soul. It's your soul, your heart, your mind that I love. Yeah, you're body is great <giggle> but that's only a small part of why I love you."

"Sorry. I guess I'm getting carried away with my mouth." David added apologetically.

"You guys need to stop apologizing. I appreciate your words of apology however under the circumstances, sometimes words have to be said that we normally do not use to get through something. It's okay, speak your heart."

"Peggy, I'm sorry … I would never do anything to hurt you. I'm just … I'm just … I'm just …" David said apologetically.

"I know honey. I've worked the streets. I've heard the words and have felt the emotions from <looking at Peter> other boys who have had similar things happen to them."

"I love you, Peter. I know what it's all about. Been there, done that." Matt said assuredly.

"I love ya too bro. Your choices were taken away. You were hurt and harmed. All of the rules against a human being were broken. Mom, I will be talking to dad. I have to."

I nodded knowingly. "We'll talk about that later."

That said, with the mood much lighter, quiet once again took over but this time the quiet was much more peaceful.

Alexander came out of the bathroom then stood next to me.

Dr. Choi interrupted the silence by softly saying to Peter, "You need to process this. Realize it makes no difference to those that love you. It happened. It's part of who you are now. It hasn't changed anything in how those around you feel about you."

"Okay guys, I'm going to order food. Who's hungry? Peter, would you like something light to eat?" I asked.

For a second Peter looked confused but then nodded oddly. He then looked down, saw the state of his clothes then whispered into David's ear, and since I was so close to them I heard his concern, "I need to change clothes and take a shower. Oh wait, I don't have anything to …"

David looked down and noticed that his clothes, too, were soiled. He said, "I've got extra clothes, can I shower with you, is it okay?"

When Peter's face registered fear, David took his hand, squeezed it firmly then whispered, "We don't have to do anything... I'm sorry... I'll never hurt you Peter... I just want to be with you, please?"

I saw the look in Peter's eyes go from 'here' to 'there'. Without another word said, Peter took off for the bathroom but he'd left the door open.

Dr. Choi walked to David and said, "You did everything correct. Let Peter lead you. I have no doubt that he feels safe with you. Just remember, Peter's healing will take time. Okay, can you think this way?"

"Okay, this is so very hard."

Alexander stepped up. He said, "Hou, I felt so dirty after that happened. I couldn't take enough showers and baths. Don't you remember that it was you who started washing my hair until I could relax enough, and then we just progressed as I became more comfortable?"

Dr. Choi considered Alexander's words. He responded to David, "Alexander is correct. I am going to suggest that you let nature happen, and let Peter guide you, okay, someone is waiting for you."

At once, all of us looked toward the hallway. Peter had on but a pair of underwear. He was looking at David. David shuddered then released himself from my grip. Antoine grabbed David's crutches and handed then to him. David then headed toward the bathroom. They went into the bathroom and closed the door behind them.

I looked to Dr. Choi, "Should they..."

He replied, "Their bond is very strong. I have no worries. David is very sensitive to Peter's needs. Peter is very sensitive to David's needs. I think they will be okay."

Antoine stepped up, "I'll stand outside the door." Without waiting for an answer, he took Matt's hand then they headed in the direction of the bathroom, stopped outside the door, then Antoine pulled Matt in for an embrace.

*-* Meanwhile in the bathroom *-*

After entering the bathroom, Peter headed to the sink area, retrieved a toothbrush from the bag, squeezed out a dollop then put the apparatus in his mouth, and then headed into the commode area.

I wondered if I should follow him... I had no idea if he had been hurt, you know, hurt real bad. I shuddered violently thinking that my Peter had been hurt. Without any further thought I walked into the area where Peter was sitting on the toilet. He was fiercely grimacing with obvious discomfort.

I sat down on the floor, held his knees in my hands. He looked deeply into my eyes and whispered, "It hurts. I'm sorry, David. I'm so sorry."

"Shush baby. I'm here with ya all the way. They had no right... what they did was wrong."

After several more attempts to release refuse, without success, he said, "It hurts too badly. I'm done."

I tore off a piece of tissue, looked into Peter's eyes asking him for an opportunity for me to tell him that he was okay to me. Slowly, hesitatingly, he turned around and then sat on the toilet backwards which opened his cheeks. I said, "I'm going to touch you so I can see in there, okay baby?"

Peter reached around and lifted away one of his cheeks. I lifted away the other one and then peered into his deep, dark place. He was a little swollen but the thing I noticed, and made a special note to tell him. Chuckling, I said, "You're growing some pubes back here, dude."

Almost, but not quite, in his normal tone of voice he replied, "Like you aren't, oh hairy person."

I said, "I am not."

By that time Peter was once again standing. Without warning he stuck his hand in my butt, wiggled a bit then I felt a sting, "Ouch!"

"See what I mean... that was hair I grabbed."

With that we went to the sink and brushing our teeth. Every once in a while our eyes would lock. Neither of us made any attempt to avert our gaze.

Peter usually stands in such a manner to help support me standing but we were about a foot away... but absentmindedly migrated to his normal position at my side. He wrapped his arm around my waist. My arm automatically went around his waist as we brushed in a comfortable silence. Even though I was trying so hard, with all of my might to not bone up... the obvious was seen tenting out my underwear. Peter squeezed that little bit of loose skin on the side of the small of my back.

I was looking into the mirror, into his eyes the whole time. He started going away, like he'd gone away before, but would immediately come back which I'd scratch those bumps of bone that protected his spinal cord.

When Peter leaned down to spit, he quietly said, "I don't know if I can, David."

"I love you whether or not we make physical love. I really like when we cuddle babe. So long as I can touch you, I'm okay. Do you remember how we laid together, just touching, right after your operation? That's what I like."

"That's what I figured. I knew you didn't want to make love with me. I'm dirty. I'll always be dirty."

Peter released his hold, grabbed a glass, filled it with water and then rinsed his mouth. When he spit and wiped his mouth I took him in my arms, held him tight, held our dicks together and pressed into him firmly. I said, "Peter, I'd make love to you in a New York second. I'll make love to you a million gazillion times... you just say the word. I'd hurt you now, and you know it."

By then Peter was totally pronged up, just like I was. I started to pull his underwear down, and made it to just below his cheeks when he took over. Sheepishly, as if he were wondering what my reaction would be he dropped his shorts to the floor, and then faced me and said, "I'm damaged goods, David. Just give me time, okay, please?"

"Babe, you aren't damaged goods. We've got our entire lifetimes, okay. I'll wait forever. Peter, please don't get mad at me if I touch you... I can't just give up, and I won't just give up."

Silently, individually, we washed, rinsed, and then dried off. Because there was nowhere to sit, he helped me to dress. When we were all put together, we shared any remnants of toothpaste within our oral caverns, and then we headed out, ready to face the world, together.

When David and Peter went to take their showers, I called room service and requested a cold cut, cheese and fruit tray. They said it would take about 30 minutes to prepare, and that they would deliver it.

Several minutes later, David and Peter entered the room. They appeared much more relaxed, confident, and there was even a bit of happiness emanating from within their beings.

While we were waiting for the food to arrive, the boys turned on the TV while I called Jim, spoke to him for a short minute or two then handed Peter the phone but when he stood there nervously, I pushed the button to turn on the speaker; Jim said "Peter, are you there?"

"Yes, sir, I'm here … I'm sorry." Peter said fearfully.

"Me too. I love you. You are my son. Nothing will change these facts. We'll work it out."

"Peggy says we are coming up later … I'll talk to you then, okay?"

"Peter, we're going to work this out, trust me. Love ya, buddy."

"Bye dad."

Peter drew my arms around his shoulders and held on tight for a minute before getting up and joining the rest of the boys on the bed watching TV.

When Dr. Choi returned from the kitchen area, he announced, "Okay, we all have some work to do here. Peter, David, we need to talk, alone. Why don't we go to my room, just down the hall together and we can talk. We will send for others as we need them. When the food arrives, please bring it to us. Is that agreeable, Peggy?"

"Yes, that's fine." I said then David and Peter got up and walked to me. I gave both the boys hugs, and kisses on their cheeks.

Once they were out the door, I said a silent prayer. The boys were involved in a Three Stooges rerun so they didn't notice me go into the kitchen to call Father Ben for a spiritual jumpstart.

When we arrived in Dr. Choi and Alexander's room, Alexander fixed us Cokes, refusing our assistance, saying he was the host.

Who were we to argue?

Dr. Choi had arranged a bunch of pillows on each side in the middle of the bed. When we arrived, he took our drinks and placed them on the end tables, one on each side, then invited us to lie together, to get comfortable, and to touch.

Dr. Choi and Alexander pulled up chairs and sat down once we were comfortable. I welcomed Peter into my arms then we laid in companionable silence with my arm around his shoulders as he lay on his side, facing Dr. Choi and Alexander.

Peter kissed my cheek then said apologetically, "I'm sorry, David."

"Why? Did you ask for any of it? Did you participate voluntarily? Did you enjoy any of it? Come on, my love, you have done nothing to be sorry for. What happened with you and Dad happened. But you weren't yourself. Dad already told you he doesn't blame you. If anything I'm sorry for not insisting that I go with you and dad. If I would have... none of this would have happened."

"David. Stop. Stop that right now." Dr. Choi said softly. He sat straight up in his chair and added, "You don't know that. What happened might have happened anyway. And it could have been worse. Just don't go there."

"Don't blame yourself, David." Peter said then brokenly added, "What if I would have hurt you? God, I couldn't have..."

Dr. Choi interjected, "Boys, stop blaming yourselves. This is counterproductive to what we're trying to do here. Peter, answer me a question."

Peter looked to Dr. Choi.

"Did you intentionally hurt your father?"

Vigorously, Peter shook his head no then whispered, "I'd never hurt dad, but I did."

"Were you aware that you were hurting him?"

"I was trying to get away. He was going to beat me, I knew he was."

I lightly squeezed Peter's chest, and tenderly kissed his cheek then said, "Dad's going to be okay. You may have hurt him some, but he still loves you and what happened won't change a thing in how he feels about you. You heard him. We need to get through this, and we will. Together. One for all and all for one!"

Dr. Choi rephrased his question, "Peter, has your father ever struck you before? Think very carefully before you answer?"

Immediately, without hesitation, Peter vigorously shook his head no.

To me Dr. Choi asked, "David has your father ever struck you?"

"No, never."

Then he added, "You have an older brother, correct?"

"Yes, his name's Jeremy."

"Peter, have you ever seen your father strike Jeremy, your adopted brother?"


"Okay, so is it safe to assume your father does not strike out in anger, correct?"

I replied, "Correct."

Dr. Choi looked to Peter for his answer. Peter adjusted his position so that he was fully spooned into my front then answered, "Correct."

Peter relaxed noticeably. I felt some of the tension release from his back muscles. I leaned over and softly kissed his cheek. He turned his face up, puckered his lips, which I did not hesitate kissing, for a brief moment.

"You love David very much. I see the way you two interact together. Peter, this question is vitally important. I need to know from you exactly what you are feeling now. At this very moment. David … after Peter, you're next." Dr. Choi said.

After a slight pause, Peter replied, "I'm not really sure what I feel. I feel that I betrayed you, David … I mean … well … I mean …"

I started to speak. Dr. Choi said, "David, please let Peter finish. Peter, what are you feeling right now?"

Peter turned his face up away from Dr. Choi and looked into my eyes with penetration, "I'm scared. I'm so scared. David, I'm so afraid that I won't be any good to you anymore... I mean yeah, I'll give you my sex, as soon as I'm not sore... but I'm afraid that I won't be the same for you... oh I'm so confused." Peter tensed up and tried to wiggle free but I stopped him. He wasn't really trying to get away... if he would have really tried then I'd have let him go, you know, like if he got sick to his stomach or something.

Unable to hold myself back to let Peter finish, I said, "Wait. Do you remember when we messed around with Allen and Angel … and how we decided that we were not going to fuck, that we were going to leave that ONLY for you and I? Then we both decided that playing around was not for us?"

"Yeah … David, I didn't have a choice … dad says wrong is when someone takes away people's choices… you know? I mean … well, you know."

"You didn't have a choice about what happened to you yesterday, right?" I asked seriously.

Peter slightly shook his head no.

Dr. Choi said, "David, Peter, rape is nothing more than the need to exert the ultimate control over someone. It's an illness actually. The person who commits rape usually feels so badly about themselves they need to show themselves that they are more powerful than someone else. David, Peter had no choice. Peter and I am sure David was trying to say exactly that, he does not blame you."

Peter completely turned around to look directly into my eyes, I whispered, "Peter, I do not blame you. Like I said in the bathroom, I would make love to you in a New York second. You are just as attractive, and I love you so much, in fact I love you so much more that it hurts." I felt tears welling up in my eyes. My throat constricted. My lungs felt heavy.

Dr. Choi said softly, "Peter. When Peggy was arranging for me to be here, I was talking with David. He was so worried about you. Honestly, you should be very proud of your man. He stood by you in a way that makes me surprised that he's only 14. That was a compliment, David ... not a put down."

For the first time since our ordeal began Peter leaned down and tenderly kissed my lips, not once but twice in rapid succession. He said, "David, you've always been strong for me. I'm always in trouble of some kind … you're always there. I've never done anything to help you."

"Bullshit." I said as the tears began flowing. Alexander handed me a Kleenex which I used to dab away the tears that were still flowing, though more reservedly. When I could speak again I continued, "You were and have been and will be behind me 200% … you pushed me into getting that fucking Leg. You yourself told me that it would help me to feel whole again – and you know what?" Without waiting for an answer, I continued, answering my own question, "It did. I do feel more whole. You changed my life forever! I am and will always be grateful. You showed me I could truly love someone. In my heart, after losing my leg, I was thinking nobody would want only part of a man. You showed me I was desirable. I will never forget that. Besides, you are going through a lot of shit. It may seem like you are always in trouble, but that will pass, then it will be someone else's turn, and we'll stick by them just as we are with you. And ... after that, it will be someone else, and we'll do the same. We're family. That's what really matters."

I couldn't go on any further. My emotions were overflowing. I tried to speak but all that would come out was a series of muffled sobs, muffled because Peter had covered my mouth with his, and was madly sucking on my tongue.

Dr. Choi cleared his throat several times. Alexander piped up and said, "Would you guys go get a room for fuck sake!"

Slowly, we pulled ourselves back from the brink of being totally consumed with desire for MORE, and I do mean so much MORE! I was so hard... I was on the brink of losing a spill of semen in my shorts... I more than likely would have done just that had Dr. Choi and Alexander not been in the room.

As we came down our eyes never wavered, that is until we heard a knock on the door which brought us up and out of our moment of passion. Peter sat up and wiggled his way to the side of the bed. I did the same. When I moved around I found my underwear to be somewhat wet, and my dick, well it was straining the fabric of my jeans. I knew if Peter touched me I'd fill my underwear with juice. I chanced a look down into his lap and saw his pants bulging also. I put my arm around his shoulder, kissed his cheek softly then looked to Alexander who was standing at the door.

It was Antoine and Matt... They'd brought our lunch.

Alexander, being the host he was, took the tray and placed it on the serving bar, got everything 'just right' then told us to come get it.

Dr. Choi was talking with Matt and Antoine before they returned to their room then he announced that Matt was going to stay with us because of the natural bond both he and Peter shared. Antoine was not taken aback in any sense of the word. They quickly kissed then Antoine left, and Matt sat down on the bed next to me and Peter.

*-* Meanwhile, in dad's hospital room *-*

Just as I was punching in David's cell phone number after taking one of those illustrious bed baths, Richard entered the room. After exchanging pleasantries, Richard pulled several sheets of paperwork from his briefcase, handed them to me and said, "Jim, the second form was Peter's ticket for release, the first page is the arrest form completed by the arresting officer; please check it carefully then pay particular attention to the left lower portion, specifically the Miranda rights read, accepted, the officers' initials spot, and the date and time."

While my eyes were blurry from the various pain medications I had been administered during the previous hours, I clearly noticed those spaces were blank; that is they were not completed, at all.

"Holy moley, Richard. That is basic law enforcement procedure. So Peter got his ticket to freedom early then.

"That's correct. Your friend, and Peter's friend, an angel perhaps if you believe in such things, brought Peter his freedom from 'jail'."

"So, how is he? Peggy said that he was sick to his stomach this morning. I was just calling their room. Peter didn't answer his phone, maybe it was lost. I seem to have dropped my phone sometime, somewhere yesterday afternoon. That reminds me, I need to call Fugi." I said concernedly.

"Jim …"

"We have a pretty good case for procedural misconduct. Those monies could be put into Peter's college education account …"

"Jim …"

"Things were crazy yesterday, Richard. Peter's behavior was absolutely and totally uncharacteristic for him although I knew he was scared going in. He's been scared. He's been afraid since arriving at our home. He should have been in therapy …"

"Jim, please just listen to what I need to tell you."

He had my attention. I nodded.

Richards' face turned ashen. He coughed nervously, cleared his throat, looked down to the floor for a brief second then steeling strength from somewhere, perhaps within, perhaps from a spiritual being, looked me directly in my eyes "Jim, Peter was hurt during his short time in holding yesterday. I don't know how else to say this so I'll just say it: I regret having to say he was sexually assaulted by four boys ages 15 thru 17, two 17 year olds and …"

"Oh fuck no. Oh fuck no, Richard. Where in the fuck were you? Why didn't you get him out in time? God damn it to fucking hell, Richard. No. Not my son. I promised to protect him. I promised him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" I screamed, sobbing as my heart broke and shattered into a million pieces as profound grief overtook my entire body.

Mad as hell, I said "Richard, get me the fuck out of here, and get me the fuck out of here NOW!"

That said, I yanked the IV needle from my arm, tossed the tubing and other apparatus to the floor then screamed, "GET ME THE FUCK OUT OF HERE. MY SON NEEDS ME … DON'T YOU FUCKING UNDERSTAND GOD DAMN IT!!!"

At the same time, a team of nurses entered my hospital room, made their futile attempts to settle me down, attempts I discarded as if they were pieces of paper ready to be thrown away in a trash receptacle.

"Get me some damn crutches. I am leaving. Now! Hurry the hell up. I will take no excuses else I will sue the hell out of this place. Do it now. Richard, get my fucking clothes."

"I understand, Jim."

"No Richard, you have no fucking clue. Get me the fuck out of here. Just do it."

I looked up from my rage and saw no less than 10 people had entered the small room. I wasn't at all embarrassed my outburst. I looked to Richard, "Get me the fuck out of here."


"No Richard. If you're going to be my attorney then make it happen. Just do it for Christ sake."

Just then, Dr. Palmer, my orthopedic surgeon entered the hospital room. His demeanor was such that I saw only concern on his face and in his body language. He asked, clearly upset but calm at the same time, "Jim, what's wrong? You can't leave the hospital without getting plenty of intravenous antibiotics on board … your fracture was open, meaning it was open to the air, dirt and bad germs. If prevention is not performed then you could very well lose your leg, or worse, you could die. Give us another 24 to 36 hours, please."

"Doctor, you don't understand. My son was raped. I have to get out of here. I have to be with my son. His getting raped is my fault. This would have never happened…"

"Please, everybody, leave this hospital room. Please draw up a set of AMA papers for Mr. Blake to sign, should he actually choose to leave." Dr. Palmer said with empathy clearly in his voice.

After everyone left, including Richard, Dr. Palmer sat down in a chair next to my bed then said softly, "Jim, there's nothing you could have done to actually prevent what happened from happening. Talk to me about yesterday. I'm listening."

We spent the next 45 minutes or so talking about the events that had occurred the previous day. Between my bouts of shouting, between my bouts of anger and rage and profound sorrow and profound grief, we talked it out.

"Doctor Palmer, I have to be with my son. I just have to be."

"Jim, did you actually hit Peter yesterday?"

"Of course not … but I was angry, very angry, and very disappointed with him. I was even ashamed of him … oh shit, I did raise my hand … I wanted to slap him so hard."

"Exactly. Jim, you did nothing out of the ordinary when a child disrespects and disobeys his parents in such a manner … plus, I believe you were very, very afraid for Peter's safety as he wove in and out of traffic. I would have probably reacted in a manner much like you."

"I need to be with him. That's final. Sign me out or I will go AMA."

"I can't Jim. You will be making a very big mistake for two reasons …"

After wiping my face removing tears and snot with the wash cloth, I turned to him and said solemnly, with sarcasm dripping off of each word "This had better be good."

"Jim, I'm on your side. I'm with you. Hear me out, okay?"

"You have me but this better be good …"

"Obviously, as an orthopedic doctor my concern lies with the issue of your leg. Jim, you had an open fracture of your tibia and fibula. We put plates and screws in to stabilize the injury. Germs always enter this kind of break. IV antibiotics are mandatory. I will not sign you out of the hospital."

He was right.

Dr. Palmer continued after a brief pause, "Jim, I have zero doubt that your son has been severely traumatized. With your care and concern for him the chances of his recovery are good … I'm not too sure that he … is your wife … who's with him now?"

"Peggy, my fiancée and 3 of my sons, or soon-to-be sons, are with him as we speak. Matt is Peter's identical twin brother.

Dr. Palmer looked over the top of his glasses. A quizzical looked passed across his face.

I thought to explain, a bit… "Dr. Palmer, we have at least two unique relationships within our family. Peter and David are in a significant relationship as are Matt and Antoine. Mind you, their relationships began… it sounds more complicated than it is."

"I see. I have no medical or ethical reason or legal basis to say anything to anyone. I have to ask one question though … their relationship is both consensual and you approve of it?"

"Yes, absolutely."

Dr. Palmer started to say something but I added, "You have me convinced with my medical situation. I'll behave. And I'm afraid I acted badly. My son was hurt. I broke a promise to him."

"Jim, unfortunately, we cannot be with our children at all times. I wish we could be. It would save them many headaches. We have some really good psychiatrists and psychologists on staff. I have one particular person in mind that can possibly help your family through this ordeal. If you'd like, I'll ask him to come see you."

"Peggy is an RN. She's already called in an expert on these situations. Have you ever had a child hurt like this?"

"No, no I haven't. Okay, I'm going to order your IV's restarted. I'm also going to have them give you an additional Morphine dose. If everything goes okay then we should get you out of here tomorrow."

"Okay, thanks. I'll be a good patient."

Dr. Palmer smiled then took his leave.

A few minutes later, Richard returned.

"I'm staying, at least until tomorrow. I'm sorry for my outburst, and I am sorry for what I said. You have been a good friend to me for most of my adult life, as well as being a good attorney."

"Think nothing more of it Jim. You received horrendous news; your reaction is more than understandable."

My thoughts briefly turned to what Richard had just said … he was severely wounded after being shot point blank in the chest by a client a few years ago. He survived his injuries, obviously. He did, however, lose much of his ability to deal with angry clients.

We talked for a while but I wasn't ready to hear the legal stuff such as lawsuits, punishments, and that kind of stuff. Instead, my sole concern lay with my family, and Peter in particular. I felt so damn powerless, and was beating myself down but good knowing that I hadn't been able to protect my son, and keep him from harm, as I'd promised him many times.

Richard promised to stay in touch on a very regular basis. He profusely apologized for his error, and then said that he was not going to represent our interests in the matter, simply because he'd committed an act of omission. He then told me about the lawsuit he had already filed that morning. He gave me the name of another attorney who would create a Revocable Trust for the proceeds of the suit.

With resignation he left the room. Two nurses arrived to restart my IV, and get me situated. When the adrenalin left my body I was in excruciating pain from the exertions, not to mention the injury.

They put some pain medicine on board. I didn't go to sleep but the pain was relieved from a level of 25 on a scale of 1 to 10, to about an 8.

When they were finished, I called Peggy.

Peggy: Hi Jim.

Me: Hi baby. I love you so much. I know about Peter, Richard told me.

Peggy: I'm sorry Jim, I just couldn't tell you over the phone. That wouldn't have been right. I didn't know all the details until just this morning.

Me: I understand. No, the phone is not the right way to hear about those things. Anyway, I went pretty bonkers but Dr. Palmer explained some things which calmed me down pretty good. Is he okay? I broke my promise to him, Peggy.

Peggy: Not really. But he's a trooper and is hanging in there. We're all around him. You two need to talk though. For both of you. Jim, I called in an old friend. He's a psychologist who deals with childhood rape victims as his vocation and profession. He's with Peter and David right now. I used to refer patients to him. He's good, really good. I trust him emphatically.

Me: Okay, good. That was something I was going to ask you about. What about medically, is he okay? Did you bring him to the ER? Does he need to be seen?

Peggy: Jim, he's pretty ashamed of himself... which is a normal thing. I didn't get to see his bottom all that well though from all indications I don't think he is injured all that seriously, at least from that point of view. I'm more concerned about his mental state... which is why I called in Dr. Choi.

Me: Like what?

Peggy: Jim, he's been going in and out of what we call disassociation. It's the mind's way of dealing with something that is too big to deal with using our conventional methods. It is a protective mechanism. The key to treatment is to get it as soon as possible, which he is.

Me: Okay. I love you. I'm not sure what I would do had you not been here …

Peggy: I love you too. We are just going to have to take this one day at a time. Honey, Antoine needs to talk to you … are you up to it?

Me: Of course I am, always.

Peggy: He's taken a tray of food down to David, Peter, Dr. Choi and Alexander... he should be back in a little while. I'll have him call you.

Me: I love you babe. I'm not sure what I'd do without you. Thanks. I love you.

*-* Back in Dr. Choi and Alexander's room *-*

Peter got up and fixed both him and me a sandwich. Matt made his, and Alexander made both him and Dr. Choi one.

When we were all seated, and devouring the meal Dr. Choi quipped, "Sometimes I wonder where you guys put all that food without gaining an ounce."

After kissing Matt, I slowly walked back to the room, entered and said to mom while I was fixing myself a sandwich, "Mom, I need to speak to Jim, alone, please."

"Honey, I talked to Jim. He knows everything, and yes he wants to talk to you too. Why don't you go down to the terrace where you can be alone? Don't stay too long though because I'll start worrying about you. Can't have that." Mom said then kissed my cheek and pulled me in tight. Everything was starting to hit me... I mean the emotional part. I'd already made the decision to take care of matters should the legal system fail Peter.

With one last squeeze we parted. I took my plate and headed downstairs via the elevator. The first two were packed full of conventioneers, so I took the steps down.

The terrace was filled to capacity with people eating their lunches outside. The day was beautiful in that the sun was in full, the trade winds were light, and the temperature was just perfect. I headed down to a picnic table that sat overlooking the ocean.

I took several bites of food and drank some orange juice to get my thoughts in order. I also wanted to get my emotions in order, because they came and went. In one minute I was filled to capacity with rage, another moment I was filled with profound grief... I told nobody that I'd gone into the bathroom, sat on the toilet but not for the usual reasons... instead, I let my sadness flow... it was too much for me to keep inside.

I pulled my inner strengths and then made the phone call to the man who I'd call dad, as soon as my inner breakers broke. I thought about him, about his support for my mother, about his care and concern about both my mom and me, and me alone. He told me I could talk to him at anytime about anything.

He answered on the 4th ring, "Hello."

"Hello dad. This is Antoine. Can you speak freely?"

"Of course I can. You can speak freely with me, Antoine. What's on your mind, son?"

That did it. He called me 'son'. My emotions completely broke down. I had to spit a bite of food out; I thought I was going to choke. I gave myself 'permission' to cry. I felt safe with the man on the other end of the phone. I couldn't stop. I didn't want to stop. All the while dad, my dad, told me to not keep it inside, to let it all out, to not hold anything inside because if I did then I'd destroy myself from the inside out.

After my emotions passed naturally, I said, "Okay, I think I'm alright now. Father, I have many grave concerns. I am very afraid. I've never felt this afraid before, not even when I was... traveling... I do not know where these are coming from..."

"Son, they are coming from within you. Your tears are normal and natural. I have been very upset, more than anyone will know. When you get sad, then just be sad, and share it. When you feel happy then just be happy, and share it. When you get afraid then just allow it to pass through you, and share about it. Your family will be there, at all times, to support you."

Yet another wave of painful, almost foreign emotions passed within then to the outside. Jim, dad, yes, dad, kept telling me to just let them happen until they were no longer happening.

Once they passed, I said, "Dad, <he took a deep breath of air then slowly let it out, but he didn't interrupt>, I must avenge my brothers' attackers. They took from him something that will never be returned. My mate, my Matt is in the depths of despair knowing a part of him had something taken away that can never be returned. My heart breaks for them. Our family will never be the same.

Dad: Antoine, Richard told me about some things that you cannot know. They are within the legal system. Suffice it to say those who attacked Peter will never again experience sexual gratification no matter how hard they try. I would just imagine that they have had a number of 'experiences' with fellow inmates. The rest is legal stuff; the rest is stuff that I cannot tell you. Do you understand what I'm saying?"

"Yes, I understand. But... I must call my Sensei."

Dad: "Understood."

Me: "And I must call my unnamed contact that lives in Cuba."

Dad: "Understood. But, listen to me very carefully."

Me: "I am listening."

Dad: You have my permission to only speak with your contact. You do not have my permission to make any plans or to take any action. We will, together, speak with Fugi once you have any information. Do you fully understand me?

Me: "Understood."

Dad: "We must respect the Sandstones. We must stay clean."

Me: "I must honor my new family. I must avenge my partners' and his/my brothers' pain and suffering at the hands of dishonorable people."

Dad: "Understood – however – we will honor the family in an honorable way."

Me: "My Sensei taught me the ways of honor."

Dad: "I know he has. You are honorable, Antoine. I will be proud to have you as my son."

Me: "You are an honorable man. I am honored to call you 'dad'. Do not blame yourself for that which happened yesterday."

Dad: <Trying to not choke up, largely successful, but not quite) … I'm working on that, trust me."

Me: "I trust you emphatically. How do you say it? 'That is a no-brain'."

Dad chuckled, "That works. Are we okay?"

Me: "Yes father. We are okay. Thank you sir for listening to me."

Dad: "We are okay Antoine. Are you doing okay?"

Me: "I feel better now. I feel strong, mostly."

Dad: "Do not push your feelings very far away from your heart. Promise me."

Me: "I promise. You have my word."

As soon as we disconnected, another huge tidal wave of grief, anger, even some rage began filling my senses. I left the tray on the table then took off running as fast and as hard as I could possibly run. I vaguely recall running down the beach as hard as I could possibly go.

*-* Back to Dr. Choi and Alexander's hotel room *-*

During our meal Matt and Peter began talking, sharing their inner beings in a way that I'd not ever seen before. Some of it I didn't understand, but then again, a lot of it I did understand because I'd felt those feelings from and through Peter. Peter was even smiling as they were talking, like things were healing up, somewhat. No, we'd probably never again be the same, but I had no doubt, despite what Peter had been saying about himself, that we'd get stronger... I just knew it.

Matt said, "You have no idea how good it feels to see you smile again, Peter. I was so scared. While we only recently met, I feel as if we're part of each other. When you were 'in the dark' I felt alone. Even before we met, I felt you. But for a while, you were gone. I couldn't take not having you at least with me in spirit."

Matt, with some difficulty, but after a brief pause continued, "I know how you were feeling. It was like I was worthless. Well, I'll tell you that is total bullshit. You realize I'm here today only because of you? You brought me back when I didn't want to continue living. You gave me a part of your body to keep me alive. You? Worthless? You are probably one of God's special people. You are caring, loving, and selfless. You care more about others than yourself. You saved my life. You saved David. You saved us all. You are not in any way worthless."

Peter away pulled from my arms, then settled back and said to Matt, "I felt you too, Matt. For my entire FUCKING life I felt a piece of me was missing. I don't mean you, David … I can't explain it but when Matt came into our lives … well, that hole inside of me was filled. Matt, I did what any brother would do if they could; if it were at all humanly possible … I'm nothing special, not really when it comes right down to it."

"You are too special Peter. That's final!" <Giggles>.

I pulled Peter into my body; I wanted him so bad, right then and there. I would make love to him in a way and with a strength that I'd never known to be possible. Tears came to my eyes, my chest tightened... not because I was crying but because I would never ever give my Peter to anyone, or to emotional death itself. I needed Peter, probably more than he needed me. As if he were reading my mind, he turned his face toward me then mashed his lips against mine. Then he released me, looked into my eyes. Peter was there, he was in the present... I felt it. I knew it beyond any shadow of a doubt.

When we returned to reality, Dr. Choi said, "Peter. You have a long road ahead of you. But you have one thing going for you that many others do not: you have people around you who love you more than you will ever realize. What happened before was that your mind didn't want to accept the fact that you didn't have to do this alone. You didn't know how to ask for help. What I think you realize now is: you never needed to ASK for help. It was there without question. All you needed to do was open yourself up to it."

Peter wrapped my arms around him, pulled them tightly against his body, and then got up and walked to Dr. Choi, and said, "Thank you. You saved my big bro, and it seems you knew exactly what to do to save me. Lex-Lex was right. You can help. Will you please help me more?"

Dr. Choi, visually emotionally moved, softly replied quickly, "All I did was to point you in the right direction, and yes, I'll be here for you as long as you need me."

"Uhm, can I hug you?" Peter asked as he outstretched his arms in invitation.

"I would be proud for you to hug me."

Their hug was quick, but it was definitely meaningful. I was so proud of Peter's progress thus far, and knew he would only continue to improve.

"Dr. Choi, I need to make things right with my dad. I don't know what to say... I feel it inside but I can't put my words together to say what I mean. Will you come with us, please?"

The doctor replied, "I would be happy to join you. Your dad sounds like the kind of man I'd love to call my friend. Besides, Peter. You are my family too... you are my mate's 'lil bro' right? And how is that you say it? One for all and all for one. Do I have it correct?

"Can I go now? I need to talk to Antoine." Matt inquired.

"Yes of course, we are about to wrap our time alone up. We'll see you later." Dr. Choi replied. He then hugged Alexander then came to Peter, hugged him deeply and then kissed his lips meaningfully. He then grabbed me in a bear hug, as much as he could with his sore belly, then kissed my lips, and then happily left the room and closed the door behind him.

After running the beach for a couple of hours, I arrived back at the hotel with my emotions in check. I felt so much better; I was so much more focused.

The tray I had left on the table had already been removed by the time I returned so I went on upstairs to our room to find Matt avidly watching TV – a John Wayne flick. Peggy was lying on the bed sound asleep. David and Peter had not yet returned from their visit with Dr. Choi.

Matt immediately stood and walked to me. I drew him into a hug, second to none and then our lips met, and then our tongues began dueling for supremacy, all of which caused our ardors to rise to epic proportions.

Matt looked to mom. She was totally sound asleep. In the same motion sequence he grasped hold of that which designates me as male, and squeezed firmly sending shards of pleasure through my loins and into my chest and head.

I was hot and sweaty from the run so without further adieu I picked up Matt and carried him into the bathroom, quickly undressed his beautify body. Once he was completely naked I quickly removed my clothing, and revealed to my love the product of our 'togetherness', thus far.

Matt, not missing a beat said softly, "We don't want to take any germs into dad's room, will you wash me really, really clean?

Kiss. Kiss.

"Oh I think I can do that just fine. I'm all sweaty, can't have that. The sweat carries germs too... will you wash me really, really well?"

Kiss. Kiss.

Water on.

Get in shower.

Soap up.

Very sudsy.

Very sexy.

Matt, very well versed in bringing me total and complete pleasure, did so once again, and at the same time I brought him to his moment in vivid Technicolor.

After drying off, we realized we'd not retrieved a change of clothes in our haste to get down to business, so to speak, so Matt wrapped a towel around my midsection and then donned one himself. We stole out of the bathroom and walked into the hallway and into the main room. Everybody was sitting around in chairs... waiting our arrival.

All had smirks on their faces.

Mom said, deadpanning, "Visiting hours are just about over. We thought about calling the zoo to pick up a couple of animals we surely thought were in the other room …"

Matt looked at me and smiled. Even with my very dark ebony colored skin, I had no doubt that it was flaming red. Quickly, I reached into the bag, retrieved my clothes and headed to the bathroom while Matt had dropped his towel and was getting dressed in front of everyone, without qualm one.

Once we were on our way to the hospital to see dad, Peter's anxiety levels increased and increased despite our reassurances that dad was okay, and would be okay with whatever Peter had to say to him. When we arrived, Peter slowly got out of the car, waited for David to get his crutches then just as we were ready to enter the hospital from the parking garage, Peter heave hoed into a trash can. Once the last heave passed he announced his urgent need for a restroom. Luckily there was one located just past the entrance doors. David and Matt followed him in while mom Antoine and I waited their return.

About 15 minutes later they exited. Peter, though he was quite pale and shaky, appeared to be a bit better than when he'd entered. Nevertheless, mom retrieved a wheelchair, urged Peter to sit and ride in it to the floor where dad was located.

After getting off the elevator, as we were passing the waiting room, we saw Dr. Choi and Alexander quietly talking. They looked away from each other, smiled, and then got up and walked to us.

Dr. Choi said, "We have been waiting for you. Peter, are you okay?"

"Uhm, I'm kind of sick to my stomach. I feel better though, but I'm nervous. No, I'm not really okay, but I will be." Peter replied slowly.

"It is not at all unusual to have stomach upsets. They will become far less frequent, given time. So how are we going do this? Do you want to speak with your father first, or would you like me to talk with him first?"

The prospect of talking with dad was too much for Peter. Quickly, he entered the bathroom located next to the waiting room. David followed him in.

After a few minutes, Alexander spoke up, "I'm going to go check on them." Then he entered the bathroom.

We decided that it would be best if Dr. Choi went to talk to dad first.

Mom and Dr. Choi walked up the hall to dad's room. Mom wanted to make introductions. She said she'd be back soon.

After Peggy made our introductions, she left the room with the plan to go check on Peter.

Jim seemed like a good, well mannered, pleasant person so when he invited me to be seated I sat in a chair close to him.

I started to speak but Jim spoke first, "How's Peter? Where is he?"

I replied, "Peter is having a bit of an upset stomach. This is not all that unusual. He will be fine. Mr. Blake, he is quite anxious to see you. He feels very responsible for everything that has happened, both to you, and that which happened to him. I am afraid that I was unable to alleviate all of his concerns, which is quite normal, given our relatively short period of intervention therapy. I am sure he will be okay with time."

Jim replied, "I know this must be very hard on him. I can't even imagine. Can I see him? I need to talk with the boy.

"He's right outside. But before you see him, I need to let you in on a few things."

Jim nodded with reservation.

"He's very afraid that his actions have in some way damaged the relationship you two shared. I, along with all the others, explained to him that this wasn't the case, but, he needs to hear it, and more than hear it, feel it, from you. Make him feel; make him know, that what happened wasn't his fault. Make him aware that you hold no ill feelings toward him or his actions. He's a special young man. You should be very proud of him. Also, your son, David, is an amazing spirit. The love they share is absolutely beautiful."

"Dr. Choi, I am concerned because Peter was not there. What I mean is … he was there but he was gone at the same time, unaware of the danger he was in. Quite frankly, he scared the shit out of me. He almost got hit by 3 different cars. I'm afraid that I got extremely angry … and then when I saw him walking out cuffed like he was … I didn't protect him … I broke my promise to him."

Continuing after regaining his composure he said ""I'm sorry ... I've lost control of myself, just a minute ..."

"May I call you Jim?"

"Yes, I'm sorry … please do …"

"Jim, you acted as any responsible parent would react in the same circumstances. It's very true, Peter wasn't himself. And it's also true, you may have acted badly. But, let's put that behind us. What's important now is moving forward. Bringing things back to where they were. Honestly, you will all be stronger, closer from this event. Capitalize on it."

"Yes, things will never be the same … I accept that, or I'm trying to."

I looked to Jim then said professionally, with inner emotion speaking however, "Mr. Blake, you are correct that it will not be the same as it was before, but let me assure you that there is no reason why things can't be better, that your relationships will be stronger. Now, if I am not mistaken, I believe there is a special young man who is in desperate need of his Daddy, are you ready to see him? If so, I'll send him in alone, I'll be here if needed."

"Yes, absolutely. Send him in." Jim replied while gathering up his strength.

I walked into the hallway. Peter was standing at the entrance to the waiting room, looking for a sign that his dad was ready to see him. He'd gotten himself together, fairly well I will add. His color had returned. David was standing beside him, lovingly holding his hand.

I walked down the hall and met Peter. I said, "Your dad is ready to see you. Be open and honest, Peter, and there is no need to be afraid of him. I'm willing to bet that he is just as upset as you are. I will wait here with your family."

David deeply hugged Peter then kissed his lips tenderly. Together, they started down the hall but I got up and intercepted David, "David, this is something that Peter and his dad, and your dad too, need to work out - alone. Please join us."

Peter nodded reluctantly but then, alone, walked up the hallway and entered his father's room.

When Dr. Choi left my hospital room, I reached down and turned off the TV, adjusted the bed to where I could sit fully upright. Butterflies began turning and twisting in my guts. This was one of those situations I'd never before experienced, and I was afraid that I'd say the wrong thing, or not know what to say, or not know how to say what I really meant...

While I was worrying and wondering, I heard the door to the hospital room open, and then I saw Peter's head peep around the corner. My heart soared. My pulse rate quickened, and it felt like my head was going to explode.

He backed away, out of my sight but thankfully he was not outside of my voice. Calmly I said, "Peter, son, come in here. We need to talk. It's okay. I'm here. Come on son."

I heard him sobbing inconsolably. I wished I could get out of bed so that I could go get my son, who was hurting beyond belief. Tears threatened to spill from my own eyes, but I gathered up my strength knowing that I had to be the strong one for him.

"Peter, please come in here and talk with me. You have some things to share with me, and I have things I need to share with you. You're my son, and you always will be. I am your dad for just as long as you need me, hopefully it will be forever and ever."

With tears freely flowing down Peter's cheeks from his eyes he asked, "Dad, what happened? Why are you in the hospital? Richard and mom said you broke your leg falling down the stairs... but why?

"Peter would you please sit next to me? We have some things to talk about so that we can get past this."

Slowly the boy walked to the foot of the bed I was lying in then he stopped. I gestured for him to come closer by opening and closing my hand, and extending my arm.

When he made those final few steps, I put my arm around his lower waist, patted same and then said, "Peter, son, I broke my leg yesterday. I broke my leg because I wasn't paying attention to where I was going. I had narrowed my vision to one thing and didn't pay any attention to what was going on around me or within. In a way I knew I should have been more careful but given the circumstances I didn't. This is how I got here. Nobody pushed me or did anything to cause me to make the mistake. Do you understand what I'm saying?"

"Yes, I understand... but..."

"No 'buts' Peter. Do you understand that I made a mistake? Nobody made me make the mistake, and nobody pushed me. Please, please sit down."

Somewhat hesitatingly Peter sat on the bed and allowed me to put my arm around his upper waist. At the same time, with Peter facing away from the door, I saw Dr. Choi enter the room. He stood silently watching the interaction between Peter and me. I don't know why but I felt a little bit comforted... I wasn't sure that I was getting through to my son, correctly, or effectively.

I moved my hand up his back then gently invited him to lie beside me. With but little hesitation he did lay down and permitted me to put my arm around his shoulders, urging him to be close. I continued, "Peter, you made a mistake too. I've been thinking about it quite a bit this morning... and I believe that you weren't paying attention, just like I didn't pay attention. Your mistake caused you to get hurt also. And then, together, you and me, we hurt each other."

"So I caused the whole thing to happen..."

"No, Peter. It did not start with you. Listen to me very carefully... Richard and I were talking yesterday morning at breakfast. It's true that we were talking and were not including you or Matt in the conversation. It's true that we, wait, let me correct myself, I didn't pay any attention to you and Matt. We didn't realize that we weren't including you until it was too late because, after all, the whole court proceeding was about you, and to a lesser extent Matt. I can understand why you were upset. I can and do understand why you left. I'm sorry."

Peter looked at me like I'd lost my last marbles. The confusion on his face was readily apparent. He was listening though. He was trying to figure out where I was coming from because he blamed only himself. I knew that blame wouldn't get us very far, so I changed tactics a bit.

"Peter, when you ran to the street, it scared me. There was lots of traffic. I was afraid for your safety. But, I don't blame you for wanting to run. You needed some time to figure it out for yourself. But I was afraid. That fear of mine caused me to get mad, very, very mad."

"Yeah, I was scared too. Okay, I think I understand."

"Exactly. Do you remember what happened next?"

"Yeah, I ran but you stopped me. You had your arms around me..."

I waited a minute, waiting for him to remember what happened next.

"I got mad too, dad. I got afraid even more. You were so mad. I... I... I thought... I thought you were going to hit me... didn't I scream and break away... I don't remember much after that."

Just then I saw Peggy peek around the corner from the doorway. Peter saw my gaze avert. Quickly, he turned around. Though he didn't see Peggy he did see Dr. Choi. He tensed up but I pulled him in and said, "Dr. Choi's here to help us, if need be. Let's just keep talking, we're, you and I are what's important right now."

Peter waived to Dr. Choi but didn't say anything; instead he looked into my eyes, and then looked down.

He put his arm around me and held on for dear life as his eyes registered that he remembered something, something big.

"I was scared dad. I don't remember exactly … I was scared. I was on the ground … somebody was holding me down … Harlan did that to me. No dad. No …. Daddy, no, no, no, no, no …

At that moment, Peter tried to get up and away but I wouldn't let him. He was fighting to get away from me. Just before I gave up, Dr. Choi walked over to us. He said, "Peter, listen to your dad. I know what you are thinking but listen to your Daddy."

Instead of listening, Peter said with conviction, "Dad, you hit me. You promised me…"

"No, son, I didn't hit you. But I wanted to, I wanted to so bad. I did raise my arm up, and I WAS going to hit you … then I stopped just in time. Son, I was scared too. I came so close to losing you, and you were saying horrible things, things that I am not going to repeat. I'll never repeat them to anyone, not even to you."

"Daddy, I remember thinking you were Harlan. Daddy, I tried to get away from him too, just before he … he … he … he … he … he raped me. I tried to stop him … he was too strong … I thought … you were strong too … I couldn't get a way … I couldn't get away…"

It was then that I saw in Peter's eyes what Peggy had told me about... I was losing my boy. His eyes were vacant. He was looking straight ahead. I said to Dr. Choi, clearly alarmed, "Dr. Choi, my son is not here. Peter … come back to me, don't leave. Not now."

But he slumped into my chest, totally relaxed, totally not with it.

Dr. Choi said softly while touching Peter's cheek, "It's okay. I know you are afraid. Remember, those that love you are here. Come back. Running away isn't who you are."

Peter didn't respond. Dr. Choi said, "I'll be right back. I'm going to get the rest of your family. They are needed."

With that said Dr. Choi walked out of the room, but within seconds he returned with Peggy, David, Antoine and Matt. I motioned for them to enter and come to Peter and me.

I said to Peter, "Come back, Peter. We're going to be okay. David's here. So are mom and your brother Matt. We're all here for you."

David awkwardly sat down half landing, half not landing on the cast covering my broken ankle. I winced while experiencing a white hot excruciating pain 'moment'. My arms never left Peter however. David immediately got up then came to the other side of my bed and sat down, took me into his arms and said emphatically "I'm sorry dad."

When I kissed his cheek, he reached for Peter and kissed him on his cheek, saying "Come back Peter. It's okay now."

Matt being the unemployed comedian said "You're not going anywhere, Bro. Get your ass back here... NOW!"

Peter, still lying in my arms with his face firmly planted in the crook of my neck, briefly raised his head up only enough to clearly say to Matt, "Asshole!"

All of a sudden, as if a delayed reaction had occurred, it did, David cracked up. Slowly, the entire room erupted in laughter. The laughter was infectious, even I got hooked up in it, despite the excruciating pain in my leg, broke out in giggles.

When we recovered, somewhat, Dr. Choi spoke, "What we have here is a family that has broken the bonds of hatred. There is so much love in this room it's palpable. Peter, you are the key to this love. I know it's an awesome responsibility, but, this family is bound to each other through you. You are of utmost importance. Your dad has apologized to you … do you have something to say to him?"

"No, that's not true Dr. Choi. The truth is that dad is the key to this family. Without him, there would be no us. We wouldn't even know each other. Well, I mean Peggy and Antoine would be together but not the rest of us. Matt and I would be doing what we were doing, if we were even still alive. Allen and Angel – well, they might have been doing what we were doing or worse…"

Antoine spoke up, "Matt, it was actually, in a bad sort of way, but not entirely, you who got Peggy and me together. Had you not been in the hospital – then we would not be here. If you would not have gotten sick – then you and I probably would not be together. Peter's right ... we're all right. David, if what had happened to Peter did not happen, then you guys would not be together…"

Just then a nurse walked into the room then said brashly, "All of you, only two visitors are allowed in a room at any given time. You have 2 minutes to decide who stays, and who leaves. A visitors' lounge awaits your presence at the end of the hallway."

"Excuse me for a moment please." Dr. Choi said clearly annoyed after the nurse left.

Hastily, I left the room and walked to the nurses' station. The nurse that irritated me was sitting at the desk, writing some notes, not paying any attention to those around her. I said, "Excuse me ma'am. We need to talk."

The nurse looked up. At seeing me her face registered disdain.

Promptly I said, "Ma'am, with all due respect, my name is Dr. Hou Choi. This is a Psych Intervention. If you have problems with it, call your chief of staff, tell him Hou Choi is here and see if he has a problem with me having this many people here. This is a family processing in crisis since yesterday. We hit a huge breakthrough today in that hospital room."

Without saying another word, and without waiting for a response, I returned to the room. The family was interacting. Peter was 'back' from his disassociation state. There was much less tension in the room. I caught Alexander's eyes and then motioned for him to follow me out of the room.

While we walked down the hallway I said, "I think they are going to be okay. They have a long road ahead of them but they are going to make it."

Without any regard for where were, our hands clasped together in solidarity, in togetherness.

We returned to our hotel room and enjoyed deep and meaningful, and ultimately relaxing psychophysiosexualtherapy.

*** To be continued

Author's notes: My special thanks to Hermes for creating the character "Dr. Choi" and "Alexander". Together we both laughed and cried while developing the events that brought Peter and his family through the event, the journey, and the beginning point of their recoveries.

Unfortunately, the experiences each of the Blake family members, particularly Peter, are not all that much off base. In fact, I have dedicated this series, Breaking Point, to a youngster I once knew years ago. His outcome was far different but I won't go into that because it is still very painful on a very personal level.

With that said I look forward to thinking up and writing more about the Blake family.

Joe Writer Man.

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