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The Redemption, Book 2

by Joe Writer Man

Chapter 27

*-* Chicago, Mom's POV *-*

After arriving at the hospital, I signed in using the passkey card given to all physicians and other healthcare workers. I went to the ER first. A patient was being treated for multiple gunshot wounds. Dr. Harem, the chief trauma resident snagged me, said they were going to the OR, and that they needed an attending to oversee the case.

The case went smoothly. Dr. Harem did an excellent job. With only a few pointers on how to do a liver and pancreas repair I scrubbed out then headed to the floors to make rounds with several interns in tow. Most of the work had already been done... I was pleased to know we had an astute group of medical students during the rotation.

After answering some last minute questions and shedding the crew I headed alone to the ICU to check on Wayne.

Checking in at the front desk, the charge nurse gave me report. Wayne was showing slow but sure progress though his mental status was still quite dull and not as we had hoped for but taking into consideration the oxygen deprivation he'd surely experienced he was doing quite well. When I entered his room he turned his head toward the intruder... him doing that a good sign. I proceeded to check him over. His belly was healing nicely; no sign of infection was present. His lungs sounded fine. His extremity pulses were normal. His cranial nerves were all intact though he would not follow my light pen on command... this is a subjective test – it's a matter of willingness on the patient's part. His heart sounds were normal and its rate was likewise normal. Next, I checked his tracheotomy – it was widely patent, he was exchanging air appropriately.

"Wayne, are you in there?"

He intentionally closed his eyes shut tightly.

"Do you remember who I am? We've met before under different circumstances. Do you remember? Don't worry if you can't. You've been through a lot."

He opened his eyes purposefully, looked at me then closed them again.

"They call me Dr. June around here. You would know me as Joey's mom... well at the time when you knew me I wasn't his mom. I was his doctor. Your mom was here..."

He opened his eyes wide open then looked at me with intensity. His facial expression was clearly of recognition. I added, "Skeeter was there too. Do you remember him?"

Wayne began mouthing some words... they made no sense even though over the years with other patients on respirators I'd learned to recognize quite a bit.

"Are you trying to tell me something, Wayne?"

He looked into my eyes. His movements were purposeful.

I wasn't convinced that he was dull. Usually patients coming up from a coma are confused as to their time, place, status, and what's going to happen...

"Wayne, you were in an accident. You had a big operation. That's why you're here in University Hospital. You were very, very sick. You're doing a lot better. I think you're going to be okay. It's going to take time though."

He then mouthed the words that anybody and I mean that anyone could decipher... "Momma".

I'd rested my hand on his bed... he found my fingers then squeezed hard, so hard in fact that I removed my hand from his grasp. I made a mental note to chart his reaction.

"Wayne, your mother cannot come to visit. You might as well know ... she was arrested for drug possession on our hospital premises."

His reaction confirmed my cranial nerve examination: his face contorted – and no his face did not contort from anger rather his facial expression expressed anguish. I laid my hand on his forehead as he processed through his emotions.

When he regained his composure he mouthed, "Paper."

"I'll be right back with a pad of paper."

He nodded. I went to the nurses' station, retrieved a clipboard and pen then took it back to Wayne's room. I asked, "Are you right handed?"

He nodded.

I sat the paper on the side of the bed then gave him the pen. He wrote: "Kill me." He then looked deep into my eyes clearly pleading for me to honor his heartfelt request.

"No, I can't do that nor would I even if I could." I replied. He then quickly reached his free hand up as if he were going for his ventilator tube. Quickly I took his hand and put it at his side then fastened the restraint securely. He closed his eyes. That was the end of our conversation despite my attempts to bring him out.

I sat down at the small fold-out desk in his room and wrote on his computer chart as a consulting physician:

Patient waking up from his coma. He's alert, orientated, and responsive appropriately to stimuli. Physical examination shows remarkable progress; all systems go. I recommend (1) that patient's respirator be put on full stand-by, (2) physical and occupational therapy to begin as soon as possible, (3) Priority: psych consult ASAP.

Patient knows that his mother is incarcerated, and why. He became emotional in that he clearly displayed anguish. At his request, I retrieved a pad of paper and a pen... he wrote: "Kill me." The note is to be scanned in and made a part of his permanent hospital record. I will continue to see the patient on a PRN (as needed) basis. June Mauer, M.D."

I was paged to the ER stat. Arriving in the ER I found organized chaos. A multiple chain reaction accident had occurred at the 94 on Interstate 90 east bound. Multiple fatalities. Multiple major injuries. There were 29 people in a van. Police were investigating but from all indications the van appeared to be carrying illegals from Mexico to an unknown destination. The driver was one of the fatalities. It was going to be a long night. In the end, 18 people ended up dead, including an unrelated family of 4. During a short break I called Dave at work saying that I'd not be home in all likelihood.

Simultaneously, Joey's number popped up on caller ID. I said to Dave, "Dave, Joey is calling, can you hold on for a second?"

Dave replied, "Sure."

I switched calls, "Hi honey."

Joey: Hey mom, sorry to bother you, Timmy has a rash pretty much all over his body.

Me: What does it look like?

Joey: It's kind of a reddish pink. It isn't itching or anything.

Me: Have you guys eaten anything out of the ordinary?

Joey: No.

Me: Is he having trouble breathing?

Joey: No.

Me: Is there anything else that seems abnormal to your eyes?

Joey: When I was looking to see all the places where his rash was I noticed that he has some... it looks like dried blood on and around his butt hole. Mom, he's clean, I mean, well you know.

Me: Okay honey. I'm talking to dad. I'll add him into our phone call... I think he probably needs to be seen.

That said, I added Dave into the call, I said to both Dave and Joey, "Dave, Timmy has a rash all over his body and some dried blood around his rectum. I think he needs to be seen here in the ER. I've got to go; things are organized chaos around here. Joey, is Derrick home by chance?"

Joey: No. It's not that bad I don't think.

Dave: I can get away. Our afternoon staff meeting was canceled. Joey, I'll be home in half an hour or so... traffic shouldn't be too difficult this time of day. I'll see you in a little while.

Joey: Okay dad. I'll get Timmy in the shower and dressed.

Me: No, don't give him a shower. I'd rather not skew his rash with warm water and especially with soap. Have him dress in loose clothing... maybe a pair of our running shorts and a loose t-shirt. Okay, I've got to go. Love you both.

One of our patients from the auto accident went south; I was being called to the treatment room STAT.

*-* Joey's POV *-*

I said to Timmy, "Dad's on his way home. He's going to take you to the ER where mom works. I'll get you a pair of running shorts and a t-shirt to put on."

Timmy obediently followed me into my room. I got him clothing out of my dresser drawers. He dressed while I put some clothes on too then we waited for dad to arrive home.

I'd noticed that Timmy looked like he wasn't feeling very good – like he was pale. He tore out to the restroom; I clearly heard him explode his bowels into the toilet. I quickly walked into the bathroom. He looked at me like he was afraid, and very afraid at that. He was paler than when he was in my room getting dressed. I went to him then put my hand on his forehead: he was burning up with fever. He reached for the toilet paper, tore some off then went to clean himself up. Not that I was looking or anything, but the edge, what I could see was coated with blood. He leaned forward at my urging – the water was red also. I was alarmed so I went into my bedroom after helping Timmy to get clean and called dad back. I told him what was going on with Timmy, and that we were dressed and ready to go as soon as he got home. He reassured me that he was on the way, and that he'd step it up.

Timmy walked into my bedroom. His color had improved somewhat. He weakly smiled then walked to me and put his arms around my waist. I kissed his forehead and said that dad was on his way.

Dad arrived home about 10 minutes later.

Before we left, I wrote Derrick and Nathan a note telling them what was going on.

We took off to the ER. I felt compelled to hold him in my arms during our trip to the hospital. He didn't argue; instead he melted into my side and put his arms around my chest. Though his grip hurt his well being took control over my discomfort.

*-* Nathan's POV *-*

I arrived home, grabbed a Coke from the refrigerator, a hand full of cookies lying out on the island then saw Joey's note saying they had urgently taken Timmy to the hospital. I wondered what that was all about so I called him, and he told me what was up. Through a relay of information he told me that dad said it was okay for me to go down to Linda's.

I went in the bathroom, took a dump then showered. My cock was raging but I left it be. After getting dried and dressed I took off for Linda's with my books so we could do homework together, arriving a little after 4pm.

Chet wasn't home but Irene was. She was preparing a lamb dinner and invited me to stay since mom was at work, and she would be at work late, and dad and Joey were with Timmy and on their way to the hospital.

Linda and I, at Irene's urging, took off for the picnic table out on their deck located just off the dining room.

I'm lost in math. It is NOT my subject – no way no how. Linda extensively helped me with my math because she's very knowledgeable and adept with the subject. Her, she's like I am in math with geography.

We were just finishing up a topographical map of Arches National Park in Utah when her mother announced dinner was ready, that we should wash up, and for Linda to help finish up setting up the table.

I ate until I was ready to burst at the seams. I was major full.

After we were shooed out by Irene, Linda and I went back to our homework finishing up the map and a term paper within an hour and a half and then retired to the living room and joined her parents watching some stupid idiotic TV show. The show was preempted by a breaking news story detailing all known information about a major car accident earlier in the day, that there were many victims, that many victims died, that many victims were triaged to several hospitals and that critically injured patients were taken to University Hospital thus giving cause to why mom would be working late – possibly well into the overnight hours.

Dad called at 10:00pm and said that Timmy was being admitted to the hospital, and that he and Joey probably would not be home until midnight or so. He said he'd call Derrick and update him.

Linda and I had been sitting close together on the sofa. She constantly and consistently kept her hand on my thigh, and would occasionally let it wander into that space between my balls and thigh. That kept my cock at full attention, to the point where it was painfully erect. Her parents, their chairs were behind and to the left of us so they didn't know what was happening or they weren't concerned.

At about 11:00pm, after not hearing anything more from dad, Irene said, "Nathan, you're welcome to stay here tonight. You kids have school tomorrow and need to get your rest. We can make up a sleeping bag for you in Donnie's room, or, well, Linda, your dad and I have talked at length and decided that you and Nathan can sleep together so long as you're responsible AND you do not keep us awake."

Immediately, the hot fire of embarrassment fled the blood vessels of my body congealing in my face, neck, chest and arms. I looked to Linda... she wasn't in much better condition.

Chet giggled. At the same time he told us to "Get lost!"

Linda took what her dad said – literally. She whispered in my ear, "I'm going to take a shower." With that, without waiting for a reply, she got up and headed to the bathroom leaving me alone with her parents – what a bitch I thought then giggled from nervousness.

I said to her parents, "Uhm, maybe I should just go home. I have no clean clothes and stuff, and I don't want to put you out."

Irene got out of her chair, reached into an end table drawer and extracted something. She walked to me then dropped the package into my lap. Meekly, I opened the paper sack then about died again from embarrassment – inside was a box of small condoms. I valiantly tried escaping into the sofa cushions however they disallowed my entry. Add to that the fact that there was no hole in the floor where I could fall through and disappear.

Summoning what little courage I felt might be present, I said weakly, "Uhm thanks... I'm dying..."

They both laughed. At the same time I heard their bathroom door open, a flip of the light switch and then Linda's bedroom door close. The inevitable moment had arrived; decision time - was I going to stay and spend the night with Linda or was I going home...

Irene, seeing my dilemma, casually said, "Chet and I are going to bed. We're okay with you staying. We both like you. And Linda's smitten. Either way, get some sleep. You look tired and very sleepy."

With that, Irene offered me a hug. I accepted and hugged her back. Chet offered his hand; I shook it firmly then joined his wife and went to their bedroom closing the door behind them.

With their assurances, I slowly got up from the chair... I looked at the front door then looked toward their bedrooms area and back to the door again... I headed toward the bedroom area, hesitated at the bathroom door giving my dilemma one last chance for settlement.

Since I'd already taken a shower I peed, used a washcloth from the cabinet and some hand soap to wash any trace of odor from that which designates me as male. I had to be very quick and careful as I was ready for just about anything...

Assured that all was well I put it back into its confines, padded across the hall, knocked lightly in anticipation of Linda opening door and inviting me in but it was Donnie who caught my attention. He opened his bedroom door, smiled widely, walked to me, put his arms around my shoulders and hugged tightly, a hug that I readily returned. Our hug lingered. His breath was warm on my neck, and it was sweet like Hershey's chocolate or something along those lines.

I found myself not wanting to leave his arms but his sister's door opening interrupted our moment. Quietly he whispered into my ear, "Be careful... I like you. I don't want to see you hurt."

With that said he looked to his sister. The look on his face wasn't pleasant but he didn't say anything, instead he closed his bedroom door.

Linda took hold of my hand, urged me into her boudoir, closed and locked the door then came to me, joined our lips together as one, all the while feeling me up from the back of my head down to my tail bone, all the while grating and gyrating her hips into my frontal areas. She then pulled up my shirt and ran her hands up and down my bare skin which sent tingles out and around finally coming to the center-point of my belly, and points south of the border.

She then grasped the button to my jeans, zipped the front down, and then slowly, seductively ran her hands down my hips, effectively pushing my jeans and underwear to my knees. She then ran her long and sharp fingernails through my pubes, aiming for my gland... quickly, knowing I was about ready to blow a cork I pushed them away, sat down and then pushed my jeans on down and off. My shirt came off next. I was standing before her, dressed only in the bare essentials.Next, I reached for her robe, parted it, and was then greeted by twin pouted up nipples centered on plentiful mounds of flesh. My eyes were then riveted to her hands that were slowly descending to points southward. I thought, "How can anybody turn 'that' down?"

Turn it down, I did not.

She was a bitch in heat, or so it seemed. Without performing any preliminaries she pulled me into her confines, clamped her legs closed... rhythmically, and I slowed the pace since I wanted our coupling to last more than 1 second, she rocked her body, pushed her tits into mine, held on tight.

Somehow, something in the back of my brain told me that something wasn't quite right, but my body, and then my mind and soul passed into that chasm of no return, unable to stop, not wanting to stop, so I made no effort to stop.

She rolled me off then got up, opened the door then headed in the direction of the bathroom with not one stitch of clothes on … Donnie's door opened. He stood transfixed closely looking at me. Self-consciously I pulled the sheet up and over my body.

He shrugged then smiled and then closed the door.

A chill ran up and down my spine, not bad mind you... I was confused... what did that mean? I mean – why?

Linda returned Ten minutes later, closed the door... she had a weird look on her face... I had no idea what it meant.

She crawled back into bed, climbing over me, allowing her ample tits to rub across my face and her wet muff to pass across my hips. She stopped her forward progress, turned just so so so that we were once again coupled in the most intimate way, lapping tongues, until my south of the border area responded. She then raised herself up...

With Linda lying next to me, her arm across my chest, breathing deeply and slowly and rhythmically, a contented feeling washed over me then took me into the never never land of sleep.

*-* Joey's POV *-*

When we arrived at the hospital, Timmy, dad and I were ushered to the clinic area. There weren't many patients sitting in the waiting room for their appointment. Within half an hour Timmy's name was called. I told dad, "I'll wait here. They won't let me in. I'll find something to do."

Dad nodded apologetically then picked Timmy up from his seat and carried him to the nurse standing in the doorway awaiting their arrival. She talked with dad for a moment. Dad then motioned for me to join them. When I arrived to meet them the nurse said smiling, "This is a family care clinic. We emphasize the family unit being an integral part of the treatment plan for our patients. Timmy doesn't look like he's feeling very good – let's get him taken care of."

That was totally agreed upon. When we arrived in the treatment room, dad laid Timmy on the exam table then he and I helped to get Timmy out of his clothes. The nurse took his vital signs, estimated his weight at 75 pounds, and announced that Timmy was running a temperature of 104 (F), and that he was probably dehydrated causing some of his temperature elevation.

Approximately 5 minutes later a young woman entered the exam room. I thought she was another nurse. Instead she introduced herself as Dr. Sara, chief resident of pediatrics, and that she was there to assess Timmy's condition, treat him, and hopefully to send him home with us that night.

Carefully, efficiently, friendly, caringly, and professionally, constantly reassuring Timmy she checked each and every inch of his skin, body organ and orifice, and other such things that doctors check out and examine.

When she finished, she looked at dad seriously, "Mr. Mauer, I need to admit Timmy to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. I believe he has a very serious super infection, probably a very bad opportunistic infection resulting from his acquired human immunodeficiency disorder."

Continuing, "I cannot over emphasize how sick Timmy is right now. We must treat him aggressively. Here's the plan: we are going to start two IV's so we can push antibiotics, fluids, medicine to control his diarrhea. He's anemic so he might very well receive a unit or two of blood and platelets. I will not know for sure how much to give him, if any, until we get his blood work back. Before we send him upstairs we'll draw the blood work, get a catherization urine sample from his bladder, a chest x-ray, and I'm going to ask one of our pediatric gastroenterologists to do an emergency colonoscopy to find a source of his bleeding. Later, I will do a bone marrow biopsy and obtain a HIV RNA viral load by polymerase chain reaction test so that we can narrow down the strain of HIV Timmy apparently has so that it can best be treated."

"Do you have any questions for me?"

Dad said, "There is a slight issue regarding authorization. Timmy has only been placed in our care and custody for possible adoption. Unfortunately, we are not yet his parents and we do not have the authority to provide informed consent."

Dr. Sara said calmly, "He is then in the CPS system, is that correct?"

Dad replied, "Yes he is. My wife has his caseworker's name."

Dr. Sara indicated that since Timmy is already in the system and had already been a patient in the hospital then all necessary authorizations were on file. She then instructed the nurse to commence her orders immediately.

With no further questions Dr. Sara said, "I'm on call tonight... which in short means I'll be here. I'll follow Timmy along very frequently. I will attempt to contact Dr. Mauer to bring her up to date. I know she's been extremely busy with treating patients from the major high speed crash on the I-90 this afternoon."

With that, Timmy was moved to another treatment room where a flurry of nurses did this and that to and for him. They allowed dad and me to hold Timmy's hands as much as possible.

When two nurses attempted to insert a catheter into Timmy's penis – they utterly failed, and in fact their efforts caused him to bleed from his penis.

I looked at dad. He nodded and shrugged his shoulders. I then looked at Dr. Sara, and said, "Dr. Sara, I'm an expert at self-catherization, may I try, please?"

"I'm sorry, what's your name?"

"Joseph Mauer. Everybody calls me Joey though. I'm going to be Timmy's brother (Timmy squeezed my hand and looked into my eyes... one lone tear drop formed in the corner of his one eye)... can I please try?"

She regarded me carefully, "Were you a patient here? Did you learn from our catherization team?"

I nodded.

"Let me try. I'm pretty good with the procedure."

Dr. Sara attempted the procedure and was unsuccessful.

One of the nurses asked Dr. Sara, "Shall I call in the urology resident?"

Dr. Sara regarded her carefully then said, "All available personnel are working trauma. Get me another catherization kit, please."

Dr. Sara whispered in my and dad's ears, "Joey, this is against all rules and regulations."

Louder she added,"Nurses, would you please leave the room for a few moments. I need to speak confidentially with my patient and his parent and brother."

Dr. Sara fetched the catheter kit herself then opened it in a sterile fashion, gloved her hands and she watched me very, very carefully, always at the ready if needed.

After cleaning Timmy's penis all the while reassuring him to relax I took the catheter and easily inserted it to the proper depth. His urine flowed through the tube. Timmy didn't even flinch. I removed my gloves then resumed my place by dad. Dr. Sara regarded me carefully and said, "Don't you say a word to anyone about this. I could lose my job. I could also be censured severely by the licensing board."

I nodded; amazed at the possible ramifications she could suffer. I resigned myself to total secrecy.

They then turned Timmy over on his stomach, gave him a short acting anesthetic and then took his bone marrow biopsy with a humongous, wicked looking needle. The gastroenterologist then arrived. They gave him additional medicine in his IV then she inserted a long tube up Timmy's butt and looked inside. You could see everything on the TV monitor. When the doctor completed the examination she said to Dr. Sara, "He has several areas of inflammation causing his bloody diarrhea. I don't see any tumor masses. Otherwise his colon is perfectly normal."

One of the nurses informed Dr. Sara that the PICU was filled to capacity but that there was a bed in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit.

Dr. Sara said that was unacceptable because Timmy had an infection and could not be placed around surgical patients who'd already been traumatized by their operations. The nurse then said to her that she'd need to talk to the attending physicians in the pediatric unit to see if at least one patient could be moved elsewhere.

Dr. Sara left for a few minutes then returned and said, "The PICU staff is cleaning a room as we speak, let's go."

Timmy was settled in into his room in the PICU within 30 minutes. Thye put him on reverse isolation protocol meaning we had to hand wash, mask, gown and glove in order to see him.

About an hour and a half later, a nurse arrived and hung a unit of blood to infuse into Timmy. She stayed continuously to make sure he didn't have a bad reaction to the foreign substance. He didn't have one.

When all the tests were performed the nurse gave Timmy a medicine to help him sleep. Dad and I both kissed Timmy in his hair then stepped out to go get us a Coke and a snack in the cafeteria.

An hour later we saw Dr. Sara in line to get some food. Dad got up, went to her and invited her to sit with us. She did.

As she was quickly eating, she dropped a bombshell on us.

"Mr. Mauer, the specialized AIDS test came back negative though his ELISA 1 and 2 are positive. I looked at his bone marrow myself – I see no evidence of bad cells we normally see in a patient with full blown AIDS. I believe he was misdiagnosed. I believe the immunosuppressive medication significantly contributed to his massive systemic infections. There is one more thing – much more serious..."

I looked up at Dr. Sara then looked down to table and found a crumb to stare at. At her pronouncement that, according to all medical criteria, Timmy did not have AIDS, I put my head on the table to hide my tears and to obscure what I felt to be a visible lump in my throat.

She said, when she had both dads and my attention, "As is normal protocol, we test all our inpatients for STD's. I am having specialized blood cultures drawn and analyzed to confirm other tests but at this juncture we're 95% sure that Timmy has a condition called disseminated gonococci infection, or DGI for short. This is a very treatable and curable infection. He has a severe case... I spoke to my attending. He said that he's only seen one other pediatric case in all his 32 years practicing medicine in a university hospital setting. He's looking at Timmy's case right now. We are required by law to report STD infections as serious as Timmy's infection. CPS has also been notified."

I immediately spoke up and told Dr. Sara how I believed Timmy got infected with gonorrhea. She took it all in and entered the information into her PDA device. Dad gave her Adam's name, phone number, and also the judge's information.

For a minute I thought about telling dad and Dr. Sara that Timmy had sucked me off but didn't because Timmy never bit me or scratched me in any way, and that and I had no open sores on my penis.

She was then paged to the ER and left immediately after taking her last bite of food and hastily swallowing it down.

Dad and I then went back to the PICU. Mom was there checking over Timmy. She looked beat tired but smiled warmly at seeing us.

Mom communicated to us her difficulty that she'd made a mistake by not more carefully and completely evaluating Timmy's HIV/AIDS diagnosis. Dad held her firmly as she cried her frustrations and ineptitude feelings. I joined in their hug and gave mom reassurances that she was a damn fine mom and that we all make mistakes from time to time.

Assured that all was being done that could be done for Timmy, dad and I took off while mom went back to the Operating Room to work. She said that her last patient was on the operating table; that she'd be home by 4am barring any unforeseen complications to keep her there.

Dad and I took off for home and arrived at 1:45am. After going to my bedroom, I stripped, got into bed, did a quick jack off not thinking of anybody or anything other than the good feelings my hand was giving to my cock. I then fell into a deep, deep sleep oblivious to everything.

*-* Meanwhile back in Kansas, Skeeter's POV *-*

"Okay mom, thanks. I'm going to bed now, okay? I'm beat."

Mom chuckled, "Welcome to farm life son."

I went upstairs to my room, tired yet excited that I'd be with Joey the following night after a flight to Chicago.

I quickly threw some stuff in a suitcase mom had left in my room to travel with. I then stripped to my underwear, tweaked my half-hard cock, scratched my nuts and butt hole with my fingers then crawled into bed ready to go to sleep.

Once again, just before I fell off to sleep, my visitor visited though roles were reversed and it was I who had my way with he who lieth beneath my carnal organ.

*- Vera's POV *-*

We were sitting on the sofa watching the news when the station broke in with breaking news about a massive motor vehicle crash in Chicago. The live stream was heart breaking. When they told of the many casualties and fatalities I couldn't help to think that June was surely involved in the care of the injured. I said so to Dan. He agreed then shared his concern about Stephen traveling up there... June would surely be exhausted.

"You old goat, you know you'd destroy that child's life by keeping him here."

Dan looked at me incredulously then nodded knowingly.

Dan turned off the TV after the weather segment. Another storm was due to hit that night so he closed up the house and I went room to room to check on the kids, to make sure they were asleep, and covered up.

Kevin was nestled in Thomas' arms sound asleep as was Thomas. "We've got to get Thomas checked out... he snores so loud, wakes up, sniffles, coughs and then goes back to sleep." I thought to myself.

Stacy was sound asleep. I shut the door to keep the little ones out (ha ha) then went to Eric's door. He was sound asleep. I kissed his cheek, covered him up with a sheet... I wondered when he started sleeping in the nude... ordinarily he was a super modest kid. I resigned myself to "Oh well, he's growing up. At least he feels comfortable that nobody's going to hurt him like..." Oh, banish the thought. Just as I was getting ready to leave and check on the rest of the children a small quiet childlike voice said, "Good night mom. Love you."

"I love you too son, sleep tight."

I couldn't help it... I went back to his bed, got down on my knees then hugged him tight. He sighed deeply then for the very first time ever he kissed me. Tears of joy and gratitude spontaneously sprang from my eyes. I quickly wiped them away before he could feel them fall on him.

I hugged him deeply. He rolled over, tossed the covers off, sighed deeply then his breathing became slow, deep and rhythmical.

As I walked to Luke's room... I smiled broadly. That boy had come so far in the short time since Stephen and Joey took him under their wings. Kids do that I've been told. They know how to reach another kid faster than adults usually can. I felt another round of tears threaten to fall. I stood there for a couple of minutes to regain my composure before going and checking on him.

His door was closed so I put my ear to the hollow wood to make sure he wasn't in 'personal time'. I'd learned that lesson a couple of times... he'd been mortified when I intruded on his personal quiet time. His room was quiet so I opened the door. He wasn't in his bed though it was mussed up as if he'd been there at one time. I remembered that he and Stephen slept together quiet often actually. Like I said I was so glad that Luke was able to finally bond to someone in our family... the rest has come in a relatively short time. I smiled.

When I got to Stephen's room... noises were coming from inside his room... they were the same noises that emanated from it when Joey had been here... but Joey wasn't there...

I noted the soft light coming from underneath the door... at first I thought I'd walk on by and let them be... but then I needed to know... who was in there with Stephen... I heard two voices though they weren't clear. I looked toward the bathroom... the door was open and the light was off.

Just then the downstairs lights went off. Then I heard Dan's heavy footsteps ascending the stairs on his way to bed. He saw me standing at the head of the stairs. I pursed my lips signifying he was to remain quiet. He looked at me inquisitively. I shook my head then I led him to Stephen's door. He listened carefully. He shivered as if someone had stepped on his grave... then he looked up with surprise written all across his face. He then puffed his chest out and reached for the door knob. I slapped his hand away, signifying that he was to stay right there, not to move. He reluctantly nodded.

Very quietly, carefully, and skillfully I opened the door a crack then my eyes bugged out seeing Stephen and Luke...

Equally quietly, maybe even more so, I closed the door then pushed Dan ahead of me into our bedroom and shut the door. I sat down on the bed. Dan sat down beside me and pulled me into his arms.

When I could speak, I said quietly, "Dan, Luke and Stephen... Stephen was... he was... he and Luke were uhm... Stephen and Joey... oh dear."

Dan kissed my lips, released me, got up and headed for the door. I said, "No, don't, let them be."

Dan said, "No, it's not right, it's unnatural, it's downright beastly. I'll not have that sin in my house."

"Dan, think about it. Sit down for goodness sake." I said.

Dan regarded me carefully. We never argue about these things. Sure, we have disagreements but we never full out argue – about anything. He sat down, looked deep into my eyes, "This had better be good, sweetheart."

"Honey, those boys aren't blood. I'd agree with you if they were natural born children. Some things just aren't right. I'd say they made a choice. Neither of them... well, both of them were very 'present'."

"That's just not right Vera. Stephen is supposedly in a committed relationship with Joey. Vera, me and Stephen, we had a heart to heart 'come to Jesus' talk yesterday afternoon. I'm not sure about their relationship because I'm not sure Stephen is okay. He's got some decisions to make... and only he can make those decisions -but- I'll not have him breaking his commitment without saying or doing something, what do you suggest?"

We came up with a plan.

*-* Skeeter's POV *-*

At some point during the night, I didn't look at the clock, a body larger than Kevin climbed into already cramped quarters and promptly fell asleep with his arm across my chest, with his hand grasping Luke's wrist.

Morning came way too early. I managed to disentangle boy body parts and make it to the bathroom largely unscathed. My dick wilted just as soon as the stream started carrying urine from my bladder into the bowl causing a massive foaming affect.

Although I worked on a farm where dirt and grime are the 'usual', I jumped in and took a quick bath to get all love potions removed from various sections of my body.

Finished, I towel dried off then streaked to my bedroom with a towel covering my front side. Dad was in my room rousting Eric and Luke awake and telling them they had no more than 5 minutes to get up and at it else he'd 'help' them. Two boys jumped out of bed. Dad looked at the situation with keen interest. I saw it in his eyes. Both boys were hard as missiles... and he was wondering why they were naked in MY bed.

Dad regarded me carefully as two naked butts scurried out the door. I dropped the towel then quickly got dressed.

Mom fixed a fabulous breakfast. When we were done eating we took off to do chores. I was in the chicken house, gathering eggs when dad walked in. He had grave concern on his face. After acknowledging his presence with a smile, I went back to work until dad said, "Stephen, why were Luke and Eric both in your bed – naked?"

I put the last egg in the basket then turned to face dad. He wasn't angry but he expected an answer.

I said truthfully, knowingly, "Dad, uhm, I've gotten used to sleeping naked, and well Eric and Luke sleep with me often... you know... well they've started sleeping naked too."

Dad nodded then walked over and stood in front of me. He said, "Talk to Joey about your 'arrangements'. You owe it to him."

He then turned around and walked out not saying another word. I stood there in that unmoving position wondering what I was going to do. When reality came back, I then shoveled chicken shit until all was cleared away and put it into a wheelbarrow to put into mom's vegetable garden. I was spreading it around as appropriate when James and Kevin came back from the area where they'd put the lizard for safe keeping in an environment suitable for its survival. Both had glum looks on their faces. Kevin came running at full speed seeing me working in mom's garden. He latched onto my leg and held on for dear life itself while he told me the lizard was gone, and that it could not be found anywhere.

I looked at James. He was somewhat sad and definitely resigned. Kevin held onto my leg as I walked to James. I pulled him into a deep, deep hug and kissed his soft blowing in the wind hair. He pulled away and walked to mom who was coming out of the kitchen door on the side of the house. I saw them talking and then mom pulled him into her bosom.

I picked Kevin up, looked at mom and after she nodded her approval Kevin and I headed to the main barn. Dad and Thomas were up on top as Luke and Eric were hoisting up plywood to cover the roof. Kevin watched them too but he soon burrowed his head into my neck... ahhh, it was nice to think someone else was afraid of heights. I said to Kevin, "I don't want to go up there either." Kevin responded by grabbing my neck and holding on tightly. I kissed his cheek then we strolled to the old machine shed. I put him down then got to work finishing the tearing down process while he watched me with rapt attention.

At about 11:30, just before dinner, the bell rang. I put my tools in their proper places then walked to the house with Kevin on my hip, Thomas, Dad, Eric, James and Luke walking beside us.

When we arrived, mom and Stacy had prepared a huge spread to eat. After cleaning up we ate voraciously... not a single crumb was left on the table though mom reassured her family that there was more in the kitchen. We were all satisfied then she went into the kitchen anyway and came out with a huge, double, double apple pie and ice cream to put on top of our servings if she so desired.

It was 12:30 when we finished up. Mom said, "Your flight is 3:15 so we need to get a move on it to get you to the airport in time."

That said, two at a time I took off up the steps and finished packing what I wanted to take for a week away from home. I then took off for the bathroom, took a cleansing bath then got dressed, lugged the filled to capacity suitcase down the stairs and out to the car, and then went back in the house to await their readiness to take me to the airport some 2 hours away.

Dad was just walking out of the house when I went up the stairs to the door leading to the kitchen. He regarded me carefully then walked on down and headed in the direction to the barn.

My heart sunk in my chest, my stomach did a flip flop, my eyes looked to the ground and fixated on a rock in the little memorial garden made for all the lost and passed away pets. My eyes then rotated to a freshly overturned and covered up place in its midst. My heart sank at realizing what that represented.

Mom then appeared. She had the car keys and her purse in hand. We went to the car then made our way off the property and then headed to the freeway to take us to the airport.

Mom hadn't said a single solitary word all the way to that point. Mom liked to drive, there was little traffic to contend with, the sky was clear, and the wind was light -but- she was in deep contemplation all the same.

I tried to engage her in conversation more than once. Stone faced she continued driving as if she were going to the grocery store or some such place … definitely not on her way to Wichita two hours away from home.

When we arrived at the airport, she stopped the car at the gate, shut the engine off then handed me the keys to get what I needed out of the car, namely my suitcase and carry-on bag containing essentials should my suitcase get misdirected.

I opened her door and reached in to give her a hug. She hugged me but it was definitely without her usual vigor and invitation. She looked into my eyes and coldly said, "Take care of your business. Your dad and I changed your flight arrangements to an open-ended return. If things do not work out then you can return at any time... including tonight if you need to. If you don't work things out then you'll have to find a way home otherwise we'll pick you up next Saturday afternoon."

She then urged me away from the car door. Reluctantly, I stepped back and she drove off. Since I was partway in a driving lane, an airport security officer quickly made his way over then escorted me to the sidewalk severely admonishing me for putting drivers at risk. He then walked away. I felt so alone.

Instead of a stopover in Kansas City the layover was in Atlanta, Georgia. I wondered why in the hell the plane went that far out of the way when it was a straight shot from Kansas City, or even St. Louis to Chicago.

The flight to Atlanta was just fine and on-time. I'd only flown one other time in my life... so I guess I looked lost. Soon an airport worker approached me... I guess they thought I was lost of something. She looked at my ticket then got a worried expression on her face. She said, "We must hurry. Follow me!"

Half running, half walking fast we then entered the tramcar and hurried to the next gate that was at least two concourses away. We made it just as the doors leading onto the jet way were closing. She wished me well then left. The ticket agent tore off the ticket they needed then handed me a stub to keep with me at all times. The stewardess then guided me to the back of the aircraft, helped stowing my carry-on bag into the overhead luggage compartment, and then made sure my seat belt was securely fastened.

A very few minutes later I felt the airplane push off. We sat on the tarmac for a few more minutes. Then the jet revved up its engines and taxied to the runway. We were 5th in line for takeoff. When it came our turn, the engines screamed their mighty strength, pushing me back into the seat, and soon we were airborne headed, non-stop, to Chicago. The pilot announced an early arrival, the weather was fine, and that it was 76 degrees at our destination, and to enjoy the flight.

When I get nervous, my stomach is the first thing that goes. Right after we leveled off and the pilot turned off the stay seated light I made a beeline to the bathroom. Hastily, I locked the door and got my pants down in the absolute nick of time.

While I was sitting there, overcoming the cramps, surely stopping up the plane's sewer system, and at the same time experiencing some relief I knew what I had to do to make things right with Joey.

*-* Back to Chicago, Joey's POV *-*

Nathan woke me up at 8:15am. He was freshly showered and dressed for school. He had to leave quickly because Derrick was waiting on him. He kissed my cheek then quickly stripped off the covers and tossed them to the floor next to the computer desk. After exchanging friendly, meaningful and brotherly expletives he was off.

I lay back down, felt very, very, very loved by my family. Add to that a beautiful and loving boyfriend... well, what more could I ever ask for in a million years.

I put on a pair of underwear then walked through the house. Mom was asleep. I very quietly closed her door so as to not wake her. She'd obviously been to hell and back.

I then went to the kitchen and ate a bowl of cold cereal and a banana. I went to Timmy's room, made up his bed, straightened up in general, and then went through the house dusting, cleaning, and generally being -domestic-. My chest felt much better actually. The grating pain was gone and in its place was a generally achy feeling. I finished up by gathering up the trash receptacles and emptying their contents in the main garage refuse container.

Knowing the neighbors were at work I then walked out to the patio deck with the laptop wearing only my underwear, sat down and booted up the news. All in all, there were 26 people involved in the crash the previous day. 13 people had been killed, 8 were reported in very critical condition, and 3 were unidentified DOA's. The ensuing fire ravaged two 18 wheelers and burned two cars beyond recognition that had become imbedded in the inferno. A gulp of bile entered my throat at thinking of the carnage that must have been. I swallowed carefully then turned to the airline company Skeeter was riding on. I noted his plane was en route on time, and the estimated arrival time was 6:40pm. My loins responded appropriately, knowing my man was on his way, and that that night we'd be sleeping (maybe) together, but more probably we'd spend most of the night playing 'catch up'. My cock responded accordingly. Skeeter's face appeared in my vision – its memory triggered recall of us down at their creek, lying quietly side by side, holding hands and just taking in the quietness of the moment.

The house phone rang. Quickly, I sat the laptop on the table then raced into the house so that the ringing didn't bother mom's sleeping knowing that she was totally exhausted and therefore needed her rest.

Caller ID showed it was Jeff calling, "Hey Jeff. How's it hanging?"

"Oh about five and a half at full rest." Jeff said giggling.

"Liar." I said giggling... at the same time I wondered...

"Whatcha doing?" Jeff asked curiously.

"Nutten. I was out on the deck reading about the wreck on the I-90. Mom worked that accident. She's crazy tired... but she's sleeping."

"Wanna get together?"

I looked at my watch... it read 10:34. I said, "Sure. Come on over."

"Be there in a flash."

"I've been a man of leisure this morning. I'll unlock the door. Come on in cuz I'm gonna jump in the shower."

"Kewl, I'll be right there."

That said I retrieved the laptop from the deck table, shut it down then checked on mom... her door was still shut and it was quiet. I went to my bedroom, shucked off my underwear then headed to the bathroom, peed, got in the shower, shampooed my hair then washed the rest of my body. I debated on jacking off because my cock was at full attention, standing out at a 45 degree angle from by belly as its axis point. But then I remembered that Jeff was on the way so I didn't want to keep him waiting. After rinsing off, I got out, dried off then headed to my bedroom. Jeff was sitting on my bed. He looked up and smiled with much appreciation. That caused my dick to 'jump'. I was standing there naked with my cock on full display.

Jeff smiled even broader when I walked to my dresser, retrieved a pair of tight whities and hastily put them on. I then walked into my closet, retrieved a clean pair of jeans and quickly put them on. I checked to make sure my cock wasn't showing 'too bad'... since it was so hard, it was hard to hide the fact that I was needy. Throwing the concern to the wind, I walked out into my room and greeted Jeff with one of those 'guy hugs' and bumped knuckles.

Jeff said sincerely, "Your boyfriend's lucky. You're very attractive."

I giggled nervously, "Lucky yes, attractive no. What do ya want to do? Oh wait, you're a guest, I'm supposed to come up with ideas, right?"

Jeff stood up then walked to me. I was captivated by his eyes. They were inviting, they were kind, and they were oomph – enticing. My cock strained madly within its confines; I felt like a little puppy waiting for its master to issue the next command.

From deep in my throat the most appropriate words came from my mouth, "Wanna watch a movie?"

Jeff was as nervous as I was. I couldn't help but notice that his jeans were tented straight out. A feeling of bile rising in my throat confirmed the level of nervousness my body was experiencing. I ruffled my shirt to do two things: one, to dissipate the heat emanating from my body, and secondly, to expend some nervous energy. Neither worked.

Jeff's smile faded. He swallowed deeply.

Then it happened.

As one, we walked to each other then embraced; my face nestled in his neck and his in mine. His aroma was exquisitely pleasing. While he had a hard body, strong from workouts and youthful age, it was also soft and totally inviting.

Intentionally, or unintentionally, or whatever the case may have been, our lips at the same time joined resulting in a mad search and rescue effort for tonsilar tissues... truth be known I was searching and searching and searching some more for his belly button, and beyond that even.

Jeff's hands then cupped my tightly clenched ass cheeks and pulled me tightly into and against his body, hard prong included. I came out of a total eclipse of reality... then sank back into it totally and completely. I was a goner, and I knew it, but yet I didn't know it. Neither was Jeff aware of our total captivation.

Sometime later, who knew the time or place or space... we came to. Our sticky bodies were under the sheets covering my bed. My hole felt like it had been stretched to capacity, gooey, yet pleasantly satiated on so many levels. I reached down and noted that my dick was still somewhat lubed yet dry.

Then full and total reality sunk in, overtook my mind. Quickly, I tossed aside my side of the sheets, stood up and noticed our clothes scattered hitherto there and beyond. Thankfully the door was closed; thankfully even more it was locked when I turned the latch. I then felt warm fluid exuding from my butt hole, running down my legs on either side. I clenched my butt cheeks tightly, unlocked the door, opened it slightly and then noting mom's door still closed I made a beeline to the bathroom after telling Jeff to join me, and to bring along our clothes.

I made it to the toilet just in time. Jeff entered, closed and locked the door then reached into the shower, started it up, then waited for me to finish unloading the remnants of his offering, and other such items of disinterest. After wiping and flushing, Jeff did likewise while I got into the shower and started hastily washing down my body.

"FUCK!" I screeched when the warm water turned scalding hot. Jeff had flushed the toilet.

"What's the matter?" Jeff said very loudly. I got nervous because both of us had been very loud.

I opened the door and said, "Showers with toilets flushing don't mix dude."

"Sorry dude. Let me in." Jeff said apologetically.

After entering the shower Jeff began washing my hair, face, neck and shoulders. His touch was magic in that I relaxed and immensely enjoyed his attentions to detail.

As he reached the lower regions of my back, down south of the border, his fingers trailed seemingly purposefully but I felt myself gearing up for yet another invasion – I welcomed the intrusion without hesitation.

We then turned the tables after I legitimately 'finished' washing and rinsing 'down there'.

We were careful to be quiet. Neither of us screamed as the moments arrived. We didn't hit the glass door, either. Nor did we hit any wall. Nor did we fall to the floor.

Spent and totally relaxed we dried. I did my hair, brushed my teeth while Jeff looked on. As I busily prepared myself for Skeeter's arrival, my mind went to 'him'. Visions of his face became clear and center pointed within my brain. I experienced moments of severe shame and guilt for having had full out unprotected sex with a guy I hardly knew.

Jeff, seeing my melancholy softly put his hands on my shoulders <I flinched> and said, "I'm sorry Joey. I'm not a home wrecker. I got carried away... I'm sorry."

I replied, "I'm not either Jeff. Look, I don't blame you so don't feel bad, okay. I actively participated... and yes, I wanted to have sex with you but that doesn't make it right for me to actually do it. Let's just get dressed then mess around for a while. I'll get a movie from Timmy's room."

Jeff nodded then said as I reached for the door knob, "Shouldn't we get dressed first?"

I replied, "Nah, mom's asleep. We'll just streak down to my room and get dressed there."

Jeff shrugged his shoulders. I turned the knob then opened the door and started padding down the hall to my room but my heart stopped... not only was mom's door open but she was standing just inside her room. Our eyes met.

Jeff bumped into me because I had stopped suddenly. Mom's eyes never left mine even though Jeff could clearly be seen by her.

My world stopped dead still. You could have heard a pin drop in an auditorium. I broke the silence by weakly saying, "We just took a shower mom. Sorry."

"Have you boys eaten yet?" Mom said casually.

"Uhm, thank you anyway ma'am but I need to get home... sorry..." Jeff said then scooted on by me and went into my room leaving me and mom standing there looking at each other.


"Son, go to the bathroom..."

I looked down only to see me peeing down my leg and onto the carpet. I grabbed my dick and squeezed hard then headed into the bathroom and finished peeing in the toilet. Mom came in, grabbed our towels then left. I dribbled a bit then shook a normal number of times then flushed and walked back into the hallway. Mom was on her hands and knees wiping the carpet. I got down on my own hands and knees took the towels from her and finished up the job. I said, "I'm sorry mom." I then hung my head down as the tears started flowing freely out of my eyes and onto the towels.

Mom patted my shoulder then said, "Go get dressed son. I'll take care of this. See your friend out. How about we meet in the kitchen in say 10 minutes?"

"Okay mom. Mom?"


"Mom, promise me you won't yell. I don't think I could take it."

Mom pulled me into her chest, held me tight then said, "Honey, I don't yell. I'm not even angry. We do have a whole new set of problems to work through though."

"I'll see ya later Joey, give me a call sometime. I'm sorry we had to meet this way Dr. Mauer."

Mom nodded to Jeff then released our hold. I wasn't dressed so I said to Jeff, "I'm not exactly dressed to be standing at the front door..."

He giggled nervously then patted my shoulder and left. When the front door clicked closed I got up and headed into my room. I felt extremely uncomfortable running around with only scant clothes on so I put on underwear, a t-shirt, jeans, socks and shoes then headed into the kitchen.

Mom was already seated at the dining room table. She looked up, smiled wanly then motioned for me to sit. She'd gotten me a Coke and a glass of ice.

Suddenly, I wanted a shot of cocaine knowing beyond any shadow of a doubt that I'd fucked up.

*-* Mom's POV *-*

I couldn't sleep... long stressful nights at work do that to me. And that night was a huge bolus of stress. Normally, I don't bring work home however out of 4 patients I'd operated on two of them didn't survive their injuries. One was 20 years old and the other was 17. None of their differences mattered: the color of their skin, their nationalities, their immigrant status, their ages, and other demographic guideposts that set them apart from predominately white suburbia … none of it mattered. The driver was tested in the ER before he died: his BAC was five times the legal limit, and a quick test for cocaine had been strongly positive.

My cell phone rang. It was the ICU. They informed me that the third patient I took care of and operated on for five and a half to repair his aorta had also died just a few minutes before calling me.

I heard a bang on a wall somewhere in the house. It sounded like it came from the back of the house where the boys' rooms were located.

Quickly, thinking that maybe Joey had gotten hurt or something, I got up, put on my robe then went padding down to his room. His door was ajar... I stood there wondering if I needed to confirm for myself that which I already knew was happening. I heard no pain coming from behind that door, quite contrary actually. That was beyond any semblance of lovemaking... rather it sounded animalistic, rutting, grunting, groaning, shrieking almost.

I had to see if my son was being hurt. I'm his mother. I love him. He loves me. He's my son.

When I opened the door just enough to see... Joey was half hanging onto the bed with his legs high up and over his head, and this other boy... I couldn't actually see 'it' but I knew 'it'... Joey's eyes were up in his head and he was pleading for more.

I'd seen enough. I took in a deep breath then quietly closed the door knowing nobody was being hurt or injured or maimed... or...

On second thought, I opened the door a crack then locked the lock and then closed the door. With my heart in my throat I took off for the kitchen and started the coffee maker which I'd turned off after Dave had left for work early that morning.

I sat down at the table, put my head in my arms and asked my Higher Power what I was to do about the situation with Joey... and Skeeter.

Should I interrupt them? No, even though every bone in my body wanted to stop them from messing up and complicating Joey and Skeeter's relationship…

What kind of guidance do I give my son?

Should I say anything and just let him work it out? No, this is the home for our family… permitting such rampant sexual behavior, in our sanctuary, with people who do not love each other is not right either…

Just as I was ready to get up to head into the bedroom section of the house, the door to Joey's room opened and then was followed by sounds of two sets of footsteps heading through the hallway to the bathroom, and then the bathroom door shutting caused me to sit tight for a moment more. When the bathroom door lock clicked, I went to my bedroom and shut the door. I needed a few minutes to regroup, to gather my thoughts, and to figure out what next to do. I had to do something, but what?

Joey and I had always been open and honest with each other. Even when he brought those strange men to our home... even when he was doing and dealing dope from our home... even when he threatened to hurt and harm himself... even when Nathan made that decision to use Joey's dope that one night... Joey didn't know about that... I had debated telling Joey but decided not to since he and Nathan were so vitally close to each other. Joey would have hurt him, I'm sure.

The silence was shattered: "FUCK!" Joey screamed from the bathroom shower.

Those bedroom walls are so thin. It sounded like he screamed right next to my ears. That word hurts me... I don't like it... and I won't put up with it in my home. This is our safe zone away from the gangsters and trash talk and stuff.

I got up, opened my door to the hallway then stood in front of the bathroom door debating on opening it up and giving Joey a piece of my mind but then I heard a voice that I did not recognize, say, "I'm sorry Joey. I'm not a home wrecker. I got carried away... I'm sorry."

Then Joey's voice, whose I would recognized anywhere at any time even though he was starting to creek and croak because of his adolescence, said, "I'm not either Jeff. Look, I don't blame you so don't feel bad, okay. I actively participated... and yes, I wanted to have sex with you but that doesn't make it right for me to actually do it. Let's just get dressed then we'll mess around for a while. I'll get a movie from Timmy's room."

That was more than I wanted to hear. The water turned off so I quietly crept into my room but left the door open. I didn't know what to say but I knew I had to say something… family values.

The bathroom door opened, my heartbeat quickened; I felt a brief but definite twist in my stomach as it rebelled with indecision – then everything turned clear as bright sunlight on a cloudless morning… Joey took off for his bedroom but something caught his eye… quickly he turned right, stopped midstride, and then froze solid.

"Good morning." I said as I normally do when we first meet each other every morning.

Just then the other boy bumped into Joey from behind temporarily knocking Joey off balance. He caught himself and thankfully he didn't fall to the floor. Both boys had clear and convincing evidence on their lower anatomies indicating their mutual interest in the other.

The boy, seeing me standing there, quickly walked around Joey then disappeared into Joey's room.

As I took a step forward Joey he began peeing. I said, "Joey, go to the bathroom..."

Joey looked down and after seeing that he was peeing on the carpet grabbed hold of his penis and squeezed and then headed back into the bathroom. I followed him, grabbed their wet towels still lying on the floor and then went into the hallway and began sopping up the wetness he'd left behind… all the while thinking it had been a long time since he'd had an accident… and how he must be feeling – the fear, the disappointment he must be feeling for letting me down, the shame and guilt and remorse about two things: first, me catching them, and secondly, the confusion of stepping out on he who he loves.

I tossed the soiled towels in the hamper then made my way to the kitchen, poured me a cup of hot coffee, retrieved a Coke from the refrigerator, put ice in a glass then sat down at the table and waited for Joey to come out as I knew he would do because he'd gotten almost past that point of where he was able to keep much, if anything, inside festering like a cancer.

With that in mind, I figured we'd work things out though I knew in my heart of hearts that Joey would have to ultimately come to his own conclusions about what he'd done and how or what he'd do with his and Skeeter's relationship. My job would be to set or remind him of the boundaries we'd set when he'd had strange men and guys in our home before for purposes of sex and drugs. I relaxed. I also reminded myself to not react because I was so very, very tired and stressed out from a very difficult night.

The other boy, I didn't even know his name, sheepishly entered the kitchen on his way out. His eyes nearly bugged out of his head with surprise, and yes, shame and guilt. He walked to me and said clearly, "It's my fault Dr. Mauer. I'm sorry. I need to get home."

I replied, "Yes you do. No, it's not your fault. And your apology is accepted. This is between Joey and me. I'm more disappointed than anything else."

"Yes ma'am. I'm still sorry."

"Me too."

"Goodbye ma'am."


With that he let himself out. The door had just closed when Joey entered the kitchen. His eyes were haunted, his shoulders were slumped forward, his gait was shuffling more than walking step by step, and his hands were trembling.

"Sit down honey. Don't be afraid of me. I'm only disappointed. Don't think for a moment that I hate you for what you've done. We do need to talk."

Slowly, deliberately Joey sat down. I motioned toward the Coke. Slowly he picked the can up, popped the top, poured it in the glass then slammed it down his throat in one single fell swoop. He then sat the empty glass on the table and just stared at it as though it were some priceless gift that he couldn't tear his eyes away from.

I put my hand on top of his; squeezed lightly and then said, "Talk to me."

His face scrunched up, tears began leaking from his eyes and freely ran down his cheeks landing on the table. He looked up and with the saddest eyes I'd ever seen him have, "Mom, I want to use."

My heart sank. When he said that my own world turned upside down because I'd thought the same thing… the feeling had been intense when I walked out of the hospital after a grueling evening and night where multiple people died, where several patients were in the hospital with little to no chance of walking out on their own power, my own exhaustion and other hallmark triggers. I said, "Me too. I'd thought about it a couple of times. I know that if I use nothing will be solved. Other problems will arise, and those same issues will still be there waiting for me when or if I come back."

"Yeah, I know. Maybe we could go see our friends… they get together at noon."

"That sounds like an excellent option."


"Uhm hmm."

"Don't use, okay, please."

"Not today. Honey, don't use, okay, please."

"Not today. Mom?"

"What sweetheart?"

"What am I going to do now?"

*** To be continued

Author's note: Six hours until touchdown...

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