The sound of his Father’s voice had Joey nearly jumping out of his bruised and battered skin. Dad looked at me with sadness in his eyes, and I looked back at him with flames of hatred in mine. I nodded yes to his unvoiced question, letting him know I had no doubt from the way Joey was reacting that the voice we were hearing did indeed belong to Joey’s Father. Dad looked back at Joey as we began to hear several loud voices out in the main emergency room.
“Joey, as I promised, I'll do everything I can to keep you safe.” My father seemed to change then, from my easy going Dad to Judge Collins in an instant. Then he looked back at me, “Andy, you and Joey are to stay right here. Do not, for any reason leave this room. Is that understood?”
“Yes.” We both answered at the same time. Dad turned and left the room.
I got up and rolled a stool over to the bedside. As hurt as Joey was, I wanted to look at him and not have him bend more then he needed to. From the first day that I met Joey, I knew I liked him. I don’t know how to explain it. I just knew that he would be a good friend. Something deep inside me was telling me I had to get to know him and be his friend. When I had first met Joey I noticed he was the athletic type, and he was drawing the attention of the girls at school too. That day at my house he seemed so carefree and happy. Now, Joey seemed to have the weight of the world on his shoulders, and the pain he was feeling was real. He had been hurt as badly emotionally as he had been physically. As I looked into his sad eyes, I realized I was feeling something more than just a tug of friendship towards him. I was feeling a real attraction to him. As looked at his injuries now, I prayed, ‘Please God, help me to take away his pain.’
I realize that almost from the moment I met Joey, things in my world changed. When I had seen what JT was trying to do to Joey, I found I went into protect mode with him. Then after I saw the bruises and the blood on his body while I helped him remove his shirt in the restroom, I wanted to hurt whoever had done this to him just as badly as they had hurt him. Even now, I wanted to run out into the emergency room and beat his Father so horribly that he would hurt as terribly as Joey did. I can’t remember when I had had ever been this angry before. If I had my way I would tie his father to the statue in front of the Court House, take a whip to him, and let him feel the pain, the same pain he had cause my Joey right now.
My Joey, those two words hit me like a ton of coal. There may be times I can be as bright as the bottom of a coal bucket, but today, right now, I knew I had to put down that anger and allow my other feelings to show and be known. Joey needed me to be here to support him. I moved closer to Joey, kicking the little foot step out of my way so I could move to where he was sitting on the edge of the bed and between his knees. I took both of his hands in mine and leaned over placing a single kiss on the back of each hand.
“Joey, I can’t explain why or even exactly how I feel. This is all new to me. When I saw the back of your head that first morning on the bus, I wanted to know you.” I was nervous but I had to get this out. I took a deep breath and continued before Joey could say anything. “When I saw JT hit you, I wanted to tear his head off. When I saw your cuts and bruises this morning, I wanted to badly hurt whoever done that to you. Right now my anger at your Father is boiling to the max.” I kept looking him in the eye; however I also found myself stroking his hand as I talked. “But I think what’s so scary to me was when you turned and looked at me that first morning in homeroom. I felt like I was seeing the face of an angel. When our eyes locked and you smiled at me, I felt like I was going to burst. Every nerve ending in my body was firing. I had this irresistible urge to kiss you.” I grinned. “If we had been alone, I probably would have.”
Joey started to speak, but I stopped him with my index finger to his lips.
“Please, let me finish first or I’ll never get it out.” I quickly said and he nodded yes. I was afraid to look at him as I blurted out the rest. “You have been through a lot this past year. I think you’ve been though more than most people could take. You told dad and me that you had come to realize you were gay. Just because you’re gay and I’m pretty sure I am that doesn’t mean we are both attracted to each other. But,”
He put a finger to my lips and stopped me. “Andy,” he started with a smile. Looking from my lips and then into my eyes, he continued, “shut up and kiss me. You had me at hello.”
I put my hands by his knees on the bed, rose from the stool, leaned towards Joey and slightly turning my head to the right I timidly brushed my lips against his. They joined ever so softly at first. This was my first real kiss but somehow I knew what to do or maybe it was pure instinct that took over. I felt his tongue hesitantly probing my lips and I happily granted its admittance. WOW my first French kiss! I had seen the movies and read a lot of boring books with true love kisses with all the bells, whistles, and fireworks exploding everywhere. Oh my God, I was not disappointed. I never wanted this kiss to end, because right now I felt everything was perfect.
However nothing ever goes totally the way I want it to. We were right in the middle of a kiss that I knew I was never going to forget when the door started to open. I was just starting to get the hang of kissing, but the sound of the door ended that. I jumped away from Joey like a scalded dog, falling back over the doctor’s stool busting my ass on the floor. I looked up at Joey’s shocked face and then towards the door to see the nurse walk in with one of those hospital gowns in her hand. She looked down at me sitting on the floor and smiled.
* * * * * * * * * *
Judge Collins walked out into the main emergency room where all the noise was. The first thing he seen was that both deputies had grabbed a hold of Pastor Adams’ arms and trying to walk him back towards the exit. Miss Anderson was trying to calm Pastor Adams down and the state detective was leaning back against the nurse’s station with a smile on his face just taking everything in. When the detective saw Judge Collins he stood back up and straightened his tie.
“Judge Collins, the deputies appear to be getting everything under control here.” The detective said with a smirk.
Judge Collins shook his head. This was a hospital and he knew that things should be handled appropriately and that wasn’t happening. Disgusted he turned to the State Detective.
“Detective,” Judge Collins began in a voice that brought even the most callous defendant to attention, “call your superior and tell them I said to send someone here that knows how to do their job. I don’t want someone like you that sits back watching others while doing nothing to help.”
The single comment had been said with enough volume to bring everyone to a standstill, including Pastor Adams, the deputies, and Miss Anderson. The detective dropped his head and pulled out his cell phone. As he was walking away towards the exit, he could be heard trying to explain why he was being dismissed by Judge Collins.
“Bob, have the other Deputy handcuff the Pastor and place him in the back of a patrol car” Judge Collins stated, looking at the pastor with displeasure. “And, Bob, stay with him. If the other deputy needs assistance securing him, do so. When you have him locked up, come and find me.” Judge Collins took control like he was in his own courtroom. Then he turned and looked Pastor Adams in the eyes, “Pastor Adams, I’m Judge Collins and these law enforcement officers are authorized to use whatever force they deem necessary to carry out my orders. As of right now, you are being arrested for disturbing the peace and preventing medical personnel from carrying out their duties. If you continue to resist, you will only be adding to those charges. Miss Anderson here is from the Department of Community Based Services. After your son has been examined by the doctors at this hospital, Miss Anderson, a state detective, and myself will be conducting an interview with your son and his attorney.”
“My sodomite son doesn’t have a lawyer!” Pastor Adams interrupted Judge Collins. His face was red and strained against the two deputies who presently were standing on either side of him, restraining him from further action.
“Actually he does, in fact that would be me.” a man said sitting by the window taking everything in. He stood up and began walking over to Pastor Adams. He started to offer his hand then noticed that Pastor Adams couldn’t shake hands. Instead he smiled, stating, “Carl Bennett sir, I’m your son’s attorney.
Mr. Bennett’s smile faded as he noticed the anger on the Pastor’s face, but he continued, “I’m not your attorney sir, but my legal advice to you is to stop talking. The more you say, the deeper you’re getting. You can do with it as you will, it’s free of charge.” Bennett turned and walked over to Judge Collins.
“I’m sorry to interrupt, your Honor.” He said, reaching his hand out to shake. Judge Collins took it and smile.
“It’s good to see you Carl.” Judge Collins said before turning his attention back to Pastor Adams.
“Do you have any questions Mr. Adams?” Judge Collins asked dropping the Pastor title.
The anger seemed to fade slowly from Pastor Adams. Then he shook his head ‘no’ before the Deputies lead him out to the patrol car.
Miss Anderson walked over to where Judge Collins and Mr. Bennett were standing.
“Judge Collins, what can I do for you today?” she asked, shaking Judge Collins’ and then Mr. Bennett’s hands.
Judge Collins was very aware how the actions of the past few minutes had disrupted the hospital’s necessary routines. He quickly glanced around the room before motioning them to follow him.
“Let’s go over there and sit while we talk. It’s looks a little more private than here in the middle of the room.” Judge Collins led them over to an empty corner. “First, I’d like to say thank you to you both for arriving so quickly. I don’t know how the father found out his son was here this fast.” Judge Collins paused; concerned that system he and his wife had designed to keep their son safe might have other problems. However he immediately refocused on the task at hand. “But that may work out in our favor. At least we won’t have to go looking for him if we decide we need to talk to him.”
Judge Collins took a quick look at the doors to see if Deputy Bob was coming back in, before continuing.
“Basically, what I have to tell you both concerns the minor, Joey Adams.”
Miss Anderson and Mister Bennett both took out pads and began to take notes. Judge Collins knew this was just the beginning of a long story. Letting out a heavy sigh, Judge Collins continued. “This morning my son, Andy, called my office making me aware that he felt one of his friends was in danger and asking that he and his friend be taken to the hospital. I quickly wrapped up this morning’s proceeding and met them with the Deputies at the school. On the way here,” Judge Collins paused shivering as he remembered the ride to the hospital, “the boy told me a story that will probably give me nightmares for years.”
“I’m not sure what State, here in Kentucky or another State, this part took place in and I need to check the statues, but it appears at the very least, this young boy was taken advantage of by an older boy, sexually. The older boy was seventeen and Joey was fourteen when the relationship began.
However, it continued into the next year when the older boy would have been eighteen at the time. But all that will be investigated by the State Attorney’s Office.”
Judge Collins took a big breath, closing his eyes; all he could picture was Joey back in the examination room. The boy was covered with all the evidence needed for the abuse case that would be brought against his parents, in fact the evidence was seared into his entire upper torso. The silence brought the full attention of Miss Anderson and Mister Bennett. The tear escaping Judge Collins’ eye didn’t go unnoticed by the other two.
“The reason we are here today is that the Father caught the boys in the driveway as Joey was about to perform oral sex on the older boy. He dragged his son from the car, ran the older boy off, and chased the child to bed with words like the ones you heard him use here today.”
Judge Collins stopped speaking and looked out the window. It wasn’t often he was the one who had to tell the painful details of case to someone else. It might have been a while since he was a practicing attorney, but even as a judge he had never lost his ability to empathize with a victim.
“The next day, Pastor Adams and the Deacons of their church attempted an exorcism to stop the boy from being gay.” Judge Collins’ jaw tightened as he continued. “They had Joey stripped naked.”
Miss Anderson gasped at this.
“Are you telling me Judge Collins that grown men of a church had a fifteen year old strip naked for a religious ceremony?” she asked.
“Yes and then they laid hands all over his upper body and started praying or chanting. Apparently, Pastor Adams struck Joey on the forehead knocking him to the floor. Joey even says he started praying for Jesus to save him from ‘them’, and they took it as a sign the boy was saved by calling out for Jesus’ help. But Joey’s couldn’t help from laughing at them, because it was them he was praying to be saved from.” Judge Collins’ voice became laced with anger as he continued onward. “And this caused the father to go into a rage and he beat Joey’s naked body with his belt. It seems the Deacons had to step in to stop the good Pastor from killing Joey.”
“However, the Father continued the beatings in the privacy of the home. Some of the women of the church began to notice the bruising on the child over the next few weeks and started asking questions. At that point Pastor Adams either asked to be transferred or was ordered here to Pine Hills by his superiors. Joey says the beatings stopped when he was told about the move a couple of weeks ago.”
Judge Collins paused. Deputy Bob walked in the room and began to walk towards them. Judge Collins caught his eye and the Deputy dutifully waited just beyond the alcove they sat in. The Judge shifted uncomfortably in the hospital chair as he realized he had come to where his own son became a part of Joey’s story.
“That is until Monday, when he forgot to call home and let his parents know he was at my house with my son and another friend. Apparently, there had been a fight at school involving Joey, my son and another boy. The other boy had used a homophobic slur directed at Joey and assaulted him as well. My son then got involved to stop the other boy from further hurting Joey. Joey says the Principal phoned his home to apologize for the incident and that Pastor Adams assumed the boy was resuming his homosexual ways again, since the homosexual slurs had been used. When Joey got home from my house that afternoon, his father beat him until he was unconscious with his fists, feet and a belt. I’ve seen the boy’s back and chest and if I wasn’t a judge...,” Judge Collins broke in disgust.
It was as Judge Collins was finishing that, Mr. Banks, Roger’s father, walked in. Judge Collins saw him and called him over to where they sat, “Over here Steve.”
“Sam, you didn’t get a chance to tell me much on the phone, but I’m here.” Steve said as he walked over to them. Then he sat by Judge Collins reaching out and shaking hands with everyone who was there.
“Thank you my friend for coming here this morning on such a short notice. I’ll explain what I have in mind in a minute.”
** ***** **
“Having trouble staying on the chair, dear?” the nurse asked me barely keeping a laugh in. She then looked up at Joey and handed a gown to him, “Here honey, you need to undress and put this on. I’m sure this young man would be happy to assist, if he can keep from falling all over you.” She turned and left with a huge smile on her face leaving the two of us very embarrassed. It was a relief when she left and we were alone again. The double meaning of her words weren’t lost on me and just caused me to blush even more.
I looked up at Joey and we both burst out laughing. I never knew busting my ass would make me feel so good, but seeing Joey laugh like he was, I’d gladly do it a million times. I was so giddy. I felt like a kid on Christmas morning and just gotten the best gift ever in the history of Christmas. I didn’t know what Joey and I were now, but I knew I was one happy camper. We both started calming down enough to pull ourselves together. When I looked into his eyes, gone was the sadness that had been there before. The sadness was gone but hopefully now that was desire I was seeing there. I knew then I wanted to be there for Joey in every way. I got up off the floor and stepped between his legs. As I looked deeply into his eyes, I found myself pulled to him. We kissed with the same passion, but without the rush I felt before. This time I broke the kiss on my own without having the shit scared out of me by someone walking in on us.
“We better get you dressed in this cute gown before the doctor or my Dad comes in.” I grinned.
“Oh no, out.” He said with a serious face.
“What? I can help you with…” I started.
“Out, I’m not getting undressed with you in here. Now go.” He said pointing towards the door.
“I can’t” I shrugged.
“What do you mean you can’t? You use those sexy legs of yours to walk to the door, open it, step through and close the door behind you.”
“But Joey, Dad said for neither of us to leave this room.” I pointed out.
“If you aren’t on the other side of that door by the time I get up from here, you’ll be wishing you were.” God he was so hot and cute when he was frustrated.
“Okay, okay.” I said smiling and throwing my hands up in surrender. “But, it’ll cost you a kiss”
He smiled and leaned into me for another kiss. God, I could never get enough kisses from this boy. I turned grinning like a possum and almost skipped, hopped, and danced to the door. I pulled opened the door and looked back at him and said, “I shall return.” I bowed like a jester at court and the door hit me in the head as it closed. I could hear him laughing on the other side of the door as I rubbed my head and smiled.
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