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  1. In to the bedroom

    I love this chapter, Sam! It brings back so many memories of my insecurities. I so didn't want to be gay. Hard to believe now. But the best thing about your story is that you completely inspire me to step up my game with my own writing. If there's such a thing as a "writer's crush" I think I might just be having one! LOL

    Thank you, Smooth! The people in our lives and the spirits of those we've lost are very powerful forces. Keep enjoying!

    Thanks John! I'm so happy you love the story. I'm kinda in love with my boys and that baby, too

    Thank you, Teso. Hope those are happy tears <3

    Thank you, Janet! You have NO idea how much that means to me!

    Thanks again Benji! Interestingly, for the first time I know about a medical thing. I slipped on some ice and had a double quad rupture. Recovery was quite long and I'll be feeling weather changes for the rest of my life. Doing well, now though

    I just couldn't resist. And I think I could make a lot of money from a Cabbage Patch Eli! Thanks! LOL

    Calm down, Wesley! We have a lot to do before there's a wedding! LOL Thanks for the smile!

    Please leave me a comment or review. It helps me more than you know... and I will respond as soon as I see it!

    STITCHER by Geoff Chassen Chapter 11 – RETURNING Cam asked me to tell you what it was like right after the accident… wait… accident my ass! That asswipe tried to fucking kill me! Why does everyone call it an accident? This is gonna be kinda short, because, well… I don’t really have a lot to remember. I was in a fucking coma, I’m told. So, I guess the best place to start would be when I heard this loud crash behind me. I jerked my head back and my eyes locked with that fucking sperm donor I used to call Dad. “Dad! No!” The next thing I remember was flying through the air. It was so bizarre, almost like everything just went into slow-motion. I remember landing on the pool deck. My feet were underneath me when I landed and I felt my quads sliding up my thighs. There was also a sharp pain in my side. I thought that’s gonna suck just as I felt myself surrounded by water. I know I tried to swim to the edge of the pool, but my legs wouldn’t work. They just hung there in the water. I held my breath as long as I could, but I just felt blackness surrounding me. I really thought I was dying but the strangest thing happened. I felt Janet there with me. I seemed like she had her arms around me, but it was more than that. I was completely surrounded by her and she kept telling me not to worry, I wasn’t going to die. I remember being lifted out of the water and thinking that Janet was a lot stronger than I ever thought. Then I felt lips on my mouth. I remember those lips! Vic! That reminded me that I need to tell Cam about those summers with… Whoa! I was coughing up a storm. Vic was crying and telling me to hang in there and stay with him. Janet was telling me to relax, that everything was going to be okay. I was pretty aware that my body was kinda fucked up. I wasn’t really in pain, just aware. I don’t remember much about the ambulance ride, or even the helicopter ride. Janet was there the whole time just talking about how Cam and I were such great dads and how she loved the name Eli. She said she was with him too, and would be for his entire life. I kinda became more aware as I got to the emergency room and knew there was a shitload of people working on me. I remember being moved into an elevator and then, as Janet told me, the operating room. The next block of time really went black. I guess that was the surgery. When I started becoming aware of things again, it was different. It was really quiet. All I could hear was Janet’s soft voice. The “outside world” was completely silent. When someone would come into the room, I didn’t really hear them but Janet would tell me if it was a nurse, or a doctor, or one of my family members. She told me that Mom would just cry when she would visit. She said Dad just held my hand and didn’t really know what to say other than he loved me and wanted me to fight hard to get better. But when Cam would come in, Janet would tell me what he was saying. what he was doing. she would tell me to squeeze the hand he was holding. She would tell me how happy he was when I would respond to him. I’ll never tell him I didn’t hear him those first visits. I think it would devastate him. I think it was his second or third visit when Janet was telling me that Cam had asked me to marry him so I could legally adopt Eli. Aw man, even though I was out like a light, that made me so happy. It also gave me the motivation to get my ass better as fast as possible. I remember asking Janet if there was anything that could be done to help me. Were there any secret powers on the other side? She kinda laughed and said she would have to go away but would send my relatives that were on the other side. She said she couldn’t be here with them so she would be leaving. She promised to be back. She said I should try to sleep and trust that his relatives would be there and would help heal my head so they could bring me back to the “real world.” And then Janet was gone. In just seconds I felt surrounded by so many people. I saw (felt, really) my grandparents from my dad’s side of the family and my grandfather from Mom’s. There were others I didn’t recognize right away but before I could think about I felt my grandmother really close to me. “Ian, you have a lot of us here with you right now. We’re going to help you get better, but you need to just clear your mind and let us do what we need to do. In a few hours you will start waking up and becoming more and more aware of your surroundings. You are going to have a long and challenging recovery but we will be here to help you. Only this is the only time you will be aware of us. Now, go to sleep my beautiful grandson. You are going to be just fine.” “Will I see you again?” “Yes, you will my dear. But it will be a long, long time from now. You have a wonderful life ahead of you. You will be a lawyer that does so much good for so many. It will be a beautiful thing that will make your husband and children so proud.” “Wha…?” And that was it. I was asleep and the next thing I knew this doctor guy was poking a prodding and spending a lot of time looking at my head. Fuck! That’s starting to hurt. Then It hit me, for the first time since all this shit started, I was feeling pain. A bit after the doctor left, a nurse came in and started saying stuff about how they were going to start me on a series of pain medications as they ease me off the other meds… or something like that. I couldn’t hear her very clearly… whoa! I COULD hear her though. That was really cool. This warm feeling started to fill my body and it was nice. But before I knew it, I was out again. The next thing I knew I heard the doctor guy talking to me again, but this time I was a lot more aware. “You’ve had quite a time of it young man. I’m fairly certain you can hear me now, but don’t try to talk. That will come later. You’ve done amazingly well over the last twelve hours. We’ve had you in a medically-induced coma but you did so well last night that we have begun to bring you out of it. I’m holding your hand now. I’m going to ask you some questions. Squeeze my hand once for yes, twice for no. I also have a nurse here to help us out.” Help me out?? She stuck a fucking pin in my toe! “Did you feel that?” I squeezed his hand once. Next, she pricked my left hand. Ow! “Did you feel that?” I squeezed his hand again. Too bad he didn’t give me an option for that fucking hurts!” He asked me if I was ready to have some visitors and I squeezed once. I needed to make sure my Cam was one of those visitors. With every ounce of strength I could muster, I was able to get one word out… barely. “Cam.” “Oh wonderful. You’re starting to speak. And yes, I’m sure Cam is chomping at the bit to get in here. I think he’s one of the reasons you are doing so well. That young man thinks the world of you.” “M-marry. Me.” “Cam asked you to marry him?” One squeeze. It was just too hard to talk yet. “Are you going to say yes?” Fuck yes, I’m saying yes! One squeeze. “Would you like me to tell him for you?” Hell no! Two big squeezes and the fucker laughed and said he would never tell something that big. He was testing me some more. “Okay Ian, you’re doing great right now. Much better than I was expecting. I’m going to go out to the waiting room and talk with your family. I’ll tell them how wonderful you are doing but I won’t let out any secrets. Do you want me to tell them you’ve said a few words? Or would you rather surprise them yourself? “Don’t. Tell.” And then he left. Mom and Dad cam in a bit later. Mom was crying again, and Dad seemed to be a bit more relaxed… or relieved, maybe? The just talked shit but it was nice hearing about Eli. The would ask me questions and soon figured out the one squeeze/two squeeze thing. I feel kinda bad bout not even remembering what they were saying. I just wanted to be with Cam so bad! Finally! I felt those sexy lips on mine. I tried to kiss him back, but I don’t know if he could tell. He did tell me he loved me and managed to whisper “love” back to him. Vic took over and said he was only staying a short time so I could have some time with Cam. I love my cousin. He knows what I really need! He told me that he told Cam about our history together and that everything was cool. He said he wished I could’ve seen Cam’s face when he figured out Vic was gay. I had a great picture in my mind, though! He also told me he was going on a date tonight! Awesome! It’s about time, if you ask me! Vic left me alone with Cam and we were having a wonderful visit. I was starting to re-enter the real world a bit more and then the best news I’ve had so far happened. Every time Cam kissed me… or my hand… my cock started to fill up and get hard! Thank God it still worked! Whew! Then, out of the blue, I heard my little man. “Da-da! Da-da! Da-da-da-da!” I opened my eyes and said as loud as I could muster, “Baby!” He was all wrapped up in miniature surgical scrubs. The sleeves and legs were tied off so he couldn’t grab anything and he had this little face mask on. He looked like a stuffed cabbage! The nurse handed Eli to Cam and he just kept doing his “Da-da” thing. I couldn’t stop smiling! I really needed some water. I knew I could talk better if I could get my throat wet. I would have preferred a shot or two of my Cam’s cum, but I don’t think that would have gone over very well! The nurse gave cam a cup of crushed ice and a spoon and told him to give me a spoonful. I reached my arm out to Eli and Cam placed him on my side with his little head on my chest… his favorite place. I got a spoonful of ice and damn, did it feel good! Cam asked if I wanted another spoonful and I nodded yes. Oh yeah, I’m still smiling my ass off! I was with the two most important boys in my life! After the second spoonful of ice did its magic, I was able to speak a lot better. I looked down at my baby boy and told him, “Did you miss me, little man? I sure missed you!” Eli stopped wiggling around and looked up to me as he cooed and gurgled. God, I love that sound! “You and your daddy are the best medicine in the world, my little stuffed cabbage! I’m going to need you to help me get better fast cuz we have a lot of stuff to do!” I looked over at my beautiful Cameron and smiled. “Yes.” “Yes?” “Dude, you asked me to marry you and I don’t think you were able to hear my answer last night!” “You heard? You really heard me?” “Cameron Elliot Franklin. Nothing will make me happier than to become your husband… and this beautiful baby’s daddy.” *********** He heard me! Ian fucking hear me propose to him! And he said yes! The tears were uncontrollable now… and I wasn’t even crying! Before I could even tell my beautiful boy I loved him, the nurse knocked on the door and said it was time to go, that Ian needed some rest and the doctor needed to see him. I leaned down and kissed him… and he definitely kissed me back and even threw in a little tongue! “Ewwww! Coma breath!’ We laughed and I gathered up our little man and as we headed out I turned around and told my beautiful boy I love him. “I love you, too… both of you!” I got out of my scrubs as the nurse helped get Eli out of his. He was loving the attention from the nurse. We are so lucky to have such a happy baby! When I walked into the waiting room, Claire, Sam and Vic looked up and saw the huge smile on my tear-stained face. “He’s awake. He’s talking. He said yes!!” “Yes?” Claire was confused, obviously. “That’s exactly what I said! Ian heard me propose to him last night and he said yes!” Claire jumped up to hug me and my son. “Oh, sweetheart! That’s wonderful news!” “Of course, he has to heal and get out of this damned place, then do the physical therapy thing. Don’t worry, we won’t rush, and there are zero plans yet, so don’t panic!” Realizing we had two hours before we could see Ian again, Claire and Sam said they would walk over to Whole Foods and get us lunch from the hot bar, leaving me and Vic with the baby. I grabbed his food bag and pulled out a bottle of formula and pressed the call button for Nurse Black. In a few minutes she came in and I asked her if there was a nearby microwave so I could warm the bottle. She led me down the hall to the nurses’ breakroom. She said I was welcome to use the microwave any time and she would let the other nurses know that it was okay. When I walked into the waiting room, I found Vic on the floor changing a fussy Eli’s diaper. “He got grouchy as soon as you left so I checked his diaper and he definitely needed a change. I hope I did it right!” As soon as I picked up my little man, he stopped fussing and started to reach for his bottle. The diaper looked good and I thanked Vic for helping out. As I was feeding Eli, I asked Vic how he was feeling about Hayden. “You know, it’s really off to a good start. I have these moments when I’m happier than I’ve been in a long time. I then I have these moments where I feel like I’m a lecherous old fool… I mean I’m six years older than he is. And I mean, my God! He spent two years with this crazy teacher fantasy thing he had!” “Vic, almost every female student and a lot more boys than you or even I am aware of had the same fantasy. Hell, I even had it your first year. You’re hot as fuck! Do you realize that you were the only teacher we could have a fantasy like that with? I mean, Jesus! We’re we supposed to have a teacher fantasy with Mr. Collins?” Mr. Collins was the oldest teacher at the school back then… and he definitely had a few fantasies about some of the boys in the school. He wasn’t good at hiding it. “But then, Hayden is smart, funny, cute and a helluva great kisser! I know, I should stop worrying about shit, just enjoy our dinner date, and see what happens from there.” “Just remember, he’s not your student any more. He’s 21 and is quite capable of making his own decisions.” Eli had finished his bottle and I asked Vic if he could get a pacifier out of his diaper bag. Nurse Black apparently had a rocking chair delivered to the room while I was in with Ian. Perfect! I carried my little stud-muffin to the rocker. Gave him his pacifier and started rocking him while gently singing to him. Today’s selection was “For Good” from Wicked. Eli’s favorite way to fall asleep was with his whole body on top of ours. I guess he found comfort in our heartbeats and hearing us talk or sing through our chests. Before I even finished the first verse, little Eli let out a big sigh and just collapsed on top of me. He was fast asleep. I slowly stood up and walked over to his baby jail and gently laid him down on his back. When I stood up and turned around I couldn’t believe what I was seeing! “What the… are you Facebook Live-ing me?” Vic just smiled and said they could hardly see anything because of all the hearts flying across the screen. “You are sooooo gonna be trending by the end of the day!” I looked into Vic’s phone. “Hi folks, thanks for watching! We’re going to go away now!” I leaned down and turned off the feed. “I can’t believe you did that!” “Don’t be pissed! First of all, it was an awesome video and people were loving It all over the place. Second of all, do you even realize how much Facebook cred you just earned?” “I would have sung better if I knew you were broadcasting me all over the fucking universe!” Sam and Claire walked in with bags of hot food, a couple gallons of fresh-brewed iced tea, and a lemon meringue pie. We all enjoyed a wonderful pasta dish with chicken and peas, some awesome roasted Brussel sprouts, a nice and fresh garden salad. I felt kinda bad for the hundreds of people in this building who had to each the crappy hospital food when there was this literally right next to the place. I mentioned to Claire that we would have to get him this good food once he was eating again. She agreed that it was a wonderful idea since visiting hours were during meal times. While we were eating, Vic told us that he was going back to Barnstable tonight with Hayden. He explained that school starts back in just three days and he had a lot to do before the students came back. They have a new principal this year and she asked Vic if he would take over the gay-straight alliance sponsorship. He was recommended by nearly all of the staff and faculty, not really because they all knew he was gay, but mainly because he was loved and respected by the vast majority of students. He was also going to become the strength coach for the school’s not-so-good football team. They had won the state championship a while back, but that was a freak thing. They were back to normal now. Just then, Claire’s cell phone rang. “Oh my, it’s Mary Greenely. I should probably take this.” She stood and walked out into the hallway. Sam, Vic, and I just looked at each other. Same looked concerned. “I hope this isn’t more bad news. We’ve had more than our share in the last couple of days.” Claire came back in and pulled a chair up and sat across from me. “Cam, that was Ian’s mother. She’s in Barnstable to identify and claim Jack’s body. She was not happy about having to do that at all. The only other person to do it was Sam, and they knew he was here with us. “You do realize she left Jack after he threw Ian out of their home. She’d not been in any kind of contact with him since she left him. She had no idea that he had been planning to do this horrible thing. She would like to meet you and apologize for what happened. She would also like to see Ian. I’ll talk to him about it when we see him next.” Wow. I didn’t know what to think. All this time I thought she had been in on throwing out her son. Now it sounds like it was just that bastard man’s idea. I didn’t know what to think or say, but then I thought about what Ian would do. “I don’t think it’s my decision to make. Let’s wait and see what Ian has to say.” Nurse Black came in and told us it was time for another round of visits. Claire and Sam went in first to talk to him about his mom. Eli was still asleep and I didn’t want to wake him for a visit. I hope my boy understands. When Claire and Sam walked back into the waiting room, she was smiling. “It took a little convincing, but Ian has agreed to see Mary. He admitted that he misses her but is confused about why she didn’t fight for him or even try to contact him over the last two years.” “I guess he’ll get some answers when he sees her then. So, if Ian’s okay with her coming here, then I guess I am too. But if she starts causing any trouble, she’s gone.” When Vic and I went in to see Ian, I leaned over to kiss him. This time he took his hand and held my head in place as he shared the kiss with me. God, I missed that! “You’ve gotten me all hard and horny, my sexy fiancé. But if I try to do something about it, I’m afraid I’ll set off way too many alarms and I’ll have zero privacy.” “Wow! You are getting better fast!” That got my beautiful boy another kiss and Vic pulled up two chairs and told us get a room. “So, I guess you heard that my mom is coming to visit later today.” Vic spoke up first. “Yeah, you okay with that? I mean Aunt Mary was always really nice to me, even though she was always quiet.” “Baby, you do know she had nothing to do with all this, right?” “Yeah, I know. And I DO miss her. I just have so many questions.” “So do I. But I promise to be nice to her. After all, I need to thank her for making such a beautiful boy that I get to marry.” It was surreal scene. Among all the beeps and clicks of the machines that were keeping close watch on my boy, the three of us were just having a normal conversation… just like we would back at the house. “Where’s Eli?” “He’s napping. I thought you would understand that I didn’t want to wake him. I promise to bring him in on the next visit.” “That’s cool. We both learned the hard way not to wake him from his beauty sleep.” After twenty minutes, the nurse knocked on the door and told us we needed to wrap things up so Ian could get some sleep. “That all I do… sleep. But they said I do my best healing when I’m out so I’ll be sleeping a lot so I can get out of here sooner than later.” “I love you, beautiful boy.” I kissed him again on the lips and thoroughly enjoyed Ian’s return kiss. “Love you, too, Cuz.” Vic leaned forward and kiss my boy on the cheek. “Thanks Vic. And thanks for saving my life. I guess I’m indebted to you for the rest of my life now. Isn’t that how it works?” “Whatever, the only thing I want you to do is get your little ass better!” ********** I watched my sexy boy’s ass as he and Vic left the room. My cock was hard as a rock and dripping. And I couldn’t do a damned thing about it! Fuck me! I was thinking back on what Dr. Bohls told me about my injuries. That explained the headache. That explained the bandages on my side. It also explained why both my leg were in these removable casts and why I couldn’t move them. Really? BOTH quads? Doc explained that one quad rupture was an extremely rare injury, but both was almost unheard of. Something like 9 in one million quad ruptures were both legs. he also said that my recovery from the leg injuries would be the most difficult and longest. On the bright side, me being in good shape would probably cut my total recovery in half. As I was thinking about all that had happened I fell asleep. When I woke up, I enjoyed a few spoonfuls of ice (yummy, yes?) when I saw her. Mom was standing in the door to my cubicle. “Ian! Oh, my baby boy!” “Mama!” And then she fell to the floor. I pressed the call button on my bed. Please hurry! My mom just collapsed!

    Thanks, Benji! Damn, you know me too well. Ian's mother will be in the next chapter.

    This makes me Soooo happy!

    STITCHER by Geoff Chassen Chapter 10 – AND THE JOURNEY BEGINS I ended up getting a lot more sleep than I thought I would. Of course, my dreams were mostly about Ian and the horrible day we had just been through. I also found Vic, GAY Vic, slipping in and out of those dreams. I mean, really! The last person on earth I thought would be gay was Vic. But then again, the more I thought about it, I never saw him going out with girls. But then again, I didn’t see him going out with boys, either. He was just Greenely, one of my teachers and for all intents, my brother-in-law. At first, I couldn’t believe Ian had never told me his history with Vic, but then again, Ian never talked about anyone else’s stuff. He always respected people and thought it was up to them to make the choice to share what they wanted to share. I think that’s one of the major things about my boy that I love… his respect for other people. I woke up to the best fucking alarm ever invented… bacon! I think Vic woke up about the same time. I got out of bed and headed into the bathroom, pissed away my morning wood, brushed my teeth and put on the bathrobe. Vic followed suit and soon we were all sitting at the kitchen bar, enjoying bacon, scrambled eggs, hash browns, and coffee. I think we all finally had our appetites back and it felt good to be starting the day together. Claire said the hospital called earlier in the morning and we could see Ian any time after 10:00. The doctor wanted to see him before we got there so he could give us a more detailed prognosis. When Claire had asked if there had been improvement she didn’t get much of anything from the nurse who had called. She said Dr. Bohls would be the one to give us details. Vic thought that was good, though. He felt that if there had been any kind of turn for the worse, they would have called us to get to the hospital in the middle of the night. I guess he had a point… so no news was good news. Claire also told us that Mom would be getting here around 8:30 with clothes for everyone! She said she had the baby with her, too. Yay! I get to see and hold my little man! He always does me good. Sure enough, within a half hour, Mom was knocking at the door. Sam let her in and my sweet little Eli squealed and flapped his arms when he saw me. For the first time in the last 24 hours, I had the biggest smile on my face. God, I love that fucking kid! He and Ian are my world! Vic and Sam went down to the car to help Mom get everything. When they got back up to the room it was crazy! There were four suitcases of clothes, Eli's diaper bag and another one that had his formula and baby food jars, his portable playpen/crib thing and a high chair thing that you could slide onto a table or counter and it would lock itself in. I couldn't believe what was going on, it looked like they were moving Eli into the hotel room. Yeah, Mom said that's exactly what they were doing. She said that if there was anyone who needed to have the magic of that baby boy in their lives, it was the four of us. Well, fuck me silly... Mom's right again... and I couldn't be happier about it. I looked at Vic and asked him if He was okay with this and he assured me that he loved the kid as much as the rest of the family and he was totally stoked to have a third roommate. I couldn't believe how happy Eli was. He was smiling and babbling away. Mom said he was not a happy baby last night. He cried a lot. About 2:00 in the morning, Dad put him in the car and drove him around until he calmed down and fell asleep. After about thirty minutes he started getting fussy again. "Eli missed his daddies. He's at that age where he's going to go through some separation anxiety. And since I start back at the school tomorrow, plus with all of you here for a while, bringing the baby here was really our only option. Charlie and Jacob offered to sit with him, but as good as those boys are with Eli, they've never spent more than a few hours at a time with him. It would have been too much for them. And by the way, they send their love and promised to come visit once Ian is in a regular room." I went to Eli's food bag and got out a jar of strained apricots. He was pretty stoked when he saw the jar of yumminess. Mom set his chair up on the bar and I fed my little man. By the time he finished eating and I got him cleaned up, it was time to get on our way to the hospital. I strapped Eli to my chest. Sam carried the diaper bag and Vic carried the fold-up baby prison. When we walked into the hospital lobby, Nurse Black was waiting for us and was talking to Hayden. Hmm. Funny he was there. Funny how his eyes lit up when he saw Vic. I totally hope that something comes out of this. Vic needs someone to share his life with and so far, the two of them seem to be connecting. We were led up to our waiting room while Vic stayed behind because he "had some stuff to do." Ha! Stuff called Hayden! Of course, Nurse Black instantly fell in love with Eli and she helped set up is baby jail in the waiting room. She told us the doctor would be in to see us shortly, as she had just sent him a text telling him we had arrived. In just a few minutes, Dr. Bohls came into the room with a smile on his face. God, I hope that was a good sign. I’d not seen him smile yet. “Good morning, folks. And who is this little guy?” “This is Ian’s and my son. He had to come in today and will be staying with us at the hotel.” “That’s wonderful. Well, let me share with you the good news. Ian has made terrific progress. The pressure and swelling in his brain has greatly reduced. I was with him at 7:00 this morning and I've ordered that we begin to bring him out of his coma. I'm going to keep him in ICU for at least another day or so, just to be safe. "Now you should know that as he comes around, he's going to be in great pain so as one regimen of medication is being reduced, a regimen of pain medication will be increased. Our main goal is to keep him as comfortable as possible so he has minimum stress. "I'm going to change up his visitation routine for you a bit. I'll allow two at a time for 20 minutes. I would like you to visit him as much as possible but we will need to put at least two hours between visits so Ian can get his rest. "Who would like to go in first?" I told the doctor that Sam and Claire should go first, and that Vic and I would go in when he gets back from his business downstairs. I asked Dr. Bohls if I could take Eli in with me since Ian loved that baby more than life itself and it could only help him. The doctor agreed but was concerned that the baby needed protective clothing just like we did. It was more for Eli than anything. Nurse Black said she would see if she could come up with something. That was all the doctor had to say, and I have to tell you it was the best news I could have heard. The only that would be better is if Nurse Black is able to make things happen quickly so I can carry Eli into Ian's room with me. About ten minutes later, Vic walked into the room with a shit-eating grin on his face. He told me that he and Hayden were going out tonight. Just dinner at a nearby restaurant. He also said before he came upstairs, Hayden pulled him to a secluded spot in the lobby and kissed him. Hayden told him that was for the teacher fantasy he had for two years of high school. He kissed him a second time... harder and deeper... and told him that was for the Vic Greenely fantasy he's been having for the last 24 hours. Sweet! Vic's gonna rejoin the world! I filled him in on all the great news we just got from Dr. Bohls and it made even happier. I told him we would be able to go in in about ten or fifteen minutes. Vic told me that he would only stay a brief time, that he really wanted me to have time alone with Ian. God, Vic is so cool. We were getting suited up about ten minutes later. Nurse Black hadn't come back with anything for the baby yet, and Mom and Dad were happy to watch him. Of course, after breakfast and the exciting walk to the hospital, the poor guy was exhausted and was sound asleep. When we walked into Ian's cubicle, I was more than a little surprised. The swelling may have gone down in his brain, but it had also gone down in his face. There seemed to be a bit more color, too. My baby was on the way back, I could tell. I walked over to his bed and placed a kiss on his lips. Was that a moan? It was barely there, but I swear I heard it. "Good morning, beautiful boy. Vic is here with me. The doctor said you were doing really great and that we might even get to talk with you later today. I'm so proud of you. So is Eli. He misses his daddy, that's for sure! I'm gonna let Vic talk with you for a bit and then we'll be alone for a while." Vic sat in the chair next to the bed and took Ian's hand. "Hey Cuz, glad to see you're getting better. Cam needs you back more than you know. He's gonna get tired of hanging around with me, that's for sure. So, I told Cam our story and he's cool with everything. He WAS totally shocked when he figured out that I'm gay, too. I wish you could have seen his face." I saw Ian's hand squeeze around Vic's. Yeah, that was a fucking genuine squeeze. Sweet! "I also have some news. I, uhmm, I kinda have a date tonight. Yeah, can you believe it? He's cute as Hell, a former student that graduated a year after you guys. I have to admit, you were right. When I least expect it the right person would just show up and knock me off my feet. I think Hayden might be it." Holy shit, my beautiful boy started to smile. He was still out, but he was listening and hearing... and understanding. "It feels good to be happy again, Cuz. I can't wait for you to meet him... and I'm pretty sure you will! I'm gonna get out of here so you and your amazing boy can have some time together." Vic left the room and left me alone with Ian. I sat in the chair and took my baby's hand. This time he squeezed it before I could say a word. I leaned over and kissed him again. This time he kinda sorta kissed back... AND squeezed my hand. "I love you, Ian. You are a part of me like no one has ever been." "Love." It was soft. A gentle whisper, really. But I heard it. Part of me wanted to run out and tell a nurse, but the other part of me needed to be with Ian. I stayed even though I kinda thought I shouldn't. As I was about to change my mind, a nurse knocked on the door. She was holding a bundle wrapped in miniature scrubs that was wearing a tiny little face mask. As soon as he saw Ian he squealed, shaking his little arms and legs and start babbling, "Da-da! Da-da! Da-da-da-da-da!" Out of nowhere, Ian's eyes flew open. He smiled, dimples and all. And in a soft whisper said, "Baby!"

    STITCHER by Geoff Chassen Chapter 9 – HURRY UP AND WAIT SOME MORE Nurse Black led us back to our waiting area and sat us all down so she could talk to us. She told us that as long as Ian was in ICU, this would be our private waiting room. The press conferences would be starting soon and she wanted us to be as protected as possible from the press. I guess they can be aggressive as fuck when it comes to getting a scoop. She also told us that at this point she would suggest that we go home for a few hours, grab a bite to eat, relax and come back for another brief visit. She offered to get us a hotel room near the hospital but I told her that we already had someone get us a suite at the hotel next door to the hospital. We all decided to head over to the hotel, except for Dad. He said he would drive home to help Mom with the baby. I promised to call or text as soon as we knew something. I forgot. Wait. Don’t text Dad. He hates thumb-typing on his phone. I said goodbye to Dad and Claire, Same, Vic, and I headed over to the hotel to check in. It was weird checking in without any luggage, and once we got to the room I called Mom and asked her to go over to the Greenely’s and pick up some clothes for the four of us. Vic and I were pretty close to the same size so I asked her to double up on clothes from my closet and dresser. The room was pretty nice. There were two bedrooms (square beds), a living room, and a small kitchen. First thing, stock up the kitchen with some good food since the hospital food would cause my own personal famine. I pulled up my Uber app and told Claire I was going to the grocery store and pick up some food and drinks. She asked if she could join me and unfortunately, I think I gave her a “What? You don’t trust me?” look. She leaned into me and told me would go stark-raving mad if she didn’t go do something that was helpful for all of us. I get it. I told her I would love the company. We went down to the lobby and the Uber showed up about twenty minutes later. We told him we wanted to go to a grocery store and he told us there was a Whole Foods just a block away. That it was actually operated by the hospital. I couldn’t believe he turned down a fare, but Claire gave him ten bucks and thanked him for his trouble. We walked to the store and barely said a word. I guess we were both lost in the million thought and worries going on in our heads. Claire was the one who broke the silence. “You know, we really don’t have to talk about it. We know the same things, we hope and pray for the same things, and we’re both frightened by the same things.” “Yeah… I miss my Eli, though.” “Oh yes, I do too. I think we could both do with a little bit of Eli joy. I’ll call your mother and ask her to bring him with her when they bring our clothes.” “Thanks, Claire. I don’t think I could talk to Mom just yet. I’d probably just cry the whole time.” “I know, Cam. And I do understand. And Cam… thank you… from the bottom of my heart… thank you.” “For what? I’ve been nothing but useless.” “For your strength, for the love you have for our boy, for your charm, and even for the foul language I hear from you every now and then. “Oh, shit.” Claire actually laughed a little. Not my intention… it just came out. “You know, Ian’s going to need all of that from you in order to heal. You’re his family now. He loves you more than he has ever loved anyone in his entire life. You should hear how he talks on and on about you.” Fuck! Fuck fuck fuck! Here come the tears. Strong my fucking ass! Thank God we were walking into the store. We could at least talk about food now. “So how do we want to do this, Claire?” “Well, the hotel has a fridge and a stovetop… there’s a microwave, but no oven. I won’t be cooking any lasagna or roasts.” We walked through the store and picked up food items that would be quick and easy to make. We got to the hot bar and picked up a few things that we could have for dinner tonight and decided that was something we could do every couple of nights if we wanted. When we checked out we had more bags than we could carry. I was pulling my Uber App up on the phone but Claire decided to find the manager and explain our situation. He was way cool and let us borrow a cart to take our stuff to the hotel. He said it happens quite often and we could bring the cart back the next time we went to the hospital. We got back to the hotel and had a nice meal of Curried Pork over whole grain rice. Claire and I also put together a nice garden salad. After we cleaned up, we got the shopping cart and headed back to the hospital to see my beautiful boy. Vic walked with me to return the cart and told Sam and Claire to go ahead and start their visit. We’d be right up. It didn’t take long to return the cart, thank the manager for being so helpful and make our way back to the hospital. When we walked into the lobby there was a guy around my age sitting alone. He called out my name when he saw me and Vic. “And Greenely. I’ve been waiting to talk to you, Cam. Do you have a minute?” “Not really, I need to get upstairs and see Ian.” “I know. I was at the press conference earlier and decided to hang around and hope to see you… and thank you.” “For?” “Allowing us to tell your story… your whole story. I’ve always admired the two of you, even in high school. You and Ian were so fearless. My boyfriend and i were just fearful. But at prom, we got to dance together for one amazing dance.” Vic kept looking at the handsome boy and then his eyes lit up. “Ha-Hayden, right?” “That’s right, Greenely. Hayden Miller.” “I’m sorry Hayden, I can’t quite place you. I feel terrible.” “No, there’s no reason you should. I spent every free moment working for the school paper. Either writing or in the darkroom. And I was the biggest introvert in our class.” Vic told Hayden that he remembered him and also that he was one of the best students he’d ever had. “Well, thanks Greenely. That means a lot. Really. And Cam, if there’s anything you need, errands, anything, I would be honored to help out and take some of the load off your families.” I thanked him and he gave me his card. “And Cam… AND Greenely… even if you just want to vent, or talk… I will be there. Not to write a story, please know that. It’s just a way for me to thank you for being such an inspiration… both of you.” I thanked him and shook his hand. For some reason, I pulled him into a hug. Now, it was a bro hug, but it was a hug. Vic just gave him a hug as well. He went for the bro hug, but Hayden pulled himself and whispered something into Vic’s ear which made him smile. I WILL find out what he said, dammit! We went up to the waiting room and Sam was just coming back from visiting. Vic and I went back and got into that nasty looking protective gear. Vic went first. This time we were given ten minutes each since Ian was now stable, but still critical. They told us the swelling hadn’t gone down yet, but they were happy that it hadn’t gotten worse over the afternoon. It was finally my turn. When I walked in he looked pretty much the same but the breathing mask thing he had this afternoon was gone and they had this thing pushing oxygen into his nose. The bad thing about that was we could see how swollen his face was. There were scratches and bruises all over. Be strong, Cam. I gotta be strong! I leaned down and kissed him lightly on the lips. “I love you, beautiful boy. I love you more than life itself!” All I could do was sit there and look at my boy. I’m so grateful that he survived his dad’s attack. At the same time, I’m so angry that someone would want to hurt this amazing human being. “I guess you know we’re here for you, baby. But nobody is here for you more than me. I am here to help you heal, to help you get stronger. I can’t wait to look in your beautiful eyes and share my soul with you again. And you know… I really can’t wait to see those sexy-as-fuck dimples.” I picked up his hand and held it to my cheek. I would kiss it, then hold, then kiss it again. I smiled when I felt Ian slightly move his thumb into my hand whenever I would kiss his. “Ian, I want you to know I’ve been thinking about this all summer. I had planned to ask you yesterday, but things kinda got fucked up pretty bad. I’m telling you this because I want you to know that isn’t some kind of bribe to make you get better faster. I love you too much to ever pull something like that. But baby… my beautiful, beautiful boy… my sweet Ian. “You are my life. I’m a better man because you are in my life. When we are apart, I miss you with every minute of every day. But you should know, I’m never sad. I’m never sad because I have you filling every bit of my heart. “And then there’s our little man. He adores you more than anything on this earth. I love how he squeals and smiles the moment he sees you. You are such an amazing daddy. Eli is the luckiest baby in the world because he has you completely in his heart “So, baby. There’s only one thing missing. I want you to be my husband, Ian. And after we do that, Eli wants you to adopt him. So if anything like this happens to me, I want you to legally have Eli as your son so no one could ever try to take him away. "Don’t worry my love. I’ll ask you again when you wake up. I mean, just in case you didn’t quite get all of that.” The nurse knocked on the door and told me it was time to finish up. “ I stood, kept his hand in mine, and kissed him lightly again. “I love you my beautiful Ian. More than ever before.” He squeezed my hand after I kissed him. Yes, my boy is going to heal. I know that. Hurry up and wait, I guess. ******* Mom, Dad, and I watched Cam come into the waiting room and couldn’t believe what we were seeing. He was smiling. I asked him what happened that was so wonderful. “He squeezed my hand… full on squeeze… weak as shit, but dammit…. he squeezed…. twice!” “Oh my! Sam, Vic, and I only got one squeeze.” I asked Cam how he scored twice and he told us it was when he kissed and when he asked my cousin to marry him and adopt Eli. “I’m taking it as a yes. I know it was a yes! Wait, he squeezed your hands, too? Why didn’t you tell me?” Dad told him that he and Mom didn’t want to get our hopes up too much, just in case he didn’t give us that squeeze. But now, everyone was thrilled. “Dude. wait a minute! You asked Ian to marry you?” “Yeah, I really did!” He then walked over to Mom and Dad and said, “I’m sorry, I know I should have asked you first, I really had planned to. I’ve been thinking about this all summer and I was going to ask him before he left for college tomorrow morning. I swear I was going to ask you tonight. But I wasn’t bribing him to get better. I promise. And I want to be married so Ian can legally adopt Eli. And I know that if we are married, that will only help a judge agree to it. I’m sorry, I’m babbling now.” Mom and Dad walked over to Cam and wrapped their arms around him and told him that of course, they thought it was a beautiful and wonderful thing to do. And yes, he had their blessing. I walked over and joined in on the hug. I’m so happy Ian found Cam. If there is such a thing as soul mates, it's them. It’s definitely one of the best relationships I’ve ever seen… even better than Mom and Dad. We made it back to the hotel arm in arm in arm in arm. I think all of us were so much more optimistic. We certainly felt a Hell of a lot better. When we walked into the room, Mom declared it was time for a celebration. She told us that she had the front desk bring up two more terrycloth bathrobes and she told us to go put them on and come back out for a cup of hot cocoa and some red velvet cake. And when Mom makes a celebration declaration, you better do exactly what she says. She’s in charge now. The advocate nurse gave me an ugly as shit scrub top since my t-shirt had blood stains on it, mixed with the smell of chlorine from diving into the pool to pull my cousin out of the water. Cam and I stripped down to our underwear and put on one of the robes. Damn! These were comfortable as Hell! Mom always made hot cocoa for the whole family whenever one of us was down, or stressed, or needed cheering up. The whole family had to share the cocoa to show that everyone was there for each other. I explained that to Cam as we were changing and he started to get emotional. “That’s really a cool way to end the day.” I told him that he was just a part of our family as each of us was. And before he started the ugly cry, I got him out into the living room of the suite. The cocoa and cake really were the perfect way to end the day. When we finished I told Mom and Dad to go to bed. We would clean everything up and put the plates in the dishwasher. Glad they included a dishwasher in the suite. Made things a lot easier. We went into the bedroom and each crawled into one of the beds. Neither of us could really sleep. I’m sure Cam had a million different thoughts going through his mind at the same time. I would doze off for a short time but wake up when I would start thinking about the day. After about an hour, Cam got up and go out into the living room. I also heard the sliding door to the balcony open. Poor guy. After about five minutes I felt like I needed to be with Cam so I walked out to the balcony and found him leaning over the rail and sobbing. He was finally letting go of the day’s stress. He’s been so strong all day. I don’t think I could have done that. I walked up to Cam and put my arms around him, leaning into his ear. “He’s going to be fine, Cam. He’s one of the strongest guys I’ve ever met in my life. He knows we’re here for him. He also knows that all four of us will be there every waking moment to help him heal. But having you there for him means more to him than the rest of us put together. “Ian is amazing guy. I’ve known him his entire life. He’s always bounced back from everything and everyone who tried to knock him down or steal his spirit.” “I didn’t know that. I mean, I know how he is now, but I don’t know about his childhood, or why his parents threw him out. I mean, I know it’s because he’s gay, but I don’t know how they found out or anything.” Oh man, this is a talk I didn’t really want to have with Cam, but I guess this is probably the time to have it. “Cam and I were more like brothers than cousins. His family lived in Barnstable until he was twelve. His dad had an offer to teach at the college in Cumberland so he decided it was the next step from being a high school math teacher. “Ian didn’t want to move away and it broke Jack’s heart to see his son so sad. He was a different man back then. “We would visit each other an awful lot. I actually loved going to Cumberland. It was so different from the Cape. At first, I would go out there once a month and then in the Summer I would be there for a month and he would come here for a month. When we were together we were inseparable. We would go camping, hiking, swimming, the movies. We did everything together.” I started to get a little emotional myself and Cam just leaned his head back to my shoulder. “You guys were so lucky to have each other. Makes me a little jealous, but it’s good, don’t worry.” “When was nineteen, I had an awesome surprise for him when he got here for his month. Mom and Dad had just finished fixing up the basement and I got to move in there. He was blown away that they even put in the second bedroom just for him. You guys turned that into the nursery for Eli. “Funny thing is, we almost always slept in my room because we would be up into the wee hours talking and talking.” “I know, we do that now most nights. He sure does love to talk.” “Well, he was sixteen, I was nineteen and most nights sleeping in the same bed. One night he was totally stressed out and scared of something. I was pretty sure he was about to tell me something really important to him. I told him there was nothing he could tell me that would change how I felt about him, or how I would treat him. I also told him that I hoped he felt the same way about me. He told me he did and that I was the most important person in his life, and that was the reason he was scared. “And then he told me he was about 99% sure he was gay. Oh my God, I couldn’t believe I was hearing this from the most important person in MY life. That was when I told him I was, too. “Wha-what? You’re gay, Vic?” Cam turned around to face me. “Yeah. I thought you knew?” “No! I had no idea.” “I thought for sure Ian would have told you.” “No, he wouldn’t tell me something like that. I know he figured that if it was something I needed to know, you would tell me. Wow. Just Wow. I’m sorry, we’ll talk about that later. Tell me more.” “Well, next thing I knew, Ian just started giggling. He told me he was just thinking about how hilarious we would be the first time we ended up in bed with another boy. He went on about how ignorant we were about the whole gay thing and that we would make fools out of ourselves. “He leaned in and kissed me. Not a cousin kiss either. It was a real kiss. I had kissed a few girls through high school but this was a first for me. “Well, to make a long story short… “Too late!” “Asshole! As I was saying… We practiced on each other the rest of that month. There was never any romance. We just tried to figure out what we needed to do to make a dude feel good. And after that visit, we never did anything again. “Well, until I flew to Kentucky for the first day of summer vacation after his Junior year. We had been to a party with a bunch of his friends, and there was beer at the party. I’m not a beer drinker, so I let Ian have a good time and I would drive us back to his place. “When we got back to his place, we went to his room and started stripping down to our boxers so we could get some sleep. Ian lost his balance trying to get his pants off and I caught him before he fell to the floor. He just went down to his knees and pulled my boxers down and started sucking my dick. “Damn, he got good. He was so into it… and so was I. We didn’t hear the door open or Uncle Jack coming into the bedroom. The next thing I knew I felt his boot in my side as he kicked me away from Ian. “You see, about three years earlier, Jack had gotten involved with the super conservative Pentecostal church. He went insane. I told him to go ahead and beat the shit out of me, just keep his hands off Ian. “Ian’s mom came running into the bedroom and told Jack that she had called the police and to stop what he was doing. He stopped and in about ten minutes he was being hauled off to jail. Mary told us to get dressed and go to bed but she thought it would be best if I slept on the couch. I was sore as shit, but okay and Ian said he would sleep on the couch because I needed to be as comfortable as possible. “The next morning the police called and said I needed to go in and fill out the paperwork so I could formally press charges. I called Mom and Dad to get their feeling on everything. Dad was super pissed. Mom was afraid if I pressed charges, Ian would be the one to pay the price. “The thought that Ian could get hurt made my decision for me. I flew back to Massachusetts without filing charges. Aunt Mary was terrified to press charges. After hearing what Mom told the cops about Jack hitting Mary, I understand why, now. The cops kept him for 72 hours until they were forced to let him go. “That was the day jack threw Ian out of the house. That night he was back at our house and in the apartment my folks had built for me.” I had tears in my eyes by the time I finished my story. This time Cam put his arms around me. “I hope you don’t hate me, Cam. Please understand that anything that happened between me and Ian was just experimenting and nothing more than physical.” “I understand. I really do.” He paused and looked me in the eye. “I can’t believe you just came out to me. It’s so… I mean… do you have a boyfriend?” “Not right now. I did have one for my last three years of college. Andy was really good for me. Mom and Dad loved him just like they love you. “The only problem was, and we knew all along it was going to happen… Andy was from Korea and as soon as graduated he had to go back and take over his father’s company. I haven’t really found anyone to catch my eye since then. And no matter how lonely or horny I get, I’m totally not going to be installing Grindr on my phone.” “You know, when you least expect it…” “I know. I know. And funny thing, I think someone caught my eye today. It was really brief, but I think it was real.” “Who? Who was it? Did you find a Dr. McDreamy today?” “No, it was that cute reporter guy in the lobby earlier.” “Hayden? Hayden Miller?” “Yeah, that’s his name. I wasn't really paying attention, I couldn’t stop looking at him.” “Wow. Just fucking wow!” “So I didn’t mean to ramble on and on, but I wanted you to know how Ian ended up here… and in our lives… YOUR life.” “Thanks, Vic. I’m grateful you’re in my life, too. You are part of my family, too.” So, Cam and I went back to bed and fell asleep. We woke up again in the morning to the smell of bacon. As Cam would say, “It’s time for some big healing and all we can do is hurry up and wait.
  15. Waiting because of coffee

    Love the story. Love this chapter. OMG, Kay's insecurities and overthinking bring back so many memories. You are an incredibly talented writer. Your characters are clear and concise. The fact that we can truly feel Kay's turmoil and Jake's confidence speaks highly of your skill! I'm still resisting going to that other site and avoid a binge re-read! It's so hard though!

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