The Move

Chapter 36

By Doug Smith

The Doctor came by to check on me first thing in the morning and said I was healing remarkably well. He said I had them worried when I first came in because of all the bleeding and the internal injuries but it wasn't as bad as they feared. Having almost lost me in the ambulance had only heightened their anxiety.

I had forgotten about the ambulance until the doctor reminded me. It was still pretty hazy but I remembered Aaron telling me not to give up. I smiled thinking how he was watching over me. It was a good feeling knowing he was there for me and that we actually could communicate even though he was dead. I really do believe that. I also couldn't help but think he had a hand in everything that had happened, us moving, me finding Josh, all of it. I could see us moving but what are the odds we'd move to the same town where his brother lived.

Even the fight with Phil. He might not have planned that but I'm thinking he helped Josh stop Phil. It would explain how Josh was able to do what he did. Not that Josh is a wimp or anything but I know he isn't a fighter. He's learned a few things but not enough to take on Phil. They say people do remarkable things under stress maybe that's why. Of course Josh is full of surprises. He might have just found what was inside all along. Either way I was definitely grateful.

The doctor replaced the bandages on my stomach as well. He wanted to check how I was healing. I was a little embarrassed lying naked in front of him. He had taken off my johnny and I was completely exposed in front of him. I know he was a doctor and it was all professional but it was my balls he was holding when he checked my catheter. He said he'd schedule to get it removed later in the day. I had only needed it while I was unconscious and they were pumping me full of fluids. I couldn't watch as he was examining me there.

I tried thinking about something else but that just made me think of Josh and the doctor's soft hand. Fortunately with the catheter I didn't bone up. That would have been embarrassing. I did plump up a little but he didn't say anything.

When he replaced the bandages on my stomach he said I might have a scar from the surgery but it shouldn't be too noticeable. He had been worried they didn't get everything when they operated but didn't think that was a problem. I wasn't in severe pain plus I didn't have a fever or blood in my urine so he felt everything was healing. He said I was really lucky. The broken knife blade had caused a lot of bleeding but didn't do any real damage.

He also took the bandages off my face saying I'd have a black eye and a sore jaw for a while but otherwise everything would heal. I flinched when I saw myself in the mirror.

"Don't worry, you'll be as good-looking as ever before you know it," he said smiling. "Besides, I'm sure that boy who keeps kissing you won't mind how you look."

That's Josh. "He kisses all the boys," I smiled.

"Yeah, right. He obviously loves you very much. We had to threaten force to get him to go home and rest."

I smiled. "Not as much as I love him." I figured the doctor already knew I'm gay so it wasn't a big deal telling him. It didn't seem to make a difference. If anything it made him more compassionate.

"Doctor, when can I go home?"

"It won't be for a few days. I want your internal wounds as well as the rest of you to heal some first just to make sure you don't have any complications. If you do well over the weekend then maybe you can go home Monday, certainly before the holiday. I'll have an orderly come down and give you a sponge bath. That boy won't want to come near you if we don't clean you up. We'll also going to take out that catheter."

I woke up early partly because I had to take a wicked piss and partly because Scott kicked me. Mainly I was just excited. I really felt like I had parents again. Yeah, the Johnsons have been good to me and I know they love me but they aren't my 'real' parents. The Michaels are my 'real' parents. I know I just met them two days ago but I'm beginning to see them that way. I was sad for my Mom who died. She obviously knew I was adopted but I know she loved me so I feel a little guilty thinking of Mrs. Michaels as my mother.

My 'father' on the other hand can rot wherever he is forever for all I care. Mr. J. did say he'd probably be released soon not that I cared as long as he stayed away from me. I did think I should make another pass through the house to make sure there wasn't something else I wanted. I definitely wouldn't get it once he was there.

The first thing I did was text Dan. Alright, that was the second thing since I really did have to piss. I told him I loved him and that I was spending the day with my parents. I didn't even know if he had his phone. I'll check on that when I go see him. I can just picture the smile he'd have if he saw my text. He was right, the Michaels are good people.

I also texted Chris to let him know I wouldn't be in school. I told him Dan's room number in the hospital and said I'd be there after school. He immediately texted back when he read what I was doing. He said to have fun and that he'd be thinking about me. Both he and Ryan are good friends.

The Michaels were having coffee with the Johnsons when I walked into the kitchen. "Morning Mr. And Mrs. J; Morning Mom ...morning Dad," I smiled. They smiled and pulled me into a hug when I leaned down.

I was in a good mood. "So Mommy, what are we doing today?"

She laughed. "I haven't been called Mommy in ten years."

"I'm sorry," I said. "I'm just feeling really good."

"Don't be sorry. It feels good but your friends may make fun of you if you call me that in front of them."

"Actually my friends won't but don't worry, Mom works too. Doesn't it Daddy?"

I sat down and had some OJ while everyone else had coffee. The Johnsons kept smiling when they saw how happy I was. I think it took their minds off Dan for a while but since he was also doing so much better they seemed more like normal anyway.

Our first stop was breakfast at Cracker Barrel. I had just been there with the Johnsons. That was before I knew the people sitting across from me now. It's amazing how fast things can change. We had a nice leisurely breakfast and ended up spending over two hours eating and talking. Alright, mostly talking and I think the waitress would have preferred us to leave quicker since we were taking up one of her tables, not that they were crowded. She wasn't unpleasant but was friendlier when she got a big tip.

Most of the conversation dealt with getting to know each other. They wanted to know what I liked to do, what my plans for the future are, initially just small, get to know you type stuff. We talked about Aaron, what he was like, how he and Dan were together when growing up. It didn't really bother me when I heard how close they were and how gentle and loving Dan was even though he was all 'boy'. I knew that gentleness and loving was directed at me now, a feeling that caused a reaction between my legs. Fortunately they couldn't see through the table. They smiled when I blushed though.

They knew something was on my mind as we talked. I'm sure they knew what it was too but they didn't say anything. They waited for me to bring it up.

"I don't know if my name is Josh or if it's Chris."

"It should be what you want. You've been 'Josh' all your life. It doesn't matter to us. We want you to do what you're comfortable with. This is all new. It's like waking up from a vivid dream. There is that point where you kind of don't know what's real versus what's a dream. That's what we meant will take time. It's a mindset. You're 'Josh' in the life you know. It's who you are. Right now you're probably in that foggy state not knowing what's real. You're also worried about Dan. There's no hurry. Whether you're Josh or whether you're Chris, you're still our son and we love you unconditionally."

"Did you really think I was dead?"

Mrs. Michaels just looked at me. I could see tears in her eyes. "Josh, please believe us that we never would have stopped looking for you if we had thought otherwise. They told us the baby they found was you and we had no reason to question that. Yes, we could have refused to believe it and kept searching but you have to understand they had just told us you were dead. They said they performed tests plus it made 'sense'. What are the odds they'd find another baby? I kick myself. If I had looked at the mangled corpse of that poor baby I would have known. They told us it was best we didn't look, that we didn't want to remember you that way. There was no doubt it was you. I've been going over all the 'maybe we should haves' in my head the last two days. Please understand there hasn't been a day the last sixteen years where you haven't been in our thoughts."

I got up and gave them another hug. "What happens now? You live in Chicago. I don't want to lose Dan."

"First of all you're not going to lose Dan so get that thought out of your head. We couldn't do that. Dan is just starting to be his old self. He wouldn't be happy and we're sure you wouldn't be too happy with us either. Plus your friends are here. We have no intention of pulling you away from all that."

"I thought you wanted us to be a family. How will that work?"

"We haven't worked out all the details. This has all happened so fast. Rest assured that whatever happens you will be involved in the decision. What we're thinking right now is this. First, we're going to court to get custody of you. Kevin says we don't have any legal standing with respect to you."

"But you're my parents."

"Yes, but we have to prove that in court. Don't worry, Kevin says it's just a formality. There is documentation on the kidnapping. He did say we might all have to get another DNA test since we can't say unequivocally that the DNA he had tested was our DNA ...or yours for that matter. Don't worry, the results won't change. DNA is DNA and we trust Kevin. It's not like he'd concoct all this. Besides, looking at you we know you're our son. We just have to prove it in court."

"Then everyone will know."

"We're going to try to keep it as quiet as possible. I doubt that will be possible in today's society however. It seems like every little thing is made public and if it's interesting enough it spreads around the internet like lightening. Your story is definitely interesting. Of course a lot depends on your adoptive father. He could fight us."

"Please don't call him my father, adoptive or otherwise."

"Alright, but he could still make trouble. Kevin says he won't win but it might delay things. He might be worried about being implicated in the kidnapping. Don't worry, everything is going to be fine."

"Where am I going to live?"

"Right where you are for the time being. Right now Kevin has custody of you even though it's temporary. Jackie and I are planning to stay through Thanksgiving. We definitely have something to be thankful for. After that we'll stagger going back to Chicago so that one of us is here. We're thinking of moving here. I work at home as a consultant and travel occasionally so it doesn't matter. I can work anywhere. Jackie is a speech therapist but she can get a job here. That's not a problem."

"You would do that?"

"Josh, there is nothing we wouldn't do for you. You're our son. We haven't been involved in your life for sixteen years. In two years you'll be going to college. Who knows where that will be. That only gives us a couple of years to be a family. We have a lot of catching up to do."

"And you're okay that I'm gay and that Dan and I are together? I mean it's one thing I'm gay but with Dan and I being..."

"Will it take some getting used to? Of course but it's the same for Kevin and Diane. I'm sure they had trouble seeing you two together. As for you being gay we have absolutely no problem with it. Sure we might wish it wasn't the case but we understand. You are Aaron's brother."

'Wow,' I thought. 'Aaron's brother.' Tears came to my eyes. I had missed out on so much. I sat there for a few seconds misty eyed until the Michaels smiled at me.

"It's okay Josh. We understand."

"Can I ask you something else?"

"Of course, ask us whatever you want."

I looked around to make sure nobody could hear. "Dan said Aaron wasn't circumcised but I am. I don't understand that. You didn't do that to tell us apart or anything did you? That would be weird."

Dad just looked at me. "You weren't supposed to be. That must have happened later. We didn't want that for either of you."

Around eleven they wheeled me into an exam room to remove my catheter. It felt good to get it out. They also said they wanted me to get out of bed for short periods of time. I wasn't supposed to do it by myself and not for too long but they wanted me to gradually have more activity. The doctor laughed and said no karate for a while.

My mother stopped by at lunchtime. We had lunch together. At least today they didn't puree my food. That was disgusting. It was still fairly soft, not a steak or anything. They just gave me a chicken salad sandwich with some fruit. It even tasted okay. I guess I was hungry.

My mother told me Josh and the Michaels were spending the day together.

"How are they doing?"

"They're going to be fine Dan. Josh was really excited this morning. Much better than yesterday. He even called Jackie and Chris Mom and Dad. Jackie told me she talked with you. We're proud of you."

"For what?? All I did was tell her Josh misunderstood what they said. I knew there was no way they 'wouldn't want him'."

"Yes, but here you are in the hospital. I know you're still in pain and you were more concerned with someone else. That shows what type of person you are."

"Mom, it's Josh. He's always on my mind even before we became friends. He's on my mind 24/7. I could be lying here talking to you and he's still there. I love him so much. I'm glad if one of us had to be hurt then it was me. I don't want to think about him lying here and me sitting there. ...Besides, I'm not really in pain. I kind of like whatever they're giving me," I said trying to smile.

She laughed. "Don't get too used to it. They're probably going to start reducing the amounts soon."

"I was kind of hoping they'd send me home with some. I'm definitely not feeling any pain. A few pills might help me deal with Jake when they come for Thanksgiving too."

"You'd better be joking young man."

"I am Mom. You know how I feel about drugs. I've never even experimented with stuff."

"Your father and I have been fortunate. We haven't had to deal with a lot of the headaches so many parents do."

"No, but that's because you set a good example for Scott and me. You let us have independence but made sure we knew what's expected of us too. I know we're not perfect. You've had other problems to deal with. Not many parents move across the country to give their son a fresh start."

"We love you Dan and whether you believe it or not, it wasn't just for you."

"I was pissed off at first but look how it's turned out. Can you imagine? Meeting Josh and him being Aaron's brother? That's amazing."

"The thought of him being the Michaels' Christoper never seriously entered my mind. I obviously saw the resemblance when I saw him but I thought Christopher Michaels was dead. Your father and I stood beside Chris and Jackie when he was buried. You and Aaron were there too but you were only a few days old. We were surprised they never told Aaron about him. It was just too painful for them so obviously we couldn't tell you. We couldn't tell you something like that and expect you to keep it from Aaron. You couldn't have done it."

"Do you think I'm crazy to think Aaron made all this happen?"

"What do you mean? How could he possibly have had anything to do with this?"

"I'm convinced he's watching over me, maybe over all of us. The time I fainted ...he was there. He came to me. And before I woke up here I was with him. We were at the falls but he called it the 'in-between'. He said it's a place where you go when you're not in your world but you're not in his world either. I don't know. Maybe I was just dreaming but it was so real. It wasn't like a dream where all you can remember is bits and pieces and those bits and pieces don't really fit together. This was like actually being with him. He took care of me while the doctors were doing whatever they were doing. I remember it all."

"Dan, the mind works in mysterious ways. I'm sure it could piece together memories and images in times of stress but to think he's actually watching over you? Even if that's true, how could he have had anything to do with us moving and you meeting Josh?"

"I don't know Mom. I really do believe he's watching though. He said he was. I remember being in the ambulance. I remember almost dying. I think for a split second I wanted to. I wanted to be with him but he said it didn't work that way. He said I couldn't choose to die and if I did then he and I wouldn't be together. He said you die when it's your time and you don't get to choose."

"If he is watching then he could have made this happen, right? Maybe he learned about Josh when he died and wanted to bring him and the Michaels together. Maybe our moving here wasn't by chance. Maybe he wanted it to happen."

"Dan ...We moved here because this is where your father's job took him."

"Maybe, but why here? Why this town? Why did Josh sit down next to me that first day? We could have moved anywhere. We didn't have to move to this town. We could have moved to any number of towns around here and none of this would have happened."

"There might not be an explanation but to think Aaron had anything to do with it, that's hard to believe."

"Maybe," I said. "But you can't say for sure that he didn't either."

"No, I guess I can't. I'd just like to think we have more free will than that. To think someone who died can have control over my life, our lives, is a little unnerving."

"Maybe it's not control. Maybe it's just an influence and maybe it doesn't happen for everyone. Aaron was special."

"Yes he was Dan."

"I like thinking that he's watching over me. As long as he doesn't watch to close," I laughed.

"On that note I'd better get back to work. I'm sure you'll have plenty of visitors this afternoon."

The rest of the day was fun. The Michaels wanted to see the house where I had lived. I wasn't too excited about that but told them how to get there. I noticeably grimaced when I saw it. Fortunately they didn't want to go inside. Earlier I had thought I should get anything else before the asshole was released from the hospital. Now I couldn't think of a single thing I wanted. Mr. Michaels put his hand on m shoulder.

"Josh, It's okay to say good-bye. Mr. Sullivan is what he is but from what you say you're adoptive mother loved you very much. We don't know if they were involved in the kidnapping or not. From what Kevin said we don't think so. If that's the case then we owe her a great deal of thanks. She did a fine job raising you under some probably difficult circumstances. We're grateful we found you but we're also grateful you're the way you are too."

After that we did something stupid. We were going to the falls where Dan and I had gone and passed a mini-golf course. It was November and a school day but it was still open. The place also had a driving range, batting cages and an arcade which maybe explained why they were open. We actually stopped to play. We were the only ones there although there were a couple guys on the driving range.

It was fun. It was stupid but it was fun. It was the first thing I had done as a family in years. I actually felt sad when we finished. Only Mr. Michaels did well. The obstacles kept getting in our way, lol. I guess that's the point. There was this one hole with a windmill and three times in a row I hit my ball at just the wrong time and the arm of the windmill came down and blocked it sending it back to me. I think I took the maximum strokes allowed on that hole. Fortunately I got a couple of holes in one too. It was just luck but it did balance things out. I ended up with a 54. Obviously, Mr. Michaels played golf because he had a 38. I won't say what my mother had.

Around 1:30 someone came in and said they were going to give me a sponge bath. I didn't really like the idea but also thought I probably reeked pretty bad. He was a young guy, probably just out of college or maybe still in college. They must give the shit detail to the newbies. I tried to help but he told me to lay back and relax. I wasn't sure I liked it when he reached under me to untied my johnny and took it off.

It was the first time I had seen my stomach. I hadn't really seen it when the doctor taped it up. It was bandaged but I looked like a mummy. He saw me looking and smiled. "Too bad Halloween is over," he laughed. "You wouldn't have to invest too much in a costume."

I'm not sure I liked lying naked while he used a sponge to wash whatever parts of my body weren't bandaged. It would be one thing if Josh was doing it but having a stranger do it was something else. There were some parts of me that I didn't want anyone else touching except Josh.

I had to stop thinking about Josh taking his place however because it was having the reaction you might expect. But as usual the more I tried not thinking about it the more I thought about it and that reaction became more noticeable. The guy noticed my embarrassment and simply smiled.

"Don't worry about it," he said. "It happens all the time. Every guy gets hard at embarrassing times."

"Sorry," I said. "I was kind of thinking of what it would be like if someone else was doing this."

He laughed and put a towel over me in case someone came in. "I'm sure he or she wouldn't stop at just a sponge bath but that's where the service at this resort ends."

"'He'," I smiled.

"I thought so. I've seen the two guys who are always coming in and out. Which one is it? The one with brown hair or the one with short dark hair."

"Brown hair," I smiled. "His name is Josh. The other guy is my best friend from Illinois. He flew in when he heard I'd been hurt."

"It's nice to have friends like that and they're both good looking not that that's really my thing. Let's get you in a clean johnny. The Physical Therapist will be in shortly to get you out of bed. The doctor left orders to have you get out of bed for a little while. Someone can change your sheets too. Your legs are probably pretty sore but they aren't broken. It'll do you good to walk a little."

"Thanks. I feel a lot better even if it was just a sponge bath."

"My name's Duncan. You need anything just give me a holler."

After playing golf we went to the hiking trail where Dan and I had gone. I told them Dan told me about the falls and the accident. Maybe I said too much because I kind of said Dan blames himself for what happened. They obviously didn't know that because they looked at me with shocked expressions on their faces. It was awkward. I knew I shouldn't have said anything but now I had to tell them something. I felt like I was betraying Dan's confidence but I had to say something since I had already opened my mouth.

There were tears in their eyes when I told them.

"That poor boy. Carrying that around with him. It wasn't his fault. It was an accident. They used to climb those rocks all the time. Aaron slipped and fell. Thank you for telling us Josh. We had no idea. Kevin and Diane never said anything either. Do they know?"

"I don't think so. Please don't tell him I told you. He told me that in private and it just sort of slipped out. I don't want him to think he can't trust me."

"It'll be okay Josh. You can trust us."

We stopped for a late lunch before going to the hospital. I was worried about what I said and it showed. I love Dan and he loves me. I don't want to screw that up.

School was out by the time we got there. Chris and Ryan were talking with Dan. Jason was there as well.

I had mixed emotions when I walked in. I was happy because I had a fun day with my 'parents'. On the other hand I was worried that I had opened my big mouth.

I tried putting on a happy face. I was going to tell him but couldn't while everyone was around.

Josh walked in around three fifteen followed by the Michaels. It was nice seeing them together ...and happy. I was especially pleased when he introduced them as his parents to Chris and Ryan.

"You look happy," I smiled. "You're supposed to be sad when your boyfriend is in the hospital."

He laughed. "I am about that idiot. Didn't you get my text? I spent the day with Mom and Dad."

"Mom and Dad?" I smiled looking at Mrs. Michaels who smiled back. "I haven't seen my phone. I don't know where it is. ...Sorry."

"Well, I texted you. I also texted you before bed last night." He leaned down and whispered. "I wanted to thank you but we need to talk later."

I became worried when he said that. Maybe it was the way he said it. For a split second I thought he might have decided to move to Chicago or something but knew that probably wasn't it. I knew something was bothering him.

"What's wrong?" I asked.


It was fun talking. Josh seemed really comfortable with the Michaels. Chris and Ryan stayed a little longer but left shortly after Josh got there. They kept looking at Josh and then at the Michaels before they left. They both gave Josh a hug and said they were happy for him.

"You guys look happy. What did you do today?"

"We spent the day together. First we went out to breakfast and then swung by Josh's house. We wanted to see where he grew up. After that we played mini-golf."

"I stunk," said Josh. "I can't remember the last time I played."

"Something else Scott can beat you at," I laughed.

The Michaels smiled. "You haven't changed much. It's nice to see you're feeling better."

"I am. I'm still sore but they actually had me out of bed today. I don't think I'll be running any races but I made it across the room. The Physical Therapist had to help. What else did you do?"

"We went to the same hiking trail you and I went to and then out to lunch before coming here. It was fun. We got to know each other."

"That's good," I smiled. We talked a while longer before the Michaels left. They were going to meet my parents for dinner. They asked Josh if he wanted to go but he wanted to stay with me. Jason stayed a little longer but then said he was going to dinner with my parents too. He did say he changed his flight to Sunday.

I looked at Josh after everyone left. "Okay ...spill ...what's wrong?"

"I hope nothing. It's just the Michaels and I went to the hiking trail you and I went to. You know, the one by the falls where we met those two guys."

"Yeah, you said that, so what? You like that place. I want to go back there with you."

"Well, ...I kind of told them something I shouldn't have."

I couldn't imagine what he could have said that had him so worried. "What did you tell them?"

"I'm sorry Dan. I didn't mean to. It just slipped out. We were standing by the falls talking about the accident..."


"I told them you blame yourself. I'm sorry Dan."

He stood there looking at me with a worried look on his face. "Is that all?" I smiled. "You scared me. I thought it was something serious. It just seems Scott is rubbing off on you."

He looked at me and smiled. "You're not mad? You told me that in private. I want you to be able to trust me."

"No Josh. I'm not mad and I do trust you. It's probably time for everyone to know anyway. Good thing I don't tell you anything real important," I smiled.

"Wait a minute, what about you?" he smiled. "Who was it that blabbed to Mrs. Michaels I didn't think she wanted me?"

"For the record that wasn't on impulse. I knew you misunderstood. How did that work out for you?"

He smiled. "Fantastic ...Thank you ...If you read your texts then you'd know that."

"I would have if I knew where my phone was."

"Why don't you come home and I won't have to text you."

"I can't wait. I miss you so much. The doctor said it would only be a few days, maybe Monday but definitely before Thanksgiving."

He leaned down and I wrapped my good arm around him and gave him a kiss. My jaw was feeling better and I actually had some feeling in it besides pain. Either that or they had given me some more drugs in my IV. Either way it felt fantastic and I wouldn't let him go. Other things worked too. Since they removed the catheter my cock worked better too. I threw an obvious bone which tented the sheet.

"At least that didn't get broken but we don't have time now," smiled Josh. He reached down under my johnny and adjusted things so that it was laying flat pointing up my stomach. He smiled as he gave me a couple strokes before removing his hand and patting the outside of my johnny. His hand felt really good as I'm sure he could tell from my noticeable moan. "Soon," he smiled. "Someone could come in any minute."

I slid over in my bed. "Come up here with me. There's room."

"I don't know. What if the doctor walks in?"

"He already knows you're a hornball."

"Are you sure? I don't want to hurt you."

"You won't. Just don't put too much weight on me. I've noticed you've been packing it on lately."

"You must be feeling better. You're back to being an asshole."

"Yeah, but I'm your asshole," I smiled. "I love you."

"I love you too. Don't ever scare me like this again."

"Won't happen," I smiled. "With you around to protect me nothing can happen."

"Yeah, right. There's always something but for now give me another kiss."

He laid on the bed and cuddled against me. "You smell better," he said.

"That's because Duncan gave me a bath."

"Who's Duncan?"

"He's this hot orderly. He came in to give me a sponge bath." Josh frowned when I said he made sure I was clean all over.

I smiled. "Relax bud. I'm just playing with you. He left a few spots for you to help me with."

He kissed me on the cheek. "It'll have to wait but I promise I'll make sure 'everything' is clean later," he smiled.

We just stayed like that talking. At one point someone came in to give me my supper. Josh jumped and tried to get up but it was kind of obvious, especially since I was holding him. The girl didn't say anything except that the nurse might not like us both in bed like that."

"You could pull out your IV or something."

"Not if he lays still," I smiled.

We were lying like that when my parents and the Michaels walked in with Lieutenant Henderson. We really were just talking and occasionally kissing. It wasn't like we were making out but Josh jumped and put his elbow against my side trying to get up. I winced when he changed positions. It only hurt for a second and I was fine when he moved but Josh became all worried and apologetic.

"Lieutenant," I smiled. "Will you arrest him? He's trying to kill me."

"How are you feeling Dan?"

"Better sir. They say I might get out of here by Monday."

"That's good but this isn't exactly a social call. I need to get your side of what happened. Josh? Can you and everyone else step outside for a minute? I need to talk with Dan alone." Reluctantly Josh went out to the hall.

I really couldn't tell him much since I didn't know what happened after being stabbed. I just said how I remembered Phil coming at me with a knife and that I hadn't seen him until right before he stabbed me. I couldn't get out of the way since I was between the jeep and another car.

He wanted to know why Phil would attack me in the first place so I told him about the trouble I had with him at school but said I thought what really triggered it was his brother coming to my house.

"Even though he beat up Kyle I think he blamed me. It broke up his parents and got him in trouble."

"That's what I believe as well but needed to talk with you. You really need to thank Josh you know. If he hadn't done what he did you might not be here right now. We have the whole attack on video and it looks like Phil really wanted to do more than just teach you a lesson. He looked out of control. That young man in the hall could very well have saved your life."

Thinking what Josh had done gave me mixed feelings. He could have gotten really hurt or worse but he didn't even think of that and rushed to help me. Thinking about him getting hurt gave me a sick feeling but thinking that he cared that much made me feel really good. Of course I would have done the same thing but I'm better equipped to deal with a situation like that. He jumped in knowing he could get really hurt. Sure, I had taught him a few things but not enough. He'd always been scared of Phil. He had to be scared then too but didn't let that stop him.

I smiled. "He's great. I wanted him to run away but he wouldn't."

Lieutenant Henderson thanked me and then left but no sooner then he walked out the door he turned around and came back in. "Okay," he smiled. "The 'official' visit is over. This one is the social visit." Josh and the Michaels were right behind him.

My father seemed surprised but I just smiled. Lieutenant Henderson came over and put his hand on my shoulder. "Dan, you were lucky. Josh was lucky too. I know what he means to you and what you mean to him. I also know you like to stand up for yourself and not take any crap from anyone but Josh isn't like you. Be careful. I'm not saying to change, just remember your actions affect him too."

"Thanks Lieutenant. I will. The last thing I'd want is for him to get hurt because of me."

"You owe him a lot. Would you like to see the video of what he did?"

I looked at my father. "Do you have it? Josh said he can't believe what he did. I'd like to see."

Lieutenant Henderson set up his laptop on the table next to my bed. The video was relatively short. I grimaced when I saw Phil kicking me. When I saw what Josh did I put my head back on the pillow and smiled. Mr. M. had his hand on Josh's shoulder as they watched.

"I'm proud of you son," he whispered in his ear.

We made eye contact and I saw tears in his eyes. I knew he knew. Maybe he didn't believe it but he knew. My father wouldn't have noticed but Mr. M. would. He had gone to all of Aaron's matches. We both knew I hadn't taught Josh those moves. I was sure of it when I saw him do a spin kick and catch Phil in the chest.

"Wow Josh, I guess I am a good teacher. Remind me not to piss you off," I smiled while looking at the ceiling and silently saying 'Thank-you'. I wasn't going to tell Josh he had help.

The lieutenant stayed and talked a while longer. The look on my father's face when he mentioned that he and his partner were looking forward to the holidays was funny. He was obviously surprised this tough cop could be gay. I smiled at his confusion knowing I could give him a hard time later.

The lieutenant said he and Ian, his partner, were planning a quiet Thanksgiving dinner at home before heading to the mountains for a weekend of skiing. I was surprised they could ski given we hadn't had any snow around us but he said there has been some snow up north and most places make a lot of man made snow as well. I had never skied on snow but had done some water-skiing. I said it sounded like fun but that I doubt I'd be doing any this year.

Scott climbed up on my bed and laid against me while everyone talked. I had my 'good' arm around him and held him close. We just talked for an hour or so. Jason said he changed his flight so that he won't go home until Sunday.

"Andrea is pissed at you," he laughed. "She says she'll get you when you come to Chicago over the holidays. I haven't told her about Josh yet. Maybe I'll just wait and let you surprise her. That could be funny. You two walking into the gym during one of my games."

"I doubt it will be a surprise by then," I said. "It's not like stories like this come along every day."

"We're going to try keeping it quiet but I doubt we'll be successful," said Mr. Michaels. "We really don't want any publicity. At least right away. Your father says we do have to go to court but said we could most likely keep it low key, in family court. We're trying to get a closed hearing and if Mr. Sullivan doesn't put up a fight then maybe no reporter will pick up on it. Of course things will come out eventually. You two walking into the gym together would definitely turn some heads."

"I'm not sure that would be fair to Josh."

"Actually I think it could be funny," said Josh. "I'm starting to get used to all this. My life has definitely taken a complete one eighty since I met you. I didn't think I'd ever be this happy. Definitely not before being on my own." He leaned down and gave me a kiss. "Thank you," he smiled.

One problem of being in a hospital bed is that there isn't much to do except talk with visitors, especially when it's parents. Don't get me wrong, I love my parents and we have a good relationship but eventually we run out of things to say.

My parents and the Michaels left around nine taking Scott with them. Scott wanted to stay with the 'big boys' but my parents made him leave. That left Jason, Josh and me. They had my jeep so they could get home later.

I was feeling better. Maybe it was the medication but I wasn't in any pain. I was still sore and I had a dizzy spell when I got out of bed to take a piss but there wasn't any pain. Josh helped me walk to the bathroom. He also stayed with me while I took a piss. He didn't hold it for me though even though I jokingly suggested it. My jaw seemed better too. Jason said he could actually understand me.

"At least I understand the words. I'll never understand what you see in guys," he laughed.

"Not guys ...guy," I said smiling at Josh. "How about another kiss? I think they help my jaw."

He looked at Jason who just shook his head. I put my arm around him as soon as he bent down.

"I can't wait to get home," I said. "I miss you next to me."

"I miss you too," he said giving me a quick kiss.

They left around 9:00. Visiting hours were over. Before leaving Josh helped me to the bathroom one last time. I think I was asleep before they were out the door.

Talk about this story on our forum

Authors deserve your feedback. It's the only payment they get. If you go to the top of the page you will find the author's name. Click that and you can email the author easily.* Please take a few moments, if you liked the story, to say so.

[For those who use webmail, or whose regular email client opens when they want to use webmail instead: Please right click the author's name. A menu will open in which you can copy the email address (it goes directly to your clipboard without having the courtesy of mentioning that to you) to paste into your webmail system (Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo etc). Each browser is subtly different, each Webmail system is different, or we'd give fuller instructions here. We trust you to know how to use your own system. Note: If the email address pastes or arrives with %40 in the middle, replace that weird set of characters with an @ sign.]

* Some browsers may require a right click instead