My Father, My Son
(Revised)
by: Tom Borden

2000-2008 by the author

 

The author retains all rights. No reproductions are allowed without the author's consent. Comments are appreciated at...

 

"Caleb, go ahead and tell Jake you'll do it. And then the next morning, tell me how it went. I don't think you'll be disappointed with Jake. Nobody has been!"

"Well, okay. But to be honest with you, Michael, I'd rather be right here in this bed with you while the boys are in my room."

Michael leaned over and kissed Caleb. "Not yet, Caleb. Give me just a little time. But I want the same thing. And, don't worry, it's going to happen."

 

Chapter 45 

 

Not long after Josiah enrolled at the University of Texas, he had taken to going to most of the swimming meets involving the University's intercollegiate swimming team. The team was particularly good that year, and had several outstanding swimmers who had led the team to a number of victories over rival University teams. He had never done any swimming in his life, except to wade and splash around in one of the streams on the ranch property. But by watching the team, he was inspired to learn to swim.

Josiah had enrolled in a beginning swimming course and, although he felt awkward and out-of-shape in comparison with most of the others in the class, he stuck with it and persevered. While so many of the other students seemed like natural swimmers, Josiah, lagged behind. He was proud, however, that he was able to do the backstroke as well, and in many cases better and faster, than the other students.

Since it was a mid-afternoon class, Josiah had no more classes on those days, and would often stay in the pool after the class was over to continue practicing for an hour or two longer. He had made friends with another young man in the class, Greg Harbison. Greg was also a beginner and had joined the class in order to compete in some way with his girl friend, who had been a champion swimmer in high school. Greg would also stay after class to practice, so that he and Josiah could race against each other.

One late afternoon, after about an hour of practice together, Greg told Josiah that he was going to quit for the day since he was going to meet his girlfriend for dinner and a movie that evening. Josiah decided to continue practicing alone for perhaps another hour. Greg then disappeared through a door into the locker room.

As he continued his practicing, Josiah could hear something that sounded like shouting and some scuffling, but paid little attention to it. He heard the noise periodically for thirty minutes or so, but thought that it was coming in from one of the open windows on the wall along the side of the pool. He looked up toward the locker room door, however, and caught a glimpse of several people inside. After Greg had left, he had not realized that there were others still in the pool area. Climbing out of the water, Josiah walked to the door, and was horrified to see Greg pinned down on a locker room bench with his legs being held in the air, and being fucked by another boy. There were four boys altogether, two of whom were getting dressed, and another with his pants off awaiting his turn.

One of the boys turned to Josiah and shouted, "What the fuck are you lookin' at? Get your ass outta here!"

Josiah backed off a few steps onto the pool deck and continued to watch, horrified, as the fourth boy climbed onto Greg and plunged his cock into him. As two of the boys held his legs in the air, Greg was crying and pleading for them to stop. From where he was standing, Josiah could see blood on the bench. Soon the fourth boy climbed off of Greg and, pulling his pants up, ran with the others out the side door into the parking lot that was adjacent to the building.

As they left, one of them shouted back, "That's just to show you what we think of you fuckin' queer fagots!"

Josiah ran in and saw that Greg was as white as a sheet, and that blood was running off the bench onto the floor. Josiah found the door to the coach's office locked, but shouldered it open and grabbed the phone. Dialing 911, he gave the operator directions to the outside door of the locker room. Taking a towel from the hamper, Josiah stuffed it as tightly as possible in Greg's crack to try to stop the bleeding. It was as though all of Greg's blood was draining out of him. Greg drifted in and out of consciousness and seemed as though he couldn't hear Josiah talking to him. Josiah sat on the bench and lifted Greg up into a sitting position. Holding him there, leaning against his shoulder, Josiah thought that Greg was dying. Greg's face looked as though the blood had completely drained from it.

Within minutes, the paramedics arrived and, after taking Greg's vital signs, strapped an oxygen mask on him and put him in the ambulance. Josiah stayed behind and got dressed. Then he called Brian to tell him what had happened.

"Josiah," said Brian, "we need to report this to the Dean of Students right away. Do you know who those guys are who did this?"

"Yes, I know who everyone of them is. They're all in my classes."

"I'm leaving right now, Josiah," said Brian. "I'll meet you at the Dean's office in Randall Hall."

Dean Gretchen Schaftsmeyer was just leaving for the day, but since Josiah seemed so agitated, she re-opened her door and asked Josiah and Brian to have a seat.

"Dean Schaftsmeyer," began Josiah. "I need to report to you that a student has been taken to the hospital. He's really badly injured."

"Who is it?"

"His name is Greg Harbison. He's a friend of mine. We were at the pool practicing, and when he went into the locker room, four guys attacked him, and . . . really hurt him badly."

"Did you call an ambulance?" queried the Dean.

"Yes, I called 911. They came and took him to Austin General Hospital."

"Good. I'm going to make a call to the emergency room there."

As Josiah and Brian watched, Dean Schaftsmeyer called the hospital. After a short conversation, she turned to Josiah and Brian.

"Well, it seems that Greg had lost a lot of blood. And he was . . . well . . . he was . . . ."

"I know," interjected Brian. "Josiah told me he was raped by the four guys."

"First thing tomorrow, Josiah, I'm going to call the Disciplinary Committee together and I would like to have you present. I will also have those four students who did this rounded up."

Brian leaned forward and said, "Dean Schaftsmeyer, is it really necessary for Josiah to be here in the same room as these four guys. You know, they'll know that Josiah identified them to you. And I'm afraid what they'll do."

The Dean looked at Brian and then at Josiah, and said, "Are the two of you brothers? You seem unusually concerned for Josiah, Brian."

"No, we're not brothers, but we're very good friends," Said Brian. "We once had a very serious accident, and we both died."

"What?"

"And then we came alive again and we've never been apart since then."

Dean Schaftsmeyer caught herself staring with her mouth hanging open. "I don't understand."

"If we hadn't died together, we would not have come alive together, and we wouldn't be here."

Dean Schaftsmeyer was totally confused and said only, "Oh, that's nice. Josiah, do you have a class at ten o'clock tomorrow morning, and can you be here in my office at that time?"

"I don't have a class, so I can be here then."

When ten o'clock rolled around, the Dean's assistant showed Josiah into Dean Schaftsmeyer's office. The four boys responsible for the cruel attack were sitting together at a large round conference table. Opposite them were the five members of the Disciplinary Committee. Josiah could feel his heart jump into his throat as he looked at the defiance written across the boys' faces.

As Josiah sat in a chair designated for him, Dean Schaftsmeyer said, "Thank you for coming Josiah. I've also asked Dr. Foreman to come today to describe the injuries and to give us the prognosis. Josiah, are these the four people you saw attacking Greg Harbison?"

Josiah suddenly wished that he had never identified them in the first place. Looking into their faces, he was now convinced that they would kill him. His mouth was dry and he could barely utter, "Yes, ma'am."

The Dean said, "Dr. Foreman, will you describe the injuries to Greg Harbison."

"Why, yes. Greg Harbison was brutally raped. When he was brought into the emergency room, he had lost a great deal of blood. The wall of his rectum had been torn open in three places, and two major blood vessels had been severed. Blood filled his abdominal cavity and found release only out through his anus. A small amount of blood was coming out of his mouth, and when he arrived at the emergency room, he was no longer conscious. He was immediately given transfusions. I would say that it is a miracle that he survived the loss of blood."

"In other words, Dr. Foreman," said the Dean, "It's your opinion that Greg could have died."

"Yes. Whoever it was who packed the towel tightly in the young man's buttocks and called emergency service is probably the one who saved his life. If that had not occurred, the young man would definitely have bled to death."

The defiant look suddenly disappeared from the faces of the four accused, replaced by a look of fear at what might have resulted in a murder charge.

"Dr. Foreman, Josiah here . . . he's the young man who acted quickly to save Greg's life," said Dean Schaftsmeyer. Dr. Foreman looked over at Josiah and nodded his head approvingly.

The rest of the time in which the Committee met involved the various members asking the accused young men questions. Eventually, all were dismissed and the Dean and the committee members discussed the punishment. It was unanimously agreed that all four students would be expelled. In addition, because of the serious nature of the crime, it would be reported to the Austin police, with the idea that their investigation would likely result in an indictment of the four boys on serious charges.

That evening, Josiah couldn't sleep. He was glad that he was able to help Greg and glad that the boys responsible were being called to account. But he worried that they would come after him. Although Brian did his best to try and console and be reassuring to Josiah, he also worried for Josiah's safety.

As Brian rolled over very close to Josiah's body, he said, "You did the right thing, Josiah. You shouldn't regret doing what you did. You were Greg's guardian angel who was there when he needed you."

Josiah held on to Brian and with a frightened look in his eyes said, "I'm afraid, Brian. I'm not very strong. And I'm not very brave."

Josiah suddenly remembered when Jake had called him his guardian angel, when he had appeared suddenly one day to stop Jake from killing himself, and also when he had thrown himself in front of Jake to take a bullet from Joseph's gun. And he wondered to himself why he had decided to stay in the pool after Greg had left. Was he meant to be there to rescue Greg. Josiah thought it was almost supernatural. Nah, he thought. It was just coincidence.

The next day, Josiah and Brian went to visit Greg at the hospital. His girlfriend, Janet, sat at his bedside holding his hand, while his mom and dad sat in chairs on the other side. Janet recognized Josiah as soon as he entered the room and got up. Throwing her arms around Josiah's neck, she tearfully thanked him for saving Greg's life. "Josiah, Greg hasn't been able to do much talking. He's pretty well sedated. He was in surgery for many hours last night. We talked with the doctor, and he told us that if it hadn't been for you, Greg would have . . . ."

Greg's mom and dad came around the bed to shake Josiah's hand and thank him.

"Gosh, I hardly did anything," said Josiah, a little embarrassed.

Josiah and Brian stayed and visited for a few more minutes and then went on back to the campus. Checking his campus mail box at the Union, Josiah found a note from Dean Schaftsmeyer requesting that he contact her immediately. He and Brian went immediately to her office, where they were ushered in and offered a soft drink of their choice.

When Dean Schaftsmeyer came in, she stood before the two boys and said, "First of all, I want to let you know that the four boys have been arrested by the Austin police and will soon be arraigned. Now! Josiah, as you know, the University of Texas awards a "Citizen of the Year" medal to one student each year. And the award is presented to the recipient during the May Commencement Ceremonies. I'm proud to be the one to tell you, Josiah, that the Citizen of the Year Awards Committee met this morning, and have unanimously awarded the medal to you."

Josiah sat staring at the Dean as though he didn't understand what she had just said. But Brian leapt to his feet and threw his arms around Josiah and, with tears of joy in his eyes, he shouted, "Oh, Josiah! I'm so proud of you!"

All Josiah could say was, "They voted for me?"

Dean Schaftsmeyer took Josiah's hand and held it tightly. "Yes, my dear young man, they voted for you!" she said, smiling, and then kissing him on the cheek.

"Thank you," said Josiah, still not fully understanding.

"Josiah, the Commencement Ceremony is on Saturday, May 11th. That's just a little more than a week away."

"But I'm not graduating. I'm only a freshman," pleaded Josiah.

"I know you're not graduating, Josiah. You are going to be presented the medal at the ceremony. There will be over four thousand graduating students who will be there to watch you receive the medal, and the entire faculty of the University will also be there to applaud you."

"My God. Really? Oh, my God."

The tears were now rolling out of Brian's eyes uncontrollably. He kept saying over and over, "I'm so proud of you. I'm so proud of you."

Dean Schaftsmeyer watched Brian's reaction, and began to realize there was indeed a very special relationship between the two boys. As Dean of Students, she had run across a number of situations involving homosexuality. She never fully understood it, but in the case of Brian and Josiah, she could somehow feel the love they had for each other, and she felt warm and comfortable with it.

Outside again, Josiah and Brian sat in Brian's car. Josiah said, "You know that doctor must have told that awards committee what I did. That doctor . . . what was his name? Dr. Foreplay? Dr. Foreskin?"

"Oh, Josiah!" shouted Brian. "His name is Dr. Foreman!" Brian grabbed Josiah, and they both started laughing uncontrollably until Brian kissed Josiah on the lips. They sat quietly for a long time in each other's arms, so overwhelmingly grateful to have each other.

Steve suddenly found himself well occupied in the kitchen, doing most of the cooking for the workers and the family. Tony was having a terrible time getting a grip on himself after Karl left for New York. He seemed to be inconsolable. Even Clayton found it difficult to comfort him. Tony talked constantly about leaving and going back to New York to find Karl. He had become so ineffective in the kitchen that Clayton often stepped in and helped Steve with the meals.

As soon as he had the kitchen cleaned up, Steve ran out to find Dan and give him the good news that Michael said it was okay to move in together. He found Dan sitting on the step leading into Luke's room.

"Dan, great news! Michael gave us his blessing. You can move in with me. Come on. I'll help you move your stuff!"

Dan didn't look up and continued with a serious look on his face.

"Come on, Dan. I'll help you."

"Steve, I don't know. I've been thinking. I've made a decision. I have no feeling for that woman I left behind. I don't know why I ever thought I did. I'm never going back up there. This is where I want to live the rest of my life."

"Well, Dan, you've got to think about your obligation to that baby of yours. Come on, Dan. Let's get your stuff and we'll talk about it in our room."

As Steve sat down, Dan turned and said, "Steve, I've made up my mind about something else. I want to spend the rest of my life with a guy. That's what I want. I don't want a woman."

Steve put his hand on Dan's arm. "That's a big decision, Dan. Come on, let's go."

Dan stood up and looked down at Steve. "I don't think you understand, Steve. I want to have a relationship with a guy, like permanent. I want to spend the rest of my life with him, whoever that will be."

Steve began to understand what was coming.

"Steve, I just really don't want a relationship with a married man. You're wonderful, and I think I've been falling in love with you. But I can never really have you. You're married, and I know you're always gonna be married. I can't keep it up with a guy who wants both me and her. That just won't work for me."

Steve practically always had something to say at every situation. But suddenly he had no words. He knew exactly what Dan was saying and why he was saying it. Dan was right. Absolutely right. There was nothing to be said in argument.

All Steve could say was, " . . . no that won't work." As Dan turned to put his hand on Steve's shoulder, Steve quickly leaped up and hurried back to the house without a word. He had come on to Dan unashamedly, and he was rebuffed. He was a married man, he was going all out to seduce this younger guy, and he was rebuffed. Steve threw himself on his bed and suddenly felt smothered in humiliation. Who was it, he thought. Was it Luke? Was it one of the other young cowpokes?

Steve got up and went into the bathroom and splashed cold water on his face. As he looked in the mirror, he asked himself, could it be these little crow's feet around my eyes, or maybe the puffiness under my eyes. No, it must be the gray hair I have. Maybe he doesn't like guys who wear glasses.

No, Dan was right. Dan had renounced his former attraction to women, and now wanted a relationship with a guy. Not any guy, certainly not a married guy. It was time, he thought, that he give up this lark he was living and go back home. He loved his wife. He really did love his wife. He liked being married. What in God's name was he doing down here on this God-forsaken ranch. He didn't belong here.

Steve looked about his room. He had only three photographs on the dresser. One was of his mom and dad, one of he and his wife, hugging each other and laughing, and a picture of the four of them holding up strings of fish sitting in a small fishing boat when they had all gone on vacation to Nova Scotia. He smiled as he held each picture up. He knew that was where he belonged and that was where he would go back to.

Steve walked back to the kitchen to talk to Tony and tell him of his decision to return to New England. Looking out of the kitchen window, he watched as Luke arrived at his room and, with his arm around Dan's waste, they both went in and closed the door. That was it. It was over.

Commencement Day had finally arrived at the University of Texas in Austin. The ceremony was being held outside on a great lawn by the famed Texas Tower. A large contingent from the ranch drove up to watch Josiah receive his award. Michael drove up alone in his car, and Tony drove up with Jake, Enrique, and Clayton as his passengers. Maggie and Rhapsody drove up from San Antonio, as did Mark and Corky. And, of course Jeff, Paul, and Adriano along with Brian, who seemed the proudest of all of them. Adriano had used his influence to get seats for all of them in the front row of the visitors' section.

The president spoke, the deans spoke, the student body president spoke, and the hired speaker spoke. Finally, just prior to the awarding of the graduate degrees, the president returned to the podium.

"Each year at this time," he began, "The University of Texas is proud to award a special 'Citizen of the Year' medal to one of its students. It is awarded to a student who has shown remarkable courage and fast thinking in helping a fellow citizen in an emergency. I am privileged this year to present this gold medal to one of our finest students, Josiah Walker, for the quick action that he took in saving the life of a fellow student, Gregory Harbison." Then turning to his right, he said, "Josiah, would you step forward, please."

Josiah's knees had gone weak, and the two deans sitting on either side of him, both smiling, gently took Josiah's arms and helped him up. He was terrified. He looked down into the sea of people out in front of him and almost felt dizzy. One of the deans walked him over to where the president was standing. At that point, the president placed the ribbon over Josiah's head, allowing the medal to hang down over his chest. Just then, as all the thousands of students, faculty, and spectators erupted in applause and cheering, Josiah spotted his friends in the audience. Jake was mopping his eyes with a big red handkerchief, and the others were clapping wildly and cheering.

Josiah looked at Jake and the picture popped into his head of Jake sitting by a tree with a gun in his lap and looking up at him as he asked Jake for a ride. As everyone on the platform was patting him on the back and shaking hands with him, Josiah could think only of how his life had changed from the moment he had run into Jake in the woods that fateful day. And they all were sitting down in front, cheering for him, all the wonderful guys he had come to love so much and who had meant so much to him.

After the ceremony, Jeff and Paul invited everyone over to their apartment for a celebration. Josiah was having a hard time breaking away from all the other students who had gathered around him to congratulate him and wish him well. Jake stood nearby and watched with tears in his eyes. He had never felt so proud in his life. He thought about Josiah, that skinny little homeless kid, who had interrupted him when he was about to take his own life just to ask for a ride to El Paso. A guardian angel. As he looked at Josiah, he wondered for just a quick moment if Josiah might actually have been sent to Earth as an angel from Heaven.

When everyone had gathered at Jeff and Paul's small apartment, Paul poured Champagne for everyone. "Can I have everyone's attention," shouted Paul. "We're here to celebrate the great honor given to our dear Josiah for saving the life of Greg Harbison." Then turning to Josiah, Paul said, "You're a hero to all of us, Josiah. It's an honor for all of us to be your friends and to have you as our friend." Then raising his glass, he said, "Here's to our dear Josiah. May he ever be an inspiration to all of us!"

And almost in unison, all present raised their glasses and said, "To Josiah!"

As everyone anxiously awaited his turn to hug Josiah and personally congratulate him, the phone rang. Jeff answered, then turned to Josiah. "It's someone special on the phone for you, Josiah."

Josiah took the phone. "Hello."

"Hi, Josiah. It's Greg. Greg Harbison."

"Greg!" shouted Josiah, as everyone turned to watch.

"My mom and dad and my girlfriend, Janet, just came in to see me here at the hospital. They were at the ceremony and they told me all about it. I wish I could have been there. I owe my life to you."

Tears began running down Josiah's cheeks. Just to hear Greg's voice choked him up, and he could hardly talk. "I wish you had been there, too, Greg."

"Josiah?" said Greg. "Will you come by the hospital sometime and show me your medal?"

"I'll come by and show it to you first thing tomorrow."

"I'll let you go now, Josiah. I know you want to be with your friends while you celebrate. I'll see you tomorrow."

Jeff and Paul had hired a local Deli to provide the food, and everyone ate heartily. A number of bottles of Champagne were emptied, and everyone was having a good time.

Adriano, however, was still having a hard time adjusting to being alone after Charlie left him, and the party was getting a little wearing on him. At about 9:00 p.m., he told Jeff and Paul that he thought he would like to go home. Since Adriano had not brought his car . . . he rode with Paul to the ceremony and then to their apartment, Paul said he would run Adriano home.

Michael overheard them and said, "Paul, I'll be glad to run Adriano home. I've got to leave now, too, and get back to the ranch. It'll be an early morning for me tomorrow."

After saying their goodbyes and once again giving Josiah some hugs, Michael and Adriano departed. As they drove toward Adriano's place, Michael said, "When does your father, Mario, expect to come back here for a visit? It's been awhile."

"Well, Michael, he e-mailed me and told me it would probably be sometime in early June."

Michael said, "I've always liked your father a lot. I remember how we shocked you that night when you caught us at my house out in the Cottonwoods. I was sorry that you had to see that."

"Michael, don't be sorry. I got over that in a hurry. I really was so glad that the two of you had a good time together. He likes you a lot, too, Michael, and always asks about you."

Michael said, "Well, tell him the next time you talk with him that I'm looking forward to seeing him again. I know he loves it down on the ranch, and I'd like to have him stay there for awhile as our guest."

"He'll love that," said Adriano.

"Adriano, I heard about Charlie . . . you know, about his leaving and all. I'm really sorry."

"Well, it's probably for the best. We really never did have a close, binding relationship. I tried, but he wanted to play with others, too. You probably heard that I caught him fucking around with a couple of young twinks in our bed. And it didn't seem to bother him that I caught him. On top of that, when I suggested he pack up and leave, he was just fine with that. No problem. He was off and running for his next conquest."

Michael murmured, "Such a shame."

Adriano looked at Michael and said, "You've had it worse than I have, Michael. I feel so badly for you . . . you know . . . losing Karl and all."

As Michael pulled up in front of Adriano's apartment, he said, "It's not been easy, Adriano. But I've been staying as busy as I can. It just was something I never expected. I never expected he would leave like that. But at the same time, I never expected that I would react the way I did. It was childish of me to run off to Mexico like that. If I hadn't done that, Karl may not have left, and we could have worked it out somehow. It's going to take awhile before I get completely used to going into our room at night and being alone in that bed."

Adriano looked up at the dark front window of his second floor apartment. "I know. I sometimes dread going home after work and being alone." Then looking at Michael, he said, "I guess we both just came out on the short end of the stick, didn't we?"

Michael smiled and reached over and ran his hand over the back of Adriano's head and gave his neck a slight squeeze. "I guess so, Adriano."

Adriano reached up and held onto Michael's hand, still holding the back of his neck. "Michael, would you like to come in for a few minutes? I really would like someone to talk with. That apartment is so quiet and lonely. I know you have to get back to the ranch, but you look like you might like someone to talk with who understands, too."

Michael looked into Adriano's eyes and smiled. "Yes, I'd like to come in . . . for a little while. You and I have both been through the wringer, so to speak. I think talking about it will do us both a lot of good."

When Michael and Adriano walked into the apartment, Adriano said, "Let me turn on a light here. Have a seat, Michael, please. I'm going to go and put on a pot of coffee. I think we've both had enough Champagne. Besides, you have a long drive tonight ahead of you."

When the coffee was done, Adriano poured a cup and put it on the coffee table in front of Michael who was seated on the sofa. He put his own cup on the coffee table also, but sat cross-legged on the floor next to Michael's legs and leaning back against the sofa cushions.

Michael said, "The coffee's good, Adriano. It hits the spot."

"You know, Michael," said Adriano, "This is the first time I can remember that you and I just sat and talked with each other alone. You're always so busy and always have so many people around you all the time, it's nice to be alone with you for a change. I knew that you didn't really approve of Charlie when I met him that time back when Josiah and Brian were so badly injured. I wish now that I had had the good sense to talk with you more about it before jumping into a relationship with him."

Michael said, "I think the secret is, Adriano, that you've got to get to know a guy a little better before you commit yourself to him. Of course, that doesn't always work, either. Look at me and Karl. I thought I knew him pretty well before we committed to each other. I did see the signals, but I chose to ignore them. You know, the signals about Karl's problem."

Adriano leaned his head against Michael's knee. "We just can never be sure, can we."

Michael put his hand on Adriano's head and ran his fingers through his thick black hair. "Adriano."

"Yes?" responded Adriano.

"Why don't you come on up here and sit by me so we can talk face to face."

Adriano sat up on the sofa next to Michael. As he rested his head on Michael's shoulder, he said, "It's nice being close to you like this, Michael. I suppose I would sound terrible if I told you that I am jealous of my father."

"Why are you jealous?"

"Because he was close to you once."

Michael took Adriano's head in both hands and kissed him lightly on the lips. "Adriano, you should never be jealous. You know that envy is one of the seven deadly sins."

"I know, but I can't help it."

Michael held Adriano tightly, pressing his head gently against his chest. "You know, Adriano, we need to support each other when these things happen to us. You're a comfort to me, do you know that?"

"And you're a comfort to me, too, Michael," said Adriano.

They sat quietly for a long time. Then, very softly, Adriano said, "Michael, would you lie down with me tonight? Would you stay with me tonight?"

Caressing the back of Adriano's neck and shoulder, Michael smiled and said, "I thought you'd never ask!"

As they lay in Adriano's bed, pressing their naked bodies against each other, they kissed lightly.

"Michael," said Adriano, "when you see my dad next month, would you try to convince him to move over here to America permanently?"

"But how about all your brothers and sisters back in Florence, and your mother," said Michael. "He has his family there. He can't leave them permanently."

Adriano sighed, "All my brothers and sisters are pretty much out on their own now. And my mom is never around. She's always off visiting with her elderly sisters in Perugia, about 70 kilometers southeast of Florence. Dad is always alone. He told me that sometimes when he comes to America, they don't even know he was gone. I love my dad a lot, and I miss him. I just wish he'd move here. You know how much he loves to be on the Walker Ranch."

"I know he loves it down there. I'll give it a try, Adriano. But I'm not promising anything. It would be nice to have him close by, though."

"I warn you, though, Michael," said Adriano. "He's talked about his experience with you a lot. I think he's always wanted a repeat performance. He even . . . ."

"He even what, Adriano," said Michael with a smile.

"I probably shouldn't tell you this, but he even described this for me," said Adriano grasping hold of Michael's hardening penis.

Michael laughed. "Did he describe it accurately?"

"Yeah. It looks and feels just like he described it." As Adriano scooted down and licked the head of Michael's penis, he said, "And he even described what it felt like on his tongue."

"Shame on him!" said Michael with mock horror in his voice.

As Adriano took the whole length of Michael's gorged penis into his mouth, Michael said, "I have to admit to you, Adriano, that your tongue and your lips on my cock feel just like what I remember your dad's felt like. Ohhhhhh. Memories are wonderful things, especially when they're repeated like this."

Michael swung around until he and Adriano were in a sixty-nine position. As he examined Adriano's penis, he said, "Yours and your father's dicks are twins! Yours is just like I remember your dad's."

As Michael sucked with increasing vigor, he cupped Adriano's ample balls in his hand and slipped one finger into his asshole, causing Adriano to let out a short cry of pleasure. Both of their bodies writhed and wrenched in erotic ecstasy. They totally abandoned themselves as they felt their orgasms building. As they shot their loads down each other's throat, they moaned loudly. They lay there, each sucking the last delicious drops of each other's cum out of their wilting penises. Then bringing his tongue down over Adriano's balls, Michael proceeded to tongue bathe Adriano's thighs and calves. The exotic Mediterranean color and gentle curves of Adriano's slender legs, covered with the soft dusting of hair, was so sensuous that Michael could feel his penis begin to harden again in Adriano's mouth as he moved his tongue and lips down the full length of Adriano's legs. He remembered Adriano's Father's beautiful and irresistible legs.

Soon, Michael and Adriano were wrapped again in each other's arms. Adriano said, "I'm sorry about my coming on to you so obviously tonight. I've wanted this ever since the day I first met you. I really didn't intend to do this tonight. But when we were in the car, I looked at your face illuminated by the faint light from the dash panel, and you were so beautiful. And then when I thought about going back to that lonely apartment, I don't know. I just had to have you with me tonight. I think I would have died if you had said no."

Michael kissed Adriano all over his face. "Adriano, we both needed this. We both have had some pain in our lives recently, and I think we both needed each other like this. And if you had not 'come on' to me, as you put it, I would probably have come on to you. We just needed each other tonight."

"Michael," said Adriano, "as long as we're both unattached, I hope we can both feel free to do this again. It's so nice."

"It is nice. I like holding your slender body. You just seem so sweet and vulnerable somehow. Yeah, we'll sleep together again. I wish you'd visit us more often down at the ranch. Both you and your dad are always welcome."

Over the next week, Josiah frequently ran into University students around Austin who would stop him and want to talk about his experience and give him further congratulations on the award of his medal. One afternoon, as Josiah was returning home from a visit to the mall, two young men stopped him outside of his apartment building.

"Hey man," one of them said as he took hold of Josiah's arm, "you really did a great thing helping that guy and turning in those four guys who did it."

The second boy took hold of Josiah's other arm and said, "Yeah, you're a real hero, man."

The two young men held tightly onto Josiah's arms and slowly moved toward a car parked there at the curb. There was a third man at the wheel.

"Come on, man, get in the car. We want to talk to you," said one of the boys.

Josiah became a little worried when it appeared he was being forced to go toward the car. Suddenly one of them opened the back door and pushed Josiah inside. Josiah sat in the middle between the two boys. As soon as the door closed, the car sped off.

Josiah recognized the boys as two brothers who had been in one of his classes, Quincy and Reno McInerny. Reno said, "Josiah, we just thought you'd like to know that the four guys you fingered were friends of ours."

"Yeah," said Quincy. "What you did wasn't very nice. And something else. We don't like faggots. That queer faggot, Greg Harbison, got what was coming to him."

Josiah said, "Greg isn't a queer. He likes girls. He's had a steady girl friend for several years."

"Sure he does," said Reno. "A girly man with a cock between her legs."

"No, really," pleaded Josiah. "Greg had a real girl friend."

"You're full o'shit, Josiah. We don't like queers like you turning in our friends."

"But they did something terrible to Greg," cried Josiah.

"Shut your fucking mouth, faggot," said Quincy. "We just thought you needed to get re-paid for your 'good deed' in fucking up our friends' lives."

The car rumbled off the road into a wooded area several miles outside of the city. When it stopped, they dragged Josiah out. Reno shouted, "Get out, you fucking asshole." Quincy swung hard at Josiah, hitting him on the side of the head and knocking him to the ground. Reno began kicking Josiah in the side and the stomach. Josiah doubled up in pain, and tried to call out, but he had had the wind knocked out of him and couldn't make a sound. Quincy pulled Josiah up again by the shirtfront and punched him several more times in the face. As Josiah began to fall again to the ground, his shirt was ripped off by Quincy. Reno kicked Josiah again in the head until Josiah lost consciousness.

"Okay, you fucking little queer fairy," shouted Quincy. "We're not going to kill you right now. We're going to let your little homo ass die slowly!"

Reno fetched some rope from the car. They stripped off the rest of Josiah's clothes. Blood was oozing from a wound on the side of his head. As Reno held Josiah's body up against a small tree, Quincy tied it firmly to the tree with his arms stretched out across branches that protruded from either side of the tree. Reno stepped back and looked at the naked, unconscious Josiah. "Hey, man! He looks like Jesus Christ on the cross!"

Quincy also looked at Josiah and suddenly had the strangest feeling. His legs began to feel almost as though they were paralyzed. A stream of sunlight came through the trees, lighting up Josiah's body so brightly that it almost looked as though the light was coming from inside his body. Josiah's long slim body glowed eerily. Quincy felt a cold chill sweep over him as he stared at Josiah's motionless body. Quincy was convinced that Josiah was unconscious, but it looked to him as though Josiah's large eyes were open and looking down at him with a terrifying gaze full of hate and loathing. Quincy suddenly became paralyzed with fear at the horrifying sight of blood oozing from Josiah's eyes and mouth.

Reno started for the car, but turned and shouted to Quincy who stood transfixed at the sight of Josiah's body and those blood-filled eyes that stared relentlessly at him. "Hey, man! Come on! What the fuck are you doing? Let's get out of here."

Quincy backed up slowly and, not taking his eyes off of Josiah, watched as blood began to flow faster and heavier until it ran in streams down over Josiah's chest and stomach and legs, forming a large pool of blood on the ground beneath Josiah's feet. As he tried to move away from the terrifying sight before him, he tripped and fell to the ground. Reno ran to him and tried to help him up. His eyes still locked on Josiah's ghastly gaze, Quincy could see Josiah's body coming off of the tree and floating closer to him. Screaming with fear, he crawled and stumbled back to the car. Quincy said nothing as he lay on the back seat of the car, trembling and holding his hands over his eyes. As they returned to the city, he said, "Take me to St. Paul's Church."

Reno said, "What the Fuck? Shit, man, what's the matter with you? Have you gone outta your fucking mind? You're acting crazy."

"Just take me there," murmured Quincy.

Inside St. Paul's, Quincy located a priest and demanded that he hear his confession. In the confessional, Quincy said, "Forgive me Father, for I have sinned."

"What is it, my son?" said the priest after a long pause.

"I don't know, Father," sobbed Quincy. "I did something terrible. I hurt someone who is from somewhere else."

"What do you mean, somewhere else?" said the priest.

"I don't know. I hurt him because he did a bad thing. But he was like . . . something unnatural. He was like Jesus. No. He was like God. I don't know. He was like maybe an angel . . . a horrible bleeding angel from another world. It was like the light of heaven shown down on him. And I began to feel so cold."

"My son, please," said the priest calmly. "Perhaps it was a dream."

"No. It was real. But it was something unnatural. He actually glowed. And he looked at me with blood running out of his eyes. It was horrible. I think he was going to kill me."

"Where is he now? Can you tell me where this person is now?"

"Yes. We left him tied to a tree in a wooded area just outside the city limits on the road to New Braunfels."

When the confession had concluded, the priest ran to a telephone and called the Sheriff's office. When a sheriff's deputy arrived at the church, he requested that Quincy accompany him to the spot where Josiah had been tied up. They drove to the spot where the terrible deed had been done. But there was no trace of Josiah. Josiah was gone.

Quincy circled the tree and said, "We left him right here, tied to this tree."

There was no sign of anything. There was no pool of blood on the ground; the rope was gone. It was as though nothing had ever happened. Quincy fell to his knees, shaking uncontrollably. "My God," he murmured, "He's gone back to where he came from! But he'll come back! I know it! He'll come back!"

"Come on, son," said the deputy, reaching down to help Quincy to his feet. "You must have been dreaming. Are you sure this was the spot?"

"Yes, yes! It was right here!" cried Quincy.

"Okay, young man. Get in the car. We'll drive you home."
 

To be continued...

 

Posted: 09/19/08