|The Man from Swift Current|
|© 2011 Russ Nielsen
All Rights Reserved
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|Chapter 129: Who Am I?|
Peyton awoke with a feeling of panic, bordering on hysteria. The room he was in wasn’t familiar to him, and there was someone practically sleeping on top of him. He moved his leg in its cast and discovered someone was sleeping on his other side. That’s when he remembered he wasn’t in jail anymore. The memory of the last 24 hours came flooding back. His changed circumstances hit him like a tidal wave, sending tears of relief and happiness streaming down his face.
Peyton recognized Glenn, his cousin’s lover, sleeping with his head on his chest and his leg thrown over his good leg. Glenn’s blond hair tickled his chin. As he shifted his position, Glenn stirred, molding his body even more closely to Peyton’s. It felt like Glenn was clinging to him for protection and safety. It was an odd sensation for him, given his recent experiences in prison. No one in prison looked to him for protection; indeed, he was the one who needed protection from the prison guards.
He had watched all of the guys very closely last night, and noticed how gentle and loving the guys were toward each other. It was such a stark contrast to how he had been treated in prison. He had almost given up hope in that dark place. Even now, it held so much horror for him, just the thought of it made him shudder. Glenn stirred again.
However, this time he murmured, “I love you, Babe.”
Hearing those words brought home to him just how lucky he was to have the chance to make amends with Rick and Glenn. Even though he was sure the words were meant for Rick, they still gave him comfort. He had observed how protective Rick was of Glenn. He wondered why that was, because Glenn seemed to be so happy and carefree. Maybe there was more to Glenn than he had observed.
Peyton moved his arm, and woke me up. I lifted my head from his chest and met his gaze. I smiled, and said, “Good morning, Babe.”
Peyton heard Glenn’s words and his heart was deeply touched. Glenn had managed to convey his love for him with just three words. “Good morning, Glenn.”
I ran my hands over Peyton’s chest, lightly tracing the outlines of the bruises I found there. “Do these still hurt?”
“Not like they did a few days ago,” Peyton replied, enjoying Glenn’s touch. “Can I ask you question?”
“Sure,” I responded.
“Why is Rick so protective of you?”
“I don’t know for sure, but maybe it has something to do with how we first met,” I answered. “Let me explain.” I narrated the story of how we met and how Rick had comforted me after being dumped by Ian. I told him how his cousin had become my Prince Charming.
Rick awoke feeling like he was trapped under a heavy load. It took him a moment to realize it was Peyton’s leg cast laying across his legs. He gently moved Peyton’s leg off of him, as he listened to Glenn narrate how they met. He rolled onto his side, facing his cousin. He raised himself up on his elbow.
He smiled, as he met Peyton’s baby blue eyes. He looked enough like Rick they could’ve been twins, except Peyton had blond hair. Peyton tried to smile back, but winced in pain. “Good morning, cousin.”
“Good morning to you, too,” Peyton responded.
Rick glanced over at me. I grinned at him, and said, “It’s about time you woke up. Peyton needs to pee.”
Rick laughed, and said, “I’ll get the bedpan.” He climbed out of bed and retrieved the bedpan. He whipped back the sheet, exposing the two naked men. He looked them over appreciatively. His cousin still looked good, despite the bruises visible all over his body. His eyes moved over his lover’s body, meeting Glenn’s gaze with a grin. “It looks like you’re both ready for some action.”
Peyton nodded his head. “That’s true, but I’ve got to pee first.”
“Well, let me take care of that erection, or we’ll have a mess to clean up,” Rick said. He reached over and flicked the tip of Peyton’s dick. His erection immediately faded away.
Peyton cried out, “Why did you do that? That hurt!”
“Stop whining and pee in the bedpan,” Rick said, lifting Peyton up and placing the bedpan underneath him.
Peyton eyes were filled with tears, but he complied with Rick’s instructions, filling the bedpan. Rick walked into the en suite, and emptied the bedpan into the toilet. I joined him, putting my arm around his waist as we took care of our needs. We both washed our hands and brushed our teeth, before returning to bed.
Rick took one look at Peyton’s tear-stained face, and immediately apologized. “I’m sorry I hurt you, Peyton.” He leaned over and kissed him deeply. He pulled back, and gazed into his eyes. “Can you forgive me?”
Peyton smiled through his tears. “Yes, if I can get a kiss like that every morning.”
Rick put his hand up to his cheek and wiped away the tears, astonished at the fragility of Peyton’s emotional state. He would have to remember to be very gentle with his cousin. “You can have a kiss like that anytime you need one. I’ll even let Glenn kiss you like that, if you like.”
Peyton smiled, as much as his swollen lips would let him, and said, “Please.”
I leaned over, and kissed him just as deeply as Rick had. I pulled back, meeting his eyes. “Okay, who is the better kisser?”
Peyton grinned broadly, forgetting about his wounded lip. It split open and began to bleed. I reached over and grabbed a tissue from the box on the night stand next to the bed. I wiped the blood from his bottom lip, and said, “You need to be more careful. We want that lip to heal, so we can show you how to give a guy a kiss.”
Peyton nodded his head in agreement. “I’ll try to remember. To answer your question, I think you’re both great kissers.”
Rick laughed. “I think we’ve got a problem.”
Peyton looked puzzled. “What do you mean?”
Rick reached down and began stroking Peyton’s very erect steel pole. “We need to get you off this morning, so you won’t embarrass Grandma.”
Peyton nodded his head in agreement and arched his back, thrusting upward into his cousin’s hand. He moaned, then, stiffened as he came. His body went limp and he sighed contentedly. “Thank you.”
Rick said, “You’re welcome, cousin.”
“I haven’t been able to get off like that in a long time. In prison, they taped my dick and balls down to prevent me from ever reaching orgasm. They told me I was their bitch, and bitches don’t have a dick and balls. At one point, they had me wearing woman’s panties and call me Penny.”
He stopped and cleared his throat. His eyes were bright with unshed tears. “None of them ever thought about giving me pleasure. It was all about getting them off.” His tears overflowed and began streaming down his face, as he fought to get his emotions under control. “I can’t believe that you thought of giving me pleasure.”
Rick put his hands on either side of Peyton’s face. He looked searchingly into Peyton’s eyes. “Peyton, we will never ask you to do anything you don’t want to do. You are in control here. I should have asked you first, if it was okay for me to jerk you off. I’m sorry I overstepped my bounds.”
Peyton looked up at Rick, tears still streaming down his cheeks. “It’s okay. I wanted you to jerk me off. I needed it. It’s just I’m not used to anyone looking out for me. I’m overwhelmed by your kindness to me. After how I treated you and Glenn, I don’t deserve to have you be so nice to me.”
Rick said, “Peyton, did you hear me? We love you. We are going to keep telling you over and over, again, until you start believing it. You are important to us, and we want you to get better.” Rick leaned down to kiss him gently on the lips.
“Can you forgive me for being such a bastard to you all of these years? I felt intimidated by you, and I tried to make you feel small whenever you came to visit us. I know I shouldn’t have done that, but you seemed to have your act together and I felt threatened by you.”
Rick said, “I forgive you. I want us to be best friends from now on, so we need to put the past behind us.”
I leaned down and kissed him deeply, remembering not to reinjure his bottom lip. I nibbled on his earlobe and whispered in his ear, “I want us to be more than just friends.”
Peyton’s eyes went wide with surprise. “Does Rick know that?”
Rick laughed, and said, “Yes, I do. I’m the one who told him to say it.”
He looked at us. “Are you guys really serious about that?”
“Yes, we are; but, there are certain boundaries we won’t cross,” Rick said. He explained them to Peyton. “We are very close to Greg and Cory, and we want you to be just as close to us as we are to them. Of course, you are in control here. You need to tell us what you’re comfortable with, and a lot will depend on the speed of your recovery.”
“We want to make sure you know we are here to support you in every way possible, including what we’ve just discussed. We know you’ve got a hard road ahead, and having a support network is very important. As part of our family, you have a very strong network, because we take care of our own.”
Peyton’s tears were flowing, again. He said, “I’m sorry, my emotions are so near the surface. I can’t help crying. I feel like I have been completely stripped of all my defenses. It’s like I’m a newborn child, and my feelings are so strong that they overwhelm me.”
“You’ve just been through a very traumatic experience, and you’ve been repeatedly abused by those who should have protected you,” I said. “We know you’re vulnerable right now, but we’re here to protect you, and to comfort you.” I hugged him tightly, as sobs wracked his body. When the storm had subsided, I released him.
Rick said, “I think you should spend the day outside by the pool. How does that sound?”
Peyton nodded his head. “I’d love that.”
I grinned at him, and said, “We have some swim suits that clip on. That way you can get some sun. They are pretty sexy looking, and I think you’ll like them.” I stood up and pulled on my clothes. “I’ll be right back.” I went upstairs to our room and returned with the swim suits. I held them up for Peyton’s inspection.
“Which one do you want to wear?” I asked.
“They all look great!” he exclaimed, excitedly. “I want to wear the red one. Will you put it on me?”
“Sure,” I replied, grinning from ear to ear. Rick lifted him up, while I put the swim suit on him. Rick and I put on the other two. We modeled them for Peyton,
He wolf whistled. “You guys sure look great!”
I grinned and asked, “Do you want us to shave off your body hair?”
Peyton looked us over and nodded his head. “Sure. I love how clearly I can see your muscles. I know I don’t have as much definition as you guys, but I think it will help me look better.”
“You look just fine the way you are, Peyton,” I said, giving him the once over.
Peyton blushed. “Thank you. That’s quite a compliment coming from you.”
I replied, “It’s true. I think you’re pretty ‘hot.’ You forget you look a lot like Rick, and I’m highly addicted to his gorgeous body.”
Rick grinned, and said, “That means you’re a stud, Peyton.”
Peyton smiled. “I like being called a stud. I makes me feel special.”
Rick went into the en suite, and returned with a razor and shaving cream. We spent the next little while shaving his body hair. As we removed his body hair, I ran my fingers gently over the bruises on his back.
Choking back tears, I said, “I hope the creeps who did this to you are put behind bars, and their fellow prisoners treat them the exact same way.”
Peyton said, “It’s okay, Glenn. I want them brought to justice, so no one else will suffer the way I did. I’m not seeking revenge, because no one deserves to be treated the way I was.”
We rolled him onto his back and took the swim suit off of him to shave his pubes and buttocks, putting it back on after we finished.
Rick looked approvingly at Peyton, and said, “You look good, cousin.”
Peyton laughed, “I never imagined I’d be wearing a bikini swim suit. It feels pretty good.”
“Well, you do have to be careful, because it won’t keep you covered if you get a hard-on,” Rick said.
“Well, don’t kiss me like you did, and I won’t get aroused,” Peyton replied, winking at us.
There was a knock on the door. Rick walked over to open the door, admitting Greg and Cory.
Greg said, “Good morning, boys.”
Cory wolf whistled. “Wow! Peyton! You look great!”
Peyton blushed. “Thanks, Cory. You don’t know how much I needed to hear that.”
Greg said, “All three of you look totally awesome! I love the swim suits!”
Greg and Cory sat down at the foot of the bed. “Did you give him the swim suit?” Greg asked.
“Yes,” I said. “It’s a clip on, so we don’t have to worry about how to get it on and off of him.”
Greg said, “Have you changed his bandages?”
“No, we haven’t,” Rick said, guiltily. “We’ve been rather busy this morning.”
Cory laughed. “Let me guess….you gave Peyton a blowjob!”
Rick grinned broadly. “Nope, but I did help him jerk off.”
Greg said, “Peyton, these guys give excellent blowjobs.”
Peyton looked at Greg in astonishment. “Have they given you a blowjob?”
Greg nodded his head. “Yes, they took good care of me when I was laid up like you are. Your cousin kept me from going crazy. Between Rick and Glenn, they kept me very happy.”
Cory punched Greg in the shoulder, and said, “Meanwhile, I suffered alone.”
Greg put his arm around his waist. “Stop whining! I took care of you as soon as I could.”
Cory said, “Yes, you did. However, you had Rick living with you, and he paid a lot of attention to you.”
Peyton looked at Rick, and said, “I didn’t know you lived with Greg.”
“I lived with Greg and his mother to help take care of him after his Dad attacked him,” Rick said.
Peyton asked, “You guys mentioned that yesterday. What happened?”
Greg and Cory took turns narrating that tragic event. They showed him their scars, and explained what they had done to cope with the aftermath. Greg finished by saying, “We were laid up pretty bad.”
Peyton looked at them and said, “So, there’s hope for me.”
“Yes, there is, because if we can do it, you can do it,” Cory said.
Greg said, “We think you’re going to be just fine.”
Rick said, “Peyton is going to join us by the pool today. That’s why we gave him the swim suit.” Rick’s stomach rumbled.
We all laughed, and Rick said, “It’s time for breakfast.”
“Let’s get Peyton into his wheelchair,” I said.
We lifted him out of his bed and into his chair. Rick pushed it down the hall and into the kitchen.
Grandma said, “Good morning, boys. I didn’t expect you for another hour or two. Guys your age usually sleep in.”
Rick said, “We normally would, but someone needed some help this morning.”
Grandma laughed. “I’m glad Peyton had you there to help him.”
Peyton said, “So am I. The guys want me to join them by the pool this morning.”
Grandma nodded her approval. “I guessed that was what you had in mind this morning. It will do you good to be outside as much as possible, Peyton. Glenn, help me put the food on the table, and the rest of you take your seats.”
After we brought over several platters heaped with food, we joined the guys at the table. Grandma asked, “Rick, will you please say grace?”
Rick nodded his head. We reached out to take the hand of the person on each side of us. Rick said, “We thank you, God, for Peyton’s arrival and ask you to help him heal. We are grateful for this food and for Grandma’s efforts on our behalf. We ask you to bless it to the betterment of our bodies. Amen.”
I gave Peyton’s hand a gentle squeeze, before releasing it. I looked at him and saw the tears in his eyes, and saw him bite his lip in an effort not to cry. I put my hand under his chin and turned his head until he met my gaze. “We love you, Peyton.”
Rick said, “You had better get used to hearing those words, Peyton.”
Greg said, “He’s not kidding, Peyton. I can testify to the truthfulness of those words. I’m living proof there is a lot of love in this family.”
Grandma said, “Yes, we all love you, Peyton. Now, Glenn, help Peyton eat his breakfast.” She had placed a bowl of oatmeal in front of him.
He looked at the hot cereal in disgust. “Can’t I have what they’re having?”
He looked just like a two-year old. I laughed and turned to Grandma. “Is it okay for him to have pancakes, eggs and sausage?”
Grandma said, “You can try the pancakes and eggs, but I’m not sure eating sausage is really a good thing right now, Peyton.”
I loaded his plate with pancakes and scrambled eggs. “Is that enough?”
Peyton nodded his head. “Yes, that’s plenty.”
As I fed him his breakfast, Rick ate his, then, prepared a plate for me. Rick said, “Now, I get to feed you.”
I grinned, “Anytime.”
When we finished eating, we cleared the dishes and helped Grandma wash and dry them. We pushed Peyton’s wheelchair out to the pool deck. Rick said, “Let’s get you into a lounge chair. You’ll be much more comfortable there than in your wheelchair.”
We lifted him out of the wheelchair and set him gently on the lounge chair. I grabbed the sunscreen and began applying it liberally to his chest and stomach. Rick took care of covering his uninjured leg. I put some on my hands and gently covered his face.
“Here’s a pair of sunglasses. Do you want me to put them on you?” I asked.
“No, I’ll wait awhile,” Peyton said. “I don’t want to look like a raccoon. I’ll put them on after we’ve been out here for a while.”
“Okay,” I said. We pulled our chairs over next to his. Rick and I covered each other in sunscreen. I relaxed and let out a sigh. “This is the life.”
Peyton said, ‘That it is.” Peyton closed his eyes, enjoying the sunlight on his face. It had been a long time since he had been able to do that.
After a while, I looked over at Peyton and said, “I think we need to turn him over, so he doesn’t burn.”
Rick nodded and said, “Let’s wake him up.” He reached over and gently shook his cousin’s shoulder. “Peyton, we need to turn you over.”
Peyton opened his eyes and yawned widely. “I could get used to this.”
“We need to turn you over,” I said. Peyton looked at me uncomprehendingly. “You need to be turned over so you can tan evenly, front and back.”
“Oh,” Peyton said, finally understanding what I was saying.
Rick and I lowered the back of Peyton’s lounge chair. I signaled for Greg and Cory to help us turn him over onto his stomach. Cory wolf whistled. “Wow! Peyton, you sure have a great looking bubble butt!”
Peyton laughed, and said, “That’s quite a compliment coming from you, Cory! I’ve never thought of myself as being very attractive.”
Cory smiled. “Well, you need to change your self-image, because you’re a great looking guy.”
I put a pillow under Peyton’s chest and one under each arm. Then, I took the sunscreen and rubbed it into the skin of his back and shoulders. I moved down to his beautiful butt and unclipped his swim suit.
Peyton whimpered, “Please don’t fuck me.”
“I’m sorry, Peyton. I didn’t mean to upset you,” I said. “Is it okay for me to take your swim suit off?” I knelt down in front of him and lifted his chin until he met my gaze. “If you’re not comfortable, let me know.”
There was look of fear in his eyes that made my heart ache for him. “It’s just this is the position they put me in, to rape me.”
“Do you want us to roll you onto your back?” I asked, concern coloring my voice.
Peyton shook his head. “No, I’ll be okay. I need to remember I’m not in jail, and I don’t have to worry about the guards handcuffing me in a spread eagle position while they fuck me.”
I gently kissed his lips and said, “I promise nothing will happen to you. I was going to remove your swim suit, so you won’t have tan lines. Are you okay with that?”
Peyton nodded his head. “I want to look as good as you and Rick do. You’re such hot studs.”
I grinned broadly. “My goal is to help you find a fine man who will treat you like royalty. That means you need to look your best.”
Peyton laughed. “Who said I wanted to find a man?”
“I know these things, Peyton,” I said, winking at him. “You need a quality guy to make you happy.”
Peyton sighed. “I just hope I will be ready to have a relationship with him when you do. Right now, I’m a real basket case.”
“We’ve already told you we are going to do everything we can to help you recover,” I said.
Peyton nodded his head. “I’m beginning to believe you.”
I stood up and moved to his side. I sat next to him and finished removing his swim suit. I rubbed sunscreen into the skin of his cheeks. Rick laughed, and said, “Glenn, don’t get any ideas.”
I looked up at him and grinned. “Too late! Peyton’s beautiful body has already given me lots of good ideas.”
Rick said, “Okay, hands off my cousin, Babe. Lie down so I can put sunscreen on your back.”
I complied with my lover’s request. Peyton looked over at me and said, “I wish I had someone who loved me as much as Rick loves you.”
“You will, some day. Just be patient,” I said, enjoying the feel of Rick’s hands massaging my back and shoulders.
When he finished, he handed me the sunscreen. “Okay, it’s your turn to do me.”
I gave him a lecherous grin. “Gladly!”
Peyton laughed. It was a good sound to hear coming from him. “Rick, you had better be careful, or you’ll get fucked.”
Rick kissed me and said, “That’s the whole idea.”
Greg said, “You should see these two go at it.”
Peyton turned toward Greg, and asked, incredulously, “Do you mean you’ve seen them having sex?”
“Yes, and they’ve seen us,” Greg said.
Rick stretched out on his stomach on the lounge chair, and I began covering his back with sunscreen. He turned to Peyton, and asked, “You didn’t believe me last night, did you?”
Peyton blushed, as he remembered the conversation. “No, I didn’t.”
Cory asked, “What didn’t you believe?”
Peyton turned an even deeper shade of red. Rick came to his rescue. “I told him I wanted him to become as close to us as you and Cory are.”
Greg said, “That goes for us, as well. In fact, tonight, we’ll show you we really mean it.”
Peyton’s expression was one of complete disbelief. “You can’t be serious!”
Cory laughed and said, “He is and so am I.”
“But your married,” Peyton protested.
“Yes, we are,” Cory agreed. “But didn’t Rick explain how our relationship with them works?”
“Yes, but…” Peyton said, doubtfully.
“Then, you know that certain activities aren’t permissible. Greg and I are very much in love with each other, and you’ve seen it’s the same with Rick and Glenn. None of us would ever do anything to cause harm or injury to those we love; and, believe me, when I say we love Rick and Glenn very much.”
Greg said, “I think you’ll find having a strong relationship with the four of us will give you back your confidence. I have to admit having Rick and Glenn in my corner was the only thing that kept me going during those first few weeks after my Dad’s attack.”
Cory said, “The most important thing for you to know is that all four of us are here for you.”
Peyton heard Cory’s words and he wept. Hearing Peyton’s quiet cries, Cory walked over and knelt down beside Peyton’s chair. He put his arm across his shoulders, and said, “It’s going to be alright, Peyton.”
Peyton looked into Cory’s eyes. “I’ve heard you guys tell me that, but my emotional and psychological wounds are still so fresh and deep I don’t dare let myself believe what you say is really true.”
Cory gave him a look of understanding. “I know where you’re coming from, Peyton. Try to trust us, and let us help you.”
Cory returned to his chair, and silence fell as we soaked up the sun. About an hour later, we heard wolf whistles. Bob said, “Wow! You guys are a sight to behold, five great looking guys catching rays!”
Rick and I reached for our swim suits and put them back on. I got up and put Peyton’s swim suit on him. I signaled for Bob and Jasper to help me turn him over. They joined me and Rick. We carefully lifted him up and turned him on his back. He was all smiles. “You guys are the best.”
Bob said, “I agree with you. They are the best.”
Bob and Jasper were wearing their bikini swim suits, as well. They were already well tanned and looked great. Jasper said, “Let’s go for a swim.”
I looked at Rick and asked, “Are you ready to get wet?”
For an answer, Rick walked over to the edge of the pool and dived into the water. I looked down at Peyton. “Will you be okay?”
Peyton said, “Yes, I’ll be okay.”
Later that evening, we were gathered in Peyton’s room. My uncles had left us for the evening, and we were getting ready to retire for the evening. Peyton was already in his bed, completely naked with Greg and Cory on either side.
He grinned and said, “I could get used to this.”
“So could we,” Greg said, kissing Peyton. “Someday soon, we need to show you the joys of having sex with someone you love. But, first, we need to get you better.”
Peyton laughed, whole-heartedly. The sound of his laughter filled the room. “You’re giving me a very good reason to get well.”
Cory said, “Good, then our plan is working as intended!”
I put my arm around Rick’s waist, and looked up into his eyes. “I think we should leave these guys to entertain Peyton. What do you think?”
Rick laughed. “I’m not sure Peyton can handle it. You know he’s so much older than these guys.”
Peyton grinned. “I’ve always wanted to be a dirty old man.”
Greg said, “Well, you can’t be dirty old man yet. You’re still just a crippled old man, at the moment.” He tapped Peyton’s arm cast. “You have to get rid of this first.”
Cory said, “Being out in the sun helped you a lot, because your bruises seemed to have faded quite a lot since this morning.” He ran his hands lightly over the huge black and purple bruises on Peyton’s chest and sides.
Peyton shuddered as he remembered the cause of those bruises. “I’m trying to forget about those.”
Cory said, “Your memories of what happened will fade quickly, and we’ll help you create new, happier memories to take the place of those bad ones.” He kissed Peyton, then pulled back to meet his eyes. “By the time we’re done with you, I promise you’ll have so many happy memories there won’t be any room for the bad ones.”
Rick said, “You had better believe him, Peyton. Well, good night, boys.”
I said, “We’ll see you three in the morning.” Rick took me by the hand and led me from their room. When we reached our room, Rick closed the door and pinned me against it. “I need you.” He didn’t give me a chance to respond before he captured my lips, kissing me deeply.
The next morning we went back downstairs to Peyton’s room to find Greg and Cory were already up and were giving Peyton a sponge bath. Peyton grinned, when he saw us. “Greg lent me a hand this morning, just like you did yesterday, Rick.”
Rick laughed. “I’m glad he took good care of you!”
Cory said, “He shot so much cum we had to give him a bath.”
“If nothing else, we have proven at least that part of his anatomy still functions properly,” Greg said, rolling Peyton over onto his stomach. They gently cleaned his bruised back. Greg looked over at Cory. “Seeing what they did to Peyton just reinforces my desire to become a criminal trial lawyer.”
They finished washing him, and dried him off with a towel. Greg rolled him onto his back. His eyes were filled with tears. Greg sat down on the bed next to him and took his hand. “Peyton, it’s okay to cry. It is part of the healing process. You need to let yourself grieve for what you have lost. It is one thing to give yourself willingly to someone you love, and quite another to be repeatedly raped.”
Rick said, “Corey and Dylan will be going with you to the doctor’s office today.”
Peyton nodded his head. “Grandpa told me yesterday I’d be seeing the dentist, as well. He thinks I won’t be able to get my dental work done until next week, because of the swelling in my mouth, but he wanted the dentist to give us an estimate of the cost to repair my teeth.”
Cory said, “Aren’t you going to see a therapist?”
“Yes, but I asked Grandpa to give me a few more days to recover, before I meet with a shrink,” Peyton said.
“I agree you need some time to heal before you meet with a therapist. I hope he’s found one that’s pro-gay, or you may end up being told you are the cause of your own problems and deserve what happened to you. I had a therapist tell me that when I was still in high school. He claimed all faggots deserve to be raped until they are cured of being gay,” I said.
“That doesn’t make sense,” Greg said.
“No, it doesn’t, but the anti-gay crowd refuse to see the error of their ways,” I said. “I have a therapist I see in Atlanta. He’s okay, but I’m still not convinced he doesn’t have anti-gay sentiments deep down, despite his claims he’s gay friendly. I don’t trust straight people. Too often they say they don’t object to gay people, but then prove they are lying by stabbing us in the back. Just like my brothers did to us. At first, they claimed they were okay with Rick and I being gay; then, when my parents separated, they blamed us for causing them to break up. I was very upset when they turned on us. I don’t trust them.”
Peyton said, “I didn’t know your parents had been separated. They seem happily married to me.”
“They put on a good show, but there are still a lot of things that aren’t right in their relationship,” Rick said. “We just found out Glenn’s Dad has a child with another woman.”
“I don’t know how your mother can continue to stay with him,” Cory said.
“I don’t either, but it’s her choice to stay. I’ve told her I would support her decision,” I said.
Peyton said, “I thought you guys had a perfect family.”
“No, we aren’t perfect. We have a good family, but we, too, have our problems, like any other family,” I said.
Peyton looked over at Rick. “I guess our family isn’t the only one with issues.”
Rick smiled. “No, ours isn’t the only one. However, I think we’re both very fortunate to be a part of this family, since ours has chosen to disown us.”
Peyton said, “I’m so sorry I was a huge part of pushing you guys away from our family. You must hate me.” His voice was thick with tears.
Rick stood up and moved to Peyton’s side. He leaned over and hugged his cousin. “Peyton, when will you get it through your thick skull? We love you, and we have forgiven you for what happened. Stop beating yourself up over what happened in the past! It’s time to live in the present.” Rick sat up and put his hands on either side of Peyton’s face, giving him a searching look. “Peyton Jeremiah Campbell, listen to me, and listen good. You are here because we want you here. We love you and we want you to get well. Do you understand me?”
Peyton nodded his head, but his tears continued to stream down his cheeks. Rick gently wiped them away with his fingertips. He smiled and shook his head. “What are we going to do with you?’
Peyton grinned, and said, “Love me, and take care of me.”
Rick laughed, “Good answer, Peyton.”
We heard a tap on the door, and Grandma’s voice came through the door. “Are you decent?”
I shouted, “Yes, Grandma, we’re dressed.”
Peyton panicked. “But I’m not dressed!”
I grabbed the sheet from the bottom of the bed and pulled it up over his legs and lower torso. “There, now you’re covered.”
Grandma walked into the room. She carried a pair of boxer shorts, khaki cargo shorts and a t-shirt in her hands. “I’ve sewn Velcro strips on these shorts, so you can put them on Peyton. Here’s a clean t-shirt, as well.” She demonstrated how to pull the Velcro apart, so we could put the shorts on him.
I took them from her. “Thanks, Grandma.”
She smiled, and said, “Hurry along, boys! Breakfast is waiting on the table.”
She left and we quickly dressed Peyton. We lifted him into his wheelchair, and wheeled him out of his room, down the hallway and into the kitchen.
Grandpa was already seated at the kitchen table. He greeted us, “Good morning, boys!”
We chorused back, “Good morning.” We took our seats and Grandpa said grace. While we ate, Corey and Dylan arrived.
Dylan said, “Good morning, everyone.” He looked over at Peyton. “You’re looking pretty good this morning. Are you ready for your big trip into town?”
Peyton grinned, and said, “Yes, I’m ready.”
Corey said, “Good, because we’re going to take you to places you’ve never been before!”
Grandpa looked around the table at us, and said, “You boys had better be getting on the road, or you’ll miss your flight to Minneapolis.”
Rick said, “We’ll make it, Grandpa. We packed last night, so all we have to do is put our gear in the back of the Land Rover, and we’re off.”
Greg said, “We did the same.”
“Good,” Grandpa said, smiling at us. “I’m glad you’ve learned to think ahead.”
We stood up from the table, and carried our dishes to the sink. Grandma said, “I’ll take care of those. I don’t want you to miss your flight.”
We kissed Grandma on the cheek. “Thanks, Grandma,” I said.
“You had better say good bye to your parents, before you go,” she reminded me.
“I haven’t forgotten,” I said. “But, thank you for reminding me.”
Rick and I walked down the hall to the family room. We found my parents sitting together on the couch. We walked over and gave Mom a hug and a kiss on the cheek.
“Good bye, Mom. We’ll see you in a couple of months in St. Catharines.”
Rick said, “Good bye, Dad.” He shook Dad’s hand.
I gave Dad a quick hug, and said, “Good bye, Dad. Take good care of Mom.”
Dad smiled, and said, “I’ll do that. Thank you for not condemning me for having a child with another woman.”
I said, “You’re welcome. We’ll see you in a couple of months.”
We left them, and went upstairs to retrieve our luggage. We met Greg and Cory in the hallway outside our room. Greg said, “We’re ready.”
“Good. Let’s go,” Rick said.
We loaded our gear into the Land Rover, and Rick started the engine. Mr. Curtis waved to us as we drove past him, and out of the gate.
Greg said, “While I’m excited to see our roommates graduate, I’m worried about Peyton.”
I said, “Me, too.”
“He’s very fragile right now,” Rick said. “But Grandpa knows that, and I’m sure he’ll make sure Peyton gets what he needs.”
Cory said, “Peyton also has Bob, Jasper, Corey and Dylan to keep him company while we’re gone.”
“But they’re older, and they might scare him,” Greg said.
“Dylan is close to our age,” Cory said.
“That’s true. Grandpa said he would get Peyton a cell phone today, and will send us his number. We can let him know we’re thinking of him by sending him text messages,” Greg said.
I said, “Grandma will take good care of him.”
Rick said, “We can’t do anything for him while we’re gone, so I suggest we relax and enjoy the trip.”
I reached over and squeezed his knee. “Yes, dear,” I said, in my most patronizing voice.
Rick laughed. “Watch it!”
Greg and Cory both laughed. We took Rick’s advice and were soon chatting and enjoying the drive to the airport.
Corey pushed Peyton’s wheelchair out of the kitchen, down the hallway, and out the door. He looked over his shoulder and said, “Dylan, will you help me keep the wheelchair from moving too fast?”
“Sure,” Dylan replied. “Why don’t you turn the wheelchair around and take it down the ramp backwards. That way, you won’t run the risk of dumping Peyton out of his chair.”
Corey laughed. “Now, why didn’t I think of that?”
“Because you needed your husband to help you,” Dylan said, kissing Corey on the lips, before helping him turn the wheelchair around. They backed the wheelchair down the ramp and down the drive to the waiting van.
Mr. Curtis stood at the back of the van, ready to operate the lift. They rolled the wheelchair onto the lift, locking the wheels to prevent it from moving. Corey climbed into the back of the large conversion van, and pushed Peyton’s wheelchair into place.
Mr. Curtis said, “You’ll need to put on Peyton’s seat belt.” He pointed to the seat belt behind the wheelchair.
Corey followed Mr. Curtis’ direction, and soon had Peyton settled. Corey got out of the van. “Dad, who is going to drive the van?”
Grandpa said, “Mr. Curtis will drive it. One of you will ride with him, and the other will ride with me. We’ll follow them into town.”
Corey looked at his husband and smiled, “I know you’ll want to ride with Dad in his sports car.”
Dylan beamed at Corey. “I love you.”
“I know you do. Dad, please let him drive the Porsche,” Corey said.
Grandpa said, “Certainly. Let’s go.”
They climbed into Grandpa’s white Porsche. Corey walked over to Porsche and tapped on the window. Dylan rolled down his window, and Corey leaned down to kiss his husband. “Drive safely, Babe.”
Dylan grinned from ear to ear. “Always.”
Mr. Curtis climbed into the driver’s seat of the van. Corey took place in the passenger’s seat. He turned around and looked at Peyton. “How are you holding out?”
Peyton smiled. “I’m good. How many cars does your Dad have?”
Corey laughed, “I think you should rephrase that question, because not all of the cars in the garage are his. My mother owns several of them and enjoys racing them.”
Peyton looked at him in disbelief. “You’re kidding!”
Corey said, “No, I’m not. Mom has been racing cars since I was little. We need to show you her trophy room. Dad has always supported her in her desire to race. He likes driving the nice sports cars, but racing isn’t his thing.”
“Okay, so how many sports cars do they have?” Peyton asked.
Corey started counting them off on his fingers. “Well, Mom has two racing Porsches and one she likes to use for driving around town. Dad has two Lamborghinis, three Ferraris, two Porsches and a Maserati.”
Mr. Curtis said, “You’ve forgotten the DeLorean.”
Corey nodded his head. “You’re right. I’d forgotten about that one. Dad doesn’t drive it much, so that makes 12 between Mom and Dad.”
Mr. Curtis said, “You should tell him about the rest of the vehicles. Your Dad really likes cars.”
Corey laughed. “That’s an understatement, if I ever heard one.”
Mr. Curtis agreed, smiling. “Yes, it was an understatement. Your Dad bought this van a couple of days ago, when he found out Peyton was going to need transportation to and from his many appointments.”
Peyton said, in pure amazement, “Do you mean to say he bought this van just for me?”
“Yes, he did,” Mr. Curtis said. “You are a very fortunate young man, Peyton. I’ve never met anyone like Mr. Scarborough. He is fiercely loyal to his family, and very protective of them. He is wonderful employer who takes care of us as if we were members of his own family. The fact he has chosen to adopt you into his family speaks very highly of you. I’ve found him to be a good judge of character, and, apparently, he sees great potential in you.”
Peyton was struggling to comprehend how someone, like Mr. Scarborough, could see anything of value in him. In his mind, he was of very little worth. He still couldn’t process the fact the Scarborough family had taken him in, and were lavishing all of this time and effort on him. He felt almost crushed by the burden of living up to their expectations.
Corey saw the look of anguish cross Peyton’s face. “What’s wrong?”
Peyton looked at Corey, and replied, “I don’t know how I could ever repay your family for its generosity toward me.”
Corey, sensing Peyton was feeling overwhelmed, said, “Peyton, don’t think about it. If you try to think about how you’ll repay us, you’ll just make yourself depressed. First of all, Dad doesn’t expect you to repay us for our kindness to you. If we expected payment, he would have drawn up a contract and had you sign it. Dad is very good businessman and knows how to make money. Second, you need to accept the fact you’ve been adopted into the family, just like your cousin, Rick.”
Peyton said, “Intellectually, I understand what you are telling me, but, emotionally, I’m not getting it. It’s going to take me a while to get to a point where I can accept the fact your family sees me as someone worth adopting.”
Corey said, “Well, to begin with, you need to stop saying ‘your’ family and start saying ‘our’ family.”
Mr. Curtis glanced at Peyton in the rearview mirror. He saw that Peyton was still struggling with his emotions. “You’ve been through hell, Peyton, and you’ve survived it. You need to realize you’re stronger than you think. That said, you’re among family now, and it’s okay to let your feelings show.”
Corey said, “Mr. Curtis is right. The first day you spent with us, you told us you were afraid to let your feelings show because you weren’t sure you could handle your emotions if you let them go. I’ve watched you struggling to keep them under control. I admit I don’t like letting my emotions rule me; but, I think for the next little while, you would actually be better off, in the long run, to let your emotions run their course. You’ll have better control over them later for having released all of your pent up anger and hurt.”
Peyton laughed, “You almost sound like you’re a shrink.”
Corey grinned. “You can call me Dr. Scarborough from now on!”
“Yes, Doctor,” Peyton said, smiling. He liked Corey and Mr. Curtis seemed nice. He relaxed as much as he could in his wheelchair. He closed his eyes and listened to the two other men talking.
The next thing he remembered was Corey gently shaking his shoulder. “We’re here,” he announced. They got him out of the van and wheeled him into the doctor’s office.
Dr. Schow gave him a very thorough physical exam. Peyton gave him permission to take photographs of his bruises to add to his medical file, as evidence of the severe beating he had received at the hands of his prison guards, just in case the prison officials tried to cover up the evidence of their misdeeds. Grandpa had taken photographs of him, when he had first arrived, as well. He wanted photographic records to be used as evidence, if needed, to bring the perpetrators of the crime against Peyton to justice.
Dr. Schow removed the staples from his scalp. “Your head wound has healed nicely, Mr. Campbell. We’ll have the results of your tests back in the next few weeks. Do you want us to call you with the results, or do you want us to mail them to you?”
“Can you do both?”
“Sure,” replied Dr. Schow. “We’ll see you in six weeks to remove your casts.”
They left the doctor’s office, and went to the dentist’s office. The dentist put in a couple of temporary crowns, and recommended that Peyton return in a few weeks to allow the swelling in his mouth to completely subside.
Last, they went to meet the therapist. Grandpa insisted he at least meet with him, so Peyton could decide if he liked the guy or not. Dr. Tueller stood to greet them and invited them to have seat, as they rolled Peyton’s wheelchair into his office.
As soon as everyone was settled, he said, “I understand you’re here to see if I am a good fit for you.”
Peyton didn’t answer, but looked at him with suspicion. Grandpa spoke up, “Yes, we are, but I think Peyton is the one who has the final say.”
“May we speak privately,” Dr. Tueller asked Peyton.
Peyton nodded his head, still not speaking.
Grandpa stood up, as did the Corey and Dylan. They left the room, closing the door behind them.
Dr. Tueller said, “Peyton, I won’t mince words with you. I’m not the right person to work with you. I respect Mr. Scarborough and I’m thrilled he has taken you under his wing. However, given the nature of what has happened to you, I’m not a good fit. I can see from your expression you don’t trust me. I must remind you of someone who hurt you at the prison. That is not a good place to start.”
Peyton didn’t say anything, but nodded his head in agreement. Dr. Tueller may not have recognized him, but he knew Dr. Tueller. Dr. Tueller had been one of the psychiatrists who had interviewed him at the prison. He remembered that interview and he didn’t want anything to do with this man.
Dr. Tueller pushed a button on his phone. “Please invite Mr. Scarborough to return to my office.”
Grandpa walked into the office and knew at once from Peyton’s expression this guy wasn’t the right one for him. Dr. Tueller said, “I’m sorry, Mr. Scarborough, but I think you should try a different psychiatrist. I think we’ve mutually agreed it would be the best course of action.”
They left his office and returned to the van. As soon as they were back on the road, Corey turned around and asked, “What was wrong with Dr. Tueller?”
“The first time I went to prison, he was the shrink who interviewed me. I remember how condescending he was to me. There is nothing in this world that would convince me to voluntarily subject myself to his arrogant, egotistical pyscho-babble.”
Corey said, “Well, at least, we know he’s not a good fit. Maybe you should try the therapist Glenn has worked with in Atlanta.”
Peyton looked doubtful. “Maybe, but I don’t trust therapists, counselors, psychologists, or psychiatrists. They are a bunch of arrogant bastards who think they know how to cure mentally ill people. Every one I’ve talked to has tried to convince me I need to get in touch with my inner self, or I’ve been sexually abused as child and need to let the repressed memories come out. I already know who I am, and I wasn’t molested as a child. I’ve learned more about how to overcome my mental and emotional issues over the last few days from you guys than I ever would from some crazy shrink.”
Corey looked at Peyton in surprise. “Have we really been that much help to you?”
“Yes, you have,” Peyton replied. “Your, I mean, ‘our’ family has given me much comfort, especially in the area of self-worth. I still don’t see myself as being a highly valued person, but the love all of you have shown me has been a healing elixir to me. Now, at least, I have hope of becoming a better person. In prison, I couldn’t think of anything other than surviving to live another day. I wasn’t a real person to those men who raped me. I was no better than one of those sex toys you can buy at the adult novelty stores.” Peyton’s anger was evident as he spoke. He was flushed and he kept clenching and unclenching his fists.
Corey said, “Good, let your anger show. You can’t begin healing until you get the anger and the hurt out of your system.”
Peyton said, “That’s what Cory said last night. Greg and Cory talked to me about how they felt after Greg’s dad attacked them. Cory was just as angry at Greg’s dad as I feel about those who abused me. He said he was even angry at Greg, blaming him for what happened.”
As Mr. Curtis listened to Corey and Peyton talk, he thought to himself, “What Peyton needs is someone to love him! I think I might have an answer to that!” He had hired a young guy, Paul Kinnebrew, to work as part of the security team. He thought Paul might be gay. He was a local kid who Sherriff Smith had recommended to him. He was a tall, lanky kid with killer smile and a wicked sense of humor. He wasn’t sure, but he thought maybe he and Peyton might hit it off. He made a mental note to talk to Mr. Scarborough about Paul.
They arrived back at the Scarboroughs. Corey and Dylan helped get Peyton’s wheelchair out of the back of the van. Mr. Curtis waved Paul over and said, “Paul, please help the guys with the wheelchair.”
Paul said, “Sure, boss.” His bright blue eyes met Mr. Curtis’ gaze, and he smiled. “Is there something else you want me to do?”
Mr. Curtis said, “Not right now. You’re welcome to visit with Peyton for a few minutes. I want you to get to know him, since he’ll be living here for quite some time. I’ll get one of the other guys to cover the gate for you.”
Paul walked up behind Dylan and asked, “May I be of assistance?”
“Sure, Paul. Peyton, this is Paul Kinnebrew. He’s one of the new guys Mr. Curtis hired a few weeks ago,” Dylan said.
Paul helped them push the wheelchair up the ramp and back inside the house. They wheeled him to his room. Peyton looked Paul over. He was about 6’4” and had a lanky frame. He had corn yellow hair, bright blue eyes, a blond mustache and a goofy grin. Peyton met Paul’s gaze, and smiled. He knew he’d been caught.
Paul said, “Don’t worry, Peyton, I’ve been checking you out, as well. I’m gay and I like looking at good looking guys.”
Peyton blushed. He cleared his throat and said, “Thank you. I think you’re pretty good looking yourself.”
Dylan said, with surprise, “I didn’t know you were gay, Paul.”
Paul said, “I’ve not told anyone else, except you guys in this room. In fact, I wasn’t going to tell anyone, but I felt I could trust you guys. I’m not ready to face the harassment and ridicule I will get when my friends and family find out. I’m absolutely certain my family will disown me.”
Corey said, “I’m glad you came out to us. I’d wondered if you were gay, because I caught you checking out some of the new guys Mr. Curtis hired last week. I figured you would tell us sooner or later.”
Paul laughed, “I guess I haven’t been careful enough, if you caught me checking out the guys. I really like Jonathan. He’s really cute.”
Corey said, “I admit I’ve checked him out, as well. He’s Sherriff Smith’s son.”
Paul grimaced. “Oops! I guess I’ll have to watch what I say. I think I remember Sherriff Smith telling me his son worked here. It slipped my mind.”
Dylan said, “Jonathan’s cool. He’s okay with gay guys. He claims that he’s straight, but I caught him checking us out when we were swimming yesterday. He looked away, but I saw him looking us over a few minutes later.”
Paul asked, “Do you think I have a chance with him? I mean, I’m kind of homely. Jonathan is SO good looking; he probably wouldn’t even give me the time of day.”
Dylan said, “He doesn’t seem to be a snob.”
“But you’re just as good looking as he is, and I’m not,” Paul said.
Peyton said, “I think you’re good looking.”
Paul stared at him. “Do you really think that, or are you just being nice?”
Peyton’s gaze didn’t waiver. “I really think so.” Paul blushed and ducked his head. “You don’t need to be embarrassed.”
Paul looked up and met Peyton’s eyes. “Nobody has ever told me that.”
Corey laughed. “Nobody knew you’re gay until now, so I wouldn’t worry about that.”
Paul nodded his head. “I guess you’re right.”
Peyton said, “I need to pee. Will you help me?” He was looking directly at Paul, as he said it.
The color rose in his cheeks. “I’ve never helped another guy go pee.”
Corey said, “It’s quite simple. You need to grab that bedpan over there and lift him up, so you can put the bedpan underneath him.”
Paul walked over and picked up the bedpan and returned to Peyton’s wheelchair. “What do I do now?”
“Well, you have to take his clothes off,” Dylan said. “We’ll help you.” They undid the Velcro strips and pulled off his shorts and underwear. “We’ll lift him, while you put the bedpan under him.”
Paul did as he was instructed. Peyton did his business, and Paul took the bedpan into the en suite to empty it. He rinsed out the bedpan and returned it to its place.
Peyton grinned, and said, “Thank you. Will you help me into bed?”
Paul laughed, and said, “Sure as long as you let me sleep with you.”
Peyton smiled broadly. “I think it can be arranged, but you’ll have to wait your turn.”
Paul looked at him, incredulously. “Who are you sleeping with now?”
“He’s sleeping with us tonight,” Corey said, indicating himself and Dylan.
They lifted Peyton out of his wheelchair and placed him in his bed. He grinned up at Paul, his steel pole at full mast. Paul’s eyes were glued to his crotch. Peyton asked, “Would you like to help me out?”
Paul raised his eyes to Peyton’s. “Would you let me?”
Corey said, “Dylan, I think we need to leave these two alone for a while.”
Dylan nodded his head. “Let’s go.” They left Peyton’s room, closing the door behind them.
Paul wasn’t sure what to do, so he sat down at the foot of the bed. He looked everywhere except at Peyton. He jumped when he heard Peyton’s voice.
“Paul, you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. If you’ll pull the sheet up over me, we can talk.”
Paul stood up and did as Peyton asked. He returned to his place at the foot of the bed.
“Paul, look at me please,” Peyton said, soothingly. He could see how uncomfortable Paul was. When Paul raised his eyes to his, Peyton said, “Paul, I find you very attractive. I’m in no shape to take advantage of you, even if I wanted to.”
Paul laughed. “You’re right about that.” It was a nervous laugh, but Peyton could see that Paul was beginning to relax.
“I want us to be friends, Paul. No, I want us to be more than friends,” Peyton said. Tears began rolling down his cheeks, and he cleared his throat. “I need someone I can talk to who isn’t family. My adopted brothers are great, but they’re already married, or happily paired. I need someone who will be there for me, and will take a chance at loving me for who I am.”
Paul, seeing Peyton’s tears, was moved with compassion for this man. It was obvious he had been severely beaten from the bruises covering his body, but Paul realized the more grievous wounds were hidden ones. This man needed to love and be loved. The raw need and the deep sadness he saw in Peyton’s eyes pulled at Paul’s heart strings.
“I, also, want to find someone to love me, and who I can love in return,” Paul said. “I would like to be your friend, Peyton. I’m not ready to have a physical relationship with anyone, yet. I’m still getting used to the idea I just outed myself to you guys. I’m not sure how a gay guy should act.”
Peyton said, “I understand how you feel. I’m not ready for a physical relationship, either.” He laughed, and continued, “I’m still too crippled to even enjoy sex with anyone right now.”
Paul said, “But you asked me to jerk you off!”
“I did because I wanted to get you alone, so I could talk to you,” Peyton said, giving Paul a lecherous grin.
“That’s not all you wanted,” Paul said, accusingly.
Peyton replied, “Guilty as charged! I did hope you would give me some relief. You’ve got me so horny I’m really beginning to hurt.” He raised his arms, shaking the casts. “It’s kind of hard to jerk off with these casts in the way.”
Paul smiled, “Okay, I’ll help you.” He pulled back the sheet, exposing Peyton’s very erect male member. He looked at Peyton, and said, “I don’t know what to do.”
Peyton laughed. “I don’t believe that for one minute. I don’t know of any guy who hasn’t got himself off at one time or another.”
Paul blushed. “I’ve never jerked anyone off before.”
Peyton said, “There’s some lube in the drawer of the night stand. Get it out and put some on your hand.” Paul did as he was told. “Now, take my dick in your hand.”
Paul began stroking Peyton, causing Peyton to moan with pleasure.
A while later Paul emerged from Peyton’s room and made his way outside. Mr. Curtis saw him, and asked, “How is Peyton?”
Paul blushed as he remembered what had just happened in Peyton’s room. He cleared his throat and said, “He’s fine, sir.”
Seeing the color in Paul’s cheeks, Mr. Curtis deduced the two must have hit it off. “I hope you’ll be a good friend to Peyton. He’s going to need as many friends as he can get.”
The color in Paul’s cheeks deepened. “I hope I can help him,” he said, hoping he could escape before he gave himself away.
Mr. Curtis said, “Paul, let me put you at ease. I know you’re gay and so is Peyton. It’s okay to admit you find Peyton attractive.” Paul stood open-mouthed with surprise and shock. “You can close your mouth now, Paul. I’ve been around this family long enough to know a gay guy when I see one.”
Paul finally recovered, and said, “Please don’t tell anyone.”
Mr. Curtis laughed. “I won’t tell anyone, but you’ll have to be better at hiding your interest in the new guys, or they’ll guess just like I did. It was pretty apparent the other day you’ve got the ‘hots’ for Jonathan.”
Paul ducked his head in embarrassment. He hadn’t realized he had made his interest in Jonathan so obvious. Mr. Curtis said, “There’s no need to be ashamed. I think it’s okay for you to be attracted to other guys. Not only that, I think Jonathan is attracted to guys from what I saw yesterday. He sure was checking out the guys in their bikini swim suits.”
Paul looked up, and said, “I know, because I was checking them out, too.”
Mr. Curtis laughed. “Well, that makes three of us.”
Paul did a double take. “Whoa!”
Mr. Curtis grinned. “I’m married and have a wonderful family, but I do enjoy looking at good looking guys. During my college years, my roommate and I would help each other out. I guess you could say we were friends with benefits. Neither of us is gay, but we were two very horny guys in need of some relief. One night, he suggested I let him fuck me, and then I could fuck him. From that night on, we never lacked for good sex!”
Paul stared at him in disbelief. “How long did you guys fuck each other?”
He replied, “We were roommates for nearly three years, and we fucked each other practically every night. When we graduated, we went our separate ways. I came home, and starting dating my wife. We were married a few months later, and here I am.”
“Does your wife know?”
“No, she doesn’t. I’ve never told her. I have told Mr. Scarborough, though. He wasn’t sure he should hire me for his chief of security, so I shared with him my college experiences and that I wasn’t prejudiced against gays. He made it clear he would not hire anyone who hated gays.”
“Did you know I was gay when you hired me?”
“No, but I had a sense you might like guys,” Mr. Curtis said. “I also had the same feeling about several of the other guys. I could be wrong about that, so don’t go spreading rumors that I think they’re all gay.”
Paul smiled. “I won’t. Thanks for talking to me.”
“Sure. Now, get back to work,” Mr. Curtis said, pointing to the guard shack at entrance to the driveway.
“Yes, sir,” Paul said, saluting smartly.
Mr. Curtis laughed. “Just get to your post.” He watched the young guy walk away from him. He was glad he had guessed right about Paul. He was a good kid and working for the Scarboroughs would be good for him.
Peyton had fallen into a troubled sleep. He started awake at a touch on his shoulder. He opened his eyes and looked up into Grandma’s face. “I’m sorry to wake you, Peyton, but it’s time for dinner.”
Peyton smiled and tried to sit up. She assisted him by lifting him as he pushed himself back so he could lean against the headboard. “Thank you,” he said.
“You’re welcome,” she said. She turned around and retrieved the food tray. She placed it over his lap. She sat down next to him and started to feed him. When he had finished, she took the tray away and set it on the table.
“Thank you. The food was delicious,” Peyton said. As she turned to leave, Peyton asked, “Would you stay and talk to me?”
Grandma smiled, and replied, “Yes, I would love to get to know you better.” She sat down next to him, and took his hand in hers. “What would you like to talk about?”
“I want to know if you believe in God,” Peyton said. “I’ve really been struggling with my religious beliefs, since I was raped. I’ve been very angry at God for allowing such a horrible thing happen to me. Why does He allow these things to happen?”
Grandma said, “I don’t profess to know the mind of God, but I have always felt everything happens for a reason.” She stopped and looked at him closely. “Are you questioning the existence of God, or are you questioning whether He cares about the human race, and, more specifically, does He care about you?”
Peyton thought for moment. He had a similar conversation with Greg and Corey last night, but hadn’t been satisfied with their answers to his questions. That was why he had asked Grandma for her opinion. “I guess I’m asking both questions. I was taught to believe in God growing up, but the God my parents believe in is vengeful God and is full of hate, as are his followers. After everything I’ve been through, I can’t believe in their God anymore.”
“I see,” Grandma said. “Well, if you really want to know what I think, I’ll be glad to share my thoughts; however, I haven’t found a church, yet, that teaches what I believe to be the truth about God.”
Peyton nodded his head in understanding. “That’s kind of how I feel right now.”
“I believe that were are literally the spirit children of a Father in Heaven and that we lived with him before we came to this earth. Jesus Christ is our brother and he lived in heaven with us. My mother taught me from a young age to pray to a loving Heavenly Father who answers our prayers. She believed we are His children and we have the right, as his children, to approach him in prayer. I remember my mother arguing with her pastor about that. He said only the pastor had that right, or someone who was a trained minister. She told him he was an agent of Satan who was trying to separate God’s children from their father by telling us we can’t approach our own Heavenly Father without some intermediary. That never made sense to her, nor does it to me.”
“Do you really believe anyone can pray to God?” Peyton asked.
“Yes, I do. I also believe that God knows each of us personally and answers our prayers. I’ve often felt close to God over the years. I believe He has watched over me and my family. My mother always taught me God loved me, and I have no doubt she knew it.”
“But, if what you say is true, why does God allow bad things to happen?” Peyton said. “Why did he allow me to be gang raped and beaten so badly I nearly died?” There was a lot of pent up anger in his words. “Why would He allow such evil things to happen?”
Grandma said, “I can’t answer that question, Peyton, because I don’t know. However, I like to believe God has a plan for each of us which will allow us to reach our full potential. Will you promise not to become angry, if I speak to you plainly about what I think about your situation?”
Peyton hesitated. He wasn’t sure he was ready to hear what truth might come out her mouth. He knew he couldn’t fool her, and she knew enough about his history she actually might be able to help him understand why things had happened to him. He finally nodded his head. “Okay, I promise not to get angry.”
She squeezed his hand. “What I’m going to say may hurt, but I intend it in a good way to help you become a better person. Do you understand me?”
The seriousness of her tone of voice, and the intensity of her gaze, caused him to rethink his decision to hear her out. In the end, he cleared his throat, and said, “I understand.”
She continued, “Correct me if I’m wrong in assuming that prior to your time in prison you were a very arrogant, self-centered individual who only cared about himself.”
Peyton nodded his head. “Yes, I’ll own up to that, because I was very much into me. I didn’t care who I hurt or what happened to other people. In fact, I went out of my way to make other people suffer. I had such low self-esteem I had to tear other people down to make me feel better about myself.”
“So, you admit you were a pretty miserable excuse for a human being?” Grandma asked, gently squeezing his hand to take the sting out of her words.
Peyton looked away from her. He felt like his whole life had been laid open for her to see. He looked back at her and met her eyes. They seemed to look deep into his soul. There was no way he could lie to her. Her face was kind, and held no hint of condemnation. She smiled, encouragingly. He finally replied, “Yes, you could say that. I tried my best to make life miserable for Rick. I remember seeing him with Angie and wishing I had a girlfriend like her. I was very happy when she broke up with him, and, even happier, when she sought me out. She wanted to hurt Rick as much as I did.”
“How do you feel about Rick now?” she asked.
“I feel very fortunate he is man enough to forgive me. He is a good man, and I’m happy he’s found his life partner,” Peyton said.
She sat looking at him in silence. When she didn’t speak, Peyton continued, “Yes, I’m still a little jealous of him. He and Glenn are so happy together. I want to love and be loved like he is. But, this time, I want him to help me find that special someone. I want to learn from Rick how I can be the person someone like Glenn will want to spend the rest of their life with.”
“What made you change your mind about Rick?” she asked.
He thought for a long while about her question, before he answered her. “I think it was the experience I had in jail. I learned what it felt like to be despised and rejected. I was always looking over my shoulder, wondering when I would be raped again. I didn’t like being treated as being less than human. The men who sexually abused me saw me as their property. I was traded in a card game once. My cell mate lost, and I became another man’s sex toy, as a result. There was nothing I could do to prevent it. I tried to stop them, but ended up gang raped, instead. I went to the guards to complain about what was happening to me. I found out they were worse than my fellow prisoners.”
She asked, “Do you think you would’ve changed your way of thinking, if you hadn’t been treated that way in jail?”
“Honestly, I don’t think I would have. I was pretty set on making Rick’s life miserable, even though I had admitted I was to blame for what happened to me,” Peyton said.
“Do you think you are a better person as a result of your experiences?” she asked.
This question wasn’t one he had considered before. He had always thought about what happened as something God should have prevented. The concept that maybe he had a Heavenly Father who wanted him to reach his full potential, and that what he had been through was intended to make him a better person, had never even entered his mind. The concept of a loving God was foreign to him. His parents had always taught him God demanded strict obedience, and tolerated no deviations from His chosen path whatsoever. Those who strayed were punished by death. There was no room for mercy. His father personified his vision of what God was like, stern and unforgiving.
“I think that I’m a better person, now, than I was before I went to prison. I’ve learned to be patient, or, at least, more patient than I was before. I can now empathize with others pain and suffering. I certainly can commiserate with Greg and Cory, since I was beaten just as they were.”
“Peyton, I believe you are a child of a loving Heavenly Father who has sent his angels to strengthen you and to be by your side throughout your entire ordeal in prison. God has promised us we won’t be tried beyond what we have the strength to bear. When things reached their worst, God sent my husband to succor you in your time of greatest need. I believe that you are here, at this moment in time, because you needed to hear my words. You are of infinite worth to your God because you are his child. I firmly believe that when you internalize that truth, you will become a much stronger person and you will act accordingly. I believe in a God who wants us to return to live with him, but, in order to do that, we must become more like him. If you read the New Testament carefully, you will find Jesus did the works that His Father wanted him to do. He healed the sick and the afflicted. He comforted those who needed comfort. He sought out those who needed healing, both in body and soul. I truly believe that He can lift the burden of your suffering from you, Peyton. Let Him carry the sorrow, the anger, and the pain for you. You need to leave all of your troubles on the altar, give them to God, and come away with God’s peace.”
“Now, you sound like one of those preachers on television,” Peyton joked. He knew he shouldn’t joke, but he was getting overwhelmed by the feelings that were washing over him.
Grandma smiled, “I might be, but I want you to know how I feel about God. I don’t have patience for those television preachers. Most of them are in it for the money. They try to make everyone think of them as holy men, and they are as far from holy as anyone can get.”
Peyton laughed, “You’re so right about that.”
Grandma said, “It is good to hear you laugh, Peyton. It means that you’re on the road to recovery.”
He smiled at her. “What do you think of the various religious denominations?”
“Over the years, we have attended a variety of different Christian denominations. We’ve found everyone one of them to be lacking in one way or another. Very few actually live the gospel of Jesus Christ, or, at least, how I believe it should be applied to our everyday lives. One pastor accused us of claiming to be perfect. We admitted to him we had our faults, but we couldn’t continue attending his church. He preached hate and violence from the pulpit. When we called him on it, he got very angry with us. After that experience, we haven’t joined any church. We still study the Bible on a regular basis, and we try to keep the commandments of God the best way we can.”
“Maybe that is what I should do. The chaplain at the prison told me I was going to hell. He claimed I was a sinner for having sex with other men. He insisted it didn’t matter whether I was forcibly raped, or not. His contention was there was no hope for me, because God condemned homosexuals to death.” Peyton said.
“Well, I’ve already told you I don’t hold that view of God. Too many religious people claim to talk for God. They claim to be the gatekeepers of His blessings and have the keys to gaining entrance to His kingdom. They need to stop and look inward. They will find they are unacceptable to the very God they claim to represent, and they will find themselves looking up to heaven from the very hell they insist the rest of us are destined to inhabit for the eternities.” She stopped, and smiled at him. “There, you’ve gone and got me stirred up. I’m an old woman who is very set in her ways, with very little patience for the professional religious crowd. I’m sorry for rambling on, Peyton. You’ve been a very attentive listener.”
Peyton smiled, “Thank you for talking to me about God. I’m searching for the truth about God and religion. I’ll give some thought to what you’ve said.”
Grandma said, “Just remember who you are, Peyton. That is the one thing I’ve always told my children and my grandchildren. When they were small, I would say prayers with them every night. We would kneel at their bedside and talk to God. Then, I would ask them, ‘Who are you?’ and they would answer, ‘I’m a child of God.’ I told them to never forget that as long as they lived. I will leave you with the same admonition. Don’t ever forget that you are a child of God, Peyton.”
Peyton’s eyes were bright with tears. “I won’t forget.”
She stood up and said, “I think it’s time the boys got you out of bed. You need to come outside. Grandpa plans to start a fire in the fire pit. The boys can roast some marshmallows for you.”
“That sounds like a perfect way to spend an evening,” Peyton said, smiling at her.
She walked over to the door, and opened it. She started when she saw Corey and Dylan standing there. “I was just coming to get you.”
Corey grinned, “Dad sent us to fetch you. He has the fire going and it’s almost time to roast marshmallows.”
“Well, you need to help Peyton into his wheelchair,” she said.
Dylan said, “Yes, ma’am.”
She smiled, and said, “Thank you, Dylan.” She left them to help Peyton.
They helped him into his chair and wheeled him outside. Bob and Jasper were there as were Don and Eva. Bob asked, “Would you like a marshmallow?”
Peyton nodded his head, “Please.”
Eva asked, “How are you doing, Peyton?”
“I’m much better than I was a few days ago,” Peyton said.
“Good,” she said, smiling. “We were just commenting on how quickly your bruises seem to be healing.”
Jasper said, “I think it’s all the sunlight he’s been getting. We’ve had him outside in the sun every day.”
Bob said, “I think it’s because he is getting so much special attention.”
Peyton smiled, “I think it’s both.”
Corey said, “I agree with Peyton. I think the change in environment is what is doing him the most good.”
Grandpa said, “That is what I hoped would be the case.”
Peyton smiled. “Thank you for opening your home to me.”
Grandpa said, “You’re welcome, Peyton. However, I want to remind you that you’re part of our family now, not just a house guest.”
Peyton said, “This all seems like a dream to me. I’m afraid I’ll wake up, and find I’m still in jail.”
Jasper said, “Then, start living your dream, Peyton. Make the most of the opportunity you’ve been given to start over.”
Peyton looked at Jasper and said, “I don’t have any dreams left.” He had a look of complete despair on his face.
Jasper walked over and put his arm around Peyton’s shoulders. “Peyton, you’re still suffering from the trauma you suffered at the hands of evil men. I think you need to give yourself some time to heal, before you decide you don’t have any dreams left. What I hear is a man who needs to open his heart to receive all of the love this family has to give him. We are here for you, and we’ll do our best to help you.”
His look of despair was replaced with one of doubt. “I feel you care for me, but how can you say you love me? You don’t know me.”
Grandpa said, “You forget I do know you, Peyton. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have taken a chance on you. I believe you’re destined to greatness. You may not think so, but I believe you have it in you to become whatever you want to be. As a family, we have decided to adopt you, and that means you will succeed. We take care of own, Peyton, and you’re one of us now.”
Peyton looked around at the faces of his adopted family. Each of them smiled at him. He said, “Thank you for believing in me.”
Peyton spent the rest of the evening marveling at the good fortune that had brought him into this family.
|Prev||To be continued . . .||Next|
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Music for this chapter –
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