A Chance at a New Life

A Chance at a New Life

The door to the interrogation room opened and Detective Henderson walked in. He dropped a manila folder on the table and sat down, staring at the teenage boy who sat opposite him with arms crossed defiantly.

Scott Henderson’s promotion to detective when he was 22, after only a few years on the force, had rankled the other patrol officers at the Third Precinct until they learned that his skillful questioning of witnesses at crime scenes had been crucial in some cases that might otherwise have gone unsolved and therefore the Division Chief had concluded that the young officer would be most useful in an investigative role. This morning, as so many revelers were waking to hangovers and regrets that they had celebrated the arrival of 2008 so immoderately, Scott was completing his first year as a detective.

Minutes passed. It became apparent to the teenager that this man was prepared to sit there staring at him indefinitely. The detective’s unrelenting gaze became unbearable; the boy broke his silence. “Jason always tells us not to say nuthin without our lawyer.”


This story is a work of fiction. All characters are older than 18. They have fun having gay sex. If gay sex is not allowed in your country, you should consider moving to another one. The characters are not having safe sex, please use condoms while exploring your sexuality. As always, I look forward to your comments and suggestions. Thank you for choosing to read my story and I hope you enjoy! You may contact me at gaynerdy2014@gmail.com , also if you have your own story. Please send to this email gaynerdy2014@gmail.com , or click SUBMIT YOUR OWN STORIES! at the top right corner of HOME SCREEN. Also, If you include your name. I will give credit as due, otherwise, it will read as – Read By: Bobby Newberry. THANK YOU for helping to build Gay and Nerdy Archives Library of Erotic Stories and more. Note: We do not own these stories, only share. If you believe this story should not be here. Email gaynerdy2014@gmail.com and explain. If so, we will fix this mistake.


“You have a lawyer?”

“He always gets one for us.”

“Not this time. He used his one phone call to get a lawyer for himself. It won’t do him much good, we have a solid case. He’s going to prison; it’s just a matter of how many years he’ll be spending there. Anyway you don’t need a lawyer, the District Attorney isn’t interested in raking Jason’s crew over the coals. Whoever agrees to testify at his trial won’t be charged. Do you want the deal or should I have a lawyer appointed for you?”

The boy uncrossed his arms. “I’ll testify. Jason would rat out any of us in a heartbeat.”

“Smart decision. What’s your name?”

“Kim.”

“Not your street name, your real name.”

“Alex.”

Scott raised the folder and SLAMMED it back down on the table. “IF I HAVE TO PULL INFORMATION FROM YOU BIT BY BIT, THE DEAL WILL BE OFF! Now let’s start again. What’s your name? Your FULL name. And how old are you?”

For several moments, Alex sat stunned. Then he said: “Alexander Prentice. I’m nineteen.”

“Why were you involved with Jason?”

“He paid me more than I could make anywhere else.”

“And you needed the money for what? A drug habit?”

“No, I don’t do drugs. It was for my mom. My old man split when I was twelve and she took three jobs to support me and my sisters. It was wearin’ her down, she looked like hell. By the time I hit thirteen I couldn’t stand to see her like that no more so I dropped outta school and went with Jason.”

“Doing what?”

“I was a gofer: You know, go fer this, go fer that, hold his smack in case he got hassled by the cops, those kinda things. The money he paid me made it easier for my mom, she quit one of her jobs.”

Scott consulted his folder. “You say you went to work for Jason at thirteen, yet none of you were seen in this area until a month ago. Where have you been for the past six years?”

“Fulton City.”

Scott picked up the folder, rose from his chair and walked to the door. “When you decide to tell the truth, knock on that big mirror. I know just about every city and town in Colorado, there is no Fulton City.”

“I AM tellin’ the … did you say Colorado?”

Scott stopped with his hand on the door. “Yes, where did you think you were?”

“Idaho! When Jason moved us I slept most of the way, I didn’t know he took us to another state!”

Scott left the room. Half an hour later he came back and said: “Okay there is a Fulton City in Idaho, and their Police Department confirmed that Jason was operating there until last month.”

“See, I told ya.”

“Yes you did. What you didn’t tell me is that you weren’t just a gofer. I have your rap sheet, it was faxed to me along with the others. You have an arrest for soliciting. The police say a lawyer got you off on a technicality but the charge was legitimate. Was it?”

“That’s covered by the deal, right?”

“The deal doesn’t have to cover it. You can’t be prosecuted in Colorado for something you did in Idaho. So were you turning tricks?”

“Yeah. Not at first, but a couple months ago I told Jason I needed more money so my mom could get down to one job. He said I’d make a bundle if he pimped me out, because I’m cute and there’s men who would pay a lot for a quickie with me. He showed me where I would find the most Johns, and I worked that street almost every night until he moved us. He was right, I did rake it in. I even had money left over after I gave Jason his cut and gave enough to my mom for her to quit her second job. I guess I shoulda saved the extra money insteada pissin’ it away on stuff I didn’t even care about. I thought there would always be more. I was waitin’ for him to finish scopin’ out this burg so he could start me here. Hey what town is this?”

“Tilmont. We’re three hundred miles from Fulton City. Why did Jason move you?”

“He said there was a cleanup campaign and it made Fulton City too hot for us. Three hundred miles, huh? Jeez.”

Scott pushed a pen and a sheet of paper across the table. “Write down your mother’s name and address.” He made some notes in his folder and added the completed sheet when Alex slid it back to him. “That’s all for now” he said, closing the folder. “I’m going to have a police officer take you to a hospital; I want you checked for STDs.”

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The officer kept Alex at the hospital after his examination, until a doctor came out and spoke to them. Addressing the officer, the doctor said: “You can tell your detective that the blood tests didn’t indicate any sexually transmitted diseases.” Then, turning to Alex: “That doesn’t necessarily mean you’re free of STDs, you might be in an incubation period. You should be tested at least twice more during the next six months. At present though, you’re reasonably healthy except for being somewhat undernourished and slightly overweight. I suppose you’ve been living on junk food. Start eating better. And get more exercise.”

The officer brought Alex back to the Third Precinct, where Scott told him: “I called your mother. She was relieved to hear that we’re not pressing charges. She doesn’t know about your sex work, does she?”

“No.”

“She asked if you’ll be coming home.”

“Yeah, I will. Now that I’m nineteen maybe I can get a regular job that pays good money.”

“You can use my phone to let her know. But you can’t leave Tilmont yet, the grand jury is scheduled to hear the charges against Jason tomorrow and you’ll have to be available in case there are questions. Then you can leave unless the prosecutor needs to keep you here for the trial. The up side is that as a material witness you get to stay in a hotel.”

The only hotels Alex had ever been in were the rundown, ‘hotsheet’ places where customers would sometimes take him and book a room for an hour or two. Consequently he did not think of a hotel stay as an ‘up side’ – until he saw this hotel and his room – to him they seemed luxurious. “This place is boss! Thanks!”

“I’ll pass your thanks on to the District Attorney” Scott replied. “Her office is footing the bill. That includes your food, and as your minder I’ll be eating with you, which means I get to eat free as well.”

No longer facing jail, Alex was cheerful and outgoing at dinner. He proved to be a very personable young man. Scott liked him.

Following the meal, Scott took Alex back to the hotel. “I’ll pick you up at nine tomorrow morning.”

Precisely at 9 AM Alex opened his door to Scott, who immediately told him: “Jason took a plea deal. There’ll be no grand jury hearing and no trial, so you can leave this morning. The cross-country bus that comes through at eleven o’clock stops in Fulton City. I’ll take you to the bus station after breakfast.”

While they were awaiting the arrival of Alex’s bus, Alex said: “You used a different credit card at the restaurant today.”

“You’re very observant. It’s my personal card. No trial, therefore you’re not a material witness anymore so the District Attorney has stopped paying. Breakfast was a going-away present from me.”

Alex smiled at him. “Thank you!”

Never had Scott seen a more captivating smile. It caused him to view Alex for the first time without the narrow focus of a detective scrutinizing a suspect.

It was easy to see why Alex had done well as a rent boy: his clear hazel eyes, wavy chestnut-brown hair, and fresh-looking young face, made him quite appealing.

As Alex climbed onto the bus, he turned and said: “Thanks … for everything.”

Chapter 2
Two days later, an officer came to the door of the squad room and called out: “Hey Scott, that kid you sent back to Idaho is in Reception. He’s asking for you.”

Scott went out to the reception area. “Alex, why are you here, Jason’s case is closed.”

“A bunch of reporters came to our house first thing this morning. They wanted to interview me. They showed my mom a newswire story about Jason and everybody who worked for him. It had all our names and everything about us. Did you tell them?”

“No! The only one I told the news media about was Jason! He’s been arrested a number of times but until now he’s always managed to weasel out of the charges. Word must have spread that this time he’s not likely to skate, and it probably caused a reporter to go through the police files.

Alex had barely heard Scott’s explanation, he was too agitated. “My mom said that when people find out what I did at night they’ll treat the family like dirt. She said I had to leave. She said she’s gonna take my sisters and move someplace where no one knows us. I asked all my friends’ parents if I could stay with them while I look for a room; everybody said no.”

“That’s a lousy break, I’m sorry. But why did you come back to Tilmont?”

“I couldn’t think of no place else to go.”

“Alex, the job market in this city has been dead all year, you’d have no way to support yourself. I’ll give you the names of some cities where you’ll have better prospects.”

“I wanna live in Tilmont.”

“Why?”

Alex hesitated, but then he answered: “I wanna live near you. You’re a good guy, you treat me like I’m not a piece-a-crap.”

Scott had to admit to himself that he wouldn’t at all mind having Alex nearby. “Alright. Tilmont has a Social Services agency, they should be able to do something for you.” He glanced at a wall clock. “It’s past their business hours, let’s get you to a city shelter for the night.”

When they got to the shelter, what they found was a filthy, crowded facility where the men’s sleeping quarters consisted of a single room filled with rows of closely-spaced mattresses. Weapons were carried by a few of the ominous-looking characters who roamed the narrow aisles, a fact they made little attempt to hide.

“I can’t leave you here” Scott said. “Let’s go.”

As they walked from the shelter, Alex asked: “What do I do now?”

“I don’t know. There’s another shelter but I’m sure it’s as bad as this one.”

“Could I stay at the police station until Social Services gets me set up? I seen empty cells.”

“We’re not allowed to board anyone who hasn’t been charged.”

They walked along for a few minutes. Then Alex asked diffidently: “Could I … maybe … stay at your place while I wait? I’ll sleep on the floor, and I’ll pay.”

“Even if I were willing to let you stay at my house, how could you pay? I know you have almost no money left and as I told you, jobs are scarce around here right now. If you’re planning to make money by turning tricks, don’t try it in Tilmont or you will be sleeping in a cell but not as a guest.”

“What if I do just enough to pay you? The cops would look the other way if you told them to, wouldn’t they?”

“No.”

“Then how about I pay by servicing you? I would do anything you want. You’re gay, right?”

“What makes you think I’m gay?”

With a sly grin, Alex said: “I seen you sneakin’ looks at my ass.”

Scott laughed. “As I’ve said, you’re very observant.”

“So woddaya say? I got lotsa ways to drive you wild before ya cum.”

“The answer is no.”

“Why not?”

“Because exploiting people is against my principles.”

“Then where can I go?”

Scott stood thinking. He couldn’t very well leave the boy homeless. “Ok you can stay with me for a day or two, while Social Services gets you something. Forget about paying.”

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At the end of Scott’s shift, he took Alex home and showed him to the guest room.

“I appreciate this” Alex said, putting down the duffel bag that held the entirety of his worldly possessions. “How about a blow job?”

“I said forget about paying” Scott reminded him. “That includes not paying with sex.” Then, seeing Alex stoop to tentatively feel the carpet, he added: “And did you actually think I’d make you sleep on the floor?”

Alex looked at the bed and smiled as he took a cigarette from the pack he routinely carried in his shirt pocket.

“Don’t do that near me” Scott said. “Seeing people smoke makes me sad, I know what it does to them over time. How much do you smoke?”

“About a pack a day. I’ll go outside.”

The following morning, Scott dropped Alex off at the Social Services office on his way to the precinct. That afternoon, the Desk Sergeant notified him that Alex was back. He went out to Reception. “How did it go?”

“I had to fill out a buncha forms, then I had to wait for somebody to go through them. When I finally got called in they said I’m too old for foster care and I got no kids myself so they don’t have nuthin for me. They said I should go to a shelter.”

“Wait here” Scott said, “I’ll see what I can find.”

He went through the precinct asking everyone whether they knew of any organization that helps people who have aged out of foster care. “No luck here either” he reported when he returned. “That leaves only one choice: I’ll keep you with me until I find you something. You can pay by doing housework … and one other thing.”

Alex grinned. “Did you change your mind about―”

Scott broke in before Alex could broach the anticipated subject. “You’ll study for a GED certificate.”

“What’s that?”

“It’s a substitute for a high school diploma. Without it you’ll have little opportunity for anything better than scut work. Sooner or later you’ll get tired of slaving away for a barely living wage, you’ll go back to crime, and before long you’ll be serving your first prison sentence. I’ve seen the pattern, it’s a tragic waste. So while you’re living in my house I’ll require that you study for the test. If you’re sensible you’ll keep up the study even after you get your own place. Do you need time to consider my offer?”

“No. I’ll do it.”

“Alright, then you can stay with me until I find you somewhere else to live. To make sure you understand exactly what I expect from you, I’m going to draw up a formal contract.”

Scott took Alex to his desk, drafted the contract, and held it out to him. “Let me know if you have questions or if you object to anything.”

Alex made no move to take the contract. “I trust you. Give me a pen and I’ll sign it.”

Scott pushed the contract against Alex’s chest. “Read it. Never sign anything you haven’t read … and understood. And always get a copy.”

Alex began reading. He looked up. “This says I’ll get an allowance.”

“That’s right. If you have some spending money, you won’t need to get it by … other means.”

Alex read the rest of the contract and said that he had no objection to anything.

“Did you note the clause prohibiting you from engaging in any criminal activity, specifically including sex work?”

“Yeah. It’s fine with me, I don’t want to do that anymore.”

Scott took him to the precinct Records Clerk, who was a notary, and they signed in her presence. She skimmed through the document and her eyebrows rose. Having seen Alex’s police record when it was telefaxed from Fulton City, she turned to Scott. “I can’t notarize any document unless I’m convinced that all signatories are of sound mind. This says you’re taking him in. Will you agree to a psych exam?”

Scott raised his hand as if to slap her. “Wise ass.”

Smirking, the Records Clerk notarized the contract.

Scott made a copy and gave it to Alex. “This constitutes a legally-binding promise. Don’t think that once you’re in you can slack off.”

“I won’t slack off.”

At the house, Scott handed Alex some clothes. “These were left by a former (he paused) friend. They’ll fit you, he was about your size. Toss out the clothes you’ve been wearing, they’re ready for the rag heap.” He pointed to a door. “That bathroom has a shower. After you’ve changed and stowed your things, come find me and I’ll give you a tour of the house.”

As Scott was leaving the room, Alex called: “Detective Henderson?”

Scott turned. “Yes?”

“Thanks for the clothes. And thank you for letting me stay here.”

“You’re welcome. And when we’re in the house you can call me Scott.”

The last stop on the house tour was the well-equipped exercise room. Alex was awed. “Could I―”

“Yes” Scott answered before Alex had finished his request. “Just put whatever you use back where you found it.”

“Yeah, sure!”

“Settle in. Tomorrow we’ll go over your household chores and I’ll get you a GED study guide. We’ll also need to work on the way you speak: You won’t make a good impression at job interviews if you say things like ‘I seen’ or ‘don’t have nuthin’. And the word is ‘yes’, not ‘yeah’. Got it?”

“Yeah. I mean yes.”

Chapter 3
Alex did not slack off: He kept the house clean, read the GED study guide between chores, and every evening after washing the dishes he went through one of the sample tests at the back of the book. Scott let him watch television for an hour on weekdays and three hours on Saturday and Sunday. Their program preferences differed, so Scott never joined him.

One weekend, the TV listings included a film that Alex thought might interest Scott. He said he intended to watch it.

He smiled when Scott came into the living room at the start of the film and joined him on the couch.

As they sat watching the film, Alex slowly inched closer until he was sitting next to Scott. It did not escape Scott’s notice; he put an arm around Alex. Alex put a hand on Scott’s thigh. Scott kept his eyes on the screen as he lifted the hand, gave it a friendly squeeze, and moved it away.

The message was clear: Scott’s enfolding arm was meant as a simple gesture of affection, not a call for anything more. That bewildered Alex: Nothing like this had ever happened to him. His father had largely ignored the children, and although his mother had done her best to provide for him and his sisters after their father left, she was not a demonstrative person: the closest she ever got to affectionate behavior was to grip Alex’s shoulder and shake it approvingly when he brought money home. Some of his customers had treated him with tenderness, but that was part of a business transaction. He had come to believe that like everything else in his life, affection had a price. With Scott, however, that rule didn’t seem to apply. Scott’s arm around him gave him a warm feeling, and it was not merely physical.

He rested his head against Scott’s shoulder.

Scott made no objection. They sat that way through the rest of the film.

The GED material was coming easily to Alex. Then he reached the mathematics section. “I’LL NEVER GET THIS!” he shouted in frustration, throwing his pencil on the table.

Scott was sitting across the room, reading. “One of these days it will click in your mind” he said without looking up from his book.

Alex groaned. “No it won’t. I just don’t get it.”

Scott put the book down and walked over to him. “You can do this. I’ll go through it with you.”

It took a number of sessions over as many days but with patient instruction from Scott, who not only drilled him on methods but explained the underlying concepts, Alex got through the section. When they had finished, Alex asked: “How come a cop knows so much about math?”

“It’s kind of a hobby with me” Scott told him. “I’m fascinated that letters, numbers, and symbols can describe the physical world, even things that no one knew until they saw it in the mathematics.”

Really? Like what?”

“Well for instance, scientists always believed that time passes at the same rate everywhere. But Einstein said that according to his equations for the theory of relativity, time flows differently in things that are moving.”

“What does that mean?”

“Let’s say one of two identical twins leaves the Earth, travels around in space, and then comes back. According to Einstein’s equations the twin who travelled will have aged less than the stationary one. It’s called The Twin Paradox. The age difference would be undetectably small unless the travelling twin moved at nearly the speed of light, and humans can’t go that fast yet, but it’s possible to propel subatomic particles at those speeds and that’s how Einstein was proved right.”

“I would never understand stuff like relativity.”

“So what? No one understands everything.”

“What don’t you understand?”

Scott considered the question. “Multi-dimensional geometry. Women.”

Alex laughed. “You don’t understand women?”

“No. Of course no man understands women; they’re complicated and we’re not smart enough.”

Alex needed help with some of the other GED sections, and Scott was happy to provide it.

When Scott had been tutoring him for several months, Alex stopped during a study session and said: “I want to do something in return for all your help. Would you like to ride me tonight?”

“You keep the house clean and you’re studying for the GED test, that’s all the return I asked for. And I thought I made it clear that I didn’t bring you here for sex.”

“I wouldn’t tell anyone.”

“The answer is still no.”

Alex put his pencil down. “I can’t figure you out. You’re letting me live in your house, you’re feeding me and teaching me and even giving me an allowance, and you don’t make me have sex with you. You’re gay and I see how you look at me but even when I offer, you say no. What is it you want from me? You must want something!”

“I want you to get your GED certificate.”

“That’s all? What’s in it for you?”

“The satisfaction of giving you a chance at a decent life.”

“Just satisfaction? That doesn’t make any sense.”

“Well … maybe someday it will.”

Chapter 4
Scott enjoyed tutoring Alex, and he was gratified to see the difference it made. Not only that, he liked having Alex around; he looked forward each day to seeing Alex there when he got home. He stopped seeking other accommodations for his young lodger; he had decided to keep Alex with him as long as the boy wanted to stay.

Then one morning when he arrived at the precinct the Desk Sergeant called him over. “I hate to tell you this, but Alexander Prentice was arrested last night. He’s being booked for prostitution.” The Desk Sergeant told Scott that this was not the first time Alex had been seen coming out of an alley in the middle of the night accepting money from a man. “We know he lives with you so the undercovers ignored it at first, but they couldn’t keep arresting the other pros and letting him slide.”

Alex had often seemed tired these past few weeks, which Scott had attributed to the strain of keeping up with both his GED study and his housework. And when Alex had not appeared for breakfast this morning, Scott had assumed he was sleeping late. ‘Some detective I am‘ Scott thought to himself. ‘I was even going to reduce his household chores.

He asked where Alex was.

“He’s in a holding cell. We didn’t want to put him in the tank with the older men.”

Scott found Alex’s cell and stood looking through the bars.

Alex looked back at him. “You don’t have to say it; everybody’s been telling me what a dipshit I am.”

“How long have you been slipping out on me?”

Alex mumbled an answer.

“SPEAK UP!”

“A couple weeks … about three.”

“You couldn’t go even a year without violating the contract you signed.”

“Scott I’m sorry.”

Scott was silent.

“Are you just going to stand there and look at me?”

“You made a promise to me and you broke that promise.”

“I had to, you were doing so much for me and you wouldn’t let me do for you the one thing I know how to do, so I wanted to make enough money for a really good present, something I couldn’t afford on my allowance.”

“The only present I wanted was to see you get a GED certificate. I even had hopes you might go on to college. Now that’s all shot to hell.”

“I know. I don’t blame you for being mad at me.”

“Mad doesn’t half describe it. I should have known better than to take you in, but I thought you were through with your old ways. I was wrong; you won’t change. So if you’re expecting me to give you any help with this, forget it. I give up, I’m cutting you loose. You’ll be assigned some overworked public defender who’ll try to concoct a defense for a client who was caught red-handed. Fat chance he’ll have. And at nineteen you’ll be prosecuted as an adult. That means jail, not juvie. Of course the up side is that while you’re in jail you’ll still have food and shelter.”

“Scott, I wish I could undo―”

But Scott was walking away. Alex watched his back recede, unaware that Scott had left in order to hide the tear that was running down his cheek.

Later that morning, Alex was told that his arraignment had been postponed due to a full court docket. He sat in his cell for the rest of the day and all that evening, awaiting further news, but there had still been no word when he crawled onto the cell’s thin mattress and spent a night of fitful sleep.

By the afternoon of the following day, he had resigned himself to a protracted wait. Rather than sit idle, he began to compose a statement of remorse, hoping it would help him at sentencing.

Suddenly Scott was standing on the other side of the bars. “Now listen to me, and listen well. Against my better judgement I’ve let the other detectives talk me into giving you one more chance. I called in a favor with the District Attorney: in exchange for a guilty plea she’ll recommend that you be given probation. I’m taking you back in, but if you pull anything like this again I’ll toss you out so fast you won’t know what happened until your gorgeous ass hits the pavement. Understood?”

“Yeah.”

What did you say?”

Alex was momentarily confused. Then: “Oh. I mean yes.”

“And you’ll go through another cycle of tests for STDs.”

“Ok. Yes.”

Chapter 5
Alex was determined not to waste his second chance: He kept Scott’s house immaculate and put increased effort into the GED study. He watched no TV during the week and only one hour on weekends.

For the first month, Scott barely spoke to him. Then the tutoring sessions resumed, but Scott remained cool despite Alex’s attempts to reestablish their former closeness. Alex had treasured that closeness; it was the first time he had ever felt a real bond with anyone, and now he had to face the fact that through his own actions that bond had been destroyed.

After six more months of preparation, Alex took the GED test. The morning his results showed up in the mailbox his hands shook so badly that he had trouble opening the envelope to see if it contained a diploma or an application for another try.

“I passed!” he yelled. “Even the math!”

Scott was in the kitchen, finishing his breakfast. He walked into the living room holding his cup of coffee. “Congratulations!”

Alex waved the GED certificate at him. “Now I’ll be able to get a good job and pay you back all the money I owe for food and rent! I’ve been keeping a record.”

Scott took a sip of coffee. “That’s admirable. Lose the record. Our agreement was that when you get a good job you’ll start paying your way, not that you’ll be in debt to me.”

It was not the forgiven debt that most struck Alex: “I thought that when I got the GED I’d have to leave. You mean I can stay?”

Though Scott’s affection for Alex had long since returned, he was pretending otherwise. He did his best to sound indifferent as he said: “Yes. I suppose I can tolerate some more of your company.”

“Could I … I mean may I … hug you?”

Scott abandoned the deception: “Yeah, I mean yes” he answered with a mischievous wink, putting his cup down.

The hug went on for a long time, Alex wasn’t letting go. Scott gently pulled away. “Alex I have to leave for work.” He drained his cup of coffee and picked up his car keys. “This evening we’ll celebrate your diploma. I’ll make reservations at a restaurant I go to on special occasions. The food there is spectacular. See you at 6.”

But 6 o’clock came and went, as did 7 o’clock, and 8, and hours more.

Scott came home early the next morning. Entering the living room, he saw Alex sitting beside the phone.

Alex had been there all night. He looked up at Scott with red-rimmed eyes. “Where were you, are you ok?”

“Oh Alex I’m sorry. We were dealing with a hostage situation, I’ve been running around nonstop since yesterday afternoon, I didn’t even have a chance to sit down. And I didn’t think to call you, I’m so sorry.”

Alex’s eyes glistened with pent-up tears as he said: “I thought you were lying injured or dead somewhere.”

“Why didn’t you check with the precinct?”

“You never said who you would tell that I was staying here, I didn’t want to cause you any trouble.”

“I’ve told everyone! If anything had happened to me you’re the first one they’d notify! But you didn’t know that. I’m so sorry.” He began shuffling slowly toward the master bedroom, taking off his suit jacket. “I’ll tell you all about last night, but right now I can hardly stay on my feet. I’ve just got to lie down.”

As he shambled along, the hand that held the jacket sagged lower and lower, until the jacket was dragging on the carpet. He didn’t seem to notice.

Five minutes later, Alex looked into the master bedroom. Scott’s jacket was on the floor, where it had eventually fallen from his hand. Except for the jacket he was still fully dressed as he lay fast asleep face up across the bed with his legs hanging over the side.

Alex picked up the jacket, shook it and hung it in the closet. Then he turned and looked at the quiet figure that lay before him. Scott’s face, placid in sleep, was handsome even with its one-day growth of stubble.

After unlacing Scott’s shoes and sliding them off, Alex lifted his legs and rotated him until he lay lengthwise on the bed. Scott muttered a complaint at the disturbance, but quickly fell back to sleep.

Alex loosened Scott’s tie and unbuttoned his collar, noting how well his muscular body filled out the shirt. Next, Alex unbuckled Scott’s holster and drew it off with the pistol it contained, having first verified that the weapon’s safety was engaged. Then he unfastened Scott’s belt and opened his pants.

He left the room and came back with the blanket from his bed. As he covered Scott he gazed at the man whose dark grey eyes had bored into him so menacingly in the interrogation room a year earlier but who regarded him these days with manifest fondness. Giving quiet voice to the feelings that had been growing in him these past few months, he whispered: “I love you.”

It was midafternoon and Alex had dozed off sitting on the couch, when he was awakened by fingers running through his hair. He turned his head.

Scott was sitting beside him, a warm smile on that handsome face. “You opened my clothes.”

“Yes, so they wouldn’t bind.”

“And you covered me with the blanket from your bed.”

“I would have had to wake you to get you underneath your own blanket. You were so exhausted I would never have forgiven myself if I had disturbed your sleep.”

“You could simply have folded the sides of my blanket over me.”

“I didn’t want to risk you getting tangled up if you moved around.”

“I stay out the whole night, neglecting to phone, and you still show me all that consideration.”

Alex longed to say aloud what he had whispered that morning. However he said only: “You shaved.”

“And showered” Scott replied. “I also phoned the restaurant and explained why we weren’t there last night. It was too late to get a reservation for tonight, I’ll order from your favorite takeout place and we’ll celebrate another time.”

Alex began an active search for employment. He was dismayed to find that in Tilmont’s depressed economy his GED certificate was of little value; the best he could do was a job stocking shelves in a supermarket. The pay was low but he insisted on contributing most of it toward household expenses, brushing off Scott’s objection that his contributions exceeded the cost of his upkeep. In addition, he continued to clean the house. He refused to let Scott help. “I can never repay you for all you’ve done, but I can at least keep your house clean and share my income. Have you ever done all this for anyone else?”

“No.”

“Then why was I special?”

“Because you had no one else and nowhere else and because, heaven help me, I like you more than I care to admit.”

Chapter 6
“What smells so good?” Scott called out as he walked through the living room early one evening on his way to lock up his weapon and change out of his business suit. Passing the kitchen, he saw Alex at the stove. “You’re cooking?”

“Yes. We’re always having takeout or a packaged combination from a convenience store. Feeding both of us that way is costing you a fortune. I figure if I bring fresh produce from the supermarket a few times a week and cook us dinner, it will help a little.”

“You give me most of your pay and you clean the house, that’s already a lot of help. What are you making?”

“Something from your cookbook.”

“I didn’t know I had a cookbook. My friend must have left it.”

“I had to use some things that weren’t in the recipe, to compensate for spices you don’t have. I hope it’ll be alright.”

Alex had set the table earlier. He finished cooking while Scott changed clothes, and they sat down to dinner.

After taking his first mouthful, Scott said: “You thought this might be alright?”

Alex looked at him apprehensively.

“It’s marvelous! Whatever substitutions you made were inspired. You’re a talented cook!”

Alex was exultant. He took on the task of preparing dinner every day. It was additional work but it was a welcome contrast to his menial job at the supermarket, and it gave him – he remembered a word Scott had once used: satisfaction. Now that word made sense to him.

He based the meals on recipes in Scott’s cookbook, introducing his own variations. He timed everything to be ready when Scott got home.

Chapter 7
The dinner schedule had been in effect for more than a year when one unusually snowy winter day, Scott did not appear at the expected time. Ever since the hostage night he had always phoned to report even a short delay, so as evening gave way to night Alex grew increasingly distraught, plagued by visions of cars skidding wildly on the slippery roads and colliding head-on with Scott. By eight o’clock he had made up his mind to call the precinct and was about to pick up the phone, when it rang. He grabbed it and in a voice loud with panic he said: “HELLO!”

“Alex?”

Alex was relieved – until he realized that the voice wasn’t Scott’s. “Yes” he said.

“This is Captain Davis at the Third Precinct. Scott has been wounded, he’s in Tilmont Municipal Hospital. I’ve put you on the list of permitted visitors. Bring a photo ID.”

“I don’t have one.”

“Ok, I’ll fax them a mug shot from your arrest. Br careful driving.”

“I don’t drive. I’ll call a cab.”

“You wouldn’t get a cab in this weather. Stay there, I’ll send a squad car.”

As a patrolman drove Alex to the hospital, he gave him a summary of what had happened: Scott, his partner and a backup team had been responding to a report of gunshots heard in an apartment. “When they walked in” the patrolman said, “the gunman opened up on them with a semiautomatic. Scott was in front. He was wearing a bulletproof vest but he got hit in some unprotected places before the backup team took the guy down.”

When they reached the hospital entrance Alex did not wait for the car to come to a complete stop before jumping out and rushing inside. Ignoring the Receptionist who shouted after him that he must sign in, he searched frantically until he found a group of Scott’s fellow detectives. “How is Scott?”

“We don’t know. Their best surgeons are working on him.”

It was an agonizing four hours before a surgeon came from the operating room and approached the group. He was bombarded with questions. He put up a hand. “Hold on, I’ll tell you everything I can: Detective Henderson has made it through surgery. We were able to repair all the damaged organs except for his spleen, that one we had to remove. There were also compound fractures of his right arm and left leg; we put in plates and screws to hold the bones together and keep them aligned.”

“So he’ll be ok?” Alex asked.

“It’s too soon to tell. He’s young and healthy but his injuries were extensive and severe. At the moment it’s touch and go.”

“Can I see him?”

“When he’s moved from Recovery to Intensive Care he can have one visitor, but the visit will have to be short. If he makes it through to morning we might ease those restrictions.”

After a short discussion, the others agreed to let Alex be the one visitor that night.

An hour later, Alex was led to the Intensive Care Unit. There was a patrolman standing guard at the door, a standard precaution in that city for any law enforcement officer wounded in the line of duty. The guard reviewed his list and studied the faxed photo before allowing Alex to enter.

Alex’s heart sank at the sight of all the wires and tubes connected to Scott, and the ventilator machine that was breathing for him. There was no chance of conversation even if Scott’s throat had not been occupied by the ventilator tube, because he was heavily sedated.

Alex took Scott’s hand and intertwined their fingers. Then he sat with him as liquids dripped into IV lines, a monitor on the wall beeped a slow heart rhythm, and the ventilator bellows rose and fell, until a nurse came in and said he would have to leave.

In the days that followed, a succession of Scott’s fellow detectives visited him in the ICU. They always found Alex there, holding Scott’s hand and speaking softly to him regardless of the fact that he was still under heavy sedation.

At the end of what Alex would remember as the most anguished week of his life, he was elated to learn that the doctors now rated Scott’s condition as Fair rather than Critical, a sign that Scott was no longer in imminent danger. A week after that, Alex was told upon arrival at the hospital that Scott’s condition had been upgraded again and he had been moved to a private room.

When Alex got to Scott’s floor, the attending physician was coming down the hall. The doctor was familiar with this young man who spent so many hours at Scott’s side; Alex did not have to ask before the doctor gave him an update: “Detective Henderson is doing well enough that we’ve stopped the IV sedative. You can go in, but he’ll sleep much of the time until the drug clears out of his system. That will take about a day.”

Alex greeted the police guard and entered Scott’s room. Scott was asleep, breathing quietly without the aid of a ventilator. Alex pulled up a chair and sat down. Worry had made sleep impossible most of every night for the past two weeks; now buoyed by Scott’s improvement, he nodded off.

He heard Scott’s voice and looked up.

“I love you Alex” Scott said, “I should have told you that long ago.”

Suddenly Alex’s mother was standing in front of him, shaking his shoulder and speaking so loudly that he had trouble understanding her words. She seemed to be saying: “can happen some other time, the plate is in the lake!”

The scene evaporated and he woke to the impelling hand and loud voice of a nurse, who was saying. “You can nap some other time, the patient is awake.”

He looked over at the bed.

“Alex” Scott murmured, smiling drowsily at him.

“Hi, how are you feeling?”

“Lousy.”

Alex quickly got up. “Are you in pain, should I call the nurse back?”

“No. How long have I been here?”

“You’ve just been moved to this room. For the past two weeks you were in Intensive Care. They kept you sedated so you’d heal faster.”

Scott attempted to turn onto his side, which made him aware of the cast that enclosed his entire left leg, the one that covered his right arm from above the elbow to the middle of his fingers, and the capacious abdominal dressing held in place by tape and protected by gauze wrapped around him. “Holy shit! I’m practically a mummy! And I have one hell of a sore throat.”

“It’s from the breathing tube” Alex told him. “They had you on a ventilator. I know what will help.”

He left the room and came back in with a cup of ice chips. He pressed a lever, rotating the upper half of Scott’s bed to a reclining angle. “Open up” he said, digging a spoon into the cup.

Scott allowed Alex to spoon ice chips into his mouth. “Thanks, that is helping. Do you know if anyone else was hurt?”

Alex did know. During the long wait that first night, he had been given all the details. He tried to formulate an answer that would cause Scott as little distress as possible.

Scott knew what the pause must mean. “One of our people was killed.”

Alex was still trying to choose the right words.

“Not my partner.”

It was a question.

“… Yes. I’m sorry.”

Scott fought to keep from breaking down as he said, more to himself than to Alex: “He knew the risks. We all do. But instead of diving for cover when the shooting started, he tried to push me out of the line of fire. He wanted to protect me and it cost him his life.”

Another detective had entered the room while Scott was speaking. “You would have done the same for him.”

“Yes but it’s my fault we went in the way we did. The backup team had full body armor, I should have sent them in first.”

“We expected you to blame yourself” the new visitor said. “You blame yourself for everything.”

Alex put down the cup of ice chips. “I’ll go out in the hall so the two of you can talk privately.”

“No” Scott said. “Please stay.”

The visitor offered his condolences for the loss of Scott’s partner and wished Scott a full recovery. Then he left.

Alex tried to make small talk but he soon saw that Scott was finding it difficult to keep his eyes open. “I’ll come back this afternoon.”

Scott didn’t respond. He had fallen asleep.

Alex glanced out the open door. Seeing that the guard was looking elsewhere, he leaned in and placed a light kiss on Scott’s lips.

As he began to move away, Scott’s uninjured arm shot up and pulled him back in, where he was given an ardent return kiss. It was a kiss of remarkable power, especially considering Scott’s condition. Then the arm sagged onto the bed and Scott was asleep again.

For a full minute Alex remained motionless, getting over his astonishment.

Finally he straightened up and turned to leave.

And saw that the guard was looking into the room.

The guard waved dismissively at Alex’s horrified expression: “Relax, that was no shock. The minute they pulled out the ventilator tube and he could talk, he called your name.”

Chapter 8
Two weeks after Scott’s transfer to the private room, an orderly came in with a wheelchair and told him that he was being discharged. Noting Scott’s subdued reaction, the orderly said: “For someone who’s going home after a month-long hospital stay, you look rather glum.”

It was an accurate observation: Scott was disappointed, because Alex was not there. Until now, Alex had visited him every day and had always arrived well before this time of morning. “I was expecting a visitor but they didn’t show up” Scott explained.

“Well they might have been delayed” the orderly offered, seating Scott in the wheelchair. “You never know.”

The orderly wheeled Scott out to the departure area, where he could get a taxi home. Scott assumed that Alex must be at work, and wondered if the taxi driver would be willing to help him get from the vehicle to his house.

When he was wheeled all the way past the waiting taxis, he was puzzled. Then the orderly pointed to a man who was standing next to a private car. “Is that your visitor?” the orderly asked with feigned innocence.

Scott’s face lit up. “Yes!”

The orderly helped Alex get Scott into the front passenger seat, a procedure the casts made somewhat tricky. As Alex buckled him in, Scott asked: “Wouldn’t an ambulance have been easier?”

“Yes” Alex answered, “but you’re not enough of a wreck to justify one.”

“I’m a wreck? You need a course in diplomacy.”

“It was a joke!” Alex said when he got into the driver’s seat. “I hope they didn’t remove your sense of humor when they took out your spleen.” He started the car and pulled away from the curb.

“WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” Scott yelled. “YOU DON’T HAVE A DRIVER’S LICENSE!”

“Yes I do. While you were taking your ease in the hospital, your buddies gave me lessons and took me for the test. I think they got tired of squiring me around every time I had to buy supplies for one or another repair so your house wouldn’t fall into ruin.”

“You made repairs? That’s great! Apparently you got along just fine even without me there to keep you on the straight and narrow.”

“I didn’t get along, I missed you like crazy. Whenever I had to leave your hospital room I would start counting down the hours until I could see you again. I read some of your books to take my mind off how empty the house felt without you. It’s the first time I ever read books that weren’t assigned in school.”

Scott put a hand on Alex’s shoulder. “I missed you too, Alex. You weren’t the only one counting down those hours.”

When Alex had parked the car in Scott’s driveway, he went around to the passenger side. “Up you go” he said, lifting Scott out of the car.

“Why are you picking me up?” Scott asked. “Where’s my home health aide?”

“You’re looking at him.”

You? What is this?”

“This is what you get for taking me in and treating me like a son. Twice. You get a built-in home health aide.”

“My medical insurance covers post-surgical care!”

“I’ve read your policy” Alex said as he carried Scott toward the front door. “The plan is fine for major medical but for an aide there’s a separate deductible and a waiting period, and after that you’d have a thirty-percent copay. You’ll need someone in attendance day and night for the next three or four months. Even combining my wages with your medical leave income, we couldn’t swing that.”

“You can’t be here all day, you have a job!”

“Not anymore. I quit. I can always find another crappy position when you’re self-sufficient again. Meantime we can get by on your income alone if we don’t have the expense of a professional aide.”

Scott continued to object. Alex jiggled him. “I’m trying to get this key in the lock without dropping you. If you keep fighting with me I’ll just let go.”

“You wouldn’t dare.”

“I’ll claim it was an accident.” He jiggled Scott again. “I think you’re beginning to slip, you’d better not create any more vibrations by arguing, or down you’ll go.”

Scott laughed. “Ok you win, you’re evil.” Then he became serious: “Alex I know your intentions are the best, but―”

Alex cut him off: “But nothing. I love you Scott, I want to do this.”

Alex’s face reddened at what he had just revealed. He braced himself for Scott’s reaction.

“I love you too” Scott said, “but when I’m out of these casts I’m going to smack you around for being so stubborn.”

Alex felt a rush of joy.

He carried Scott into the master bedroom and got him settled in bed. “Lunch will be ready shortly.”

As Alex was chopping vegetables, he mulled over Scott’s statement about loving him ‘too’. In retrospect, it seemed to him that the words had been tossed off rather casually. He began to suspect that Scott had thought Alex’s revelation was merely figurative and had replied in kind. Still, there was that kiss in the hospital. And what a kiss! Pondering the matter, he almost distractedly brought the chopping knife down on a finger.

He reentered Scott’s room with a loaded bed tray, helped Scott into a sitting position, and placed the tray in front of him. “I’ve cut your meat into small pieces so you only need your one available hand to eat, but I’ll stay here in case you have trouble and want me to feed you.”

“Wreck that I am” Scott quipped, “I think I can feed myself. But you’re welcome to stay and keep me company.”

Following lunch, Scott said: “I have to take a dump.”

“I’ll get the bedpan.”

“I don’t have a bedpan.”

“Didn’t have. I bought one.”

“I’d rather use the toilet.”

“Your toilet is in too narrow a space, there’s no way I could get into position to seat you.”

“Are you really prepared to deal with my bodily waste?”

“I’ll happily deal with anything that has to do with you. I told you, I love you.”

“Alex, I―”

“No don’t say anything!” Alex commanded as he fled the room, fearful that Scott might repeat that he loved Alex too. Alex would not have believed it. Not as a reply.

Returning with the bedpan and a large rubber-backed cloth mat, Alex drew the blanket off, placed the mat on the other side of Scott and put the bedpan on the near side before opening Scott’s pajama pants.

He gulped when he had drawn the opening down below Scott’s light tan bush and he saw the long, fat, circumcised penis that lay draped over an amply-filled pouch. His gaze lingered on the substantial endowment as he lifted Scott far enough to draw the pants down to Scott’s thighs and then moved him onto the bedpan. “I’ll be in the living room; let me know when you’re finished.”

When he heard Scott call, he went in, lifted Scott off the bedpan and transferred him to the mat, laying him down on his side facing away. “Don’t move, I’ll be right back.”

He took the bedpan from the room and returned with a plastic bag and a roll of toilet paper, from which he tore several sheets and formed a pad. Putting a hand on the uppermost cheek of Scott’s bare behind, he said: “Your tushy must get as many furtive looks as mine does. It’s a ten-pointer.” With that, he lifted the cheek and started wiping.

Scott grunted. “This is even more embarrassing than when the nurses wiped me.”

“Why?” Alex asked, glancing at the soiled pad before folding it and putting it in the plastic bag. “We all produce the same thing.” He formed more pads and continued his work until a pad came away unstained. “All done” he said, playfully slapping the cheek he had just released. “I’ll be back after I wash my hands.”

A few minutes later, when Alex had slid the mat from under Scott and was getting the pajama pants back up, Scott said: “I grumbled about this but thank you. I know how disgusting it must have been.”

“Not to me” Alex replied, reaching around and fastening the snap at the front of the pants. “Cooking taught me what it means to do something for the satisfaction, and this showed me that nothing is disgusting if you’re doing it for someone you love. I understand now why there are even mothers who talk enthusiastically about changing their infant’s diapers.”

“So you think of me as an infant?”

“With those casts on, you might as well be” Alex answered, covering him. “Now get some sleep, it will help with your recovery.”

“Turn me onto my other side, facing you.”

Alex pulled the blanket down and slapped Scott’s behind again. “You want to deny me the opportunity of sneaking up on you.”

“Just turn me over.”

Alex turned him and began to pull the blanket back up. Scott grabbed his arm. “Alex you can’t be my cook, my housekeeper, and my twenty-four-hour-a-day attendant, it’s too much for one person. You’re here at night if I need anything; I’ll hire someone for the daytime hours, I can afford it.”

“No you can’t, it would drain your savings. I’ll be fine, I love doing things for you.”

“Not bedpan duty, admit it, no matter what you said before.”

Especially bedpan duty. When else would I have an excuse to put my hands on your alluring buns?”

Scott gasped. “Alex, you’re actually gay? I wasn’t sure.”

“How could you not be sure? Why did you think I kissed you that day in the hospital?”

“I thought maybe you were just feeling sorry for me.”

“And when I told you outright that I love you?”

“Some kinds of love have nothing to do with sex.”

Alex thought for a moment. “Ok, then I’ll say it the way one of Jason’s lawyers would say it in a legal document: My love for you includes, but is not limited to, lust. Does that clarify things?”

Scott chuckled. “Yes.”

“Oh speaking of excuses to handle your tushy, I have to take your temperature every morning and evening. I’d like to use a rectal thermometer but it would be strictly for my own enjoyment; the doctor said oral readings will do.”

“That’s a relief. You’ve embarrassed me quite enough for one day.”

After dinner, when Alex had put the dishes away he went into Scott’s room and took vital signs, entering the numbers on a chart for the nurse who would visit each week. “Are you tired, or would you like to watch TV?”

Only now did Scott notice that Alex had moved the TV set in from the living room. “Some TV would be nice. Thank you for bringing it in here.” He looked around for the remote control. That was when he saw the cordless telephone. He picked it up. “Where did this come from?”

“I bought it. There was no phone in this room and people will be wanting to speak with you. It comes with two handsets and has an intercom feature. If you hold down the ’1′ my handset will buzz. You’ll always have me within easy reach.”

“I’ll use this only if you let me pay for it. No discussion.”

“… Well … Ok.”

Alex sat down and they watched TV together. At ten o’clock, Scott said “I’d like to sack out now, it’s been a long day. In the hospital they get you up early.”

Alex helped Scott to lie down and get into a comfortable position. Then he adjusted the pillows, pulled up the blanket and made it snug all around.

Scott grinned. “Tucking me in. I could get used to this.”

Alex affected a wicked smile and rubbed his hands together in the manner of an old silent-film villain as he spoke in the most sinister voice he could summon up: “You had better, because now that I have you in my power I plan to spoil you rotten.”

Scott had been asleep for several hours when he shifted in bed and the drag of the casts brought him awake. Happening to look to the side, he saw Alex sprawled on the floor. “ALEX?” he shouted in alarm.

Alex’s eyes popped open and he jumped to his feet. “Are you ok, do you need something?”

“No, you scared me! I thought you had passed out, I was ready to call 911! What are you doing here?”

“I’m sleeping in your room tonight. This is your first day out of the hospital, I wanted to be close by in case anything goes wrong.”

“I have a phone with your number on speed dial! Get out of here, go to bed!”

Then more softly: “Alex I appreciate all you’re doing but you have to back off, you can’t watch over me every minute. Now please, go to bed.”

When Alex answered the door the next afternoon, he was greeted by a man holding a covered casserole: “Hi, I don’t know if you remember me, I’m Pete Ryan.”

“Yes Detective Ryan, I remember you from the hospital. Come in. Can I get you something, juice, or―”

“No, you have plenty to do as it is. Scott told me on the phone this morning that you’re serving as his ’round-the-clock aide.” Detective Ryan handed the casserole to Alex. “My wife said this would be a better gift than a book or one of those gift baskets. It should be enough for both your dinners, you just need to reheat it. Could I see Scott or is he sleeping?”

“No he’s up” Alex said, pointing down the hall. “It’s the second door on the right.”

Coming back into the living room a short time later, Detective Ryan said: “He looks weak, Alex. Take good care of him, you don’t find people like Scott very often.”

“I will.”

Alex’s laconic reply prompted a question from the detective: “How much do you know about him?”

“Very little other than how generous he’s been to me. He doesn’t talk about himself.”

“Yeah, that’s Scott. I don’t know a lot about him either but I can tell you his history at the Third Precinct: Scott makes no secret of being gay and although times are changing, most police organizations haven’t yet given up their macho culture. Anyone at our precinct who’s even suspected of being gay is given such a bad time that they usually quit within a year. Scott had it pretty rough in the beginning, but after a few months nobody wanted to hassle him anymore, there were too many things about him that they had to admire. For instance he refuses to take credit for anything; he says the credit belongs to the team. And while he was only a rookie cop he pulled all the occupants out of a burning car, knowing that it could explode at any time and incinerate him. There are still a couple of hidebound types who give him the cold shoulder, but the rest of us think the world of Scott.” Detective Ryan looked at his watch. “I have to go now, my dinner will be waiting. I’m glad we had a chance to talk.”

Alex opened the door for him. “Please tell your wife I said thanks for the food. And thank you for telling me about Scott.”

Following breakfast the next morning, Alex took the bed tray out to the kitchen and reentered a while later with a basin, which he put on a bedside table. Scott heard water sloshing around in the basin.

Alex went out again and came back with a washcloth and a bar of soap. “Time to get you squeaky clean.”

“You’ve got to be kidding.”

“The post-op instructions say you’re to be washed every other day.”

Scott was already chafing under the daily indignity of the bedpan and the humiliation of being wiped by Alex. He did not want to have his most intimate body parts washed by this young man. So to delay a bed bath until it could be done by the visiting nurse, he said: “This isn’t any other day.”

Alex began to unbutton Scott’s pajama shirt. “Clever, but not original. You’re quoting a character in ‘Through the Looking Glass’.”

Scott’s eyes opened wide in surprise. “You’ve read ‘Through the Looking Glass’?”

“It was in your bookcase. Which reminds me, I’ve been meaning to ask: Why do you keep it around? I have to admit it held my interest, but it’s obviously meant for children.”

“I keep it around because it’s far more than a simple children’s book, it’s an ingenious, multi-level work. On the surface it’s a children’s story but much of the narrative is also meant for adults, that’s why it held your interest. There are sophisticated jokes and plays on words like the one about the expression ‘every other day’; there are conversations about logic; there’s an implicit puzzle for mathematicians; and one passage would even appeal to philosophers. As if that weren’t enough, the icing on the metaphorical cake is that except for an inaccuracy or two, the novel depicts a real chess game.”

Alex had finished unbuttoning the pajama shirt. After an awed glance at the brawny chest he had just uncovered, he said: “I’d like you to explain all that to me some day, but for now hold your good arm back so I can get this off you.”

Looking annoyed, Scott let Alex remove the pajama shirt.

Alex washed Scott’s face, neck, and broad shoulders. Then he had Scott lean forward and washed his back. Scott was tense at first, but he relaxed under the warmth of the washcloth as it glided over his smooth skin.

Alex now returned to that brawny chest, where he took the opportunity to teasingly circle each nipple with a finger as he washed his way downward over the muscular expanse. When he had gotten past the surgical dressing, he said: “Now I’m going to put you on your tummy.”

“My tummy? You really are thinking of me as a young child.”

“No, just feeling affectionate” Alex said as he moved the pillows out of the way.

He laid Scott down and opened the snap at the waist of the pajama pants. Then he rolled Scott over, pulled the pajama pants down and dealt with that splendid behind, running his washcloth over the shapely cheeks and through the cleft, taking his time about it. When he decided that he had to move on, he pulled the pajama pants all the way off and washed the foot that was not enclosed in a cast before starting up the uninjured leg. He was very attentive to the inner thigh, which he massaged as much as washed. Scott’s breathing became more and more rapid as Alex’s hand moved upward.

When Alex reached Scott’s crotch, he spread the newly-washed cheeks and ran a soapy finger back and forth between Scott’s pucker and the area just behind Scott’s plump pouch. He applied a pulsating pressure as he worked, knowing the result it would produce.

In less than a minute Scott’s breathing had become so fast that he was in danger of hyperventilating.

“Ok” Alex said after rinsing the area, “Let’s get you turned over again so I can do the rest.”

When he turned Scott he was delighted to see the throbbing erection he had brought about. “You have beautiful balls” he remarked, soaping and rinsing them before turning his attention to that erection, which had twitched when those beautiful balls felt the caress of the warm washcloth. The fingers that had bestowed the caress now wrapped around Scott’s shaft and raised it vertical. Lubricated with soap, they glided up and down. Each time they reached the tip, Scott felt his penis’s engorged crown rubbed expertly between thumb and forefinger. He was panting. “Please finish there and go somewhere else.”

“I’ve washed everything else” Alex pointed out. “Besides, I’m having fun.”

Scott’s erection began to drool. A rivulet of clear liquid ran over Alex’s hand. “Please, Alex” Scott begged.

“Ok.”

Alex rinsed the stiff penis and dried it. But he didn’t let go. “This is so nice and clean now, it looks good enough to eat.” And he slid it into his mouth, taking in the entire length.

“Alex, stop!” Scott shouted. “You shouldn’t do this!”

Alex did stop, but only to say “You have a very tasty dick, you know that? And believe me I’ve tasted a fair number of them.” He then took the penis back into his mouth and gave Scott the benefit of the skills he had acquired while working the streets: He cushioned the shaft and its rubbery crown on his tongue and did things with it that sent waves of pleasure through Scott. Then he sealed his lips around the shaft and began to move the penis in and out. Scott writhed on the mattress, putting his casts at risk. “Alex pull away, I’m getting close!”

Alex began to hum. That took Scott past the point of no return; he pumped out the deluge that had built up in the hospital. Alex couldn’t swallow fast enough to keep some from escaping through the lips he was trying to keep tightly clasped around the gushing member. White streams ran down his chin and dripped off.

Afterward, Scott lay still, coming down from his stupendous orgasm. Then he said “You took advantage of a helpless invalid.”

But on his face was a beatific smile.

“Yup, and a good thing I did” Alex declared, wiping his dripping chin with the back of his hand. “At least judging from the amount of cum stored in these balls.” He cupped them lovingly. “You’re lucky they hadn’t exploded.”

“You didn’t have to do it.”

“I enjoyed it. And from the sounds you made I know you did too. But if you want, you can think of it as a medical treatment. I’ll be giving you these treatments on a regular basis.”

Detective Parker, who arrived the next afternoon, did not greet Alex with the friendliness Pete Ryan had shown. In fact he did not greet Alex at all; his only words as he handed him a container of food, were: “This is cooked. Where’s Scott?”

When Detective Parker came out of the master bedroom he said: “I just told Scott the plan we came up with at a special squad meeting last night: Every afternoon one of us will bring a cooked dinner, and two days a week someone will stay with him so you can have the days off. We’ll put you up in a hotel, your meals will be prepaid, and we’ll give you some cash in case you want to see a movie or something. You and Scott can work out whether to make it two separate days or two days together.”

“Wow, it’s wonderful of you guys to do all that for me!”

Detective Parker regarded him icily. “For you? Don’t kid yourself, most of us wouldn’t give you a wad of used chewing gum. We’re doing it for Scott. He thinks you’re working too hard, he’s concerned for your health. It’s really upsetting him. For some crazy reason he loves you.”

Alex disregarded Detective Parker’s hostility; there was something far more important in his words: “Scott said he loves me?”

“No, he didn’t have to. After what you did to him anyone else would have kicked you to the curb. Instead, he took you back in. If that isn’t love I don’t know what is.”

“He told me you guys talked him into it.”

“He only thinks we did. We saw that walking away from you was ripping his heart out so we asked him if he wasn’t being too hasty. He said that on second thought we were right, he should give you another chance. That was what we expected; we knew he just needed an excuse to take you back. Now he says you’ve turned over a new leaf. I doubt it. I wouldn’t put it past you to let him down again.”

“I won’t. I love him.”

“Easy to say. For all I know you just don’t want to lose your free room and board.”

When Detective Parker had gone, Alex went in and asked Scott: “Do you want me to take two separate days or two contiguous days?”

Scott smiled. “The GED study has done wonders for your vocabulary; you’ve begun using words like ‘contiguous’ and ‘furtive’. As to your question, the decision should be yours.”

“Then I’ll take two separate days.”

“Are you sure that’s what you want? You can’t unwind in just a single day.”

“Even one day is more than I’d like: I worry about you when I’m not nearby. As it is, I’ll spend the whole time afraid that maybe something bad has happened and whoever is here doesn’t know what to do. A single day away will make me uneasy; two days in a row would be torture.”

“Alex these are experienced people, I’ll be fine with any of them while you’re away. And I’ll feel much better knowing that you have the time off. I love you, I can’t stand to see you half killing yourself looking after me.”

This was the second time Scott had said that he loved Alex, and Detective Parker believed that he did. However, Scott himself had pointed out that there are different kinds of love, so Alex felt that the question was far from settled, and he could no longer bear the uncertainty. He braced himself and went all out for a definitive answer: “You mean you love me as a friend.”

Scott ignored the implied question. “Would you fix these pillows, they’ve gotten all disarranged.”

Scott’s unwillingness to answer him dashed Alex’s hopes. He walked dejectedly to the bed.

As he reached for a pillow he was yanked forward so forcefully that he lost his balance and fell against Scott, who clamped an arm around him and gave him a passionate kiss. “I love you in every sense of that word.”

Alex lay there, overwhelmed. Then he asked: “Why didn’t you tell me?”

“I told you the day you brought me home from the hospital.”

“Yes you said you love me but you didn’t tell me in what way. Remember you’re the one who said there’s more than one kind of love.”

“You’re right” Scott conceded, softly stroking Alex’s back. “I should have told you exactly how I felt. I’m sorry.”

Alex kissed him. “Apology accepted. Now if you release me I’ll go heat up our dinner.”

Chapter 9
Almost every day, Scott was visited by one or another of his fellow detectives. Some of them spent part of the time chatting amiably with Alex, but others were curt and some expressed open antagonism toward him. Alex was polite to everyone, though it was challenging with a few and above all with Detective Parker, who never seemed to tire of making scornful remarks.

Alex eventually became convinced that the people who replaced him each week were fully competent. He was no longer nervous about spending time away from the house. Nonetheless, every time he got back from a day off he would hurry into the master bedroom and ask: “Is everything alright, do you need anything, are you hungry? It wouldn’t take me any time at all to whip up a snack.”

One day Scott said: “I’ve never met anyone who’s so keen about cooking.”

Alex was visibly hurt. “That’s not why I asked if you’re hungry.”

“Oh Alex I know you ask because you care about me. I was simply commenting on how you love to cook. Do you think you’d like to make it a career?”

“You bet I would! Should I try for a job as a cook when you’re back on your feet?”

“Before we discuss that, there’s something I need to tell you: Remember the night I was dealing with a hostage crisis and I didn’t come home until morning?”

“Yes, can’t this wait until you answer―”

Scott interrupted: “I never did get around to telling you any more about it. I need to do that now, so please bear with me.” He patted a place next to him on the bed. “Come sit here, this won’t take long.”

Reluctantly, Alex walked over and sat down on the bed to listen.

“The hostages were taken in the course of a restaurant robbery, and when we surrounded the place the robber threatened to kill them unless we gave him safe passage out of there. I kept him talking long enough to satisfy myself that he didn’t want to die in a shootout with the police. Then I explained that we couldn’t let him walk away so his best option was to surrender while he was only guilty of robbery and not murder. He tried for a deal but when I just repeated that surrender was his best option, he gave up. I believe the murder threat was just a bluff but the hostages insist that I saved their lives, and one of them is the chef. When he heard I had been in the hospital he called to ask if there was anything he could do for me. I said I would welcome some advice. I told him about you, said I believe you could cook professionally, and asked what he would recommend as a good way to get into the field. He said you should start out by working for an established chef, and allowed as to how he could always use another capable assistant. The position is yours any time you want it.”

Alex’s jaw dropped. Then he threw his arms around Scott.

“Hey!” Scott yelled, “Watch out for the casts! I don’t need these bones broken again.”

Alex released him. “Sorry.” He gave Scott a big, sloppy kiss. “You’re the best!”

Late that evening, Alex walked into the master bedroom wondering why Scott hadn’t called to be tucked in. He found him watching television. “It’s close to midnight, don’t you want to go to sleep?”

Scott waited for a round of commercials to start before he turned away from the screen. “I’m not tired, I get plenty of sleep during the day. These casts keep me from doing much else. With all those daytime naps I’ve been sleeping poorly at night, so I’m going to stay up until I get so drowsy that I’ll conk out as soon as I lie down. But you should go to bed, I can lie down without help.”

Alex took the remote control from Scott and muted the TV.

“Hey don’t kid around, give that back!” Scott demanded. “The commercials will be over in a minute, I don’t want to miss the end of this program!”

“I have a question” Alex said. “And please tell the truth, I won’t be offended: If we were strangers and I flirted with you, would you have had sex with me?”

“If I wasn’t in a relationship and an incredibly attractive young man came on to me? I would jump at the chance!”

“That’s all I needed to know.”

“Good” Scott said, glancing at the TV. “Now give back my remote control, the commercial break is over.”

As if Alex had not heard the request, he began to undress, drawing out the process in what was unmistakably intended as a striptease.

Images were moving silently on the TV screen, but Scott’s attention was now elsewhere: He was watching, entranced, as Alex removed items of clothing one by one, at a provocatively slow pace.

Finally, Alex’s naked body came slowly into view. The exercise room had served him well: Gone was his former chubbiness; he now had an athletic figure with prominent biceps, robust pectorals, and firm, muscled thighs. No wonder he could so easily lift and carry Scott.

He could also be proud of what was projecting straight out below a dark brown bush.

When Alex had finished undressing, he walked to the bed and took the supporting pillows away, forcing Scott to lie down. Then he stood with the purplish head of his erect penis tantalizingly close to Scott’s face as he leaned over, pulled the covers all the way down, and opened Scott’s pajama pants.

Scott knew that he could not prevent whatever was about to happen, and looking at the enticing body that loomed over him, truth to tell he didn’t want to. He was achingly hard.

Alex took a tube of lubricant from a drawer in one of the bedside tables, climbed onto the bed, and held Scott’s eyes as he knelt, straddling him. Then, after squeezing some lubricant from the tube, he reached back and greased Scott’s rigid shaft liberally before aiming the slicked member and lowering himself onto it. Thanks to the sphincter control he had developed as a rent boy, it entered him easily. He sank down, sighing with pleasure as Scott’s big penis disappeared between his cheeks and filled him.

Despite the leg cast, Scott tried to push up and meet Alex’s approach.

When Alex felt his cheeks pressing on Scott’s hips, he rose all the way and then sank back down again, listening to the euphoric moans floating up from the man underneath him.

He made himself tighter.

It did not take many passes of Alex’s tightened sphincter running up and down Scott’s shaft before Scott roared, shooting far up into Alex, who kept moving, determined to coax out every drop.

When the last spurts ended, Alex sat there for a few moments, savoring the feel of Scott’s penis inside him. Then he pulled up and off. As he climbed from the bed, a white trickle emerged from his cleft and ran down his leg.

Scott lay still, satiated and smiling. “Was that for getting you the job?”

Alex wiped his leg. “No, it was mostly because I love you.” He began putting his clothes back on.

“So it was for my pleasure alone? And what you’ve been giving me almost every night that you call medical treatments, are they only for my pleasure?”

“Absolutely not! Everything about you is a turn-on for me, Scott. I love having your dick in my mouth, I love drinking your cum, and you have no idea how long I’ve been looking for a chance to ride your dick. I knew it would be great, and it was even better than I expected. It got me so hot that if I hadn’t stopped I would have cum soon after you did, without even touching myself.”

“Then why did you stop?”

“Because if I kept going after you came, it wouldn’t feel good to you anymore.”

“Next time don’t stop, ok?”

A pause. “Ok.”

Scott held out his hand. “Come here.”

Alex finished dressing and walked to the bed.

Scott threw his casted leg over the uninjured one, flipping him onto his side. He was now facing Alex. “I discovered I can do that, I hope you’re impressed.” He reached out and fondled Alex’s crotch. “You know, there are things I can do for you even before the casts come off.”

“You don’t have to do anything.”

The growing outline in Alex’s pants showed Scott the effect he was having. “I’ll enjoy this” he said, unbuckling Alex’s belt. He tried to open the pants but limited to one available hand, he was struggling. Alex helped out. The pants fell to his ankles.

The shapes displayed by the bulge at the front of Alex’s white briefs were a reminder of what would meet Scott’s eyes when he pulled down the front. Indeed, one quick downward yank and Alex’s seven-inch erection sprang out.

Scott told him to get closer. He moved up against the bed. Scott reached around, pulled down the back of the briefs and held a warm cheek as he put his lips on the mushroom crown of Alex’s erection and pushed forward, bringing it all the way to the back of his throat. Still holding the cheek, he pulled back and began repeating his cycle, adding a demonstration that he too had a very talented tongue.

What he was doing brought rapturous cries from Alex, culminating in a torrent that filled Scott’s mouth. He drank eagerly.

“Wow!” said Alex afterward through heavy breathing. “And I thought I was good at that.”

Chapter 10
Under Alex’s diligent care, Scott’s recovery proceeded at a rate that surprised and pleased his doctors. Alex liked to think that their lovemaking, now a nightly event, was a major factor.

Alex’s situation also improved: Scott spoke to everyone so glowingly of Alex’s devoted service, that there was a change in the hostile visitors: Their antagonism abated, and some even became friendly. The one holdout was Detective Parker, who gave no indication that his opinion of Alex had changed. As he was about to leave at the end of one visit, he looked at Alex’s empty shirt pocket and asked derisively: “Been hiding your cigarettes so Scott will think you’ve stopped smoking?”

“I’m not hiding anything. I don’t smoke anymore.”

“What happened, some doctor scare you shitless?”

“No, I did it for Scott. I stopped two months ago.”

“Just like that. Cold turkey.”

“Yes.”

In a tone ringing with skepticism, Detective Parker said: “Smokers who used to be heroin addicts have told me that even quitting heroin is easier than quitting cigarettes. What gave you the moxie to do it in one shot?”

“Thankfulness that he’s not gone from my life.”

“Are you talking about him changing his mind after saying he was through with you? That was more than a year ago, you must need one hell of a long time to make decisions.”

“No, I’m talking about three months ago when he was wounded and nearly died. Sitting next to his bed in the ICU, I had a lot of time to think. I was ashamed that I hadn’t done more to show him how grateful I am that he took me in, educated me, opened possibilities that I thought I would never have. He gave me a whole new life, and now before I had done nearly enough to show my gratitude, his own life hung by a thread. The more I thought about it the more I came to believe that if there is such a thing as karma I was going to lose Scott, because I didn’t really deserve him. In desperation I prayed to whatever higher powers there may be, vowing that if he recovered I would make myself into someone who is worthy of him, and the first thing I would do is give up cigarettes. I knew it would be tough, I tried to stop when I first came here and he said my smoking made him sad. I couldn’t do it then, and by the time he got wounded I was going through two packs a day. It’s still a battle, but whenever I crave a cigarette I think of how unhappy it would make Scott and how much I love him. That stops me. I haven’t smoked since the morning I brought him back home.”

For once, Detective Parker left without a sarcastic parting word.

Chapter 11
The cold, snowy winter had given way to a warm sunny spring when Alex entered the master bedroom one afternoon and pulled Scott’s blanket down. Leaning over the bed, he tapped his shoulder.

It had become a standard signal; Scott put his uninjured arm around Alex’s shoulders and Alex picked him up.

“Where are you taking me?” Scott asked as he was carried from the room.

“Outside.”

Through the open door to the backyard, Scott saw that his lawn was populated with tables and chairs, and standing among them were the other detectives in his squad. Some of the tables were covered with food. One held a candle-festooned cake.

Alex brought Scott out onto the lawn, where he was greeted with a unison cry of “Happy birthday!”

Someone lit the candles.

Scott beamed. “Guys, I don’t know what to say!”

“You could say thank you” someone suggested as Alex was lowering Scott carefully onto a chaise lounge. “But not to us. Alex did all this. As if he didn’t have enough work taking care of you, he made all this food and set up the lawn furniture. He said the only thing he wanted us to do was be here for the party.”

Alex had now finished arranging Scott on the chaise lounge and was unfolding a blanket. He turned toward the voice.

And almost dropped the blanket – the speaker was Detective Parker.

Scott smiled up at Alex. “This is sensational! Thank you!”

Detective Parker frowned. “That’s it? Thanks and a smile? After everything he’s done for you? Maybe I should go through the list. And these are just the things I know about.” Detective Parker pretended to count on his fingers: “He kicked a heavy smoking habit for you.” One finger was extended. “He was giving you most of his pay until he quit his job so he could dedicate himself entirely to your care.” That required two more fingers. “Because we’re helping you, he took a boatload of crap from some of us and from me in particular, without ever telling any of us to fuck off. And he must have run himself ragged putting this party together while still giving you the awesome care you’ve been telling us about. Let’s see, is there anything else, I’ll need the other hand. Oh there is one more thing I could mention: He’s changed completely for you, Scott! Aren’t you at least going to kiss him?”

Scott’s shocked expression drew a snort from Parker. “Don’t look at me like that, we all know how you two feel about each other. So kiss him!”

When there was still no response from Scott, the other detectives began chanting “Kiss him! Kiss him! K―”

“Alright, alright!” Scott said, laughing. “I yield to public opinion.” He reached up. “Get that exquisite face down here.”

It was a deep, lingering kiss. Everyone applauded.

Following the removal of Scott’s casts at the beginning of the summer, he was given physical therapy to restore the muscles that had gone unused for so long. He put maximum effort into the exercises, anxious to free Alex from the burden of attending to his every need. By the end of the summer he could manage on his own in the house, and Alex started as an assistant to the chef.

Seeing how creatively Alex dealt with the variety of challenges his tasks presented, the chef said: “Detective Henderson is right, you have a flair for this. If you ever want to apply to culinary school you can count on me for a recommendation.”

Scott returned to work after two more weeks at home. The evening of his first day back, he proposed to Alex.

Alex gaped at him.

“We can have the ceremony in Boston” Scott told him. “Same-sex marriage is legal in Massachusetts and we don’t have to be residents. It won’t be recognized in Colorado but that’s just a matter of time, there’s a growing trend in this country.”

Alex remained open-mouthed.

“Well?” Scott asked. “Will you marry me or not?”

Chapter 12
Scott had proposed in the autumn of 2010. It was now the autumn of 2015 and this month would mark their fifth wedding anniversary.

There were also two other events that warranted celebration: Recently Alex had graduated from Escoffier, a renowned culinary institute, and the United States Supreme Court had struck down all laws banning marriage between people of the same sex. Their marriage was already recognized in Colorado, gay marriage having been legalized there the previous year; now it would be recognized throughout the United States.

They decided to celebrate the three events together by hosting a catered dinner party. Since they had chosen to keep Alex’s culinary pursuits private, the invitations mentioned only the anniversary and the Supreme Court decision.

The party was a jubilant affair, with jokes about their now being an old married couple and wisecracks about Scott having robbed the cradle. At one point he demanded: “When will you all stop taunting me about Alex being a few years younger than me?”

Detective Ryan spoke for everyone: “Never.”

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That night, after they made love Alex snuggled up and said: “I’m glad you didn’t tell anyone about Escoffier before the party.”

“Why?” Scott asked, holding him close.

“Because I wouldn’t have had the fun of seeing the looks on people’s faces when they asked you to give their compliments to the chef and you pointed to me.

“Yes, I got a kick out of that too.”

All at once Alex gave Scott a fiery kiss.

Scott drew back. “What was that for? Don’t get me wrong, it was terrific. I’m just curious.”

“If not for you, I would probably be spending my life going in and out of prison. Or I would be dead by now. That’s another life you’ve saved.”

Scott ran a hand tenderly over Alex’s face. “You saved your own life. I only helped.”

“I expect we’ll always disagree about that.”

Scott pulled Alex close again and said: “In case you don’t know it, I love you with all my heart.”

“I love you more.”

Scott grinned. “I expect we’ll always disagree about that.”

For several minutes, neither one spoke. Then Scott said: “You know, they’re right: I did rob the cradle. And no matter how old we get to be, I’ll always think of you as my young husband.”

Alex kissed him again. “I like that.”

They lapsed once more into silence. Soon, Alex was asleep. Scott remained awake a while longer, looking adoringly at Alex and thinking how much better his own life had become since he took in the teenage boy who everyone else had rejected. He was happier now than he could ever have imagined.

That thought was still in his mind as he drifted off to sleep with his young husband in his arms.

Written By: Ralphy NJ

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More to come! Let me know what you think and don’t hesitate to comment me ideas of what you’d like to read next. Thanks for reading, I hoped you enjoyed it.

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