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Protecting David-Alex's Story
--- Chapter 8 ---
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Protecting David-Alex’s Story 8

After an afternoon of swimming, eating, laughing and talking Larry and I finally get away from Chris and Jason about eight o’clock. The light of the day is fading quickly and the sun is well below the western hills.

In the car we really kiss for the first time since this morning. His mouth covered mine and our tongues fought it out. I could cry with the amount of need that I have for him.

We drive down the hill from their house and in a couple of blocks we’re at the intersection at Sand Hill road. I reach over and take Larry’s hand. “You had a good time didn’t you? They’re good guys.”

I feel Larry’s body tense and straighten and he yells, “Alex!”

Ellen Morgan drank too much, her husband was on the verge of divorcing her, her daughter was married to a man who couldn’t hold a job and didn’t care, and she had just been hit with a property tax bill that she couldn’t pay and on top of that she had just run out of cigarettes. In seconds none of that would matter because Ellen Morgan would be dead and she was beginning to realize that.

In some part of her brain she knew that there was a silver car sitting at the stop sign up ahead but the exploding pain that was consuming her chest made all else seem as nothing and even now a darkness that had been at the edges of her eyes was closing in.

The, essentially driverless 4000 pound car, veered slightly to the right of where it should have been and plowed into Alex’s BMW going fifty miles an hour. The impact was just behind the driver’s seat and sent the smaller car into a wrenching twisting flip that ended in the drainage ditch while the demolished Mercedes continued on into the wooded area off to the right.

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David and Mark

The Gulfstream G550 flew out over the Pacific in a wide banking arc and crossed back over land well south of San Francisco and just north of San Jose. It was losing altitude quickly now and as it dipped down below the cloud cover David was able to look out the window and see the lights of the peninsula off to his left and directly below the reflection of those lights shimmering off of the bay.

There was a distinguished gray haired man sitting across from David and he said with a heavy German accent, “David, the plane is yours for as long as you need it. Just tell the pilot. They will do what you require.”

David looks away from the window. “Thank you, Jon but you’ve done more than enough. I’ll be here for a week at least. I’ll catch a commercial flight. Besides, Mark will be here in a couple of hours and he may have other ideas. In any event please pass on my sincere thanks. The Zander Gruppe has always been very kind.”

The man asked, “What will you do when we land?”

David said. “I’m being met. Mark has a friend here who’s an Army doctor. He went to the hospital and checked on Alex for us. He’ll meet us and fill me in.”

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The limousine pulled up to the stopped plane and David walked over to it just as the back door opened. A man of about fifty with close-cropped hair and a military bearing got out and shook David’s hand. He pointed at the car.

“It’s not mine. I guess that you arranged for it. They paged me at the hospital and said that it was waiting for me.” He looked at the car like he still couldn’t believe that it was there.

“Doctor, we really appreciate you doing this for us. I just spoke with Mark and he’ll meet us at the hospital in an hour or so. But there’s no reason for you to stay. I just need you to fill me in on Alex’s condition.”

They climbed into the back of the car and as it began to move the doctor explained what had happened.

“The lady driving the Mercedes had a heart attack. She was probably dead before the impact. She impacted the boy’s car right about on the left rear door and that caused the BMW to flip over to the right and at the same time it flipped front to back. It’s a solid car and it had side impact airbags, which helped a lot. Alex was closest to the impact and he got hit the worst. The other fella pretty much was able to walk away although I tried to get him to stay in the hospital so that they could check him over. Internal injuries are common with this type of accident but you never know.”
]
“ Your friends Chris and Jason heard the impact but it sounded pretty distant to them and they really didn’t understand what was going on until the ambulance was already there. They stayed at the hospital until all of the tests where done and it became clear that all of the damage to Alex is superficial. I finally got them to go home around two in the morning.”

David finally spoke. “Why is Alex in the ICU?”

“Because he was unconscious for a while. The doctors just want to monitor him through the night………..plus the fact that he’s in some pain. They also did a CAT scan to make sure that everything was okay with his internal organs. Most of his injuries are bruising or muscle tearing injuries. He’s gonna ache like hell but I believe he’ll be fine. They may even have moved him to a regular room by now.”

David asked, “Alex’s friend………..he was okay?”

“We think so. I got a stethoscope on him for about thirty seconds. He wants to be with Alex and that wasn’t always possible. I haven’t seen him for a while, maybe he went back to the university.”

David looked at him but said nothing.

As the limo pulled up to the hospital the doctor said, “He’s in room four of the ICU……unless the moved him.

David turned and shook hands with the man. He said to the limo driver. “Take the doctor wherever he wants to go, drop my bags at the St. Francis and have someone meet me here at seven.”

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David walked into the ICU and found room four. The lights had been turned down so that those who could sleep did and when he looked in room four he saw only a blanket-covered figure. He walked slowly into the room and beside the bed saw a sleeping man curled up into a ball that he assumed to be Larry. He stepped carefully over him and bent over the bed and looked at Alex’s battered face. There were just bruises, the result of being in a car that had been flipped over and spun around. He glanced at the instrument readouts over the bed and after a moment he bent over and kissed Alex on the forehead.

David hunkered down next to Larry. He reached forward and touched the boy’s hair. There was blood in Larry’s hair and his sleep was restless. So much worry for a young man to deal with. David stood and stared down at the boy. Finally he bent back down and touched the boy’s shoulder.

“Larry!” His voice was a whisper “Larry!”

Larry said, “Alex?”

“No, Larry, my name is, David. I’m one of Alex’s dads” He pulled a semiconscious Larry up by the shoulder. Larry stood shakily and blinked away sleep

Larry was slowly gathering his wits and said, “How…..when did you get here?”

David moved Larry toward the hallway. “I flew in a little while ago. I need to talk to you. Can we get a cup of coffee?”

Larry said, “Wait!” and he went back and leaned over the sleeping figure and then lightly touched Alex’s hair. Finally he turned to David and whispered. “He seems okay….don’t you think?”

David said, “Where are your shoes?”

Larry looked down at his bare feet and then up at David. “I dunno. I…I’m sure that I had shoes on………..before the accident.”

David put his hand gently on Larry’s back. “It’s okay, we’ll get you shoes……and after all this is California.”

Neither one of them was familiar with the hospital and it took awhile but finally they found the coffee shop and slid into a booth.

They ordered coffee and the David asked, “Have you called your parents?”

Larry’s head was down and he just shook it. “I’m not hurt. A little achy but it’ll go away.”

“Larry, what’s your last name?”

“Donovan.” He sighed.

David said, “Donovan Sintered Metal?”

Larry looked up slowly. “How’d you know that?”

“A guess. I heard of the company………..somewhere.”

A voice boomed out and Larry jumped. “There you are! Jesus you’re hard to find.”

Mark put one knee on the seat of the booth and leaned forward and kissed David on the lips. Then he took one look at Larry and instead of sitting next to David he slid in next to Larry.

He grabbed Larry’s hand and shook it. “I’m Mark……………Alex’s other dad.” He smiled. “Must get confusing.” Larry just looked back with a stunned look on his face.

Mark looked at Larry for a moment and then said, “Son, are you feeling okay?”

Larry stared down at the table and his hands began to tremble. Finally he put his hands shakily to his face and said forcefully, “No! I’m not fucking feeling okay! The only person…that I ever loved…who loved me back…was almost killed today and I’m not fucking feeling okay! I feel like shit! I…..”

Mark put his arm around the trembling boy and pulled him over and hugged him. Larry was crying and exhausted and finally let himself be held until he eventually collapsed sobbing against Mark. Instinctively Mark turned and kissed the top of Larry’s head. He looked across the table into David’s green eyes and wondered for the millionth time what he was planning.

Mark said quietly to David, “You might as well tell me. I know that you’ve already made up your mind about what needs to be done and it’ll save a lot of time if you just give it to me all at once.”

David slid slowly around the circular booth until he was next to Larry but on the other side from Mark. He rested his hand lightly on the boy’s head.

“I want to buy a condo or townhouse near the university. Alex is going to need some space to heal in….what with maybe needing a wheelchair…and other things.” David waved his hand. “But the important thing is that they need space, they need a home.” He sighed. “I wanted to be sure about how they felt about each other………but I guess that’s obvious.”

Mark said. “David, didn’t we go through this in the beginning. The school wants first year students to be in the dorms.”

“I feel certain that I can convince them that my idea is best.”

Mark smiled broadly. “Sweetheart, there’s no doubt in my mind that you can.” He looked down at Larry still in his arms and spoke to him quietly.

“You want us to call your mom and dad?”

Larry disengaged himself from Mark’s arms and sat up. He ran his fingers through his hair and seemed to pull himself together. “No. I’m okay.” He picked up his coffee cup with both hands and drank it all. He looked at David. “Did you mean what you said about a condo………….for Alex and me?”

David looked at Larry for several seconds and then said, “Yes.”

Larry said quietly, “You don’t know me.”

David glanced up at Mark and then said to Larry. “In a way I feel that I do. And………the worst thing that could happen is that you two would break up and in that case I could always sell the condo or rent it, in a way it’s just another kind of dorm.” He put his hand on Larry’s shoulder. “But I don’t think that you’re going to break up.”

Larry looked intently at David and said, “We’re not gonna break up. I’m never gonna leave Alex………..and I pray to God he never leaves me.” He started to get up. “Lemme out. I gotta see how he’s doing.”

Mark slid out of the booth and Larry followed and then strode off it the direction of the ICU.

Mark put one elbow on the table and laid his face on his palm and with his other hand he played with the salt and pepper shakers. He spoke quietly to David. “You’re not afraid that they’re too young?”

David spoke carefully. “They are young but I’m not sure that that’s necessarily a bad thing.” He reached over and touched the tips of Mark’s fingers with his own. “Larry reminds me of you. I guess that’s why I like him.”

Mark smiled. “Me? I was never that young.”

David said. “He loves Alex, that much is for certain. He’s honest………brave………..straightforward. I think that he’s good for Alex……..and I think that Alex is probably good for him.” David yawned and rested his chin on his fist. “Lord, I’m tired! By the way, we’ve got a room at the St. Francis if we ever get a chance to use it. Did I tell you that I met Larry’s mom and dad once?”

Mark sat up. “No you didn’t. Was this before or after the guys became roommates?”

David looked up and smiled. “You’re so suspicious. It was a couple of years ago. Some big cocktail party thing that we did for potential investors………his dad’s nice………..his mom is one of those women that makes you wonder why the guy married her. Nice family company though……..started by the grandfather.”

Mark said. “Alex told me that they had virtually kicked Larry out because he’s gay. Send him here to get him away from them.”

David yawned again. “I could see the mother doing that but not the dad.”

Mark reached over and held David’s hand. “So how much is this condo gonna cost?”

“Well, till we find one no one knows but my guess is that we could buy Milwaukee for less. I’ve got someone working on it.” Mark groaned in mock despair.

David said. “Did you stop and see Alex?”

“Just for a second. He was asleep but other than superficial stuff he didn’t look too bad.”

David looked at his watch. “It’s almost six. Let’s get back there and see what’s going on. The doctors should be moving around soon.”

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Mark and David stopped in the hallway outside of Alex’s room. Like all of the rooms in the ICU this one had a large window and they could see Larry standing next to the bed holding Alex’s hand. The boys were talking quietly and then Larry bent and wrapped his arms gently around Alex’s head and then slowly kissed him. They both looked up when David and Mark walked in.

When Alex saw David and Mark he began to speak but then seemed to choke up as David bent over the bed to kiss him. Larry tried to move away but Mark held him by the arm. Larry tried to pull away but looked up at Mark’s face and then seemed to relax. Mark put his arm around Larry’s neck and pulled him close.

David looked into Alex’s eyes. “How bad are you hurt?”

Alex wiped his eyes with the back of his hands and said, “They said that I’m okay. It hurts a lot though.” David lifted the edge of the blanket and looked at what he could see of Alex’s body. He sighed.

David touched Alex’s face. “Nothing bad is gonna happen. The bad part is over.” David looked around. “I’m gonna see if I can talk to a doctor.”

He turned to Larry. “I want you to allow a doctor to really examine you.” Larry started to protest but David interrupted him. “I don’t want to be in the position of explaining to your parents that you could have been saved from dying if we had only insisted on an examination.” David turned to Alex.

“Alex, we need to have a doctor examine him and he’s been so busy making himself crazy over your condition that he hasn’t allowed that. Get him to agree.”

Alex lifted his head. “Larry, just fucking do it. Do it for me.”

Larry looked up at Mark in frustration. Mark smiled and said, “You have no idea what you’re up against.”

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