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Monday, September 7, 2015

TLR Chapter 1

Jaxon pulled himself out of the cold water.  He knew he was on private property but if he didn't get a fire going he would be in deep shit.  The canoe he had "borrowed" from his step-father’s rental yard a couple of days ago was gone.  He had followed the river upstream to throw his step-father off his track.  He was sure the bastard would give up soon enough when he couldn’t find Jax downstream as most would have gone that way.   

The first night out Jaxon had made a dry camp; no campfire just cold food.   The next morning he had carried the small boat overland and portaged between some of small streams before he found this lake.   The canoe had started leaking about an hour ago and swamped soon after that.  Lucky for him he managed to hold on to his waterproof pack.  He had carefully packed extra clothes, water, food, fishing line and hooks, and, most importantly, matches.

He could see the canoe floating low in the water with just the top of the gunwales showing as it followed the current away from shore.  No use worrying about it now, he couldn’t fix the leak even if he could get it to shore and if it sunk or beached somewhere on the other side of the lake, no one would be able to find him.

Jaxon wasn’t happy to cause his Mom the pain of losing her son, but he just couldn’t stay in that house or that town another day.   While he gathered dry twigs to start a small fire he wondered how she was doing.  Shaking his head, he knew her life would be easier without him in the house.  And his life would be better the further away he got from the hell his life had become since he had to return to his mother’s house after his dad’s death.  His dad had loved and understood that Jaxon was gay.  He supported his son.  Father and son had spent most of their time living together in California while the older man worked for the forest service.   When his dad died he was sent back to live with his mother.  But the people in his new community were bigots and hypocrites, his step-father the worst of them.  Yes, leaving was the perfect choice for him.
Soon, he had a couple of fresh fish cooking over the fire on sharp sticks.  He walked around his camp, satisfied that no one had been in the area.  He fixed a bed of loose leaves and pine needles then sat down to enjoy his meal.  Tomorrow would bring new challenges but for tonight he would sleep.


James looked out the big bay window and sighed.  He was proud of all he'd accomplished.  Teardrop Resort was more than a place to spend a few days’ vacation, it was a place that connected those who lived the discipline life.  The couples could talk to each other, learn from each other, give support in a world that didn't quite understand this lifestyle.  And James had been the one to build this place.

James had always wanted a lover whom he could protect and love but he didn't know how to bring it up with any of the men he'd had relationships with.  Now, in his late 50's he had accomplished so much, yet was still single.  He'd accepted the fact long ago that he could help others where he himself had failed.


Heath looked up from his desk as James came in. He was preparing for a Top class that he would give later in the month.

"Hey, James," Heath said smiling up at the older man.

"Heath you work too hard," James accused good-naturedly.

Heath nodded. Yes, he did, but so did James. That's what made the Teardrop Lake Resort the best of its kind. He said as much to James.

"Yes, but you need to get outside a little, too," James said. "Why don't you go check the grounds, its dark now and no boats should be out."

Closing down his laptop, Heath agreed. "I'll go do the grounds check and get a bit of exercise while I'm at it."

Heath and James made small talk as they walked toward the rear entrance of the resort. Heath respected all that James had done for the resort and for the community.

"I'll see you at breakfast," James said as Heath went outside.

The night air held a bite of frost in it.  Winter wasn't so far gone that there wasn't a nip in the air and at a time when most resorts have empty rooms, the Teardrop Lake Resort stayed busy with couples who come to attend classes and fellowship with other couples in the same kind of relationship. Heath came here years ago and James had asked him to stay as their full time doctor.

Heath walked down to the docks and saw all the boats were in their slips and secured. Deciding to get that exercise he'd told James about, Heath started to walk along one of the many trails.

He inhaled deeply, enjoying the scent of the woods. Suddenly, he stopped. There was smoke in the air too. No one was out camping this night, Heath was sure of it. Anyone out would not be from the resort, but a trespasser.

Slowly, and as quietly as he could, Heath stepped off the trail he'd been on. He didn't want to come up against some hunters or anyone up to no good. Walking toward where the scent was strongest, Heath was almost upon the small camp before he knew it. This camp was made to be hidden, the fire banked to keep the light down, and it was made to be taken down quickly. Quietly walking around the camp, Heath stopped right before he stepped on the sleeping man.

The man was sleeping on a bed of leaves and pine needles. Heath couldn't tell how tall the man was, but he looked exhausted. Squatting down, Heath laid his hand on the man's shoulder and gently shook him awake.

"Sir. Sir, I'm sorry, but you are on private property," Heath said as the man's eyes opened. Brown eyes, that Heath felt he could drown in.

Just before he felt the hand on his shoulder, Jaxon heard the dry leaves he had spread out around his bed crackle.  He was poised to run when he felt the hand and heard the soft whisper.  Jax opened his eyes and looked into worried hazel eyes.  The man stood and stood and stood.  He had to be well over 6’.  When he stepped back, Jax turned to jump up and run.  “Shit,” he hissed when the dry leaves that served as his alarm slipped under his socked feet and he hit the ground hard.  He rolled back over clutching his wrist.

Heath dropped to his knees.  "Hold still."  His voice was stern and the young man froze instantly.  "Is it just your arm?  Did you hurt your back?  Your neck?"  

The young man shook his head. "No, sir.  It’s just my arm."

Heath tried to tap down his own dominance, but a young man in need of help pushed all his buttons.  That's how his own dominance showed itself.  He wanted to love and protect someone of his own.  Heath shook his head.  This boy was in need of medical help, and here he was feeling the need to top him.

"I think it just a sprain, but we need to get an X-ray.  Are you here by yourself?" Heath couldn't keep the censor out of his voice.  Camping alone was a dangerous activity and as Heath looked around the small camp, one that should have had more equipment than this man had.  There was no tent, no cooking utensils, or small tools like an axe.  

"No, no.  I can't go to the emergency room!" The young man panicked.

Heath sat back on his heels.  They had a small x-ray machine at the resort, due to a grant that Heath had applied for.  Making a quick decision, Heath said, "Come on. I'll help you up.  We'll go over to the resort I work at and get you checked out." 

Jaxon tried to pull his hiking boots on but couldn’t get them laced up with only one hand.  He was about to ask for help when the tall man squatted down and made short work of tying the laces.  “Um, I’m Jaxon,” he revealed as he looked into the warm hazel eyes that were now searching his face. 

“Heath,” the tall man returned the introduction.  “This is your lucky day, Jaxon.  I’m the doctor at Teardrop Lake Resort.  You’re camping on resort land.”

“I didn’t mean to trespass, but the boat I was in started leaking and swamped so I had to swim to shore.”  Jax confessed.  “I was only looking to get warm and a little sleep then leave in the morning.”

“Well, let’s get you back to the resort and get you checked out.  Then we can talk about your next move,” Heath gently demanded.

Heath had insisted Jaxon stayed down on the ground up until this time so now he reached down to help the young man to his feet.  Once up Jax took a step and dropped back to the ground.  He rolled over and grabbed his knee with his good hand.    

"Ok, Jaxon. Its ok," Heath assured the young man.  The resort was only about a quarter of a mile away, but it was over a small, rocky trail.  If Jaxon's knee was strained or at worst dislocated, then Heath needed someone to help him.  He pulled out his walkie and called the one person he always thought of in a time of need.

"James, James?  This is Heath," he said into the radio.

"Heath, where are you?  I expected you back by now." James voice came back from the speaker.

"I'm on the south side trail, the one closest to the lake. I've got an injured person.  Bum leg and arm."  Heath's comments were short and to the point.  He needed to get Jaxon back to the resort quickly.

"I'm 5 minutes out.  I'll bring the ATV and trailer."

Heath sighed a bit in relief.  They could get Jaxon in the trailer and James could drive him up to the resort.  Heath would follow at a quick jog.

James picked up his walkie talkie handset so he could communicate with Heath as needed, plucked the keys for the ATV off the board where the recreational vehicle keys hung and headed out to the garage. He quickly hitched the trailer to the ATV and was bouncing along the south trail of the resort toward the lake. He keyed the mic, “Heath…where about are you? I’m almost to the lake now.”  He heard Heath respond that they were quite close to the lake in a copse of trees.

James spotted Heath ahead and a figure lying on the ground near him as he pulled the ATV close. “What do we have here Heath?” He asked.


There wasn’t much Jaxon could do when he heard the man who had called himself Heath call for help.  He knew he needed the help the tall man was offering.  Both his wrist and knee were hurting.  He wasn’t sure what happened with his knee, but he couldn’t put weight on it.  At least Heath wasn’t crowding him or asking a lot of questions, which Jaxon appreciated.   It didn’t take long before the rumble of an ATV could be heard. 

“You don’t have to bother taking me to your resort, Heath,” Jaxon tried to convince the doctor again.  “I’m sure I’ll be good as new come morning.”

Heath chuckled.  “Now what kind of a sawbones do you think I am?” he asked.  “Leaving you alone and hurt in the woods isn’t an option.  And I doubt you will be good as new in a week of mornings.”

Jaxon pulled the jacket Heath had draped around his shoulders tighter to stave off the chill in the air and watched as the lights of the ATV swept across his camp.  He watched as another man stepped off the ATV and into the light of his small fire.    He was quickly being outnumbered by tall men.

“Well, Heath, what do we have here? An injured young man from what I can see. Let’s get him into the trailer.” He helped Heath carry Jaxon into the trailer. “My name is James and Heath and I are going to take good care of you.  Don’t you worry.”

James watched as Heath climbed into the trailer beside the young man they had just loaded, then climbed aboard the ATV and headed it toward the Teardrop Lake Lodge and Heath’s state of the art infirmary.

Jaxon grit his teeth as the trailer started to move and began to bump along the trail. He found himself leaning in to the man beside him. The jostling of the trailer became a calming rhythm and Jaxon was soon dozing against Heath’s solid shoulder.

James glanced back at Heath. "Looks like our unexpected guest is tuckered out. We'll be there soon."

As they pulled up to the infirmary Heath asked, “Can you carry him in, James?" The doctor didn't wait for James to agree, he knew his friend would carry the young man. Heath dashed ahead and opened the door.

James smiled and carefully scooped up the young man and carried him inside to the infirmary, waiting for Heath to open the infirmary door as well.

James looked down at the young face in repose, but could also see lines of pain in the youthful face.

Jaxon barely stirred as James carried him. Running and hiding the last couple of days had taken a lot out of him.

James suspected the young man had a story to tell, but once they got him settled they could encourage him to tell it.

"Lay him on the exam table, James. Let see what we have here." Heath's voice was short; he was in professional mode

James stepped inside and carefully laid Jaxon on the examination table, then stepped back to give Heath room to work.

“Well Heath...looks like we will be having a guest here for a while." James commented.

Heath laid his hand on Jaxon's shoulder as the boy stirred. "You're ok, Jaxon. I just need to bring in the portable x-ray machine and we'll see what we have here."

As Heath left to get the portable X-ray machine James said quietly, "Jaxon, you're in good hands. No one here will harm you. I promise you that."

After taking the X-ray, Heath looked at it; the knee was worse than just a sprain. "James, his knee is dislocated. He should probably go on in to the ER"

"No, I can't go to the ER." Jaxon said through gritted teeth.

Both the men caring for him arched an eyebrow and James asked, "Why is that Jaxon?"

“I can't pay for it and I don't have insurance." He answered shamefully.

James shook his head. “Don’t worry about that now Jaxon. We're not really set up like an ER might be...but we can care for you here. We'd need your consent and need to know if you're old enough to give your consent legally."

“Jaxon, you have a dislocated knee. I can set it here, but all I can give for pain is Demerol," Heath said. "But you will still feel a lot of pain. Before I do anything, Jaxon, I need to know if I need to contact anyone?  Are you over 18?

"I'm legal, turned 20 almost 11 months ago." Jaxon revealed. "So can we just do it here?"
James looked at Heath. "If you're able to do it here I'm all right with that. I can assist if necessary."

Heath looked between the two men; he saw trust in the eyes of the young man lying on his exam table. “Ok, let me have a hip,” Heath said as he prepared a shot of the pain killer

"This won't take it all away, but will dull the pain." Heath informed the young man.

James helped Jaxon gently roll onto the side where the knee was dislocated so Heath could inject the pain killer into his hip.

Heath injected the medicine and within a few minutes, Jaxon's eyes were glazed over.

"Ok, James, the Demerol has taken effect. You hold his foot while I manipulate the joint"

“You might as well check his wrist while he’s out," James suggested.

At Heath's instructions the older man held the foot of the injured leg firmly.

Heath took the leg in his left hand and with his right, gave the knee a twist. He felt and heard the joint pop in place. "There, let's x-ray it again and make sure it’s set right."

James said, “All right, it’s important to know its set correctly.”

Even with the Demerol Jaxon groaned in pain. Then relaxed after his knee fell back into place, drifting off for a bit.

Heath quickly and efficiently took another x-ray and brought up the digital picture on his computer. "Thank God! It set the first time."

James smiled. “Good.”

"James, this kid is going to need to be off that leg at least 4 weeks. Six weeks would be better," Heath said.

James nodded. "I'm sure you're right. Do we have some crutches around here he can use?"

"Yes, but he’ll need to keep the leg up for at least a couple weeks before he starts hobbling along." Heath was adamant that his work would not be undone. "He's going to need supervision and help getting around with his wrist banged up he can't use crutches."

James nodded, having forgotten about the young man’s wrist being banged up. "Then a wheelchair would be a helpful thing and he can put his leg up, but still get around. Young people don't like to be confined.

"I'll get him settled here for the night and sleep here in case he needs anything. Then tomorrow maybe we can get him into a room," Heath said.

Jaxon moaned and tried to sit up confusion showing on his face.

James said, "I think he can stay here in the infirmary for a bit, he's going to need a lot of help and then we can move him to a room when he’s able to get around a bit on his own." He turned to Jaxon at the moan and gently pushed him back onto the table. "Don't move yet Jaxon. Wait for Heath and me to help you."

"Ok," the younger man whispered still trying to focus. "Did you fix my leg, Doc?"

James smiled. "Doc stepped away for a moment, but yes, he did."

"Good, then I get to be on my way in the morning."

James arched an eyebrow. “I don’t think so Jaxon. You’re going to be our guest for a while.” He turned at the opening of the door.

"Ok, I got a cot made up. You'll be more comfortable in a regular exam room" Heath said to Jaxon coming back into the room.

"Boy, you aren't going anywhere until that leg heals a bit. And you still have a bum wrist. It’s not broken, but it’s severely sprained." Heath knew his voice sounded stern, but he was not going to let this young man undo all his hard work.

That tone and Heath calling him boy caused familiar things to happen to Jaxon's body. Shocked he looked at the ceiling and simply said, "Yes, Sir."

"Thank you. Now, I've got the bed made up and with the Demerol in your body and the stress you went through tonight, I'm sure you'll sleep all night," Heath said keeping the sternness in his voice. Then he softened just a little, "Don't worry Jaxon. I'll be right next door."

"Thanks, Doc," he said. "I'm sorry I messed up the evening for both of you. I'm sure you had better things to do."

"You didn't mess anything up. Now I don't want to hear any more about that. This is what we do," Heath said.

James smiled and asked, "Need any help to move him to the cot Heath?"

Heath smiled. “Sure.”

Between the two older men Jaxon got settled for the night.


  1. Interesting beginning.

  2. Hope that means it grabbed your attention.
    Thanks for the comment.

  3. I appreciate how Heath and James took in a complete stranger. Not many people would have done so.
    Interesting character development so far.

    1. Heath and James are very caring people, and their first impulse is to help anyone in need, and Jaxon needed that help.
      I'm happy that you like the way the characters are developing. A lot of time and effort went into their creation their creators did a great job, I think.
      Thank you for commenting.

    2. Snarks is right Pippin, they couldn't leave anyone who was hurt to fend for their selves but in this case there seemed to be a spark. Thanks for stopping in to read our guys.