Monday, September 7, 2015
TLR Chapter 3
Despite the Demerol, Jaxon’s night was anything but peaceful. He remembered Heath changing his ice pack and giving him something during the night to help with the pain. The next morning Jaxon opened his eyes to his doctor standing at the foot of his cot holding something that looked like it belonged in a Robo Cop movie. Forgetting about his sprained wrist, the injured man tried to push himself up off the cot. “Crap,” he groaned, pulling his hand to his chest, dropping back down on the cot. This action in turn jarred his knee, causing quite a bit of pain. Sweat beaded on his forehead as he grit his teeth and looked up at Heath, embarrassed.
Heath stepped around the cot to comfort the young man. “Hey, Jax,” he said as he wiped the dampness from the young man’s face with the same cloth he had used during the night, “you need to take it easy and not move around so much.”
“I know, Doc,” Jax sighed, “just forgot where I was for a second.” He looked at the contraption the doctor had dropped on the bedside table. “What’s that?”
“A brace for your knee,” Heath explained. “It’ll help support the knee and maybe help keep you from injuring it further.” Heath helped his patient sit up so he could add a pillow under his shoulders.
“Thanks, Doc,” Jax said. “You know it didn’t hurt this bad the last time I dislocated it.”
Heath glanced up at Jaxon’s comment of dislocating his knee before. As skittish as the boy was, he didn't want to scare him off. "I need just a bit of history, Jaxon, to update my records," Heath said falling back on an old excuse. "Could you tell me what injuries you've had and what childhood illnesses?"
"Yeah, sure," Jaxon answered. "I’ve been pretty healthy except for the usual kid's stuff."
He didn't say anything else but looked up and saw Heath waiting for more information.
"Usual kid's stuff?" Heath asked softly. "Did you have the chicken pox?"
“I don’t think so,” he answered closing his eyes trying to remember. “I think I got the shot for the measles and chicken pox.”
Heath made some notes on the clipboard he was holding. "Good, good. So you had all your vaccinations. Now, how about injuries. Any broken bones? That includes dislocated joints. Any cuts deep enough to require stitches?"
"Nothing serious, Doc. Cuts and scrapes, the usual stuff," Jaxon revealed. "We lived in the country so I was always coming home with a bump or bruise."
"You said this hurt worse than your previous dislocated knee," Heath said in a brisk voice. "How did that happen?"
“I did that when me and my dad were out hiking,” he explained. “I was 16 and we had been hiking up a fairly steep trail to check it out for other hikers and a rock rolled under my foot. Dad caught me before I went down but my knee was already messed up.”
"Do you remember how long you were incapacitated? How long did you wear a brace?" Heath wanted to know so that he could determine the best medical course for healing this current injury.
“Yeah, I remember that I missed going on the big elk hunt that year. Dad said he wasn’t taking a chance on my hurting it again, which sucked.”
"So approximately how long were you in a brace?" Heath was persistent in his questioning. Being a top as well as a doctor, he knew to keep questioning until he got to the truth.
“Sorry, Doc,” Jax apologized, “I was in the hospital a couple of days because they wanted to watch me and then home with the brace another 2 weeks and then finally back to school. I still wore the brace for a couple more weeks.” He thought for a minute then said, “So, about 5 or 6 weeks all together.”
"So, you know then, that you'll have to stay off that leg for a while," Heath said.
“Yes, sir, I know,” Jaxon flushed when he agreed.
"Is there anyone I should call? Who will be missing you?"
“No,” Jaxon shook his head, “no one who would care.”
"No friends? No family? No one knew you were out camping?" Heath couldn't keep the censure out of his voice. If Jaxon had been brought up anywhere around here, he should know the basics of camping. And that was to let someone know where you are camping at. Even hikers around here knew to tell someone what trail they were taking.
“NO!” The young man snapped. “No one,” he said softer.
“What about your dad?”
Jaxon took a deep breath. “He died when I was 17,” he said. “Because I wasn’t legal they had to send me back here to live with my mom and her bastard of a husband.”
Heath took a deep breath. This was looking like more than a hurt leg and wrist. It sounded like Jaxon was running from something. Or someone. But he did say he was almost 21, so they didn't have to worry about him being legal now. Heath, out of his own cautious character, made a quick decision. "Ok, Jaxon. You'll stay here for the next few days. Maybe the next few weeks."
"I don't want to be a bother, Doc," Jaxon countered. “Dad was a forest ranger in California,” the young man sighed. “He taught me everything I know about surviving in the woods. So I can just stay in the camp ground.”
Heath knew what he would do if this young man were his…The doctor broke off that line of thought. This boy wasn't his but he was acting like a brat in trouble. Not mischievous trouble, but life trouble. Heath decided to treat him like he did other brats. "I didn't ask if you wanted to be a bother. And I didn't ask if you wanted to stay. I stated, very clearly, that you would stay here. Unless you have someone you can stay with?" The doctor threw out the question, suspecting that Jaxon didn't have anyone to turn to. And that was one of James' vision-to be a safe haven for brats and tops alike.
"I don't have anyone to stay with, so since you asked so nicely," Jaxon grinned, "I’d be happy to stay." Then a worried looked crossed the young man's eyes, "There is something I should tell you before you decide to let me stay though.”
At that moment, James entered the infirmary with a tray laden with breakfast items for their unexpected guest. He came into the small room they had for their patients and placed the tray down on the small rolling table smiling at Jaxon and Heath. "I thought our guest might be hungry this morning." He took the lids off the dishes to reveal a stack of pancakes, some scrambled eggs and crisp bacon with buttered toast. There was a glass of orange juice and a carafe of coffee, one that held a couple of cups. He smiled. There was also butter for the pancakes and a small pitcher with warm maple syrup. "I wasn't sure just what you like to eat Jaxon, but most young men like these items for breakfast."
"Wow, James, this is great," Jaxon said with a smile, "but you might have to help me cut the pancakes."
Heath looked at James and said, "James, Jaxon is going to need a room to stay with us until his leg has healed."
James nodded. "That won't be a problem, Heath. I'll arrange for a room in the bungalow next to yours so you can keep an eye on him." He smiled at Jaxon, "Here...let me help you." He proceeded to cut up the food for the young man. "There that should help."
Jaxon smiled. “It does, thank you.”
“James, my patient was just about to tell me why I wouldn't think he should stay here before you came in," Heath said.
James quirked an eyebrow, "He was, hmm?" Both men turned to look at Jaxon.
Jaxon took a sudden interest in his breakfast. Not looking at either man.
"Jaxon, James is my boss. He owns the resort. You can say anything to him as well as to me," Heath told the young man.
James asked, "Perhaps you'd like to tell us, Jaxon, just why that is? I thought we had settled that last night...that you'd be staying with us while you recovered."
"I want to stay but you might not want me too," Jaxon softly said.
"Now, why wouldn't we, Jaxon, if we just asked you to stay?" Heath was getting tired of the cat and mouse game being played
"Because I’m gay," the young man revealed softly.
James smiled, "That's not a problem here Jaxon, more of a problem for you might be if you don't follow the doc's instructions."
Heath looked down sternly at Jaxon. "He’s not kidding, Jaxon. I take my responsibility to my patients very seriously."
"Um, you don't care?" the younger man was clearly confused at James’s statement and he glanced up at the doctor as he spoke sternly to him.
James said quietly, "Jaxon, I don't care that you’re gay...this resort is a place where gay men can come and feel safe."
"James, why don't I get Jaxon settled into a guest room and you can talk to him a little more," Heath said
"What?" Jaxon said as he was still trying to understand what he had just been told and it clearly showed in both his face and voice.
James said gently, "Teardrop Lake Resort caters to men who live a same sex life style."
Jaxon just stared at James disbelievingly and then slowly resumed eating his breakfast.
James waited until the young man had finished eating and then smiled, "Let's get you settled into your new room. The doctor has readied one for you in the bungalow next to his so he can keep an eye on your recovery and progress."
Jaxon wiped his mouth with the napkin James had supplied and nodded. "How are you going to get me there?" he asked. "Heath said I can't walk."
James smiled, "Well...I can carry you. I also can put you in a wheel chair and wheel you over if you prefer."
"Well," Jaxon said after thinking a minute, "I think it might be faster and easier if you carried me. I mean, getting in and out of the wheelchair is going to be difficult."
James smiled. "No problem then." He moved the breakfast tray out of the way on the rolling table. He made sure Jaxon was wrapped in a blanket and his braced leg supported as he picked him up carefully. James then brought Jaxon to the bungalow he had asked for and Heath had gone to prepare for the young man's use. He gently placed him in the spacious bed which had already been turned down. "There...how's that?"
"Great," Jaxon answered. "I never expected anything like this. Almost makes me want to get hurt again," he laughed.
James gave him a stern look, "We'd rather keep our guests healthy."
Jaxon blushed. "Sorry, I’ll try to stay healthy, James. I really do want you to know how much I appreciate your help and Heath’s help too."
James nodded and sat on the side of the large bed. "I can see that you do, Jaxon. We're happy to help...it's what we do here. We help men accept who they are and how to keep themselves healthy and happy in a safe supportive environment."
Heath entered the bungalow and set Jaxon’s waterproof pack on the table along with his boots and jeans. "Ah, I see you're all settled in Jaxon," he said. "I’ve got a class in a few minutes so James will keep you company til I get back."
Jaxon waited until Heath left and then ask James, "Is the resort like a school?" He was confused which seemed to be becoming a major part of his life here. "How does it work?"
James shook his head. "No, it's not like a school. People come here and can take classes to learn things, but it's not required. Some come to relax and enjoy the amenities, hiking, swimming, fishing, horseback riding and such. Others are just starting out in their relationships or have just revealed their sexual preference and have questions and things they need or want to learn about this lifestyle," he shared.
"Coming from the place I was living since I was 17, it's really hard to believe a place like you're describing is real," the young man explained. "I hope it's real, but I just don't know."
James said quietly, "Oh, it's real all right and discreet. Most people aren't aware of who we are or what we do here unless they're involved in a same sex lifestyle."
"Why did you make this place? When did you make it?" Jaxon asked getting more excited about the idea.
James smiled, "I made this place so that men who have come to know they are attracted to other men and are involved, or want to become involved in same sex relationships can become all they can be both personally and as a couple. I've been doing this for...about twenty-five years now."
"Maybe, when doc lets me out of this bed you can show me around the resort? Do you think you might want to do that for me?" Jaxon questioned. "I’d love to see it before I have to go."
James nodded. "I’d love to and Jaxon...you don't have to go until you're ready to. There are lots of jobs that need doing around here and I could find you something you can do and pay you. A room here is part of the benefits of working at Teardrop Lake Resort."
Jaxon couldn't believe his ears. "Really?” he shook his head. “You'd do that for me? You don't even know me."
James chuckled. "Of course I’d do that for you and I don't have to know someone to help them out. By helping them out I get to know them that way."
"Thanks, James," the emotional young man said. He wiped his sleeve across his eyes. "I’m beginning to think that canoe swamping is the best thing that's happened to me since before my dad died.”
James placed a hand on the young man's shoulder. "Sometimes things that are good can come out of something bad."
"Yeah, sometimes, but not to me," he mumbled, "but usually not to me."
James said, "Well perhaps things will be turning around for you now and...Well, maybe it's your turn for something good to happen to you."
Jaxon smiled at James, a real smile this time, "Yeah, maybe you're right, James."
James smiled back at the young man. "Of course I am," he said a twinkle in his smoky blue eyes.
“So, if you're sure you want me to stay, I guess I should warn you about trouble that might be following me," Jaxon said, "although, I hope not."
James said quietly, "Yes, I do want you to stay...tell me about the trouble."
"I’m not in any real trouble or anything. No legal trouble," Jaxon was quick to defend himself, “but, well, it could be that my mom's husband could come looking for me."
James nodded. "Why is that and what's the situation Jaxon? I can't help protect you unless I know what's going on."
Jaxon picked at the ace bandage on his sprained wrist until James put his hand over the smaller one. Jaxon looked into James's smoky blue eyes. He sucked in a deep breath and started his story. “My mom married Gene when I was around 7 and not long after that they sent me to live with my dad in California. I never knew why she didn't want me anymore but Dad was the best. He never said anything bad about mom but I just knew he hated gene."