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Sunday, October 4, 2015

TLR Chapter 10

Jaxon wasn't surprised to hear the front door open a little before noon but he was surprised to see Heath instead of James.  "Hi, Doc, I figured you'd be teaching a class or at the clinic," he greeted the doctor.

"That's one of the benefits of living and working here, there's a lot of down time," Heath said.  And that was the truth, the resort wasn't like working in the real world.  He didn't have hundreds of patients that he had to juggle, and the classes he taught were only a couple times a month. When there were at least six couples interested.

"Well, I’m happy to see you, Doc.  It gets a little lonely cooped up in here," Jax confessed.  "That is when I'm not sleeping."

Heading into the small kitchen, Heath called over his shoulder, "Sleep is one of the ways the body heals itself, Jaxon.  You'll need less sleep as your body becomes healthier.  Now, how does Spaghettios sound for lunch?"

Jaxon laughed.  "Spaghettios?  I haven't eaten any of those since I was a kid," he said remembering that his dad would feed him those as a comfort food when he wasn't feeling well.  "I think Spaghettios are perfect, Doc."

Heath got the canned pasta opened, in a pan, and on the stove, before walking back out to the living room.  "Well, it isn’t health food, but they aren't bad for you either.  I like them and the last time Stephen and Billy were here, Stephen went shopping with me and I knew he bought some and left them here.  While the soup heats up, why don't I give you a quick check up?"

“Sheesh, Doc, I'm ok," Heath patient whined, "I've been poked and prodded more since I've been here than I have in my whole life."

"Well, you are giving me something to do," Heath said.  Then he slowly rotated Jaxon's wrist, “Does that hurt?"

"No," Jax said through gritted teeth.

"Jax," Heath said warningly.  "It’s not an endurance contest.  I'm trying to see if you are healing.  Now.  Does. It. Hurt."

"Yeah, um, yes sir, it hurts," Jax answered.

"Is it a sharp pain or more of an ache?" Heath asked. 

"It's a dull ache, Doc."

"OK, that's to be expected.  But if the pain gets sharp, let me know," Heath said sternly. "I'm going to just look at your leg, I won't move it.  It was hurt worse than your wrist."  Heath loosened the splint and prodded Jaxon's leg.  There seemed to be less swelling than last night.  Seeing the dark bruising, reminded Heath of the bruise on Jaxon's back.  After he was satisfied with Jaxon's leg, Heath said.  "Lean forward, I want to check the bruise on your back."

"Heath, I told you last night that it didn't hurt," Jax protested.

Heath frowned.  There was something about this bruise that Jaxon was hiding.  Heath thought of Spiderman and his spidey sense, and knew he was experiencing something similar.  His top senses were shouting out a warning.  "Jaxon, I know what you told me.  And I respect your opinion.  Please respect mine as a medical professional and let me check it."

Jaxon held his ground for a couple of minutes then shrugged, "OK, Mr. Medical Professional," Jax sighed, "do your worst."

When Jaxon leaned forward, Heath pulled up his shirt.  He looked at the bruise and by the coloring knew it was older than the others.  He poked at it and watched Jaxon closely.  It wasn't as tender as the wrist and knee.  Finally, he pulled Jaxon's shirt down.  "Lean on back.  It’s healing.”

"Thanks, Doc," the young man softly said.  "I almost forgot I was bruised until you saw it last night."

"Well, it’s a good thing I don't forget the injuries on my patients,” Heath laughed and then went into the kitchen.  He stirred the pasta and deemed it ready to eat.  He got a couple bowls down and filled them with their lunch.  He couldn't find a tray so he grabbed a baking sheet and put the bowls and a couple cans of soda on it.  Picking up the cookie-sheet turned serving tray, Heath went back into the living room of the cabin.   "Here we go.  The lunch of champions," Heath said as he set the tray down on the coffee table.

"Thanks Doc," Jax said.  He started to reach for the handle to release the back of the recliner with his bad arm then asked, "Can you set me up."

Heath stepped over and pulled the wooden lever that straightened the recliner.  "That better?"

"Yeah, thanks."

Heath wanted to know about the bruise, but he wanted Jaxon to feel comfortable with him too.  "Have you ever been in the hospital for anything?"

“Yeah, when I messed up my knee the first time," the boy answered.  "But nothing else.  I told you all this before.”

Heath arched the eyebrow again.  “Humor me,” he said.

Jaxon blushed.

"And you had all your vaccinations?"

"Yup, all the regular ones," Jax answered.  "Didn't get a flu shot this year though.  Gene wouldn't spring for it."

Heath filed the remark about Gene away.  "Do you bruise easy?"

Jaxon looked at the doctor again trying to see where he was going with that question.  "Um, no, not usually," he answered.

"It’s unusual to have a bruise like that on your back, Jaxon.  How did it happen?  And please don't tell me you don’t remember like you did last night.  Because we both know that it was just a story."

Jaxon didn't answer right away and Heath gave him the time to sort his thoughts.  He sucked in a breath and started his story.  “It doesn’t really matter how I got it Doc because he isn’t a problem now.”  Before Heath could challenge that statement Jax started his story.  “I came home one afternoon and Gene was stomping my laptop in to the floor.  I tried to get him to stop but he just pushed me back into the kitchen.  He was pissed and cussing.  I thought I had shut the screen down but I must have forgotten again and he saw an e-mail from a guy friend from California.  He flipped out.  When I tried to get the laptop away from him he slammed me up against the refrigerator.  Mom finally got him off me."   

Heath nodded. He had suspected there was more to Jaxon's story, but he felt no joy in being right.  No one deserved to be pushed around.  "Did he do that often?  Lose his temper and push you?  Or hit you?"

"He always lost his temper," Jax revealed.  "He slapped me a couple of times but that was the first and last time he pushed me that hard.  I left a couple of days later.”

Making sure his face wasn't showing the anger that he felt, Heath leaned forward. "Jaxon, that's called assault.  You know you don't have to go back there.  You have a place here.  A place that will give you time to heal and to figure out what you want to do next.  But.  You need to give it some time before you make any decisions."

"I know, Heath," Jax confirmed.  “I wouldn't go back because there is nothing for me there.  Not even my mom."  Jaxon thought a minute before he said, "The only thing I had there was my laptop and being able to take online college courses on it.  And Gene wrecked that for me."  Jaxon looked at Heath.  "You have no idea how relieved I am that I can stay here with you and James until you get tired of me."

Heath felt the release of tension he hadn't known had built up inside him.  Jaxon was staying.  Thank God.  Heath leaned over and kissed him on his forehead.  "Finish your lunch, boy."  He sat back and picked up his own bowl, taking a big bite of the circular pasta, Heath knew that his top sense was once again right.

Jax froze at the kiss but then smiled.  "Yes, sir," he answered and took another bite of the O's.  "You know these were better when I was a kid," he laughed.

Heath looked at Jaxon in mock horror.  "You don't like my cooking?  I'm crushed!"  They finished eating and then Heath took the dishes into the kitchen.  He rinsed out the bowls and the sauce pan he'd used and put everything in the dishwasher.  Once the kitchen was set to rights, he went back into the living room.  "I'm going to have to get going, Jaxon.  You have everything you need?  The remote, a drink, do you need another blanket?"

"Well, um, I need to pee," Jax mumbled.

Laughing, Heath said, "Well I think I can help you with that before I go."  Heath knew it was too soon for Jaxon to walk even by letting Jax lean on him, so instead he swooped the young man up into his arms.  At Jaxon's surprised look, Heath said, "It’s your reward for telling me how you got that bruise."

"You know Doc, I don't think I've laughed this much in a very long time."  Jax chuckled, wrapping his arms around Heath's neck.

Gently letting Jaxon down by the toilet, Heath said softly, "I'm glad, Jaxon.  It makes me happy to hear you laugh.  I'll be right out here, just call out when you are done."  Heath stepped out into the hall and waited until Jaxon called him.  Going back into the bathroom, Heath lifted Jaxon back into his arms and carried him to the recliner.

“Thanks, Doc.”

"I won't tell you to sleep, but I will tell you to rest.  Call me or James if you need anything before one of us comes back and checks on you," Heath instructed Jaxon before leaving.

"Ok, I will," Jax assured Heath.  "See you later."


Zay had slipped away from their bungalow.  Elijah was napping and Zay thought he would be back before his lover woke up.  He didn’t want to get lost so he took the only path he was familiar with, the path to the lake.  The loons had fascinated him when the two men were watching them from the bench yesterday.

The loon family was swimming close to shore so Zay plopped down on the pebbled shore and watched them in wonder.  Looking past the loons the young man marveled at the rainbow arching above the lake.  It brought back happy memories of the week before they left to come to the resort.

On that day he had been feeling rambunctious when he took his cell out of his jeans pocket and punched in Elijah's number.  Elijah had picked up on the first ring and had asked, "Hey, Snook-ums, what’s cooking?"

"Pork Chops, fresh green beans, salad and peach pie,” Zay had answered.

"Mmm, sounds yummy. What time you want me over?" Elijah had asked.  Zay had just known he was licking his lips.

"Half hour?" Zay had said around the mouthful of food he had been tasting.

"Great see you in thirty.''

When the doorbell had rang Zay dropped what he was doing and went to answer the door. By the time he got there, there was no one there.  Oh well, he had thought to himself.  It must have been those dam kids again.

Just when Zay got to the kitchen the doorbell had rang again.  Damn those kids are back again he had thought.  Going into the pantry in search the blue fly swatter with the handle white. Grabbing it off the nail he had gone back to the door to shoo off the unruly kids that kept on ringing the doorbell.  Stomping up to the door with the fly swatter in hand he had opened it, and stopped with the flyswatter in midair facing.   ‘Elijah. Oh my’, Zay had thought as he could feel his face getting red and lowered the flyswatter.  Then he had let it drop to the floor fast.

"Umm, Hey there!" a surprised Zay had said.

"Hey there to you too Zay.  Mmm, smells good in here. Is there anything you want me to do Zay?" Elijah had asked.

"Nope got it all. Oh wait there's some champagne over by the table you can pour that."

"Zay, what's that smell?" Elijah had asked.

Zay had turned around and saw smoke coming from the oven. "Shit not again!" Zay had run to the oven and pulled out the smoking dish.  He had slammed the oven door and threw the hot pads in the sink.

"Whoa, man, what was that all about?" Elijah had asked.

"Oh I don't know. I guess I'm not good enough to cook. I feel I'm not good enough.  Who wants to date a guy who has a muscle disorder?  And now I burned a meal that I cooked for you," Zay had almost cried in despair.

"Zay I don't care if you burnt a meal.  There’re plenty more meals to be cooked and to be eaten by us. Come and sit we need to talk," Elijah had said pointing to the kitchen chair.

"Zay, it’s been over a month now and I've seen a lot of great things you've been doing. Learning to cook and the landscaping you did around the mall grounds.  But what concerns me is your health and not eating. And you're looking tired. Also I don’t want to hear you saying you're worthless. You are not worthless!" Elijah had insisted.

"Well, yeah, I'm a little tired," Zay had said around a yawn. "And about eating, well, I just don't have the time. It's busy because of the nice weather."

"I understand Zay, but you need to take care of yourself and get plenty of sleep." Taking some paper and pencils off the table that Zay left out Elijah had handed them to Zay. "Here's what I want you to do. I want you to write ‘You Are Your Own Rainbow’ until I tell you to stop. And also there is one more thing you need to know You Are my own Rainbow and I'm falling in love with you already."

Zay smiled as he remembered Elijah’s words. He watched this rainbow shine brightly in the afternoon sky until he heard a rustle of leaves behind him and turn to see his lover leaning against a tree watching him.  The older man held out his hand and waited for Zay to come to him.  When Zay was close enough Elijah pull his man into a bone crushing hug and whispered, “You are my rainbow, Zay.”


James came into the bungalow and smiled at Jax. "Hello there Jax, how are you doing?”

Jaxon smiled at the older man, “Doing good James.  Just relaxing here in my throne surveying my kingdom.”

“Well, I’ve come to bug you a while."

The younger man laughed, "Sure, James, just as long as you don't make me eat Spaghettios.”
James chuckled. "I'm not here to make you eat anything Jax, but I did want to talk about was moving you."

"Moving me?" Jax mumbled, "But I thought you said I could stay here at the resort." 

James placed a hand on Jax's good arm. "Of course you may stay at the resort. But the gentlemen who usually use this bungalow are coming soon.  Heath and I talked about it and we'd like you to move into my house with us."

"Oh," the younger man said. He looked down at James's hand on his arm, but didn't say anything.
James frowned slightly, "You don't like the idea?"

Jax looked up at this man that was making room for him in his home.  His brown eyes glistened.  “If you're sure, I like to stay in your house."

James smiled then and said firmly, "I'm very sure."

"And Doc is ok with it too?" Jax asked.  "I don't want to get in the way."

James said, "Doc is very much okay with it and you won't be getting in the way. We both want you there."

"Well, ok, then.  It will be easier for you too, um, if I’m in your house," Jax said.  "I meant you don't have to give up your bed to sleep on that sofa bed."

James chuckled. "My house has enough rooms, we'll have you in the ground floor bedroom and we'll sleep on the sofa bed I have until you're able to negotiate stairs well and then we'll have you take a room closer to us upstairs."

"No," Jax firmly replied.  "You two don't need to sleep on the sofa bed.  I don't need watched anymore."

James shook his head. "As far as Heath and I are concerned we’ll determine when you no longer need looking after. It's no burden to us to look after you Jax."

“But…” Jax started to argue.

James arched an eyebrow and said a bit more sternly, "No arguments Jaxon."

Jax huffed and pouted for a second but when James eyebrow didn't move he smiled and said, "Yes sir."

James nodded. "Good boy." He patted his arm. "We'll get you packed up and moved to my house a bit later."

For some reason James's praise made Jax feel protected and safe.  He smiled up to the man then asked, "What's your house like?  Is it one of the bungalows?"

James smiled and shook his head. "No, it's actually a hundred year old farm house. It was my uncle's before he passed away and left me this place. It used to be a farm, but I turned it into the resort."

"Wow," was all Jax could say.

James grinned at the boy's amazement. "You'll like it."

"I'm sure I will," Jax grinned.  "How long have you and Heath lived together?" the young man asked.  He cared about both men but didn't want to get in their way no matter what James said.

James said, "Not very long, In fact Heath just agreed to move in with me when we thought about having you move in as well."

"Really?" Jax said looking confused.

James nodded. "Yes, really. Heath and I have known each other for some time, but it wasn't until you came along that it brought us together and we discovered our true feelings for each other."

"Oh," Jax said, "maybe I should have washed up on your shore sooner then," he laughed.

James reached out and ruffled his hair. "Maybe, but everything happens in its own time and this time it's brought the three of us together."

"Yeah, I guess you're right, James," Jax agreed.  "And I guess everything happened just right for you two."

"Yes and for you as well." James added. "We both like taking care of you."

"Yeah, you do it better that some took care of me."  Jax wanting to change the subject before he got bitter asked, "So, when do you think you'll move me?  I don't have anything to move except me.  And my bag.  It is still here isn't it? I got stuff in it I need."

"Yes your bag is here and we'll move you probably sometime before the end of the day.  Stephen and Billy will be checking in next weekend and housekeeping will need time to spruce things up and prepare for them."

"Ok, I can't wait."

James smiled. "I'm glad and Heath and I will be very happy to have you."

James reached in his pocket and retrieved his cell phone, answering it on the second ring.  He jerked is away from his ear at the loud growl on the other end.  Jax could hear the voice from where he sat in the recliner. 

"Our boy is hurt and it's all your fault, James!"  Charles accused.  "If you would have cordoned off those falls like we'd suggested last month this never would have happened."

"What are you talking about?"  James asked, confused.

"Our boy was hurt at the falls and it's all your fault."

"What happened?"  James asked, concerned.

"Michael!  Oh honey you're all right!" and the phone went dead.

James pocketed the phone.  “Jax, looks like I need to get over to the infirmary.”

“Who was that?  He sure sounded pissed.” The young man asked.

“Yeah, I’d say he was upset, and maybe he has good reason if his brat is hurt but it’s hard to keep that man happy,” James answered.  “I’ll be back as soon as I can, ok?

“Sure, be careful,” Jax said.  “And don’t worry about me.”

James chuckled, “There no chance of that, Jax.  You are always on both Heath and my minds.”  And with that James headed out the door. 

As James left the bungalow where Jax was he saw a familiar figure heading his way. "Hello there Duke."

Duke grinned. "Hello James, where are you headin'?"

“To the infirmary to find out what’s going on. Charles called and all I got out of him was that Mike got hurt at the falls.”

Duke arched an eyebrow and shook his head. "There's signs posted all over the place for people to not climb the rocks or be careful around there." He stated. “And I’ve told that young man more than once to stay out of that water.”

James nodded. "Yes, I’m sure there is more to it than Mike just tripping or falling. The owner of TLR agreed.  “I would like you to do me a favor and look in on Jax and keep him company for a little while until I get back. Can you do that for me?"

Duke nodded. "Sure."

James tweaked Duke's longish hair. "Should get Heath and maybe Harry to hold you down and buzz cut that hair." He teased.

Duke grinned. "No way...I'd lose all my strength if you cut off my hair. What good would I be then as a security guard?" Duke asked with a grin.

James laughed. "All right Samson...just keep Jax company for me.  I shouldn't be long."

Duke smiled. "Don't worry James. Take your time."

James smiled. "Thanks Duke." He headed for the infirmary and Duke headed for the bungalow and opened the door.

The door hadn’t been shut two minutes when it opened again.  Jax didn’t look up.  “Forget something?” he asked.

When he heard Jax ask if he forgot something he said, "Nope but I found someone.”

"Hey, what are you doing in here?" Jax asked reaching for the walkie talkie.
The guy standing before him was huge. "W…who are you?"

Duke grinned. "Settle down Jax. I'm Duke one of the full time security guards and James stopped me outside and asked me to come visit with you until he comes back."

Jax had almost made it out of the recliner when this guy named Duke stopped him.

Duke came over and sat near him. "I've not had a chance to meet you, but I was aware you've been here. James always informs me about everythin' that goes on around here. He wanted to make sure I was aware that someone might come lurkin' around lookin' for you."

His heartbeat slowly returned to normal as he took deep breaths.  "Nic...nice to meet you, Duke. "

Duke smiled. "Nice to meet you too. I didn't mean to startle you."

"Oh, you didn't startle me," the smaller man said.

Duke raised an eyebrow. "Well you sure looked like you were ready to jump right out of that chair."

Jax grinned. "Well, maybe you did startled me a little."

Duke chuckled. "My sudden appearance does that to a lot of people."

"Yeah, I bet it does," Jax laughed.  "I thought you were my step dad for a minute.  I mean you're about the same size."

Duke frowned slightly. "Is that who's lookin' for you?"

"I'm hoping he doesn't think it's worth looking for me but yeah he might be." Jax answered.  "Mutt says I don't have anything to worry about though."

Duke nodded. "Mutt is right. Neither myself or the other security guards would let anythin' pass our notice."

"Well, for his sake I hope he doesn't come lookin'."

Duke grinned. "You and me both."

Jax wiggled around a bit trying to get comfortable.  "Duke, can you tell me something?"

Duke said, "Maybe, what do you want me to tell you?"

"Who's Charles?" Jax asked.

Duke said, "Charles is the manager up at the lodge."

"Oh," Jax said more to himself than to Duke.

Duke asked, "Why did you ask?"

"He called here a few minutes ago and was yelling at James."

Duke nodded. "Yes, James told me that Charles was upset because his young partner had been hurt at the falls."

"He sure was pissed.  He was yelling about someone named Mike getting hurt.  James asked him what he was talking about but the guy just hung up on him," Jax revealed.  "I don't think James was too happy with him."

Duke nodded. "Sounds like Charles. Don't worry about it. James will straighten things out. He's good at that."

"Yeah, um, have you know James long, Duke?" The younger man tentatively asked. 

Duke smiled. "About thirty years, why?"

"Oh, I was just wondering.  He's really great.  Both him and Heath," Jax answered.  "They been taking real good care of me.  Well, except they won't let me out of this chair."

Duke grinned. "James is like that. I've known him ever since we served in the Corps together."

"Wow, you are were in the Marines together?  James, Jeff and you?"

Duke grinned. "Yes, we all served together."

"What about Doc, um, Heath?  Have you know him long?"

"Ever since he came to work here."

"They want me to move into their house with them," Jax said.  "Well, until I can get around."

Duke arched an eyebrow. "Hmm...well that sounds nice."

"Something wrong, Duke?"

Duke grinned. "No just that it's a bit of a surprise...I mean James and Heath livin' together, but I'm glad. It's about time. They've liked each other a long time now."

"Even I thought they were partners when Heath first found me, but James told me they just decided to live together," Jax explained.  "I hope I don't get in their way, but James said I won't."

Duke smiled. "Don't worry, you won't. You three fit together."

Jax looked at Duke, wondering what he meant but when he thought about it they did do good together.  He grinned at Duke and blushed a little.  “Thanks."

Duke grinned. "You're welcome. I can tell that you're good for them just by talkin' to you. You'll fit right in with them."

Jax wasn't sure what to say but he didn't have to say anything because the door opened just then and James walked in.  Jax could tell he was upset about something.

James looked at Duke. "Hey Duke, thanks for keeping Jax here company."

Duke smiled. "It's a pleasure and he told me Heath and you decided to move in together and have Jax stay with you at the farm house too. I'm glad."

James nodded. "Heath and I are too. It feels right. I'll let you be on your way now Duke."

Duke nodded. "All right I'll see everyone later." Duke grinned at Jax. "Nice chattin' with you Jax. I'll see you soon."

"Nice meeting you Duke," Jax said.  "And hopefully next time I won't try to call the cavalry on you."

James arched an eyebrow at Jax's comment.

Duke grinned. "All right, that'll be good." He turned to James. “I startled Jax a little when I came in."

James nodded. "Well, I'm glad the two of you hit it off."

Jax laughed, "He sorta scared the crap out of me."

James smiled. "Duke can have that effect on people."

"Yeah, tell me about it."

Duke said, "Well, I'll see you all later.”  Duke chuckled and left the bungalow.

James smiled. "I hope you enjoyed talking to him."

“I did enjoy it once I realized he wasn't Gene." Jax said.  "I think I was dozing when he came in and he’s bigger then Gene but, well..."

James nodded. "I told you that you were safe and Gene wouldn't get past my security guards.  Now you understand why."

"Yeah, I do now," Jax said around a yawn.

James said, "Sounds like someone needs a nap. Why don't you rest for a while?"

"Ok, James, but if you leave could you please lock the door?" Jax practically pleaded.

“Of course, that’s no problem,” James agreed.  “With all that has happened today I think we’ll wait till tomorrow to get all of us moved into the house.  And maybe we can have lunch there with Jeff and Mutt.  And I’ll ask Harry, one of our other security guards and his new partner to come too.  Harry needs to meet you too and I need to be introduced to Brody.”

“Ok, James, I can spend one more night here.”

“You nap and I need to go see Jeff for a few minutes.”  Before Jax could remind him to lock the door James added, “And yes I will lock the door.”

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