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Friday, March 17, 2017


Dean pulled his pick up onto Katy's driveway.  Jax jumped out almost before the wheels stopped turning. 

 Griff had the good sense to wait until Dean turned the engine off before he stepped out.

 Jax grabbed his tool belt and the precut piece of 3/4" plywood they brought from the man cave they had just completed.

 Katy opened the door and greeted the men with a wide smile. "Hello boys! Come on in! I have some iced tea made just for you!"

"Hi Mom," Jax said with a smile. He ran up the steps and hugged her.

Katy wrapped her arms around her son and gave him a bear hug, then turned to the other men. "You don't know how much I appreciate this guys.  Thank you!" she said as she quickly hugged Dean and then Griff, linking her arms in with theirs to lead them into the house.

"Hi,," Griff blushed still shy around the woman.

Katy grinned and bumped shoulders with Griff... or would have if his shoulder hadn't been several inches above her own level.

"We're glad to help out, Katy," Dean said following behind the others.

She led them into the house and promptly poured out four glasses of freshly made iced tea and uncovered the plates filled with meat, cheese, rolls and freshly sliced vegetables as well as taking out condiments and sandwich sliced pickles. "I think you should relax and have lunch now. There'll be plenty left if you're hungry afterward," she said with a smile.

She pulled Jax toward his chair and hugged him again before letting him sit down. "I still can't believe you're here," she said happily.

"OK, Katy, seeing how you have everything ready.  Sit down boys," Dean said.  "We need to be on the road by 2."

“Can’t you stay longer?” Katy asked.

"No, Mom, it's a three-hour drive and the guys are expecting us for dinner," Jax explained around a pickle chip.

She sighed and then smiled at her son.  "So grown up and responsible," she teased as she picked up her fork and took several pickle slices for herself.

When lunch was done, the men helped her straighten up the kitchen before tackling the job in front of them.  With a slightly embarrassed expression she pulled Dean aside and said, "I'm sorry, Dean, but while you're here... would you...?"

"Would I what, Katy?"

"Well, the outside spigot for the garden hose leaks. I can't figure out where it's coming from... there are no leaks in the basement and I wondered... would you look at it for me?"

"Sure thing," Dean agreed and turned to the boys.  "I'll be right back, guys."

"No, problem, boss," Griff said, "this won't take long."

"Thanks so much, hon, I do appreciate all the work you guys are doing for me," she said gratefully as she led the man to the back yard.

Jax got down on his knees and leaning under the sink pulled the warped bottom out of the cabinet.  After making sure the leak he had repaired the night before wasn’t dripping again he reached back and took the new piece of plywood from Griff. Then he handed him his screw gun and a handful of screws. Jax had just driven the last screw in and stood up when he heard the kitchen door slam open.

When Gene barreled in, he came face to face with the person he blamed for the mess his life was in.  "You!" he yelled. "What the fuck are you doing here you little bastard?" he demanded, advancing menacingly on Jaxon.

Startled, Jax dropped the screw gun and stepped back.  Gene was the last person he expected to see and in the mood the big man was in, the boy knew he was in big trouble.  "Wh..what are you doing” he stuttered. “ You're not sup..supposed to be here."

"I came to pick up a few of my things.  I still have more right to be here than you, you little shit!  You're the one who ran off!  You're the one who fucked up my marriage!" Gene shouted, grabbing Jaxon's arms shaking the boy like a cat with a mouse.

When the asshole grabbed his friend, Griff yelled, "Let him go!" and plowed into the big man.  He might not be as big as Gene but he was taller than Jax and had worked construction long enough to put force into his move.

Gene let go of his step son with a loud 'Oooooffff!' and fell back a few steps before turning on Griff and hitting him with a roundhouse punch that ended up with the other man on the floor.  "Who's this? Your new little boyfriend?" Gene asked, slurring the word and giving the other young man a kick to his shoulder while he was still down.

"Get your faggot ass and your fairy friend outta here! As long as I'm still married to that bitch of a mother of yours, you're not welcome here."

Dean barreled back into the kitchen, Katy on his heels.  "What's going on?" he yelled advancing on the menacing figure standing over Griff.

Gene's eyes widened in surprise as he saw the tall black man burst into the kitchen. "What are you doing here?” Gene growled in shock that the very man who slugged him at the resort was here in this kitchen in front of him.   “Well, no matter, get the fuck out and take these sacks of shit with you," Gene demanded, albeit with less force than he had used previously.

With Griff on the floor and Jax frozen in fear Dean let out a primeval growl as he moved closer to the coward in front of him.

The overweight, out of shape man fell backwards onto his backside with a loud thud, which shook the house, in his attempt to get away from the big man striding toward him.  He remembered the pain from the last time this man hit him.

Dean, let his size do the talking for him and stood over Gene, daring him to move.

"Katy, call 911," he yelled. He glanced back to see that she had already picked up the kitchen phone and had dialed the number. 

Katy was babbling to the dispatcher, nearly incoherent with anger and fear, but letting her know who she was and where she needed the help.  "Police! We need the police!" Katy begged, her voice quivering, "and an ambulance! One of the boys is hurt! Please hurry!"

"We'll be there very soon, ma'am. If your husband tries to leave let him, don't try to stop him. We'll find him, the important thing is for you and the others to stay safe

Dean heard the conversation over the speaker that Katy had accidently turned on and growled, "He isn't going anywhere."

"This is still my house," Gene said, his voice shaking slightly as he tried to retain the image he had of himself as a tough guy. "Let the police come! I'll tell 'em you hit me first! I'll tell 'em you all came at me! Buncha pansies!"

Jax stood rubbing his arm.  "Jax...Jaxon," Dean gently said over his shoulder, "check on Griff."

Griff was holding his head trying to stand up.  Jax went to him and helped him up into one of the kitchen chairs.

"As for you, asshole, we have three witnesses here that saw what happened."

Katy put the phone down, ran to the freezer and pulled out a handful of ice, placing the pieces into a dish towel. She held it to Griff's face which was quickly bruising. "You creep! You liar! You... you..." she sputtered trying to find words to describe what she was thinking of her hopefully soon to be ex-husband. She'd forgotten to hang up the phone and the dispatcher had a front-row seat for the show, recording the entire altercation.

"This is my house still!" Gene bellowed as he wallowed around in an attempt to get back up. "And I say they're not welcome here!"

"This is my house," Katy reminded him. "It was mine when we married, remember?  I inherited it not you.  It's in my name, and I say you're not welcome!" she said, cradling Griff's head against her stomach with one hand and pushing Jax behind her with the other.

"If I was you, I'd just sit there nice and quiet until the police get here, Mr. Thomas," Dean instructed in a voice that reminded Jax of James.  "Don't move unless you want me to sit you down again."

"Go ahead, fag! Hit me! I'll file charges against you so fast your head'll swim!" Gene threatened, although he stopped his attempts to get back on his feet.

Jax looked around when he heard the sirens.  He dodged past Gene to let the police in the front door.

Dean heard him say, "They're in the kitchen."

The police and EMT's ran into the kitchen, taking stock of the situation.  The EMT went straight to Griff who admitted to feeling dizzy and little sick to his stomach.  The lead officer went to Dean while the second attempted to help Gene off of the floor. "Tell me what happened here," he said calmly.  He winced as all the people in the room began to talk at once.

With Gene contained by one of the officers, Dean stepped back.  He looked over at Griff and instead of answering the question he walked over to his friend.

Katy stood nearby, wringing her hands and looking worriedly down at Griff as she tried to explain to the second officer what had happened.

Jax spoke up then, “This is my mom's house and that," pointing at Gene, "is her ex-husband.  He pushed into the house and tried to grab me."

Jax pointed to Griff.  "Griff tried to help and Gene hit him then kicked him.  That's when Dean got here."

"Liar! Fucking faggot liar!" Gene yelled, trying to twist out of the second officer's grasp. "All I did was tell you to get outta here, and then that big black guy ran in here and punched me!"

"Where did he punch you, sir?" asked the second cop, whose name tag read Mullins.

"He... well... he... in the chest... more or less," Gene stammered.

"May I see the damage sir? If you'd be so kind as to open your shirt so I can see..." the second EMT asked politely. Frankly he was of the opinion that anyone who could yell that loud wasn't in any pain from being punched in the chest.

“Did you hit him, sir?" the office asked Dean.

"No sir, I didn't, although I wanted too," Dean answered.  "He was trying to back away from me and tripped."

Gene sputtered incoherently and blushed bright red as he tried to insist that he'd been attacked. The EMT attempted to look at the supposed injury but the older man brushed his hands off.  "I'm telling you what happened! Now I live here and..."

"You do not live here, Gene, you haven't for months... and why you would choose today to just show up unannounced is beyond me. I have a restraining order out on him, Officer," she said. "He's not supposed to come here by himself and he's supposed to call first if he does need to be here."

"Is this true, Mr. Thomas?" the first police officer asked, arching an eyebrow.

"I just came to get some of my stuff, that's not illegal, is it?" Gene demanded.

"If you're violating a restraining order then yes, it is," replied the officer who had been holding him. He then took out his cuffs and began to restrain the still angry and sputtering man.

Another officer came into the room.  "Hello Mrs. Thomas,” he said.  "I see Gene's broken your restraining order again."

Katy sighed in relief at the sight of her friend Officer Dawson, Dwayne’s nephew. "Yes, Pete! Thank God you're here," she said gratefully.

"You can't do this to me!" Gene protested. "What about that little faggot being here? And his fairy friend?! And what about that black guy hitting me?" he maintained.

"All that aside, Gene," Pete said firmly, "you're not supposed to be here."

"He didn't hit you, asshole," Jax yelled.

Dean dropped his arm over Jax's shoulder.  "Shh, let the police handle it."

"I asked them here," Katy replied tersely, looking daggers at Gene. "They were helping me. And they have every right to be here if I ask them, unlike you," she spat out at her husband.  "And Jaxon is my son."

"I think we have all the information we need, ma'am. I'm sorry this happened.  Mr. Thomas, it would be best if you stopped speaking and came along quietly," Officer Dawson said before he began to read the man his rights.

"I'll get you! Believe me! I'll get back at all of you, you pieces of shit!" Gene yelled at the men.

Officer Mullins picked up the dangling phone and asked, "Did you get all of that, Marissa?"

From the tone of the dispatcher’s voice he knew she had a grin on her face when she replied, "Every word."

"Good, we'll talk later," he said as he hung up the phone.

Dean looked at the EMT helping Griff.  "How is he doing?"

"I'd feel a lot better if he came to the hospital with us, Mr...  well, it appears he has quite a concussion and it would be best if a doctor looked at him."

"Montgomery, but just call me Dean."  He looked at the officer in charge.  "Will you need us any longer?" he asked.

"Just make yourselves available if we have any more questions, but I think this is a pretty open and shut case. Thank you for your help, Dean."

The second EMT returned with a gurney and the two men helped Griff onto it, strapping him in. "I'm just going to give you a shot for the nausea, sir," one explained to the injured man.

"We hopefully are heading back to Masonville, after Griff gets checked out," Dean said.  "After I talk to Jax's partner, I'll know better if we're going to pursue this any further."

"There's a chance that the doctor may want to keep him overnight for observation," the EMT replied worriedly.

"Jax go with Griff, I'll meet you at the hospital." Then he turned back to the EMT.  “We'll do whatever we need to do, even if it means staying another day or two."

"Alright then, Dean, we'll see you at the hospital. Relax Griff," he continued gently, "you're in good hands here." With that the EMTs rolled the gurney out of the door, carefully down the steps and into the waiting ambulance.  "Jaxon, you can sit in the front with me, alright?" he offered.

"Katy, will you be OK?" Dean asked.

"I'll be alright, now that I know Gene is locked up and Jax is alright.  I'll meet you at the hospital though, once I've locked up.  I need to know how Griff is doing," she said, worried that the tall man would tell her it wasn't her business.

Pulling the slight woman into a warm supportive hug, Dean whispered, “I'll wait for you to lock up."

Katy finally gave into her emotions and began to cry.  "This is all my fault! Poor Griff! Oh, Lord I hope he'll be alright," she said quietly as she leaned into the hug.

Dean let her cry, but whispered, "He's a tough kid, Katy.  He'll be OK."  Then adding to himself, 'He has to be.'

Katy ran around the house, locking the doors.  She grabbed her jacket and purse before rejoining Dean so that he could follow her to the hospital.  She couldn't stop wringing her hands and didn't realize she was hurting herself until her wedding rings dug into her fingers.  With a huff of disgust, she took them off, resisted the urge to throw them out of the window, and instead pushed them into the bottom of her purse.  

"I never asked you how you were doing, Dean," she said sadly. "I'm so sorry this happened."

"I’m worried about Griff and Jax, but I'm OK.  I'm glad I was here for them and you,” Dean answered then chuckled.  "I'm not sure how Jax's guys are going to take this.  I was supposed to keep him away from Gene."

"You couldn't have helped that. I had no clue he was going to show up or I'd have stopped him, or warned Jax anyway. That... that..." she stammered, angry once again.  "Oh, I hope they lock him up and throw the key away!"

"Well, he's in jail and probably will be for a few days so let's get to the hospital and check on the boys,” the big guy said as he walked Katy to her car.

Katy took a deep breath to calm herself and smiled up at Dean. "I'm sorry this happened, but I'm so grateful that you were there. Thank you, Dean," she went up on tiptoe to plant a motherly kiss on his cheek before getting into the car.


When Dean and Katy walked into the ER, Jax was pacing the floor.  Seeing his mom and his friend, he ran to them.  "They won't let me go in and be with Griff. They said they needed to examine him first."

"Don't worry, sweetie," Katy said gently, holding her son to her. "He'll be alright. He's in good hands. We just have to wait for now," she said holding onto his hand and pulling him down gently as she sat.

"That's normal, Jax, but I'll go check on him," Dean said softly. "I want you to call one of your guys. Now."

"Ok, but ..."

"Jaxon, it'll be OK.  But they need to know what's going on," Dean said in that voice that brooked no argument.

Jax slumped back in his chair.  Finally, seeming to come to a decision, he pulled out his phone and punched in Heath's code.

"Hi, Doc," he said after a couple of rings.  "Miss you we haven’t left yet cuz Griff’s in the emergency room.  He might have to spend the night."  He listened then answered, "Probably a he didn't fall."  Jax sucked in a breath then began his tale.  "We ran into my mom at the hardware store yesterday...Yes sir,, I guess I forgot to tell you...Yes sir...well, we all went to Mom’s for dinner last night and to help her with a leaking faucet."

Jax looked at his mom, who looked worried at the conversation.

"She told us that Gene never left town," the young man said.  "Yeah, I know but Dean was there…Anyway, we went back today to finish fixing the cabinet and Gene showed up...yeah, he hurt Griff."

Katy put a warm hand over Jaxon's cold one and looked at him, asking him wordlessly if he was going to be alright. She was a little concerned at the deferential tone that Jax was using with the person on the phone.

"No, you don't have to come here, Doc."  Jaxon 's face blushed.  "Yeah, um, OK…yes sir... call me when you get here so I can tell you where we you more.... drive carefully… bye bye."

"Jax?" she asked, afraid to ask the rest of the questions that were running through her mind at that moment.


"Who was that on the phone? Are... are you... is everything alright at home?"

"Oh, that was Heath, one of my partners," her son answered.  "They worry about me.  They didn't really want me to come to Elmville with the guys because of Gene.  But when he came to the resort he told Duke he was moving west, so we thought it would be OK."

The word 'one' made Katy's stomach clench a little. She thought she'd been alright with her son's living situation but hearing him on the phone had given her second thoughts. In another attempt to be supportive, she pushed her misgivings aside.  "I'm so sorry, baby," she said, giving him a kiss on the forehead. "I had no idea he was going to show up like that."

"It's Ok, Mom.  Maybe he saw us somewhere, cuz he didn't act surprised to see me when he busted in the kitchen."

"That's why I had to take out the restraining order," she admitted. "He's been... stalking me, I guess you'd say. Coming around the house all the time on the pretense of picking up his things.  He took everything the day after I threw him out, but he keeps coming around, asking me to give him another chance and getting belligerent with me when I say no... that's why I called the police the first time. It's very possible he'd been outside watching the whole time."

"When James gets here I'll ask him to help keep Gene away from you," Jax told his mom.  "He's never met the asshole but he has no use for him."

"James can do that?" Katy asked curiously.

"Yeah, he can do it," Jax smiled.  "He's wonderful.  He owns the resort where I live."

Katy didn't know how she felt about the idea of her son having two partners, it had taken her a little while to get used to the idea that he was gay and to accept that fact.  She shook her head slightly and tried once again to lay her concerns aside. All that mattered was that Jaxon was happier, and had filled out quite a bit since leaving home. Whoever his partner was... partners were... they were obviously taking good care of him, and that was all that mattered, she repeated, trying to convince herself that things were alright. 

She managed a smile and squeezed her only son’s hand.  "I can't wait to meet them.  You know I have all those extra rooms I've never done anything with. Why don't you all stay over tonight, and with luck Griff will be ready and able to go home tomorrow. At least you and your... partners... won't have to drive all the way back tonight. Sound good? I'll make a nice dinner. Um, what do your partners like to eat?"

"Thanks Mom, I'm sure they'll like meeting you and staying with you tonight," her son said.  "But Mom..."

"Yes, hon?" Katy asked, cocking her head to the side curiously.

"Well, my guys are older than me," Jax said.  "A lot older but they love me and I love them."

"A lot older..." she repeated quietly. "How much is that in dog years?" she joked, trying to remain calm.

"Well, Dean is younger than James but older than Heath."

Katy licked her lips nervously but remained silent. 

"Mom, I don't want this to sound mean, but they are my guys and I love them and nothing is going to change that or my mind."

His mother stood up, looking flustered, but managed a quavering smile.  "I'm just going to get some coffee.  I'll be right back. Can I get anything for you guys while I'm gone?"

The young man knew his mother needed some time alone so he said, "No, we're good, Mom."

"I'll just be in the cafeteria, I'll be right back. You know my number if there's any word on Griff," she said, turning to leave.

While his mother was gone, Dean came back into the waiting room and said, "How you doing, Bud?  Where's Katy?"

"She went to get coffee," Jax answered.  "How's Griff?'"

"They want to keep him overnight.  Gene did give him a concussion," the older man growled. “His face is bruised and so is his shoulder, but nothings broken.”

"I hate him."

"Easy, Jax, hate is a wasted emotion," Dean gently said.  "You have better things to do with your heart.  And speaking of your heart, did you talk to James or Heath?"

"Yeah, they're on their way here."

Dean smiled.  "I figured they would want to be here.  And that's not a bad thing. Maybe James can help your mom with some legal stuff and Heath can talk to Griff’s doctors."

"Mom said we can stay with her tonight," Jax told his boss.  "I don't think she's happy with them being so much older but I told her there was nothing she can do about it.  Hell, she wasn't there for me when I was growing up or when I had to come back and lived with her and Gene.  She can't do anything now, I'm legal."

"Whoa, Bud, don't get worked up," Dean cautioned.  "You and your guys belong together and they won’t let anyone change that.”

"I know, Dean.  I just wish she could like them,” Jax sighed.

“What’s not to like?” Dean chuckled.  “A doctor and a resort owner who both think the world of her son.  What more could a mother ask for?”

A few minutes later Katy came back into the waiting room. Dean noticed that she didn't have a cup of coffee with her.  "How's Griff doing?" she asked.

"He's resting," Dean answered.  "He's going to have to stay here tonight."

"Do you think they’d let him come with us if Heath asks them?" Jax asked.

Katy sighed and her brow furrowed in worry for the young man who was so sweet and quiet. He didn't deserve this. None of them did.  She hoped never to see Gene again.  Finally, she looked up at the men and said, "Well, there's much to be done then, and I have to get back home and get things set up.  I'll make the roast we didn’t have last night, is that OK, Jax?"

"Dean, if it's ok, can I go with Mom?"

"No," Katy replied quickly, "I can take care of it. I just need... to... clean the place up a little before I have guests."

“OK, Mom, a roast will be great."

"You can call me if Griff is going to be coming home too, that way I can get another bed ready. I'll see you all at home." She managed a smile before picking up her purse and coat and leaving.


Katy hesitated a moment but didn't stop. "I have a lot to do, sweetie, I'll see you at home."

"It wasn't your fault that Griff got hurt,” Jax softly told his mother.  He walked to her and pulled her into a hug.

Jax's mother squeezed her eyes shut, trying to keep the tears back. "If anything happens to him..." she managed to say. "When I think that he could have hurt you too. Again."

"Katy, the doctors say he'll be right as rain soon.  He's strong," Dean assured her.

"Griff stopped him from hurting me, Mom, which gave Dean time to get there," the younger man said.  "Be careful driving home, Mom.  Love you."

She hugged her son tightly before looking up at him with a smile.  "I love you too. Be careful yourself. Call me when you're on your way."

"I will."  Jax watched his mom walk back out the ER doors before he turned to sit next to Dean.

"I'm glad she wanted to go alone, Bud," Dean chuckled.  "I promised I wouldn't leave you alone and with James coming here it ain't gunna happen."


Jax’s cell phone played Heath’s jingle just at 4:25 p.m.  Pulling the phone from his pocket the young man connected the call.  “Hey,” he answered, “Where are you guys?... Already? James must be driving cuz you made great time…Yeah, they are keeping Griff so we are still at the hospital…OK, see you soon…Love you more.” 

Dean walked back in the waiting room just as Jax pocketed his phone again.  “Was that your guys?” he asked sitting down next to him.

“Yeah, they just hit town so they should be here in about 15 minutes.”

“I got kicked out of Griff’s room again,” Dean laughed.  “They are taking him to get a couple of x-rays just to make sure nothing else is wrong.”  The contractor ran both hands through his hair, concern plainly written on his face.

Both men sat in silence thinking over the events of the day.

All too soon the ER doors slid open and two very tall men walked with a purpose across the waiting room.

James, coming into the waiting area saw his boy and Dean and going over to Jax, pulled him into a hug. "How are you doing little one?" he asked softly. 

"I'm good now that you guys are here," Jax answered into James's chest.

As soon his older partner let go of him, Heath pulled Jax into another hug, kissing the top of his head.

He turned to Dean. "How's Griff?"

Dean, a worried look on his face, filled James and Heath in on Griff.  "Griff's still fuzzy.  He has a headache which is to be expected.  The side of his face is bruised where that bastard hit him.  His shoulder is bruised too, but the x-rays didn’t show any broken bones."

James waited for Dean to finish before asking his lover, "That poor excuse of a man didn't hurt you did he Jax?"

"," Jax whispered, rubbing his arm.  

Heath noticed the movement and gently pushed Jax's sweatshirt sleeve up to see a hand sized bruise.  “Looks like you aren't that OK, little boy."

James’s smoky blue eyes darkened at the sight.  "I'll make sure that man doesn't see the light of day for a very long time!"  His eyebrow arched.  "Did anyone check Jax out?" he demanded.

"I'm sorry, James," Dean said. "I came in the room so fast I only saw Griff on the floor.  I didn't know he got Jax too."  Then looking at the boy he said, "You should have said something Bud."

"I guess once that asshole hit Griff I just forgot about it."

James nodded. "Yes, he should have...Heath will you please arrange for Jax to be seen to while I make a few phone calls?"

"B...but, it doesn't hurt, James.  I'm OK," Jax whined trying, to pull away from Heath.

Heath leaned down and whispered in his youngest partner’s ear, "Unless you want something else to hurt you will come with me, Babe."

James gave Jax a stern look. "Go with Heath, little boy, and no more arguments," the man said in a very stern tone.

Jax looked between his guys then simply said, "Yes, sir."

Dean watched Heath lead Jax across the waiting room toward the nurse’s station, then turned to James.  "I guess we need to talk, James."

James gave Dean a stern look. "Yes, we do...I want to know just how this man was able to get to Jax...again."

"Trust me James, it was a total surprise," Dean replied still wondering what had happened.  "We ran into Katy, Jax's mom, at the lumber yard.  She told us the dead beat was still in Elmville, but that she hadn't seen much of him and that she had a restraining order against him."  He paused looking at the bigger man. 

“Heath and I will be talking the Jax about not letting us know about Katy or Gene either time he called us yesterday,”

James didn't say anything more, so Dean continued, "Katy needed some work done in her kitchen and we volunteered.  She offered to feed us dinner.  I really didn't think Gene would come around, and he didn't.  We had a nice evening then told her we would be back on our way out of town today to finish up under the sink."

James nodded. "And then what happened? How'd that scumbag get to Griff and Jax?"

"After we ate, the boys started replacing the floor in the cabinet and Katy asked me to look at a dripping hose-bid in the yard.  I swear, we didn't even get out of the house when I heard Gene yelling.  I got back in there just as Griff went down.  Gene recognized me and started backing away and tripped.  He went down hard.  I warned him not to get up, which, thankfully, he didn't.  I just stood there until the cops got there. He told the cops I hit him, but I never touched him, James.  I did hear Griff yell at Gene to let Jax go, so that must have been where the bruises came from.  Griff barreled into Gene staggering him but that's when he got hit...hard...and kicked…he was on the floor when I came in the room. "

James sighed. "I should have known better than to let Jax and Griff come up here with that maniac on the loose, but that can't be helped now. I'm going to call our attorney for the resort, Oliver Barrat and see what he can advise...I'm not happy that the police got involved in all this, but it couldn't be avoided," he told Dean, his unhappiness showing on his face and in his eyes.

"I'm sorry too, James.  I'd give anything if I could have protected Jax and... Griff," Dean stated worry and concern plainly heard in his voice.  "But it's not your fault, or mine, that that asshole was still lurking around.  According the Jax's mom, he is very good at manipulating things to work his way."

James nodded and said ominously, "Well this will be the last time.”

"James, I know it's not my place to tell you how to deal with this, but you know as well as I do that you can’t tie that boy down," Dean said with a touch of dominance in his voice.  "He'll grow to resent you."

James’s eyebrow arched in surprise. "I wasn't talking about my boy...I was talking about that bastard that assaulted our boys."

Dean chuckled relieved.  "I agree with you on that, James."

The resort owner said, "I thought you would. Then Jax and anyone else with him won't have to worry about coming here to Elmville or seeing Mrs. Thomas."

Both men looked around when they saw Jax hurrying to them.   "Doc says I'm ok and guess what?" Jax said sliding into James out stretched arms.  "Dean talked the doctors into letting Griff come home with us.  He signing the papers now.”

Dean's head shot up, "Really?"

"That's really good news Jax,” James agreed, squeezing his lover to him.

"Yeah, I heard them tell Doc that Griff's X-rays were clear so we just need to wake him a few times during the night and watch him."

Heath finally came across the room to join the other men.  His older partner looked at him. "Is our boy alright?"

"James, I told you I was, sheesh," Jax whined.

"Yes, JW, just a few bruises," Heath confirmed.  "I had them document the bruises in case Oliver needs them in court."

James nodded at Heath. "I'm glad...for both things and you little boy, I wanted to know for certain being you weren't very forthcoming when I asked at first," He scolded lightly, hugging Jax tightly.

Jax blushed.  "Sorry," he sighed.

"It's all right...I'm just glad your injuries weren't anything serious." He kissed the young man on the top of the head and then gave his bottom a light swat.  He turned to Heath. "What do you need to get Griff released?"

"It's all set," the doctor answered.  "They're getting him ready now."

James nodded to Heath and said, "That's good."

"Mom is waiting for us at the house, James," the younger man said.  "She has plenty of room for all of us and she wants to meet my partners."

He then turned to Jax, "She is? We'd better let her know about Griff coming too then. I'd like to meet her too."

"I need to call her and tell her he’s will be coming with us," Jax explained.

James smiled. "That's just what I said."

Jax kissed James on the cheek, "Yup, that must have been where I heard it. You guys talk and I’ll call Mom," the young man said stepping away from the other three men. 

Heath watched Dean and saw relief flow over him.  Even though Dean hadn’t shared that he was a Top but Heath would bet he was smitten with the young man waiting to come home with them.

James chuckled. "We brought the van so we have enough room for Griff to lie down in the back if that's good Heath.” 

"It would be best if he did lay down.  He still has a headache and is still dizzy," Doc explained.  "Do you think I should drive, JW, or can you not race around corners?"

James quirked an eyebrow at Heath. "I believe I can handle that just fine my good doctor," he told him dryly.  His smoky blue eyes twinkled with amusement though.

Heath laughed and dropped a kiss on his older partner's lips.  "Love you, JW.  And you too little boy," he said to his men now that Jax had come back to them.

"And I love you too Doc." James squeezed Heath and let him go and then put an arm around Jax and smiled at Dean.

Dean stood when he saw the nurse wheel Griff across the waiting room in a wheelchair.

"Did you drive or are you coming with us?"

"I drove, James.  I don't suppose you'd let Jax drive my truck back so I could ride with Griff, would you?" Dean hopelessly ask the big man.

James looked at Heath to see what his thinking was. He knew Jax was familiar with the area and that he was a good driver and if Dean trusted the younger man with his truck he didn't have any objections. He could see Dean wanted to be with Griff.

Heath knew either he or James could drive the carpenter’s truck but he also knew Jax needed this responsibility right now.  "Jax," Heath sternly said, "if we let you drive Dean's truck, we want you to lead the way to your mom's house.  We don't want you out of our sight, understand?"

Jax looked at Dean then Heath and finally James. "Yes sir, I understand."

James nodded. "Yes, I don't want anything happening we don't know about or can't avoid."

"Yes, sir."

"I totally trust Jax with the truck, James,” Dean said then smiled.  “From what I hear he's a safer driver than... well... you."

James grinned and shook his head. "Well at least I get to where I'm going just fine." He had resisted rolling his eyes at Dean, but his lips quirked.

“Barely,” Heath laughed.

James said, "Then go ahead, Jax, and Dean, you can come in the van with Griff.

"I'll sit in the back with him," Dean stated with enough authority not to be argued with.

" one's arguing with you. I already said, as did Doc, you would be riding with him.  Now let’s get your man in the van." James was tempted to give him a swat, but refrained at the moment. He did occasionally give a top a swat if needed.

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