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I’m sure y’all weren’t expecting chapter two this soon but I told you I have my good friend Ti on my butt threatening me not to stop writing.
I’ll make this short so you can get on with the story, so here is my disclaimer. This is a gay romance story with situations that will bring you out of your comfort zone. So if that is not your cup of tea then turn away now, but let’s face it you read chapter one so you must like it. My stories are realistic and show how life can really be. They are full of detail and not a lot of sex. So if you are looking for a quick read with lots of sex this is not the story for you. All persons in this story are eighteen or older and any likenesses to any persons, places or events is completely coincidental. Okay now that’s out of the way, sit back relax, grab a drink and enjoy chapter two of Field of Blooms: Precious Life………
This morning on Channel 6 Action News we bring you an update on a story we initially reported on three days ago about a man who was found beaten and left for dead in the woods along Harding Highway. The young man’s name is Austin Montgomery of Upper Deerfield, New Jersey. He was riding his bike home from a friend’s house when he was viciously attacked and left for dead. Austin is an openly gay man and police have deemed this a hate crime. Police have interviewed some persons of interest but, as of now, they have no solid leads as to who committed this horrific crime. They are still seeking the public’s help for any information leading to the suspects.
“I don’t know how many times I have to tell you, I don’t know who would have done this to Austin.” Eric said as he glared at the detective.
“Eric, we know that Austin was at your house the night he was attacked. We are not saying you are responsible or had anything to do with it but we have a feeling you might know who would want to hurt him.” Detective Sanchez said as he sat across from Eric.
Eric leaned over the table, clearly agitated and grit his teeth as he said, “I don’t know.”
“Okay, then let me take a statement of the events that night between the two of you.” Sanchez stated as he brought out a legal pad.
“Like I said before, Austin came over to my house…”
“Around what time?”
“I don’t know six or seven.”
“In the morning or evening?”
“Jesus Christ, in the evening.”
“Okay, go on.”
“He came over and we watched a movie in the living room before going outside and hanging out by the pool.”
“What movie did you watch?”
“The Never Ending Story. What does that even matter?”
“I’m building a time line of events. So after the movie you guys went outside and just hung out by the pool. Did you go swimming?”
“Yes, we ended up in the pool. I guess we were in there for about an hour or so.”
“After that what did you guys do?”
“We went up to my room and just talked.”
“Good god, I don’t remember everything, just stupid bullshit. Upcoming school year, summer vacation, shit like that.”
“Did you guys have sex?”
Eric’s face flashed red. “Fuck no! I’m not gay.”
“Okay Eric I think we have all the answers we need right now. Take my card and if you happen to think of anything please call me.” Detective Sanchez said as he handed Eric his card and opened the door.
Eric shoved it in his pocket and walked out of the police station.
“You think he knows more than he is letting on?” Detective Mays asked.
“Oh yeah, there is a lot more than he is telling. His defensive attitude was a sign he knew something that he didn’t want to tell. He also showed no sign of emotion when I told him how bad Austin was injured. I don’t think he did it or had anything to do with it but my gut tells me he knows who did.”
Eric got in his car and drove home. When he got there he found the house empty, something he was accustomed too. His mother was probably off at the country club eating lunch with the other ladies and his father was at work. He went into the home gym and started to lift weights. He cranked the music up to where it was on full blast and started lifting. While he was in the middle of a rep the door bell rang. Pissed he dropped the weights, turned the music off and opened the front door.
“Can I help you?” He asked Becka.
“Well hello to you too, Eric.”
“I was right in the middle of a rep when you interrupted me.”
“Have you gone to see Austin yet?” She questioned as she walked in the house.
“Sure come on in.” Eric said sarcastically as he closed the door.
“Seriously, have you gone to see him?”
“No, I haven’t had the time.”
Becka slapped him hard across the face. “You fucking asshole! Your boyfriend is lying in a hospital bed in a coma and you don’t even have the fucking decency to go see him?!”
“Don’t ever hit me again.” Eric said as he took a step closer to her.
“You think I’m intimidated by you? Ha! You’re lucky I left my two rolls of quarters at home or I’d knock some fucking sense into that casino oyna thick head of yours! I know all about the two of you and it turns my stomach to think Austin loves you.”
Eric just glared at her.
“Yes, I know that you two are secretly dating and no, I’m not going to go around telling everyone, that is not my business. So swallow that fucking pride of yours and go see him. Because if you don’t, and if he wakes up, I will make sure he dumps your sorry ass.”
Eric raised an eyebrow, “What do you mean if he wakes up?”
Becka rolled her eyes. “If you had been to the hospital you would have known that he is still in very serious condition. They don’t know if he’s going to wake up and if he does they are not sure if there will be permanent brain damage.”
Eric sighed as his voice caught in his throat, “You want to know the reason I haven’t gone to see him?”
“That’d be nice to know.”
“I can’t handle seeing him like that. I’ve heard the news reports and have a good idea how bad he must look.”
“No Eric, you really don’t. What they show in movies and TV is nothing what it is like in the real world.”
“I just…” Eric’s voice trailed off as a tear ran down his cheek.
Becka put an arm around Eric. “Do you love him?”
“Yes, I do.” Eric wiped the tear from his cheek.
“Then, go see him. Sit with him, hold his hand, talk to him and let him know you are there and that for once in your sorry life, you give a damn about someone more than yourself.”
“You sure don’t beat around the bush.”
“Nope, I don’t have time to. I am going back over there later today. I can pick you up if you want.” Becka offered as she walked towards the door.
“It’s okay. I have my car back so I’ll drive myself over.”
“Okay. Well, my offer stands if you want it.”
“Thanks.” Eric said as he closed the door.
She was right. He was being completely selfish. It was time that he started thinking about Austin’s needs rather than his own. He took a quick shower and threw on a pair of black basketball shorts and a white tank top.
When he entered the lobby of the hospital he walked up to the desk and asked for Austin’s room number. The lady asked if he was family and he gladly said yes. Austin was in room 404 in the intensive care unit. Taking a deep breath, Eric opened the door and froze in the doorway. He was not prepared for what waited for him. Austin was lying there hooked up to all kinds of machines. Wires were running everywhere, from head to toe. Eric looked at Austin’s face, covered in so many deep cuts and bruises, he didn’t even recognize him. Tears fell as he turned around and shut the door. He buried his head in his hands and started to sob as he slid down the wall. He knew deep down that he bore some responsibility in this. Maybe if he hadn’t answered Jennifer’s call he wouldn’t have lashed out at Austin causing him to leave so soon. Maybe he should have broken up with her the moment he and Austin started dating. These thoughts and more ran through his head as he sobbed in his hands.
“Eric?” Joan called out.
“Mrs. Montgomery?” Eric replied as he stood up and wiped the tears from his face.
Joan pulled Eric into a deep hug and held onto him. “It’s okay Hun, you can cry. I’ve been doing a lot of that lately.”
“I am so sorry! I am so sorry that I didn’t come over the second I heard the news report.” Eric began to sob again.
“It’s okay you are here now.” She tightened her arms around him.
She kept him in the hug until his sobs softened into sniffles. Finally, she broke the hug and looked him in the eyes. “Do you want to go in?”
“I already tried but it was too much. There are so many machines and wires.”
“I know it looks scary at first. I felt the same way when I first saw him in his hospital bed but it’s okay, they say he isn’t in any pain.”
“How long can I stay?”
“As long as you want. Mr. Montgomery and I have been staying with him as much as we can but we can only afford to take off so many days.”
“Then I will stay with him.”
“I think that would be nice. I’ll go and let the nurses know.”
Eric braced himself this time for what he was going to see. When he opened the door he heard the pinging of the heart monitor and the whooshing sound of the breathing machine. He walked over to Austin’s bedside, pulled up a chair and sat next to him. He placed his hand in Austin’s and felt the warmth. Becka was right; they did not portray this in the movies. Eric didn’t look up when he heard the door open. Joan pulled up a chair next to him and placed her hand on his back.
“They say it was a hate crime.”
Eric closed his eyes and took a deep breath.
“This is exactly what I was worried about the day Austin came out to us. I love my gay son more than anything but this world is still a cruel hateful place for homosexuals.”
“I wish I had been there to save him.” Eric wept as he squeezed Austin’s hand.
“Eric this isn’t your fault. How could you have known something this horrible canlı casino was going to happen?”
“I shouldn’t have let him leave that late at night. If he left during the day……”
“It still could have happened. The harsh reality is things like this happen in the middle of the day just as much as they do at night. I’m just glad someone stopped when they saw his bike on the side of the road. If they hadn’t, I hate to think how different this would have turned out.”
“Did they say how long he could be in a coma?”
“Right now, he is in a medically induced coma since he had a lot of brain swelling but the doctors said they are going to try and bring him out of it in a few days.”
“I want to be here for that, if that’s okay with you?”
“That would be fine. Like I said, you can stay as long as you want.”
“I’ve only heard what the news reports are saying but I had no idea how bad he really was.”
“He has a major concussion, four broken ribs, a broken left wrist, his jaw was dislocated, they stopped the internal bleeding and he has a large laceration on his head and a badly bruised shoulder. They think the laceration came from someone hitting him with a rock. The police told me there was a large rock covered in blood near his body.”
They sat in silence listening to the sound of the machines when Joan asked Eric if he would mind if she went home and freshened up. He told her that he wasn’t going to leave Austin’s side even for a minute.
“Thank you for loving my son. It is nice to know there are still some good people out there.” She hugged Eric and walked out the door.
“I am so sorry Austin, this is all my fault. If I wasn’t such as asshole you wouldn’t be lying here in this bed clinging to life. I need you to fight for me superman, I need you to come back to me. Fuck! There I go again thinking about myself when your parents are suffering even more.” Eric gently started rubbing Austin’s hand. “When you wake up, and you are better, I am taking you down to Ocean City for a week. It will be just the two of us, no parties, no friends just you and me by the ocean. I love you Austin.”
Eric kept rubbing Austin lovingly as he laid his head down on the bed and closed his eyes. He nodded off for about an hour before a nurse came in and roused him.
“I’m sorry to wake you Mr. Mason but I have to check Austin’s vitals.”
“I’m sorry, what was that?”
“Eric, you can call me Eric.”
“Okay Eric, I’m Nurse Aimee and I take care of Austin during the day. Is there anything I can get for you?”
“No, thank you.”
Just as Aimee was about to walk out, he thought of something. “Do you guys have a library?”
“No, I’m sorry, we don’t. They closed it down a few years ago but there is a book store across the street.” She offered.
“That’s okay. I was looking for a specific book.”
“What is it? I might be able to hunt it down for you.”
“It’s The Never Ending Story, his favorite book from when he was a kid. His dad always used to read it to him. I wanted to read it to him even though I know he isn’t awake.”
“That is actually a very good idea. Did you know, it is believed that reading and conversing with people who are in a coma is good for them? They might not be able to respond but it has been proven that some people have actually heard their friends and family talking to them. Let me see what I can do.” She smiled and walked out.
Eric rested his head back on the bed and softly cried as he waited for Aimee to come back. He must have cried himself to sleep because, when he woke up, two hours had passed. Then he noticed a brown bag lying at the foot of the bed. Wiping his eyes, he looked inside and pulled out a collector’s edition of The Never Ending Story. It was a gorgeous tan leather bound book with gold lettering and a replica of Auryn on the cover. Eric knew this book must have cost a fortune and he wanted to pay Aimee back. He went out to the hallway and walked over to the nurses’ station where he saw her sitting. The moment she saw him a smile came across her face.
With tears in his eyes, Eric hugged her. “Thank you for that gift. He is going to love it when he gets to see it.”
“You are very welcome.”
“Please, let me pay for it. I can tell it must have cost you quite a bit.” Eric said as he pulled out his wallet.
She held her hand up to stop him. “No, I became a nurse because I love helping people feel better. My work doesn’t stop with giving out medicine or checking vitals. I take this job to heart and if I can make someone’s life a little easier then I am more than happy to do it. Now, go in there and read that story to your boyfriend.”
Eric smiled, thanked her again and went back to Austin’s room. This time he decided to lie next to Austin in the bed. It was just large enough for him to squeeze in right alongside. After he made sure he wasn’t on any wires or tubes he opened the book and started reading in a quiet voice. “Chapter one. Bastian was getting ready for school one morning………”
“I feel kaçak casino like I got no rest.” Joan told Mark as they walked down the hall towards Austin’s room.
“I know. If I’m lucky, I’ll get one hour’s worth of sleep before I wake up.”
“What is that?” Joan asked as she held up her finger to alert Mark. “Oh my god!”
“What is it?!”
“Eric’s in there reading, The Never Ending Story, to Austin.”
Touched deeply, both parents looked at each other with tears of happiness in their eyes.
“Eric really does love him.” Mark said choking back the tears.
“I guess he really does.”
They quietly opened the door and watched as Eric read the story.
“Everyone knew whoever let the sadness overtake him, would sink into the swamp.” Eric stopped when he saw the Montgomery’s standing there.
“Don’t stop on account of us, please continue.”
Eric looked back down at the book and continued on. The Montgomery’s pulled up chairs on either side of the bed and each took one of Austin’s hands. They smiled at each other as they listened to Eric tell the story.
For the next three days Eric never left Austin’s bedside. Most of the time he would sleep in the chair but, once in a while, he would climb into bed with Austin and hold him. Whenever he finished the story he would start all over from the beginning. He didn’t care how many times he would have to read it; if it took a thousand times before Austin woke then that’s exactly what he was going to do.
Late one night Joan stopped by after work and noticed Eric had fallen asleep in the chair holding the book. She walked over and covered him with a blanket.
“Thank you Eric for loving my son so much.” She whispered as she kissed him on the head.
On the fourth day the swelling in Austin’s face had gone down to the point where he started to look recognizable again. The doctors informed them that Austin was able to breathe on his own and they were going to stop the medications that had him in a coma. Eric asked how long it would take before Austin would wake up. They told him, if all went well, the meds should be out of his system in a few hours. Time seemed to come to a crawl once the breathing tube was removed. Eric paced back and forth waiting for any sign that Austin was coming back to them.
“Eric hunny, please sit down. You are going to wear a hole in the floor.” Joan said as she grabbed his arm.
“Sorry. This is just the moment we have been waiting for. I’m so nervous my hands are shaking.” Eric said with a shiver.
Thankfully, they only had to wait about another hour and a half before Austin first began to stir. Eric was back in his spot, with his head on the bed and his hand holding Austin’s. Just as he was about to nod off he felt Austin’s finger start to grip his. His head shot up like a canon ball and he started calling Austin’s name.
“Austin? Can you hear me? It’s Eric. You parents are right here with me.”
Joan and Mark both rushed over to his bedside. Austin gripped a little harder as his eyes fluttered ever so slightly. The minutes seemed to drag by until he slowly opened his eyes.
“Where am I?” Austin’s throat was dry and scratchy.
“You’re in the hospital. There was a little accident but you are going to be fine.” Eric smiled.
“I am so thirsty,” Austin said hoarsely.
“The nurse said we could give you ice chips when you woke, if you wanted.” Eric said, picking up a nearby Styrofoam cup half filled with ice.
“Oh thank you, that feels so much better!” Austin said with recognizable relief. “What happened?”
Everyone looked at each other and wondered if they should tell him what had happened. Eric was the first one to speak.
“You had a little biking accident the night you left my house.”
“Oh, I can’t remember anything from that night.”
“You had a concussion and they said you might have some short term memory loss, but we can talk about that later, just try and rest.”
“We are going to let the doctor know that you are awake.” Joan said as she kissed Austin’s forehead.
As they were walking out the door they motioned for Eric to join them. Eric leaned down and gently kissed Austin’s bruised lips. “I’ll be right back superman, I love you.”
“Thank you for staying with Austin these past several days. It’s really meant a lot to us. Now that he’s awake if you want to go home and freshen up you can.” Joan offered.
Eric thought for a moment. He had been wearing the same outfit since he arrived and was starting to feel grungy.
“Oh Eric, we did bring you a clean t-shirt.” Mark held out his hand making the offer.
“Thank you, that’s great! I’d really like to stay tonight with him now that he is awake.”
“That is fine with us.”
That night the Montgomery’s stayed until ten o’clock before they headed back home. They told Eric that they would be back in the morning so he could go home and get some rest. Once they left, Eric pulled up his chair and brought out the book from under the bed.
“I have a little surprise for you.” He said as he placed the book on Austin’s lap.
“Holy shit, that’s a collector’s edition! How did you ever find it? They only made a limited number of these.” Austin smiled as he ran his fingers over the leather.
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