A few miles away from the Centre, Gus ("<\/p>\r\n<h4 style=\"text-align: justify;\">Gus<\/h4>\r\n<ul style=\"text-align: justify;\">\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 39<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 5'10\" 180 lbs, Greek ancestry, built like a linebacker with broad shoulders<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Owner of a dozen Grestaurantsrants in six cities<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Relationships: John (Husband)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared II, Chapter 23     |     Jared II, Chapter 13 (mentioned)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: justify;\">") saw the same car in the back of the parking lot again. There wasn't much moisture on the ground as it had been dried by the sun. The back of the parking lot still had some mud and the tire impressions looked like the car had driven right to the spot from the alley and had parked. He had no clue how long it had been there tonight. Gus actually made a fresh pizza, large salad, and garlic bread tonight just for the two young men who may be eating his food. He placed the pizza and other items into the dumpster on top of the garbage bags he had thrown in. He got into his car, drove around the block and parked at the gas station again. It wasn't long before the two guys were again at the dumpster, raising the lid. When they looked in, the one reached in and grabbed the food Gus had left and pulled it out. He could see the pizza box and the bag containing the extra items he had placed in the dumpster. The two seemed to be talking and looking around in all directions. They took the food and ran back to their car. The car started and left the lot in the same direction it had the night before.
Gus drove home and brought John up to speed on the night's activities. John ("<\/p>\r\n<h4 style=\"text-align: justify;\">John<\/h4>\r\n<ul style=\"text-align: justify;\">\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 39<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 5'11\", 175 lbs, Norwegian descent, with blonde hair, blue eyes and the build of Viking<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Police Chief Superintendent<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Relationships: Gus (Husband)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared, Chapter 15<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: justify;\">") explained to Gus he had done some more checking on the registered owner of the car and there really wasn't much information, and in a policeman's eyes that was good.
John had found the car had been checked one night a week ago at the local college parking lot as part of a nightly routine patrol. The guard had told the driver and his passenger to leave the parking lot at approximately 0200 hrs. He had recorded the names as Alex Bethany and Kyle Barns, both 18 years of age and students at the College. John had run their names in their various computer systems and they were both clean. Their driver's licenses were from the other side of the province, but again, clean. Neither one of them had even had a speeding ticket.
When he checked the young men's addresses in the computer, both addresses had a domestic disturbance complaint on the same evening, approximately one hour apart. There wasn't much space for data entry on the system and it was summarized briefly. The father had referred verbally to one of the young men as his former son which the investigator had included within parenthesis, to be removed from the property for his sexual orientation. The entry was the same for both complaints and written by the same officer. The computer entry had been dated two weeks previously and both files were concluded, no further investigation required. John had contacted the officer and he had a clear memory of the night. He was still upset that the two young men had been turned out of their homes, their family turning their backs on them for nothing other than being gay. The officer had gone home in the morning to his wife and kids and gave them a big loving hug. He had also given the two young men $50.00, all he had on him at the time to help them out.
"That's everything I could find, Gus. It is a big assumption the two people you are watching are the ones I have the information on. They could be different people or any other number of possibilities," explained John.
"If it is them, and even if it is someone else who is eating the food, they need help, John," said Gus. "Maybe we can get them into a shelter or with some of our friends after we talk to them."
"Just keep an open mind. I know we've done this before," said John cautiously.
Gus immediately replied, "I know, I know, I get too involved and want to change the world. Blame my father for teaching me to give back to the community."
"No blame needs to be given to anyone. I love a man who has the biggest heart in the world," answered John as he hugged Gus. "You have helped so many people, even dragging a couple of dozen home at different times to live with us until they were ready to move on."
"You love it too, admit it. All those people coming back to visit us on our birthdays and at Christmas makes it so much fun. They all call us both dad and the ones who now have their kids even have their kids calling us each granddad," said Gus as he hugged John back.
"Let's go into this with an open mind. I know you want to swoop in and save them, but we need to talk with them, hear their story, figure out where they can get help and then do it. But, it has to be done with our safety in mind."
"What are you thinking as a plan?" asked Gus.
"Tomorrow night when you take the garbage out, check and see if they are there waiting as usual. I'll be in the area and you can call me. I'll approach and identify them in my police car and uniform while they are still in the car. If it is the two men we have been talking about, I will bring them in the back door and we can sit in a booth to talk with them."
"I like that plan. Pretty smart for an old cop," said Gus while trying to maintain a straight face.
John replied, "Yeah, old cop he says. You're two weeks older than me so that would make you an ancient Greek cook."
"I'll show you ancient Greek cook," said Gus as he led John to the bedroom by his hand.
It was Wednesday, and today after two days of instruction, Liam ("<\/p>\r\n<h4 style=\"text-align: justify;\">Liam<\/h4>\r\n<ul style=\"text-align: justify;\">\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 22<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 6'0\", blue eyes, curly blond hair, nicely toned and tanned<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Paramedic (Partner: Jared)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Boyfriend: Jared<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Spirit Guide: Eagle<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Nicknames: Mikisow, Soaring Eagle<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared, Chapter 1<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: justify;\">")'s students were going to begin practicing starting real IV lines on each other, so he had asked Jared ("<\/p>\r\n<h4 style=\"text-align: justify;\">Jared<\/h4>\r\n<ul style=\"text-align: justify;\">\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 29<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 6'3\", 230 lbs of solid muscle, trimmed dark black hair and deep chocolate brown eyes<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Paramedic (Partner: Liam) \/ Shift Supervisor \/ Paramedic Field Trainer<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Boyfriend: Liam<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Relationships: Mathew Bear (grandfather), Melanie Bear (cousin)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Spirit Guide: Bear<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Nicknames: Masqua, Standing Bear<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Titles: Sacred Medicine Man of the People, President and CEO Bear Investment Group (secret)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared, Chapter 1<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: justify;\">") and Marci ("<\/p>\r\n<h4 style=\"text-align: justify;\">Marcie<\/h4>\r\n<ul style=\"text-align: justify;\">\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Paramedic<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared, Chapter 14<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: justify;\">") to come in and help out. That gave the three instructors about six students each to look after.
The morning went well with no one passing out from the needles which were being used. Most of the students already had a couple of bruise marks on their arms or the back of their hands from missing the vein. Jared had ordered a lunch for a treat to be delivered for everyone as a treat after acting as a pin cushion for the morning.
The caterer brought up a large selection of sandwiches, vegetables with dip, pickles, cheese cubes, and soup. There was also a large tray of baked goods and fruit for their desert.
The food was spread out, and before they started to eat, Jared spoke. "Marci and gentlemen, before we start eating, please allow me as a spiritual leader of my tribe to say a blessing."
Jared stepped to the front of the group and raised both of his hands, palm facing them.
"We thank you for the opportunity to be here in this place of learning and to make new friends. We thank you for the meat, grains, cheese, vegetables, and fruits we are about to eat to nourish our bodies, brains, and spirit. Creator, we ask you guide our hands to do the best they can in the performance of our duties as students and medics. Creator, I personally ask you to protect these young people as students and medics. Amen."
The students stood and stared at Jared for a moment before forming a line to get lunch. One of the guys, a big student who looked like he did some weightlifting moved towards Jared. They spoke for a moment and then stepped off to the side of the room.
Liam and Marci were helping to get the students through the lunch line when Jared returned a moment later and started to fill his own plate. When Alex and Kyle went through the food line, Liam made sure they had lots to eat. He still couldn't figure the two of them out, but they were very smart and very pleasant young men. Liam was only passively sensing the two young men and thought that neither of them had an evil thought or evil bone in their body.
They were all seated in the classroom and eating when Marci spoke up. "You know, I've enjoyed my job so much more since I moved over to your shift. You guys are great to deal with and you come with free lunches too!"
Jared started to laugh, "I knew you only liked me for the food. I feel used Marci." He pouted.
Marci leaned over and put her arm over his shoulder, "I love you even without your food. I never believed Liam when he said the only way the dog would play with you when you were a child was when your grandfather tied a bone to your head."
Liam coughed and almost started to choke on the food which was in his mouth. Jared laughed, and the students all froze in their positions.
"I never said that, Jared. She's making it up," pleaded Liam with a smile.
"The fair maiden Marci would never mislead me. We also know that your parents did it once with you, and then spent the afternoon frantically trying to find where your dog had buried you, still attached to the bone."
"She's no angel either, and to be perfectly honest, she will never be the man her mother was," retorted Liam with a smile.
The students were trying not laugh now at the jabs the three paramedics were taking at each other.
"Liam, when you played hide and seek as a child, nobody would search for you," Marci shot at him.
Jared smiled at Liam. "Liam, my partner, you bring everyone so much joy... when you leave the room."
Not missing a beat, Liam replied, "I wasn't born with enough middle fingers to let you two know I feel about you."
"Well, I could agree with you, but then we would both be wrong," replied Marci.
Jared held his hands up. "Ok, enough you two. I have neither the time nor the crayons to explain everything to you."
The students were laughing now at the three friends banter.
The students were now asking more questions to the three medics about their jobs, the worst calls, and how did they deal with the aftereffects of the calls. The conversation was lively with the students asking all three of the medics lots of questions. Even Alex and Kyle started to ask some questions about jobs locally and if the ambulance bases had any apartments to live in. The afternoon flew by for everyone and soon enough, everyone had left for the day.
"Liam, that big guy who wanted to talk to me at lunch, his mother was a member of the tribe before she died. He was asking if he could talk to me sometime about some relatives he may still have. His father's family is small, and he would like to know his mother's if he can."
"Isn't that interesting, maybe you or Grandfather can help him out?"
"I'm going to try, and I'll give Grandfather a call tonight."
On the way home, Liam and Jared had a discussion about Kyle and Alex.
"I reached out to them passively, but I felt a block. But I also felt something weakly reaching out. I don't sense it was an intentional block, but more of a protection barrier they have put up. Did you get any feelings?"
"I wasn't any more aggressive than you with anyone in the room either. I felt the block as well, but the block I sensed was strong emotions, threat, and uncertainty."
"I saw their auras blending around the two of them. They have beautiful auras and a very strong bond together and I believe whatever is going on, they are together to fight it."
Jared thought for a moment. "I sensed the strong emotional commitment they had for each other as well. I think we both know they're a couple. Let's try and keep an eye on them, maybe they need help."
"So neither of us has received direction to act on this so far," asked Liam.
Jared thought as he pulled up to their parking spot at their apartment. "I think we were both made aware of it, and to keep our senses open with no assistance yet."
"I didn't sense anything urgent or dangerous, and I take it you didn't either soulmate," asked Liam.
Jared leaned over to Liam, and gently kissed his lips. It was a long, sensual and lingering kiss. "I didn't sense anything urgent from him, but I am sensing something urgent from the two of us."
That night, everything was set for action and Gus had already contacted John to tell him the car was there. Instead of leaving for the night, Gus had gone back into the kitchen and made two family-sized lasagnas, Greek salad, and garlic toast. There was enough food to feed an army, but maybe not enough to feed two teenagers if they were hungry.
Alex and Kyle were sitting in their car in the back of the parking lot near a street light so they could try and read their school books without having to turn on the interior lights.
"Kyle, I really think this guy has seen us and actually left the food for us last night. That wasn't garbage left in the box and bag like that. It was fresh, still warm like it had just come out of the oven," said Alex.
"He really is a good cook, and maybe he did leave it for us. It would be really nice if he had done that for us," replied Kyle.
"We can't keep living in our car much longer. It's hard to study our homework and we can't print any assignments."
"Where are we going to park tonight to sleep? The funds are getting low to keep putting gas in the car but it's too cold not to run it at times during the night," asked Alex.
"I don't know," answered Kyle. He reached over and took his boyfriend's hand into his. "I know our dads said we aren't Christians anymore, rather abominations, but I still believe that God has a plan, and he will take care of us."
Just as Kyle was finishing his statement a car came up behind their vehicle. The grill and dashboard started to flash blue and red lights.
"Oh fuck," said Alex.
In a reassuring tone, Kyle said, "We're not doing anything wrong, Alex. It's not a problem."
There was tap at the window, and Kyle rolled it down. "Good evening, gentlemen," the police officer said. "How are you guys tonight?"
"We are fine, Sir. How are you?" replied Kyle.
"I'm fine, young man, thank you for asking. I see your books all over the place, are you guys studying out here?" asked the officer as he shown the light around the car.
John could see sleeping bags, school books, some small boxes with CD's, trophies, dirty clothes, and a couple of empty pop bottles. There were also a few cracker boxes, the cheapest a person could buy, he knew by the brand name. He didn't smell any alcohol or drugs coming out of the car. "Good sign," he thought to himself.
"Yes sir," answered Alex.
"Is the library on campus closed tonight?" John asked.
"There's nowhere else to study, sir," answered Kyle.
"How about at home or the dorms?" the officer asked.
There was a long pause, and it became uncomfortable for John who was quickly surmising these two young men had nowhere to go. "May I have ID from both of you, please," he asked.
The two young men almost seemed relieved they didn't have to answer the last question as the dug their IDs out their wallets. While they were getting their licenses out, John noticed there was maybe $50.00 in the two wallets combined. He looked at the IDs he had been given and shone the light on their faces for comparison. Yes, it was the two he expected. "Would you two step out of the vehicle, please?"
They put their books on the dash and got out of the vehicle. Alex walked around the front and stood next to Kyle.
"You guys don't have a home, do you?" asked John.
"No, sir. We don't. We were also thrown out of the dorm when our parents quit making payments," answered Alex.
John looked at them both, they were standing respectfully but hanging their heads and looking at the ground. "Please look directly at me guys, while I ask you a couple of important questions."
They did so and in the light from the flashlight, John could see Alex was leaking tears and Kyle was almost ready to start. "Do you have any booze, drugs, firearms, or anything considered illegal in this country on your person or in the car?" asked John.
They both answered, "No sir." Kyle added, "You may search us and the car if you want. The trunk is really packed with everything we own but can't use while living in this car."
John stood and looked into the young men's eyes, measuring their body language, posture, positioning, and combining it with everything he had already observed of them and their vehicle.
"Do you two have any warrants or a criminal record at all?" asked John.
They both immediately answered "No sir" again. John believed they were telling the truth from everything he had learned as a policeman in the last 20 years.
"So, you guys are telling me you have nothing to hide from me, and there is nothing illegal on your person or in your vehicle."
The two young men both immediately answered together again, "No sir."
Kyle had just realized this officer wasn't your typical policeman. He had two gold diamond-shape pins and a crown on his jacket shoulders and thick braid on his hat brim. He had learned about rank insignias in Air Cadets and this guy was a high-ranking policeman. He hoped Alex had spotted the rank as well.
At that time, a marked police car approached slowly from the street through the parking lot. There were two policemen in the car and the driver rolled his window down.
"Need some help, Sir?"
"No thank you, but I appreciate you stopping to check on me," replied John.
"We had heard you were working with us for a while tonight. It is nice to see you out here, Chief. I can't wait to tell the guys at coffee you were also out doing traffic stops."
"I appreciate your compliment, Tyler, and I really don't mind working the streets with the guys. It brings back memories of my days in the traffic section and gets me away from all the bullshit paperwork they want me to do," John explained with a big smile.
"No one can touch your contact records, Sir. You wrote more tickets than anyone ever has in the force, and no one can seem to break the record," Tyler ("<\/p>\r\n<h4 style=\"text-align: justify;\">Tyler<\/h4>\r\n<ul style=\"text-align: justify;\">\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 25<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 5'11\", brown eyes, dark brown hair, slim<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Police Officer (Partner: Josh)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Boyfriend: Troy<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Spirit Guide: Wolf<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared, Chapter 1<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: justify;\">") commented. "Can we run these guys in for you?"
"No, it's ok. They seem like good kids and they weren't really doing anything wrong. I was just about to let them go." John thought for a moment and then asked. "Tyler, are you and Josh still hooked up with Jared and Liam and the rest?"
"Yes, sir. We're all brothers... Jared, Liam, Troy, Darren, and the two of us. Zane and Jesse from the shelter have also joined our family, as well as some younger brothers."
"You guys are incredible the way you have found each other and made your own family." John looked at Tyler in the car and then glanced at the two young men standing outside of their car. "If I need your help, may I call you guys?"
Both Tyler and Josh smiled back at the man. "You don't even need to ask, John. We'll always help when needed, it's what we do," said Tyler.
John smiled back at the two officers. These were the only two police officers who were allowed to call him by his given name and had been to each other's homes numerous times, quietly of course. "I appreciate it, Tyler. I see you're driving tonight, did Joshie forget his booster seat again?"
There was some sputtering from the other side of the car. "Sir, would it be disrespectful if I suggested you could perform a sexual act on yourself?" asked Josh ("<\/p>\r\n<h4 style=\"text-align: justify;\">Josh<\/h4>\r\n<ul style=\"text-align: justify;\">\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 25<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 5'8\", blue eyes, light brown hair, solid. He and Darrin could pass for cousins or even brothers,<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Police Officer (Partner: Tyler)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Boyfriend: Darren<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Spirit Guide: Wolf<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Nickname: Ditch Pig<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared, Chapter 1<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: justify;\">").
John laughed. "Maybe Constable-for-life... but if I need you guys, I'll get a hold of you. I have some more discussion with these two, but I have a feeling."
"Anything we can do to help, just let us know. We'll hit the road then." Tyler rolled up the window and as they drove away said, "Booster seat! Loved it!"
"Piss off, you bastard!" replied Josh laughing.
Turning his attention to the young men, John said, "The owner of the restaurant wants to meet you two. He left food for you the last couple of nights and is concerned you are not getting enough to eat. Park your car over there near the back door and I will park beside you. We'll go in to meet him."
The two of them said, "Yes sir."
Gus was just finishing setting up four places at a booth closest to the kitchen when he heard the back door open. He came into the kitchen and John was standing there in his uniform with two sheepish-looking young men standing in front of him.
"Any problems?" asked Gus.
"None at all, they are very polite and very, very apologetic for taking the food out of the garbage," John answered.
The taller one spoke quietly, "We sure are sorry, sir. We didn't mean to steal, but we were really hungry."
"Are you hungry right now?" asked Gus.
After a moment, they both nodded their heads, looking down at the ground afterward.
"John, I have a booth set for us, if you would take them in there, I'll get supper," said Gus.
John led them through the kitchen doors and pointed at the booth set for dinner. The young men didn't seem to understand what they were doing there.
"Have a seat; Gus is going to bring supper out for us all. What do you guys want to drink?" asked John. They both replied water. John went behind the service counter and brought two glasses of water with ice as well as a large pot of herbal tea with mugs.
Gus came out of the kitchen with the salads, placing one at each setting. He went back to the kitchen and brought out a platter of lasagna with garlic toast, setting it on the table as well. The two young men's facial expressions were showing both their shock and hunger.
Gus sat down next to John, across from the two young men. "Before we eat, John and I always pray. Will you join us?" The young men had a look of horror on their faces but after they looked at the food they agreed.
Gus took John's hand and using their free hands reached across the table for the young men to do the same. They slowly reached out and took the offered hands. They were already holding each other's hands under the table.
"Dear God, the Creator of all, thank you for your protection each day, especially for John in his job. Thank you for allowing us to be in the position to help others. Thank you for your love for all of your children whether they are straight or gay, and thank you for providing the food we are sharing with our new friends. I ask for your continued protection of John in his job and our two new young friends. Amen."
The two young men sat and stared at Gus with disbelief. "Dig in guys," encouraged Gus. "The food is getting cold." He got up and went to a cooler behind the service counter and came back with a parmesan cheese shredder as well as chili peppers and a pepper grinder, setting them on the table for people to help themselves.
John spoke, "Alex, Kyle, you're amongst friends here. Gus prepared this meal for you two and if you don't eat it, my husband will bitch about it for weeks."
Alex, the taller one spoke, "Husband? You mean you two are gay?"
"Yes, we are," replied John. "We have been together almost 20 years, Alex. In fact, those two police officers who I was talking with are gay as well, with one's boyfriend being a firefighter and the other's a paramedic."
Alex and Kyle looked at each other and smiled. Kyle spoke quietly "So are we, sir." Then with an increase in the volume of his voice, he continued, "This food smells incredible."
"Then get eating, you two," Gus commanded. The men complied and soon everyone had full plates of food, but not as full as Alex and Kyle's. When the first platter of lasagna was empty, Gus ran into the kitchen and brought out the second one.
"John, I take it the information we had was accurate?"
"Yes, as much as we talked about before us coming in," replied John.
The young men looked over at the two men. "Would you tell us how you came to be eating out of dumpsters to live?" asked Gus.
Alex started the story. "We both lived in strictly religious homes, Kyle's father being the minister of our church. My father came home one night and found the two of us in bed, fooling around naked." Alex and Kyle both started to blush. "He didn't yell but called us the children of Satan, sinners, and sodomites who will burn in hell for our actions if we didn't repent our choice of lying with another man. Soon enough, my dad had called Kyle's dad and told him what he had found us doing."
Kyle continued the story, "Alex's dad told him to pack everything he owned as he no longer had a son and ordered us to leave and never return as long as we were sinners. We packed everything and put it into his car. Alex's mom was agreeing with his dad, but his younger brother was upset he was leaving. We drove over to my place and the same thing happened. My father did say I would be welcomed back as a son if I did repent my evil ways. Neither one of us has a family anymore. They actually called the police to make sure we left both houses with no problems. The officer was good to us and supportive, but he had to do his job." The two young men were openly holding hands, tears running down their faces.
Alex picked up the story again. "We headed back to the dorm we were staying in at the College and started going to classes again on the following Monday. We were called into the Registrar's Office where they informed us although the tuition was fully paid for the remainder of the year; our parents had contacted them and informed them they would no longer be covering the cost of the dormitory. We had to be out at the end of the week."
"For the last week, we have been living in the car and parking overnight where ever we could to sleep. We used the showers in the sports complex, so we didn't smell and found your garbage bin almost immediately. Of all the places we rummaged, yours was the best so we kept coming back here," explained Kyle.
"Were you assaulted or anything by your parents?" asked John.
"Never did they hit either one of us other than the odd smack, which I know I deserved. The families may have been strictly religious, but we were not abused in any way. The family life was very good up until their finding out that we were gay. Even the night they threw us out, there were just lots of verses from the Bible. I think Kyle's dad tried to excise Satan out of us as well, but they just threw us out and started shunning us," said Alex.
"We were, actually we still are scared of what you guys are going to do with us after our stealing from your dumpster," said Kyle slowly.
"Have you eaten enough yet, guys?" asked Gus as he looked at the second platter almost half gone, the salads and toast only showing they had been there by some debris on each of the plates.
"Yes sir," they both said.
Gus looked at John, expecting a non-verbal answer from him. He got it; John nodded his head and smiled.
"After you two help me clean the table and put the dishes in the kitchen, we are taking you two home with us so you can sleep in a real bed tonight, either in your own rooms or together if you want," said Gus.
The two men looked excited as they looked at each other and then John and Gus. They were looking closely to pick up any signs of being punked or misled.
"We have helped people out before, and we have an empty house with just us in it. Let's say it is for the short term until we begin to figure things out," explained Gus.
"You guys are serious?" asked Alex.
"Yes, we are. Although your parents have chosen to pay particular attention to some passages of the Bible, we don't agree with their interpretation. We are our fellow man's keeper and we are in a position to give because we have been so blessed. In fact, it's our birthdays in a couple of weeks and you will meet a bunch of the people we have been fortunate to help in the past. They come back every year to help us celebrate," stated John.
They started to clean up the booth and for the first time in the good light of the kitchen, both Gus and John got a good look at the two young men who were standing straight and actually facing them for the first time.
Alex Bethany was 6', 160 lbs. with brown hair which was cut stylish at one time; it all seemed to be combed around his head in a circular pattern. He had very soft brown eyes with very dark, thick eyebrows. He had a five o'clock shadow which made his thin long face very cute. It was hard to tell what he looked like under the heavy jackets and clothes, but he looked like he needed to gain some weight. He did have the skinny leg style jeans on which gave some indication of fairly muscular runner type legs, tight butt and nice bulge as well. The skinny jeans really emphasized the young man's really large running shoes which must be at least a size 12, but probably larger. When they had shaken hands earlier, he had long hands yet very strong. He was no stranger to manual labor.
Kyle Barns was 6'1", 165 lbs. with the same brown hair and haircut. Unlike Alex, Kyle's eyes were blue and he had some facial hair scattered around in patches. He had a light mustache, the type young men are proud of when they first can grow them because it announced they had reached puberty. His eyebrows were brown and just a little heavier in growth than his mustache. His face was thinner than Alex's and it could be best described as an adorable baby face. He, likewise, was hard to distinguish what he was like under his heavy jacket but wore the skinny jeans like his boyfriend. He too appeared to have fairly muscular legs and an ample package. His feet appeared to be about a size 10. Kyle had thick hands and shorter fingers, they looked like they were used to manual labor as well. They both had beautiful smiles when it happened, and they looked cute together, especially when holding hands.
"You guys follow me in your car and John will follow you in his. Bit of a waste of gas for all three cars to be driven to the same place but we will be on different schedules in the morning. You guys have classes, right?" asked Gus.
"Yes sir," Alex answered. "We're in the paramedic course at the college."
"Who is your instructor?" asked John.
"Right now, it's a man called Liam because he is filling for the main instructor who is away on her honeymoon. Today, Liam brought another man named Jared and a female paramedic named Marci. Jared had lunch catered for the class."
Gus smiled at them. "That's where the lunch I made went. Jared is always doing something like that."
"They are all good people guys, especially Liam and Jared," said John.
"Guys, it's John and Gus unless we are in public or someone comes to see John, and then it's Sir for him or Chief Superintendent," said Gus.
"Understood," said Kyle. "Thank you doesn't seem to cover what you two are doing for us. I truly appreciate it, Gus and John."
"I do too," jumped in Alex. "He said it better than I could though. He's the smarter one of us two."
Alex had looked down at the ground after making his last comment. John reached out with his right hand and used a finger to gently raise the young man's chin. He kept his finger there preventing him from lowering his head again.
"Please do not ever put yourself down like that, especially around us. Every person has their strengths and weaknesses, and that's normal. We will treat you with respect, we expect you to treat us and each other with respect but most important of all, we expect you to treat yourself with respect. Is that ok, Alex?" John asked softly.
"Yes, sir. No one has ever spoken to me as gently as that before to correct me and help me. Thank you," Alex said.
"Get used to it, guys. That's the way we are all the time. But, I think you guys need something really bad right now" said John. He looked at Gus and he nodded his head. They stepped forward and took the young men into their arms in a tight hug. "We like hugs, guys. We like giving them as much as like to get them."
Both Gus and John could feel the young men were very tense when they were first hugged, and then began to relax and even hug them back. Both Alex and Kyle began to sob as they were being held by the older men.
Before they had left town, Gus had Kyle fill up and he topped off his tank as well. Gus paid for both vehicles. "The copper pays for his own gas," commented Gus at the pump while the three were filling. John had very carefully stuck his tongue out at Gus while he pretended to cover his mouth during a cough. Both Kyle and Alex smiled when they saw the hijinks between the two men.
They pulled up to the huge house just outside of town. It was after midnight and Gus was getting concerned about the guys getting settled and off to bed for school in the morning. He had them bring in only what they needed for the next day and they would sort out the rest after they came back from university.
"We will give you a tour of the house tomorrow," promised Gus. He showed them the front door, the kitchen and then took them up a large circular staircase from the front room to their bedroom. He showed them where their bedroom was if they needed anything through the night. Both Alex and Kyle stood inside the bedroom and marveled at its size. There was a king-sized bed and it seemed small inside the room. There were even two desks with computers already set up at the other end of the room.
"This is the double or triple occupancy room guys. The bathroom is over here" as Gus walked towards it. He showed them the cupboards full of towels and personal toiletries and told them to use whatever they needed. The shower was huge and the walls on two sides were glass.
When the two came out of the bathroom, both John and Gus were standing together holding hands, watching the excitement of the two young men.
"John, Gus, can I give you guys a hug?" asked Kyle.
"Hugs are free, and we like lots of them," replied John. The two young men moved forward quickly and hugged the men. "We will finish the tour tomorrow. What time do you guys get up for classes in the morning?"
"They start at 9:00 am for us, so around 7:00 would be good. How long does it take to get there from here?" asked Alex.
"About 30 minutes," replied Gus. "I will see you in the morning. You two should use the shower tonight, and then hit the bed to be rested." Gus and John left the room for their own, closing the door behind them.
Gus was up early and had breakfast ready when Kyle and Alex came down. They were shocked at the meal Gus had prepared for them, and lunches for them to take as well. John was sitting at the table in a tailored suit, looking over the newspaper and drinking a cup of coffee. "How did you sleep?"
"Fantastic," replied Alex. Kyle agreed but his mouth was full of food already and couldn't say anything, so he just nodded. "That was the most comfortable bed I have ever slept in."
"When do you guys get back?" asked John. He had put his newspaper down while he was talking to the young men.
"Probably between 3:00 and 4:00 pm," said Kyle.
"I will be here. I took a few days off to hang around the house until you guys get accustomed to it and settled," said Gus.
"Gus never takes time off and I am happy he is doing it," chirped in John. "The man is a workaholic, but I love him even more for it. The other benefit is he will be cooking a supper at home and I won't have to eat left-overs or a TV dinner."
Gus feigned indignity. "Your waistline tells me you aren't suffering, and I keep throwing out the TV dinners you buy. I leave you fresh cooked meals, ready to be microwaved." Having said that, Gus stuck his tongue out at John, who laughed.
"Guys, I go out and buy a couple of TV dinners once in a while and leave them where Gus will find them. It is so funny to watch the Greek come out in him as he is mumbling and muttering about... how did you describe it last time? Someone shit on a tinfoil plate, covered it in gravy, and froze it." John was almost losing control of his laughter.
"I know you do it on purpose, John, and I fall for it every time," replied Gus.
Short stories I have written: