Matt approached his dorm after his meeting with Jessica.
“You’re going to get yourself killed.” The words kept ringing in his ear. As much as he would hate to admit it, Jessica may be right. This wasn’t some story about the prom queen. He was dealing with a very powerful man who would do anything to someone who screwed with him.
He wondered why Wellston hadn’t dealt with him already. He figured it would be too obvious if a hit was made on him. Wellston would be the number one suspect. Right now he was only looking at ten years in prison. Killing him could result in a death penalty.
As he neared his dorm, he saw a figure slumped up against a tree. Since it was approaching dusk, he could not make out who it was. He thought it was probably just another of his dorm buddies out on a drunken binge unable to make it back to his room.
He sighed, knowing he would have to help this drunken friend to his room. The last time he did, he was rewarded with a belly full of puke staining his new pants. As he drew nearer, he began to make out the slumping figure.
“Joe!” he screamed. He couldn’t tell if he was in a drunken stupor or injured. He ran over to his friend and lifted his head. “Joe, what’s happened?” Joe winced sharply when Matt tried to move him. “Are you hurt?”
“My sides are killing me,” Joe responded. He looked desperately into Matt’s eyes. He was trying hard to keep awake. He could feel his head whirling around. Suddenly, his eyes rolled back in his head and he slumped into Matt’s arms.
“Oh, God! Joe, what’s wrong?” Matt screamed as he held the limp body of his friend. He quickly took out his cell phone and called 911.
* * * * * * * *
“Thank God, you got here.” Matt grabbed Jessica and held her tightly. Thirty minutes earlier she had received a desperate call from him. She could hardly make out his frantic screaming, but she was able to make out the words Joe, hurry and hospital. She quickly dressed and hurried to the hospital to comfort her friend.
“Tell me what happened. You were screaming so loud, I couldn’t make out what you were saying.”
“I don’t know what happened. After leaving your apartment, I headed back to the dorm and found Joe slumped against a tree. He was conscious when I found him, but then passed out. I called 911. I’ve been trying to get someone to tell me something,” he cried into her shoulder.
“Shhhh. It’s going to be okay,” she said trying to comfort her distraught friend. She led him over to a soiled sofa in the waiting room and sat down beside him.
They sat for what seemed like hours. Matt had called her around 7:30 pm and The Tonight Show was now appearing on the television. The sound was down, but she sat staring at the screen watching Jay interview Rosie O’Donnell.
Finally, the doors to the emergency room opened and an elderly doctor walked out. He looked tired, greatly in need of several hours of sleep.
“Monroe, Joe Monroe family?” he shouted into the very crowded waiting room.
“Get up, Matt.” Jessica elbowed a sleeping Matt. He had finally fallen asleep about an hour earlier, with his head resting on her shoulder.
“Yes, Doctor?” Matt arose rapidly and approached the doctor.
“I’m Doctor Harrison. Are you family?” he asked. He doubted the two people standing before him could possibly be related to Joe.
“He’s my best friend,” Matt explained. “I found him and called for an ambulance. He’s a student at Central College, and his parents live out of state. I’ve tried to contact them, but they don’t appear to be home. How is he?”
Matt was very agitated. Jessica reached over and took his arm and squeezed it tightly.
“I really need to talk to his family,” the elderly doctor insisted.
Matt pleaded, “He’s twenty-one. You can tell me what’s wrong.”
“All right.” The doctor looked Matt and Jessica over. “You sure you can contact his parents?”
“Yes, Doc. I promise,” Matt reassured him.
“He’s going to be all right.” Matt had been holding his breath for the past minute, and he let out a deep sigh as he heard the doctor’s words.
“However, he’s in a tremendous amount of pain. He came around a little while ago, and we were able to get some information from him. However, we gave him a sedative and it made him go back to sleep.”
“How badly is he hurt?” Matt couldn’t wait any longer. The doctor was taking too long to tell him what had happened.
“There was damage done to his kidneys. Whoever did this knew what they were doing. It looks like he took a few hard hits in his side, almost like what we see with boxers who take rabbit punches to the kidneys. We didn’t see any other damage.”
Jessica gasped and grabbed her mouth. Matt slumped against her.
The doctor continued, “Whoever did this must have been a big man. Your friend is in great shape, or the damage could have been worse.” Matt’s face paled at the thought of Joe being on the receiving end of such a brutal attack.
“Does the name Cobra mean anything to you?” he asked. Matt and Jessica looked at each other and shrugged their shoulders.
“No, never heard the name before,” Matt informed him.
“You wouldn’t by any chance be Matt?”
“Before he went to sleep, he kept yelling out your name. He said he had to get to you and warn you. We sedated him to get him quiet.”
Matt stared at the doctor. His mind was trying to understand why Joe would want to warn him. What had happened just before he arrived?
The doctor asked, “Do you have any idea why he was trying to warn you?”
“No,” he replied. He knew this had to have something to do with Wellston. He vaguely recollected a conversation he had last year in which someone had mentioned a guy named Vince, who nickname was Cobra. Without his notes, he couldn’t remember why this information was important.
“I’ve notified the police. They should be here soon. Can you remain until they arrive?”
“Sure doctor.” He extended his hand and shook the doctor’s. “Thanks for everything. Can we see him now?”
“You can see him for just a few minutes. He’s heavily sedated right now, so he won’t be aware of your presence. Go over to the nurses’ station and tell them I said it was all right for you to see him.”
“Thanks again, Dr. Harris.” The doctor turned and left back through the doors from which he had emerged. Matt and Jessica made their way hurriedly to the nurses’ station.
When they arrived, a smiling young nurse’s aide led them to Joe’s room.
* * * * * * * *
“Now tell me what was so damned important,” Franklin inquired. Jeremy had called him earlier in the evening and insisted that he come to his home.
“We’re in trouble,” Jeremy stated. “Remember that Matt guy who had Wellston jailed last year?”
“Yeah, so what about it?”
“He’s snooping around again. He’s talked to me twice.”
“What’s he want?” Franklin was beginning to get worried. His involvement with Wellston had destroyed his life. When his parents found out about the drugs and sexual activity he had been engaged in, they sent him to a psychiatrist. Since then, he had been receiving therapy to help him cope with his problems.
Franklin had been heavily involved with Wellston. He was one of the first boys he employed. For a while he had been the only boy involved; but later Wellston had used him to pimp other young men. He brought Jeremy to one of Wellston’s parties after he had seen him at a basketball game.
Franklin had enjoyed the sex, drugs and money. He lived a very lavish lifestyle for a while. Then after the bust last year, he had begun to regret getting other boys involved, especially Jeremy.
Franklin was a year younger than Jeremy. He developed a serious crush on him since the first day he enter Madison High School. He had admired his boyish good looks and engaging personality.
Franklin suffered from low self esteem. He was an extremely attractive young man, but very slight of build. It was one of the things that had made him extremely popular among Wellston’s clientele.
He looked boyish, standing only 5’5” and weighing 110 pounds. He had closely shaven dark brown hair and deep brown eyes. Another thing that added to his appeal was the fact that he had almost no body hair. Although fifteen, he appeared to be a boy of about twelve. He had a small cock with little pubic hair and smooth balls. Men found him to be very fascinating. He had made a lot of money the two years he had been employed by Wellston, quickly becoming one of his most sought out boys.
“He says he’s trying to protect the boys who were used by Wellston. He thinks we might need help,” Jeremy told him.
“God Dammit! Just when I ‘m trying to get my head on straight, he’s going to ruin it!” Franklin was becoming agitated. He was pacing around the room, rubbing his hands over his closely cropped brown hair.
He plopped dejectedly down on the side of the bed next to Jeremy. Jeremy reached out and took the smaller boy in his arms and held him.
Since they had been through a lot together, there was a special bond between the two. On numerous occasions they had been paid very well to ‘perform’ together for customers. As a result of those encounters, they had become very close friends.
When Wellston was arrested, they had comforted one another. They had feared that their sexual involvement would become known and that they would suffer as a result. They waited months for that information to become public, but to their amazement, nothing was ever said. Now, after a year, Pandora’s Box was being opened once again.
Jeremy continued to hold Franklin in his arms, rocking him like a baby on the bed. Occasionally, he would plant small kisses on his face.
“It’s all right, Baby. Nothing’s going to happen. Tiffany went to Wellston and told him about it,” he said soothingly.
Franklin began to tremble. “That’s all we need. You know how Wellston deals with things.”
“Well, there’s nothing we can do about it now. Things are going to happen. We just have to be sure to cover our asses and to be careful,” warned Jeremy.
“Here, lie down.” He took Franklin, laid him on the bed and began to undress him. He had done it many times, but usually before a paid audience. This time he was doing it out of love.
He removed Franklin’s clothing, leaving on his small white briefs. Jeremy could see his small cock tucked safely inside. He rubbed it lovingly, and then he pulled the covers over him. He stood and removed his own clothes. He pulled the covers back and climbed in beside Franklin. He pulled him into his warm body, spooning him from behind. It didn’t take long before he heard him lightly snoring. Minutes later, Jeremy drifted off to sleep.
* * * * * * *
The cubicle was darkly lit when Matt and Jessica entered the ICU. They saw Joe lying on a bed with wires running into his arms. He had an oxygen tube in his nose. His normally beautiful caramel skin looked pale. He appeared to be quietly asleep.
Matt cautiously approached, took Joe’s hand and squeezed it. He felt Joe weakly return the squeeze. He leaned over the bed and timidly kissed Joe on the forehead. He was embarrassed because he knew that Jessica was watching his tender display of emotion.
He stood and gently rubbed the side of Joe’s face. Joe’s eyes began to flutter before slowly opening. “Matt,” he said weakly, staring into the deep green eyes hovering over him. “You’re all right.”
“Shhhh. Don’t say anything.” Matt comforted his injured friend.
“I was afraid you were hurt,” he whispered. He shut his eyes briefly before opening them again.
Matt stared down and assured him, “I’m all right. It’s you I’m worried about.”
“I’ve felt better.” Joe tried to smile, but then began to cough. He winced from the intense pain.
Matt said soothingly, “You need to go back to sleep. I’ll be here if you need me for anything.” He leaned over and kissed him again gently on the forehead. Joe let a small smile form on his lips before he fell back to sleep.
Matt put his hands over his face and began to weep. Jessica came around the bed and led him back into the waiting room. She sat him down onto the dirty couch where they had just spent the past few hours sitting.
“He’s going to be all right, Matt,” she assured him. “The doctor said he only took a few jabs to the kidneys. You don’t have anything to worry about.”
“I know, but I can’t stand to see him in such pain. That fucking Wellston’s going to pay for this!” Matt said angrily. He began to punch his hand into the sofa.
He yelled, “I’m going to see that Mother Fucker die in prison!”
“Matt, you have to be reasonable,” she warned. “If he hurt Joe, just imagine what he’ll do to you.”
“I don’t care what he does to me. He hurt Joe and now he’s going to pay,” he replied threateningly. He got up and began walking from the hospital waiting room.
“Matt, don’t leave,” begged Jessica. “The police will be here soon. Let them handle this.” She grabbed Matt’s hand and led him back to the sofa.
“Just sit here for a while and calm down.” She wrapped her arm around him and tried to restrain him.
“This isn’t over. You can believe that. That mother fucker is mine!” Matt announced angrily.