5. Preparing for Battle
Joey was too exhausted to deal with any amount of Lenci drama. He knew he would be the next one sick if he didn’t get rest and sweat out the toxins in his body. When they call, Paul could care less if he was even in the room and his use of Italian was to keep Joey from knowing his family’s business. This perpetual issue was the thorn in their relationship, and while Paul may profess to love Joey as his life partner that umbilical cord stretched to Florida no matter where they were. They hadn’t even been home an hour before Mt. Lenci erupted with God knows what this time.
Well, it can’t be Philomena, Joey reasoned, craning to hear what Paul was saying between the Italian expletives. Paul just tossed another 30K for a rehab to keep his older sister safe over Christmas so she wasn’t attempting suicide by New Years. They still had another three weeks of peace on that front. Maybe its Pena’s son Antonio, thought Joey, he’s probably in trouble with the law again. At least when dealing with Penny’s family, they are in Texas unlike Philly who is in Rochester, New York. Now some fan drama that’s connected to this crazy family? Joey didn’t even want to know. He wanted 4 things: sex, steam, sleep, and Bocelli. The rest of the world could go to hell.
He used the remote to turn on Andrea Bocelli’s latest opera album and raised the volume so it bounced off the walls of the high ceiling bathroom. He set the 2 plush towel blankets on the sauna bench against the wall, knowing that Paul would be in here soon enough bitching about his family, his voice strained again undoing all that resting it for three days would have done. A good sweat would help clear out his lungs, if he could ever drag him away from the phone and get him in here, but his voice needed rest to recover. As the velvet voice crooned his favorite aria, Joey stepped down onto the blue mosaic floor of the round sunken shower and sighed as the water sheeted down and drowned out everything.
Whatever had Paul all riled up would wait until after Joey’s showery massage. He was halfway through the second aria when he felt the whoosh of a draft as Paul entered and shut the door quickly. Paul swore in Italian and Joey groaned in reply, not in the mood for whatever drama that would wreck their homecoming. Joey turned as Paul untied the belt of the robe and hung it with Joey’s matching robe on the back of the bathroom door.
“I’m going to kill that old codger,” croaked Paul, stepping down into the shower and putting his face under the spray. He closed his eyes and wet his hair, pushing it out of his face before turning to Joey who remained stoic and disinterested, but knowing better than to poke the bear, he feigned interest, wishing that Elly had lied to Saverio the way she had for the resort.
“No, you’re not. What happened?” asked Joey, stepping out from under the spray and wiping the water and hair from his face with his long thin hands as Paul stepped down into the sunken stall. Joey reached for Paul and kissed him, hoping that he could distract him from the drama. As Paul’s arms wrapped about Joey, he figured that now was as good of a time to break the news to him.
“My father had an affair fourteen years ago that produced a love child and hid her from me. She stowed away in my tour cargo from Chicago. They found her half dead in a warehouse in Queens.”
“Don’t ask me how or why or where her mother is, but I have a fourteen-year-old bastard sister at Queens Medical Center who is unconscious and dehydrated. My parents will be here by dinner.”
With that, Joey pulled back from Paul’s arms and hid beneath the shower again and attempted to center himself before he blew up at Paul for just saying that the two people he loathed more than anyone else in the world were coming to his home and today of all days. Paul pulled Joey from beneath the spray and held him by his forearms.
“Joey, say something.”
With his hair in his face, Joey leaned in and brushed his face across Paul’s shoulder, wiping his hair to the side. As Paul embraced him, Joey said, “Jesus Christ, Paulie, you can’t be serious.”
“I am serious.”
“You’re too tired for any of this. You are on the verge of pneumonia yourself. We both know you need rest, not mass chaos.”
“I know, Joey, I do, and I’m sorry.”
Joey broke free from Paul’s embrace and left Paul in the shower by himself, stepping up to the tiled floor again and reaching for the fresh towel blanket from the bench. He towel-dried his hair and combed his fingers through it and picked up the remote and turned on Bocelli again before wrapping the towel about his waist and sat on the sauna bench, his feet on the cedar planks and his back against the cool tiled wall.
Paul turned it down the music and sat next to Joey. “Say something,” said Paul, wrapping his towel about his shoulders and leaning against the wall, hating the cold tile on his back unlike Joey who loved it. He reached for Joey’s hand and squeezed it gently until Joey’s head turned to him.
“Why is this your problem?”
“What do you mean?”
“She’s your father’s child, not yours.”
“It was my tour cargo.”
“Okay, besides that, she’s not your problem.”
“Oh please, it will all be my problem before they get here.”
“Have you heard from Alex yet?”
“No, I spoke to Megan. She said he will call as soon as he knows something. Daniel and Alex are at the hospital now.”
Paul began to cough.
“Bring that shit up. My priority is to get you well before this turns into pneumonia.”
“I got to call Alex,” said Paul, releasing Joey’s hand, but Joey grabbed his wrist instead.
“You need a sweat. Fifteen minutes.”
Paul leaned back and kissed Joey’s hand which released its grasp on his wrist and left soft wet kisses up his inner forearm that he had pulled across him, trying to arouse Joey to something other than indifference.
“You know you want me,” said Paul.
“I want you well. Running in and out of hospitals and travelling again, is not what you need right now.”
“Come on, Joey.”
Joey sighed and Paul fondled himself hard then laid down on the bench with his head on Joey’s lap.
“I’m sweating here,” replied Joey, closing his eyes and ignoring Paul.
The intercom rang.
“Joey, Paulie?” Asked Elly.
“We’re in the sauna,” said Joey.
“Alex says he’s at the hospital and you must call and speak to the doctor for information? Something about that he’s not family?”
“Thank you, Elly. We will be out soon,” said Joey.
Paul lifted himself from the bench when Joey pressed him down by the shoulder.
“Stay,” said Joey with a smile. Paul resisted. “You bugged me to suck your cock a minute ago. You need a sweat and sucked off. Sit.”
“But the kid--”
“What’s going on with her is not something you can change in 15 minutes. Sit.” Paul sat upon the bench next to Joey and let his knees fall out to the side. Joey knelt on the floor in front of him, taking his time, knowing that the best way to control Paul was through his cock. If that meant he was on his knees a few times today to get him in the sauna, then so be it, he will suck his cock until it was sore. It wouldn’t be the first time he resorted to such measures and it wouldn’t be the last either.