Gil was sitting in the waiting room of the hospital; Staci was undergoing surgery. It had been hours. He hated the gut-wrenching feeling flowing through him at the of losing a man he seemed to...love.
Hearing footsteps, he stood; his fists clenched as the door opened. “Damn,” he swore when his sister Sadie stepped into the room.
“Why the hell didn’t you call me, Gil. Why did I have to find out with gossip?”
“Sorry,” his shoulders slumped his face in his hands.
“Oh shit. I was right.” She hurried across, taking him in her arms, letting him cry on her shoulder. “He’ll be fine. He’s a strong man. What happened? All I hear is about him arriving here in an ambulance, and you were like a boar with a sore head.”
“People are so charming,” his muffled voice replied. Sitting back, he wiped his tears. “I don’t know. He collapsed on his bedroom floor after a shower. I did wonder if he had the water too hot, however once on his bed I checked his pulse...it wasn’t good, and we ended up here.”
“Where is he now?”
“Still in surgery. They obviously found something, won’t tell me due to privacy.”
“They know who you are?”
“What? I’m sure they do.”
“Isn’t this part of the case you’re investigating?”
“Shit, yes, it is. Damn, I’m away with the fairies aren’t I,” he said. “I’ll go find out.” He strode out of the waiting room to find a doctor.
“God love him.” Sadie smiled.
Approaching one of the emergency doctors showing his badge, he took him one side explaining who he was and what he needed to know.
“You say it’s part of the investigation?”
“I’m sure you’ve seen his chart on entry to...”
“No, I haven’t. Shift change. Come with me, and I’ll see what I can do and find out for you, CS Jarvis.”
The doctor entered his office looking up Staci Kaylen’s file. Doing a quick read, his eyes widened, and he grimaced.
“It’s not good.”
“It mentions he fell at home after a shower.”
“Yes, I found him on the bedroom floor.”
“Right. The fall did more damage. One of his ribs caught his main artery to his heart. If you hadn’t gotten him here so quickly, he’d probably be dead.”
“This is a result of the beating he received?”
“In the long run, yes. He could have happened at any time; the rib placement was in a bad place which is why he’s still in surgery. They’ve had to move it to mend the artery.”
“It’s been four hours...”
“Shouldn’t be long now. They’ll have to make sure nothing else is at risk. The last thing he needs is a punctured lung as well.”
“Thanks. I need to give my report to the investigating detectives.”
“Thought that was you?”
“I’m the overall boss,” he sighed, “sometimes I wish I wasn’t. Mr Kaylen is a personal friend as well.”
“You know the privacy...”
“I know all the laws, and since you said it was something which could happen due to his beating, then I had a right to investigate and let my detectives know.”
“I know. He doesn’t have any family. I’ll be the closest to that.”
“Don’t do it again.”
“If needs must, then I will.” He smiled. “Anyway, thanks for the update.” He left the doctor pondering if he’d done the right thing.
Staci was out of surgery. He was in the recovery room, slowly waking up. Moaning and groggy he heard a voice he knew speak to him, he smiled.
“You’re going to be fine, Staci.”
“What happened,” he murmured.
“You’re back in hospital.”
“You fell, and one of your broken ribs nicked an artery to your heart. Y-you could’ve died.”
Gil took hold of his hand, sensing Staci move back into sleep.
Over the next couple of hours, Staci woke for a few minutes at a time, falling back to sleep for a few hours. Finally, he woke fully. Looking down, wondering who was holding his hand.
“Glad you’re finally awake.”
“Why are you...” he nodded to their hands.
“Oh, yeah,” he let go. “You want some water?”
“They’ll take you up on to a general ward in a bit.”
“Why were you...”
“Look, if I overstepped the bounds of our friendship, then I’m sorry.” He took a deep breath, “I thought I’d lost you for a while. It seems you mean a lot to me.” Gil pushed back his chair, picking up a glass and filled it with water from the jug before handing it to Staci.
“I’m not sure what my boundaries are, Gil. You confuse me, my mind and body.”
Gil sat back in the chair. “I really like you.” He looked at his hands on his knees. “More than like you.” He whispered. “I’m attracted to you, can’t seem to help myself.”
“Rrrright. I’m not sure what to say or do about that. I’ll need time...” He sat up and groaned. “Shit that hurt.”
“You had surgery, you daft sod.”
“Yeah. I know.” He looked at his chest and the tubes leaving his body. “Seems I’ll be here a while this time.”
“At least five to ten days,” said a nurse who entered. “We’re going to transfer you now.”
“Ward 29, Room 36, Mr Jarvis.”
“I’ll let you get on with it. I’ve a few calls to make and paperwork to do. I’ll be back at visiting hours, Mr Kaylen.”
The nurse rolled her eyes, Staci laughed.
“The name’s Staci, drop the stupid formality, Gil.”
“Yeah...yeah, right,” and left.
“He’s a good friend,” said Staci.
“He’s a good man. You’re lucky; he’s your friend. Now let’s find those porters and get you sorted. “They’ll give you your next meds up there. Hope you’re not in too much pain?”
The Porters entered and off he went, bed and all.
Gil reported in to Sadie and rang the Detective in charge of Staci’s case.
“You know what time it is?” he moaned sleepily.
“All in a day’s work, Roy,” he laughed.
“Boss. What do you want at this time of night?”
“The Kaylen case.”
“Is that man having a run of bad luck or what?”
“He’s just had heart surgery, or near enough. Remember the broken ribs? Well, one caught one of his arteries...veins...whatever…when he fell over earlier today. Doc says it happened coz of his injury. I’d like to add a charge of attempted...”
“You’ll not get away with it, sir.”
“We can try. It may scare them into a guilty plea.”
“I’ll see what I can do, sir.”
“Good and thanks. I’ll talk to you in the morning.”
Gil shoved his phone in his jacket and went to find Staci.
“Hey, Staci. How you feeling?”
“Sore, happy to be alive and grateful to you for saving it.”
“Don’t go down the grateful route,” he scowled.
“You’re...I dunno, I’m still getting used to you and for god’s sake sit the hell down.”
“Sorry,” he sank into the chair beside the bed. “I’m just all over the damn place. You’ve churned up my emotions until I have no idea if I’m here or there.”
“Don’t blame me...”
“I’m not. Not really.” he looked up into Staci’s bruised face. “You’re a beautiful man...when you’re not bruised,” he smirked.
“Don’t make me laugh; it hurts.”
“I’m attracted to you. I like holding you.” They stared at each other, Staci finally taking hold of Gil’s hand rubbing circles on his palm.
“I’m not sure what I feel, Gil. In fact, I don’t know how to feel. I don’t know if I’m attracted to you or if it is a rebound because you’ve been so good to me. My body feels something; my mind tells me differently.” Gil looked at their hands. Staci withdrew his fingers when he realised what he was doing. “Sorry.”
“Don’t be. It was nice,” he grinned.
“Can you let my boss know I’ll be off sick longer than expected.”
“Sure. You want him to drop in?”
“Yeah. Just keep Katie away.”
“No worries there, I’ve issued a restraining and trespass notice.”
“Bet that didn’t go down well.”
“Like a ton of bricks,” he laughed. “I need to go.” He stood up, and before he realised what he was doing, he kissed Staci’s forehead. “Sorry,” he shrugged and walked away rapidly, shoulders slouched, obviously embarrassed by his actions.
Staci closed his eyes, wondering what to do. He’d never been interested in men, that he could remember. He’d only had girlfriends, though Katie had undoubtedly put him off going near them again in a hurry. What to do about Gil? Sleep took over again, the machinery around him beeped as his dreams returned.
Gil and Staci were standing in front of each other, smiling. Gil leant in to kiss Staci, who lifted his chin, accepting his lips as they nibbled across his own, tugging his bottom lip until he opened his mouth. Gil’s tongue slipped inside, sweeping over his tongue and teeth, moaning over the minty taste. Staci started to kiss him back. Changing the angle of his head, he thrust his tongue into Gil’s mouth as if they were duelling for life. Gil stepped closer cupping Staci’s head, while Staci wound his fingers through Gil’s dark hair, tugging him closer. Their chests touched, their dicks throbbed, and with a groan, they pulled apart.
“I need you, Staci,” Gil whispered. “I can’t get...”
“Kiss me, Gil. I like your kisses, so much softer than I thought. I like the feel of your stubble on my face. You smell like a woodland.”
“You like my aftershave. I’ll have to buy more.” He grinned, biting Staci’s lip as their lips connected again. “You taste amazing. Can you feel my dick? He’s interested as well.”
“It seems you’re right about me. Perhaps I am gay and never knew.”
“More likely, you’re bi. Now shut the hell up.” He caught Staci’s lips with his teeth, pushing him back on the bed behind them. “I want you.”
Staci pushed his body against Gil’s, their dicks throbbing together their kisses intensifying.
Gil pulled off his t-shirt, revealing a firm, toned chest. Staci stilled feeling the heat of skin beneath his hands, Gil’s heart was racing as Staci’s hands began wandering over his chest and abdominals.
“Hell of a body you’re hiding, Gil.” He kissed the spot at the bottom of his throat.
“Christ, Staci, you’ve ruined me for anyone else.” He ripped Staci’s t-shirt off tossing it on the floor and began kissing his chest, nipping one of his nipples, Staci arched against him.
“Shit, Gil,” he panted.
“What?” he grinned, “Your ex-girlfriend never sucked your nipples?”
“Some women have a lot to learn about us men, which is why man love is so damn good.”
“I need something...”
“Hush and follow my lead.”
Staci moaned out loud as he woke up, missing the erotic part of his dream.
“God damn it,” he groaned realising his dick was hard and needed release.
“A good dream was it?” chuckled Gil looking towards Staci’s groin.
“Damn.” He bit his lip then burst out laughing. “Yeah, it was good, different. How long have you been here?”
“Ten minutes or so. They’re bringing your lunch soon. You missed breakfast.”
“Didn’t think I’d see you until tonight. Thought you’d be working.”
“I am working.”
“What do you need then?”
“Your ex has decided to press assault charges against you.”
Staci frowned. “I’ve never hit her. Not my sort of thing.”
“We still need to investigate the charge.”
“When did she say this took place?”
“Detective Bramwell is waiting to interview you. You’ll get the details then.”
“When the fuck is this going to end?”
“When it’s over.”
Gil opened the door, speaking quietly to the Detective then left, heading back to work. Detective Bramwell entered, wincing at the state of Staci.
“If the assault happened in the last few days, then it obviously wasn’t me.”
“The charge goes back thirteen months, Mr Kaylen.” He said and sat down.
“Over a year, surely that’s out of...”
“Not this kind. She said you raped her in a drunken rage.”
“What the fuck.” He sat up quickly, the machines went mad, doctors and nurses rushing in glaring at the Detective. He moved to one side, staring out of the window.
“Do that again, Detective, and you’re out of here.” the nurse snapped.
“Sorry,” he muttered, sitting in the chair again. “You ok? I should’ve handled that better, CS Jarvis did warn me.”
“She’s a fucking liar.”
“She gave us the date, time and where. You need to provide evidence to counter the charge.”
“We did have a rough patch last year. I was drinking a bit more, however, not enough to put me in a drunken rage of any kind.”
“Can you prove this?”
“Yes, probably, though I’d need dates so I can give you the places we partied; otherwise it will be vague evidence.”
“What pubs did or do you frequent?”
“Bears Paw, Red Lion, most of the ones in the centre of town. Generally, on a Friday or Saturday night. I didn’t like going out on a work night unless it was a special occasion.”
“Any special occasions between...” he looked at his notebook, “15th to the 25th October?”
Staci frowned. “Nothing for us as a couple, I’m not sure about her friends though. As for my family, well, I don’t have one.”
“How well do you know your ex’s family and friends?”
“Well, her father is my boss. Has been for about six years now. If he thought I’d hurt his daughter, then I wouldn’t be working for him. He’s very protective of her...well used to be. I’m not sure where he stands now.”
“Where who stands?” said a man from the door.
“Carl,” Staci smiled. “Nice to see you.”
“And you are?” said the Detective.
“Mr Kaylen’s boss, Carl Renoldi. Come to see what the hell has happened now. He’s one of my best workers and his team miss him.”
“It seems your daughter had decided to press rape charges, Carl.”
“The hell she has? Against who? You?” Staci nodded, “don’t make me laugh. You wouldn’t hurt a hair on anyone’s head let about rape my daughter.”
“She states he was in a drunken rage.”
Carl threw his head back and laughed until tears ran down his face. “Bloody woman is going to be the death of me.” He wheezed, catching his breath. “Staci doesn’t drink enough to get into a drunken rage. He’s clean of drugs—well other than what he’s taking now. My men are all tested at least monthly.”
“I’d need the evidence,” said Bramwell.
“You give permission, Staci?”
“Sure. I’ve got nothing to hide.” he yawned. “Look can we continue this tomorrow? I’d like a chat with my boss before I fall asleep again.”
“Yes. It’s lunchtime anyway. Thank you for your cooperation.”
“Welcome.” He pointed Carl to the seat Bramwell had vacated. The door shut, and the men grinned at each other.
“I have no idea what the fuck Katie is mixed up with. Still trying to find out. She’s not been home all week.”
“I need to thank you for the rescue. CS Jarvis told me you stopped the fight and probably saved my life.”
“Pleasure. I can’t lose one of my best. I hear you had a fall at home giving you a further injury.”
“A broken rib punctured a blood vessel...I think.” He looked at his chest and the drain. “I should be home in about five days if all goes well.”
“What about work?”
“Nothing physical for a while so unless you have a desk job for me, I’ll be out for about six weeks.”
“What about someone to take care of you?”
“Thing is you didn’t, Staci. I can get Jess to make you some meals and drop them off for your freezer if you want.”
“Thanks. CS Jarvis will be dropping in as well. We sort of became friends prior to me knowing what his job was.” He rolled his eyes.
“Another good man. This town is lucky to have him.”
“Thanks, Carl and good luck with your daughter.”
“After all this and you can say that. You’re a special man, Staci. Take care now.”
His lunch arrived as Carl saluted and left to get back to work. Staci’s stomach rumbled, making the care assistant giggle.
“Eat slowly and be careful. It’s only soup coz of your surgery.”
“Better than nothing. Thanks.”
Staci was reading a book a nurse had given him during the afternoon shift. He’d been bored. Flicking through the pages he had to bite his lip several times to stop himself from laughing. With broken ribs and heart surgery, it wasn’t wise. He was looking forward to the chest drains been taken out. It looked weird.
Hearing his door open, he grinned seeing Gil step inside, the door closing behind him.
“You have a nice laugh.”
“You have a sexy voice.” He replied, blushing at Gil’s raised eyebrow.
“You coming on to me, Staci?” he moved closer and sat in the chair.
“Yes and no.” He closed the book placing it on his bedside table. “I keep having weird dreams about you. I need you to do something for me.”
“Weird...really?” He smirked. “What do you need. I’ll help if I can.”
“You can help, it’s a matter of if you will.”
“Go on, tell me.”
“I want you to kiss me. I need to know what it feels like.” He stared at Gil, watching him gulp and go pale. “I presume from the look on your face, it’s a no,” he sighed.
“Shocked, you asked. You already know I have feelings for you. Going the next step might open a whole can of worms you won’t want to deal with, Staci.”
“Just bloody well kiss me,” he growled.
Gil moved to sit beside Staci, looked into his eyes before lowering his mouth. Their lips met. Gil moved softly over Staci’s mouth, tasting him for the first time trying not to groan, knowing he needed to hold back. Pulling away, he studied Staci’s face for a moment and waited for his response.
“You have soft lips. You tasted nice...It was different feeling your stubble...a bit weird, though nice.” He frowned. “I could taste—coffee, not as nice as my coffee at home,” he smiled slowly, Gil widened his eyes, he thought he’d be rejected. “Kiss me again.”
“I’d better not.” His hands clenched.
“Oh.” Staci’s eyes lost their twinkle. “You didn’t like...”
Gil sat down on the chair again, away from temptation, closing his eyes in thought for a moment before answering.
“You have beautiful lips, soft and plump. I enjoyed our kiss and yes, I would like more. However, I don’t want to lose myself and go too far.”
“Rrrright. Fair enough.”
“Perhaps when you’re released to go home.”
“Yes, of course.” He glanced over at Gil still a bit unsure.“I promise. If you still want another...kiss, I’ll do so at your house in a few days.”
“Ok,” he smiled.
The door opened, and his dinner tray arrived. Mashed up vegetables and jelly.
“I’m going to let you eat. I’ll be back in a couple of days.”
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