The flight to Arizona seemed so long to Jonathan. He was quiet at the moment while he looked out the small window beside him. The ground was coming closer as they were making their final approach to the airport and the runway. His stomach lurched as the plane bounced for the thousandth time.
Gripping the arms of the chair, he abruptly wheezed, tossing his head back against the seat behind him. His right hand groped for the man next to him, needing some desperate comfort from him. But he was just before falling out of his seat fast asleep.
Now, he wished he had sat with Bruce or Greg. Tony was no help to him at the moment. Not at all. But little did he know that Tony hated flying worse than he did and Greg had slipped him a sedative.
The plane shook, jumping again. Jonathan scrambled forward, unlatching his seatbelt. Standing, his arms went around Bruce who was just ahead of him.
“Sir, you must have a seat. The captain is landing the plane.” a woman had rushed to him to settled him quickly.
“Bruce…” Jonathan called desperately, hugged him tight from behind. He frenziedly tried to climb over the seat to him.
The man turned looking into his frightened face. “Jon?” he would never have known he was afraid to fly, that is until now.
And, Greg looked at him seeing he should have sedated them both. He came up out of his seat reaching over his head to the compartment there.
“Sir, you must sit down.” the woman was becoming irritated now.
“It’s okay, I’m a doctor. I’ll give him a quick sedative and we’ll all settle down.” he assured her.
“Well, be quick about it, please.” she was obviously relieved, placing a hand on his arm. Then turned to leave them to their drama of the moment.
Faster than Jonathan could say his name he felt the tiny prick of the needle as if a mosquito had bitten him. Bruce kept his attention from what Greg was doing until the youth’s eyes began to close.
He then unbuckled his seatbelt turning around. With a knee in the seat cushion, he helped Jonathan ease back into the chair. Greg quickly buckled him in, then sat fastening his. Bruce also turned doing the same.
When next he woke he was looking up at the ceiling. Groggily he stared there for a moment, his world blurred and uncertain. Trying to recall the last thing he remembered was like trying to pull the proverbial rabbit from the hat.
Then off in the distance he heard the soft rumble of the voice of Peter. He was to meet them at the airport, having to fly in from Russia. They were all going to room together as one big happy family, or so Jonathan had been thinking about it that way.
And he had been so excited to hear he would be joining them for the reading of his Uncle’s will, which was the next morning. For some odd reason the lawyer had said he must attend, as did himself, Tony and Maurice.
But of course, Maurice wouldn’t be making it, except in spirit maybe. He smiled at that thought almost giggling to himself about it. He stifled the urge as best he could putting a hand over his mouth to help his efforts.
“And what are you snickering about?” Peter’s face came into view as he sat on the edge of the bed near him grinning down at him.
Jonathan’s eyes went right to the scar that ran vertically along the center of his throat. It started just at the top going down along his trachea almost to the dip at the bottom. And there, was the tiny scar of the hole Tony had made that saved his life. Sadly, he reached to it touching it lightly with a finger.
“You must end this sadness on my part, child.” Peter scolded seeing the drastic changes on his face and in his eyes.
“Why, Peter? Why did he do that to you?” Jonathan’s eyes filled with tears as well as with the questions that still seemed so unanswered for him.
“He thought he had too, child. It was the only moment that he would ever be able to strike at me, for betraying him so.” the man spoke slowly for the youth to understand as usual.
“But you never hurt him.” Jonathan reasoned.
“And neither did you…” he returned with frankness in his now raspy voice. “…Settle this, in your heart, child. It will only prove to destroy you more in the end. I am not angry with Mr. Bowman for this. I actually am proud of the fact it is there. I live, Jonathan. I helped to defeat him. And he cannot harm me, or anyone else again.” he leaned down almost whispering to him as if it were a secret between them.
Jonathan smiled then. “You’re right, Peter. I’m being silly.” he felt the warmth of Peter’s hand as it gently grasped his that was being slowly retrieved from the scar. He halted the retrieval wanting to feel his gentle touch once again.
“It is not silly, Jonathan. I know what troubles you, so. You long for things to have been different with him. Now that he is gone, you wish he were alive. You desire the intimacy you might have had, if he were sane.
“Knowing him as the uncle you wish he had been is only a creation bedava bahis in your mind, now, child. A dream is all it will be. You cannot change any of the things he has done to you, or any of us. And you should not even think to attempt to. The only thing you should do now, is to allow him to die in your heart. Let him go, Jonathan. He will do you no good alive…” he leaned closer saying secretly to him again. “…let him rot in the ground until judgment day.”
Jonathan moved his head to one side scrutinizing Peter oddly now. He would have never thought this man would say such a thing to him, especially about a lost family member.
“He was not, Jonathan.” it seemed the man knew his thoughts. When in fact, he was reading them from the expressions that were flashing across his face.
“He never was your uncle. Not as an uncle should be. Nothing of a family member, he was. He was a rogue. Some vagabond that happened to have your last name, child. A lunatic with desperately lasting effects on us with his sadistic and homicidal tendencies. He was the devil himself, child. And no family should endure what he put you through.
“You must grieve, child, yes. But you must also, in doing so, become angry at some point. It will give you the balance needed to fight the longing of your heart. Let it go, and you will find peace again.”
“Everything could have been so different, Peter.” Jonathan muttered softly.
“Yes, but that is all buried with his body in the ground.” the man reasoned still.
“I…” Jonathan turned his head away choking back tears.
“You wish he still lived, I know, Jonathan.” the man sighed heavily, then kicked his shoes off coming up along side him. He took him into his gentle arms like so many times before. Turning onto his side, he pulled the youth to him holding him close. His fingers drifted down through the length of Jonathan’s hair listlessly.
Resting the side of his head on the youth’s cheek, he began to whisper softly to him. “You cannot change it, Jonathan. He is gone. And had he wanted things to be different between you, he would have made it so. But he didn’t. Instead, he tormented you, punished you at every turn, tortured you with his sickness. And I can only pray it has not touched your heart, this sickness he was afflicted with. Please, Jonathan…” the man begged him openly, yet silently. “…Do not desire to be like him.”
“I don’t, Peter. I swear.” the youth returned softly. “I just wish he could’ve changed…been different.”
“I know, child. And you do have a few good memories of him to cling to. He was not always so terrible.” the man recalled a few of those moments even as he said it.
Jonathan sighed heavily. “I want this over with as soon as possible.”
“Yes, but you must know nothing will be done so that it will be finished tomorrow. It may take weeks, months, even a year to finalize everything.”
“You’re so full of good new, Peter.” he smiled faintly in his jesting.
The man returned it. “I only mean to insure you face this with all the practicality you need. You must be prepared to fight for what you want. It may not come easy.”
“I don’t even know what I want. I do know, I want to sell the mansion. I refuse to live there.” he groaned the last.
Peter smiled. “That is a normal response, child. No one expects you to.”
“There’s just too many bad memories there, and I don’t want to remember them.” he commented toying with a button on the man’s white shirt for the moment.
The silence that feel between them seemed to hang there for the longest. Jonathan looked up into his face wondering suddenly, why he had never tried anything with him, in all the time they had known each other. Not even once had he ever laid a hand on him in a way suggesting sensuality, or a desire of a favor from him.
Peter saw the questions on his face. The youth’s eyes reflected them to him clearly. And being so close to him for so many years, he had learned to read them very well. “You did not need that from me, Jonathan.” he answered. “You were being violated at every turn. And for me to do this, would not have helped you. It would have confused you further, reinforcing those feelings of self-destruction that you do not need.”
“You never wanted me?” the youth asked then. Peter smiled. “I did not say that.”
“Then you do?” his eyes seemed to reflect a hope that he did. As if his value to him was not defined unless he did.
The man only smiled wider. “Your worth to me is more than that, Jonathan. I do not have to do that with you just to show you what I feel for you. There are other ways to express it.”
“But what if I want it?” he pressed then. His eyes remained on Peter’s all the while.
“You do not need that, Jonathan. What you need is strength, guidance, and support. I will always give that to you. And… I see you as much too young for me, to begin with.” he confessed.
“But I’m eighteen. I’ll soon be nineteen.” he sat up bedava bonus arguing then.
“Still, too young…for my preferences, Jonathan. I prefer someone older.”
“Oh…” Jonathan grinned. “…You like men older than you?”
Peter smiled again. “That is my secret, child. And when you are older, I may consider you then. But now, I will wait.”
Jonathan understood now, not feeling hurt by it at all. But he leaned over him pressing his body against him deliberately. “Bruce is older than you.” he whispered, then snickered getting up from the bed.
Of course, Peter had already known that long before Jonathan had just told him. He actually knew all their ages, birth dates, and a many personal secrets about each of them. Having done his homework when they became a factor in the long drawn out drama that had transpired when Jonathan had run from his uncle that night, there was much he learned about each of them. And it all made him appreciate them even more.
They all stood when the lawyer came out of his office addressing Jonathan as Mr. Bowman. It made him shudder at the thought of being called that, sending an eerie chill up and down his spine. It suddenly occurred to him that he may just change that while he was there.
Bruce remained seated in the reception area with Greg, as the rest of them filed into the office. He watched the light brown haired man hold the door for them as they passed welcoming each of them. His thin wire framed glasses and dark suit made him even more professional looking than he would without them. And his smile was so very disarming to Bruce. A predator just waiting to take a huge bite out of Jonathan’s inheritance. he thought.
The man looked to Bruce and the doctor then. “Mr. Crawford, Dr. Carroll, you should join us, sirs.” he spoke so very respectfully to them that it took Bruce by surprise a bit.
They stood moving into the office seeing everyone seated around in the chairs provided and one was left open for him and Greg each. Going to one, he parked beside Jonathan smiling at him gently.
“I’m glad you decided to come in.” the youth leaned to him whispering. “I’m feeling a little nervous.”
Bruce grinned wider. He slipped an arm around his shoulders for comfort. “It’ll be alright, Jonathan. Just listen. It’s very important you do.”
Bruce watched the lawyer have a few secret words with his secretary then step in closing the door. The man went to the television set that was set up before them standing there as he spoke to them.
“A few days before Mr. Bowman left for Georgia, he came to my office and requested that we revise his will. He also decided to do part of it on video tape, and requested that I make the tape available to you, Jonathan, if you decide you want a copy of it.
“Anyway,” the man sighed heavily. “All of you are here because he requested that each of you be present. So, I’ll just start the tape and we’ll carry on from there.” the man seemed a little nervous to Bruce, as he watched him turn fumbling with the VCR, before finally getting it started.
Right away Jim Bowman came into view. Jonathan coiled suddenly at his abrupt appearance. His heart lunged into this throat lodging there for a long while.
“Hello, Jonathan…” his voice riddled the youth with so many emotions at once, as it fell upon his ears. “…I know that I’m the last person you really desire to see at the moment. But if you will just bare with me, there is a reason for all of this.
“I have asked all of you to be present because I desire to settle some issues with you all. Each of you have become special to me in some way. I have things to say to each of you that I feel is important.” a pause came. His eyes moved around as if to look at each one of them.
“Jonathan, do you miss me?”
“Oh, come on!” Bruce protested loudly with concern. Immediately, the lawyer paused the tape. “He doesn’t need this.” his address to the even more nervous attorney was vehement and persistent.
“Bruce…” Jonathan spoke softly. “I actually wanna to hear what Jim had to say.”
“He’s only toying with yer mind, babe. You don’t need that.” the man clutched him to him protectively.
“Sir, we can’t go on, until this video is seen. And I believe you may be surprised by much of what he has to say. Jonathan has expressed his wishes to hear it. So, you should respect that.” the man argued.
“I will not allow him to be tormented further by this creep!” he almost stood, as anger soared showing distinctly in his face.
“Bruce…” Peter grasped his arm gently. “We will deal with it.” he spoke softly. “Allow Jonathan to hear him.”
The man was completely taken with Peter’s gentle mannerisms, and the deep hope and love that exuded from his stare at the moment. He could almost hear his reasons in his gaze and nodded settling again. Releasing the youth, he apologized for his outburst.
Jonathan leaned to him kissing his deneme bonusu cheek. “I would’ve expected no less from you, Bruce.” he informed him gently.
It made the man smile faintly that he felt that way.
The lawyer began the tape again. Mr. Bowman became animate once more.
“Do you believe that I deserve your remorse and grief? Now that I’m not there with you, am I consuming your thoughts constantly?” his grin was a definitely amusing one. “I’m sure you’re wishing that we could have had a much different relationship than we did have….”
The room became electrified with shifts of people who knew this was the case. And Bruce was beside himself wanting to leave the room because of his abhorrence of all this.
“You wish I could have been kinder, gentler, more amiable with you?” Jonathan began to weep softly. “Maybe in another life, I will be. Perhaps, I will be given another chance to redeem myself to you. But until then all I can do is try to make up for what I cannot change, babe.
“And don’t waste your time trying to make me into a martyr in your heart and soul. I had issues that I grossly ignored. And I will admit that I liked them. They kept me company in a way I hope you never realize. They challenged me, and I liked that challenge, acting upon them with all my heart and being.
“You, Jonathan, you deserve much better than me for an uncle, or a family member. Which is why I’m so pleased you found this Bruce Crawford and are so happy with him. Stay with him. And listen to him. From what I’ve seen of him, he’s a very level minded man. He would never hurt you the way that I have. And he will take care of you, I’m sure of it.”
The man sighed looking down for a long moment. Lifting his head, he seemed to look right at Bruce then. “Mr. Crawford…” he grinned in such a way that made Bruce’s skin crawl. He shuddered suddenly recalling that very same look that day in the forest outside his home only a month before. So much lust and depravity in it just made the man almost ill.
“I do hope you’re still not angry with me. Although, I know I have not yet met you, by the time you view this tape, I will have. And I will have attempted to look into the very reasons why Jonathan loves you and not me.
“I will have also attempted to seduce you to me. I find you a very attractive man, Bruce. And I do hope you don’t mind me calling you that. Of course, if you are seeing this, it was for the better that you did not bend to my will. And no, I don’t expect you to.” he sighed long and heavily again.
“You seem to be a very strong willed man, Bruce. I am even more intrigued by that. I want to know if I can break you. That would be a great challenge to me. I am almost hoping that you don’t bend to me, or that I am not able to break you. And then again…” he chuckled sadistically.
“I have grown tired of Maurice. He bores me, now. There is no more challenge left in our experiences together. Now, I am reduced to only giving him what he desires of me. Although, I enjoy it, yes, there is still, no challenge in it whatsoever. He’s too easy, now. I speak to him, and he bows at my every command. I feel a loss of self-value in it. And I feel a need for that challenge again.
“I attempted to draw it from Tony. He was so very beguiling to me. Handsome, rough cut, impulsive at times, his mold was broken when he was born.” he chuckled lightly. “And if you’ll think back, Tony, I had been toying with you long before I blatantly took you into my arms. And I actually found myself yearning that you would surrender to me. I think I would have kept you until you were old and feeble.
“You gave me such a challenge, Tony. It was worth every minute for me, even though it was so short lived. You’re much too smart, my love. And I should have been prepared for that. But in my presumption, I lost a very good lover.
“As for you, Peter, I respect you deeply. You seemed to be the angel sitting on my right shoulder most of the time. Even as much anger as you caused me, I still listened to you. Your voice yet rings in my mind with your incessant smooth, respectful words that enticed me more times than I can recall to not do what I so desired, upon occasions.
“And you kept Maurice from disobeying me. For that, I thank you. If he had so much as laid a finger on Jonathan, to hurt him, or do anything that I oppose, I would have killed him with my bare hands. It would have been a torturous slow death at that, more so than he has ever experienced from me.
“You took care of Jonathan for me, especially when he had incurred injuries from me, or someone I had given him to. I owe you much for that, Peter. And I will pay my debt to you.
“Now, back to you, Bruce…” he grinned lewdly again. “…You didn’t think I had forgotten, did you? Well, you are sadly mistaken. I owe you more than anyone in the room, beside Jonathan. You have taken him into your home, your arms and given him a life and family that I could only have dreamed of giving him. Take care of him, for me. He is so young, confused and still so very vulnerable. There is a desperate need in him for help that I hope you have already assessed. Do what must be done. Help him heal. Give him the life I could not. And be to him what I could never have been.