Hey everyone, it's RichardAdams. Sorry for the late upload. Things have just been crazy around here and it's been pretty hard to find time to write. But I do have good news: I am now officially a high school graduate. I feel no different than before...sigh...
But I also have some bad news as well. I am going on a trip next week and may not have a chapter up next week. But you never know, so please check the website periodically. I may be able to post every two days, or I may just post a single chapter, or no chapters at all. I apologize for the inconvenience.
Thank you again to all my loyal readers, fans, and friends. I love writing 'Am I...?' and hope you all enjoy reading it. I hope you all have noticed by now, but I'm trying to make 'Am I...?' more of a dramatic romance story with sex rather than erotica. I hope you all can understand that. I find it a lot more fun to write a story this way.
Thank you all again for the support and words of encouragement and advice. They make me want to work my absolute hardest to give you all a chapter you can enjoy. Now, I give you Chapter 16 of 'Am I...?'
The ride to the hospital is quick, the EMT checking some vitals, which really aren't necessary. The only thing besides the cut on my arm is an elevated heart rate and higher blood pressure. Gee. I was just in school for nine hours with the threat of getting a bullet in me. Of course my heart rate and blood pressure would be high!
We get to the hospital and the EMT helps my out of the ambulance and into the ward. She gets me to a table and a doctor soon walks up. "You're a kid that was in the school hostage thing, weren't you?" he asks me.
"Yeah, I'm one of them," I reply.
"You should count yourself lucky you weren't more hurt. Let's get this thing stitched up."
Twenty minutes and fifteen stitches later, my cut is closed and the doctor lets me go to the waiting room. I walk out of the ward and find Leo, Brian, Mark, Shawn, Danny, Mom and Dad sitting and waiting. Leo hears me and looks up. "JOSH!!"
Everyone looks up and jumps off the couches. Leo rushes over to me and runs into my chest, wrapping his arms around me. Everyone swarms around us, screaming questions. "Sweetie, we were so worried about you," Mom finally says after everything calms down.
"What happened to your arm?" Shawn asks.
"A bullet grazed me and I was cut," I say. "It wasn't too bad."
"You were shot?" Danny asks.
"It was an accident. Gerald tossed his gun on the floor and it went off."
"Who's Gerald?" Dad asks.
"He's the gunman," I say. "He and I talked a little more after Brian and Leo got Justin out of the cafeteria. He might be out on the streets by the end of the month."
Everyone looks at me like I just told them a guy that held a few dozen students hostage would be a free man by March. Oh wait...I did. "You've got to be kidding me," says Mark. "How could that lunatic be out in two weeks?!"
I sit everyone down and give them an explanation of what Gerald has been going through with Derek and how his ex-wife was the one that tried to take him. "So the only thing that Gerald will be charged for is bringing a gun onto school grounds and taking hostages?" asks Leo.
"Probably," I say. "He said he'd be able to make bail if he gets it. Gerald really isn't a bad person. He just cares for his son and I'm not mad at him for what happened. He didn't mean for Justin to get hurt and didn't even fire the gun."
I look around and see everyone nodding in consensus. "Um...do we know how Justin's doing?" I ask.
"Yeah, they said the surgery should be finished in a little while," says Brian. "I was so worried about him..."
Brain wipes his eyes and Danny wraps his arm around Brian's shoulders. "Brian, Justin's okay and that's all that matters."
"But it was so scary seeing him bleeding onto the cafeteria floor," Brian says. "I thought I was going to lose him..."
A woman in a surgical hat and scrubs walks out into the waiting area and sees us. "Are you all here for Justin Robinson?" she asks.
We all stand up and look at her. "Yes," says Mom. "How is he?"
"He's out of surgery and is resting in a room. There were no complications with the surgery and he made it through."
We let out a huge sigh of relief at hearing Justin's okay. "May we see him?" asks Shawn.
"Well, he's asleep right now. But he should be up in about an hour or so. He'll be groggy and in some pain, but he'll be able to talk and understand you."
We all sit back down, feeling a lot better than before. "Josh?" Leo whispers to me. "Can I talk to you? Alone?"
I look at him, concerned. "Sure." I look at everyone else. "We'll be right back."
Leo and I stand up and I follow Leo out of the waiting room and into the hospital parking lot. The air is cool and crisp and the sky, although dark, has grey clouds scattered across it. Leo stops and looks back at me. "What's up?" I ask.
All of a sudden, a hand come across my face and searing pain spreads through my head. Leo freaking slapped me. I hold my hand to my face, hoping the pain will go down. "OW! What the hell was...?!"
I stop when I see Leo's face. He looks so...hurt. His jaw is clenched and his teeth are grinding together and in his eyes, I see tears falling and despair in the blue irises. "Why do you have to be so fucking perfect?!" he shouts at me.
"What do you mean?" I ask Leo.
"You're too perfect! Today in the cafeteria, I was scared out of my mind, wondering what was going to happen to us! But you looked as cool and collected as always!"
"Why is that a bad thing?!" I yell back at him.
"Because I know you're too good for me!" I feel my heart pang. Leo actually thinks that? His tears pour out of his eyes, but he keeps talking. "When you saw Gerald coming toward the cafeteria, you didn't run! You wanted to get everyone else out of there! I would've run for my life had you not told me and the guys we needed to clear the cafeteria!
"And when Gerald was initially holding us all hostage, you wanted to put your life on the line to get the rest of the kids out of there! When Justin got shot, you didn't freeze at all! You took charge and convinced Gerald to let me and Brian carry Justin out! I was so fucking scared when that door closed with you still inside!"
"Leo.." I try to interrupt.
"Josh, you could've died today! But you didn't even think about yourself for one second! You weren't scared, you were strong, stronger than I was! So I don't deserve you!"
Leo lets out scream after scream and hearing it causes me to start crying as well. I rush over to Leo and pull him into a very tight hug. "Leo, please stop." Leo's cries die down a bit. "Leo, I'm not perfect. No one's perfect. When we were with Gerald, I was scared shitless. When I saw Justin lying on the floor with a bullet hole in his stomach, I felt like I was going to pass out.
"Leo, you were just as strong as I was today. You could've asked to leave with the other students, but you didn't. You could've let Brian try and carry Justin out by himself and stayed with me, but you didn't. Leo, you are strong, stronger than you know."
Leo buries his face into my chest and cries, his sobs filling the quiet parking lot. "And don't you ever think you don't deserve me," I say as my tears fall onto Leo's head. "Leo, I love you more than anything. Please...don't ever forget that..."
"I-I'm sorry Josh," Leo sobs. "I was just so worried about you. You're so...kind-hearted. You'd put yourself in front of a gun just to make sure other people were safe. I don't know what I would've done had you died..."
"I'm not going anywhere, Leo. I promise you I'll never leave you..."
Leo lets out a few more emotion filled cries. "I love you so much, Josh."
"And I love you, Leo."
"And please do me a favor?" he asks me.
"Please be a little more selfish in the future. I want you to be a little more concerned about yourself than others, otherwise you might be in something like a bank robbery and will want to give the robber your money."
I laugh a little and look down at Leo. "Deal."
He looks up at me and smiles. I lean down and kiss Leo softly, and he kisses me back.
An hour later, Justin wakes up from his surgery. He seems a little too disoriented to talk, but manages a few smiles and nods. We all decide to come back and see him tomorrow, when he's a little more awake. I have a little trouble sleeping that night, remembering seeing Justin bleeding onto the cafeteria floor and almost getting shot myself. But I remind myself that all of it was just one big accident. I send Gerald a little prayer before I get to sleep.
The next day, there's a bit of pain in my left arm, but it isn't too bad. A few Tylenol help to ease the pain. Once I finish getting showered and dressed, Ryan calls the house. I pick up and the second I say hello, he starts screaming questions at me through the phone. Apparently, he and Nate saw the whole hostage thing on the news and my name came up.
I answer every question they have, much to their horror and relief. We talk for a little while before I tell them I need to go see Justin. I put my phone in my pocket, give Mom and Dad a quick hug and kiss, and walk out.
I was expecting to drive my car to the hospital, but I walk out to see Leo sitting in my driveway, propped up against his motorcycle. "Morning hero," he says.
"Hero?" I ask.
Leo reaches behind him and pulls out a newspaper. He tosses it to me and I catch it. On the front page is a photo of me as I was walking out of the school with Gerald. The headline reads:
'Young Hero Saves the Lives of 30 Classmates'
"Are you serious?" I think out loud.
"Josh, you were a hero yesterday," Leo tells me. "It looks like I wasn't the only one that thinks so."
"But you, Brian, and Justin also put your lives on the line yesterday too."
"Don't worry. We're mentioned too, but it looks like you get the most recognition."
"But it doesn't seem fair. You guys..."
"Josh," Leo interrupts. "What did I say yesterday about you starting to be a little selfish? You should be proud of what you did and you deserve credit for it. So can't you take credit where credit is due?"
I smile at Leo. "I guess I will."
Leo reaches behind himself again and tosses something else to me: a donut. "You like the cream-filled ones, right?"
I take a bite of the donut and start to walk to my car. "Not so fast hero," Leo says. "You're not taking that today."
I look at Leo, a bit lost. "Then how am I...?" I start to ask.
In Leo's hands are two things: his motorcycle helmet, and a second motorcycle helmet, which I grin heavily at. "You're riding with me today," Leo says.
"So I'm your bitch?"
"I prefer to call you 'bastard.'"
I smile and stuff the rest of the donut into my mouth as Leo tosses the third thing to me in the last two minutes: the second helmet. I slip the helmet on my head and walk over to Leo's bike. He and I straddle the motorcycle and Leo turns the key. A very powerful rev erupts from the bike, scaring me a bit. "Hold on tight," Leo tells me. "This thing has some kick."
I wrap my arms around Leo's stomach, pressing them against his hard abs. And boom! Instant boner! And the bulge that sprouts in my pants presses against the small in Leo's back. "Someone's excited," Leo says.
"Only for you," I reply.
Leo laughs and backs the motorcycle out of the driveway. With a twist of the throttle, we head off to the hospital. I don't know how Leo drives this thing every day. I'm not even driving it and I'm having trouble staying on! With every turn, I hold Leo tighter and press my body closer to his.
After a few minutes of shear terror, I'm actually starting to have a little fun. Feeling the wind hit my legs and arms, seeing everything go by as a complete blur, it's amazing. "Want me to pop a wheelie?!" Leo hollers back at me.
"I will beat your ass to China if you try it, I swear to God!"
Leo laughs and revs the engine, causing the bike to surge with speed. He suddenly tilts the bike up and we're on a single wheel. I feel like I'm going to puke and piss myself, but the bike falls back to the pavement and we slow back down. "I'm going to kill you!" I scream at Leo.
We get to the hospital a few minutes later, me feeling a little bit of a rush. Leo pulls into a parking spot and we both get off his bike. "What'd you think of your first ride?" Leo asks me as we're taking off the helmets.
I punch Leo in the arm. "That's for scaring the shit out of me!" I yell at him, laughing a bit.
Leo rubs his arm with a smile on his face. "But you have to admit, it was fun."
He and I walk into the hospital and quickly sign in. We get to Justin's room a minute or two later and find Brian, Mark, Shawn, and Danny already in there, seated around Justin's bed. "Hey guys," Justin says as we walk in.
Compared to yesterday, Justin looks a lot better. Leo and I grab two more chairs and sit down next to Justin's bed. "How're you feeling?" I ask.
"Like someone shot me," he jokes, causing a small giggle from everyone. "Not too bad. There's a little pain, but it doesn't hurt too much. My spleen's in that jar right there."
Justin points to his bedside table and in a small plastic jar, sits...his spleen. Sure, I've seen a few spleens before (thanks to Dad), but not one of someone I knew. "Cool," says Leo.
"Is there any news on Gerald?" Justin asks.
"Not a bit," I say. "He's probably in a holding cell right now, awaiting his hearing. He may get bail and will be able to pay it. We might see him by next weekend."
"That's good to hear." Justin leans back a little and let's out a small breath. "It really fucking hurt, you know?"
"Getting shot?" Mark asks.
"No, getting my finger caught in a door. Yes, getting shot!"
"I was so scared," says Brian. "I thought you were going to die..."
Justin reaches over and takes Brian's hand in his, giving it a small squeeze. "All that matters is that I'm okay and still with you, Brian."
Brian smiles and gives Justin a small kiss. There's a sudden knock at the door and we all turn and see a nurse standing in the doorway. "Excuse me, Mr. Robinson?" she says.
"Yes?" Justin replies.
"There's a man here to see you. But you said that you didn't have any other adult visitors besides the man and woman here yesterday."
"Um...go ahead and send him in then," Justin says. "Maybe it's one of our teachers."
The nurse leaves and I hear a voice from the hallway. A second later, a man walks into the room, and he actually has to duck to get into the room. This guy is...gigantic. He's even taller than Coach! He looks to have a very sullen face and is holding a large bouquet of flowers in his hand.
I don't recognize him as a teacher, but as I look to Justin, he has a scared look on his face. "Dad, what the hell are you doing here?" Justin says through grinding teeth.
That's Justin's dad? Well, I can see where Justin gets his height from. Mr. Robinson looks to be at least six foot eleven with Justin's light brown hair and light blue eyes, though his hair is short compared to Justin's shaggy mop. But his eyes look...sad. "I...wanted to see how you were doing," Mr. Robinson says. "I heard about what happened yesterday on the news."
"Get the fuck out of here," Justin growls at his dad. "I don't care what you have to say, just get the fuck out of my life."
"Justin, please..." Mr. Robinson pleads.
"WHAT DID I SAY?!!" Justin screams. "GET THE FUCK AWAY FROM ME!!"
Justin winces and holds his hand to his stomach, right over where the bullet hit him. Brian stands by his side, rubbing his upper arm. I stand up and walk over to Mr. Robinson. "Come with me," I tell him.
I grab Mr. Robinson by the arm and pull him back into the hallway, closing the door behind me. I release his arm and look up at the giant. "What the hell are you doing here?" I ask him.
"Um...may I ask who you are?" he says.
"My name's Josh Rusden. I'm Justin's friend."
"Oh, you're the boy that helped get my son out of the school. Thank you for..."
"Shut up," I interrupt. Mr. Robinson's mouth snaps shut. "What the hell are you doing here?"
"I wanted to see Justin."
"Well I don't think Justin wants to see you. You kicked him out of his own fucking house, you lousy piece of shit. Do you have any idea how much he hates you?"
Mr. Robinson looks to the floor. "I know Justin has a lot of hate toward me, and I don't blame him. I actually hate my wife for what she's done to him. It was so hard to see her beating Justin with that horrible paddle of hers, over and over again."
"Wait...don't you hate Justin?"
"Of course not! I could never hate my son! I never even wanted him to leave!"
"Then why did you let Justin get the shit beat out of him and didn't do a thing when you and your wife threw him out?!"
The corners of Mr. Robinson's eyes fill with a little water. "I...I was scared. My wife is a fucking religious lunatic. She has been for years now, and I've been too scared to do anything about it. I knew how much she abused Justin, but I just sat back and let it happen. Do you have any idea how hard it is to have your son plea for help from you, but you don't do a damn thing about it?
"It's been like that since Justin was eleven years old. My wife just...disappeared one day, and in her place was the devil incarnate. She was suddenly filled with hate and didn't like a single thing. She started to treat Justin as if he were a slave, and Justin did everything she asked, out of fear of being beaten."
The tears fall from Mr. Robinson's eyes. "Justin came to me for years, asking, begging me to do something about my wife. But I always told him that she was his mother and she would do as she said, but in reality, I was too fucking scared to stand up to my wife. What Justin didn't realize is that my wife abused me too.
"Whenever I didn't listen to my wife, she'd smack me across the face with her paddle and call me a heretic. I didn't know what the hell to do, so I decided my safety was more important than Justin's well-being, and I've regretted it ever since."
Mr. Robinson takes a seat in a chair and lets his tears fall onto his jeans. "I love Justin more than anything in the world and when I saw him leave the house covered in bruises and in tears, I knew enough was enough. It took some time, but I finally got enough courage to stand up to my wife.
"When I told her I wasn't going to put up with her shit anymore, she freaking lost it. Like, seriously lost it. She destroyed chairs, punched holes in the walls, started screaming scripture at the top of her lungs. When she grabbed her paddle, I bolted for the door. I ran outside and thankfully, there were about a dozen people outside, probably wondering what the noise was.
"My wife started swinging her paddle, not even aiming for me. People started called 911, saying there was a crazed woman here trying to kill someone. Swing after swing, I jumped, dove, and ducked out of the way, each swing missing by only an inch or two. People were screaming at me to hit her, but I didn't think it was right.
"I know she was trying to kill me, because that's what she was screaming. But I hoped I could wait for the police to arrive and they could stop her. But what she said next, set me off."
"What'd she say?" I ask.
Mr. Robinson clenches his hands together. "'You're just as weak as your faggot son! I hope you and that worm burn in hell!'"
Suddenly feeling a bit woozy, I take a seat next to Mr. Robinson. "My rage became too much," Mr. Robinson continues. "All I remember is my fist flying and hitting my wife right in the jaw. She went flying and dropped her paddle. Everyone watching actually cheered. I grabbed the paddle and walked over to my wife.
"I stood above her and looked her straight in the eye and said 'I'm getting Justin back, getting a divorce, and I hope you suffer in prison.' I took the paddle and brought it down on my knee, breaking it right in two. The police arrived a few minutes later and arrested my wife for attempted murder. When they put my wife in the back of the police car, it was the greatest thing I had seen in years.
"That was a week ago. Since then, I've been looking everywhere for Justin when I had free time. I didn't think he'd still be at school because he wasn't living at home, so I checked every homeless shelter I could find, but they hadn't seen him. When I heard about the hostage situation on the news, I was actually in Seattle on a business trip.
"But when I saw Justin being carried out of the school, dripping blood, I got on the next flight here. I knew Justin would be mad at me for not being there for him, but all I want to tell him is how sorry I am because of it. I was so fucking scared from seeing Justin on the news. But when the news said there were no causalities, I cried for hours, I was so happy."
Mr. Robinson wipes his eyes dry and looks back to the floor. "I want Justin back in my life. I want to be the father I wasn't able to be. I want to love and protect him. I want to say how sorry I am to him..."
I look to my left and see Justin standing in the doorway with his hanging IV bag. "Justin..." Mr. Robinson quietly says.
"Are you sure you should be out of bed?" I ask. "You just had surgery."
"I'm fine Josh," Justin tells me. He looks back to his dad. "Dad...was everything you said true?"
"Every word," Mr. Robinson replies. He gets up and walks over to Justin. "Justin...I'm so sorry for not being the dad I should've been. I should've been supportive, loving, and caring, but I wasn't. I was so scared of your mother that I let you fend for yourself, and I hate myself for it.
"I hope you can forgive me and we can be a family again, just you and me. I'll be a better father and promise to love and take care of you like a father should. Please Justin. You're all I have left..."
Justin's face softens immensely and the tears come without warning. I step out of the way as Justin hobbles over to his dad and falls into his Dad's arms. Mr. Robinson carefully hugs his son, not wanting to hurt him because of the bullet wound. Both Robinson's, two giants standing in a hospital hallway, cry softly as they reconnect.
I give the two some space and walk back into Justin's room, where the guys are sitting. "What's going on out there?" Brian asks.
"Well, it looks like Justin's moving out of my house and back in with his dad."
Justin and Mr. Robinson walk back into the room a few seconds later, red-eyed and smiling softly. Mr. Robinson helps his son back into bed and covers him with the blankets. "Thanks Dad," Justin says.
Mr. Robinson looks around the room, looking at every one of us. "Are these your friends?" he asks Justin.
"Yeah. You've already met Josh. That's Leo, Mark, Shawn, Danny, and this guy" Justin places his hand on Brian's shoulder "is my boyfriend: Brian."
Mr. Robinson looks down at Brian and smiles. "So you're the boy my son loves so much."
Brian looks up at the seven-foot man in front of him. "Y-Yes sir," he quietly says.
"I hope you and Justin have a long and happy relationship."
Brian smiles. "I hope so too, sir. I love Justin more than anyone else, besides my parents anyway. But Justin means the world to me."
He leans over Justin's bed and gives Justin a small kiss. "You two are using protection, right?" Mr. Robinson asks.
"DAD!!" Justin screams, his face bright red.
We all break out laughing at Justin and Brian's embarrassment. "All the time," Brian confidently says.
This causes even more laughter, even from Justin. The laughter soon dies down and we all get to know Mr. Robinson a lot better. After about two hours of talking, Mr. Robinson says he needs to go and finish cleaning up the house and get a repairman for the holes his wife punched into the walls. "When're you getting out?" Mr. Robinson asks Justin.
"I should be released Monday, but the doctor said I'm going to need a few more days of recovery at home."
"Got it. I'll be back tomorrow first thing in the morning." Mr. Robinson stands up from his chair and gives Justin a hug. "I love you, son."
"I love you too, Dad. I really missed you."
Mr. Robinson gives Justin another squeeze and heads out. I look at Justin and see a smile on his face, a smile brighter than any of the others I'd seen before.