Alicia rapped on the door to Ethan’s hospital room before walking in. As he turned his head to look at her, she said, “hey, bro. I have a surprise for you.”
Ethan quirked an eyebrow. “And that would be…” he prompted.
Jordan walked into the room. “Hey, bud. How’ya doin’?” he drawled which usually made Ethan laugh as he walked toward the bed.
Ethan held out his arms. “Get over here and give me a hug!” As they hugged, Ethan let him have it. “You bloody dumbass! What the hell were you thinking, beating the shit out of Toby? As strong as you are you could have killed him!”
Jordan stood up and looked at Ethan dumbfounded. They went off on each other playfully many times, but this was the first time either of them were serious. Ethan pointed to a pillow in a chair and said, “Hand me that, will ‘ya?” As soon as he handed the pillow to Ethan he was smacked upside the head with it. “Don’t you ever do something as stupid as that again.”
“Ethan!” Alicia said as she took the pillow from him then smacked Jordan upside the head with it. “That goes for me too. You know how lucky you are that you’re not going to jail?” Ethan looked puzzled. He half-expected for Jordan to spend the rest of his life in jail as Big Bubba’s bitch.
“The judge sentenced me to one-thousand hours of community service and a five-thousand dollar fine. I’m surprised he didn’t put me on probation.” Jordan explained.
“He did. I think you were too relieved to hear it. He gave you three years’ probation. You’ll get a telecommunicator message shortly informing you of who your probation officer will be. They may program your telecommunicator so they can keep tabs on you. We’ll just have to wait and see.”
“Well, Ethan, you’ve come a long way,” Dr. Benzik told him. “How do you feel about going home?”
He was like hell yeah but he didn’t dare voice his excitement. Even though he was excited at the prospect of going home, he had some trepidation. Could he go back to work? Would he still have customers? Would his friends still want to hang out with him? He voiced those concerns.
“The only thing I can tell you is this, you just take it one day at a time. I’ve set up a couple of appointments with Dorothy. It’s totally up to you whether you continue to see here, but I think it will do you good.”
“Sounds good to me. When can I leave?”
“I’ll write up the discharge orders and you can leave as soon as the nurse explains them to you.”
Ethan struck out his hand. “Thank you so much for everything, Dr. Benzik.”
Walking into his house he was greeted by all of his friends, family and several of his regular customers, all giving him a hug and telling him how glad everyone was that he was home. It didn’t take long for the welcome home party was in full swing. After about an hour or so, Ethan called out for everyone to please quiet down.
“I’m sure by now you’ve all seen the video that started all this. I was half-expecting to lose all of you. After all, who wants to associate with a gay slut who takes on anybody and everybody? I can’t tell you how much your support has meant to me, as well as your continued friendship. I love you all!” Applause greeting his little speech and once again, hugs abound.
Looking over an antique roll-top desk Ethan found something strange. He touched it and found himself flying across the room, knocking himself out. A quick trip to the emergency room and overnight stay declared him heathy again. Back in his workshop examining the roll-top desk, he turned to look at the original pictures and specifications when a man appeared out of thin air, close enough to kiss him. He passed out.
When he came to, he found himself looking up at the most gorgeous specimen of man he’d ever seen. Tall and hunky with red hair and blue eyes. The guy offered his hand to help him up, apologizing for startling him. Taking the guy’s hand it felt like he got zapped with a hundred volts of electricity. What the hell was that? From the startled look on the guy’s face, there was no doubt he felt it too.
Introductions were made as Ethan thought Wow is this guy awesomely hot. I know everyone around here. He must be just passing through on his way somewhere. "I restore old furniture, and sometimes I help with the restoration of old houses.”
“So I’m guessing that you’re really good with your hands.”
Ethan had heard that used as a lame pickup line many time. Even though he knew it wasn’t, this time he was kind of wishing it was. He was really taken in by Ryan. He shrugged. “I guess. Did you have something you wanted to have restored?”
“Possibly; I’m not really sure yet, but if I do, I’ll definitely be in touch. I’m going to head out and let you get back to work. Again, I apologize for startling you. It was nice to meet you.”
“Same here; let me know as soon as you find out and I’ll give you a free estimate on what it will take.”
“Thanks. Take care, Ethan!”
“You too, Ryan.”
As soon as Ryan left Ethan closed up shop for the day. There was no way he’d be able to concentrate on anything. He knew his brother Chris would be at the gym since he was off work today. He jumped into his car and headed out. A few minutes later he was at the gym where he found his brother.
Chris took one look at his brother and said, “What’s wrong? You’re as pale as a ghost.”
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