Jamie – The Journey Begins Ch. 16 – Rest, Recovery and… Texan’s

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“Morning, Jamie… morning Lucas,” Ella smiled as she checked our charts and observations. “Going to miss you two when you finally leave us,” she laughed.

Chloe, her co-worker, walked over to assist in giving us boys the once-over. “They certainly kept us entertained, although a bit of a scare at the start-hey,” she commented as she looked at me. “Awwww…this one with his sweet Aussie accent…” Both nurses laughed. “That Ben, he’s some lucky guy… found his very own. What’s that guy’s name – the one that rides around in helicopters and catches crocodiles with his buddies in the outback?”

Chloe and Ella laughed. Apparently, I’m the instant Aussie ‘know-it-everyone’.

“Matt Wright – the Outback Wrangler,” I replied. “Wish I was as good looking or hot as him,” I laughed.

Ella and Chloe both rolled their eyes at that comment. Well, that made my self-esteem kick up a notch or two. Since being in here I’ve even noticed how much weight I’ve lost. Never have been thin… more well-toned I guess. Lucas and I hit the gym when we were teenagers to burn off the puppy fat and have maintained it… maybe a few pounds heavier these days after discovering beer, but even my boxer briefs are loose on me.

“But hey, thanks Ella-Chloe. You’ve made being trapped here with that adult child…” pointing at Lucas, who just scoffed that the remark… “okay, I guess, you-know, over the past weeks.”

“Hey! Where’s your friend that was here the other day? Hayley?” Lucas asked, with some interest in his voice.

Ella smiled cheekily back. “She’s was only relieving here. She’s over at the Austin Emergency Far West.”

“Oh, okay.” Lucas replied sounding a little flat. “Oh, speak of the paramedic… Jamie, your 12 o’clock is here… Hey Ben!”

I thought I was just going to die. My face lit up like a red beacon in seconds as Ben rounded the corner, smiling the biggest fuck-off smile you could imagine. So cute!

“Hey Lucas, hey James,” Ben waved as he walked up to Ella and Chloe and hugged them. “I brought some treats for y’all to help with these two,” Ben smiled and nodded his head over his shoulder towards Lucas and me.

“Aww, thanks Ben-shouldn’t have,” Ella smiled, looking in the bag and nodding to her offsider, then eagerly showing her the contents of the bag. “Can we trust y’all to behave while Chloe and I get a coffee to enjoy our treats?” Ella asked, looking between Lucas and me with well-founded suspicion.

“I’ll keep an eye on them. You girls enjoy, please.” Ben smiled warmly, then turned walking over towards my empty bed. “Good to see you out of bed, sitting up, James. You too, Lucas.”

“Oh James…” Lucas murmured

“Zip-it,” I shot back, giving him a death stare that would end life.

Ben started to laugh, “I’m guessing the road trip would must have been a load of laughs with you two,” he said while pointing between us both. “Non-stop bagging each other out, I’d guess.”

“Yeah, it was pretty funny, but we’ve always been like this since we were kids. Made it hard to head home to Australia every time I came over, or when Lucas came down under. It was just as bad, really.” My face grimaced a little with the memory.

I lifted slightly in my chair trying to get into a more comfortable position, well – to hide the half a hard-on I had going too. Twisting a little, my chest was instantly wrapped with pain. Involuntarily I put my hand to my chest holding it to try and lessen the pain. Why, I don’t know – it’s not as if that’s gonna help any – more, it will draw attention to me from the eagle-eyed Texan sitting almost on my lap, and it did.

“You okay?” Ben asked with a look of concern on his face.

“Yeah – just get a bit of pain in the chest sometimes when I try to move or twist around. Still feels like someone kicked me in the chest. Guess I’ll get over it in time.”

“In time,” Ben smiled a little. “It’s the combination of the manual compressions, defibrillator shocks and the procedure done on scene. It’ll fade in a few more weeks.” Ben patted my leg. I pulled the pillow over my lap to hide the hardon that his touch to my leg had just given me. God, am I a teenager again!

“I bought something for y’all as well,” Ben said brightly, trying to distract me I think. Opening his backpack and pulling out two cans of Coca Cola and some Hershey Kisses – I so love them.

Lucas got up out of his chair and shuffled over to my bed, sitting next to Ben, his eyes fixed on the Soda and Chocolates. “Jamie, if you don’t marry this guy, I’m gonna! Damn he smuggled soda and Chockies for us. Love you Ben.” Lucas smiled, and gave his worst best fluttering eyelids look at Ben, taking the can of soda from Ben and a few kisses.

“What’s Chockies?” Ben looked totally confused.

“Sorry, I’ve been hanging with this guy too long. Those weird Aussies shorten everything or just plain make shit up. God, it was so hard when I was a kid at their place for the holidays – it was almost like learning a new language.” Lucas laughed. “Chockies canlı bahis are Chocolates, not to be confused with Candy which are sweets or lollies…” Lucas rolled his eyes. “What sort of made up word is lollies, anyways?”

Ben laughed at the translation from Lucas. “Thanks for that, Mate!” he said in the worst ever Australian accent heard.

“You two, right? Don’t get me started on the way you Americans mangle English. Why the hell do you spell tyre with an “i”? Who thought of that?” Jamie fired back. “But thanks for the Coke and kisses. And eyes off, Lucas! Go find your own Texan.”

Our two keepers walked back into the ward. “See, Chloe – told you!” Ella smiled, “Ben was going to smuggle soda in for those two. He’s been doing it for the past two weeks!” Both nurses laughed while walking over to steal a couple kisses away from us.

“Ok, I’d better go.” Ben’s radio started up. “See you a little later, Jamie.” Ben leaned over and kissed me gently on the cheek. “Bye, James,” he said softly, pausing to look into my eyes, almost my soul, for a second.

Ben started to pull away. I grabbed his hand, tilting my head upwards to meet Ben’s lips. Gently our lips met – just-a short peck to strengthen the feelings that were growing between us. I pulled back a little, breaking the kiss, quietly breathing on to his beautiful mouth “Bye, Ben.”

Ben swept up his backpack, turning back to face both of us. “Bye, Lucas. See ya, Jamie,” he offered with a small wave and walked off.

I sat there silent for a few moments.

“He’s a nice guy, Jamie,” Lucas smiled, “and I like that he brings soda and chockies.”

“Hmm,” I replied, deep in thought. “I like that about him too.”

..o0o..

Nine days after the accident, we were being released into the care of our parents and extended families, with restricted movement for a few more days.

Janice, the physio, promised to call past each day and inflict pain on us both to regain our strength. “Oh well, guys, you’re stuck with me for another four weeks at least. Doc says I can’t fly till then.” I smiled at Uncle Rob and the swarm of cousins gathered.

Apparently, Lucas’ and my mucking around had been a welcome distraction to the hospital staff. Our combined sense of humour was infectious. They told us were going to be missed by the staff, but they were glad to see us making progress and leaving all the same.

“So, Dad,” Lucas asked, “how are we getting to the apartments?”

Before Reid could answer, “I’ve got us covered, Lucas.” I started to smile, perfectly timed as two guys walked up with wheelchairs. One of them smiled at me as he arrived.

Lucas grinned, “Ahhh.”

“Mom, Dad, Uncle Reid Aunty Ann-M, this is Ben Rush,” I stuttered a little. Where the hell did that come from? “And his offsider, Billy. Ben and his buddy here saved-” I pointed to them both, “-our asses at the crash.” I looked up at Ben and smiled.

The combined parent gallery stepped forward shaking hands with the two paramedics, thanking them. When Ben and Billy thought it was over, the moms came back for a second go, grabbing both men and hugging them.

Both moms shed a few silent tears of joy, thanking the men for their efforts in saving their boys.

“Aww, come on, Mom.” I whined. “Jeez… embarrassment plus here.”

Ben looked at me, pointing with a smirk on his face. “You be nice to your mom, James.”

I sat there and silently rolled my eyes, also smiling at his comment all the same.

Lucas wasn’t going to let that slip. “James, huh…” pulling a face at me.

Kate jumped in. “I like you already Ben,” she smiled at the paramedics.

“Oh, you’re going to love him, Aunty Kate. Ben doesn’t take any of Jamie’s shit.” Lucas happily added.

“Lucas – Language!” Ann Marie snapped back.

“Sorry, Mom!” Lucas looked totally embarrassed now.

Ben and Billy turned the wheelchairs, guiding us both out to their waiting buses. Ben put his hand on my shoulder as he wheeled me out the doors of the hospital. I’ve never been so happy to leave somewhere, plus the warmth of that small gesture from Ben. His touch radiated a connection spreading throughout me, gripping my shoulder gently in confirmation.

We’d grown close over the past few weeks, I think, starting with grabbing a permeant marker and writing on Ben’s forearm ‘mine – taken’ and my cell number in a drug addled state a few weeks ago might have been the key to where we were now. I laughed at myself.

Smiling inwardly, trying to hide it to the outside world but I couldn’t help it – it was an involuntary movement, as I felt my hand lift up and rest atop of Ben’s. It wasn’t lost on the Moms, damn it.

Within moments I overheard them talking as we climbed in to the buses. My mom turned to Aunt Ann Marie, “I think someone else likes Ben. First time I’ve seen Jamie smile that contented smile for a while, hmmm. And did you catch that sweet little reassuring gesture, Ann Marie?” They were both cooing and carrying on.

“Jeez…”

..o0o..

“Lucas, bahis siteleri for god’s sake, will you stop!”

“Jamie’s got a crush,” Lucas continued in a singsong voice.

“No, I don’t.”

“Yep, you do. But is it a hero complex or genuine…” Lucas giving an all-knowing eye.

“If I’m honest with you, can you not be an idiot for a moment please,” Jamie looked at Lucas all serious like.

“Okay, just this once, but don’t tell anyone right? I’ve got cred to maintain, Jamie.”

“Ahhh… I really like him, but I don’t know what it is. It’s like… not hero worship: I thought of that already, these past three weeks, well, plus the time in hospital. I’ve gotten to know him and you know…”

I stopped for a moment. I could feel my face flushing red with embarrassment and thoughts of how lame, lovesick, the only possible reply I was going to offer would sound. Looking up and coming out of my own thoughts, I quickly looked at Lucas. He was starting to pull a stupid face at me.

“Lucas, oh fuck… what’s the use?” I lamented, slapping my hands on my legs in frustration. “You promised, man.”

“Sorry, Jamie… promise now… won’t be like you.” Lucas crossed his heart like the five-year-old he is at times – okay, me too, I guess.

Blowing out a short breath in frustration, I continued, “Okay! I like him… I like…HIM, you know and we haven’t, you know…” If it was at all possible, I could feel my face burning redder. “Oh jeez!” I looked up to the ceiling trying to hide it and failed.

“Hey. Jamie… it’s me! Relax! There’s nothing we don’t know about each other, right? I get what you’re saying.” Lucas looked across with a compassionate smile.

“I’m just worried that if I go, you know, all out with him – Ben, and we… well, we like each other… that it could be all because I feel…” I could feel my despair, confusion, taking hold of my mood, “…you know, feel grateful or something.”

“Look, Jamie, we still don’t know who it was that released the pressure in your chest, right?” Lucas nodded at me. “We do know that Ben revived you with the defib. So did Billy. That’s nothing more than what you’ve done at home. Well…I mean at work in Australia too, right… on total strangers. Have they fallen in love with you?”

“I’m not in love,” I shot back.

“Okay, if you say so,” Lucas smiled warmly. “I’ll tell you this, though, if I were in the market for a hot thirty-year-old Texan, I’d be all over that guy like ants on honey.” Lucas smiled, hiding his frustration with my stupidity I’m guessing. “Hey, Ben’s a nice guy. Maybe you just need to relax a little… see what happens.”

I couldn’t help it. My face scrunched up with the weight of processing all that Lucas had said. So much of it made total sense, right? Maybe that’s the problem. I’ve got to know this guy before, you know, knowing him physically.

“Jamie, do you feel attracted to him? You know…” Lucas raised his eyebrows and nodding his head weirdly.

I didn’t answer. My face just flushed red again. Jeez, is my face on fire, because its feeling like it was about to flame out? “Well of course I do! Jesus, he’s hot as…” Feeling a little embarrassed, which was causing me to stutter a little, quietly the words rolled off my tongue. “The make out sessions we’ve had… oh my god!”

I pushed my face into my hands sounding like I’m back in high school. “The kisses we shared were, fuck me, mind blowing! I’ve got it bad, I think. Lucas. I can still feel his lips on mine twelve hours later,” I continued, as I slowly lifted my head from my hands, my fingers gently feeling where Ben’s had been, their almost ghost impression still there.

“Earth to Jamie – come in space cadet!” Lucas looked at me. “Hey, so what’s really wrong here?”

“You’re not going to believe me if I tell you, and …”

Lucas could see me struggle. “Buddy, what is it?” His voice was full of concern.

“Sean…” I looked up, my eyes were full of unshed tears. “I saw him at the accident. He was there! Like, how the fuck does that happen? He’s been gone for…” A tear slipped down my cheek. “I felt… whole again… something I haven’t felt since April 16, twelve long years ago.”

“Mate, the day Sean died, we all felt it, not as much as you obviously. I know it was almost life ending for you – I get that.” Lucas smiled, “Can’t tell you how happy I was for you when you told me about you and Sean? Do you remember when we were at the farm in NH? You jumped off the haystack and told me you were in love. That’s why you’d been a sad sack for two weeks – you were missing someone. Then you came out to me. What did I do?”

“You hugged me and then cried, saying that you were happy for me, and that you loved me always.” We shared a look between us, both letting silent tears slip.

Lucas wiped his face into his tee, trying to settle his emotions. “Jamie, you’ve been the biggest part of my life. We share a connection that I’ve never had with bahis şirketleri my own brother – and Aiden is a great guy! Don’t get me wrong. Mason, sad for you, I guess, but well, he’s always been a fuck-head. Don’t know what happened there – he’s like a bad standout in the family. No one is like him, right? Anyway, you don’t need him. You’ve got me.”

I couldn’t help but laugh for a moment, breaking the tension. Some home truths there. Imagine if the old man heard that – us bagging out Mason. “No one likes him, more like it.”

“Yeah, true, Jamie. Look, I can’t tell you what to feel. I know that losing Sean was the most painful thing you have ever gone through. I still remember Mom coming in and telling me that you were in the accident.” Lucas took a breath and pushed on. “I just burst into tears, begged Mom and Dad to let me fly out to see you. Having to wait three weeks till we could come down under was just murder.” Lucas got up off the lounge chair he’d been sprawled all over. He walked over to me and sat down on the arm rest of the lounge, and wrapped his arm around my shoulder. “My brother,” he said softly, squeezing me closer toward him.

We sat there for long time, not saying anything – just Lucas holding my shoulder, while I relaxed. resting my head against his body.

“Jamie, you know.” Lucas continued in a quiet voice. “Shit happens for a reason sometimes. It all can’t be just random, can it?”

“Hmm… maybe. What… you’re going to say that Ben was sent to me like some godly act?”

“No”.

“Ouch. What the…” I squeaked out. “You pinched my earlobe!”

“Don’t sass me, Jamie, else I’ll nipple cripple you next. Look – what I mean is that sometimes stuff happens for us to see what’s around us. Look, we both can be a bit stupid at times, right?”

“Yeah, I guess so,” I agreed reluctantly.

“But maybe we, you – me – all of us – need a wake-up call to happen every so often to give us focus, perspective. Just maybe not so severe? Jeez, listen to me – I’m all grown up,” Lucas snorted, squeezing me again.

“So, we’ve completed our physio-rehab. The doctor says you can fly next week. Josh says the insurance is all settled and he’ll have a rental truck for you today.” Lucas pulled away from me a little, giving me a reassuring smile, “Josh even got the insurance company to pay for the rental at no additional cost. So, think about … Your full settlement, less deductible, will be through before the week’s out. It’s turned out okay right?”

“I know, thanks.” I shook my head in acknowledgement. “I just think maybe I should go home, back to Oz and…”

“What… sit at home and feel sorry for yourself for the next four weeks? Come on, Jamie! Snap the fuck out of it!” Lucas looked down at me, meeting my eyes. “Sean is gone. You loved him and you always will – hell I loved him too! He was a great guy – he is a great guy! But so are you, and you need to give yourself a chance, either with Ben, or Josh or Sam,” Pausing and taking a deep breath, he continued, “that’s if he – Sam – can forgive you – well, more Gav and me – for the photos.” Lucas looked a little uncomfortable for a moment. “Sorry about that, too, with the pics. It was stupid and hurtful of me. I didn’t think of how it would affect Sam or you when I did it. It was just a…”

“Spur of the moment thing right, I guess. I know you weren’t trying to hurt me or Sam. I know you wouldn’t do that. You’re not Mason, Lucas.”

“Yeah, but still, I’m sorry, mate.” He leaned down and kissed me on the top of the head.

“Anyways, it’s like a buffet of hot guys you’ve got going.” Lucas laughed at his own joke.

“I know, right?” Jamie smiled. “Thanks, Lucas.”

“For what?”

“Being the best brother and friend anyone could ever ask for.” I squeezed Lucas tight in appreciation, acknowledgement.

“Oh, oh, ah, ribs…” Lucas winced.

“Oh sorry, man. Fuck! Forgot.”

“All good, buddy. You just got me back for that slap on the chest I gave you last week,” Lucas laughed. “Thought you were going to pass out there for a moment – you went all pale and shit.”

“Man, it fucking hurt, like nothing I’ve ever felt before!” I laughed again.

“Jamie, love you too, buddy. I couldn’t imagine life without you.”

..o0o..

A knock on the front door broke our moment. “Did you order pizza?” Lucas tilted his head as he asked.

“Nah, maybe Aiden did. You know his random food deliveries he sends over. At least your brother pre-pays for the food. Fuck, mine would eat it and send me the bill!”

“James Spence!” my mom’s voice echoed from somewhere in the apartment. “Language please…”

“Sorry, mom.” I rolled my eyes. “Busted!”

Lucas let me out of the hug we’d been sharing, walking over to the apartment door, and finding Ben standing on the other side.

“Hey,” he said brightly.

“How are you, Ben? Come in, please.” Lucas said, stepping back and smiling like an idiot.

“I’m all good, thanks. What’re y’all up to today?” Ben paused for a second walking in. “Oh hey, Lucas,” he replied, offering a wave. “Hey Jamie? Is your Mom out back?” Ben replied, smiling while taking his cap and sunglasses off.

“Hi, Ben,” Mom yelled out from the kitchen.

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