Jaiden � Chapter 165
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“Good morning, Rebecca; how are you this morning?” “I feel sick on my stomach, Dr. Jaiden, and I didn”t sleep too good last night because I kept throwing up.” “Did your mom or dad call the nurses and tell them?” “No, sir, they weren”t here last night. We live here in Memphis, and something happened with my brother, and they had to go home.”
“Any idea what happened with Justin?” “No, sir; Dad wouldn”t say, and Mom wouldn”t either.” “Well, we”ll find out in a little while. But, right now, let”s get something to help your stomach feel better and help you to get some rest.”
Jaiden got Rebecca settled and began rounds with other patients when he saw Rodney and Sarah Garrard walking up the hospital”s corridor looking like death warmed over.
“Mr. Garrard, may I see you for a moment; let”s talk in the conference room.” The two men went into the conference room, where they sat across from each other at the room”s table.
“Mr. Garrard, Rebeca had a rough night last night. She was pretty sick on her stomach when I saw her this morning, so I ordered some medicine to stop her nausea and help her get some sleep. She said neither you nor your wife was here last night and that something happened concerning Justin and that you and Mrs. Garrard wouldn”t tell her what happened. Would you mind sharing that with me so I can understand what is worrying Rebecca?”
“Dr. Jaiden, it is something you probably wouldn”t understand, but to make a long story short, Justin is gay. He was assaulted after school yesterday when he got off the school bus. The boys who beat him up severely have been bullying him for a while, and nothing my wife and I have done has improved the situation.”
“It all started at Justin”s junior high school, and yesterday was the all-time worst beating my son endured. We spent most of the evening in the emergency room with him. Then, finally, the doctors called the police, who made a report. Still, the indication I got from them was that they weren”t going to do anything about the assault, that it was a teen thing my son needed to handle.”
“Mr. Garrard, do you have any pictures of what happened to Justin on your cell phone?” “I do; here they are.”
“This is pretty bad, and you say you don”t feel like they will do anything?” “Yes, sir, that”s the impression my wife and I were left with after speaking with the officers.” “Hold on for a second!”
“This is Dr. Jaiden. Please page Dr. Peyton and ask him to meet me in the third-floor conference room as soon as possible. Thank you!”
“Hey, Jaiden, what”s up? The operator said you sounded angry.” “I”m not angry, Peyton; I”m way beyond that.” “What happened?” “Take a look at these pictures.”
Peyton thumbed through the pictures on the cell phone, and the more he saw, the angrier he got. Jaiden had never seen Peyton get so mad that he went from being red-faced to purple.
“Mr. Garrard, what are the police going to do about this? I am assuming you did call the police.” “No, sir, I didn”t, but the doctors at General Hospital did. They took a report, but they didn”t seem to care, and my wife and I got the impression they weren”t going to do anything.”
“Jaiden, do you think a call to Norman would help get this problem stopped?” “That”s what I was thinking, but I wanted your opinion first.” “Mr. Garrard, have you talked to the boy”s fathers to see if they know what is going on?” “I did, but Jordan Gustavson said that my son deserved to get his queer ass whipped.”
“Judge Anderson, this is Dr. Peyton Riley-Reynolds; do you have a second to talk?” “I do, Peyton; what”s up?” “I am going to send you a text with some pictures of a young boy who was assaulted yesterday simply because he is gay. His sister is a patient of Jaiden”s and mine at the cancer hospital, and the problem with their son is the last thing the parents need.”
“Send me the pictures, the boy”s name and his parent”s names and phone numbers. I”ll look at the pictures and call you right back.” “Yes, sir, you should be receiving the pictures as we speak.” “Good! Give me a minute, and I”ll call you right back.”
“Peyton, this is Norman Anderson. I have Chief Galatly sitting in my office. Was a police report made of this incident?” “Yes, sir, but Mr. Garrard said the officers didn”t appear concerned with what happened and didn”t seem like they would do anything about the assault.”
“Really? Is Mr. Garrard with you.” “He is, Judge.” “May I speak with him.”
“Hello, Judge, this is Rodney Garrard.” “Mr. Garrard, do you happen to have the names of the officers who took the report of your son”s assault.” “Yes, sir, they were Taylor Pierce and Jennifer Jagorski.”
Rodney related everything that went down and why to the Judge, and the Judge didn”t appear to be too pleased. “Thank you, sir; please tell Dr. Peyton and Dr. Jaiden I am looking into the incident and will call them shortly.” “Yes, sir; thank you for your help.”
“Major Douglas, this is Chief Galatly. I want to see officers Taylor Pierce, Jennifer Jagorski, and you in Judge Anderson”s chambers in fifteen minutes.” “Yes, sir, I will let them know immediately.”
“Control to 294 and 301.”
“301, Control, go ahead.”
“301 is 294 with you?”
“301, you and 294 are to meet Chief Galatly in Judge Anderson”s office in 10 minutes; DON”T BE LATE!.”
“Taylor, I wonder why the chief wants to see us in the judge”s chambers.” “I don”t know, Jennifer, but we”re about to find out.”
When the officers walked into the Judge”s chambers, they addressed the Judge and the Chief accordingly. “Officers, have a seat; we need to talk.”
Chief Galatly began by saying, “Officer Pierce, tell me about the Justin Garrard case.” Both Pierce and Jagorski turned pale white. Officer Pierce related the information they took and said the report was turned in to the desk sergeant at the end of their shift.
The Chief asked, mezitli escort “Did either of you take a copy of that report to the assault division?”
“We didn”t think there was a need to do that.”
“You have a boy in the hospital because he was severely beaten. Justin Garrard has a broken arm, a fractured leg, and a severe concussion. He will be in the hospital for at least two weeks – and YOU didn”t see a need to inform the assault division?”
“Because the boy is gay, I take it?”
“Something like that, chief. We thought maybe the boy egged on the butt-kicking.”
“Officers, do you know Major Dority, head of internal affairs?” “We haven”t met or been introduced, Chief.”
“Well, you just were.”
“Major Dority, these two officers grossly violated departmental policy by failing to take action to protect the physical and mental safety of an assault victim, and they violated their oath of office by doing so. Accordingly, the officers are suspended without pay, effective immediately. I want Internal Affairs to investigate their handling of Justin Garrard”s assault, and I want a report on my desk within seventy-two hours. If you deem it necessary to have a VSA performed, do so.”
“Yes, sir. Officers, report to my office in Internal Affairs immediately.”
The investigation was done and on the Chief”s desk in the time frame ordered. The officers were terminated from the force for failure to follow multiple policies. Their termination was reported to Judge Anderson.
“Peyton, this is Norman Anderson; I just got the internal affairs report on Justin Garrard”s case. The officers who responded to the incident are no longer employed by the Memphis Police Department.”
“The case has been referred to the District Attorney”s office for investigation and prosecution.” “Thanks much, Judge, I appreciate your help in the matter. I”ll let Mr. Garrard know what is occurring.”
“I would appreciate your doing that, Peyton, have a good day.” “You do as well, Judge.”
“Dr. Jaiden, please report to the third-floor conference room. Dr. Jaiden, please report to the third-floor conference room.”
Jaiden walked into the conference room, and Peyton and the Garrards were sitting waiting on him. “What”s up, Peyton?”
“Norman called me, and the officers who took the report on Justin”s assault are no longer working for the Memphis police department. I will assume their certification to be police officers has been or soon will be revoked due to their violating their oath of office. Norman said that the assault had been referred to the District Attorney”s office for investigation and prosecution. I don”t think Justin will be subjected to further taunting and assaults, especially by Jamie.”
The Garrards were floored that Peyton could accomplish what they hadn”t been able to in over two years with one phone call. Mr. Garrard left to go see his son at the other hospital and tell him what was going on. Rebecca seemed to relax upon hearing the news. She fell asleep without medication for the first time in over a week.
“Hey, Dad, I thought you and mom would be with Becky today.” “Your Mom is with her, but you and I need to talk. Do you remember the police officers who spoke with you here at the hospital after you were assaulted by Jamie?” “I do, Dad; what about them?” “They are no longer police officers because they failed to take action to protect you. And Jamie will be prosecuted for what he did to you, so you won”t have to worry about him anymore.”
“How did all this happen, Dad?” “Dr. Peyton and Dr. Jaiden, Rebecca”s doctors, know a Judge. When they saw the pictures of you that I took when you got to the emergency room, they called that Judge and sent him a text of the images. The Judge was angry at what happened and made some telephone calls and got something done to help protect you. You may have to go to court and testify against Jamie; do you think you can do that?”
“I will, Dad, no matter how nervous it makes me. I”m tired of the bullying I have had for the past few years.” “Son, that”s the attitude to have; I”m proud of you.” Justin looked out the window as a tear trickled from his eyes. It seems his torment was finally ending, at least for now.
When the newspaper was published on Monday, the legal section contained the week”s indictments by the Grand Jury. When Jaiden read the Grand Jury information, he immediately called Peyton. “Hey, babe, have you seen the newspaper today?” “Not yet; what”s interesting?” “The boy who assaulted Justin Garrard was indicted by the grand jury as an adult for Aggravated Assault with Serious Bodily Harm, Hate Crime, and Stalking. But that”s not the most exciting information; the officers who took the assault report and thought it was funny because a queer got his ass whipped were indicted for Failure to Perform Duties as a Police Officer and Violation of Oath of Office.” “You”re kidding me, Jaiden!” “Nope, not in the least.”
“Have you told the Garrards yet?” “I am about to do that. Do you want to be with me when I talk with them?” “Babe, I”m on my way.”
Jaiden stuck his head in Rebecca”s room and asked to see the Garrards in the conference room. When everybody was in the room and seated, Jaiden asked, Mr. and Mrs. Garrard, have you seen the paper today?” “No, we haven”t; we”ve caught up on some sleep and probably kept Becca awake with my snoring.”
Jaiden laughed and said, “Well, I have some news for you. Jamie was indicted for Aggravated Assault, Felony Stalking, and Hate Crime. And that”s not all; the two former police officers were indicted for Failure to Perform their constitutional duties to protect Justin and for Violation of their Oath of Office.”
“Sarah, there is a God, and apparently, he loves our son as much as we do. Dr. Jaiden, Dr. Peyton, if you two brothers hadn”t gotten involved, there is no telling what might have happened to our son down the road.”
“Mr. Garrard, Dr. Peyton, and I are not brothers; we”re married and have five sons who are our biological children. We have two friends we consider our brothers who have lived with us since college, and they have four sons and a daughter, and we all live in the same big house.”
“So you two are gay?” “We are.” “And that is why you tried and helped Justin?” “That”s part of the reason. We wanted to help Justin because it was the right thing to do. It is not the first time we have helped someone similarly, and we can assure you it probably won”t be the last.”
“Dr. Jaiden, Dr. Peyton, I don”t know what to say.” “You don”t have to say anything; just help us to help you take care of your children and get them well.”
“We”ll be leaving Memphis in two weeks to move back to Erie and open a branch of St. Jude”s there, and you are welcome to call us if you need us.” “Thank you so much for everything you have done to help us; we”ll certainly keep in touch and let you know how things are going.” “Great. Here is a card with our cell numbers on it; call us any time you need to. You two can sit here for a while to relax in peace and quiet and let everything sink in. We”ll let the nurses know we gave you permission to do that. Call Peyton or me if anyone gives you a problem while you pozcu escort are in here.”
With that, the two young doctors went back to work seeing their patients. While the Garrards were in the conference room, Richard walked in, identified himself, and asked if they had permission to be in the room. They told him Dr. Jaiden and Dr. Peyton gave them permission to relax in there for a while.
“So, you folks know my brother?” “Your brother?” “Yes, mam, Dr. Peyton is my brother.” “He never said he had a brother working in the hospital.” “He won”t, as a rule, but I am very proud to be his brother. Our little brother was assaulted by our birth father about five years ago. Peyton”s parents adopted Seth and me when our biological parents were sent to prison. As soon as mom and dad adopted us, Dad paid off all my medical school loans and my last year of med school in advance.”
“So that”s what Dr. Peyton meant by having helped others in our situation. He didn”t say who, though.” “Oh, Seth and I are just the tip of the iceberg. Google Peyton”s and Jaiden”s names; I think you”ll be surprised by what you learn about them. Get some rest; I”m sure you need it if they told you to stay in the conference room and relax for a while.”
Peyton walked by the meeting room and stuck his head in to check on Rodney and Sarah. “Dr. Peyton, we met a doctor who said he was your brother.” “Richard?” “Yes, sir; we didn”t know you and Dr. Jaiden had a brother working here as well.” “Yep, sure do. We were at our parent”s house two weeks ago when Richard”s wife, who also works here, went into labor. They have a new son, Seth II.”
“He mentioned your little brother briefly. May we ask what he was involved in?” “I”ll simply say his bio-sperm donor didn”t know he was gay and caught him kissing his boyfriend in his bedroom. The bio-donor went berserk and assaulted our little brother with a broom handle and did a considerable amount of internal damage. Dr. Jaiden and I examined him, called the surgeon we worked for at the time as Physician”s assistants, and transported Seth to the hospital. After six and a half hours of surgery – that we assisted with – the damage was repaired. My mom and dad flew up, and mom stayed with Seth for the month and a half he was in the hospital.”
“Before he got out of the hospital, mom and dad had gone to court and adopted Seth and Richard. They took Seth to Orange Beach, Alabama, where they live, and he recovered on the farm. He is 17 years old and now in Veterinary School at the University of Florida. The two young men are amazing people, and I”m not saying that because they are my brothers. Dad is a veterinarian with a lucrative practice, and that is how Seth became interested in veterinary science. Let me get back to work; call if you need anything.”
Rodney went to Becca”s room, got his laptop, and returned to the conference room. He set the computer up on the table and Googled Jaiden”s and Peyton”s names.
When their information popped up on the computer screen, Rodney Garrard said, “Oh my word! Sarah, those three guys, and their two other brothers have a Nobel Prize in education. They crafted some reforms that brought education into the 21st century across the US and in Europe. Amazing! They also have two schools named after them in Erie, Pennsylvania. WOW!”
Charlie and Dale walked into the conference room and said, “Folks, I hope we aren”t disturbing you; we”re supposed to meet our brothers here for lunch.” “No, not at all. We”re just researching some information on our doctors.”
“Who are your doctors?”
“Drs. Jaiden and Peyton.”
“Charley said, “so you know our brothers?” “We do, and from what I have just read, you must be Charley and Dale Leonard-Anderson.” “That would be us in the flesh.” “You guys are amazing!” Dale said, “I don”t know about that, but you have the two best doctors we know.”
Jaiden walked into the room a few minutes later and said, “So, I see you and the Garrards have met.” “We have, Dr. Jaiden, and we”ve read some information about y”all that has blown our minds.” “Don”t let what you read blow your minds; I think there is a lot of hype about what is on the internet.” “Maby so, Doc, but still…”
“We”re going to lunch in the cafeteria; why don”t you two join us, our treat?” “Are you sure, Dr. Jaiden?”
“Mr. Garrard, there is one thing about Jaiden: he never asks someone to join him for anything without meaning what he says. So, I”d suggest you join us for lunch so you won”t hurt his feelings.”
“In that case, we”d be delighted to join you guys for lunch.”
Everybody got to the doctor”s lounge, sat down, and was given menus. The waitress took their orders, and when the Garrards ordered hamburgers, Jaiden said, “there is steamed shrimp, blackened salmon, steak, and baked chicken on the menu; surely you don”t really want a hamburger!”
“Dr. Jaiden, we didn”t want to offend by over-ordering.”
“Pontificated bovine fecal matter, order something better than a hamburger; I don”t care; just get something good! A hamburger…geez.”
Charley was about to laugh his butt off because he knew what Jaiden would do when he heard the Garrards order hamburgers.
All at the table had delicious meals consisting of their favorite foods. Jaiden and Peyton particularly paid attention to the Garrards as they ate their food after surmising it had been a while since they had treated themselves to anything good.
Jaiden asked if they had any peach knishes in the freezer at home, and Dale said they did. Jaiden handed the Garrards a note that said coffee and dessert tonight at our place, seven sharp. Rodney and Sarah looked at each other with surprise on their faces.
Dale saw their faces and said, “Ah, don”t worry about it; Jaiden does this all the time. He isn”t stuck on his title, and he loves to have coffee and conversation with people he truly likes and cares about; just make sure to wear something kid-proof.”
At seven sharp, the Garrards arrived at the Riley-Reynolds-Leonard-Anderson home. They were escorted inside and to the deck.
Jaiden noticed Nathan Robert walking toward him out of the corner of his eye. Rodney, Sarah, please allow me to apologize ahead of time; you are about to meet the prankster of our children, Nathan Robert.”
“Why are you apologizing, Dr. Jaiden?”
“You”ll see, don”t worry. And by the way, here in the house, it is Jaiden, Peyton, Charlie, and Dale; save the doctor stuff for the hospital.”
Sure enough, Nathan Robert, also known as Seth junior, walked up, tugged on Jaiden”s shirt, and said, “Daddy, she cute!”
“Sarah, I told you; he”s our lady”s man, and he knows the difference between cute and homely, believe me.” Peyton was red-faced and shaking his head. Charley, Dale, and the Garrards were about to die laughing.”
“Peyton, is there ever a dull moment around here?” “With nine other children and Nathan Robert…NO! And you haven”t seen anything yet; wait until Alaina Noelle has had enough of her brother”s antics. Then, she”ll cut loose with a Tarzan-like yell, and all the boys will run to the center of the room and huddle together in abject fear. That little girl is one tough cookie.”
About fifteen escort bayan minutes later, Alaina Noelle let loose with a loud no. All the boys ran to the center of the room and huddled together, quivering from head to toe. Then, finally, Jaiden said, “Told ya. The first time we saw her do that was hilarious, and it is still hilarious.” “Jaiden, you”re right; she is one tough cookie.”
“Nathan Robert, Charles Logan, get your clothes back on; you know better than to do that when we have guests at the house.”
Sarah was howling as she said, Justin used to do that at the same age. And it didn”t stop there; if he had to use the bathroom, he would whip it out and pee on whatever tree was nearby.”
“Yea, we have that problem too, and Nathan Robert and Charles Logan can get”er done before you realize what they are doing…and then it is too late. Sometimes I think they are clones of Larry the Cable Guy and Bill Ingvall.”
“Peyton, is it always this peaceful here?”
“With ten children, what do you think? It really is peaceful even with the children playing wide-open. Our home in Erie is just like this house, and the yards are fixed up the same for the children”s enjoyment. If you see the neighborhood cat come through the yard, pay close attention to Nathan Robert. What he says when he sees the cat is hilarious and a bad habit he learned from us back in Erie.”
Before they went back inside for the evening, the neighborhood cat strolled up to the fence wanting to play. Nathan Robert started yelling, “Daddy, Daddy, damn cat!” Sarah and Rodney lost it. Jaiden said, “daddy sees the cat, son; he just wants to play.”
“Heaven help us when Nathan Robert starts school; he will stay in trouble for saying what”s on his mind in the most inopportune way.” “He”ll grow out of that, Peyton; Justin did.” “Yeah, we”re just scared he”ll get in trouble for sexual harassment in kindergarten; he loves girls, especially pretty ones.”
“Guys, we hate to go, but we need to stop by and check on Becca and Justin, and then I think we”ll go home and try to get some sleep while we can relax and not have to worry about anything.”
“Thanks for coming over; we enjoyed the conversation and coffee with you two. Maybe if you get up towards Erie, you can visit with us, and we can show y”all the sites.” “We may just do that, and that way, Becca will get to see you guys.”
After the Garrards left, Peyton said it was nice to see them relax and not worry about their children, even if they were both in the hospital.
“Peyton, talking about Justin being in the hospital, if you think about it, call Norman sometime in the next couple of days and drop a hint for Jamie”s parents to have to pay Justin”s hospital bill as part of his sentence so the Garrards won”t be stuck with that expense.” “I shall do that tomorrow, love, and thanks for the great suggestion.”
The dads went upstairs, bathed the children, and got them dressed for and put to bed. Jaiden and Peyton walked back to the den, and Charlie and Dale were already there and had dimmed the lights and put some soft music on the stereo. All four of the dads took advantage of the peace and quiet as they slow-danced cheek to cheek for almost an hour before they turned in for the night.
Jaiden and Peyton stripped off their clothing when they were in their bedroom with the door locked. Peyton was standing at the bay window looking at the stars when Jaiden walked up behind him, put his arms around his husband, and gently kissed him behind his ear.
“Jaiden, we don”t have time.” “Maybe not for a full make-out session, but we can have a little fun before going to sleep.” “Ooo la la, that sounds enticing.”
The windows fogged up, the bed springs bounced, energy was expended, and then Peyton and Jaiden fell fast asleep.
“Good morning, sweetheart; why don”t we get the children up, go get some breakfast, and then go to temple services.” “Sounds good to me, Peyton; we won”t have to clean the dining room and kitchen.”
Peyton walked to Dale”s and Charlie”s room, knocked on their door, and told them they were being treated to breakfast out this morning. Charley was dressed and out the door in record time; he loved eating breakfast at The Breakfast Nook; they have an Auce buffet with everything Charley loved for breakfast. Not only that, the children could eat all they wanted for a meager price.
They got the children loaded into the van and headed to the restaurant. When the children saw where they were having breakfast, they loudly yelled, “BWEKFUS!”
Jaiden was mesmerized watching the children eat and mused that he wondered where they were storing all the food.” Charley, being Charley, said, “Don”t worry, Jaiden, you”ll find out soon enough!” The people at the table beside theirs howled when Charley made his comment. They really laughed when Nathan Robert loudly yelled, “Daddy, I gotta stinky!”
“Peyton?” “Not a chance Jaiden, your namesake called you, not me.” “Damn!”
What got everybody was Alaina Noelle yelling, “Daddy, Chuck farted.” But, of course, she didn”t have to say that; everybody smelled it and wondered how such a petite fanny could make such a horrid stench.” Oh well! Children will be children no matter where they are. Thankfully Charles Logan wasn”t in the van when he did his best to kill all the bugs within a mile of everyone.
The family had gotten home, and the children went to bed for their afternoon nap. Dale and Charley were sitting in the den, and Peyton had gone outside on the deck. Jaiden had excused himself to go upstairs and check on the children to make sure they were OK; you know, the thing that all good fathers do for their children no matter the time of day or night. When Jaiden returned to the den, he saw Peyton standing outside looking over the mountains. He stood there watching the love of his life, looking more serene than he had seen him in a long time.
Jaiden quietly walked outside, walked up to Peyton, and asked, “Whatcha thinking, sweetheart?” “I”m thinking about why I fell in love with you, what made me do it, and why I married you; a lot of things are still a mystery to me.” “What do you mean by saying a lot of things are still a mystery to you?”
“For one, with all the pain you have gone through in your short life, Jaiden, for the life of me, I can”t understand why you are who you are, why you do the things you do, why you love and help people the way you do when it would sometimes be better to quietly stand in the background. Even when you probably shouldn”t be, you are such a good person.”
“The only thing I can see is that you use what you have been through, what you have felt, and what you have learned and believe to make the lives of others tremendously better than their life was before you met the person. You have taught me so much since we have been together. I never understood how I could love you more than I do, but I do every day. I watch you with our children, and I can see the pain in your face from missing your dad, and I think that pain has made you the father I strive to be. Jaiden, sometimes I love you so much it hurts. I will always believe that, in some way, my parents were disappointed in the fact that I am gay. I think Hashem made me the way I am so I could love – and be loved unconditionally by -you.”
Jaiden didn”t say a word; he couldn”t. So instead, he wrapped his arms around Peyton, pulled him gently to his chest, and kissed him on the top of his head. He had just been paid the highest compliment he had ever received and truly realized how intensely Peyton loved him. So blessed; beyond measure � the way everybody should be loved.