Chapter 16 — The New Year Ringeth In
Jan 1, 2003 – Orlando, FL – Florida Hospital – The Emergency Room’s Rape Trauma Unit – Kasai’s Room
“Daddy, is that you?” Kasai weakly asked, opening his eyes and looking around the room.
“Yes Kai, I’m here baby,” JT replied, standing up on wobbly legs.
“I—I’m so sorry Daddy, I’m really sorry,” Kasai spoke as the tears streamed down his face. “I—I should’ve never snuck out of the house. If I would’ve done what Daddy Mark told me to do, I would be okay right now.”
“Shhh baby, don’t talk about that. Everything’s going to be all right. You’re with us now,” JT said as he held Kasai gently in his arms as he cried.
“But Daddy…” Kasai said, sniffling as JT rubbed his back and stopped him from talking.
“Shhh son, it’s all okay now. Don’t worry about that right now,” JT said as Mark wrapped his arms around him and Kasai.
“I—I love you both,” Kasai said, sniffling again.
“We love you too,” Mark spoke as he kissed the top of Kasai’s head. “Happy new year son.”
Later on – Nick’s Hospital Room
“Come on Nick, we have to leave, now,” Janet stated, moving around the room as she gathered Nick’s things, trying to pick them into a bag.
“Where are we going?” Nick asked.
“We’re going back to Tampa,” Janet answered as Nick stood in place, looking at her.
“Why are we going back to Tampa?” Nick asked, rubbing at his head. “We can’t leave, I have to stay here at the hospital.”
“I’m having you transferred into the care of a doctor closer to home,” Janet stated as Aaron jumped up from where he sat.
“What are you trying to pull here Mom?” Aaron asked, glaring at Janet.
“I’m not trying to pull anything,” Janet replied, looking at Aaron strangely.
“Yes you are damn it!” Aaron snapped, looking over at Nick. “You don’t have to leave here Bro.”
“I don’t want to leave, but…” Nick spoke as Aaron shook his head.
“I—I thought you were in love with Justin,” Aaron said with a sad look on his face.
“I am in love with him,” Nick replied, looking at Aaron with tears in his eyes.
“If you love him, stay here with him, don’t leave,” Aaron said, glaring at Janet once more.
“Shut up Aaron, he has no choice in the matter,” Janet stated, pointing her finger at Aaron. “You stay out of this, none of this concerns you!”
“It does concern me. You’re interfering in Nick’s life, taking him away from something that he needs, because you can’t seem to see past your own stuck up vision!” Aaron snapped, shaking his head. “So, what if Justin’s in a wheelchair, that doesn’t fucking mean he can’t make Nick happy. You don’t see how Nick changes when he’s with Justin. When he’s away from Justin, he goes back into his own world. When they’re together, Nick livens up and he’s part of our world.”
“I don’t care. I don’t want that cripple anywhere near my boy,” Janet said as she shook her head. “And to keep that from happening, we’re going back home.”
“We’re not going anywhere Mom. You can leave if you want, but we’re staying right here,” Aaron stated, looking at Janet as he crossed his arms across his chest, standing proud.
“I’m your mother; who in the hell do you think you’re talking to? You don’t talk to me that way!” Janet screamed, pointing her finger in Aaron’s face. “What in the hell has gotten into you?”
“Yeah, you’re my mother, big whoop. You’re the woman that claims to love us so much. You’re the woman that stole money from us and then tried to have our dad killed so you could get the damn insurance money. So yeah, some mother you are,” Aaron stated, shaking his head as Janet’s eyes widened.
“That’s not true, that’s all a lie!” Janet screamed.
“What’s he talking about Mom?” Nick asked, walking over to where Janet stood. “You said that Dad was trying to kill you, the reason you two…”
“She’s lying bro,” Aaron said as he shook his head. “To start, Mom here has been stealing from the both of us, since our careers started. I had my lawyers and their accounts go over my account spending with a fine-tooth comb and they found out that Mom here has been skimming money off the top of things.”
“What!” Nick snapped, turning to look at Janet again.
“After further digging, I found out that she had both of us fraudulently sign power of attorney statements to have her in control of our finances and our lives,” Aaron stated as Nick frowned and then shook his head.
“What is he talking about Mom?” Nick asked, looking between Janet and Aaron. “Is any of what he said true?”
“No, it’s not true at all. Aaron’s lying, he made all up that up,” Janet stated, shaking her head with a worried expression on her face.
“Come on Mom, I’m lying? Really Mom, really?” Aaron said as he walked over to his jacket and then pulled some papers from an inside pocket and then walked back over to Nick, handing the papers to him. “Check this out.”
“What is this?” Nick asked, looking at Aaron strangely.
“Just read those,” Aaron replied with a smile as Nick looked at the papers.
“Mom, this says that you were granted power of attorney of me and my finances over three years ago,” Nick stated, reading over the papers. “What have you taken from me?”
“I—I haven’t taken anything from you,” Janet replied, shaking her head as she stepped backwards.
“That’s a lie and you know it,” Aaron replied, handing Nick more documents to read. “These are your bank statements, showing all of your deposits and withdrawals. This here is a statement of your earnings. The figures on both documents don’t match. They don’t match at all.”
“Wait a minute! Both of you just stop! I need to sit down on this,” Nick said, walking over to the chair that was next to the bed and sitting down as Aaron followed him while Janet just stood away from the both of them.
“Bro, she’s been stealing from both of us for years. I had our lawyers go over everything and they’ve reversed the POAs that she had us falsely sign. You’re in control of your own life Bro. She can’t force you to go anywhere Nick. Stay here and be with Justin if you want to be with him. If you want, I’ll stay here with you,” Aaron stated, hugging Nick around the neck. “You’re my brother and I want you to be happy.”
“I’m not going to stand here and listen to any of this,” Janet said, shaking her head.
“You don’t have to listen Mom. It would be better if you just left. You’ll be in court real soon any way. I hope you haven’t spent the money you stole from us. You’ll be giving it all back,” Aaron stated, crossing his arms across his chest, glaring at Janet.
“Do you honestly want to stay here Nick? Do you really want to be with that damn crippled man? Hell, he’s not even a real man, he can’t walk. I’m trying to spare you from ending up, being hurt by this so-called relationship,” Janet said as she shook her head and then threw her hands up. “You stand to gain nothing from being with him. Ha, he can’t even stand at all.”
“I love him Mom. I’m going to stay here. I don’t care if he’s in a wheelchair or not. Our love is more than something physical, it goes way deeper than that,” Nick spoke as the tears welled up in his eyes. “I’ve gained his love and that’s enough for me.”
“I don’t understand you Nick. I’ve tried… I’ve tried everything in my power to change your mind of this lifestyle. I just wish you would stop all of this madness. There’s a woman in this world, somewhere just for you,” Janet stated as she turned up her nose and then shook her head again.
“I’m gay, get over it already. I’ll always be gay. There’s nothing in this world, that’s going to change my way of living and I’m not giving up on Justin,” Nick stated, pointing his finger at Janet.
“But you being this way is a sin Nick,” Janet said, glaring at Nick as he waved his hand dismissively at her. “You’re a sinner against God.”
“If he’s a sinner, then so am I,” Aaron declared, stepping in front of Janet as Nick and Janet both looked at him.
“What!” Janet snapped, backing away from Aaron.
“That’s right Mom, I’m gay too. I’ve always been gay, but I never chose to tell you, mainly because I saw the way you acted towards Nick. Now I just don’t give a flying rat’s ass about it anymore,” Aaron stated as he leaned in and kissed Nick on the cheek and then walked out of the room.
“Oh God, both of my boys are gay, just like their father! Am I being punished for something Lord? I—I don’t believe this! Is everyone in the world gay?” Janet asked, grabbing her purse from the bed as she rushed out of the room, leaving Nick alone to read the rest of the documents that Aaron had left with him.
The Emergency Room’s Rape Trauma Unit – Kasai’s Room
This is a terrible way to start off the damn new year. Last night and today have been very trying for all of us. First JT gets his bad news about his childhood enemy working here at the hospital, in his department and then I get into an argument with Kai and then he ends up here because he got attacked.
I guess—I guess this is God’s way of testing us, to see how much we can handle. This is all just a bit much I say, but I’m not the one in control of things. JT’s a strong man, but he isn’t that strong. My baby has gone through too much over the last couple of years. I see this as the straw that broke the camel’s back. Please God, please get us through this. Don’t let this be how the rest of the year is going to go or we probably won’t make it.
“Daddy, Daddy help me, please help me,” Kasai spoke in his sleep. “They’re hurting me, they’re hurting me, make them stop. Please make them stop. I’ll be a good boy, I promise, just make them stop.”
“Oh God, he must be having a nightmare about what happened to him,” I said, wrapping my arms around him, trying to comfort him. “Oh God, please take this pain away from him.”
“Ah, hi there,” Aaron said as he walked into the room. “I’m sorry for intruding, but Nurse Sebastian said that I could find Mr. Poole in here.”
“He—he went back up to his office, it’s up on the second floor,” I spoke, recognizing the guy as Nick Canton’s little brother.
“Ah, is everything okay?” Aaron asked, looking at us closely. “What happened, if you don’t mind me asking?”
“I do mind. Could you please leave… my son and I would like to be left alone,” I told him as I continued hugging Kai as he opened his eyes again and then held onto me tightly as he cried.
“I—I’m sorry. Thank you for telling me where to find Mr. Poole,” Aaron replied, turning around and walking out of the room.
“It’s going to be alright Kai, I promise you that. It’s all going to be alright,” I told him as I rubbed his back.
“I’m so sorry Daddy Mark, I should’ve listened to you,” he said, sniffling as he coughed.
“Shhhh now, don’t worry about that. Just get your mind off of that,” I said, rocking him back and forth in my arms.
“They hurt me Daddy Mark, they just hurt me… They—they wouldn’t stop,” he said, sounding like a person that’s lost everything.
“I know Kai, I know,” I replied, crying with him. “The pain will go away; you just have to give it time.”
“I—I want it to stop—stop now! I can’t take it Daddy Mark,” he said, crying harder as I did all I could to try and calm him down.
The Second Floor – JT’s Office
“Sir, you need to calm down and try to work with us here,” a police officer spoke as JT looked at the man and then shook his head.
“When they brought him into the ER, they did a rape kit on him!” JT snapped, pointing his finger at the officer.
“Well there seems to be a problem, no one can seem to find the specimens that were collected,” the police officer stated as he stepped backwards from JT’s desk.
“What! What in the hell do you mean there seems to be a problem? Why can’t they find the damn specimens? I saw the doctor on call, catalog them!” JT snapped, pointing his finger at the police officer again. “You need to go back down to the ER and speak with Andrew, Andrew Tripp!”
“Look Mr. Poole, you need to calm down and listen to what I’m trying to tell you here,” the police officer stated with a frown.
“I don’t need to calm down! You need to get down to the ER and do your fucking job!” JT screamed as he shook his head.
“Mr. Poole, if you would just…” the police officer started again as JT interrupted him.
“I SAID NOW! GET THE HELL OUT OF MY FUCKING OFFICE, I MEAN IT DAMN IT!” JT screamed as the police officer sighed, turned around and then walked to the door, opening as he bumped into Aaron.
“Ah, sorry kid. I don’t think you want to go in there right now,” the police officer said as he put his hat on and then walked away from the door.
“Excuse me; I’m here to see you Mr. Poole. Are—are you available to talk?” Aaron asked, standing in front of JT’s desk as JT sat there with his eyes covered.
“How may I help you?” JT asked, looking up at Aaron as he took a sip of his coffee.
“I’m Aaron, Aaron Canton, Nick’s my brother,” Aaron stated.
“Yes, I know, it’s nice to officially meet you. Now, what can I do for you?” JT asked.
“I would like to know what could be done about Nick’s status. Basically, I want to know if my mother can force him to leave here, to go to another doctor, that’s if he doesn’t want to go,” Aaron said as JT looked at him strangely.
“She can’t force him to leave, if he doesn’t want to go,” JT replied. “If he says ‘no’, then she has no control over him, unless she has power of attorney over him or she has some form of guardianship over him.”
“She had power of attorney over him and me, but I had our lawyers overturn that,” Aaron said with a frown. “What I’m trying to get at here is that, if his doctor was to say that he’s ‘crazy’, could she use that against him and force him to leave and go wherever she wants to take him?”
“She possibly could, but I doubt anyone here at this hospital would diagnose Nick as being ‘crazy’,” JT stated as he quoted with his fingers.
“What if she brings in an outside doctor to see him?” Aaron asked as JT put his coffee mug down.
“She could do that, but if Nick isn’t exhibiting any negative behaviors to make anyone think that he’s ‘crazy’ or mentally unstable, then there’s nothing your mother can really do to him,” JT stated as he took another sip of his coffee. “Does this have anything to do with Justin?”
“I think so. She—she doesn’t want them together and she really doesn’t like the gay thing,” Aaron stated with a frown.
“Not to go into great detail or anything, but Nick is sane as anyone else around in this place. He’s not crazy, he just had a little bit of bad luck in his life is all,” JT stated as Mark burst into the room.
“You’re the guy I just saw downstairs,” Aaron said, looking at Mark strangely.
“Sorry for the way I behaved down there,” Mark stated, frowning. “I was just having a bad moment.”
“It’s okay,” Aaron said with a small smile. “Mr. Poole, maybe we should reschedule this for a later time.”
“Yes, yes please. Just leave me your number and a time for when it’s convenient to talk and I’ll give you a call,” JT said as Aaron shook his hand and then handed him a card as he waved and then left the room.
“Mark, why are you up here?” JT asked, looking at Mark strangely.
“They have suspects baby. One of the guys that hurt our boy has done it to someone else before,” Mark stated as JT got up from his desk.
“How do you know this?” JT asked, looking at Mark like he was crazy.
“The cops are down in the lab with Andy. They had him and another technician do the analysis. The DNA analysis is complete and they’ve gotten a match to two of the people that was involved in hurting him,” Mark explained as he held JT in his arms. “They’re going to get the guys and see if Kai can identify them.”
“I—I don’t think he’s ready for that. Do you think he’s ready?” JT asked, looking down, his hands trembling.
“No, but he needs to do it, so those guys can be punished for what they did to him,” Mark stated as JT’s pager beeped repeatedly.
“That’s Andy, let me call him and see what’s up,” JT said as he picked up the phone and called down to the ER.
“Yo’ JT, I think you and Mark better get down here and quick,” Dr. Tripp’s voice filled the room.
“What’s going on Andy?” JT asked.
“I tried to get them to wait until you or Mark was here with him, but they took the guy that attacked Kasai into his room anyway. He woke up and saw the man and now he’s freaking out really bad,” Dr. Tripp explained as JT shook his head.
“What in God’s name are those fools thinking?” JT asked as he looked at Mark. “Baby, get down there now! I’ll be down there in a minute; just get down there now. Get to my baby, he’s going crazy…”
Justin’s Hospital Room
“What’re you doing kid?” Christina asked, walking into the room.
“Nothing,” Justin replied, looking around. “I’m just sitting here, doing nothing, as always it seems.”
“You sound so down sweetie. Are you still upset about this morning?” Christina asked, walking over to Justin. “Wait, don’t answer that.”
“Well…” Justin said, looking up at her.
“Don’t start downing yourself again. I’m stopping you from doing that right now. I want to hear something positive,” Christina stated as there was a knock at the door.
“Come on in,” Justin called out as Nick walked into the room.
“Hello Justin,” Nick softly spoke as he stepped a bit into the room. “Hi there Christina.”
“Hi Nick,” Christina spoke, waving at Nick as she walked over and hugged him.
“Are—are you busy right now Justin?” Nick asked.
“No baby, I’m never too busy for you,” Justin replied, reaching out his hand to Nick. “Come over here.”
“Awwww, that’s so sweet and romantic. Should I leave you two alone?” Christina asked as Nick sat down in Justin’s lap.
“You don’t have to leave because of me being here Christina. I just wanted to come be with Justin. You—you don’t have to go,” Nick replied, looking over at her.
“Cool,” Christina said just as there was another knock at the door.
“Come in,” Justin called out again as Joshua walked into the room.
“Hello Jus…” Joshua trailed off, locking eyes with Christina as his expression changed. “Chrissy wait, please… I just wanted to see how he was doing. Don’t do anything, please.”
“What in the hell do you want Josh? Why in the hell are you really here?” Christina asked, glaring at Joshua. “I thought I made myself clear a while back. I thought I made it clear that you should never show your face here again. It seems you don’t handle directions very well. I guess I have to beat your ass again.”
“Look Chrissy, I’m not here for any trouble. I only came to see how he was doing,” Joshua replied, holding both of his hands up.
“As you can see, he’s doing fine, now leave!” Christina screamed just as Jamie and Marshall walked into the room behind Joshua.
“What’s going on… What in the hell are you doing in here Josh?” Jamie asked as Marshall grabbed him quickly, to keep him away from Joshua.
“Damn, I only came to see him. I guess I better go since you have so many bodyguards around here,” Joshua sarcastically said as he walked out of the room, passing all of them as Jamie punched him in the back of the head and then closed the door.
“Good fucking riddance,” Jamie said, shaking his head. “Are you okay Justin?”
“I’m fine, thanks you guys. I’m glad you guys were here. I really didn’t want to deal with him,” Justin stated as he sighed.
“Well you don’t have to deal with him. Hopefully this time he got the message, loud and clear. If it didn’t sink in, I can always beat his ass again,” Christina said with a smirk.
“Don’t do that, you’ve already beaten him once,” Justin said as he looked over at her.
“Whoa, you were the one that did that to him? I better not get on your bad side,” Marshall said, stepping behind Jamie.
“I wouldn’t do that to you. Besides, I’m quite sure you would give me a run for my money,” Christina said, patting Marshall on the back. “But you know me, I’m better than Big Daddy.”
“Yeah, I still remember the song,” Marshall replied with a frown.
“Your ex inspired me to sing it,” Christina said as she sat down next to Justin and Nick. “So, what do you two have planned, if anything? Anything set up for the new year?”
“We’re going down to the solarium, we’ll chill out there for a bit and watch the festivities,” Nick said with a smile on his face as he caressed Justin’s.
“That really sounds nice and romantic,” Christina said, tilting her head to the side and smiling at Nick and Justin.
“It sure does. Why don’t we do stuff like that anymore?” Jamie asked, wrapping his arms around Marshall.
“Probably because we never have time for stuff like that, we’re both so busy,” Marshall stated as he looked down with a frown on his face.
“We have the time now baby. We aren’t doing anything,” Jamie said, looking Marshall in the face with a pout. “Let’s go do something nice and romantic.”
“Okay, come on then,” Marshall spoke, grabbing Jamie’s hand as the two of them waved and headed towards the door. “Me and my love bunny here will be back in a few hours. You guys have fun.”
“Oh wow, now it’s only me, all by myself,” Christina stated as she crossed her arms. “What a way to start this new year off.”
“You can hang with us Chrissy, that’s if you like,” Justin told her.
“No, you two go on, I’m going to find me something to get into. I’ll be back later on,” Christina said as she leaned in and kissed both guys on the cheek. “Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.”
“Great, that means we can do anything,” Justin said, laughing at the look on Christina’s face as she blushed and then shot him the bird.
“I’m gonna get you for that one mister,” Christina said as she laughed and then walked out of the room.
To Be Continued…