Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Motorcycle Crash

Title: The Motorcycle Crash
Author: Rolf
The semester was over!!!
Matthew bounded down the stairs, excited to no end that he had just finished his last final of this school semester. The sunshine and warm temperatures beckoned him, teasing his senses with the gentle breeze. He walked directly to the bookstore to sell his last book back. He stood in a short line and was quickly waited on.
"Can I help you, sir?"
"Yes, buy this last crummy book back.....please."
"Sorry sir, but they're reprinting this one. Can't give you any money for it, but I can take it off your hands."
"No, thanks. I'll have more fun burning it. Thanks for nothing." Matthew stalked back outside, always angry at the raping each year from the bookstores. As soon as he hit the sun again though, his good mood returned in full force.
Matthew hopped in his truck and sped home. He had grand plans to talk Rolf into going out for the afternoon to celebrate his freedom.
When he arrived at home he screeched to a halt in the driveway. He grabbed his book bag and practically flew up the steps, bouncing off of the door in shock when it didn't open. Rolf must be out back, that's why the door didn't open. He unlocked the door and ran in yelling "Rolf! Roooooollllffffffffff, I'm hoooooommmmmeeeeeee! Rolf?" He ran into the kitchen. "Rolf, where are you?" Just then he spied the note on the refrigerator. "Fuck!" He angrily ripped the note down and read it, his heart sinking.
"Hey, love. CONGRATULATIONS!!! The proper authorities have been warned you're free for the summer. I had all intentions of spending the day with you, and I'm so disappointed I can't be there to share in your excitement. Mr. Black made a surprise visit today and he needed me to run him over to his newest building site. I begged out of dinner, and plan on being back with you to take you out for your celebratory end of semester dinner personally. I have a surprise for you which I will share with you over our meal. Here's a hint. It involves a plane and three days of your time next week. Please don't pout, I'll be home soon. Love you, R.    P.S.. Don't waste your time in my desk, there is nothing there!"
Matthew laughed as Rolf had pegged him exactly. He thought there would be tickets somewhere in the house and the desk was the first place he would have looked.
Matthew threw the note on the table and went directly to Rolf's sock drawer, the next best hiding place. He opened the drawer and immediately saw an envelope. BINGO! He gently opened the envelope and found one folded piece of paper. He unfolded it and laughed again. "Strike two Matthew, try again!" he crumpled that note and tossed it in the trash, now intent on HIS sock drawer, as Rolf had hidden something there before as well.
He yanked open his sock drawer and rummaged around in the back. Ah-hah! Another envelope! He pulled it out and ripped it open. "Strike three, you're out! Matthew, did you really think I'd leave them here? I know you TOO well. The tickets are with me. Now go enjoy your day, I'll be home soon, love."
Matthew sighed in mock frustration. Rolf did know him too well. He headed downstairs to find something to munch on. When he walked into the kitchen he spied his book bag. He decided now was the perfect time to burn that blasted book, along with all of his notes.
He grabbed the two items and headed out back. We went into the wooded area and brushed away some of the leaves and brush and put the book and notebook down. He decided that he needed........gas. He went into the garage and came out with the lawn mower gas can and the long handled grill lighter. He dumped on a good amount of gas, making sure to completely drench the book. Then he put the can down, far enough away so that it wouldn't catch on fire. He got the lighter lit, and snaked his hand out, careful not to get too close. When the lighter got near the book, it caused a small explosion. Matthew dropped the lighter as he scrambled backwards, falling on his tailbone. He watched in shocked fascination as the book went up in flames, large flames. Before he realized what was happening, a small bush off to the side started to burn. Matthew looked over and saw that and jumped up, grabbing the gas can and running back to the garage. He grabbed a bucket, dipped it in the pool and ran back to try to put out the fire. It took him three trips with the bucket of water to get the fire out.
He sat down on a pool chair and breathed a sigh of relief. Rolf would have killed him if something worse would have happened. He looked into the wooded area and saw the somewhat large burnt area. Rolf would still have something to say about that. He'd just try to keep it secret as long as he could.
Matthew headed back into the house, fixing himself a bowl of soup. While that was warming on the stove he called Marc to see if he could join him for an afternoon of fun. The phone rang twice before Marc picked it up. "Hello?"
"Hey Scooby, what's up?"
"Nothing much fruitcake, what's up with you?"
"I am OUT of school!!! Finished the last test this morning. All ready and set for some fun. Care to join me?"
"Congratulations! How did the test go?"
"I don't know, don't CARE! I'm done, woo hoo HOOOOOOO!"
"Alright already. I get it, you're excited."
"That isn't the word for it. So, ARE you going to join me?"
"No fruitcake, I can't." Marc heard the pout before Matthew could even put it into words. "I know, I'm sorry. There was a mix up in the schedule, and I've got to fill in for the day. I was just about out the door when you caught me. Another time?"
"Yeah, I guess so." Matthew said, dejection clearly audible in his words.
"I'll take you to a movie tomorrow, alright? Will that suffice?"
"Okay. See you tomorrow."
"Now you have a great day, okay? Promise me?"
Matthew smiled in spite of himself. "Okay, promise. You have a good one too. Bye!"
"Later"
Matthew put the phone down, somewhat pleased about the movie invite, though it still didn't help with today. He tried to call Chris and Michael and they either weren't available or didn't answer the phone. Todd was out of town this week, so he wasn't an option. "grrrrr" Matthew grumbled as he got his soup off the stove. He settled into the living room and turned on the television. He wasn't watching his bowl of soup when his cat jumped up on the couch, intent on a treat. The cat tipped the bowl enough to spill some before Matthew realized it. "TIFFANY! What are you doing?" He quickly got his bowl up, and tried to dab at the stain on the couch. The cat just sat and stared at Matthew, wondering why he was cleaning up her plate of food. He petted her, saying "You are too cute for your own good. Look what you did, the couch is now stained. Rolf is going to kick your......my butt for that!" He finished his bowl of soup and then tried with the upholstery cleaner to get the tomato based stain up. He got up most of it, but if you looked you could still see a faint stain. Okay, now Rolf would have to be kept off the couch, and away from the back windows, at least for today.
Matthew looked outside and realized he had left the garage open and the gas can out. He went and put the can back. While he was out there he looked over at Rolf's motorcycle. It was a beautiful midnight blue BMW R80ST. Rolf took great pride in that bike, keeping it clean and fully maintained. He rode it at least once a week and had taken a few week long trips with a few other bikers, covering quite a bit of the United States. Matthew enjoyed being a passenger, but really wanted to be the driver. Rolf didn't let Matthew drive it unless they were in a field, as Matthew was still learning to use the gears. And once he could ride well enough to pass the test, he was to be enrolled in a safety course before being allowed to ride without Rolf there.
Matthew was thoroughly bored and knew that Rolf wasn't coming home until dinnertime. It was such a beautiful day, and no one could spend it with him. He decided, against his better judgement, to take off for a short ride into the country. Rolf wouldn't notice, and he wouldn't go far. He was sure he could handle the bike, Rolf just tended to be too overprotective of him, smothered him actually. So he closed up the house, pulled the bike out, got his helmet and got ready to mount the bike. A thought flashed through his head. It was Rolf talking "I don't care HOW hot it is, or what you want to do, but if I EVER catch you riding without your leathers on for protection, I'll thrash you. You fall without leathers, you'll lose every bit of skin on your body. You ride without leathers and make it home alive, I'LL * take every bit of skin off your backside." Matthew knew how serious Rolf was about safety. He walked back into the garage and suited up in his leather chaps, jacket, and leather gloves. He hopped on the motorcycle, started it, and took off for a wonderful ride in the beautiful countryside.
Matthew was thoroughly enjoying the wonderful feeling of freedom and fresh air in the country. There were cars in front and behind, and they kept him from speeding. Up ahead was a sharp left hand curve. Matthew slowed down to the suggested 45mph and leaned gently into the curve. The kickstand had fallen down, and as soon as it made contact with the road, the bike set up straight, then violently fell over on the right, Matthew and the bike sliding across pavement and landing in the ditch.

*****     *****     *****

"And the building codes do allow us that extra floor, correct?"
"Yes" replied Rolf, "I've checked with the city board personally, sir, and everything is approved and within code." Rolf said that, but was thinking much different thoughts. He was thinking seriously about taking a page out of Matthew's book, and turning into a complete brat. His heart just wasn't in the job today, not with Matthew out of school and ready to celebrate.
"Let's go back over the schematics." Mr. Black said.
"Yes, sir." Rolf said, ever the professional.
Matthew didn't hear the screeching of the tires from the cars behind him. He had only a second to wonder what was happening before his head cracked upon the pavement, knocking him unconscious. To the driver of the car behind him, it happened in slow motion. One moment the rider was riding tall, entering the curve in the center of the lane, gently leaning over, one with the road. Just as the rider had reached what would have been the correct angle to negotiate the curve, the bike looked like it hit a spring. It immediately stood straight up, a slight wriggle as it did so, then the back end just gave way, and the bike and rider went down, violently.
Matthew's grip loosened the second he blacked out, and the bike being heavier, it took off without him. The jugs on the side of the bike kept his leg from breaking or being shredded by the pavement. As the bike slid along the road, it sparked as if it were the fourth of July. It slowly spun in a circle on the pavement, then flipped once in a huge cloud of dirt when it hit the embankment, coming to a smoldering rest against a tree.
Matthew's lifeless looking body did a slow tumble, being jerked rather hard when his foot connected with the embankment, his slide being stopped by the fence alongside of the road. He came to rest on his side, looking as if he had simply gotten tired and laid down for a nap.
Ted, the guy in the car immediately behind Matthew was able to stop quickly, and the car behind him stopped with a squeal as she dove a little to the side of the road to avoid him. The acrid smell of burnt rubber hung in the air and the world seemed eerily silent as the guy hopped out and ran up to Matthew, searching for any signs of life. The lady in the second car immediately dialed 911. Once that call was made, she grabbed a coat she had on the seat beside her and ran up to join them.
Ted knew enough about accidents to know not to remove the helmet. He lifted the facemask and searched for signs of breathing. There were good breath sounds, but the pulse was a little shaky. He took the coat from the woman and covered Matthew, trying to ward off shock.
Eric was on patrol on the north side of town when he received a call. "Any unit. Please respond to a motorcyclist down and injured, Summer Valley Road between Pine and Chestnut streets. Ambulance in route, traffic control and accident reconstruction needed."
Eric keyed his radio. "Officer Mayhan, car 301 responding. Five minutes out."
"Car 301 responding. Over and out."
Eric hit the siren and took off towards the accident scene, afraid of what he might find. Motorcyclists weren't required to wear helmets or protective gear, and he'd seen his share of horrid injuries and death due to the two-wheeled beasts.
Eric was the second officer on the scene and the ambulance had yet to arrive. He parked the car and yelled out to Officer Howard "Need help with the victim?"
"No, he's out, but breathing. Get the traffic situated." Officer Howard said.
"Yes, sir." Eric turned around to start towards the traffic when he caught sight of the bike. Something was familiar about it. He ran over to the bike and sure enough, there was the Tasmanian Devil sticker on the side, the one Rolf was nicknamed for. Eric's heart caught in his throat as he ran over to where Rolf was lying. "Rolf! Man, wake up - MATTHEW!?! Oh _s_h_i_t_. _s_h_i_t_ _s_h_i_t_ _s_h_i_t_." Eric grabbed Matthew's hand and held it, the other hand trying to rub life into the face.
"Do you know this kid?" Officer Howard asked.
"Yes, a good friend of mine....come on Matthew, wake up buddy. Don't do this to me, don't do this to Rolf." Eric looked up. "Where is that gawd forsaken ambulance?"
Just then the siren could be heard. Eric remained with Matthew, yelling at the paramedics to hurry before they even got out of their truck.
"Come on! He's out cold, but no obvious trauma. His name is Matthew."
"You know him?"
"Yes, a close friend."
"He's in good hands, Office Mayhan." Lucie and George got to work on Matthew, taping him immediately to a backboard to guard against aggravation to any possible neck or back injuries. They cut off his leather jacket arm and started an IV; the fluids needed to ward off the effects of shock. After checking for obvious broken bones, George broke an ammonia capsule beneath Matthew's nose.
Matthew awoke with a start, the smell making him want to gag. He tried to move, but found himself locked in place. Fear welled up in him, unsure of where he was or why he couldn't move.
"Matthew? Please don't move." Lucie said, leaning into Matthew's line of view. "Hi. My name is Lucie. Do you know what happened?"
Matthew's eyes were wide with fright and bright with unshed tears as he continued to struggle to move. Someone squeezed his hand. "I...I was in an accident?"
"Matthew, good to see you buddy." Eric leaned into Matthew's view, tightening the grip on his hand. "You're going to be just fine." Eric put all the calm and sincerity he could muster into that sentence, hoping it was true. "Relax, don't move, and let them take care of you."
"How are you feeling love? Hurt anywhere?" Lucie asked, wanting to make sure they hadn't missed anything before moving Matthew into the ambulance.
Matthew squeezed tight on Eric's hand, hanging onto the only thing he knew. Tears started to course down his face. "I....I....I don't th...think so." He stuttered, not at all sure that he wasn't about to die. "E..Eric? I can't move. Why can't I move?"
Terror was evident in Matthew's tone. "You're taped to a backboard to guard against any spinal or neck injuries. It's just tape, you're going to be fine." Eric said, leaning back over so Matthew could see him.
"I..I'm sc...scaaaaaaaarrrrred!" Matthew said, sobbing the word out.
Both Eric and Lucie worked on calming Matthew down, as his agitation wasn't going to help matters. Finally Matthew got his crying under control, though the tears continued to flow.
George had gone back to the ambulance and was bringing the stretcher up to where Matthew was lying.
"Matthew, we're going to move you onto the stretcher, then we're going to take a quick ride to the hospital, get you checked out. Ready to go?" Lucie asked brightly.
"Nnn nnoooo! Eric! Don't leave me!" Matthew clutched frantically at Eric's hand, terrified of going to the hospital alone.
"Matty, please calm down. I'm right here. Matty." Eric finally got Matthew's attention back to him. "They are just going to check you out, make sure you're okay. It will be alright, I promise. Now I can't go with you in the ambulance, but I'll be right behind you. Let Lucie and George take care of you, okay?" Eric squeezed Matthew's hand again. "I need to call Rolf, get him to meet us at the hospital. I'll be there, I promise."
George and Lucie picked Matthew up and placed him on the stretcher, covering him with the blanket and tightening down the straps. Eric walked with them, talking to Matthew down to the ambulance. He gave one final squeeze to Matthew's hand before letting go, and watched as he was loaded into the back of the truck.
"You got things in hand?" Eric yelled to Officer Howard.
"Yes, go on, take care of your friend."
Eric dashed to his squad car, pealing off in a cloud of tire smoke catching up to the ambulance. He dreaded the phone call he was going to have to make. He picked up the phone and dialed Rolf's cell phone, almost certain had Rolf been at home, Matthew wouldn't have been on the motorcycle in the first place. The phone rang four times before he heard a distant reply.
"Hello?" Rolf said, straining to hear through the static.
Eric realized that they had a bad connection and spoke quickly. "It's Eric. Where are you?"
"Eric? Hey how-"
"Where are you?"
When Eric cut him off in midsentence, Rolf answered quickly. "I'm at 34th and Lime Streets. Eric, what's wrong? Michael alright?" He demanded, alarmed by Eric's tone of voice.
More static, the reply wasn't very clear. "I'm coming to get you." Was all Rolf could make out, and he wasn't even sure that is what Eric had said. Fear settled into the pit of his stomach.
"Anything wrong?" Asked Mr. Black, aware that Rolf's demeanor had changed.
"I...I don't know. We'll see in a few minutes, I guess." Rolf pulled out the electrical drawing and started going over that with Mr. Black, though his mind was miles away.
Five minutes later Rolf heard a siren, and his stomach dropped into his toes. He was certain that it was Eric and he wasn't wrong.
Eric drove into the building site in a spray of gravel. He hopped out, meeting Rolf who had immediately started towards the car. "ERIC! What's wrong? What is it?"
Eric grabbed Rolf by the shoulders. "Calm down. Sorry to scare you, I just promised Matthew we'd meet him at the hospital, I don't want him to worry."
Rolf's mouth opened in huge "o" of surprise. "M..Matthew? In the hospital? What happened?!"
"He was in a minor accident. He looks fine, they wanted to take him to the hospital to get him checked over. Come on, I'll drive you."
Mr. Black had reached the two men and could tell by the body language that something was wrong. "Rolf, anything I can do?"
Rolf tossed the keys to Mr. Black. "Please, use my truck to get back to the hotel. I'll call you later, my partner was in an accident." Rolf jumped into the front passenger seat yelling at Eric to step on it.
Mr. Black went back to perusing the drawings, worried for Rolf's partner.
"Come on Eric, can't you go faster?"
"I'm going quite fast enough. He's fine, really."
"What happened?"
"It looks like he lost control of your motorcycle and-"
"My motorcycle? He was on my motorcycle?"
"Yes."
"But he's...he..." Rolf was disbelieving.
"From the marks on the road, it looks like he just laid the bike down in a curve. He stopped in the ditch, the bike kept moving. He was unconscious when I arrived, but was awake and in no obvious pain when they loaded him into the ambulance." Eric looked away from the road for a minute and saw the usually very robust looking man a sickly shade of gray. Rolf's hands were white where he was holding onto the door and the dashboard. Eric couldn't do anything about that now, he had to concentrate on driving.
George pulled the ambulance into the bay, turning the siren off. Lucie jumped out as soon as George had opened the doors, and they both wheeled Matthew out of the truck and onto the tarmac.
Matthew's vision was extremely limited due to the helmet and being taped to the board. He saw the lights above him, and the door frame as he was wheeled into the hospital. The helmet was also blocking out a lot of sounds, leaving Matthew feeling very alone, and afraid. His hands tightened on the sheets, and the tears continued to flow.
He could make out a lot of voices, but they seemed to be speaking from a great distance away. The medics were apprising the doctor and nurses of Matthew's condition, other patients and personnel were speaking, and the PA system was announcing emergencies in another room. Matthew closed his eyes, trying to block out the fear that was threatening to engulf him.
He was moved from the stretcher onto the bed, getting more afraid by the minute.
Lucie leaned over "Matthew? Matthew, open your eyes."
Matthew opened them, Lucie's face slowly coming into focus.
"This is Doctor Drake." Lucie squeezed Matthew's hand. "He's going to take great care of you, I promise. Now just do what he says, okay?"
Matthew wanted to shake his head yes, but was unable to. He finally managed a quiet and tremulous "Okay."
Lucie squeezed Matthew's hand and turned to leave.
"L..lucie? D..don't leave, pleeeease?" Matthew stuttered, trying to hang onto the only source of comfort he had.
Lucie turned back around and flashed Matthew a huge smile. "I'm sorry love, but I need to be out there in case any one else needs me. Eric will be here soon, and Dr. Drake will take good care of you. You'll be fine. I'll check in later, see how you're doing. Promise." Lucie winked, and was gone.
"Hi Matthew, I'm Doctor Drake. Are you suffering from pain anywhere?"
Matthew had to think about that one, he hurt all over, but nothing in particular. "Maybe my left ankle, but nothing else."
Dr. Drake and several nurses looked Matthew over from head to foot, drawing blood, poking, prodding, making sure all of Matthew's internal organs were in the right place and perfectly fine.
Matthew endured the checkout with very little resistance, except when they went to draw the blood. He had to be restrained by two nurses so a third could get the blood she needed to get the tests run.
Dr. Drake appeared in Matthew's line of vision. "You were really lucky, you know that? Your pants are shredded, and so is the side of your boot. Had you not had your protective clothes on, you would be missing quite a lot of skin. Let's get you to exray now, see if we can remove your helmet and get you moving around a bit, shall we?"
"O..okay" Matthew could hear a bunch of movement in the room, and felt people touching his arms and legs, but he couldn't move to see them.
"Hey there, I'm Tom, here to roll you to exray."
Matthew felt the bed rolling and watched a few lights pass by overhead before shutting his eyes tight. He wanted to open them and see Rolf. Rolf, who might be a little upset, but at least he'd take him home away from this hospital.
Eric drove up and parked in the fire lane. Before he could get the car in park Rolf was out the door and headed inside. Eric quickly ran after him, catching up just inside the front door, a hand on Rolf's shoulder. "Rolf, ROLF. Wait a minute. Take a seat over there, I'll go fin-"
"I am NOT going to sit, not until I find Matthew!" Rolf said, brushing Eric's hand off of his shoulder.
Eric grabbed Rolf by the arm. "You walk up to that desk with this attitude, and the nurses will point you over here anyway. There isn't a point to you storming the place. I'll be able to find out where he is, and we'll go see him. SIT." Eric finished, having walked Rolf over to the waiting area and quelched the Tasmanian devil before he could start swirling and cursing.
Rolf knew what Eric said was right, and sat down.
Eric looked at him a moment, then turned and headed over to the nurses station.
Rolf sat for two seconds, then popped up and started pacing, much too much wound up to sit.
Eric found out that Matthew was in exray, and would be down again shortly. They would alert him when he arrived. He grabbed two cups of coffee and went back to where Rolf was. "Here, not that you need any caffeine." Eric said with a gentle smile as he handed Rolf the coffee.
"Where is he?"
"Exray, they'll call when he returns downstairs. We can see him then."
"HOW is he?"
"They haven't updated his condition but as I said, he was suffering no obvious injuries. They'll let us know when he gets back down here."
"That is-"
"Sit. Please."
Rolf sat down, the authority in Eric's voice helping him to calm down somewhat.
Matthew was in exray for about twenty minutes, and by the end they had removed his helmet and placed a neck collar on him. He was slightly less scared after the helmet was removed, but still couldn't move his head very well. Tom rolled him back down to emergency, back into Karen's care.
"How's it feel to have that helmet off?" she asked brightly.
"Better." Matthew replied.
"You've got a couple of visitors, want me to bring them in?" Matthew's tremulous smile gave her the answer, and she walked over to the waiting area. "Officer Mayhan? Matthew's back."
"Thanks Karen." "Where is he?" Eric and Rolf spoke together.
"Follow me." she said smiling.
Rolf practically pushed Karen ahead of him, so anxious was he to see Matthew. When he spotted him, he rushed past Karen over to the bed. "Matthew!" Rolf said, grabbing for his hand, checking his face, and then all the rest of him, making sure he was in one piece.
Matthew immediately started shedding tears of open relief, trying to sit up and climb into Rolf's arms.
"Whoa! Matthew, no, lay back down." Karen ran over, putting a hand on his shoulder and pressing him back down.
"Take me hoooooooooommmme." Matthew cried.
"I will, I will. How are you? Are you okay? Hurt anywhere?"
"I'm okay. Please, can we leave?"
"It's alright Matthew, I'm here now. Just relax, let me talk to the doctors and I'll see about getting you released." Rolf brushed the hair off of Matthew's face, and wiped the tears away as well.
Karen got Dr. Drake over to talk with Rolf.
"Dr. how is he?" Rolf said, Matthew not letting go of his hand.
"Dr. Drake" He said, shaking Rolf's free hand. "Matthew is lucky as hell. He's got a slightly sprained left ankle and bumps and bruises, but his clothing saved him. No skin damage at all, and the fall wasn't bad enough to break bones or anything internally. I want to wait a couple of hours and get some test results back, just routine tests. He had quite a concussion, so it's good that we just leave him under observation for a while, make sure everything is fine. I'll check back within the hour."
Rolf's look of open relief was quite evident. "Thank you Dr. Drake."
Rolf turned back to Matthew, still wanting to look for himself to make sure he was alright.
"I'm sleepy Rolf." Matthew muttered, his eyes closing.
"Matthew, wake up, you can't sleep now." Karen said. "Not after a concussion."
"Matthew, listen to Karen. Open your eyes. Matthew? MATTHEW." Rolf said, ending on a stern note.
Matthew slowly opened his eyes, tightening his grip on Rolf's hand.
"Can you keep him awake?" Karen asked Rolf.
"Yes."
"I'll be just down the hall if you need anything. Stay awake Matthew!" Karen walked away, leaving Rolf and Eric alone with Matthew.
"Hey buddy, how're you doing?" Eric said, going to the other side of the bed.
Matthew rolled his head slightly to see Eric. "Better now. Thank you for being there."
"You know I would." Eric said, smiling at Matthew. "Think I could ask you a few questions about the accident?"
Matthew looked over at Rolf before turning back to Eric and saying quietly "yes."
"What happened?"
"I wasn't going fast." Matthew had to make sure everyone knew that piece of information up front. "I was only doing like 45, whatever it said, when I went around the corner. Everything was fine, I was leaning into the curve like you're supposed to, and it's like the bike just had a mind of it's own. It just popped straight upright, then over I went." Matthew was speaking quietly, looking between Eric and Rolf, wondering if someone was going to challenge him.
"You didn't see any debris in the road, there were no other cars around you at the time?"
"Nothing that I could see. And no, there weren't any other cars."
"Anything else you can think of?" Eric asked.
Matthew thought about that for a moment, before finally answering "no."
"Glad to see you're alright. I need to call this in to the department, get the accident report filed. I'll leave you two alone." Eric squeezed Matthew's arm and headed out to his car to fill out the necessary papers.
Matthew sat up and buried his face into Rolf's stomach, sobbing. "I'm..I'm so...sorry" Matthew sobbed out, hugging tightly.
Rolf held Matthew for a moment, before gently breaking Matthew's grip around him. "Love, you need to just rest quietly now. Come on, lay back down. We'll talk about this later, you just concentrate on returning to 100 percent. I need to go talk to Eric, I'll be right back."
Matthew grabbed for Rolf's hand. "No! Don't go. Please?" He asked, his eyes wide.
"I'll be right back. Now sit tight, and stay awake. That's an order." Rolf kissed Matthew's forehead, and headed outside to see Eric. He opened the door and sat down, slamming his hands against the dashboard. "_d_a_m_n_it! What was he thinking? And what happened to make him fall?"
"I don't know what he was thinking, but I think I know what happened. When I got on scene and walked by the bike, something struck me as being wrong in how it landed. I just called back to Howard, and he said that the kickstand was down."
"That would explain why he turned the corner and just flipped over." Rolf said quietly, a growing sense of guilt overtaking his anger. He rested his head on the headrest, the anger leaving him.
"Rolf, it wasn't your fault." Eric said, knowing where Rolf's mind was headed.
"How can it not be? I KNEW it was loose, I just had-"
"ROLF, stop it right there. Was Matthew cleared to ride that bike?" Eric said sharply.
"No, but -"
"Would a more experienced rider have noticed the problem and done something preventative?"
"Yes, but agai-"
"Then there is nothing you should feel guilty for, except maybe having failed in your attempts to get it through Matthew's head that he should learn to obey you, though I'm sure he'll get a repeat lesson in that soon enough. Now get back in there and make sure that Matthew doesn't charm the socks off of some new intern and find a way out the back door of the hospital while your back is turned."
Rolf was again struck with the realization that what Eric said had merit and made perfect sense. If he could just force himself to swallow that was another matter. "Thanks Eric, for everything." Rolf said, wanting to say so much more.
Eric shook the hand that Rolf had offered. "You're welcome. I'll swing by when he's released, get you home."
"Eric, you don-"
"I insist."
"Great, then." Rolf said, getting out of the car and closing the door before heading back into the hospital. He found Matthew sitting up in his bed, sipping a chocolate milkshake and chatting with two candy stripers.
"And you crashed your motorcycle?" Said the blond one.
"Yes, I guess I was going a little too fast and hit an oil spot on the road and the bike just went into a slide. Doing the turns is easy, as long as the" Matthew spotted Rolf on the other side of the bed "road is clear." Matthew slumped back against the bed, the animation leaving his face.
"Thanks for keeping him company, but I really think he should rest quietly." Rolf said to the girls, who both beamed quick and tender smiles at Matthew before walking out of the emergency room, giggling quietly.
"I see the accident didn't damage your charm in any way, shape or fashion. So who got you the milkshake?" Rolf asked, smiling.
"The dark haired girl, Megan."
"And you were spinning wild tales of your misadventures?"
"They deserved a good.....story for the milkshake, don't you think?"
"I'm sure you gave them exactly what they wanted to hear. How are you feeling?"
"Tired. I want to go home."
"Soon, sport, soon." Rolf sat with Matthew for the next hour, the two of them chatting easily about inconsequential things. Matthew was too afraid to bring up anything relating to the accident or school, and Rolf wasn't going to get into things until Matthew was feeling better. Another hour passed, and Dr. Drake finally made his appearance.
"Good news gentlemen. He's going to live." Dr. Drake said with a smile.
Rolf immediately hung his head and replied "Oh, his heirs are just going to hate to hear that!"
Matthew gently punched Rolf in the arm. "Thanks a lot." He turned towards Dr. Drake. "Does that mean I can leave?" He asked hopefully.
"Yes, sir."
Matthew started to sit up, but Rolf put a hand on him to keep him there until Dr. Drake finished.
"All the tests came back normal, which is what I expected. You will probably be sore for the next few days, especially your ankle, but other than that, you should be fine. I'd stay off the ankle as much as possible for two to three days, then as you feel comfortable, start putting more weight on it. No rough sports or heavy lifting for a week, then you can do whatever you feel comfortable doing. I'm giving you a prescript for pain, to be taken only if you feel you need it. I want you to call me if you notice any pain, weakness, or blood in the urine. Will you do that for me?"
"Yes." Matthew answered.
"Great. Your release papers are signed, and you're free to go. Don't ever ride that motorcycle again without the safety equipment you used today. It saved you a lot of pain, if not your life."
Matthew shot a quick glance at Rolf before answering "You better believe I won't ride the motorcycle again without proper EVERYTHING." He wanted to be sure Rolf knew what he was trying to say....that he wouldn't be riding the motorcycle without proper permission first.
"Good luck to you." Dr. Drake said as he shook hands and then walked off to his next patient.
Karen just then appeared with a wheelchair. "I've got your ride to the door, and I promise I'm a good driver." She said smiling.
"Oh, I can walk ou-" Matthew started to say before being interrupted by Rolf.
"You'll ride, you are NOT to be on that ankle. Let me help you." He said, grabbing Matthew's arm and helping him into the chair, Matthew grumbling the entire way.
"I just don't understand why no one wants me to drive." Karen said, pouting playfully. "I've only hit the walls a couple of times and only lost one patient in a run in with a stray IV stand."
"Sorry." Matthew said laughing. "It's really not you."
"That's alright love. I'm used to it." Karen proceeded to push Matthew down the hall to the door.
"Oh, I need to call ER-"
"It's done. He's waiting outside for you." Karen said, answering Rolf's question before he finished it.
"Thanks. A lot."
"No problem. Here we go, you're free at last." Karen stopped the wheelchair and locked the wheels.
Rolf helped Matthew up and into the front seat of the squad car.
Matthew rolled the window down. "Karen, thank you. I...I"
"I know. And you're welcome. And I don't want to see you here again, understood?"
"Yes, ma'am!" Matthew replied, a smile immediately brightening his face. He waved as they drove off.
Eric dropped Rolf and Matthew off at their house and continued on to a call for another accident.
Rolf carried Matthew into the house and gently deposited him on the couch, with strict instructions to not move.
"Do you want any of the pain medication now?"
"No, I'm okay."
Rolf prepared a quick dinner and they ate in the family room as Matthew was comfortable on the couch. After dinner, Rolf called Joe to get a ride to the hotel where Mr. Black was staying to pick up his truck. Joe and Chris came by within the hour. They left Chris with Matthew for company, again with strict instructions to not move from the couch.
"You crashed Rolf's motorcycle, his baby?" Chris asked incredulously as soon as the other two had left.
"Yeah, I guess I did."
"You are dead meat man."
"I know." Matthew sighed.
"Has he said anything yet?"
"No, I think he was too worried about me to think about the motorcycle. I don't even know what happened to it, how bad it is."
"What happened?"
"I don't know. I was going into a turn and the next thing I knew I was waking up in the ditch."
"You're lucky you didn't break anything."
"Maybe, maybe not. If I'd have broken something, that might have saved Rolf the trouble. Now he's going to feel the need to break something, more than likely my neck."
The guys continued talking and watching tv. Rolf and Joe came back and soon after, Joe and Chris left.
"I think it's time to get you to bed." Rolf said as he entered the family room.
"It's only eight! I'm not tired."
"You've had a long day. Here, go ahead and take this, it will help you sleep." Rolf handed Matthew a glass of water and one of the pain pills.
"Rol-"
"Take it. Trust me, you'll need it to help you sleep." Rolf said, hands on hips, waiting for Matthew to swallow the pill.
Matthew knew he wasn't going to get out of taking it, so he popped it in and swallowed the water. "Can I just lay here and watch tv for a while, please?"
"Sure, that'll be fine." Rolf said, knowing the pain medication would kick in soon enough.
Within thirty minutes, Matthew was sound asleep, snoring softly.
Rolf went upstairs and got the bed turned down, then went back and picked up Matthew, carrying him gently upstairs.
Matthew awoke enough to know he was in Rolf's arms, and cuddled deeper before falling back to sleep.
Rolf placed Matthew on the bed, undressed him and pulled the covers up. He sat for the longest time just staring at the love of his life, Matthew's face looking angelic in sleep. He realized how easily that this morning's kiss, made almost as an afterthought, could have been the last one he could have given Matthew in his lifetime. That the angelic face he was looking at could have been frozen for all eternity, etched on a bloodless, lifeless palette. Emotion welled in his throat, almost choking him, and a tear ran silently down his face. He made a silent vow to remember to show Matthew each and every day how much he cared, how much he loved him.
Matthew woke up at 7 am, groggy from the leftover medication in his bloodstream. He went to roll over, to cuddle against Rolf, and he moaned in pain.
Rolf immediately awoke, every fiber of his being aware of every nuance, movement, of the body lying next to his. "Morning sport, how are you?" He said quietly, turning quickly to look at Matthew's face.
"It huuuuuurts." Matthew said, tears welling in his eyes.
Rolf immediately got up and moved around to Matthew's side of the bed. He pulled the covers down and checked him from head to toe, finding a few bruises starting to show, and the ankle that was sprained a little swollen. "Does anything hurt in particular?"
"Nooooooooo, everything dooeeeeeeeees." Matthew cried.
"Let me go get you another pain pill." Rolf collected the pill and a glass of water from the bathroom and returned to Matthew's side. He helped him sit up just long enough to get the pill down. "You're just suffering from the force of your crash. Your muscles have stiffened while you slept, and it'll take a while to work the kinks back out. Don't worry, it's all normal, and the pain medication should help make that livable. If it doesn't, we'll call Dr. Drake, alright?"
"mmmhhhhhhmmm" Matthew muttered, trying to move to ease some of the pain. He moaned for about thirty minutes, before the medication kicked in and sent him back to dreamland.
Rolf called in to work, letting them know he wasn't coming in. He had his secretary drive over some drawings he was working on, and went to work in his office at home. He was constantly interrupted by a string of visitors wanting to check on Matthew, as well as an almost endless round of phone calls. He was also running up and down the stairs every fifteen minutes, making sure Matthew was still sleeping soundly and not in need of anything.
Around 2, Matthew woke up enough to realize that Rolf had left him with one of their two way radios. He punched the button and immediately Rolf answered.
"He lives! How are you?"
"Tired, sore, hungry, thirsty, in need of the bathroom."
"I'll be right up."
Rolf helped Matthew to the bathroom, then helped him downstairs, situating him on the couch. "Here's a glass of juice, I'll work on lunch. Soup sound good?"
"Only if it ISN'T chicken noodle."
"I think I can manage some of my world famous vegetable soup, coming right up." Rolf headed into the kitchen. The phone rang, Rolf handing it to Matthew.
It was Marc, checking in. "Fruitcake! Are you alright?"
"I'll live, I think."
"Don't joke like that! You scared me to death! I talked with Rolf yesterday and earlier today, and he said you were just bruised. You are very lucky."
"I know. EVERYONE keeps telling me that, but I don't seem to find myself so lucky. I mean, I crashed Rolf's bike, I'm sore, and he's going to kill me. I don't think that's lucky at all."
"Stop on the dramatics fruitcake. He cares for you, and he'll not kill you. Maim maybe, but not kill." Marc finished, laughing.
"At this particular moment in time, death sounds preferable." Matthew said, laughing as well.
"Rolf said he's keeping you home for a few days, so I guess our movie plans will have to be finished later. I've got to work tonight, I'll try to drop by and spend some time with you tomorrow."
"Thanks. I'll be going crazy by then I'm sure."
Matthew hung up the phone a few minutes later as Rolf brought him in a bowl of soup. Matthew polished off bowl number one, and was into bowl number two when sleep overtook him again. Rolf cleaned up from lunch, set an icepack on Matthew's ankle, and continued to work.
Matthew spent the rest of the day on the couch, only getting up a couple times with Rolf's help to go to the bathroom. At nine that evening, Rolf told Matthew it was time to get ready for bed.
Matthew again complained, but the complaints fell on deaf ears. Rolf went upstairs and drew a hot bubble bath before going to get Matthew. "Come on sport, I've got a hot bath for you upstairs." Rolf helped Matthew up the stairs and into the tub.
Matthew started to complain, but the hot water loosened his muscles, and Rolf's ministrations were sending shivers of delight up and down his spine.
Rolf took his time, gently massaging every inch of his lover's body. Matthew was lost somewhere in heaven, his eyes closed, gentle moans drawn from his lips occasionally when Rolf hit a particularly soothing spot. The water was near room temperature when Rolf rinsed the last bit of soap from Matthew's body.
Matthew was simply putty in Rolf's hands. His eyes remained closed as Rolf dried him with a big fluffy towel, gently massaging him again. Rolf ended up having to carry Matthew to bed, his legs simply refused to carry his weight.
Rolf again got the pain medication and a glass of water. Matthew wasn't ready yet for the medicine, and managed to make Rolf think he'd taken it, hiding it under his pillow. Matthew had plans for the evening, and didn't want to be asleep for them. "Just leave the glass there, I might be thirsty later."
Rolf headed back into the bathroom and cleaned it up, then shut the house down for the evening. He thought he'd find his lover asleep, but as soon as he climbed into bed, Matthew stirred, moving over and attaching himself to Rolf's side, gently tickling the older man.
"Sweetheart, I thought you'd be asleep. I really do-"
Rolf's admonishment was swallowed by Matthew's mouth on his, a deep, loving kiss.
Rolf could do nothing but respond in kind, the deep, fiery hot flames of a love renewed by a near death experience consuming them both.
A mind numbing hour later Matthew came to and managed to find the pain pill on the floor, using the leftover water to swallow it down. As he put the glass down, his body stretching fully to reach the nightstand, a not so gentle swat landed on his right cheek. "Brat" he heard, as he snuggled back into the warmth of Rolf's arms. "Only the best." he muttered in reply, before falling back down into the clutches of the sand man.
Matthew awoke Saturday morning, groggy and limp, but no longer quite so sore, mostly due to the hot bath and gentle ministrations from Rolf the night before. He reached out for Rolf, but found an empty bed. Then he caught some of the delicious smells wafting up the stairway. A few minutes later Rolf appeared.
"Morning love. How are you feeling today?"
Matthew looked up from under his long, dark lashes, flashing his eyes at Rolf. "Like a new man."
"I kind of liked the old one, the one who showed up last night." Rolf answered in reply.
"Oh, he's still here somewhere, care to take a look?"
"Later, love, later. The only thing I'd like to look for is a still hot breakfast, and I think we'll find that downstairs in the kitchen. Besides which, we need you to start moving around a bit more, see how the ankle is working."
Matthew sat up in bed, and with Rolf's help stood up. He stood for a moment, letting the dizziness pass.
"Are you alright?" Rolf asked.
"Yes, just a little fuzzy from the drugs. Let me see if I can put any weight on my foot." Matthew took a small step, Rolf holding tightly to his arm. "Ooooowwwww, it doesn't feel too good."
"It won't, and you shouldn't do a lot of walking, but you need to put some pressure on it here and there." Rolf helped Matthew downstairs to the table, having spread a huge breakfast out for the two of them.
Matthew was enjoying the attention Rolf was giving him. And the fact that he didn't have to do much of anything. But he kept wondering in the back of his mind when they were going to talk about the motorcycle, and the fact that Matthew took it without permission. He was afraid to bring up anything remotely connected to that, including the tickets that Rolf had promised him for next week. He was certain that whatever trip Rolf had planned would be cancelled as part of his punishment. The guilt lay heavily on him, but he couldn't bring himself to talk about it first, which is why he was taken completely by surprise when Rolf handed the tickets over at lunch.
"Las Vegas? For Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday next week?" Matthew asked incredulously.
"Yes, love. You worked hard this semester, and I thought you could use a couple days vacation to clear your mind of counting anything but quarters in slot machines."
"That's....that's great!"
"I wanted to wait and make sure you were alright to travel before I gave them to you. I figured we could reschedule if you weren't feeling up to it, but I don't think that'll be a problem."
"No, I should be fine in a couple days." Matthew replied excitedly.
Rolf cleaned up from lunch and went outside to do some yard work. Matthew remained inside watching tv. Several hours later, Matthew saw from the kitchen window a flatbed truck drive up. He gingerly walked over to the window to get a closer look. He saw the motorcycle on the flatbed at the same time that Rolf did.
"Oh _s_h_i_t_...._f_u_c_k_......" Matthew heard Rolf say, in what sounded like complete misery. Matthew just knew Rolf was devastated with the remains of his baby, his motorcycle. He burst into tears and fled to the sanctity of the couch, under a blanket. He was so upset with himself, hurting the man he loved so badly just because no one was around to entertain him a couple days ago. He sobbed in complete misery, feeling even more guilt because Rolf was still planning on taking him to Vegas, a trip Matthew felt he didn't deserve, ever.
Marc drove up, parking in the driveway. He saw the truck and went to investigate. He found Rolf staring at his motorcycle, a look of horror on his face. He too assumed Rolf was thinking of the bike. He gently said "They didn't total it?"
Rolf kept his eyes on the bike. "No."
The truck driver laid the faring and the front tire on the ground next to the bike and quickly got into his truck and drove off.
"_d_a_m_n_." Rolf uttered, for the tenth time.
Marc was shocked with Rolf's language, and upset with Matthew for ruining Rolf's favorite toy. "I still can't believe he did that. He knew it was against the rules." Rolf said nothing, still staring at the bike. Marc ventured another comment. "Can it be fixed?"
Rolf finally awoke from his trance and looked at Marc. "Yes, it can be. Looking at the mess of the bike, it just reminded me how incredibly lucky Matthew was, how lucky we are, not to have lost him. I don't care about the bike, I'm just glad he's alright."
Rolf started checking the motorcycle out while Marc headed indoors, intent on finding his friend. He yelled when he entered the kitchen and heard a muffled reply from the family room.
Matthew quickly tried to clean his face, he didn't want any questions from Marc on his appearance.
Marc found Matthew on the couch, seeing a slightly red face and watery eyes. "What's wrong?" He said, sitting down next to him.
"Oh, nothing." Matthew replied nonchalantly.
"Your face...it looks like you've been crying." Marc pressed.
"Oh. No, no crying, I think it's just allergies. I finished sneezing a few minutes before you came in. Something's in the air." Matthew made that smooth lie sound surprisingly truthful.
"Yeah, I know what you mean. I've been sneezing too. How is the rest of you? Your ankle alright?"
"Yeah, it's still tender, but I can walk on it now. The aches and pains are still here, but livable. Don't think I need any more of that pain medication, boy it sends me for a loop!"
Marc stayed for about an hour, Rolf having remained outside and working on the bike. He left, promising to take Matthew to a movie sometime soon.
As soon as Marc left, Matthew's mood slipped into the dumps again. It wasn't long after that Rolf came in, looking for Matthew.
"Sport, where are you?" Rolf yelled.
"Downstairs!"
Rolf went down and found Matthew watching a movie. "How did you get down here by yourself?"
"It's easy to hop down, it's the up part I'll have trouble with."
"Could you turn the tv off for a moment?"
Matthew immediately got the sinking feeling in his stomach, certain that Rolf now wanted to discuss his bike. He paused the tape and muted the tv. "Why?" He ventured uncertainly.
"I wanted to ask you about the burned area, out in the back yard. Know anything about that?"
Matthew's eyes immediately hit the floor, telling Rolf the answer before Matthew spoke. "Yeah, that was...me." Matthew looked up at Rolf. "The book store didn't take my book, so I told them I'd have more fun burning it......so I did. Things got a little out of control, but I got the fire out, no damage other than to the grass. I'm...sorry." Matthew wisely left out the part about the gasoline.
Rolf looked down at Matthew with exasperation. "Matthew, what am I going to do with you? That was dangerous! You and fire don't go together. Don't you EVER do that again, is that clear?"
"Yes, sir." Matthew said penitently.
"Next weekend, you can spend Saturday AND Sunday helping me in the gardens as punishment. I hear one complaint about that, and you'll be helping with a sore tail."
Matthew groaned inwardly. Gardening was NOT one of his passions, as Rolf well knew. "Yes, sir." When Rolf turned to leave, Matthew breathed a sigh of relief, mixed with guilt. Still no mention of the bike.
Rolf went upstairs to prepare dinner. His thoughts were a million miles away, as were Matthew's. The evening meal was conducted mostly in silence, each person wrapped up in their own thoughts. Rolf did the clean up, then headed into his office to work on some drawings. Matthew tried to watch tv but couldn't get interested in much of anything. Finally at 8 he'd had enough. He rummaged in the bathroom until he found the pain medication and took one. He wanted simply to slip into dreamless, numbing sleep, get away from his feelings of misery.
Rolf found Matthew sound asleep, fully dressed and lying across the bed. He tried to wake Matthew up but was unsuccessful. He went into the bathroom and found that Matthew had taken one of the pain pills, even after Matthew had professed that he'd taken the last one he wanted the night before. He hoped the pain would subside for him soon. He managed to get Matthew undressed and put to bed, and he joined him soon after.
Sunday the guys spent mostly apart again, Rolf working aroundthe yard or doing things around the house, Matthew lounging on the couch or wandering slowly around the house. Matthew was still wrapped in self pity, Rolf moving between anger at himself for the kickstand not having been fixed, to the simple fact that Matthew had been injured.
Eric stopped by to see how the guys were doing late Sunday afternoon. Not fifteen minutes later, Marc came by as well. He and Matthew went downstairs to play Nintendo, leaving Eric and Rolf upstairs in the kitchen.
"I see Matthew is doing much better. That's great to see."
"Yeah, he's almost back to one hundred percent, though he still favors that ankle a bit." Rolf replied in answer to Eric's comment.
"Have you had your 'conversation' yet with him?" Eric asked gently, knowing that would be a sore subject.
Rolf sighed, shaking his head. "No. I can't Eric, I simply can't. He could have died -"
"Which is why you need to remind him to follow the rules!" Eric interrupted with. This didn't sound like the same Rolf he knew.
"I thought about it, when he got better, but I don't think I could make myself do that to him."
"Rolf, I can't believe you're saying that. He broke the rules. The rules you have in place to protect him. Are you saying then that it's okay, I won't punish because the worst case scenario, the reason BEHIND the rule, happened?"
"No, I'm not saying that at all. It's jus-"
Eric's radio buzzed, asking him to report to an attempted robbery down the street. "Sorry, I've got to run. Think about what I said." Eric took off quickly, leaving Rolf sitting at the table deep in thought.
Marc was trying to engage Matthew in a racing game but Matthew was morose, not at all inclined to step out of his self pity. Marc tried everything he could but Matthew said no to everything and his mood left him short with Marc. Finally Marc gave up and went home, planning on calling Matthew the next day when he HAD to be feeling better.
Rolf went downstairs after Marc left. "Hey sport. I've got a long day at the office tomorrow, getting things in place before we leave Tuesday. Think we should go ahead and start packing tonight, what do you think?"
"Whatever." Matthew replied without enthusiasm.
"What happened to that 'I can't wait to leave' attitude you usually have?"
"I'm just not feeling well right now." Matthew felt fine, physically, it was emotionally that he was sliding downhill with.
"Is there anything I can do? Aspirin? I'd rather you not take another pain pill, you shouldn't be needing them now."
"No. I'll be alright. Just want to rest."
Rolf left Matthew and went to start packing for the both of them. Dinner was another quiet affair, with Matthew pleading tiredness and retreating to the bedroom again. He tried to find the pain medication, but Rolf had hidden it from him. He grabbed for the antihistamines instead, knowing they knocked him out just as well. He took those and soon fell asleep.
Rolf tried to awaken Matthew in the morning to say goodbye, but all he got was a mumbled response. Matthew was still drugged pretty good, though Rolf thought nothing of it.
Matthew finally rolled out of bed around ten that morning. He stumbled downstairs, still feeling the effects of the antihistamines. Around eleven, the phone rang. "Hello?"
"Hello yourself. Feeling better today?" Marc asked.
"Not really. I only got up an hour ago, and I'm still feeling sleepy."
"Fruitcake, that's not like you. Are you SURE you're okay?"
Matthew sat in silence for a couple seconds, trying to figure out whether or not he wanted to say anything. Finally he decided he'd at least say something. "I just feel so bad about Rolf's bike. I wish I had the money to fix it."
"You ARE going to Las Vegas tomorrow, maybe you'll be lucky."
"Yeah, maybe." Matthew replied.
After lunch, Rolf called. He asked if Matthew would finish the packing, and get the house in order so that they could leave. Matthew pretty much mumbled through his conversation, not at all interested in doing anything for the trip he didn't think he deserved.
Rolf was worried about him when he hung up.
It wasn't until later on that afternoon that Marc's offhand comment started to register with Matthew. The more he thought about it, the better it sounded. He didn't think he deserved to go on the trip, but if he could win the money and fix the bike, then it would be worth it. He started to get excited. By five he was in his normal state of extreme excitement, bouncing off the walls. He couldn't stand it any longer and called Rolf. "Hey! When are you coming home?"
"Not for a while yet sweetheart. I have a lot more to wrap up before we leave. Your accident put me behind a little bit."
"Well...hurry! HURRY. We've got to make sure we have everything, we've got to be out of the house so early tomorrow morning!"
"I know! I'm hurrying. Promise. See you soon." Rolf hung up, extremely pleased to see the real Matthew return in full force, though that spoke of possible danger of being bounced on, into, or over.
Matthew remained flying high late into the evening, not even being brought to earth by threats of a spanking for not settling down to sleep. Rolf finally had to physically put Matthew in bed, then lay down and hold him still until he fell asleep.
For Tuesday, Rolf had planned several small sight seeing jaunts, followed by dinner and a show. Matthew had to wait until the next day before he could start the serious gambling. He started off slow, having some luck here and there. Rolf had as usual given him a limit to spend. They separated for a bit in the casino, and Matthew quickly ran over to the card tables, intending on doubling his money quickly, then again. The cards didn't cooperate. He ended up with only five dollars left. He looked around for Rolf, finding him at the dollar slot machines. Rolf put three dollar coins in, and won eighty dollars.
"WOW! You're lucky! Can I have some of that?"
"No, sport, that's mine. What happened to your money?"
"I lost most of it. Only have $5 left. Please, can't I have some of your winnings? I mean, it IS winnings, not what you started with." Matthew pleaded, anxious to get the winnings needed to fix the bike.
"I said no, and I mean no. This is *my* fun money. Why don't you just sit back and watch me win some more?"
Matthew was in full pout mode. "No, what fun is that?"
"Would you rather be sitting in the hotel room?" Rolf asked, getting tired of his brat's attitude.
"Noooooo." Matthew whined.
"Then quit that whining. Gambling is supposed to be fun, and you should never count on winning. It's simply great luck if you do."
"But -"
"Matthew, that's enough."
Matthew sat down in a huff on the chair next to Rolf and watched silently for a few minutes. Then he realized *he* still had the ATM card. He hopped up with a quick "I've got my $5, I'll be back in a bit." and was gone.
Rolf continued playing, adding to his winnings another $50 as soon as Matthew had left.
Matthew went directly to the ATM machine and withdrew $100. He figured he could come up with some excuse about the charge, but that probably wouldn't matter as he was planning on winning. He took his $100 and wandered over to the hi roller slot machines and watched in awe as some lady was playing the $10 slots. She put in $50, losing the first four times, but winning on the fifth, $1,500. Matthew stood for a few minutes, then wandered over to watch a gentleman who had just sat down. Matthew about choked when he saw the guy was going to play on a $100 slot machine! The guy put one coin in, and hit the cheapest bet, $1,500 for ONE cherry showing up on the line! He got fifteen times what he bet! One pull! Matthew went quickly over to the cage and changed in his paper money for one $100 coin. He ran back over to the machine and stood for several minutes, thoughts of not only fixing Rolf's bike, but buying a whole NEW one racing through his head. Finally he screwed up his courage, and dropped the coin in the slot. He slowly reached up, certain all his problems were going to be solved. He pulled gently on the arm of the machine, finally bringing it far enough down that it sent the wheels spinning. Matthew quickly let loose of the handle and covered his eyes. The machine was a quiet one, so he waited a second or two for when he was certain the wheels had stopped spinning. Ever so slowly he cracked his fingers open, about to burst at the seams with an excited yell. The yell died on his lips as he realized that he hadn't won anything. How could that be? He was certain he was going to win. He tried the handle again, certain it hadn't even spun. The handle was locked into place, the game over, $100 lost in one spin. Matthew stood in shock for a moment, until he just about hit the ceiling when a heavy hand landed on his shoulder.
"Sport? Woooooooaaahhh. Sorry, I didn't mean to scare you. What were you doing? Wishing?"
Matthew tried valiantly to hold back the tears threatening to fall, and calm his heart rate at the same time.
"Have you landed yet? Sport?" Rolf was waving his hand in front of Matthew, trying to get his attention.
"S..sorry. I was just im..imagining winning with one pull. I saw a guy do that earlier. $100 turned into $1,500, one pull. Awesome."
"Not bad. Come on, I need to change this in, too heavy to carry." Rolf had a bucketful of the dollar coins.
"How much is that?"
"Oh, I'd say about $150 I think. Did pretty good on $20, didn't I?"
"Yeah. Much better than my $50. Hey, since you only spent $20, can I have your other $30?"
"No, I think we're done for the night. We've got a show over at Treasure Island. Remember? Cirque is playing tonight, and I know how much you wanted to see them."
"Oh...yeah." Matthew trailed along behind Rolf, more miserable as Rolf's winnings actually were closer to $200. He knew Rolf wouldn't allow them back into the casino until tomorrow, and then only for a short time as their flight was due to leave at 2pm. He was going to have to try again tomorrow.
Matthew's mood was lifted somewhat by the show. Cirque Du Soleil always did a great job, totally amazing all audience members with their costumes and feats of magic, movement, and tricks. Matthew remained entranced by the show, and then had no time to feel badly as he almost instantly fell asleep as the curtain descended. Rolf had to half carry Matthew up to their room.
The next day, Matthew awoke on a mission. Rolf was certain that mission was to completely make him lose his mind.
"Rolf, come ON, we have GOT to get out there and play, it's too close to time to leave!" Matthew was tugging at Rolf's arm, trying to get him out of bed.
"Sport, let me sleep. We'll have time." Rolf said sleepily.
"NO! We mus-"
Matthew found himself pulled tightly across the bed, and a large steel hand landed across his upturned bottom. "Ow!"
"That wasn't a flat out no I just heard was it?" Rolf growled.
Matthew was in no position to argue. "No. Not a flat out no. It was a come on please no."
"I didn't know there were different kinds of no. When I say no, I mean no."
"I know. No. I really do know there are more no's in the book than you know about." Matthew stated matter of factly.
Rolf closed his eyes and willed his head to quit spinning. Matthew had a way with words that left him senseless some days.
"Can I get up now?" Matthew ventured.
Rolf pulled Matthew back into bed, smothering him in a bear hug. "No."
"Is that a no no or -"
Matthew's words were cut off as Rolf's lips descended on his, the only way Rolf could think to quiet his little one.
Matthew didn't argue, kissing back feverishly.
It wasn't until close to eleven that the guys were ready to leave. They packed their bags and gave them to the bellboy to hold until the flight was ready to leave. While Matthew had been picking up some clothes, the $200 that Rolf had won fell out of his jacket pocket. Matthew fought with himself about taking it. The overriding thoughts were of fixing his earlier mistakes. He was able to gloss over the fact he was stealing because his intentions were good. He pocketed the money.
When they arrived in the casino, Rolf took another $100 out and gave half to Matthew. "Did you want to play together?"
Matthew looked up, wanting to stay, but knowing he had to do this quickly and quietly. "No. You seemed to have better luck when I wasn't around. Besides, if I played the dollar slots, I'd be done in five minutes. I'll go do the cheap stuff." Matthew took off, pangs of guilt twisting his stomach. He waited until he saw Rolf settle down at a machine to take off to the hi end stuff. He sat down and played on some dollar slots himself, running out of his $50 by lunchtime. He'd had several small pots, but ended up losing that as he tried to make more. He was going to have to dip into the $200 he took from Rolf's jacket. He wanted to throw up.
"Hey sport. Want to do the buffet for lunch?"
Matthew's heart sank more as Rolf was trying to do everything he could to assure that he was happy and having a great time. He barely managed an answer, and it wasn't the one he wanted to give. "No, that would take too long. Besides, I'm not really hungry."
"Sweetheart, you should eat something. I thought for sure you'd want to do the buffet."
Matthew had to dig really deep to put a smile on his face and turn to face Rolf. "I can grab something later if I'm hungry. Take it on the plane." He changed his tone. "Pleeeeeeeeeease, can't I keep playing? I'm doing pretty good here." He looked deep into Rolf's eyes, his heart threatening to break as he lied. He wasn't sure whether he wanted Rolf to say go ahead and play, or no, so he could lose the guilt. Rolf was again nice.
"Go ahead and play. I'm going to grab a sandwich, we'll make sure we get you something before we leave. Good luck." With that Rolf turned and walked down the floor to one of the cafes along the way.
Matthew watched, the smile fading quickly from his face, the guilt laying heavily on him. He did what he could to box up those feelings and turn the $200 in for coins. He just HAD to win. It was imperative. He kept an eye on the clock, knowing he had less than an hour to win. As the time drew nearer and nearer, he kept trying to move from machine to machine, both to increase his luck and keep Rolf from finding him. He was becoming frantic. He was down to $20 of the original $250 he started out the day with. He moved again to another dollar machine. He stuck a few coins in and won $25. He quickly stuck a few more coins in and hit again, this time $200! His luck was finally turning! Just then a hand landed on his shoulder.
"Congratulations! Nice win." Rolf said, ruffling Matthew's hair.
"I know! I've finally found the right machine!"
"Too bad it's come so late. Sorry sport, but if we don't leave now, we're going to be late for boarding."
Matthew looked quickly at his watch. It was quarter to one. "We've got at least 45 minutes!" He kept shoving coins in and pulling the handle.
"No love, we don't. We've got 15 minutes to make it to the airport. We've got to be there at least an hour in advance, they prefer longer than that. Come on, cash out, we need to get that back into paper or they won't let us on the plane."
Matthew felt the noose tightening around his neck. "No. Please. I've got to keep playing."
Matthew went to stick more coins in, and Rolf's hand came down and hit the cash out button. The coins started clinking into the tray.
"Nooooooooooooooo." Matthew cried, trying to stop the flow.
Rolf turned Matthew to face him. "What has gotten into you? You act as if you HAD to win."
"You don't understand!" Matthew cried, very near tears and about to lose it.
Rolf saw how distraught Matthew was and knew he was close to either losing his temper or crying, neither of which Rolf could handle at the moment. He tightened his grip on his arms and forced Matthew to look at him, lowering his voice into the warning tone Matthew knew so well. "See that wall over there? You are to go over there and wait for me. Understood?"
"B. b.but-"
"NOW." Rolf turned Matthew around and directed him with a discreet swat towards the wall. He finished pulling the coins out and exchanged them for paper money.
Matthew stood by the wall, hot tears of shame and sorrow barely held back. He knew the day was over. He had NO money to pay for Rolf's bike and he was devastated.
Rolf walked over to Matthew and raised his face up. The tears rolled down Matthew's face. Rolf smiled gently and wiped them away. "Come on sport. I'm not mad."
Matthew struggled on the walk to the taxi to hold back his emotions, but as soon as he was seated in the cab with Rolf, he burst into tears, burying his face against Rolf's neck.
"Sweetheart, what is it? I'm not mad at you, what has gotten you so upset?"
Matthew only cried harder as Rolf was trying to be too nice. He cried the entire trip to the airport, Rolf trying everything he could to calm him down. Finally Matthew wore himself out and was left trying to catch his breath.
Rolf set Matthew down in a chair and quickly got their luggage checked in and the flight confirmed, then walked Matthew to the restroom to clean up. He tried talking to Matthew, but got no response from him. Rolf didn't want to upset Matthew more, so he remained quiet, just being there for him.
They boarded the plane. About halfway though the flight, Matthew not having said a word, looking completely miserable, Rolf tried to give him the money he'd won. "Here sport. This is your winnings, thought you'd like to have them."
Matthew's eyes teared up at the sight of the money.
Rolf noticed that. There wasn't anyone immediately around them. Something was seriously wrong with Matthew and he was going to get to the bottom of it. He took Matthew's chin in his hand and brought his face around to look him in the eyes. "Please sweetheart, tell me what has gotten you so upset. You know you can tell me anything."
Matthew tried to move his head but Rolf's hand wouldn't allow it. Big tears rolled silently down his face as he tried to find the words. He noticed a stewardess moving towards them, and turned away quickly, ashamed.
"Is he alright, sir?" Said a sweet voice.
Rolf turned towards the stewardess. "Yes, just a little tired is all. You have any extra pillows or blankets?"
She reached up into the overhead and pulled down both. "Here you go."
"Thank you ma'am." Rolf turned and got Matthew situated with the blanket and pillow, and watched as he drifted into sleep quickly. He awoke Matthew when they had stopped at the gate.
Upon arriving home, Matthew immediately tried to disappear into his room, alone.
Rolf followed. "Matthew, we need to talk. You've barely eaten anything today and you look miserable. I want to know what's bothering you or if I need to call the doctor."
Matthew landed face down on his pillow. "Go 'way."
"No. Not until you tell me what's going on." Rolf pulled Matthew up by his arm and sat down next to him on the bed. "Crying as much as you did about leaving Las Vegas is not exactly normal, and I want to know what it was about."
Rolf waited, Matthew remained silent.
"Alright, we'll start with twenty questions. How old are you?"
Matthew continued looking at the floor.
"What's your mother's maiden name? Are you gay or straight? Married or divorced? Male or female?"
Matthew tried not to crack a smile, but Rolf could usually do it. "Stop it, it's not funny!" Matthew mumbled, before tears started anew.
"No you're right, this isn't funny." He took Matthew's chin and looked deep into his eyes. "One sentence answer to a simple question. I love you and feel helpless that I can't help. Tell me so that I may at least try. What is wrong?"
The love that Rolf felt was unmistakable by Matthew. He dissolved into tears, burying his face in Rolf's neck, saying over and over "I wrecked your bike, your baby."
Rolf could only hold and rock Matthew, rubbing his back and cooing softly into his ear, waiting for him to calm down enough to try conversation again. He was shocked by Matthew's admission, he thought the accident had long been forgotten. Guilt ripped through Rolf as he realized again that Eric was right, this should have been dealt with quickly. Matthew was awash in guilt, something that Rolf could have taken away sooner if he hadn't been so wrapped up in his own guilt over the kickstand not being fixed.
Matthew had a death grip around Rolf's neck, and it took Rolf a few moments of gentle tugging to get Matthew to loosen enough so they could talk. "Sweetheart, the bike is repairable."
"You were devastated when the bike was delivered, I saw you.....and heard you." Matthew sobbed.
Rolf thought back to the day it was delivered. "You read that all wrong. I wasn't upset that the bike was in a shambles. Seeing that bike scared me all over again. Seeing the bike reminded me how much it would have hurt if you would have been seriously injured or killed in that accident." Rolf took Matthew's wet chin in his hand. "I was worried more about you."
Matthew wasn't yet ready to release the guilt. "Rolf, that was SUCH a mistake I made."
Rolf wanted to be truthful. "Yes, it was. And I made one as well."
"You?" Matthew looked hard and deep into Rolf's eyes, not used to hearing Rolf admit to mistakes and certainly not in the middle of a discussion about such a huge one that he had made.
"Yes, I overlooked something. Something I think that could have saved us both a lot of heartache."
"What?" Matthew asked, intrigued and afraid.
"Your punishment."
Matthew's eyes dropped down and he replied with all his feelings on his sleeve. "I deserve it."
"We should have discussed it immediately. You broke a rule, a rule I laid down to protect you. You aren't experienced enough to drive the motorcycle on your own, and I think you now see what can happen." Rolf waited for Matthew's nod of assent. "It took a good friend to point that out to me, yet I still didn't listen. I was too wrapped up in the fact that you could have been seriously injured or killed to think about punishment. I want to apologize for that. I am so-"
"Rolf, please don't" Matthew choked on the tears that welled up again.
"Why?" Rolf asked, surprised.
"I don't deserve your apology."
"Yes, you do. I was –"
"I stole from you and lied to you."
"That's what we're discussing, isn't it?"
Matthew took a deep, shuddering breath. "It's not the bike. It was money. In Vegas."
"What?" Rolf said, shocked.
"I wanted to win the money to buy or fix up your bike. It seemed so easy. I kept seeing other people do it. But.....but I kept losing." Matthew ended on a whimper.
All of Matthew's behavior since the accident now made perfect sense. "That's a really sweet thought, but not the best way to go about getting money, you know that." Rolf admonished tenderly.
"I'm sorry." Matthew muttered in despair.
"What, exactly, happened in Vegas?"
Matthew turned his face away from Rolf, shame burning his cheeks. "I lost the money you gave me on the first day. I knew we wouldn't have much time the next. So I........I took the ATM card and took $100 out. I lost that too."
"And...." Rolf trailed off, sensing more.
"And.....the next morning your winnings fell out of your pocket. I took that $200 as well." Matthew immediately dove for cover in Rolf's neck, unable to stand what he thought were Rolf's accusing eyes.
Rolf wouldn't let Matthew hide this time. He gently peeled Matthew from his body and looked deeply into his eyes. "I'm disappointed Matthew. Disappointed that you'd take money from me, even if you thought you were doing something good with it."
The look of misery on Matthew's face was heart wrenching.
"We need to discuss your punishment, both for taking the bike and for stealing the money. I'm not going to spank you for taking the bike, it's been a little too long for that, but I think you owe me some help. You're going to spend time with me to put it back together, both in working for the parts, and actually helping me to rebuild it. That means you'll lose some weekends to help, and I don't want to hear a word of complaint if I choose to work on the bike. Understood?"
Matthew was ready for that, and eager to help. "Yes, sir." He said clearly, the misery lifting slightly from his face.
Relief was evident in Rolf's reply. "Thank you love. We'll get the bike in better shape than it was, and put this incident right behind us."
Matthew hugged Rolf as his response.
"Now. About the money in Vegas."
Matthew's stomach started to hurt. This was going to be the rough issue.
Rolf felt Matthew tense up. "I don't usually like our discussions to be carried over to another day, but you've had a very long and tiring one. I'm going to make us something quick for dinner, then you're going directly to bed. We'll finish our discussion about the money tomorrow morning." Rolf moved Matthew from his lap to the bed and went downstairs to being dinner preparations.
Matthew breathed a small sigh of relief. He knew exactly how the discussion would end tomorrow, and didn't look forward to it all. But he felt much better now that they had talked about the accident.
Dinner was a somber affair, though not tense. As soon as Matthew finished, he cleaned up and found Rolf in the living room. He wormed his way between the newspaper and Rolf, and cuddled for a few minutes, comfortable and satisfied in the arms of his lover. He spoke softly against Rolf's chest, his fingers making lazy circles across the blue shirt. "I'm sorry about everything."
"I know."
"I'm glad we finally talked about it."
"I am too. I didn't realize how much baggage you were carrying around about that." Rolf said softly, caressing the hair out of Matthew's face. "I'm very glad that you at least remembered enough to put on your leathers before you went riding."
"I almost didn't. I got on the bike and it flashed through my mind what you said about taking the skin off if the bike didn't."
"Maybe I should make that a part of every reminder?"
"NO!" Matthew shuddered. "I mean, you don't have to get that serious about EVERYTHING. I understand now why you were serious about that."
Rolf laughed quietly, and they sat in silence for several long minutes. "I think it's time you went to bed sport."
Matthew hugged Rolf tightly, and stole a kiss before getting up. "Goodnight."
"Sweet dreams." Rolf watched his lover climb the stairs and disappear from view.
Matthew climbed into bed and quickly fell asleep. He was unaware of Rolf coming to bed later, and unaware when Rolf got up the next morning. He only awoke as a feather soft kiss brushed his lips.
"Good morning my love."
"Mmmmhhhhmmmmm." Matthew barely stirred, but it was evident he wanted another kiss.
Rolf said down by Matthew's feet. "I'm over here now." He said, laughing.
Matthew actually got his mouth awake enough to mumble "Rooooolf, kiiiiisssssss."
"Nooooooo. You come here." Matthew had yet to open his eyes.
Rolf pulled the covers off and kissed the top of Matthew's foot, eliciting a soft moan. He then kissed halfway up the calf muscle. Then the knew.
Matthew couldn't take any more and sat upright, trying to grab Rolf.
"Oh good, you're awake. Breakfast is ready."
"You're mean."
"Not me." Rolf said with injured innocence. "Only hungry for a warm breakfast. Come on."
Matthew slowly stood up, rubbing the sleep from his eyes. He stumbled down the stairs after Rolf and landed softly in the kitchen chair. Rolf had thoughtfully prepared a huge spread, knowing Matthew would be hungry after not eating much the day before. After they had finished, Matthew cleaned the up the kitchen. He then situated himself in Rolf's lap, getting in the way of the morning paper. "Are we doing something fun today since you're off work?"
Rolf wanted to say yes, but there was something else on the agenda first. "We need to finish our discussion about stealing."
Matthew's stomach dropped. He wriggled a little and tried to bury his face into Rolf's shoulder. He wasn't ready for this.
"No love, this is not the time for cuddling. I want you to go get the paddle."
Matthew's eyes got wide and he looked with Bambi eyes at Rolf. "The p..paddle?" he stuttered, the word twisting his insides until they hurt.
"Yes, the paddle. Stealing is a VERY serious offense, and it will be punished as such."
"But I did it because I was trying to help! And I ended up only taking $100 out of our account, not REALLY stealing. I gave you back the other $200!" Matthew's voice got quieter as he used the last excuse he could come up with. "I was just trying to help."
Rolf was unmoved. "You are not Robin Hood, and the goodness behind the thought has NEVER been a reason to steal in the first place. I'll not ask you again, and if I have to get it....." Rolf allowed his voice to trail off.
Matthew knew that implacable tone well, and knew he'd better get the paddle himself. He slowly slid to the floor and walked over to where it was hanging. He walked back slower still, not at all interested in getting to Rolf. Just then the phone rang. Matthew reached for it, relieved for the distraction, but was brought up short.
"SIT DOWN." Rolf said as he went to answer the phone. "Hello? Oh, hi Marc."
Matthew went to stand up, but dropped immediately back down when Rolf thundered "SIT!"
"No Marc. Sorry, I didn't mean to scream in your ear. Matthew and I are in the middle of a discussion, he'll call you in a few days." Rolf quickly hung up the phone and brought his attention back to his wayward brat.
Matthew shuddered inside when he was pinned with those eyes of steel. Rolf had a way of capturing him with that stare, making is seem as if he and Rolf were the only two people in the middle of a vast, empty dessert. Like the eagle and a mouse, the hunter and the hunted.
Rolf held out his hand for the paddle, which Matthew slowly relinquished. Once Rolf had the paddle, he raised Matthew from the chair by his arm, sat down himself, and deftly placed Matthew across his knees. Matthew's shorts were quickly lowered, and were soon on the floor as Matthew tried in vain to find leverage or move from his vulnerable position. He was already offering promises of never again before the first swat of the paddle landed.
When that first swat landed, it brought an immediate howl from Matthew. Rolf was all business and kept that paddle snapping firmly down, a slow steady rhythm quickly building up the heat.
Matthew sobbed and howled, cried and pleaded, ultimately losing his voice as he needed the air to breath. He tried all kinds of movement, but Rolf had him held firmly in place and continued to thoroughly punish Matthew's backside with the paddle.
He continued with the paddle, making circuit after circuit over the mounds of flesh on his lap. Once the flesh was a uniform shade of sizzling crimson, he stopped.
Matthew continued to kick, trying to relieve some of the fire Rolf had set to his backside. When Rolf tried to get him to stand, he collapsed to his knees on the floor, wrapping his arms around Rolf and burying his face in his lap. He was beyond crying, instead drawing in deep and shuddering breaths.
Rolf gently caressed Matthew's back, calming him down. When Matthew had calmed down enough, Rolf pulled him up and directed him to the corner.
Matthew leaned his hot face against the cool wall and broke into fresh tears. Those tears quieted to sobs, then he just sulked. It seemed like Rolf was leaving him there for the day. Just when he reached screaming point, Rolf called him.
"Sweetheart, come here."
Matthew turned and walked over to Rolf who was standing in the doorway. He got a long hug from his much taller lover. "Do you forgive me?" he whispered into Rolf's chest.
"Of course I forgive you. I love you." Rolf said tenderly.
"I love you too." Matthew replied, happy in the arms of his lover.
~The End~

Copyright Rolf 2010

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