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Chapter 1

"Doctor, he's coming around." the nurse said into the phone beside my bed.

"Yes, yes. I'll hurry." she said quickly, then hung up the phone.

I tried to sit up, but couldn't seem to move. So I turned my head to follow the nurse and watched her as she tugged on the straps on my wrists and ankles.

She walked toward the door and paused to look at a large uniformed police officer with his hand resting on the gun in his holster.

"I'm sorry ma'am... Orders." the officer said with sincere apology in his voice.

The nurse gave an ironic chuckle before whispering so low that I barely heard, "Personally, I'd feel a lot better if you'd kill the son-of-a-bitch. But it's not up to me, now is it?"

"No ma'am. We're just doing our jobs." the officer said with a note of regret as he glanced at me and seemed to take more of a grip on his gun when he saw me watching.

Then in a louder voice directed at me, she said, "The doctor will be right with you. Don't go anywhere."

* * * * *

"Well Jason, how are you feeling today?" a doctor asked as he walked into my room.

I pondered the words for a moment and considered.


It sounded right.

I don't think I would have known my name if he had asked me, but since he said it, I'm pretty sure that that's it.

When I broke out of my mental wandering, he was looking at me quizzically, waiting for an answer.

"Oh, I'm sorry doctor. I'm feeling fine, I guess." I said as I considered how I was feeling.

"Any dizziness, nausea, headache?" he asked, more to his clipboard than to me.

"No, I feel kind of spacey and I'm having a little trouble with my memory." I said carefully.

"Oh really?" he asked, as he looked up from his clipboard and devoted his full attention to me.

"Yeah. Before you said my name, I didn't remember it and... I don't really know where I am or what I'm doing here." I said hesitantly, watching for his reaction.

"Excellent! Just try to relax for a bit longer, while I order the tests that I'm going to need. I think this is a good sign, a very good sign..." He was still saying as he walked out of the room.

I lay there and puzzled over what few facts that I had to work with, but I finally decided that I didn't have enough to make sense of whatever was happening.

The nurse walked in and looked at me with disgust.

She placed a syringe on the tray beside my bed and pulled on some latex gloves.

Then she turned to the police officer and quietly asked, "Could you leave me alone with him for about two minutes?"

"As much as I'd like to, I have my orders." the officer said, in a low voice.

After a moment, the nurse picked up the syringe again and muttered, "Pity."

The police officer nodded his agreement and watched as the nurse plunged the needle into my arm.

I winced at the sudden jab and fought to keep from screaming.

"Oh, did that hurt?" She asked with a smirk as she drew my blood up into the syringe.

I didn't make a move, afraid that any reaction from me would cause her to mistreat me even more.

"Good." She said with satisfaction, then withdrew the needle with a jerk.

"The doctor can see to the rest of it himself. There's no way I'm going to be in the room when they release those restraints." The nurse said, as she walked toward the door.

"They're going to release him?" the police officer asked in astonishment.

"The doctor wants an MRI and he'll have to be released for something like that." She said as she paused at the officer's side.

"I'm going to call for some backup then. We're not letting this one get away." the officer said, as he pulled the radio off his belt.

"If you would have let me have those two minutes, you wouldn't have to worry about it." the nurse said coldly, then walked out of the room.

The officer keyed his radio, then said, "This is Morgan. I'm going to need two more officers down here at the psych ward for guard duty."

A moment later the radio responded with something that sounded like static to me, but I guess it made sense to him because he seemed satisfied with the response.

The police officer stood silently with his hand on his gun, as if daring me to make a move.

I rested back and closed my eyes as I tried to draw up any memories to explain the situation that I was in.

* * * * *

"Oh, what I would give to have nurses who actually understood what I'm trying to accomplish." the doctor said, in a tone of long suffering as he walked back into the room.

Since he had been the nicest person I'd met so far, I decided to take a chance and ask, "What are you trying to accomplish?"

The doctor smiled at me and said, "I'm trying to correct a very serious neurological condition which has had some unfortunate side effects. Unless I miss my guess, my new therapy may have done the trick."

"Great." I said weakly, not really knowing anything more than before I asked.

"I'm going to take you down to the first floor, so we can do an MRI on you. Do you remember what that is?" the doctor asked, as he moved behind me where I couldn't see him.

"Magnetic resonance imaging. You put me in a machine and it takes pictures, like thin slides of my insides." I said carefully, but I didn't really know how I knew it.

"Can you remember if you've ever had the procedure done?" the doctor asked curiously, as he started checking to see that all my restraints were fastened tightly.

I searched my memory, but couldn't see past the fog that seemed to have fallen over my mind.

"No. I can't remember." I said distantly.

"Good. That's just as it should be." the doctor said happily, then started to push my bed toward the door.

"I'm sorry doctor, but I need to wait for backup before I can let you take him out of the room." the police officer said firmly.

"Well get them here. He may only be stable for a few minutes and I need to get these readings." the doctor said impatiently.

"They should be here any minute." the officer said without emotion, letting it be known with his expression that he wasn't in the mood to argue about it.

"Are you still feeling alright?" the doctor asked, as he came around the side of the bed where I could see him.

"Yeah. I'm still feeling spacey, but I'm not in pain." I said carefully.

"Good. You let me know immediately if you have any discomfort at all, no matter how minor." the doctor said firmly.

"Um, does that include what the nurse did to my arm just now?" I asked quietly.

The doctor glanced at my arm for a moment, then said, "I'm sorry about that. I'll do what I can to find you a more sympathetic nurse when I get you moved to a private room."

"Good luck." The police officer chuckled under his breath.

The doctor looked up at him with irritation for a moment, then moved to a cabinet along the wall and did something with his back to me.

He pulled on a pair of latex gloves, then swabbed my arm with a wet cotton ball and finished it off by placing a band-aid over the puncture.

There was a knock on the door that made all of us look up.

The police officer opened the door and two other uniformed police officers walked in.

"We're ready when you are doctor." the first police officer said seriously.

The doctor nodded, then moved behind my bed to move me out of the room.

* * * * *

As I moved down the hall with my police escort, everyone who saw us stopped and stared.

"Is that him?" I heard a young woman ask as she watched us pass.

I wanted to close my eyes and pretend that they weren't all watching me. But at the same time, I wanted to know what was going on.

Finally we arrived on the first floor of the hospital and the doctor pushed me down the hallway with purpose.

"You should have an orderly doing that." one of the nurses said as we passed.

"If you can find me one who will do it, I'll be glad to let him. Send him down to testing." The doctor said without slowing his pace.

He guided us through some double doors and finally settled my bed beside the large machine that I knew was the MRI.

"Now Jason, when I release the restraints, I'm going to help you move over to the platform of the MRI. Please don't make any sudden moves or our local constabulary might feel threatened." the doctor said as he looked me in the eyes.

I nodded that I understood, then felt as he unfastened the large Velcro straps that were holding me in place.

"You've been laying in bed for quite a while, so you might feel weak or light headed when you stand. Just hold on to me and I'll help you over." the doctor said quietly.

"I will." I said just as quietly, then felt it when he pulled my legs to the side of the bed.

He was right.

As soon as I was upright, it felt like all the blood rushed out of my head and I thought I might pass out.

The doctor was half holding, half guiding me as I took two steps and turned to sit on the MRI.

"Do you need any help?" A young man who looked to be about eighteen asked as he hurried into the room.

"I've got it Josh, but I would appreciate it if you would help him back onto his bed when we're finished."

"Yes doctor." Josh said and moved to stand out of the way, just inside the door.

"Now Jason. I need for you to lie perfectly still. Any movement can invalidate the entire test and we'll have to start over. Can you do that for me?" the doctor asked carefully.

"Yes. I'll be still." I said as I tried to be sure that I was in a comfortable position.

"Hold on. I need to check to see that he didn't get anything out of your pockets." One of the police officers said as he walked up beside the doctor.

"He didn't." the doctor said firmly.

"We need to check." the officer repeated as he stared the doctor in the eyes.

The doctor turned to look at me as he said, "I'll be glad when this whole mess is over so I can have some authority in my own hospital again."

The police officer checked my hands, my mouth, then patted up and down my body. I was just wearing a paper thin gown, I don't know where he thought I was going to hide something but he roughly patted and groped every inch of my body before he was satisfied.

"Okay Jason. Just stay still. Don't be surprised when the table starts to move. That's supposed to happen. Just remain still and quiet until I tell you it's okay to move." the doctor said, and waited for me to nod and acknowledge my understanding.

* * * * *

While I was waiting for the table to move me into the MRI unit, I heard the doctor say, "I thought you were off for the next two days. If I'd known you were here I would have asked for you to be here. Is everything okay?"

I didn't turn my head to see who he was talking to, but a moment later I heard the young orderly respond, "I traded shifts with Yasmina so she could spend time with her brother who just graduated high school."

"That was nice of you. It's going to make a long week for you isn't it?" the doctor asked casually.

"Ten days. I've had worse." Josh said dismissively.

"Do you have anything major on your schedule today?" the doctor asked, then I heard a humming noise from the machine near my head.

"Bedpans and random cleaning. You know the drill." Josh said in a lighthearted tone.

"I would like for you to be assigned to attend to Jason while I look over his tests. Would that be alright with you?" the doctor asked hopefully.

"Sure. I guess. If you don't need me for a few minutes, I can take care of that right now." Josh said quickly.

"Go ahead, this will take a while." the doctor said, then I felt the table start to move me into the large humming machine.

I couldn't hear much of anything after that.

About twenty seconds later, I felt an itch on my nose.

Curiosity about my situation, the police and everything else since I woke up was forgotten as I concentrated on not moving to scratch the itch.

* * * * *

With nothing to mark the passage of time inside the machine, it felt like I was in there forever.

The noise and slight movement of the table beneath me did little to distract me from the infuriating itch.

Eventually the test was over and my table reversed direction and emerged from the MRI unit.

"You can move now Jason." the doctor said casually.

I immediately reached up and scratched the itch on my nose.

The doctor chuckled and said, "I don't know why it is, but everyone seems to get an itch during this exam."

Before I could lower my hand, I noticed that my wrists were red and raw, probably from pulling against the restraints that I had awoken in.

"Josh, if you'll get a wheelchair, you can take Jason to his room." the doctor said while examining something with his back to me.

"He needs to be restrained." one of the police officers said firmly.

"Excuse me officer Perez, but unless you have a PHD in psychology, I don't think you're qualified to make that determination. I understand your need to be here, but you do not have the authority to dictate the treatment of my patient." the doctor said firmly.

"We'll see." Officer Perez said coldly, then glanced at the two other officers before walking out of the room.

"Shit." the doctor said with irritation.

I turned to look at the doctor in time to see him hurry to the phone.

"Melissa, I need you to get me an appointment with Judge Harmon as soon as you possibly can regarding Jason Kerbo." the doctor said quickly.


Yeah, that sounds about right. My last name is Kerbo... Jason Kerbo.

"If you can get a hearing that's fine, but I'll settle for five minutes in his chambers if he can spare the time."

"Thank you Melissa, please hurry." the doctor said, then hung up the phone.

He turned to face me with an unconvincing smile.

"Everything is going to be fine. It's possible that you might be restrained again for a while, but I'm working on it." the doctor said hesitantly.

"It's okay doctor, if it will be easier for everyone, I can get back on the bed and you can restrain me now." I said quietly.

The doctor was surprised by my offer, but quickly recovered and said, "Thank you Jason. I think that would be very helpful."

I slowly sat up on the MRI table and felt the dizziness wash over me again. After a moment for me to find my balance, I got up and got onto the gurney that I had arrived on.

"I'll try to get you released from this some time today if I can." the doctor said as he started to secure my ankles and wrists.

"Thank you doctor... what is your name?" I finally asked.

The doctor smiled at the question and said, "Doctor Finley. I'm sorry I didn't introduce myself earlier."

"That's fine doctor. Thank you for taking care of me." I said quietly.

The doctor nodded that he heard, then turned as the doors opened.

I couldn't see the door from where I was lying, so I just relaxed and listened.

"We won't be needing the wheelchair after all, Josh. Would you take Jason to his room and stay with him until I've finished going over his tests?" Doctor Finley asked hopefully.

"Yes doctor. I'm cleared to stay with him for my entire shift." Josh said, and he sounded happy.

"Good. Now if I could just find a nurse that I could trust to take care of him, I would be able to concentrate on my work."

"Well, I think I know of someone, if you could arrange it." Josh said hesitantly.

"Who might that be?" Doctor Finley asked with interest.

"Nurse Valenzuela. She's really good, and I couldn't imagine her ever intentionally hurting anyone." Josh said quietly.

"She works in the terminal ward, right?" Doctor Finley asked carefully.

"Yeah, but I'm pretty sure she'd appreciate a break from it for a day or two. It gets kind of depressing in there after a while." Josh said more slowly.

"Take Jason to his room and I'll see if I can get Nurse Valenzuela reassigned. Thanks Josh." Doctor Finley said, and it sounded like he was smiling.

"Anytime doctor." Josh said from directly above my head.

"You ready guy?" Josh asked as he leaned down over me.

"You're the driver." I responded with a smile.

* * * * *

"You're going to keep him in the restraints aren't you?" one of the police officers asked as we traveled down the hall.

"Yes. The only way I'll release him is if the doctor tells me to." Josh said seriously.

"Alright then." the officer said, then turned to his companion and said, "Willy, you baby-sit the psycho while I find Javier and check in with the station. Call if� you need us."

"Got it." the officer, Willy, said without enthusiasm.

Then in a whisper I barely heard, "Keep your gun handy. I've seen this little fucker in action."

* * * * *

Once we were in the room, I looked around and noticed that it wasn't the same room I'd been in before.

"Is it okay if I move him into his bed?" Josh asked the officer who had followed us into the room.

"I'll need to call for backup before you can do that. Just to be safe." the officer said, not revealing any emotion in the statement.

Josh reluctantly nodded, then flashed me an apologetic look as he asked, "How are you doing? Do you need anything?"

As much as I didn't want to say it, I didn't really have a choice.

Reluctantly I whispered, "I have to pee."

Josh gave me a quick uncertain look, then walked to a door in the room that I assumed was a bathroom, and returned a moment later with something that looked like an oddly shaped pitcher or watering can.

"I'm sure you know the routine by now." Josh said casually as he approached.

"Actually I don't. I don't remember anything before a couple hours ago." I said reluctantly.

"Really? You don't remember us doing this before?" Josh asked with surprise.

"No. I didn't even know I'd met you before." I said hesitantly.

Josh looked at me curiously for a moment, maybe trying to determine if I was being honest. Finally he said, "I'm Josh Harmon and I'm your own personal orderly for at least the rest of the day, possibly the rest of the week."

"It's nice to meet you Josh, I'm Jason Kerbo and I really need to pee." I finished with a smile.

"Oh, right. Okay Jace, it's pretty simple. You don't have to do much except wait for me to get the urinal into place." Josh said as he put on some latex gloves.

He moved quickly and professionally as he slightly lifted my gown and did just what needed to be done down there.

It was odd to feel someone handling me like that, but he was gentle in his handling of me and his expression was very detached.

"Okay Jace, let 'er rip." Josh said with a smile.

It took a few seconds for me to be able to release it, but when the urine finally let loose, it was like a river. I thought it was never going to end.

"Wow. It must have been a while. I've never seen anyone overflow one of these things, but I think you almost did it." Josh said in an impressed voice.

"I aim to please." I said shyly, knowing from the prickly sensation on my face that I was blushing.

Josh smiled at me as he carefully took the urinal away and made sure that my gown was covering me.

* * * * *

When Josh finished emptying the urinal, he came back into the room and seemed as lost as I was at what he was supposed to do next.

I waited for him to say something, but when the silence had stretched on too long, I finally asked, "What was I like when you met me before?"

"What?" Josh asked with surprise.

I looked into his eyes and hesitantly said, "I just get the feeling that I might have been... um, not nice."

Josh stared at me wide eyed for a moment, then abruptly let loose a loud laugh.

Being strapped down to the gurney, there wasn't much I could do but watch him as he doubled over with laughter.

"I'll take that as a yes." I said weakly as I watched him fight his way over to one of the chairs at the edge of the room.

"Not nice!" He squeaked, then started laughing again.

I glanced over at the police officer standing just inside the door to find him watching us with a stone faced expression.

* * * * *

"I'm sorry Jace. I didn't mean to laugh like that." Josh said as he tried to get his laughter under control.

"It's alright. But can you tell me about how I was before. I'd like to understand what's going on." I said in a somewhat timid voice.

"You really don't remember anything?" Josh asked carefully.

I shook my head slowly.

He thought for a moment, then carefully said, "I don't know everything, but from what I do know, you're probably better off the way you are for now."

I looked at him with surprise for a moment before cautiously asking, "You're not going to tell me?"

"No. At least not until Doctor Finley comes back in. If you were in the hospital for a broken leg, I'd go ahead and tell you whatever you wanted to know. But you're in the psych ward. I wouldn't want to take the chance that I might tell you something that you couldn't deal with and end up hurting you." Josh said sincerely.

I looked into his eyes for a moment, then reluctantly nodded my acceptance.

"Just try not to worry about it right now. Everything is going to be fine." Josh said assuringly.

"Do you really think so?" I asked as I made eye contact again.

He started to answer me, but caught himself before he said anything.

After a moment of consideration, he reluctantly said, "No. Actually, I don't really think so."

"Oh." I said in nearly a whisper.

"I'm sorry Jason, I'm not trying to upset you but I don't want to out and out lie to you either. From what I know of things... I don't see any possible way that they'll ever be anything close to fine." Josh said with a worried look in his eyes.

"That bad huh?" I asked quietly.

He nodded slightly, then something seemed to occur to him. His worried expression seemed to dissolve and he flashed me a quick smile.

"What is it?" I asked hesitantly.

"You can't remember anything, right?" He asked with a smile.

"Yeah. That's right." I said cautiously.

"Then for right now, nothing that happened outside this room really happened as far as you're concerned, right?" He asked, and seemed almost happy.

"Yeah. I guess so." I said reluctantly.

"Then for the short time that you have this blissful ignorance of the outside world, let's construct a past for you. Not your real past, but one that's the way you would like for things to be." Josh said with cheer.

I considered for a moment and finally decided that it actually sounded like a good idea.

If my own past were something so horrible that the cops and nurses wanted� to kill me, then maybe having this fantasy would help me through some difficult days ahead.

"That sounds like a good idea. How do we start?" I asked curiously.

Josh smiled and said, "Well, I hope you don't mind, but I'm going to pull a chair over."

"Is there any way you can raise up this bed so I can sit up a little?" I asked hopefully.

"If you were in your hospital bed it wouldn't be a problem, but the gurney can't..." he trailed off.

"Well DUH! I can just do it the old fashioned way. Let me just get a few more pillows and I can prop you up." Josh said as he walked to the little closet at the side of the room.

I smiled as I watched him gather the extra pillows from the closet, then the pillows from the bed.

"Okay, I'm going to sit you up and jam these things in behind you." Josh said and placed a hand on my shoulder.

"Be careful." the police officer warned from the door.

"I'll be fine." Josh said with assurance, then helped me sit up with one hand while stuffing the pillows behind me with the other.

"I've almost got it..." Josh said slowly.

"I'm done. You can lie back." He said in a voice of accomplishment.

I lay back with his help and was propped up into an elevated reclined position.

"Thanks." I said as I tried to find a comfortable position with my arms strapped down to the frame of the bed.

Josh took his chair beside my bed and looked at me expectantly.

After a moment of thought, I said, "I don't know how to start."

"Just try to imagine what kind of life you'd like to have when everything else is settled." Josh said quietly.

I nodded absently as I thought.

"Where would you like to live?" Josh prompted.

"I don't know. I guess I'd just like to have a normal home." I said carefully.

"How do you define normal?" Josh asked with interest.

"I don't know. A mom, a dad... maybe a brother or sister..." I said hesitantly.

"Do you want your brother or sister to be older or younger?" Josh asked casually.

I thought about it for a moment, then said, "I don't know... maybe close to my age so I'd have a friend."

Josh nodded and said, "Where would you like to live?"

After a moment to consider, I said, "Someplace kind of remote. You know, like in the country or in a small town."

Josh nodded and said, "Yeah. The city life can be kind of stressful."

A long moment of silence settled in between us as Josh waited for me to continue.

Finally I said, "It's never going to happen is it?"

"Why do you say that?" He asked with concern.

"I don't know what's going on, but with the way everyone has been acting since I woke up... I'm probably going to be stuck in a nut house or something for the rest of my life." I said reluctantly.

"I really don't know, but it won't hurt to dream about a better future." Josh said quietly.

"I suppose not." I said as I stared off at nothing in particular.

A knock on the door broke me out of my thoughts and I looked up to see who it was.

"I've been assigned to attend to this patient. May I come in?" A timid voice asked from the doorway.

The police officer stood away from the door and allowed the nurse to walk in.

She was carrying a clipboard and read it for a moment before turning her attention to me.

"Hello Jason, I'm Nurse Valenzuela. You can call me Roberta if you want." She said in a low voice.

It was a guy. I may not have any memories before today, but from the sound of her voice, I knew without a doubt that this nurse was not female.

Hesitantly I said, "It's nice to meet you Roberta."

She smiled at my reaction and said, "Please don't be shy honey. I'm not going to bite you."

I smiled at her statement and relaxed a little bit.

"Hello Josh, how are you doing today?" She asked as she surveyed the room.

"I'm fine. I'll be even better when Doctor Finley can get approval for Jason to be removed from the restraints. It hurts me to see him like this." Josh said with a pained look in my direction.

"Are you in any pain honey? Do you need anything?" Roberta asked as she moved to my side.

"No. I'm fine. Josh has been taking good care of me." I said honestly.

"He's going to be a fine doctor someday." Roberta said gently as she moved behind me to fuss with the stack of pillows I was resting on.

I looked at Josh with question at the statement.

"I'm working as an orderly this summer and I'll be starting medical school this fall." Josh said timidly.

I smiled at him and said, "I think you'll be a great doctor."

He returned my smile and shyly said, "Thanks."

"I'm going to check your vitals now. Just relax." Roberta said as she pulled on some latex gloves.

"Okay." I said quietly.

Over the next few minutes she took my pulse, temperature and blood pressure, recording each reading as she went.

"Everything looks good so far. Are you feeling discomfort of any kind?" She asked gently.

"Nope. I'm good." I said, drawn in by her friendly nature.

"I'm going to go now and see if there's any word from Doctor Finley about getting you off that gurney. And when I come back I'll have a special treat for you." She said with a playful smile.

"What's that?" I asked cautiously.

She leaned in close to me and whispered, "I give great sponge baths."

From the prickly sensation on my skin, I knew that I was probably blushing all the way down to my toes.

She gave a delighted giggle and said, "I'll be back in a few minutes."

"I'm not going anywhere." I said as I watched her walk toward the door.

She stopped for a moment at my statement, then smiled at my feeble attempt at humor.

* * * * *

"What did she say to you? Even your arms were blushing." Josh asked curiously.

"She said that she was going to give me a sponge bath." I said shyly, and could feel the blush rising again.

"Oh. Well, you probably do need one, but if Roberta doing it bothers you. I could take care of it for you instead." Josh said quietly, and I could tell from the caring look in his eyes that it was a genuine offer of help.

"I think that maybe I'd rather you do it. Roberta is nice and everything but, I don't know... it'd just feel funny." I stammered.

Josh smiled and said, "If she ends up giving you a sponge bath you won't have to worry. She's a professional and she'll take really good care of you."

"She's a guy isn't she?" I asked hesitantly.

"Yeah. But I've been around her long enough to think of her as a woman. She's a preoperative transsexual." Josh said as he rested back in his chair.

"So she's going to have her, um... penis removed?" I asked in a pained voice.

"Yeah. I know it sounds freaky, but once you get to know her you'll understand. She's a woman who was born in a male body. Having the operation will just correct something that has been wrong all her life." Josh said quietly.

"Wow. That must be really difficult for her." I said as I considered how it must feel.

"I think what makes it most difficult is the way people treat her. Some people can be very cruel." Josh said with a look of concern.

"I can imagine. Do you think she'll be insulted if I tell her that I'd rather have you do the sponge bath?" I asked cautiously.

"It depends on how you tell her. You're the patient and both of us will do our best to make you comfortable." Josh said with a slight smile.

I nodded, then looked again at the stone faced police officer standing inside the door.

* * * * *

After a knock on the door, the police officer admitted Roberta who was looking casual and friendly.

"I talked to Doctor Finley's secretary and she said that he's waiting to talk to Judge Harmon right now. We should know something before very long." Roberta said as she walked to my side and did a quick visual inspection to see how I was doing.

"Could you stay with Jason for a few minutes? I need to do something." Josh said quickly.

"Sure. I don't have any other duties except to attend to young Mr. Kerbo." Roberta said gently.

Josh whispered, "Thanks." as he rushed out of the room.

"Are you ready for that sponge bath now?" Roberta asked cheerfully.

"Um, would you mind very much if Josh gave me the sponge bath?" I asked hesitantly.

She gave me a look that barely concealed an expression of hurt, but quickly recovered and said, "That will be fine. I know he'll do a good job, I'm the one who taught him."

"Roberta?" I called quietly.

She looked at me with question.

"I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings by asking that. I'd just feel funny having a beautiful woman bathing me, I might not be able to um, keep from... you know." I said as the blush returned full force.

"Thank you Jason. It was sweet of you to say that." She said as she reached over and brushed the hair back off my forehead.

I didn't know what to say in response. I might not have been able to speak past my embarrassment anyway.

Before the silence became even more uncomfortable, the door opened to admit three men wearing lab coats.

"Nurse Valenzuela? I'm surprised to see you here." The oldest of the three said in a neutral tone.

"Doctor Finley asked for me to be assigned to take care of Jason. Apparently there are a few of my colleagues who aren't able to behave professionally with him." Roberta said seriously.

The man seemed to accept her explanation, then turned to the younger men who had followed him in and said, "This is Jason Kerbo. Although he was admitted for psychiatric treatment, he was later found to have a curious physical condition. Dr. Branson, would you examine the patient's left foot?"

I watched as one of the younger men pulled back the sheet and began to examine my foot carefully.

I looked up at Roberta with question.

She leaned close to my ear and whispered, "Those two are new resident physicians and Dr. Simmons is training them by taking them to see all his patients."

"Oh. Okay. Thanks." I said as I turned my attention back to where both the young men were now looking carefully at the sole of my foot.

Doctor Simmons watched their examination for a minute or so more before saying, "Doctor Branson, upon encountering this symptomology, what would you recommend?"

The young doctor looked me in the eyes with an expression of helplessness, then said, "I think I would order a battery of tests for common allergens. Or possibly refer the patient to a dermatologist."

"Do you concur Doctor Lee?" Doctor Simmons asked, not revealing any emotion in his question.

"No. I think the first thing I would do is order a Rapid Plasma Reagin Test, then if that came back positive, I'd follow up with a Fluorescent Treponemal Antibody Absorption Test." Doctor Lee said speculatively.

"But he's only... what? Fourteen?" Doctor Branson asked in a bewildered voice.

"Fifteen. That doesn't have any bearing on the diagnosis. Doctor Lee, here are the results of the blood tests." Doctor Simmons said as he handed a clipboard to the young doctor.

Doctor Lee and Doctor Branson both looked over the results, then Doctor Branson glanced at me with wonder.

"The patient has been confirmed to have second stage syphilis. We have administered antibiotic treatment in the form of benzathine penicillin. We have no reason to expect anything less than a complete recovery, provided that the patient completes the recommended antibiotic therapy." Doctor Simmons said instructively.

Doctor Lee looked carefully at the clipboard, then said, "If he's been receiving treatment for two days, then he shouldn't be contagious, right?"

"That is correct. But we would prefer to err on the side of caution so we're avoiding skin contact for the time being." Doctor Simmons said professionally.

Both the young doctors seemed to agree that it was a wise precaution as they paid their full attention to their teacher.

"Now Doctor Branson, I'll give you a chance to redeem yourself with the next patient." Doctor Simmons said as he gestured toward the door.

"Thank you." Doctor Branson said shyly, then glanced at me curiously before following the other two out of the room.

* * * * *

"I have syphilis?" I asked Roberta timidly.

"Yes, didn't you know?" Roberta asked with surprise.

"No. I don't remember anything before today. Do you know how I got it?" I asked as my mind whirled.

"I'm sorry. I only just met you. I have no idea." Roberta said as she took the seat by my bed.

"That's why you and Josh were so careful to put on gloves before touching me." I said distantly.

"Yes. Don't worry though. You heard the doctors, you're not contagious anymore." she said gently.

"I must have had some kind of crazy life..." I said absently.

"I think that's safe to say." Roberta said with an understanding smile.

* * * * *

The door burst open and the police officer immediately drew his pistol.

Josh put his hands up and quickly said, "Sorry, I forgot."��

The officer slowly lowered his gun, but did not look happy.

"You'd better be careful Josh. I'd hate to see you get hurt." Roberta said with concern.

"Yeah. Being shot would probably ruin my day too." Josh said, then took a few long slow breaths to calm himself down.

"You look like you've been running. I hope that means you have some good news." Roberta said speculatively.

"Yeah. Really good news." Josh panted as he continued to try to get his breath back.

"Good. I think Jason could use some good news about now. He just found out about the syphilis." Roberta said quietly.

I looked at Josh cautiously to see his reaction. I would probably understand it if he didn't want to be near me knowing that I was... unclean.

Josh must have noticed my apprehension because he gave me a full warm smiled before saying, "It's nothing to worry about Jace. There are a lot nastier things out there that you could have caught, and syphilis can be completely cured with penicillin."

I smiled at him with relief. I would hate to lose one of the two friends that I had made in the one day of my life that I can remember.

"Anyway, I don't want to give away too much because everything isn't for sure yet. But I'll just tell you that my dad let me sit in on the meeting with him and Doctor Finley." Josh said quickly.

"Your dad?" I asked cautiously.

"My dad is Judge Harmon, the judge that um... committed you to psychiatric care." Josh finished timidly.

I nodded slowly that I understood, and that I didn't have any hard feelings about being committed.

"So... Let's see... After Doctor Finley said this big long thing that even my dad probably didn't understand, he finally explained everything to us in the 'Psychiatry for Dummies' version. That's when they called your dad and put him on the speaker phone and I even got to say my part." Josh said with mounting excitement.

"So what happened?" I asked, being drawn in by his enthusiasm.

"Um... I can't tell you." Josh finished abruptly.

I looked at him with what, I'm sure, was a begging expression.

"Doctor Finley said his thing about how his treatment worked exactly the way it was supposed to and fixed something that was wrong in your brain that made you act... um, bad." Josh finished cautiously, obviously not comfortable with the understatement.

"Anyway, so then he starts telling my dad about how you need to start fresh and not have too many reminders of your old life, and then your dad said... well, some stuff that I don't want to tell you in case it doesn't happen." Josh said quickly.

I couldn't help but smile at his bumbling way of telling a story.

"So then I told them about the stuff that we talked about... I hope that's okay... you didn't say it was a secret or anything." Josh finished and looked at me with concern.

I nodded to let him know that it was okay.

"Well, that's when they kind of threw me out so they could make some decisions. But I think my dad is really on your side and everything might actually end up working out for you." Josh said happily.

"I hope so. Thanks for doing that." I said quietly.

"I need to give Jason his medication, then I think he would appreciate a sponge bath before he ripens." Roberta said as she stood from the chair.

Josh seemed to be almost glowing with his happiness as he took a small basin out of the cabinet, then walked into the bathroom.

I looked around the room and noticed that the stone faced officer was the only one there now.

He wasn't looking at me with hatred as the other officer had, but he also wasn't looking at me with concern.

If I had to guess at what was going through his mind, I'd say that he was probably calculating the pay on his next paycheck.

A moment later Roberta walked into the room carrying a small cup of pills and a pitcher of water.

After pouring a cup of water, she helped me take the pills and wash them down.

My life would be a lot easier if I didn't have my hands restrained.

* * * * *

"I'm going to go get my lunch while you're doing that. I'll probably be at the nurses station by the time you're finished... just hit the call button if you need me for anything." Roberta said as she left the room.

While Josh was preparing the things he would need to bathe me, he casually said, "If things turn out the way I'm hoping, you'll have a good reason to want to be cleaned up."

I watched as he rolled a tray table beside my bed, then put on a fresh pair of latex gloves.

"This might get a little embarrassing, but just let me know if anything I'm doing is making you uncomfortable." Josh said seriously.

"I understand. I appreciate you doing this for me. I'm sure Roberta would have done a good job but I'm glad it's you doing it." I said quietly.

Josh smiled at me, then took a towel off the stack on the tray table.

"If you can roll a little onto your right side, I'm going to put the towel under you so I don't get your bed wet." Josh said as he walked around the bed.

I shifted my weight onto one hip and turned as much as I could with my arm attached to the bed.

"That's fine, give me a second then roll to the left." Josh said as he walked quickly around the table.

Within a few seconds he had towels spread out underneath me.

"Now just relax and close your eyes while I wash your face." Josh said quietly as he wet a wash cloth.

I rested back as he had said and tried not to react when I felt the cool damp cloth wash over my eyelids.

"You've got some pretty serious eye boogers here man." Josh said as he gently washed my eyes.

I couldn't help but smile at the comment,� but did my best to remain still for him.

He stopped for a moment, then I heard the sound of water splashing and knew that he was rinsing out the wash cloth.

The feeling of him gently moving the wash cloth over my face was somehow arousing to me.

I guess it's not every day that you have someone touch you like that, and his touch was so gentle and caring that it brought me feelings of peace and comfort.

"You can open your eyes now." Josh said gently as he turned away to get a fresh wash cloth.

I carefully opened my eyes and immediately noticed that I was pitching a tent farther down in the bed.

Josh followed my gaze, then smiled at me and said, "Don't worry about it Jace. It happens to most guys when they get a bath."

His words made me feel a little better, but I couldn't help but feel shy about it.

Josh started washing the outer part of my left ear, then behind it and around the back of my neck.

He moved around the bed and did the same to my right ear before saying, "I'll come back and do your hair last."

I didn't respond to his statement, I probably couldn't if I wanted to.

My tent was now more pronounced and I was almost painfully erect.

"This part might be a little tricky. If you can sit up just a little bit, I'm going to unfasten the gown behind you so I can get your back." Josh said as he guided me to sit forward.

A moment later he was washing my back in long slow strokes.

Too soon he was guiding me to lie back on the bed, then he started trying to pull the gown down my arms.

"I haven't had to do this with someone wearing restraints before, I'm not really sure... I think I'm going to need to lift the gown up to get to everything." he said apologetically.

"It's okay." I said in a whisper.

Josh took another one of the towels off the tray table and as he lifted up my gown, he immediately draped the towel over my groin.

"Thanks." I said in a raspy voice as I tried to relax myself.

"That works." Josh said absently as he more or less rolled up the gown to just under my chin, then started to wash under my left arm.

If you would have asked me before the sponge bath if the armpit is an erogenous zone, I would have said, 'of course not'.

Well, I'm here to tell you...

...it is.

I wouldn't have been surprised if the towel covering me had been catapulted off when I felt his tender caress in my armpit.

"Like that, huh?" Josh asked with a gentle smile.

I opened my eyes and whispered, "Yeah."

"I'm glad." Josh said, then turned to rinse out the wash cloth.

I had much the same reaction when he washed my right arm pit.

After that I just closed my eyes to try to enjoy the sensation.

I heard the sound of water again, then I felt as Josh began to slowly wash down my chest.

As soon as he touched my right nipple, I let out a gasp at the sensation.

"Oh, did I find a good spot?" Josh asked quietly.

"Real good." I mumbled.

He continued on, and seemed to give my nipples a little extra attention, giving each one a gentle pinch before moving on.

As the wash cloth moved lower, my breathing became more shallow.

"You're going to hurt yourself if you keep pulling on your restraints like that." Josh said absently as he got to my navel.

I didn't even realize that I had been pulling on the restraints, but I didn't care.

I felt the towel over my groin shift, then all movement stopped.

I opened my eyes to see what he was doing.

Josh had stopped moving and was looking at the police officer with question.

"Just do it." the officer said, and I could tell from the lump in his uniform pants that he was getting into this on some level.

"Jason, do you want me to?" Josh asked quietly as he looked me in the eyes.

I nodded quickly, not trusting my voice at that point.

Josh took a small bottle off the tray table and squirted something into the palm of his gloved hand.

The flowery scent of lotion filled the air as I felt cool cream come in contact with my painfully erect cock.

Josh's touch was gentle, but firm as he slowly began to pump my shaft with one hand and massage my balls with the other.

I let loose a series of gasps and moans at the sensation as Josh skillfully worked me to higher and higher levels of arousal.

I felt the biting pain of the restraints on my wrists and ankles as I pulled with all my strength.

Being restrained and being completely helpless as Josh pleasured me seemed to enhance the experience in some indefinable way.

Too soon, I reached the point of no return and my body arched up on the bed, completely independent of my own will.

It seemed that every muscle in my body tensed and strained with the force of my release.

Wave after wave of the orgasm washed over me until I finally came to rest on the bed, feeling completely spent and relaxed.

"Wow." Josh said in wonder.

I cracked one eye open to look at him with question.

"I don't think I've ever had one like that." Josh said in a stunned voice.

I began to chuckle as I said, "Even though I don't remember anything before today, I doubt that I have either. If every time was like that, I'd never leave the house."

Josh smiled at the statement, then picked up one of the damp wash cloths to begin cleaning me up.

"It's a good thing I saved washing your hair until last." Josh said as he carefully cleaned me.

"Why is that?" I asked, feeling completely relaxed.

"Because you shot some on your face and hair." Josh said with a smile.

I chuckled as Josh made a point of wiping along the left side of my face.

"Well, now that that's done, let's get this bath finished before Doctor Finley gets back." Josh said with an amused smile.

I rested back and closed my eyes in contentment at the wonderful feeling of ultimate peace that was radiating through my entire being.

* * * * *

I was relaxed through the rest of the sponge bath. Even though the police officer was watching our every move, I was at a point where it didn't matter in the least.

Even while Josh was washing my butt crack, I didn't blush or worry if the police officer was watching or not.

The hair washing was another wonderful experience.

The hand job had been great and the release was wonderful, but the hair washing was almost as good in a very different way.

Josh took his time and was so gentle that the entire experience touched me on an emotional level. I can only imagine that this is what it must feel like to be loved.

"I'm sorry to interrupt you guys, but Doctor Finley is back." Roberta said from just inside the door.

"I was just putting things away." Josh said as he guided me to roll to one side so he could get the towels from under me.

"Let me help you." Roberta said quickly and grabbed the basin of water off the tray table.

"Thanks." Josh said as he gathered the last of the towels into a pile and deposited them all on the tray table.

Josh pushed the tray table out of the room as Roberta emerged from the bathroom.

She took the call button and placed it in my hand as she said, "We'll be at the nurse's station if you need us for anything."

"Thanks." I said quietly as I watched her leave.

* * * * *

"Hello Jason. How are you feeling this afternoon?" Doctor Finley asked as he walked into the room with another man.

"I'm fine. Thank you for getting Josh and Nurse Valenzuela to take care of me. They're both really nice." I said quickly.

"I'm glad. I've known Josh since the day he was born. His father and I are old friends." Doctor Finley said with a smile.

I looked at the other man in the room curiously.

He seemed to have a hesitant expression, something like expectation.

"Jason, do you know who this is?" Doctor Finley asked cautiously.

I strained my memory, but finally shook my head.

I had the feeling that I might have met him before, but he didn't really seem to be all that familiar.

"This is your father, David Kerbo." Doctor Finley said quietly.

To Be Continued...

Editor's Notes:

Well, like so many stories that I have read which were written by MultiMapper, I am already totally drawn into this incredible narrative. Jason, although, he must have been a really bad person, seems to be very much improved. I find myself very much in his corner so to speak. I like him very much. As with every other continuing story from MM I will be waiting, not very patiently, for the next chapter. Thanks again, for writing another fine and very exciting story, and thanks for letting me edit for you. It is truly a pleasure.

Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher