--> Coming 09.25.14
Tom Martino is curious. All of the Doms and their subs are protecting Robbie Bailey, a street kid Danny and Gary found in a Trenton snow drift. It seems that at one time Robby took a beating meant for Danny Donovan. When Danny’s Brother Caden came to rescue Danny from the streets, they looked for Robby and couldn’t find him. Now that they have, all of the Doms and their subs are determined to help him because he helped one of their own. Tom wants to help Robby too, but for a different reason. After getting to know the young man, Tom is in love. But one problem remains; Robby says he isn’t a sub.
Danny and Gary stepped out of DeLorenzo’s Tomato Pies into two feet of dirty snow that was pushed to the edge of the sidewalk. Danny’s breath looked like smoke coming from his nose, as his mouth and lungs protested the inhalation of the sub zero air. The sidewalk was icy and Gary grabbed at Danny so he wouldn’t slip. Danny glanced across the street and saw a small figure, huddled near a pile of snow against the aged brick façade of the old Roebling building. A cardboard box with a plaid blanket hanging out the end sat next to the snowdrift elevated from the sidewalk by discarded wooden pallets.
Danny shivered in sympathy. He remembered his two months on the street after his parents threw him out for being gay. He was lucky it was spring time and although it was chilly at night it was relatively easy to keep warm. He had a part-time job at McDonald’s and a membership at the Y that kept him clean and fed while he finished high school. It was two months before his brother Caden came home from Afghanistan for his graduation, found him on the streets, and got him an apartment and a good job. Just the memory of being homeless and scared gave Danny shivers that didn’t come from the cold.
“Sir, would you mind if I go across the street and give that man money for a room tonight?”
“You can’t save the world, baby, but if it makes you feel better, go ahead.” Gary removed his leather gloves and pulled his wallet from the inside pocket of his tailored topcoat. He took out five twenty dollar bills and passed them to Danny.
“I’m going across the street with you. I don’t want you in danger.”
“Thank you, Sir.” Danny crossed the street quickly with Gary on his heels.
Danny leaned over the huddled figure and immediately noticed the shock of dark red hair sticking out of the battered knit cap on his head. Danny’s mouth opened in surprise and joy. He leaned over and shook the sleeping figure. “Robbie, wake up, it’s Danny.”
“You know this boy?” Gary asked.
The boy was lethargic; he barely stirred when Danny said his name. “Please Sir, we have to help Robbie. I wouldn’t have survived the two months I spent on the street if Robbie hadn’t taken me under his wing.”
“Let me look. Robbie…” Gary knelt and placed his hand on the head of the boy lying on the cardboard box. Danny stood behind him. The boy turned his head to Gary as if in slow motion.
Gary stood making a quick decision. “The Navigator [K1] is up the street. He may have hypothermia. Let him hold onto you. I’ll bring the car up and we’ll get him into it and take him to Greg at St. Mary’s. Cisco said he was pulling a shift tonight.” Gary ran up the dark street to get the SUV.
Danny helped Robbie get to his feet. “Danny, is that really you?” Danny saw the hope flare brightly in Robbie’s eyes for a moment, then extinguish.
Robbie dropped his lids avoiding Danny’s face. “Don’t…don’t let me mess you up. You found someone. Leave me here.” Robbie stopped talking as a long spate of coughing rendered him unable to speak.
He rasped, “Don’t screw up by getting involved with me.” He tried to control his constant shivers as tears ran in rivulets from his eyes freezing on his cheeks.
The Navigator pulled up. “Don’t worry, come with me, everything is going to be fine. It’s my turn to take care of you.” Robbie attempted to resist but obviously didn’t have the strength.
Gary pulled up and got out of the huge blue SUV and with his help, Danny half carried and half dragged Robbie into the door pushing him up and onto the beige leather back seat. Gary jumped back into the driver’s seat and turned on the heat to the highest setting, while Danny got into the car beside his friend with an old stadium blanket he retrieved from the rear of the Navigator. He pulled the blanket over both of them to try to warm Robbie by sharing his body heat.
“I can’t afford a hospital,” Robbie said in a barely audible voice.
Danny shushed his friend and pulled Robbie closer as he buckled him in the seatbelt.
Gary turned and asked, “Ready?” Danny nodded his head.
Gary took off into the night. On the way to St Mary’s he called Cisco. Through the rearview mirror Gary watched as the boy violently shivered in the warm car crying out in pain as the chilblains hit. Danny whispered reassurances. Gary sped through the Trenton streets. The ten minute ride to the hospital took less than five minutes.
Mary Lynn Hansel
Author, Writing as AC Katt for MLR Press & JMS books