Go to all chapters of "Medium Security".
Jennifer pulled up to the Liberty Motel and parked in a dark corner where the car couldn't be seen from the street. She saw that Ron's black Lincoln Continental was already in its place in front of the room.
Jennifer nervously locked her car and walked to the door. She knocked once.
"I was wondering if you were going to come. You're late," said Ron in annoyance.
"I couldn't get away. Craig has a golf game early tomorrow morning and he couldn't find his new tees."
Ron rolled his eyes. That damned Craig, his country club, and his continual rounds of golf. Ron had never met Craig but he hated him anyway.
Ron closed the door behind Jennifer. He had already hung up his jacket and taken off his shoes. He waited impatiently as she fumbled with the buttons on her coat, then with the zipper on her dress, her pantyhose....
Ron pushed Jennifer back on the bed. He was horny and he was angry. He'd fought with Jane before he left home. And he'd started an argument with Julie in the office that afternoon. But it wasn't them who he was angry at. No, not these women.
Brian. He was the one. It was always Brian. He was the only one who could make him so upset. The only one who could make him so horny. Baby.
Only 50 miles away, in Stanton Correctional, Brian was in their cell, in their bunk, fucking that kid. Ron could feel it. The kid. Justin. Jennifer's son.
He fucked her hard. Jennifer liked it that way. Her stupid husband thought he was a man, but he couldn't fuck his wife like this! Craig Taylor didn't like fags. He didn't even like his own son because he was a little faggot. And Craig would probably think that Ron was a fag, too. Because Ron fucked Baby. Loved Baby! Craig didn't know shit! He should see what Ron could do with a man. See what he could do with a woman. With Craig's own wife. He wished that Craig was there now, watching them.
Jennifer was good. She made love almost frantically, like she was starving for sensation, starving for some kind of feeling. That was something she obviously wasn't getting from her husband. So Ron was happy to give it to her. And then give it to her again.
Afterwards Ron lit a cigarette and smoked it pensively. Jennifer was lovely. And quite passionate once she got going. Yes, things would be perfect... except for one thing....
"Ron, can I ask you a question?"
Ron sighed. If only these females would shut up after they came. "What?"
"Are you a homosexual?" Jennifer asked.
Ron snorted. "If I'm a fag, then your goddamn husband must be a eunuch."
"I'm serious, Ron."
"What has your son been telling you, Jennifer?" said Ron, peevishly. "About Brian? Is that it? What's he been saying?"
Jennifer sat up. "That you still have a... relationship with Brian. That you... you are obsessed with him. That you're trying to convince the warden to have a Conjugal Visit with him!"
"It's a Family Visit, Jennifer! Just like the one I'm setting up for you and Justin!" Ron took a deep breath. "Brian doesn't have a family. It isn't fair that he should be denied the same privileges that other inmates receive as a matter of course. It's a legal principle."
Jennifer's mouth was set in a hard line. "And if you get this 'Family Visit' with your prison boyfriend, what are you going to do during that visit, Ron? Watch television? Cook him dinner?"
Ron got out of bed. "What I do with Brian -- or anyone else -- is none of YOUR fucking business, Jennifer! My so-called 'relationship' with Brian isn't anyone's concern -- except ours! Brian's and mine!"
"And my son's concern!" Jennifer replied. "Since my son is the one living with Brian! Sleeping with Brian! The one who thinks he's in love with Brian!" Jennifer was shaking. "Apparently Justin isn't the only one who is in love with Brian."
"Does this conversation have a point, Jennifer?" asked Ron. He pulled on his shorts, then his trousers.
"Yes, it has a point," Jennifer answered. "You asked me to give you Justin's list. Of the things he wanted me to buy Brian for his birthday. You told me not to get anything on the list! You told me that it would just encourage Brian to take advantage of Justin!"
"So?" said Ron. He sucked his cigarette and blew the smoke out in a hard puff.
"So, YOU bought all the things on Justin's list. And then sent them to Brian! You took my son's list and then acted like those things were from YOU! Justin told me that you did and I believe him!"
Ron laughed. "But he obviously didn't tell you the rest of it, Jennifer. Because your innocent little son STOLE my package and put HIS name on it. When I asked Brian about the gifts -- he was wearing the sweater and the shoes -- Brian said that they were from Justin. Then Brian thanked me for my card! The fucking kid swindled me! He'll do well in prison, my dear. He has a devious mind. Brian has never done well in prison because he doesn't think like a criminal, but your son -- he's a natural!"
"Shut up!" said Jennifer. She got out of bed and began gathering up her clothes. "Don't talk about Justin again! Don't even say his name!"
"Why not?" Ron returned. "We have so much in common, little Justin and I! We're both hung up on the same man! It's like a perfect little circle, Jennifer. I fuck Baby and Baby fucks your son!"
"I said to shut up about Justin!" Jennifer shouted.
Ron seized the woman by the arm and shook her. "Keep your fucking voice down! And I fuck YOU, too, my dear! So don't mention this again. Never mention Brian to me again. He's MY business and he always will be my business." Ron pushed Jennifer onto the bed and stepped back, his anger boiling up within him. "Your little pansy-ass son will be out of Stanton soon. In fact, I can't get him out of there fast enough! I told you I would do that and I AM doing it! Julie is already working on the motions for the judge. But if you know what's good for you, you'll back off about Brian!"
Jennifer wiped away her tears on the edge of the sheet. "How do I know that you'll still help Justin? I can't trust you, Ron!"
Ron laughed. "You can't trust anyone, Jennifer! Haven't you learned that by now? You'll get your son home safe and sound, I guarantee it." Ron put on his shirt and began buttoning it up. "But that doesn't mean he'll be the same kid that went into Stanton. Because he won't be! And if you think he'll ever forget about Brian... you'll have a rude awakening, my dear. A rude awakening indeed."
Ron finished putting on his clothes and left the motel hurriedly. But Jennifer washed herself and dressed more slowly. They had already made plans to meet next week, the same time, the same place.
There was a sharp knock on the door. Ron was back again. He always had to get in the final word. Jennifer sighed and opened it.
"Hello, Jenn," said Craig. "Fancy seeing you here."
It was Monday morning and Brian and Justin were waiting for Wesley to get his school books.
They were all going to the Library -- Brian to work in the Law office and Justin and Wes to catch up on their homework. Justin especially wanted to give Miss Carver a good story this week, since he had missed class the week before in the aftermath of the birthday party.
But then Brian saw Al coming back up the tier. He'd left about 30 minutes earlier to go to his job over in Industry.
Wesley smiled and waved when he saw his old man returning. "What's up? What are you doing here?"
"There's been a power failure over in the Industry Building, so they sent everyone back. It isn't secure," said Al. "I'm meeting Juice and Junior and we're gonna go outside on the Yard and shoot some hoops. We got a game on Wednesday night, Bri. You wanna come with us?"
"I was going to do some paperwork," Brian replied. But it was a sunny day and the thought of sitting in the stuffy Law Library all morning wasn't very appealing. "Sure. I can fill out those forms tomorrow."
"Can we go, too?" asked Justin.
"After you guys finish your homework," Brian ordered.
"I can work on my story sitting in the grass," Justin reasoned. "In fact, it will be better because the sunshine will help my mental process."
Brian laughed. "How do you figure that?"
"Maybe the sun will heat up his brain and make it work better? Like you warm up a car!" said Wesley. "Mine, too!"
Brian shook his head. "You two are going to study! Jesus -- kids!"
Brian went back into the cell and changed into his sweatpants, a white wifebeater, and his new Converse sneakers. Then he came back out and the four climbed down to the bottom tier.
"Go straight to the Library," said Brian. "I'll come and pick you up for lunch."
"I'm going to get the mail first, Brian. Then Wes and I'll walk over and get to work. Okay, warden?" Justin smiled.
"You do that." Brian began bending down, but then he hesitated. Al and Wes were right there, but what the fuck? He leaned over and kissed Justin goodbye. Everyone in the East Wing knew how it was between him and Justin. What was the point in hiding it? Then the two men headed out to the Yard.
Justin and Wesley opened their mailboxes and then the boxes of their jocks. As usual, Al had a pile of catalogs and Wesley had a letter from his mother in Indiana. Justin had a couple of letters, too. Brian had a new issue of the 'New Yorker.'
The boys went to the library and sat down near an open window. It felt good with the warm sun and the cool April breeze coming in together.
"My ma loved the picture you drew, Justin." Wesley was reading his letter. "She's got it in the living room and she wants to get it framed! Wow! Like a real artist! Isn't that swell?"
"I'm glad she likes it, Wes. Any time you want a drawing, just ask me," said Justin. "We're pals, remember?"
"Yeah, we're pals!" Wesley smiled his crooked smile. "I wrote and told her about the party, but I guess she didn't get that letter yet. She's kind of worried about me in here. She thinks we never do anything fun!"
Justin opened the letter from his mother. He glanced over it. She was being hysterical again. Justin could hear her voice, bitching at him for walking out of the Visitors' Gallery on Thursday. And she was making excuses about Ron and the list. Trying to make up some story about how Ron wanted to see the list and she thought it would be okay. And how Ron was helping Justin's case and all that shit. Justin folded the letter up without finishing it. Maybe later he'd try to read it again. But it was too nice a day to ruin his mood thinking about his mother and Ron!
There was a letter from Amy Carver. Justin stared at it. Miss Carver had never written to him before. Never written to any of the boys in the class before.
"Look, Wes! A letter from Miss Carver!"
Wesley shrugged. "You were sick last week and she was asking about you. She probably wants to know that you're okay."
Justin opened the envelope and began reading. "Oh, my God!" Justin exclaimed.
"Justin, what's the matter?"
Justin stood up. "We have to go out and find Brian! This is a letter from Miss Carver about Brian's manuscript!"
"Brian's manuscript?" said Wesley, puzzled. "What's that?"
"It's a book that Brian is writing," Justin explained. "It's about his life. And Miss Carver's friend is a writer who teaches at Carnegie Mellon and has written a bunch of books. He wants to show the whole manuscript to his editor! He thinks it can get published!"
Murray the librarian came over and shushed the boys.
"Geez, Justin," said Wesley, lowering his voice. "I didn't know Brian was a writer. And I didn't know Miss Carver was reading his stuff."
"Well," Justin admitted. "Brian doesn't know that I've been giving her sections of his book to read. But now... now he HAS to agree! This means that people will read his story! And then they'll KNOW that he's innocent!" Justin's heart was pounding. "This means that Brian might get released!"
Wesley's eyes were wide. "Really? Could that happen?"
"Not only COULD it happen, it WILL happen! I know it!" Justin gathered up his books and papers. He unlocked the Law Library and put them on Brian's desk. "Leave your stuff in here. We'll come back and get it later."
Wesley trotted along in Justin's wake. "Where are we going, Justin?"
"To find Brian and tell him about his book!"
The boys burst out of the East Wing door. The Yard was busier than usual because the men who would typically be working in the Industry Building had been sent away due to the power failure. Justin and Wesley checked the basketball courts, but they didn't see Brian or Al or Ben or any of the guys from the second or third tier teams.
"Excuse me, but have you seen Brian? Or Junior?" Justin asked one of the Bros who was shooting hoops with a bunch of Baraka's men.
The guy nodded. "They was here but they didn't wanna wait, kid. Too many guys wanna play some ball today! They went inside to the Gym!" The man pointed back towards the North Wing.
"Thanks," said Justin. He turned to Wesley. "We have to go up to the Gym."
"I'm thirsty. Can't we get some pop?" Wesley was eyeing the snackbar hungrily.
"Okay," said Justin. "My treat. But hurry up!"
The two walked across the grass. Some Latino guys were playing softball and other guys were tossing around Frisbees. It really felt like summer.
Justin and Wesley rounded the softball diamond on their way to the snackbar. Then something grabbed Justin's shoulder. Jerked him backwards, hard. And before Justin could even cry out he was behind the backstop of the diamond.
"Well, looky what we got here," said Hoss. His arm was wrapped tightly around Justin's chest. "Cisco! Look what I reeled in. A little fishy fish!"
The low-riders, who had been loitering behind the backstop, out of sight of the guard tower and the main area of the Yard, gathered around their new prize.
"Sweet thing," said Cisco, smiling. "Sweet, pretty thing." Cisco ran his hands down the front of Justin's workpants, cupping his crotch.
"Let me go! You fuckers!" Justin spat as he struggled.
But Hoss covered Justin's mouth with his large, hard hand. "Shut the fuck up! No one's coming to save you." Hoss looked up at Wesley, who was standing there, white as a sheet. The bikers terrified him. And now they had Justin! "You gonna save your little friend, punk? Huh? Are ya?"
"Justin!" Wesley cried out in confusion.
Hoss and Rowdy held the boy while Cisco undid Justin's pants and took out his thick pink cock. "Look at this. That's a pretty dick for a pretty piece of ass." Cisco began stroking it slowly. "You like that, pretty thing? You'll like it even better when my dick is in your mouth. And then when it's in your ass. But I have to give my buddy Hoss here first dibs on that. After all, he's the one who took your pretty little cherry, ain't that right, Hoss?"
Hoss guffawed. "Damn straight, I did! Then we all had a turn. First me, then Rowdy, Elvis, Clint, and Reb all had their share. And then I was ready for another round. You liked that, didn't you, fishy fish?" Hoss wrapped his arm tighter around Justin, breathing into his ear.
"Let him go!" Wesley gasped. He wanted to run, but he also didn't want to leave Justin behind at the mercy of the bikers.
Hoss leered at Wesley. "What about you, kid? I bet you'd like a taste of my dick, too!"
Wesley backed up. "I'm getting Brian! You'll all be sorry!"
Cisco squinted at Wesley. "Sorry? Who's gonna be sorry? You go right ahead and get Baby, little boy! You bring him right here. 'Cause Baby and I got a date."
All the low-riders began to laugh. Hoss took out a dirty bandanna and shoved it roughly into Justin's mouth so he couldn't cry out. Clint pulled up Justin shirt and began feeling his nipples, while Rowdy slipped his hands down the back of Justin's loosened workpants. Justin fought furiously, but he was pinned on all sides. A few of the Latinos playing softball looked over in the direction of the low-riders, but they turned away, ignoring Justin's struggle. Anglo punks were none of their business.
Wesley turned and began running as fast as he was able. To the Gym. To get Brian. And Al. And all the jockers!
"You run, little boy!" Cisco shouted after Wesley. "You tell Baby that we got something here that he wants. But you tell him that we want HIM even more! Tell him I'm waiting right here! Waiting for my Baby!"
Al passed the ball to Brian, who paused and took the shot. It hit the rim and bounced off.
"Shit!" said Brian.
"No do-overs!" Ben called as he grabbed the ball and took another shot.
"Juice Pig! Juice Pig!" Brian chanted, trying to throw Ben off. But the ball went in. "Lucky shot!" Michelle, who was sitting in the bleachers with Emmy, stood up and cheered.
"Brian!" A voice echoed.
The men stopped and looked around. Wesley, his face bright red, raced into the Gym. "Brian! Come quick! It's Justin!" Wesley gasped for breath. "The Yard! The backstop!"
Brian didn't hesitate. He raced out of the Gym at top speed. One of the C.O.'s jumped up from his desk and yelled for Brian to stop, but he rushed by him.
Brian's heart felt like it was ready to burst as he pounded down the stairs, out the door of the North Wing, and into the Yard. The softball diamond, with its high backstop, was on the opposite end of the Quad, near The South Wing. The South and the low-riders' tip. A few men yelled curses at him as he ran through a basketball court and knocked into two guys kicking a soccer ball. He could see a game in progress on the diamond, but he couldn't see if anyone was behind the backstop.
He rounded the tall fence and saw the low-riders. And Justin.
They had him pushed down in the trampled grass, his pants pulled down, his face half-covered with a red bandanna, which was wedged between his lips.
"I see you come to join the party, Baby," said Cisco. He was zipping up his dirty workpants. Hoss was standing next to him, laughing. The younger biker pushed Justin with his boot and the kid winced. His blue eyes stared out at Brian, shining with tears.
"You fucking bastards!" Brian's voice was shaking, but it was cold and hard. "I'm going to fucking kill you!"
He felt a firm hand on his arm. It was Ben. And Al and Junior were behind him. A couple more guys had followed from the Gym and were standing their distance, waiting. Emmy and Michelle, with Wesley panting behind them, were running across the grass.
"You bring the fucking calvary with you, Baby?" said Cisco. He spat on the grass in front of Brian. "You need a man to fight your wars for you, Baby! You need a man to do ALL your jobs for you!" And Cisco turned and spat on Justin, who closed his eyes in humiliation.
"Hand over the kid. Now." Brian shook off Ben's hand and stepped forward. "I said NOW!"
The other low-riders were glancing around nervously, but their backs were against the backstop fence. Rowdy and Clint and Reb looked at the jockers from the East Wing and then at each other. They didn't like these odds. Fucking around with the kid was fun, but it wasn't worth getting an ass-kicking from Juice Pig and Junior. They were BIG motherfuckers! The beef with Bri Baby was all Cisco's, not theirs. And ganging on the kid had been Hoss' idea. They just went along with it. But now they were in the shit!
"I said to hand over the kid!" Brian demanded.
Hoss hauled Justin up by the back of his shirt and twisted his arm behind him, keeping the boy under control. "This what you want, Bri Baby? This your little pet? Huh? Well, he belongs to US by rights! WE took him and WE turned him out!"
"Yeah, but you couldn't keep him, Hoss," said Brian, quietly. "You can't keep anyone anymore. You're finished here in the Quad. You've fucked yourself over! THAT is your gang?" Brian glanced at Hoss' diminished band of bikers, all looking for a way out of their corner. "What are your boys in for, Hoss? Speeding? Too many parking tickets? A bunch of scum-suckers doing short time in medium security. Big, strong men ganging up on a 19 year old kid! Some bad bikers!"
"Shut the fuck up!" shouted Cisco. He was beginning to twitch. "We had you, Baby, and we broke you down! Don't you fucking forget that!"
"Yeah," said Brian, evenly. "I'm really broken down." He stood a little straighter. The sweat from playing basketball was glistening on his muscular arms. "Oh, you broke me, Cisco. You can see that I'm a quivering pile of nothing!"
Behind him, Brian heard Ben laugh out loud, then the other East Wing jocks laughing even louder. The tall and beautiful Brian looked anything but broken down next to the graying, limping Cisco.
"You go, Bri!" Emmy shouted.
"Shut the fuck up, freak!" Hoss roared back at Em. And Hoss jerked Justin's arm tighter to make his point.
"So, you want to be a man, Hoss? Try me," said Brian, taking a step forward. "Let the kid go and give me a try. Let's see what you've got. Come on. I'm waiting."
Hoss' eyes' darted around. Then he handed Justin off to Cisco, but when he did, he looked away for a second.
And that's when Brian lashed out with his long leg, kicking at Hoss' feet like a soccer player kicking a winning goal. Hoss tripped forward, leaving himself open to Brian's fist. The low-rider went down hard and Ben and Al immediately jumped in and held Hoss down.
"Brian!" Justin called. The kid had managed to pull the bandanna out of his mouth. "Watch out!"
Now that Hoss was down and the other low-riders had backed off, Cisco, fat, hobbled by his bad leg, and trying to hold onto the kid, had only one trick left in facing Baby. He pulled his shank out of his boot and held it to the brat's throat.
Cisco had made the shank himself from a length of discarded steel he'd picked up in the machine shop and then honed until the edge was sharp as a razor. Justin's felt it prick his tender skin and his heart skipped.
"You can have your pretty thing, Baby," said Cisco, licking his lips. "But he won't be so pretty when I'm done with him. He's got a soft cheek, don't he? It'd be a shame to see that face split right open."
"Let him go and step away, Cisco," said Brian. "And that will be the end of it."
"No fucking way I'm lettin' YOU get one up on ME, Baby!"
Brian stared at Justin. Think, kid, think and keep steady. "Give it up, Cisco. With your bad leg, you can't even run away." Come on, Justin, Brian thought. The leg!
Justin blinked. Then he closed his eyes and kicked back as hard as he could, striking Cisco's bad left leg. The biker groaned and let his grip go slack. Justin dove for the ground, while at the same instant Brian hit Cisco full force with his long body.
But the biker lashed out with his right hand. Brian flinched and fell to his knees, his head down. He clutched at his side. Cisco dropped the shank on the ground in a panic and took one step backwards. The shank was red and wet.
Justin saw the homemade knife and reached for it. Picked it up in his hand and stared at it.
"Shit," cried Cisco. "Fucking shit!"
Justin turned towards the biker and rammed the shank as hard as he could directly into Cisco's groin. Thrust it until he hit something rigid and unyielding, like bone. Then Justin twisted it until Cisco was writhing and shrieking on the grass like a stuck pig.
"Brian!" Justin dropped down next to him and held his head. "Brian," he whispered. There was noise and confusion all around, but Brian was still. Completely still.
Emmy had whipped off her pink blouse and pressed it hard against Brian's abdomen. But now the pink blouse was red. And the red was overflowing onto the ground.
"Hurry with that fucking ambulance!" Emmett yelled at the C.O.'s., who had finally come running.
"It's on its way," one of them said. He barked into his walkie-talkie. "And the doc is coming now!"
Ben knelt and stripped off his tee shirt, replacing Em's blouse with it. In a minute it was also red. And so were Justin's workpants and his blue chambray shirt as he held Brian in his arms.
"Brian!" Justin cried desperately. "Brian, please! Can you hear me?"
Brian opened his eyes slowly. The world looked so bright. Too bright. Justin's golden hair was so bright. He wanted to touch it, but he couldn't lift his arm.
"This isn't the way I thought this story would end," Brian whispered.
"Brian!" Justin screamed frantically.
"I... I'm sorry," Brian said. The brightness was getting dimmer. "Justin" was all he managed to add before he was reclaimed by the darkness.
Posted November 29, 2004.