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Subject: Heatwave in the City Chapter 12 This is a work of fiction. Everybody in it is entirely my own creation. Don’t even think of suing me for putting you in a story, because I haven’t. If you happen to be resident in one of the places mentioned, or to belong to any of the institutions mentioned, don’t even think about telling me I haven’t portrayed them accurately. Work of fiction. The name of the institution only occurs because it is common knowledge so I couldn’t get away with pretending it was otherwise. If I’ve borrowed your Church, school, police station, laundrette – I haven’t. I’ve merely used the name on the building because people walk past and see it every day. Work of fiction. None of the people in the story exist, so none of the things that happen in the story can have happened to them. The world, however, is the one exception to this – the world which has in it so many wonderful people that writing fiction of this sort becomes an obligation – for me; not for everybody. You’ll have found your own place in the scheme of things, and can be wonderful in your own way. This is a story of love. It isn’t a story of sex, though that might get mentioned. There is no pornography here. Some of it is cross-generational, but it isn’t about perverted love either. Some is what nowadays is termed “gay”, but the same applies. If you think you might be offended by that, the time to go and read something else is now. Still reading? Then enjoy, and remember, you don’t pay to read these stories, but it does cost Nifty money to bring them to you. Please consider donating to Nifty fty/donate.html Heatwave in the City by Jonah Chapter 12 Groucho Marx once said – in fact, like most comedians, he probably said it often – “I never forget a face but, in your case, I’d be happy to make an exception.” I was beginning to understand what he meant. I had always made it a point not to dislike people, but I believed, during our stay at the New York Hilton, that I had found the exception. As Jake and I listened to the concierge, I found that confirmed – but I’m jumping the gun. “Gentlemen,” said the concierge. “Might I be permitted to have a word?” Of course, an invitation like that is not an invitation, and a request like that is not a request. We had been summoned, and we followed the concierge to his office behind the front desk. “Have a seat gentlemen,” he said. Another order disguised as an invitation. “Gentlemen, I feel rather embarrassed in asking you this, but at the New York Hilton, we try to uphold our good reputation.” By this time both Jake and I were feeling apprehensive, as two men with a party of young boys well might. “Gentlemen,” he continued, “I have to ask you how well you know Mrs. Gloria Daniels.” “I’ve never heard the name,” Jake told him, but the concierge hadn’t finished. “Mrs. Elaine Blake?” “Nope,” said Jake. “Sadie Taylor?” “Never had the pleasure.” “Oh it wouldn’t be a pleasure, I’m pretty sure, but I think you know all these ladies.” I was trabzon escort beginning to see where this was going, but I kept my own counsel. “Mr. Roberts, I believe you’re aquainted with Mr. Oakroyd and his son?” Jake confirmed that. “And Mrs Daniels, or whichever name she is using this time, went out with you this morning, having been seen with Mr. Oakroyd. She checked in here as Mrs Gloria Daniels on Monday night, with no baggage. That came later. She checked out Tuesday morning but, we discovered, spent the night with the Oakroyds. The police department contacted us this morning and sent an officer round to see me this afternoon. He’d just left when you came in. They’ve had complaints from seven other hotels in the city that she’d been extorting money from their customers. Apparently she’s wanted in Chicago for the same thing.” Jake cleared his throat. “I take it,” he said, “that you’re referring to Mrs. Ellen Shaw.” “Well, I’ll certainly pass that name on to the police – they can add it to their list. Is she still in the hotel?” “She didn’t come with us this afternoon,” Jake replied. “They both stayed behind. I presume they’re both in his room.” “That was my mistake then. I saw that you’d gone out, and assumed they would have been with you. OK, I’ll get room service to call at the room by mistake. If they’re still there I’ll call the police. Can you keep the boy in your room?” “I expect he’ll be with our boys anyway,” I told him. “He was trying to persuade us to let his boy stay with us.” “”He’d have got a letter in a week or two telling him to send money ‘cos she’s pregnant,” he remarked. “OK, well, thank you gentlemen. We’ll take it from here.” We headed back up to our room, tiptoeing past Bob’s room just as room service were knocking on his door. Paul was in the boy’s room with our boys. I beckoned Simon who came outside the door. “Do us a favour mate,” I told him. “Make sure Paul stays with you lot. Don’t let him go back to his dad’s room whatever happens.” “What’s going on Jonah?” “It’s worse than we thought, but it’s getting sorted. Just make sure Paul stays out of the way. I’ll tell you all about it later.” Well that must have sounded about as clear as mud, but he accepted it and disappeared back inside his room. Ten minutes later there was a terrible commotion in the corridor. I could hear that woman screeching. A glance outside the door showed that almost everybody else on our floor had their heads stuck outside their doors. The exception was the boys’ room where the door had stayed firmly shut. Two burly policemen were dragging a struggling Mrs. Whatever-her-name-was to the lift, and two other policemen were escorting them. If the boys had troubled to poke their heads out they would have learned some colourful new words. Bob was following and trying to remonstrate with the officers. I quickly ran after him and seized his arm. “Bob,” I told him firmly, ” if you assault a police officer they will arrest you at best. tunalı escort At worst they might shoot you.” “They might as well,” he moaned. “My life is over.” Jake and I guided him back to his room. “Did the police tell you what all that was about?” I asked, when we were alone. “There’s been a terrible mistake,” he sobbed. “There’s only been one mistake,” said Jake without any semblance of sympathy, “and you made it. It’s time to stop making it and live up to your responsibilities.” I looked down and watched the police clamber into their two cars. As they drove away I turned to the man who had buried his face in his hamds. “It’s our turn to invite you and Paul for dinner tonight.” I told him. “I don’t want any dinner,” he mumbled through his hands. Jake looked angrier than I had ever seen him. “Why you sorry sap!” he exploded. “Don’t you realise that this isn’t about what you want? Isn’t there someone else you should have asked before you turned down Jonah’s invitation?” He stormed out, slamming the door behind him. I sat on the bed next to the poor man. “You’re an idiot Bob,” I told him quietly. “I know,” he sobbed. “I can’t help it.” “You’re going to help it.” I told him. “It’s your job.” Still his face was buried in his hands. “Do you think I don’t know that?” he muttered. “I don’t think I’m up to it.” I lay down on the bed behind him, my head resting on my hands, and addressed the ceiling. “Bob, I have three boys to bring up. They’re better than me, and it often shows, but it’s still my job to bring them up. Jake has two, and he’s got the same problem. Neither of us is up to the job, but then, nobody asked us if we were. Of course Jake and I are both gay, but that only makes the job harder – or would do if our boys were not such wonderful people. How wonderful do you reckon Paul is?” “He’s a lot like his mother,” he mumbled. “It doesn’t matter anyway,” I said. “It’s your job to bring up Paul whatever. It’s the most rewarding job in the world. It’s the most frustrating too. If this is your first moment of self-doubt, you’ve been lucky. It won’t be your last. Enjoy it mate and, if you need someone to talk to when it gets too much, give us a shout. Dinner’s at seven.” I stood and made for the door. “Jonah,” he said. I paused, as he finally looked up. “Sorry for being such a wimp – and thanks,” he said. “Seven,” I repeated as I exited, getting a swift smile as I closed the door. “Sorted?” asked Jake as I got back to our room. “Sorted,” I replied. “What an asshole,” “We can’t always be as perfect as you mate,” I replied. “How long have been raising those boys?” “What’s that got to do with anything?” “Have you never felt the job was too much? Never been completely overwhelmed by it?” “Not so’s I couldn’t actually do it, or so that Kori and Liam would suffer.” “Well I have,” I said flatly, “and you’re one of the ones who has helped me through it. Bob could do with a little hand right now. I don’t know if it’s tunceli escort harder for him because he’s not gay. That certainly made him more vulnerable to what’s-her-name, but he’s relatively new at the job too – just like us.” I got a long, appraising look for that, then a sigh, and then, “I guess I shouldn’t have shouted at him.” “No, you made him listen,” I said. “We’ll have to send Paul back to him before dinner though – make him do his job.” That shifted a cog in my memory that had been previously spinning unheeded. Of course, the boys were still holed up in their room because nobody had told them that the fun was over. I went next door and knocked on the door. It was unlocked so I walked in to find Luke and Simon engaged in an elaborate crossword puzzle, from a book of the things, and Kori and Paul wrestling on the bed. Liam appeared to have dozed off on the other bed, wrapped around Peter. “Hi boys,” I said. “Everybody OK?” A few mutters of assent had to suffice for a reply. “Good. Paul, you and your dad are with us for dinner. It’s at seven.” “What about Mrs. Wossname?” he said. I couldn’t help laughing. “What’s funny?” “Sorry Paul,” I replied. “It’s just that you call her that because you don’t wan’t to dignify her with her name, and we call her similar things because we don’t know her name.” “It’s Shaw.” “No Paul, she’s a con artist and has used a lot of names. The police have arrested her anyway, whatever her name is.” Paul suddenly looked as if all his Christmasses had come at once. He got up and dashed to the door, only to be brought to a standstill as my finger poked him in the chest and stayed there. “Young man,” I told him. “If you’ve any notion of going and giving your dad a hard time, think again; that’s unless, of course, you’re a perfect being who has never, ever, made a mistake, in which case I shouldn’t be telling you what to do, because I’m just your common, or garden, human, who makes mistakes like everybody else.” Now Paul was only ten years old, but you could already see that the longish fair hair and dazzling blue eyes were going to make him a teenager who would stop hearts. Justin Bieber must have once looked like that. It was almost a pity that the hearts of many young ladies would be stopping in vain. It was as much as I could do not to swoon as those blue eyes were turned on me. There is no way of telling how long they surveyed me, weighing me up, and judging me, before he turned and, with a flying leap and a joyful cry, landed on top of Kori again. I turned and left while the going was good. TO BE CONTINUED If you’ve enjoyed this story, you’ll probably enjoy other stories in this series by the same author. This is the latest in a series that includes “A letter from America”, “Stranger on a train,” “Marooned”, “the Boston Tea Party”, “Immigrant,” and “A Cantabrian Operetta”, all the foregoing are on Nifty’s Adult/Youth site. “The Pen Pals” is on Young Friends. You might also like “A Neglected Boy”, by Jacob Lion, also on Adult/Youth. You can find links to all these stories, as well as some illustrations on Jacob Lion’s website bly/jonah-stories.html My thanks go to Jacob for providing this facility as well as for his kind and generous support without which I would never have written any of them.

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