Continuing the story of Joseph and Sebastian.
Warning. This does contain some swearing, and sexual content.
If you missed Part 1 you will find it on my post of the 8th October
Fate must have been on my side. A few days later Joseph phoned me but for once it didn’t involve Sebastian; at least not directly. Someone in the flat above his had left a bath running which had flooded his home and brought down the ceiling. He had to move out for a few weeks while the damage was being rectified and the flat redecorated.
Of course I offered him my spare room. Actually it was perfect, as it would give me the chance to keep an eye on him. It was my home so I could lay down the law and make sure that bastard Sebastian didn’t take advantage of him. Joe moved in and although I knew he was missing his lover, we spent most evenings chatting and relaxing in total harmony. I think he also enjoyed being cosseted for a change.
I had an added bonus in that he was a good cook and house-proud. I came home from work most nights to a delicious meal and a tidy home. Bliss! It couldn’t last and it didn’t. Two weeks later I got a call from Sebastian asking to speak to Joseph. I would have said he wasn’t here but Joe heard me talking and took the phone from me. Half an hour later he was suited and booted and out the door.
Even though I had work the next day I sat up like the Mum of a teenager, waiting for Joseph to come home. Eventually I gave up and went to bed. I heard him come in during the early hours and go straight to his room. The next morning I took him a cup of tea but he was still half asleep, so I didn’t get the chance to ask him how his evening had gone. When I got in from work that evening he was at home, with a meal cooked for me. He looked terrible, with drawn, hollow eyes and an unhealthy white complexion.
Despite his protests I insisted on putting some more salve on his back, although it should have almost healed by now. I cried when I saw it. Fresh bloody wounds that were obviously newly inflicted had covered the almost healed scars.
‘Joseph,’ I sobbed, ‘You can’t let him keep doing this to you. In the end he will kill you. Just tell him to fuck off. Give yourself a chance to find someone decent and be happy.’
‘I know. I know you’re right, but he does love me. He doesn’t mean to hurt me. He has had a hard life, he told me, and it’s the only way he knows how to show the depth of his love.’
‘Bollocks! He’s just an evil masochist who needs a slave. Don’t let him treat you like this. You’re worth more than scum like that. Please, for my sake if not yours get rid of him. I can’t stand to see you in pain like this all the time. He’s just not worth it. You’re so precious to me and I love you like a brother. Please don’t let him bring you down. I want you to be happy, not a beaten play thing.’
It was the first serious argument we had ever had, and for two days we pussyfooted round each other being polite. We had argued before and disagreed about a lot of things, but it had always been petty bickering. Five minutes later it was forgotten, with apologies and hugs on both sides and an agreement to compromise. I thought the toilet roll should be rolled under, he thought it should be rolled over. We agreed that whoever changed it had the right to do it their way.
If only all our problems were so simple. I was so worried, but felt I couldn’t even broach the subject where Sebastian was involved. Joseph was oblivious to friendly advice where he was concerned. Occasionally when Sebastian phoned and Joseph was in the shower, I was able to take delight in saying he was out and put my spoke in by hinting he was on a date. Maybe I made it worse. If I did I will never forgive myself.
Joseph moved back into his own flat but I’ll never forget the day I got the phone call from the hospital. Joe had listed me as next of kin and I listened in horror as they told me he was in a coma. A neighbour of Sebastian’s had heard the screams and phoned the police. Thank God for people who interfere. They probably saved Joseph’s life. I dashed up to the hospital to find him in intensive care, with a 50/50 chance of surviving.
I lied and said I was his partner and he lived with me, which was sort of the truth. He was in such a bad state that for a few weeks it was touch and go. I went to the hospital every evening and gradually saw him recover.
It was lucky for Sebastian that when I went round to his place he was no longer there. A neighbour told me he thought Sebastian had given up his flat and gone abroad. After chatting for a while I discovered he was the one who had called the police and probably saved Joseph’s life. At first he was reticent, but when he realised who I was I was able to thank him properly. Without his concern, my best friend would now be lying in a morgue. Jason invited me in for coffee and slowly the whole story came out.
It turned out he was also gay and Sebastian had come on to him. At first he had enjoyed the relationship but had pulled the plug when he realised Sebastian was perverted. He had no true feelings and only enjoyed domination and giving pain to his partners. He had wanted to warn Joseph, but had assumed it would be interpreted as the jealousy of a previous lover, so had kept quiet. He knew what Sebastian was capable of, and had intervened when he had heard Joseph beaten to within an inch of his life.
Jason was the kind of man I wanted for Joseph. He was loving, caring, concerned and a true gentleman, in the proper meaning of the word. It was not my place to play matchmaker but my secret hope was that they could get together. I thought they would be well suited.
Slowly Joseph recovered from his traumas, in body if not in spirit. I kept in contact with Jason who was eager to know how he was progressing. Finally Joseph was released from hospital and I insisted he came back to convalesce at my place, rather than be on his own. Even though I was out at work during the day, at least he would have some company in the evenings. Gradually he seemed to recover his old self, although I could tell he was still lonely.
One day, on impulse, when Jason phoned me at work to check on Joseph’s progress, I suggested he pop round for a meal that evening to see for himself. I didn’t pre-warn Joe, just asked him to cook a bit extra that night as I was expecting a friend for dinner. He assumed it was a girl or boyfriend of mine and pulled out all the stops to make an extra special meal.
When the doorbell rang, promptly at 8 o’clock, I couldn’t help noticing Joe’s eyes light up as Jason came in. Assuming it was my ‘friend’ he remained the perfect host, polite but keeping his distance. It was only after a few bottles of wine that I told Joe this was the man who had saved him from possible death at the hands of his previous lover.
Leaving them to get acquainted I insisted on doing the washing up and making the coffee. I made myself scarce for as long as possible, to give them time to get to know each other. I was delighted when I eventually came back into the living room to see they were now sitting side by side on the settee, rather than at opposite ends of the room as they had been previously.
It became a regular thing for Jason to come to dinner, and I watched from the side-lines as their friendship developed. One night, feigning a headache, I apologised and took myself off to bed early. The enticing smell of bacon cooking roused me from my bed the next morning, which thankfully was Saturday, so I had no need to rush off to work. Joseph looked blooming and I actually began to hope he had managed to put the traumas of Sebastian behind him.
I was even more pleased when, with a bright red face Joe admitted Jason had stayed the night. He was apologetic that he had abused my hospitality. I couldn’t have been more delighted.
I was even more honoured when a year later I was ‘best woman’, and gave Joseph away in the civil ceremony uniting him and Jason as partners under law.
I couldn’t have been happier in knowing that my best friend had at last found true happiness with a decent human being, who would love him for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health.
It was also at the wedding that I met Jason’s twin, Justin, who wasn’t gay, as I found out in the best possible way. Suffice it to say that my best friend is soon to be my brother in law.
If anything in this story resonates with you, or someone you know, the following link might be helpful:
© Voinks September 2017
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