Join Prism Book Alliance® as Hank Edwards goes Outside the Margins today.
My name is Scott Tallow.
Sunlight assaulted his vision and the sound of bird chatter picked at his nerves when Scott Tallow finally remembered his name.
He slowly opened his eyes, focused on objects around him. White walls, a small dresser made of dark wood, gauzy curtains at the window. It was a small room and the bed where he rested was an old-style hospital bed, propping him up.
Hospital? What happened?
Scott tried to call out to someone, anyone, but managed only a raspy croak. Exhausted, he let his head fall back against the pillow, felt something tighten against the skin of his neck. The area itched, badly. And now that he had noticed the itch in his neck, he could feel it in other areas: his wrists, his ankles, around his knees, down his chest, even at the base of his cock.
What the fuck had happened to him?
“How are you feeling today?”
Scott blinked awake, squinted against the sunlight. “Sore,” he managed to say.
The doctor nodded and consulted a chart. “To be expected.”
“What happened?” Scott looked up at the doctor, vaguely noted the strong line of his jaw, the blue of his eyes behind rectangular eyeglass frames.
“You don’t recall?”
Scott shook his head and looked around. “No. I don’t remember anything, really. Just that my name is Scott Tallow.”
The doctor nodded and made a note. When he didn’t answer, Scott asked again, “What happened to me?”
A smile, cool and efficient, flashed across the doctor’s handsome face. “The point is you’re safe now. Just rest. You’ll learn more when you’re ready.”
He turned and left the room. Scott heard the quiet click of a key turning in a lock and a shiver of fear went through him. Outside, a blackbird called in its loud, raspy voice, and he slipped into sleep.
“Easy now,” Dr. Hanson said. “Take your time. Let your brain tell your muscles what to do, not the other way around.”
Scott sat on the edge of the bed and lifted his head to look into Dr. Hanson’s blue eyes. “Really?”
That smile again, the one Scott looked forward to each day. So far he’d only seen Dr. Hanson, no other medical staff or visitors, but he found that he didn’t really mind. Scott thought Dr. Hanson was a good man, a handsome man, and he really cared about Scott’s ability to recover from… What? What had happened to him?
Maybe now was a good time to ask. Maybe now, with Dr. Hanson so invested in his recovery, he could get some information out of him.
“Ready to try to stand again?” Dr. Hanson asked.
“How about this,” Scott suggested with a smile. “You tell me a bit about why I’m here in the first place.” He held up a hand to show the bandages wrapped around the wrist. “And what I’m trying to recover from.”
Dr. Hanson took a step back, his blue eyes narrowed and cautious as he regarded Scott. He was quiet a long moment, then abruptly picked up his clipboard, turned on his heel, and left the room. The lock clicked firmly into place behind him and Scott hung his head as tears burned his eyes.
Nicely done, asshole.
Scott lowered himself into the chair at the dining table made of dark wood. He ran his hands over the smooth surface, the sleeve of his sport coat pulling up to expose the scar tissue that circled his wrist where Dr. Hanson had had to reattach his hand. Both hands, actually. And his legs. Well, parts of his legs.
Basically, Dr. Hanson had put Scott Tallow back together. Reassembled him after the bus crash on that mountain road. When Dr. Hanson had finally explained to Scott what had happened to him, Scott had remembered bits and pieces of his life before. He remembered touring Romania with friends. Remembered boarding the bus to scale the Carpathian Mountains, laughing with his friends, and then a sudden weightless feeling.
“My friends?” Scott had asked.
“Gone, I’m afraid,” Dr. Hanson replied in a quiet voice, and looked away. “All gone.”
Now, Scott sat at the hospital’s dining table for the first time. It was a private room, beautifully appointed, and Dr. Hanson was serving each course himself.
“Is there anything you don’t do?” Scott asked.
Dr. Hanson laughed, reached out to squeeze his hand, and Scott felt the first stirrings of attraction. Since the accident he had not had an erection. He wondered if he should tell Dr. Hanson about it, and then laughed to himself. Maybe he didn’t need to share everything with the good doctor.
After dinner, Dr. Hanson linked his arm with Scott’s and took him on a slow walk through the large garden. The full moon looked enormous and clearly lit the path. They came to a stop by a flowering bush, its green leaves looking black in the moonlight, and Scott felt Dr. Hanson’s hands tremble as they turned to face each other. The gentle press of Dr. Hanson’s lips sent a shiver of longing through Scott, and blood rushed into his cock.
Dr. Hanson felt the reaction against his thigh and smiled. “Glad to see all the arteries and veins are working correctly there.”
Scott laughed before kissing him again.
Dr. Hanson sat him on a stone bench in the garden and carefully unzipped the slacks he had brought to Scott earlier. He lifted Scott’s erection and inspected it, then extended his tongue and licked it root to tip.
“Did you feel that?” Dr. Hanson asked.
“Fuck yeah,” Scott assured him, his voice deep with lust.
Dr. Hanson placed a kiss at the base of his cock, right on the scar from the stitches, before he lowered his mouth over it.
Minutes later, Scott’s muscles tightened and he let out a grunt as he came deep in Dr. Hanson’s throat.
The doctor swallowed it all down, and then raised his head and licked his lips, moonlight gleaming on the lenses of his glasses and hiding his eyes.
“Thank you, Scott,” Dr. Hanson said.
“For what?” Scott asked as he caught his breath.
“For trusting me.”
Scott moved into Dr. Hanson’s private room, slept in his bed, learned to walk and lift and fuck. His cock felt bigger, fuller here at the hospital, and Dr. Hanson told him it was due to the surgeries. More blood flow, perhaps.
One afternoon, while Dr. Hanson (Ethan, he wants me to call him Ethan now) prepared lunch, Scott was looking for a clean pair of socks and pulled open a bureau drawer to find a stack of passports and photographs secured with rubber bands. Curious, he sat on the edge of the bed and went through them. The photos in the passports instantly brought back memories of his friends as he saw their faces for the first time in months. The photographs showed them all gathered together inside a variety of pubs and inns, drinking and laughing, arms around each other.
Then one passport stopped him cold. It was his own, had his name listed as Scott Owen Tallow, but the photograph was not his face. He looked up into the mirror across from him, studied his dark hair, brown eyes, strong nose, and square jaw, and then looked back at the blond haired, blue eyed man in the passport photo.
A dizzying rush of understanding swept through him. He looked down at his bare feet, noticed the small heart shaped birth mark on the left one, and flipped through the photographs to a group of pictures of them all on a beach. He studied each photo until he noticed one that showed the feet of yet another man, the same birth mark clearly displayed.
His stomach clenched and Scott (am I really, truly Scott Tallow?) stumbled to the bathroom to heave over the toilet.
“Lunch is—” Ethan’s voice stopped dead at the sight of the passports and pictures scattered across the bed.
Scott wiped his mouth and sagged against the bathroom door frame. “Did you assemble me?”
“Scott, listen, you’re tired and hungry—” Ethan started toward him.
“No!” The word was sharp and angry, and Ethan stopped in his tracks, his face pale and drawn, eyes wide with shock and guilt.
“Tell me the truth,” Scott whispered. “I deserve it.”
“The crash was horrific. It happened just down the road from me. Body parts were strewn everywhere.
I gathered what I could, passports and personal effects as well, and brought them back here to my laboratory. There was one body, one torso, in better condition and I used it as a starting point.”
Scott slid down the frame of the door to sit on the floor. He put his head in his hands. “How many bodies to make me?”
“Eight.” Ethan sat on the edge of the bed closest to the bathroom. “I chose the best parts of each to come up with…you. You are the best of eight men.” He sat silent a moment, then said quietly, “And I love you.”
Scott lowered his head and closed his eyes. Tears ran down his face, and he bitterly wondered which of the men they belonged to. But he couldn’t deny his heart, even if might not be his own, and he said,
“I love you too, Ethan. God help us both, I love you too.”
About Hank Edwards
Hank Edwards is a curious mix of practical realist and feral dreamer, with over a dozen books published. His body of work covers a host of genres from gay romance to humor, paranormal to suspense, and mystery to time travel romance.
He is also a member of the Story Orgy group (www.facebook.com/SOGroup), a clan of writers who post free gay romance reads to their blogs every Monday morning and self-publish steamy stories based on writing prompts. Find his posts atwww.hankedwardsbooks.com/hankerings.
Like his Facebook pages (www.facebook.com/hankedwardsbooks or www.facebook.com/venomvalleyseries), favorite his Amazon page (www.amazon.com/author/hankedwards), and follow him on Twitter (@hanksbooks) to become a true “Hankie.” You may also visit his website at www.hankedwardsbooks.com or send along an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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