This is the clean version NSFW version can be found here
“This is one long red light.” My hospital badge was hanging from my
rearview mirror. `Jonathan Michael Villaneuva’ I gave it a flick just to
watch the plastic card spin. “Johnny V- that’s me,” I said out loud to no
one. The light turned green and I finally made it to the house. I parked my van
in the driveway. I got out and paused for a moment, as the warmth of the
sun caressed my face.
Maybe I’ll dye my hair neon red like in high school. Screw that, I’d have
to bleach it all to hell. And I’m sure my supervisor would throw a fit
about how paramedics are on the front lines, `we need to look
professional,’ what a dick. I swept my dark brown bangs from my eyes,
finally looking towards the house. I smiled and bit my lip as my eyes met
his: Remy Abargil, the love of my life.
Remy was in the kitchen chopping some kind of root vegetable. He smiled
back at me as he stroked his hipster goatee. I liked to joke about how he
looked like a pirate with his facial hair paired with his long dark waves
that he wore in a ponytail. He tapped the window. “Come inside already!” he
“I was just enjoying the weather,” I said as I opened the door with my
key. I didn’t live in the house but I was over so often my man secretly had
one made for me.
Remy walked over to greet me. He wore sneakers even in the house to hide
the fact that he had a prosthetic leg. (It was pretty obvious to anyone
with eyes.) The way his knee hardly bent, the way his foot hit the floor as
if being dragged. With each step, his hips struggled every so slightly to
Part of me was resentful that he would not even admit to having a
prostatic. I could feel his leg when we had sex. Turning off the lights off
doesn’t change that fact that plastic does not have the same feel as human
flesh. I wanted so badly for him to be able to trust me. But I knew I
couldn’t force the subject. Remy would just shut down- once a soldier
always a soldier.
“Hey baby,” I put my arms around his waist. “Are you making your garlic
rosemary sweet potato fries?”
Remy kissed my lips, looking into my eyes with his soulful gaze. “I don’t
see why you won’t just move in with me.”
I moved my lips to his ear. “I don’t want to make your roommates
Remy shook his head. “It’s been nearly a
year. And my roommates love you.”
“But your landlords don’t.” I opened the fridge for a snack, settling on a package of baby carrots. “There’s a reason you live with a Target senior level manager and an interior designer. In any other city, you and both of your roommates could own your own homes.”
Remy patted my shoulder. “The price we pay for the city by the bay.”
I chuckled. “You’re lucky you’re so damn gorgeous.”
Remy was three years older than me, but I knew I loved him from the moment
we first met. He was a senior, with a gorgeous body. I was a freshman Goth
boy with neon colored hair. If I hadn’t been friends with his sister, Aly,
I would have never stood a chance.
“My back is killing me,” I muttered as I stretched my arms.
“You are almost twenty-five, just forty more years until retirement.”
“Funny… Oh hey, you will never believe who I ran into- Alyana.”
“Aly? My sister! How is she?”
“Aly pulled a baby out of a burning car. You should have been there your
sister was such a bad-ass. We were waiting for the fire department to, you
know, actually put out the fire. But Aly took a rescue hammer from her
purse and without any hesitation she shattered that window and pulled the
baby out of the car seat. And she did it just in the nick of time, the car
exploded literally seconds later I guess Aly still carries her military
Remy froze, his eyes were wide, unblinking. It was as if he was looking at
something only he could see. “Aly, how is Aly?”
“Aly will be fine. She wasn’t even hurt.”
Remy crossed his arms over his chest, his body was visibly trembling.
“I’m so sorry, please look at me!”
My man’s eyes were so distant. “I once watched an entire family die. They
were in a car trying to flee the shooting. People were dying all around
me. But I remember that family. When the bomb went off everything happened
in slow motion. When I looked at the car I could see a little girl looking
back at me. She was begging me to save her.”
I put my arms around Remy holding him tight. “I need you to focus on my
voice. It’s not real, it’s not real. None of it is real.”
“Why do human beings do such horrible things to one another?”
I lowered Remy to his knees, I could feel his tears I as rocked him in my
arms. “You are safe. You are home. You made it home. There are no
corpses. There are no bombs, no bullets, no pain, and suffering. You and me,
your strength and my love, that is what’s real. ”
I closed my eyes, focusing on holding him. Remy had been in combat for
eight months. But as the whole world knows Israel and Palestine have been
at war since the time of the Bible. And both armies pull no punches. That
was the reason why all Israeli men and women were required to enlist. After
the first time, I witnessed one of his episodes I asked him to talk it out,
to tell me the stories. I wanted to be his outlet so he would never feel
like he had to shoulder the burden of his memories alone. I wanted to know
what he was seeing so I could find a way to help. He talked to me about
the bombs exploding, children screaming as their parents are gunned down in
front of them. He even told me about the sniper who shot him in the
shoulder with an armor piercing round. Unfortunately, there were many
recollections buried deep, or simply too horrific to put into words.
Slowly but surely I began to feel Remy’s arms around me. “I-I’m sorry. I’ve
been trying to ration my meds.”
“These aren’t multivitamins. You have to take them as prescribed.”
“I hate having to take so much, makes my head so damn cloudy.”
I helped Remy to his feet. “Let’s sit on the sofa. Let me hold you for a
As we sat together I gently stroked Remy’s back. “When it comes to the
whole moving in thing- I’m not trying to be disrespectful. I practically
live in the house. But as it stands I can’t afford to live in the city.”
“Yeah, I’m sorry, I’m so sorry,” Remy sobbed into my shoulder. “I don’t
know why I said that.”
“The moment a room opens up I’ll make it official. If Monica lands the
position in New York, then you and I can move into the main bedroom. We can
put out an ad for a roommate to take the shared room. I’m sure that would
satisfy your landlords. Maybe even get them to lower our portion of the
rent since there would be four people instead of three. And I’m sure Abby
would love to have a roommate of her own gender. Not that I don’t notice
how she looks at you.”
Remy’s voice went soft. “She wouldn’t if she ever saw my actual body.” He
stood up and made his way back to the kitchen.
I groaned. Abby wasn’t the only person who had not seen Remy’s body since
he came back to San Francisco. “What would have happened if you hadn’t gone
back to Israel? You were born in America. You wouldn’t have gone to jail or
Remy grabbed a nearby plate shattering it against the wall. “We’ve had this
conversation hundreds of times! You think I wanted to go back?!” He winced
as he grabbed his shoulder. “Oh, God,” he muttered. “I need my pain
I followed him to the bathroom. “Take off your shirt, let me take a look.”
“STAY AWAY FROM ME!” Remy slammed the door so hard he clocked me in the
I gripped my eye in pain. “You know, as you pointed out earlier it’s been nearly a year since you came back to San Francisco. And during that time I have yet to see your body!”
I could hear him sobbing. “Go back to the park!”
Now I was pissed. Yes, I was homeless. I lived out of my van. But for him
to bring it up was hitting below the belt. “I KNOW YOU HAVE A PROSTHETIC
Remy opened the door. His eyes narrowed as he stared me down. “Get- out.”
He punched me in the face. I fell to the ground there was blood oozing from
my nose. But I didn’t care. I wasn’t leaving.
“Hit me again.” The blood coated my lips.
Remy looked away.
“I said hit me again!”
Remy covered his face with his hand. My heart was
breaking. “I’m sorry I always bring it up. It just, this is going to sound
so stupid, if the roles were reversed I would have moved heaven and earth
to stay with you.”
“I know you would.”His answer brought a smile to my
face. “You’re here now and I need to learn to appreciate that.”
“When I got out of the service I had a good life in Hawaii. I was making money, learning from some of the best chefs in the world. But when I heard from Aly that your
dad had kicked you out, I knew I had to come back. I never stopped loving you.”
“Let’s go to your room. Abby won’t be home for another three hours. We
don’t have to have sex. We can just relax together.”
Remy handed me a towel. “Wash your face first.”
I went to the bathroom and splashed water on my face. The bleeding was not
as bad as it appeared. All cleaned up, I entered the bedroom.
I crept into bed next to Remy, taking in the scent of his hair. He smelled
like a mixture of sweat and the herbs and spices of the deli he
managed. “Where’s the weighted blanket I bought for you?”
“It’s under the bed.”
The science said weighted blankets work by stimulating pressure points. But
I always thought it was because they felt like being held by another human
being. As I covered Remy with the blanket, I could hear him start to cry.
“Are you comfortable?” I asked.
I spooned Remy’s back I moved my hands under my lover’s shirt. Remy’s
breathing was beginning to stabilize. As a paramedic, I knew what I was
feeling: surgical scars, skin grafts. Some scars were so thick it was clear
his body had been nearly torn apart. I moved my hands lower. I undid his belt opening his jeans. I reached in. – My lover wanted me as badly as I wanted him.
“I’m going to take my clothes off,” I said, removing my hands from his
body. “If you want to stay under the blanket you can stay under the
blanket. I’m not going to force you to do anything you don’t want to do.”
I peeled off my shirt keeping my back to Remy. He had a thing about my
`wings’; black and grey, they curved over my shoulders and wrapped around
my ribs. After removing my pants I laid on my stomach completely nude. (I
never liked wearing underwear- too restrictive.) Immediately I felt the
warmth of his palm as it moved over the lower tips of the wings on the back
of my thighs.
Remy stroked upwards. “I still can’t believe you let Aly tattoo your ass.”
“Do you remember the first session, at her apartment? She had me take off
all of my clothes and spread my legs while leaning over her dining room
Remy laughed. “She claimed she wanted to be able to visualize the final
We both laughed.
“I- I love you, Johnny.” Remy removed his shirt while still under the
blanket, tossing it to the floor. He paused for a moment, pulling the
“I love you too. If you want we can have sex under the blanket.”
“No,” Remy closed his eyes as he removed the blanket. “I can’t keep living
my life like this, I need to trust you.”
I put my lips to his beautiful skin, gliding my tongue to the scar from
where the bullet that tore through his shoulder. I gave it a soft
kiss. Remy moaned, hands reaching for his jeans.
“Let me,” I whispered. I could already smell the sweat.
I massaged his hips as I lowered his, pants, just until I could see
it. Remy’s left leg had been amputated just below his hip.
“I had already taken a bullet to the shoulder,” Remy whispered. “A rocket-propelled grenade hit a building behind me.”
“We don’t have to talk about it.” The last thing I wanted was for him to
have another episode, especially in his current state of undress.
“I don’t feel anxious anymore. The building collapsed, my body was crushed
under the rubble. I woke up in a hospital bed and my leg was gone,” he said
with a genuine smile.
“Can I take off your leg?” I asked.
Remy was laughing. “I would actually like that. You know that sensation;
pins and needles- like when your foot goes numb.”
“You feel that in your prosthetic leg?”
“All the fucking time- I know it’s all in my head. Maybe if I see myself
without my leg, in the presence of someone I trust, my messed up brain will
take the hint.”
I released the clamps that held Remy’s prostheses in place. When the leg
was removed Remy took a deep breath. The way his body was reacting was akin
to someone stretching after a workout.
I licked Remy’s thigh kissing and sucking on the scar tissue of his stump. I could feel his muscles tense. “I need a condom.” I reached over to his nightstand and picked out a ribbed condom. I licked my palms.
“I want you,” Remy moaned.
“Sorry,” I chuckled, “whenever someone says that my mind goes straight to the Beatles’ song.” I walked my fingers down the scars on his thigh. “I want you…” I opened the
condom with my teeth. “I want you so bad.” I pulled the condom on. “It’s driving me mad, it’s driving me mad.”
Remy took hold of my hand moving it to his stump, as we made love. My fingers laced with his as together we massaged his scars. He pulled me close with his free arm. As
our lips met I whispered softly, “You’re the love of my life.”
When we finished, I laid by my lover’s side. “You know, Remy, you were the reason why I became a paramedic: I could only aspire to your level of courage.”
Remy stroked my face. “I love you too, Johnny.” Remy suddenly looked at the
clock. “Shit, I need to start dinner.”
I sat up. “Chill, I’ll help. You take a shower, I’ll finish up your sweet potato fries and I’ll grill up some steaks or whatever you have the fridge.” I began helping Remy reattach his leg. “You know how good of a cook I am, I learned from the best.”
Two hours later, Monica and Abby arrived. “That smells amazing!” Monica exclaimed.
I was tenting the beef with aluminum foil. “Did anyone ask to speak to a manager today?”
“Piss off Johnny!” she shouted from her room. Monica emerged in a UCLA
sweatshirt and jeans. “I’m kidding baby, you know I love you.”
Abby was already opening a bottle of wine. Her blonde curls bounced. “Come
on Monica tell them!”
“I’m not going to New York,” she paused for dramatic effect, “I’m going to
Remy lifted her up as he hugged her. “Congrats! You’re going to love it.”
“It gets better. Since the transfer is going to happen in less than a month
I knew I needed a way for you all to make rent. So Abby and I found you a
“Can I come in now?” a female voice shouted from the door.
Monica shook her head. “Abby, did you seriously make Crystal wait outside?”
Abby shrugged. “I thought it was supposed to be a surprise?” She opened the
door to reveal a girl wearing a red shirt and khaki pants. Judging by her
delicate features she was Chinese, maybe Korean.
She held out her hand to Remy. “I’m Crystal Chanwutthiwong, but you can
call me C-C. I work with Monica at Target.” The girl motioned at her
clothing, “You probably already figured that out.”
Remy smiled. “C-C, I like it. I’m Remy and this is my boyfriend Johnny V.”
C-C shook my hand. “Johnny V? Are you a DJ?”
Her question was valid since I had changed out of my uniform to cook. “I’m
actually a paramedic.”
“That’s cool. My brother’s a firefighter.”
Monica cleared her throat. “Anyway, with four roommates living here, you
can split the rent four ways rather than three. And…” She handed an
envelope to each of us. “I got it in writing that the total amount that you
pay as a family will not be raised.”
Remy smiled as he took his copy. “Johnny, I have something to ask you.” The
love of my life got down on one knee.
“I-I haven’t even met your parents,” I said as I wiped tears from my eyes.
“And I’ve never met yours. Those people don’t matter, this is our family.”
Remy looked up at me. “Johnny, will you marry me?”
I nodded. There were so many thoughts rushing through my head even if I
could speak, it would be gibberish.
Remy stood up and put his arms around me. “I’m not the hero, you are. I
want to devote my life to being the man you deserve.” He cupped my face
pulling me in for a kiss. “You are safe.” His lips grazed mine. “You are
loved.” Another soft kiss. “You are home.”