I was not going to write a part 4, but I was so inspired by the movie God’s own Country.
In ‘God’s own Country’ (or as many people call it, ‘one of the few LGBTQ movies with a positive ending’)the M/M is presented as balanced; a relationship where love can be difficult, but with truth and compassion, love can be equal and fair.
That was the idea I wanted to explore.
Diego awoke in Rain Down Temple with an intense fever. The temple was a holistic clinic, but at that moment he prayed for a pharmaceutical miracle.
His lover, Remy, got out of bed, pulling his long dark hair into a ponytail as he left the room. The young doctor returned with a handheld ultrasound scanner. It wasn’t long before he found the issue: a ruptured cyst in the lining of Diego’s stomach, resulting in an infected ulcer.
Remy started him on IV antibiotics as well as morphine for the pain. Then he left to attend to other patients and the medical marijuana dispensary at the front of the facility.
Within a few hours, the pain had spread to Diego’s kidneys and lower intestines. It was all he could do to not cry out in agony.
Later that afternoon, Remy crawled into bed with Diego, holding his back. “Diego, I want to contact your daughter. It’s possible your kidneys are failing. If your fever doesn’t break soon I will have no choice but to transfer you back to the hospital.”
“Please, just hold me. Talk to me, I need something to distract from the pain.”
Remy kissed his shoulder then stroked his fingers over Diego’s chest. “I want you to talk to Jen. She’s sixteen and scared. She needs her father.”
Diego turned to Remy. “How old were you when your father died?”
“Twenty-five, but that didn’t make it hurt any less.”
Diego fell asleep to the sound of Remy’s sobs. He awoke hours later to Remy’s cousin Johnny examining him with the ultrasound scanner. The younger man was a paramedic, he looked like a more clean-cut version of Remy.
“Hey, man,” Johnny said as he scanned. “Remy asked me to check in on you. Ulcers and kidney stones are quite a combination. I’ll up your pain meds, just until you can pass the stones.”
“Kidney stones? Will I require surgery?”
“I would try to avoid surgery if at all possible. You’re fighting a really bad infection.” Johnny took a seat on the bed. “There’s something you need to see.” He opened his phone to a picture of Diego’s teenage daughter holding her baby. “That’s your granddaughter.”
There were tears in Diego’s eyes. “Your girlfriend, Sara, she’s leaving for college soon?” Sara had been friends with Jen, it was no surprise they kept in touch.
“Yeah, in a few weeks. She’ll want to see you. Sara idolizes you. She talks about your thesis work all the time.”
“I wish her a much happier life than what I have endured.”
“Yeah, well, her brother is out of the hospital. Remy’s working with him, with any luck he’ll be walking without crutches by the time they both leave for California.”
The thought made Diego smile. Sara was his student but more than that she was his friend. She deserved happiness. And Sara’s brother, he was the father of the little miracle in the photo. They were his family, they were who mattered. “Johnny, you’re a self-taught tattoo artist, correct?”
“For now anyway. I would love to quit my job and pursue it full time…”
“I want you to tattoo my hand and wrist.”
“Right now? Like I said, you’re fighting an infection.”
“Johnny, I never told you the story of my tattoos. Every one of my tattoos was done at a time when I needed to bring peace to my life; after my son died, after my daughter was born. So now, as my body appears to be failing me I believe the answer may lay in tattooing a new image in dedication to my new family; Sara, her brother, and my new grandbaby.”
“Sure,” Johnny said with a shrug. “I could sketch out something in black and gray.”
“I would like that.”
Remy was gone for the next two days. But under Johnny’s care, Diego’s fever was breaking. The next day he awoke to Johnny massaging his hand. “I drew something for you.”
Diego turned his head, still tired.
Johnny showed him two images, a devil, and an angel. The devil was small and cute like one of those Sanrio characters. It wore a cute dress and was reading a book while holding a pencil or perhaps a highlighter.
Diego chuckled slightly. “Is that Sara?”
“It’s dedicated to Sara and the new baby.”
Diego liked the devil but he wanted something more special for his longtime student and friend. “Could you write her name on my fingers? One letter on each.”
“Hidden in elements from the periodic table?” Johnny suggested.
“Sounds about right,” Diego replied as he took a closer look at the angel. He knew a lot about Sara’s brother, Sean. He suffered from a chronic illness, hence why he was not by Diego’s daughter’s side. But the boy was an angel. He was good and kind, he would make a wonderful father one day.
“Do you like the angel?” Johnny asked. “I was thinking I could do the angel on your wrist and the devil on your hand.”
“Can we do it now?” Diego closed his eyes to meditate as Johnny set up his equipment and began the tattoo. His collection contained over a dozen pieces on his chest, stomach, shoulders, and upper arms but this would be the first for his hand.
“Remy’s going to stay with you tonight. If that’s ok.”
“Why wouldn’t it be?” He actually looked forward to seeing Remy again.
“I heard he was kind of an asshole last time he was here.”
Diego opened his eyes. “Remy said that?”
“He said he wanted to claim you,” Johnny said, his eyes focused on his work. “I told him someone who has been through not only the abuse you suffered but also the PTSD, doesn’t need to be claimed. You need to be saved.”
Diego glanced at Johnny’s neck. The young man wore a gold cross, which hung below his collarbone. “What I need is to rest.” Johnny was a good friend, but Diego’d had enough of Christianity for a while. So many times in his life he’d questioned God’s love or even his existence. But what happened between him and Remy, was just sex. Diego would have preferred to not lick the taste of ass off of Remy’s cock, but he could find it in his heart to forgive and forget.
“That’s fine. I’ll finish as quickly as I can.” Johnny continued to work as Diego closed his eyes to sleep. “You’re lucky you’re one of those people who can sleep through a tattoo.”
“Luck has nothing to do with it.” His body was simply too exhausted to remain conscious.
Diego awoke the next day to find himself attached to a heart monitor. His chest hurt and it was difficult to breathe. He could feel a warm body next to him. “Remy?”
Remy blinked tears from his dark brown eyes. “You had a bad seizure last night.”
The sight of Remy’s tears was heartbreaking. Diego put his arm around the young doctor. “I’m truly sorry.”
“No,” Remy said as he sat up, pulling away. “I’m the one who should be apologizing. Here, I talked to your primary care doctor. I have some pills for you to take.” Remy handed Diego some pills from the side table. “These are supposed to help with the pressure on your brain.”
Diego reached for his hand. “Thank you. I know you care.”
“Yeah, I’ve just got a really fucked up way of showing it.” Remy got off the bed.
“Come on, man. It was a night of rough sex. I’ve done nastier shit when I was overseas.”
Remy chuckled and shook his head as he pulled a marijuana cigarette from a plastic bag. “Do you want to light up with me?”
“Maybe someplace less confined,” Diego said, motioning to the heart monitor.
“It’s not safe to disconnect you.”
“I would feel more content if I could go someplace with you. A garden perhaps?” He knew there was a beautiful garden out back. With how immaculate it was Remy had to be spending the majority of his free of time there. “It would mean a lot.”
Remy pursed his lips for a moment. “Sure. I owe you that much.”
“Thank you.” Diego sat up, he tried to stand, but his legs were too unsteady.
Remy left to retrieve a wheelchair. He then disconnected the heart monitor and helped Diego off the bed, wrapping him in a warm robe. He wheeled Diego out the back, to a garden with a small pool, a waterfall, and a hot tub. “I usually take patients out here for therapy.”
“May we sit in the hot tub?” Diego asked. He was nude under the robe and the water looked so inviting.
“I just need to find something to wrap your arm. I wouldn’t want your new tattoos to get infected.”
Remy helped Diego out of the robe and into the warm water, making sure to rest his tattooed arm on a towel. “Would you like me to turn on the jets?”
Diego leaned his head back to relax. “Yes please.”
Remy turned on the jets before stripping naked to enter the water.
“What did my doctor say?” Diego asked.
“You suffer from an autoimmune disorder that causes recurring infections, most likely the result of the damage the roadside bomb did to your back. The exposure to chemicals, radiation, and…”
Diego cut him off with a shrug. “Could be worse.”
Remy grabbed his lighter and pulled a blunt from a small plastic bag. “Talk to me about your daughter,” he said as he lit up.
Diego smiled. “Mi mariposa.”
“Your butterfly?” Remy asked as he took a drag.
“You speak Spanish?”
“I lived in California for a while, dated a hot chica from the barrio.” Remy passed Diego the cigarette.
Diego laughed and took a puff, then a long drag. “When I was on deployment I would see my daughter in every child’s face. She was my beacon, my light, and still is.”
“Did Johnny show you the pictures? Your granddaughter is so beautiful.”
Diego nodded. “Thank you. She reminds me so much of Jen as a little girl.” He paused, pursing his lips as if unsure how to continue. “I must ask. What did Johnny mean when he said, you tried to claim me?”
“What a fucking asshole,” Remy muttered. “I was jealous, I still am.”
“Of my wife?”
“You love her,” Remy said through shaking breath, as he lit another blunt. “She hurts you and yet you still love her. So I thought, if she can win your love with domination, maybe I could do the same.” Remy took a long drag, sucking down the blunt until the ash was near his fingertips. “T-That’s not love.”
Diego rested his cigarette on a dry rock. He reached his tattooed hand out for Remy. “In this life, all we have is each other.”
Remy touched him with his dry hand. “The water was a really bad idea.”
“I’m a grown man, if my tattoo gets an infection it will be on me.”
“Yeah, literally,” Remy said with a laugh. He laced his fingers through Diego’s, gripping his hand. “I can’t believe you enjoy getting tattooed.”
“My body is a roadmap of my life.”
“When I was little I had gotten really sick and I was in the hospital for over a year. And every single day I had to get a blood draw. My poor veins were torn open, I was black and blue.”
“You’re saying you have a fear of needles.”
“More like a hatred.”
Diego stretched his leg to touch Remy’s. “Would you get one for me?”
Remy shrugged. “You never know what the future will bring.” With the blunt hanging from his lips, he scooted closer.
Diego pulled Remy on to his lap. He stroked Remy’s chest, tracing his collarbone, then rested his hand on Remy’s ribs. “Do you know what I thought to myself when I first met you?”
With his mouth sucking on the joint, Remy could only manage a grunt in response.
“I thought to myself: Does that boy know how stunning he is?” Diego could feel Remy’s body shivering. “What did you think of me?”
Remy pressed his lips to Diego’s ear, allowing the joint to fall into the water. With a quivering voice, he whispered. “I wanted you to hold me.” Remy gripped Diego’s hand hard. “I know that sounds so selfish. Johnny and Sara told me, from the very beginning you needed help. You needed someone. And I want so badly to be that person.” Remy suddenly stopped and then moved back to his previous seat, opposite Diego.
Remy leaned back to blow smoke rings as he lit up another joint. “You ever see that comic? I don’t know who it’s by. But it had this guy, naked, with one woman on his cock and one on his face. the caption said ‘bi-sexual built for two’.” Remy started to laugh. “That was me, I screwed my way up and down the California coast.” It looked like Remy had more to say but instead, he just got out of the pool. He stood under a nearby waterfall, positioning his body in such a way that allowed him to continue smoking.
Diego already knew he would have a difficult time getting out of the hot tub but he had to try. Pain shot through his back as he placed weight on his arms to pull his 6’2” body out of the water.
“Oh God, I’m so sorry.” Remy reached for Diego’s hand to help him to his feet.
Diego’s legs stabilized, he pulled Remy close for a passionate kiss. Pinning Remy’s body under the waterfall, they leaned forward, allowing cold water to bathe both their bodies.
Diego took the wet joint from his lover’s lips. “Are you mine?”
“Yes, I’m yours.”
“Everything you are?”
Remy suddenly slipped on a slick tile and collapsed.
“Remy, you ok?”
“I’m fine.” Remy had multiple cuts on his face, possibly from hitting his head on the rock wall of the waterfall. One was above his eyebrow, another on his cheek and a busted lower lip. Remy wiped the blood from his mouth before picking up his clothes and heading inside.
Remy tossed his clothing on the floor, all except a thick woven belt. He put the belt around his neck pulling tight as he lay naked on the bed.
“What are you doing?” Diego got on top of Remy, removing the belt as Remy struggled against him.
“No! I need to hurt, I deserve to suffer.”
Diego kissed the blood from Remy’s bottom lip. “You don’t. No one does.” He moved into bed on top of Remy, pinning his body down, he forced his arms over his head. With one quick motion, he secured Remy’s wrists, tying them behind his head. “Just relax. Where do you keep your icepacks?”
“Kitchen,” Remy said softly.
Still naked, Diego went to the kitchen/food prep area of Rain Down Temple where he ran straight into Remy’s receptionist. “Hello, Syren, right?”
The pink haired girl nodded, as she quickly put down a tray of cookies. “And you’re Diego. I remember Remy said something about having a patient in one of the rooms.” Her gaze drifted to Diego’s cock. “You guys having fun?”
“There was an accident, I was looking for an ice pack.”
“Ok,” Syren went to the fridge and tossed Diego a blue gel ice pack. “Here, take a handful.” She handed him two more. “Remy is a very passionate lover.”
“You and him?” Diego chuckled. He was not surprised in the least.
“Not romantically, I’m not…”
“Not strong enough. I mean, the guy comes off as confident but he’s so fragile. Did he tell you about his childhood?”
“He told me he has a hatred of needles.”
“Yeah, Remy was really sick as a child.” Syren paused. She appeared to be choking back tears. “Just… Please be good to him. If he asks, tell him I have everything covered out front. And take him a cookie, they’re oatmeal-chocolate-mint, his favorite.”
“Thank you.” Diego left the kitchen with only two icepacks so he would have a free hand to grab the cookie.
Remy was asleep on his side, looking as comfortable as someone could be with their hands tied above their head.
He placed one icepack to Remy’s eye, stroking it gently down his cheek. “Wake up Sleeping Beauty, I brought you something.” Diego took a bite of the cookie, passing it into Remy’s mouth like a mother bird.
“I take it Syren is here?” Remy asked with a full mouth.
Diego kissed his forehead, down his nose to his lips. He stroked the second icepack over Remy’s shoulder, to his chest, resting on his sternum. Over Remy’s heart, Diego could feel the slightest hint of a scar. He glanced at Remy, looking into his eyes, as he kissed him again, slow and tender.
But Remy turned away.
Diego placed the cookie on the bed, to free his hands. Then with gentle massaging strokes, he removed the belt from Remy’s wrists. “Talk to me.”
“When I was sick, that was when my parents divorced. Since my father was in the military my mother had full custody, and s-she was conservative, very religious. She was totally against surgery, she said the reason my heart was weak was that I was a sinner. If God loved me, he would save me. Even when I eventually recovered from the infection, she beat me and berated me. So when I turned eighteen I ran away to Los Angeles.”
As Remy took a breath Diego cupped his face, kissing away Remy’s tears. “Let’s just say she could give my wife a run for her money.”
Remy smiled, quietly laughing. “Yeah, living with someone like that, it kind of makes it hard to know what love is.”
“Let me show you.” Diego moved the icepack to Remy’s chest, holding it there for only a moment before administering a warm kiss. He could feel Remy’s stomach muscles tighten. The beauty of Remy’s body, paired with the wavering effects of the marijuana pushed aside any pain Diego had been experiencing.
Remy closed his eyes. “I don’t deserve you.”
“But I choose you.” Diego pulled Remy close as they made love.
Remy gripped Diego’s scarred back.
As they exchanged kiss after kiss, their bodies locked in intense passion. Neither man was in control. But their lips would always find each other.
After they’d both experienced a deep, spiritual climax, Remy rested in Diego’s arms. “Diego?”
“Yes, my love.”
“Say something in Spanish.”
“Alguna cosa,” Diego said with a chuckle. It literally translated to ‘something.’
Diego lifted Remy’s face to kiss his lips. “Te amaré hasta el día en que mi alma abandone este mundo. I will love you until the day my soul leaves this world.”
Remy smiled as he gripped Diego’s hand. “Are you looking forward to showing off your new body art?”
“I’m looking forward to a good many things.”
The adventure continues in Dakota Son-