Chapter 10: the end is not the end

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previously: Trials of Adam ch9: to watch the world burn

Chapter 10: End

I wanted so badly to stay at home, with my wife and my son. But I needed to do what was right for my family. And that meant transferring to a veteran’s hospice clinic in Aspen.

The location was undeniably beautiful, with clean air and a majestic view that was as close to heaven as one could get while still on Earth. My heart was truly content, until I contracted pneumonia a few days after arrival.

The coughing was horrific, like a knife tearing into my flesh. As far as I could tell, there was no fluid in my lungs, only an absurd amount of pressure. In truth, it felt as if a creature was trying to claw its way free of my body. I was eventually (who am I kidding, my admission of defeat was quicker than anything) forced to swallow my pride and accept fentanyl for the chronic pain. Even if that meant sleeping the days away. At least I could sleep.

I knew I was sick with a relentless fever. Every muscle in my body always felt painfully cold, and even while on oxygen, it hurt to breathe. I was given antibiotics for the infection, but that did nothing for the brain cancer. I know that I wept because of the pain, but more than that I was genuinely afraid. The darkness was coming, it was just a matter of when. I was going to die, sick and alone. But first I was going to suffer.

After a particularly violent seizure, I had to be sedated. I awoke to discover I had bitten off part of my tongue causing excessive bleeding. There was a tube down my throat, impairing my ability to speak. But out of the corner of my eye I saw my guardian angel by my side. “Leo?”

“You’ll be ok,” the rainbow-haired angel said as he held my hand. “Everything is going to be okay.” He forced an unsteady nod. “You just need to believe that.”

“Believe? This is about faith?” How I could I focus on faith when I was too weak to breathe on my own. I started to cough, causing my throat to spasm, followed by an intense tightness in my chest. I could feel my body collapsing in on itself like a dying star. Soon there would be nothing left.

“Pray to God or don’t, that is a choice I cannot force upon you.” Leo lifted my hand to his lips, kissing my knuckles. “But no matter where you choose to place your faith, you won’t be alone.” Leo placed his hand to my face. “Now, try to get some sleep.”

I blinked my eyes, letting my mind fall to darkness. Within what felt like only seconds, I awoke to Marni by my side.

“Hi, Adam.” She stroked my forehead, soft and slow. “How are you doing?”

I still had a tube in my throat, apparently that hadn’t been a dream. Marni held my hand, moving my fingers to a white clipboard with a wipeable surface. Somehow my hand was strong enough to hold a marker. I blinked away tears, sweat or both. Hard to tell, as my soul was being forcibly ripped from my body. My hand wrote in bulky letters, “I’m so sorry.”

“For what?” Marni asked with an exhausted sigh. Her tone was more than a little disheartening. But as she turned her head, I could see why. Her attention was split between her crippled husband and the precious little boy playing with blocks on the floor.

“For everything in this life,” I said with a strained breath. She didn’t deserve to be saddled with caring for a toddler and a cripple. I owed her so much, more than I could ever repay.

Marni gave me a look of compassion. “Oh, Adam.” With a soft touch she placed her fingers upon my neck, tracing a line from my throat to my jaw. “I love you so much.” Her voice started to break as she gazed lovingly into my eyes. “You deserve to be held, cherished, and loved for all eternity.”

Greg toddled over, lifting his arms. “Dada!”

Marni tears from her eyes, before reaching for our son. “Right Greg? Daddy deserves all the love in the world.” She lifted Greg, placing the little boy in my arms.

At nearly a year old, he was no longer a baby. He’d grown so much, even taking his first steps. I was genuinely surprised that he still knew who I was. “Love you, Dada.”

Marni stroked Greg’s dark hair. “Daddy is very sick today. Do you know what we do when daddy is sick?”

Greg nodded. “Dada’s heart needs my heart.”

I closed my eyes, letting the warmth of his little body relax my weary lungs. It felt like only a moment. But when I awoke, something was very different. The weight on my chest was not that of a child but a fully-grown woman. “Marni?”

“In another life he could have been ours.” It was the voice of Alyssa Blake.

That was impossible. I forced my eyes open and there she was, in bed by my side. Taking a deep breath, I also realized that my throat tube was gone. “When did you get here?” I asked in a whisper.

“A few days ago, when my transfer was approved,” Aly said as she stretched her arms. The blonde beauty was wearing just a t-shirt and gym shorts. Cuddling close to my face, her lips were just inches from mine. “I wanted to surprise you.”

“Consider me surprised.” I looked around to see my wife was still in the room. She was.

Marni sat on a chair, with her laptop on a tray. Her eyes locked with mine in a way that made me think dirty thoughts. “Oh, don’t mind me.” My wife flashed a peace sign and a subtle smirk before returning her attention to her reading.

If not for the presence of my son, I might have been tempted to take the situation in a different direction. Greg was asleep in the bed, resting in Aly’s arms. He yawned adorably as he cuddled his face to her ample chest.

Like father like son.

Alyssa kissed my cheek. “You’re my family.” She rested the baby between us, tickling his cheeks. “Do you remember the day you saved my life?”

The day you lost your baby? “Barely.” I remembered every painful moment.

“I’ll never forget. You stayed by my side all night.” She looked at me, her blue eyes filled with truth. “Do you remember what you said?”

“No,” once again I was forced to lie. The poor girl had been crying, scared to death that she did something to deserve a miscarriage. She blamed herself for choosing her career over her child. For hours she cried, deathly afraid that she would never have a chance at a family, love or even happiness. So, I did the only thing I could think of; I offered to pray with her. I held her in my arms, rocking her like a small child, as together we asked God for guidance.

“You told me it’s okay to be afraid, that how our heavenly father made us. He gave us fear so we would know when to fight.”

“To rise above the fear,” I said in a whisper. The quote was something my grandmother often told me.

“With hope and faith,” Alyssa added. She walked her fingers down my nose, before kissing my cheek. “Nothing more, nothing less.”

“I-I can’t believe you remember that,” my voice quivered, near tears.

“I remember it because those words meant so much to you. Even if an individual couldn’t find it in them to have faith in God, one merely needed to have faith in the world around them.”

“I remember.”

Alyssa held me close, resting her head on my shoulder. “I’ll take care of your family, Adam, I promise. But right now, I’m just so happy to be by your side.”

We talked for hours about the beauty of Alaska, the stress of the military, and how she had transferred to Colorado to be closer to my family. Eventually, my eyes felt tired and Marni came to take little Greg home. Alyssa would stay with me at the hospice clinic. Since it was a VA hospital location, she could access the network and perform her work duties all while keeping me company. At night, my best friend had a cot where she was meant to sleep. But I wanted her in my bed.

I was on so many blood medications, I knew I couldn’t get hard even if I wanted to. This was more of a spiritual desire; I just needed human contact. My head was hurting as my entire body felt weak. My stomach was in agony, as I started to shiver uncontrollably. The fear was real; I was going to die alone. “Alyssa?”

“I’m here, Adam,” she said, as she climbed into my bed stroking my face. Her cot had been positioned right next to the bed. “I’m here.”

Without questioning motives, I reached for her hand. “Will you please hold me?”

“Of course, Adam, always. You’re my best friend and always will be.”

That was when I realized I was recreating my Alaska sex-addict days. I started to laugh at the absurdity. This was just like when Aly held my pain-stricken junkie-slut body as I came down from a high. I closed my eyes, but this time I was greeted by Jamie standing at the foot of my bed.

The kid looked like a demon, with his long black hair flowing over his shoulders. His wings fluttered behind him, looking nearly black in the moonlight. “Long time no see,” said the teen angel with the sun-kissed tan complexion.

I sat up in bed. Shockingly, Alyssa was asleep on my chest. I took this to mean we were in the land of the living. “What are you doing here? I thought your job was done?”

“You mean watching over Cece?” he asked, running his fingers through his hair like a wannabe model. “I’m still doing that. It’s kind of what I want to talk to you about; we’re not leaving, we can’t.”

“We?” It was a strange statement, to say the least. “As in you and Leo?”

“Yes,” he said with a groan. “We’re going to watch over your family for at least this generation, and we’d like you to join us.”

“Why isn’t Leo asking?” I knew why.

Jamie gave an annoyed sigh. “Because if you agree then he’s the one who’s going to have to invite you.”

“Invite me?” I couldn’t help but chuckle. “What does that even mean?”

“He’ll test you, see if you are truly worth our time.” Jamie rolled his eyes with a condescending glare. “If you pass, you will join as part of our team, watch over your children. Maybe even be there to walk your hot bisexual wife down the aisle when she marries your blonde-bombshell friend.” Jamie flashed a sarcastic smile. “But if you fail? Well, it’s been nice knowing you.”

“You’re kidding, right?” I knew Jamie was full of shit but his words still cut to the core. “How could I possibly fail?” Leo was my friend: he wouldn’t let me fail.

“Says the married guy with the practically naked former pageant queen in his bed.”

“She’s not naked,” I grumbled in an annoyed tone. Looking at the figure in my arms, I realized Alyssa was sleeping in only her bra and underwear. Her blonde hair hung loose over her slender frame, as she was softly kissing my neck in her sleep.

“Have fun,” Jamie said with a noticeable smirk. “I’ll be seeing you, or not.”

“What the fuck is your problem?” I asked. “Leo said you know what I am?”

“You want to know my problem? You’re THE Adam.” Jamie raised his hand, as if that was the end of his statement.

“The Adam? What the fuck does that even mean?”

“The first creation, the fuck-up- the one who ruined it for the rest of us.” He made the head slapping ‘duh’ gesture.

I laughed out loud. “Holy fuck, Man, you’re insane.”

“Believe it or don’t. The fact is, your soul has been given so many second chances it’s sickening.” The pissed off teen came closer, pressing his finger to my chest. “At this point, you’re not even human.”

“Unlike the kid who died in a meth induced orgy?”

“Fuck you! I was murdered!”

“You-,” I was more than ready to debate Jamie. If I was the reincarnation of Adam, he was probably the reincarnation of the first human to die from licking the back of a frog. “You were a prostitute who worked as a traveling musician!”

My train of thought paused, and my eyes squinted with a look of confusion. For whatever reason I had all of Leo’s knowledge regarding Jamie’s tragic past. Any feeling of anger was suddenly replaced with pity and remorse.

“Leo, bless his heart, thinks he can finally give you a place to call home. I guess he’s always had a soft spot for lost souls.” Jamie patted my shoulder as he turned to leave out the front door. “You should have fun while you still can.”

When Jamie left, Alyssa opened her eyes, looking up at me. “Hi, Baby,” she said with a sexy smile as she cupped my face.

“Um, hi.”

“It’s alright.” Alyssa playfully kissed the tip of my nose. “Marni said it was okay.”

“Really?”

She kissed my dry, rough lips. “I just want to make you feel good. That’s all any of us want; to make you feel cherished, loved.”

I reclined in bed, trying to relax as she walked her fingers down my chest. I knew my heart was pounding. But my dick remained soft.

“I know your heart is very weak. I don’t expect anything from you.” Alyssa kissed my lips again, this time forcing her tongue in my mouth.

Her breath tasted like a seductive mix of toothpaste and lip-gloss. I moaned as I took a deep, long taste. I don’t deserve you. I gripped her hair, holding the kiss until I ran out of breath.

Alyssa smiled. “All those times in Alaska, when I would check on you, I was so jealous.” she was exploring her hands down my abs, to my hips. “You let those doctors hurt you. You let them rape you, cut you, in exchange for drugs.” She kissed my neck, above my port, as she wrapped her legs around me. “It broke my heart, because all I wanted was so hold you.” She moved my hands, placing them upon her slender stomach.

I could feel her scar. That was when I realize, despite all her beauty, Alyssa lived her life defined by her imperfections. In her mind she was as damaged as I was. And that idea brought me to tears. “You’re so fucking gorgeous. You deserve so much better than me.”

“And you’re a true living God,” she said in a breathy whisper. “You’re everything I ever wanted. Now, close your eyes, let me worship you.”

I didn’t have much of a choice.

Her warm hands massaged my body as she rubbed her hips against mine. with each thrust she was moving her panties down her legs, until I could feel her moist, scared flower. I wanted so badly to fuck her, to go balls deep until I blew a load inside her hot blonde pussy. That was all I ever wanted.

No, I wanted something more. “I bet you look so sexy with your body just writhing in orgasm.” I wanted to experience her beauty.

She took off her sports bra, freeing her perfect breasts.  “Want to find out?” Alyssa moved her now naked body on to mine. She placed my hand upon her warm, wet labia. “Show me what you’ve got.” Aly licked her lips, giving her best porn-star impression, while laughing sweetly.

“Be careful what you ask for.” Spreading her folds, I was able to position my hand to finger-fuck her. first with one finger, then two.

“Oh God, yes. Just like that.” She guided my hand, while she masturbated, moving faster than my weak muscles could manage. “Please, don’t stop!” I felt her body tense. The way her back arched, causing her breath to catch in her lungs. She looked like an angel. “Thank you, Adam. I never realized how badly I needed that.”

For the next few days, our playtime became tradition. As soon as my wife left with my son, Alyssa would slip into bed. She always started out in underwear, only to end the evening naked in my arms. We made some memories.

I could remember finger-fucking her to orgasm in different positions. She told me she wanted to touch my cock. I still couldn’t get hard, but she would grind on me while we kissed, like actual lovers. I could remember being inside her. She held me, kissed me. “It’s ok, Adam, let yourself go.”

Oh God, it feels so good.

“Yes, Adam, just like that.”

Everything feels so good; her lips, her breath, her skin, her gorgeous tits.

She’s moaning, crying.

Did I finish inside her?

Our lovemaking was everything I dreamed it would be. The way my body felt … loved?… valued?… something…? It was just nice to be able to feel.

Until the day I had to be put on a respirator.

It was hard enough to be dying of brain cancer. My hands always trembled. my heart always ached. But I had developed a staph infection via a ruptured cyst on my liver. I was bleeding internally, and with how physically weak i was, surgery was not an option. I was put on a machine that forced air into my dying lungs as the pain in my chest became unbearable.

Alyssa stayed in the room, although no longer able to sleep by my side. “Adam, I’m here. I’m still here, Baby it’s okay.”

The fever was so bad, my vision was floating in and out of focus. But I was sure, I could see my wife sitting by my side. “Marni?” My voice was a nothing more than a gasp of air.

“Hi, Adam,” she said in her usual cool, confidence. “How are you doing?”

“I think I fucked Alyssa Blake.”

“I know, sweetheart.” She leaned in close, pressing her lips to my ear. “So did I.” Marni took my hand and started to kiss my fingers once by one.  “Do you want me to tell you about it?” She asked as she licked the tip of my index finger. “We can swap stories about her soft, yet firm, muscular tits. With those sexy pink nipples.”

“God, I love you.” My eyes closed on their own and I fell in to a deep sleep.

I awoke standing by the window. It was more than a little jarring since I had not been able to stand for over a year. My hand brushed my leg: I had both legs. I took a pain-free breath for the first time in ages. I was dead.

A pair of glowing hands caressed my body. I leaned back as the disembodied hands massaged my shoulders, down my chest. The rest of Leo’s body materialized, holding me close. “I don’t want you to panic, but you suffered a stroke last night.” He turned his focus to the bed, my body. “If you choose to wake up, you will have lost eighty percent of your vision, and forty percent of your hearing. This is all in addition to the fact that your heart and lungs are pretty much non-functional at this point.”

“Or I can die in my sleep?”

“Many people don’t even get that option,” Leo pointed out.

I nodded, feeling too relaxed to put up any kind of argument. “I trust you.”

“I’m glad.” Leo guided me to what remained of my human body. I had lost so much weight bones were visible in my chest. The respirator was still operational, forcing air into my dying lungs. “Now it’s just a matter of what your family wants to do.”

“Um, what?”

Alyssa awoke and took a seat at my bedside. She held my limp hand and started to sob uncontrollably.

This caused Marni to awaken from the opposite corner, with our sleeping toddler in her arms. “He’s brain dead,” she said in a cold, robotic tone.

Alyssa nodded through tears. “At least he’s not in pain anymore.” She took a moment to wipe her eyes with the back of her hand. “Should we wait for Cece before turning off the respirator?”

Marni pursed her lips in contemplation. “I’ll call her and ask,” she replied, shifting the baby in her arms. “Will you hold Greg for me?”

“Sure.”

Greg yawned and opened his eyes just as Marni handed him over. He glanced up at Leo, reaching for the angel’s rainbow hair. and then he turned to me. “Hi, Dada.”

My little boy had just said hello to my spectral form. But I had no chance to respond. Leo and I followed Marni out of the room, down the hallway.

My wife leaned against the wall before pulling out her phone. “Hi Cece, it’s Mom, please pick up.”

I, in my new transparent form, stood beside my wife with my hand laced through her fingers. “I love you so much.”

The call connected. Cece answered with a yawn. “Hello?”

“Hi, Sweetie.”

“Mom?”

“Your father passed away last night.”

Silence. Cece was sobbing.

“It was most likely the fever. He’d just been real sick; coughing at all hours, while just lying there shivering.”

“Oh God! I’m so sorry! I should have come home more! I should have been there!” I knew why she wasn’t by my side. She was in school working towards her the life she deserved. “I should have known,” she said through sobs. “He wasn’t even awake the last time I visited.”

It was only then, Marni started to cry. My wife dropped the phone as she fell to her knees, cupping her hand over her mouth. “Nothing would ever have been enough.” Her words seemed to be aimed at a higher power.

What did that even mean? Their love wasn’t enough? Their attention? “You’re wrong, Marni, you were always enough.” I was the fuck up. I was the one who didn’t try hard enough.

It was all my fault.

The room went dark as if someone had just hit the cosmic breaker box. I stood up, only to fall backward down a massive hole. “Aw fuck!” I landed hard on my back on to a flat surface. A table? The table had cuffs that locked on to my arms and legs. I suddenly saw a blinding light. Spotlights? I awoke naked on an operating table. except it wasn’t an operating table. This was the BDSM club back in Alaska. A pair of hands gripped my neck, attaching what I knew was a slave collar.

This was just the test, it had to be.

But the pain felt so real. I can’t breathe.

The terror was real. God, please help me.

Another thought crossed my mind, one that made me sick to my stomach.

What if I had already failed Leo’s test and this was hell?

Leo, please I’m so sorry.

Next: Ch 11: to hell and back

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