“He looks nice.”
Jovian studied the tall man. “Don’t you think he’s a little old for me?”
“Age is just a number here honey. What matters is how you feel about someone. What does his mind tell you?”
The nineteen year old concentrated hard, delving into the brunettes mind. He giggled, hiding his mouth behind his hand.
“What?” JC asked curious as to what his oldest son had overheard in the older mans mind.
“I don’t think it’s for me to tell you pops, but it sounds really interesting. “Jovian blushed pink under his poppa’s scrutiny and ducked his head, moving on to the next pod. “I’m not sure about this one, he’s hiding something. It’s buried deep I can’t quite reach it … its like he has a wall.” Jovian shook his head, concentrating as hard as he could. He let out a frustrated sigh and shrugged. “Poppa I want to get Jewel to come and see if he can see what I can’t. He’s more perceptive than all of us put together.”
JC shook his head, “I’m not having Gem upset, he’s in a fragile condition right now, if this guy is anything like them.” He pointed to the pods marked with big black crosses.
“No it’s not that.” The teenager stared intently into the stasis tube as if the answer would suddenly come to him. “It’s no good, it’s too well buried. I’ll ask Jewel, he’ll be cool.”
JC chuckled at hearing his first born using the human word, “Cool!”
Jovian blushed, “Yeah uncle Chris said it was your favourite word for a while, that and Dude.”
The older man laughed. “Okay you busted me, I went through my surfer phase, everything was cool, and everyone was a dude, and I carried my board round 24/7. Couldn’t surf to save my life, but damn it attracted the guys.”
Jovian chuckled, “I wish I could have known you then, Chris said you changed when you met daddy, became more serious, more emotional.”
“Yeah well suddenly finding yourself pregnant and having no idea how it could possibly have happened can do that to you.” JC mentally kicked himself as a sad look crossed Jovie’s face. “I never regretted having you baby, I fought your daddy tooth and nail to keep you, he wanted to take you away from me, he said I would make you soft. But I never did, I made you strong, I made all of you strong.”
The two men stared into each other’s eyes for a brief moment, before turning their attention back to the pods, the tender intimate moment passed. “I’ll ask Jaden to join us, it will be easier with three of us and he works well with Gem.”
JC scrunched up his nose, “I thought daddy said only you could have access to the pods?”
Jovian grinned, “I don’t remember him saying that I couldn’t ask my brothers opinions.”
“Ha, you really are my son aren’t you?”
“I learned from the best Poppa.” The teenager dropped a sloppy wet kiss on the end of his fathers nose.
“Eww,” JC rubbed the wet patch then grinned. He looked at the final tube. “What about him?”
Jovian placed his hand, palm down on the cool transparent plastic surface that separated him from the man. He closed his eyes, letting the breath escape slowly from his body, his right eye twitched, his eyeballs moved rapidly beneath his lowered lids. He began to speak in a soft whisper. “Pain … sadness … such sadness….inside his heart, unyielding … unending. Such darkness … despair. He dreams of death, dying … making the pain stop.” Jovian snatched back his hand and studied it as if he expected to find it burned. His eyes met the silver blue of his fathers. “He’s not evil, just in desperate torment.”
JC gazed at the 6 foot plus dark haired man, his strong chin and high cheekbones, the thick dark eyebrows that curved gracefully over his eyes. “He’s very attractive.”
“Thinking of trading daddy in?”
“Heavens no! I couldn’t handle the pout.” They both laughed at the thought of the tall blond alien sulking. JC used a monitor to pull up what they knew about the enigmatic dark haired man. “Mm, Lance’s notes say that he didn’t adapt to the womb implant, if you decided on him it will be you that will have to carry the children. Would you be happy to do that?”
Jovie shrugged. “I’m not sure I kinda thought I was a top, and I wouldn’t have to go through that.”
“JOVIAN SCOTT, that is way too much information for your poppa to know.” JC winked, “Jovie to make our world work we all have to do our bit. If you are capable of carrying a child you have a duty to the colony to do so, if he is your choice, you will have to bottom.”
“Duty … Is that why you kept letting daddy impregnate you? Even though you knew it was killing you.”
JC flipped off the monitor, quickly changing the subject. “I think we’ve finished here for today and I want to talk to daddy about those bad pods.”
JC started for the door, tight unyielding fingers bit deeply into his upper arm, stopping him in his tracks. “You didn’t answer me poppa! Why do you let him treat you like his property, his own personal breeding cow?”
The slender 46 year old inclined his body slightly towards the teen, keeping his eyes adverted from Jovian’s inquiring gaze. He stared at the floor in a long agonising silence. “Because I am.” He whispered, “I always have been.” An angry scowl developed on the youngsters face. “Don’t get me wrong Jovie, your daddy loves me, in his own way, he’s not one for human emotions, for saying the words, but I’m sure he does and I love him so much. Our relationship has never been equal. …. Come on, let’s go, I need to get these pods sorted out.”
“I hope I’m lucky enough to find a man like you.”
JC had to blink back the scalding hot tears that invaded his eyes as Jovian took him in his arms wrapping strong adult arms round his frail body, hugging him tightly. “Come on baby its getting late.” he unwound himself from his son’s embrace, swiping at his watery eyes as he opened the door. Jovian took one last look at the tall dark man then turned off the lights, plunging the room into darkness, he’d come back later with Gem and Jaden.
“Justin can I speak with you? I’d like Chris and Lance to be in on this too.”
“It sounds ominous.”
JC raked his fingers through his hair, “Don’t be flippant with me. You treat me like I’m dumb, well this is important!” shock registered on Justin’s face, something really had his lover wound up. “Can we just go see Lance and Chris?”
“Sure honey.” The alien got up from trying to fix the waste unit and washed his hands, drying them on a cloth hanging off the side of the sink. He took JC’s hand and they walked over to the medical centre hand in hand. Lance was hovering round the artificial womb, scanning the progress of the unborn twins. Chris was laying on one of the examination beds, his left knee bent and his right leg resting on top of it, bouncing up and down in time to the humming that was rumbling in his throat. “How much longer Lance?” He whined.
“Five more minutes babe.” Chris heaved a heavy sigh. He caught sight of his two friends entering the room and sat up smiling brightly. “Oh thank god! You got to help me, my loving boyfriend here won’t let me leave, and he keeps doing tests on me. He’s mad I tell you … mad.”
Lance rolled his eyes. “He’s got bladder problems, I’m just doing a few tests to find out why.”
“Well I got something else for you to worry about.” JC sat on the bed next to his long time friend, leaning against him. “Jovian and I went to look at the pods and I we discovered something quite alarming. 22 of the pods contain criminals, paedophiles, rapists, thieves, and thugs …. Murderers.” He waited for someone to say something. “We marked the pods.”
“Jovian read their minds?” Lance asked.
JC nodded “Yes.”
Justin scratched his head and looked in the direction of Big Bird. “I’ll deal with it.”
JC jumped up. “What are you going to do?”
The blond stormed towards the door. Slinging a chair from his path. “I said I’d deal with it.”
“No Lance, Chris, stop him, he’s going to switch off the stasis tubes!” Lance and Chris grabbed Justin, stopping him from leaving. JC nibbled at his nails until his lover calmed down. “We can’t kill them Ju, if we do then we are no different to them.”
Justin shrugged off the hands holding him. “What do you suggest Jace? We risk them thawing out, they are scum, they don’t deserve to live.”
JC rounded on him. “And what gives you the right to decide for the rest of us?”
“He’s right Justin, this should be a group decision, and the kids should be consulted too.” Chris voiced his sentiments.
“Yes” JC butted in, “A democratic vote.”
“I agree with Jace and Chris on this Justin, we need to put it to the vote, you will get your chance to voice your opinion and JC you can have yours. We’ll call a meeting for tomorrow afternoon.”
Justin scowled angrily at his three companions. “Ok, have your vote, I’ll abide by the decision, but when it all blows up in your faces don’t blame me.” He spun on his heel and stormed out of the infirmary.
Chris sighed, “He really doesn’t like us standing up to him does he? I’ll go inform the children.