Click here for updated Character List ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Jared<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li>Age: 29<\/li>\r\n<li>Description: 6'3\", 230 lbs of solid muscle, trimmed dark black hair and deep chocolate brown eyes<\/li>\r\n<li>Job: Paramedic (Partner: Liam) \/ Shift Supervisor<\/li>\r\n<li>Boyfriend: Liam<\/li>\r\n<li>Spirit Guide: Bear<\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p> <\/p>\r\n<h4>Liam<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li>Age: 22<\/li>\r\n<li>Description: 6'0\", blue eyes, curly blond hair, nicely toned and tanned<\/li>\r\n<li>Job: Paramedic (Partner: Jared)<\/li>\r\n<li>Boyfriend: Jared<\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p> <\/p>\r\n<h4>Troy<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li>Age: 25<\/li>\r\n<li>Description: 5’11”, brown eyes, blonde hair, solid but not overly muscular.<\/li>\r\n<li>Job: Paramedic<\/li>\r\n<li>Boyfriend: Tyler<\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p> <\/p>\r\n<h4>Tyler<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li>Age: 25<\/li>\r\n<li>Description: 5'11\", brown eyes, dark brown hair, slim<\/li>\r\n<li>Job: Police Officer (Partner: Josh)<\/li>\r\n<li>Boyfriend: Troy<\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p> <\/p>\r\n<h4>Josh<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li>Age: 25<\/li>\r\n<li>Description: 5'8\", blue eyes, light brown hair, solid. He and Darrin could pass for cousins or even brothers,<\/li>\r\n<li>Job: Police Officer (Partner: Tyler)<\/li>\r\n<li>Boyfriend: Darren<\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p> <\/p>\r\n<h4>Darren<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li>Age: 26<\/li>\r\n<li>Description: 6'0\", green eyes, light brown hair, solid. He and Josh could pass for cousins or even brothers.<\/li>\r\n<li>Job: Fire Fighter<\/li>\r\n<li>Boyfriend: Josh<\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p> <\/p>\r\n<h4><span style=\"text-decoration: underline; color: #999999;\">Minor \/ Recurring Characters<\/span><\/h4>\r\n<h4>Rob<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li>Job: Ambulance Base Manager")
Liam untied the boat while Jared started the engine. He turned it upstream and gunned the motor. They soon arrived at the mouth of the river. Jared flew out of the river and onto the lake, heading for the cabin. Finally, as they came around the final land point extending into the lake, they could see two of the guys running onto the dock. As they got closer they could see it was Darren and Tyler. Jared didn't even stop at the dock to tie up. One of the advantages of a jet boat was to be able to drive right up to the beach and step off on dry ground and he did this.
As soon as he turned off the motor Jared yelled, "What happened to Josh?"
Darren spoke, "He slipped on the gunnel of the ski boat and smashed his head on the dock. He's unresponsive. We carried him up to the cabin and put him on the floor in the living room. We were trying to figure out how to call 911 from out here in the bush when Josh opened his eyes for a moment and said 'Jared is coming.'"
They all ran up to the cabin and found Josh lying flat on his back on the floor, not moving. His skin was cool, clammy and cyanotic. His breathing was regular, very shallow with the odd abdominal breath mixed in. His pupils were both dilated but still in the sluggish range of reaction. The left side of his head over the ear was red and swollen with a trickle of blood coming out of the ear.
Troy had grabbed the paramedic jump kits which were stored at the cabin and had started IV's and was ready to intubate him if necessary. Jared went to him and placed one hand over Josh's heart for a moment and then looked up at everyone. He fell to his knees and placed his right hand gently on the top of Josh's head, and the left under the jaw. He then looked up to the ceiling and chanted in the ancient language. He brought his head back down and looked at Josh, his eyes glowing bright white light. Jared felt the energy building within his chest as he stared at his unconscious brother. It continued to build and fill him with warmth.
The four men were kneeling next to Josh, waiting for a command or direction how to help Jared. What they saw was Jared's eyes glowing white as he reached and touched Josh's head with his hands. The men watched as the center of Jared's chest began to glow the same colour as his eyes. The glowing slowly expanded outward from his chest until Jared's entire body was a bright white light and rimmed in gold. The light seemed to stabilize for a moment until it could be seen moving from Jared into Josh through his hands. As it did, the white colour began to spread throughout Josh's body until he was entirely covered and glowed brightly as well. The white glowing colour radiating from Josh grew in intensity until it was almost blinding. Suddenly, it began to drain out of Josh and up through Jared's hands and arms into his chest. The glow began to dim until it disappeared entirely.
Jared kept his hands-on Josh for a moment longer and then said out loud, "Creator of all, I thank you for your gift of healing my brother Josh. He will now continue on his path through life to serve your need." Tired, Jared dropped his hands and head to look at the floor. Liam went to his side and put an arm around him.
Josh opened his eyes and looked up at everyone, "What the hell happened?" he asked weakly. Josh looked at Jared and the men recalling something. "I remember hitting my head and the lights went out."
Darren had tears rolling down his cheeks as he kneeled next to his boyfriend. "I don't fully understand what the fuck happened here, but thank you Jared." He turned his attention to the man lying on the floor. With tenderness, he took Josh's hands into his own.
Darren spoke softly, "Josh, you hit your head and you've been healed. Jared says that you're fine now but I think you'll need to rest for a bit."
Jared spoke, "Your right Darren, he needs some rest. Please, take him up to the bedroom and stay with him; he will be weak for a couple of hours."
Darren had tears in his eyes and looked at Jared, "I really don't understand Jared, and I know you're trying to teach me, but whatever you did, thank you." He then looked up to the ceiling and said, "I know the Creator did this. I don't fully understand how yet, but thank you for saving my boyfriend."
Jared looked deep into Josh's eyes and said, "I only need to ask you to do one thing Josh."
"What's that, Jared?"
"Will you quit getting hurt? This is becoming a habit," Jared answered with a smirk on his face.
"I'll make a note of that request and make an honest effort not to be so accident prone," replied Josh with a smile.
Darren didn't know what to believe, but he knew what he had seen. After Troy took the IV out, Darren helped Josh up to his feet to lead him upstairs to their bedroom.
Jared then turned to Liam, Tyler and Troy and said, "Would you guys please get the rocks into the fire. We need the sweat tonight now more than ever. Tyler, grab the bundle out of the storage shed with Liam and layer the canvass over the sweat lodge with the buffalo skin over the top as the last layer. Darren and Josh are going to sleep for a couple of hours and I need to go meditate for a bit to recharge myself as well as casting off the negative energy of the injury in preparation for tonight."
Liam helped him to his feet, and Jared hugged Liam before leaving the cabin. He quickly disappeared into the thick bush on the west side of the cabin. Liam ran upstairs to check on Josh and he found him asleep and on his side facing Darren. Darren was staring at the sleeping Josh but he looked up and smiled when Liam came into the room. Liam went to the bedside and leaned over to look where he had seen the injury previously. The swelling and bruising were now entirely gone. The side of Josh's head was totally unremarkable, appearing like nothing had ever happened. He listened to Josh sleeping and noted the breathing was strong and regular. He reached out and gently lifted one of Josh's eye lids. The pupil contracted quickly as it was exposed to room light. Josh didn't react to Liam's touching his eyelid, indicating he was in a deep, almost trance like sleep.
Liam smiled at Darren, and left to go help with the others. Darren returned the smile, and then returned to watching his boyfriend sleep.
Downstairs, Tyler and Troy were waiting for his return. As soon as Liam arrived, the three headed outside. Tyler and Liam headed to the boat to start unloading the rocks while Troy went to get a wheelbarrow to make it faster. Soon enough, the rock hauling had finished and they were all in the fire. The boys piled more wood on top of the fire and soon an inferno was underway.
"Big enough fire to burn a witch," Tyler joked.
"If we had that nurse from the ER desk the other night, I'd volunteer her for that honour," Troy said.
"She's just pissed off at you because you're gay. She wanted you as a boyfriend," commented Tyler.
"She likes men? I thought she was a tough assed lesbian," said Troy.
"You think that of all the women who give your cute little ass a bad time," replied Tyler. Troy turned around, bent over, and started wiggling his muscular little ass at Tyler.
Tyler reached forward and grabbed him by the hips, pulling his ass into contact with his groin. "Don't wiggle that at me to start something we don't have time to finish lover," said Tyler laughing.
"Who says we don't have time?" asked Troy. Tyler gently pushed him away and then using his large hand; gave Troy a resounding smack on his ass.
"Son-of-a-bitch," Troy yelped. He stood up, arched backwards grabbing his ass and began to jump up and down.
"You trying to catch a fish with that little worm you have flopping around on your front?" asked Liam.
He stopped bouncing, turned and gave them both a dirty look. "Fuck you both," he said.
"Well, we could deal with him fucking us both couldn't we Liam?" said Tyler with a wink.
"Yeah, I think that could happen" replied Liam. Troy stood and looked at them both with a shocked look on his face. The moment Troy dropped his guard; the two men lunged towards him. The grabbed him and started to tickle him without mercy. Troy fell to the ground, out of control under spasms of laughter.
Troy made a series of sounds which probably meant, "I give." The three men all sat there on the grass, catching their breath.
"Assholes," mumbled Troy.
They were quiet when Liam spoke up. "Guys, I don't really understand what happened in there with Josh. I've seen Jared use his powers a few times and he has started teaching me about the spirituality of the Creator. I seem to know it deep within me at some level but I don't understand it yet. Do you guys?"
Tyler and Troy look at each other and then to Liam. "Your boyfriend is a very complex man. We are like brothers, but closer. You and Darren are first two who have been brought into our family since Jared brought us together. I don't know how much Jared has said about himself and I really don't know how much to say now. You are at a crossroad of your life path and it is not our role to point the direction," said Tyler.
He continued, "I will tell you a bit about me though. I had been in the police force for 3 years, and the death and misery I had seen was getting to me. I wasn't dealing with it very well. I was a 3rd generation police officer after my father and grandfather and it wasn't easy. I had been outed as gay by another police officer and he made sure my family heard. They disowned me. It was a disgrace to them having gay son, especially one who was a cop. They had the attitude that all gays are monsters and should not be in a job which allows them to take advantage of others. It really surprised me as they had never said anything negative about gays previous to the comments directed at me. Anyway, it was Christmas time and I was at an all-time low. Between the grisly scenes I had seen, my isolation from the family and the stigma of being gay in a manly man's occupation, depression was hitting me in full force. Actually, it was Christmas Eve day and I had made the decision to use my service weapon to end it at home after shift."
Tyler paused and Troy reached over to massage his shoulders.
Tyler continued, "Before the end of my shift we were called to a fight outside a bar. A lot of businesses had closed early on Christmas Eve letting their staff leave so the bars were packed. As we pulled up the ambulance was arriving. There were 5 guys fighting with one on the ground unconscious. Jared got out of the ambulance and rushed over to the guy on the ground. Two of the guys didn't like that idea and tried to take a swing at Jared. I hadn't got more than two steps forward to help him when I watched him defend himself, laying both of them flat in seconds using martial arts. There was someone in the gathering crowd that threw a beer bottle at the back of Jared's head. He just turned and grabbed it in mid-air, holding it up for all to see. I guess one of the combatants felt safe with Jared's back to him so he ran towards like he was going to tackle him. Jared tossed the beer bottle in the air, spun and grabbed the guy's shoulder in something like a Vulcan neck pinch and he crumpled to the ground, unmoving. Jared then turned back to the crowd and moved his right hand out to catch the beer bottle before it hit the ground.
"I was close by then and I heard Jared say to the crowd, 'Violence is not acceptable. Take a taxi and go home to sleep it off.' I swear I felt his voice had a low vibration in the ground like being near a bulldozer driving by but everyone did exactly what he said. They all left in taxis. Jared worked on the patient and transported him to hospital. Before they drove away, he asked me to meet him at the hospital.
"I drove down to the hospital. After he dropped of his patient, he pulled me outside and into the ambulance bay. Jared looked at me and said, 'Don't do it. It is not meant to be.' I claimed I had no idea what he was talking about but he just said it again very calmly. We locked eyes and a feeling of despair built within me until it overflowed. I started to cry. He took me in his arms and after a couple of minutes, he patted my back, gave me his address and he told me to be there for supper at 9:00 pm. I went over and had a great homemade supper. We went to church that night and celebrated the midnight service. He took me back to his apartment and we talked long into the night. He put me to bed in the spare room and in the morning I talked more with him just listening. After breakfast, he introduced me to the smudging ceremony. Neither one of us had got dressed that morning so we were just wandering around in our underwear. During the ceremony, he put his hand over my heart and I felt warmth grow deep inside me. It was love, inner peace and for the lack of better words to describe it, contentment with life. Those feelings have never left me to this day. Jared told me things would work out on the Creator's schedule, not mine and I must put faith in myself and the Creator. We spent a lot of time together after that but it was never more than friends. His was a true friendship, something I had never had before until I met the rest of you guys"
Liam nodded his head in understanding. "He has that ability to make a person feel wanted."
Troy then spoke up, "My dad had been a paramedic and I wanted to follow in his footsteps so I went to school and started working. I was off duty and driving home to my apartment after another night of hanging around with my friends. I had not come out yet and was trying to keep up appearances of being straight or at least just one of the guys. As I was driving home, a drunk driver blew through a red light and T-boned the car on my side. The police, firefighters and other paramedics were working extra hard to get me out of the wreck but I was beginning to slip into unconsciousness. I was trapped in the vehicle and the last thing I heard was Jared telling everyone to step back while he worked on me. I woke up in the hospital room a few hours later and he was sitting there next to the bed reading quietly. When I stirred, he looked over at me and said, 'good morning.' I asked what happened and he looked me in the eye and said, 'The Creator spared your life because of the work you do for others. You are doing his work and it will make a difference.' I had no clue what he was talking about and just shrugged it off. He looked at me again and said, 'You'll be released tomorrow morning and I'll pick you up. We can have lunch and talk some more.'
"I'd seen Jared at the ambulance base and even talked with him. He wasn't a friend, just an acquaintance saying hi to each other or maybe some small talk. But sure enough, he picked me up the next day and took me to his apartment to have lunch. We talked, ate and drank coffee into the evening. He said it was time and he took me into the smudging room. I really didn't know a lot about what he was talking about. He started to strip down to his underwear. When he was done, he told me I could wear my clothing or join him as he was dressed, it didn't matter. I undressed to my underwear as well and then he conducted the ceremony. I felt the same warmth and inner feelings in my chest as Tyler described when he placed his hand over my heart.
"The death of my family had been eating me up inside and I was beginning to drink and self-medicate. I hadn't been drinking the night of the accident which was lucky for me. My family had died from carbon monoxide poisoning due to a faulty furnace in their home. I was supposed to stop for a visit that night, but I got involved with my friends and forgot. I kept blaming myself with the feelings that if I had gone, I could have found them and maybe saved them. Jared told me the creator had healed an aortic tear and if it had not repaired, I would not have been freed from the wreckage alive. My ribs and arm were still tender, well, they hurt badly still. It was strange, but I believed what he said. After the ceremony, I had the same feeling as Tyler had said. I realized it wasn't my fault that my parents had died and I could have been killed as well if I had spent the night. We become very close. Jared actually introduced me to Tyler and we have been together since."
"Incredible," Liam commented.
Tyler spoke up and said, "We won't tell you the whole story, but Josh had been knifed twice in a domestic fight. The knife was a filleting knife and went right through the body armour he was wearing. When Jared and Troy got there, I cleared out the kitchen for them to work. I saw Jared's eyes and the glow on his hands after he prayed.
"This time, Troy and I brought Josh over to Jared's after his being released from the hospital a couple of days later. We all talked and then smudged, introducing Josh to the ceremony. Josh was not a nice person before he had been knifed. He was a really great cop, but an absolute asshole. Well, maybe he hasn't changed much…" reflected Tyler with a smirk.
Troy slapped him on the back of the head. "Ok, he has changed," Tyler said.
Troy jumped in and continued the story. "Josh seemed to target the LGBTQ2 community for his enforcement. He made a lot of clean busts, never setting anyone up or falsifying evidence but he seemed to step around other busts he could have made to target the LGBTQ2 community. Turns out he had been in foster care as a teenager after his dad killed his mom in a drunken fight. He was raped by one of the older brothers in the home repeatedly. He was also blaming the older brother for turning him gay. Josh had a real inner struggle about the rapes and guilt of feeling enjoyment as the rapes went on. He had so much anger in him and he fought with those inner feelings until he met us as a group. He finally felt safe and with us supporting him, he got his life together and came out. He became a better cop, a good person, and a member of our family from that day forward."
Tyler spoke up, "He did file a complaint against the rapist with Jared's help. The investigators eventually filed charges for the rapes. The foster family never did believe it really happened and they hated Josh and made that known all through the trial. With the press covering the story, two other victims came forward. He was convicted and ended up on suicide watch in the prison. In spite of them watching, he succeeded anyways. Before he hung himself, he had written letters to Josh and his parents, confessing everything as well as begging to be forgiven for his actions."
Liam sat a thought for a minute. "I don't know what to say. My story isn't like yours. He helped me, but nothing like you guys. He is my work partner and I was feeling bad one day."
Liam paused speaking.
"No, I have to tell you the truth. My family had been killed when they were coming to visit me at college. I had been blaming myself for killing them and one day a patient died on me and I cracked. We did the first smudging ceremony as you guys did." Liam gave them a crooked smirk. "But we really made love later, my first time."
The two boys hooted and hollered, slapping Liam on the back.
Troy spoke up quickly, "The reason you're here is because of his love for you, and yours for him. Something we all could see the first time we met you as a couple. You two seem to have the most incredible auras when you are together. Liam, we had all watched your ass from time to time, but it wasn't meant to be with anyone but Jared."
Tyler acted huffy and in the best lisp looked at Troy. "You were looking at his ass? You slut!" He regained his composure "Well, I have to admit, I was looking at it too. Liam, you have a nice ass in your tight uniform pants, it is better when you wear your loin cloth and real hot when you wiggle it while playing volleyball naked."
Troy slapped Tyler's shoulder and said, "Who's the slut now?"
Liam was laughing by now and looking at his new friends. "Your asses aren't bad either, guys."
Troy and Tyler looked at each other and then as if choreographed, put their hands on their hips and said at the same time, "You slut!" and then started to laugh.
"We have all noticed you finally got Jared to rid of those horribly worn out old ratty boxers he used to wear all the time. The bikini briefs he wears now are much better! Good taste Liam," Troy exclaimed.
Liam acknowledged them. "Thank you. It was a fight but I badgered him until he caved in."
"We did laugh when Jared told us the story of how he was outed by Pierre at the restaurant and Jared not knowing you spoke French fluently," said Tyler. "I almost pissed myself I was laughing so hard."
"OK, enough of laughing at Liam and talking about his perfectly formed, well-muscled tight little ass. Let's get some more wood on the fire. Troy, would you make a light lunch while we get the lodge ready? I know we are supposed to fast before a sweat but I think we need some light food after the healing session earlier," asked Tyler.
"Yes, no problem. I'll come down to give you a hand after it's ready," he replied.
Jared had wandered through the forest and along a trail until he came to a special clearing. In the clearing was the stump of large spruce tree and Jared moved to it and sat down cross legged. He held his arms out, palms up.
"Mother Earth, I am here in your bosom after doing the Creator's work. I need your help to release the evil energy and fill myself with light to continue his work," prayed Jared.
Jared began to chant to the sky. He continued to chant while he brought his hands down and placed them palms down in the ground. His eyes lit up bright white. The ground around the tree stump began to glow a rich gold. The gold colour slowly moved from the ground through the tree stump until it covered Jared's entire body. It began to glow brighter and brighter shimmering white and gold. After 20 minutes of chanting prayers, the colour slowly began to retreat off Jared and back into the stump. The tree stump grew with the intensity of the colour. Like a torpedo being fired from a submarine, a ball of white light shot into the northern sky and disappeared out of sight. This was followed by a ball of yellow light to the east, a ball of red light to the south and finally a ball of black energy to the west. Jared continued to sit crossed legged chanting slowly to thank each of the directions of the medicine wheel for their strength and assistance. He would continue to chant for the next 30 minutes.
Tyler motioned for Liam to follow him into the forest behind the lodge skeleton. He pointed at some cedar trees growing and said, "Let's cut a couple of the lowest branches from each of the trees. The cedar is powerful medicine in a sweat and it is placed on the ground where we sit. It keeps us safe from the evil ones." They cut an armful of cedar each and took them the lodge.
Liam cleaned out the old rocks from the ring within the lodge and carefully placed them into the wheelbarrow. He moved the wheelbarrow and set it down near the boat on the beach.
Tyler watched with interest and asked, "Why are you doing that, Liam?"
"The rocks spoke to me and told me we needed to return them to the river bed. They are just on loan to us for the ceremony," replied Liam. He thought deep for a moment and then said, "Tyler, I am not sure where this came from or why I know it, but the rock spirits are good for us, they represent the traditional ways, truth and justice. When heated and water poured on them in the sweat lodge, it is their cleansing spirit being released into the lodge."
Tyler looked shocked. "I think the old knowledge within you just poked its head up again."
They spread the cedar out on the ground and Liam asked about sage being collected and added to the cedar. Tyler looked surprised again and motioned for him to follow him up the trail. They arrived at the same spot where Jared and Liam had made love the night before. Along the edges of the trail and into the open areas, sage grew wild. The only place it did not grow was where they had spent the night.
"You have been here already Liam, haven't you?" asked Tyler.
"Yes, Jared and I slept under the stars last night, and we… made… love… here too," he said slowly with embarrassment.
"This is a sacred place and a good place for people. I hope you two enjoyed yourselves; No worries for talking about sex with any of us. We are monogamous with our boyfriends, but we do like to talk about sex and drool at really good looking men," he said as he laughed.
Liam looked up and smiled at Tyler. "I don't mind looking at you guys naked either," he said as he started to blush.
They gathered sage and took it to the lodge and spread it on the ground as well. The two of them went to the storage shed and retrieved the bundle of canvases and the buffalo hide. Once they were all in place, they used a few non-river rocks along the outside to hold everything down in case a wind came up.
Troy showed up just as they finished. Tyler pulled him into his arms and said, "I missed you." They kissed gently. The three of them went to check on the rock fire to add some wood and then up to the cabin where they grabbed a bottle of water and headed back on the dock. It was mid-afternoon now and the heat felt good on their bodies. They pulled up the large chair which resembled a couch and sat down, watching at the waves on the lake. Before they knew it, they were all asleep, leaning onto Tyler's shoulders who was sitting in the center. They dozed until they were woken up by Jared, Darren and Josh standing in front of them.
Josh asked, "Did you guys sleep the afternoon away or what?" The three got up and hugged him. Jared and Darren joined the hug as well. They were all relieved their family was still intact.
"Gentlemen, and I use that term loosely considering who I am speaking too…" started Jared, but was met with 10 upright middle fingers being held towards him. "Ok, I can take a hint. Ladies…" continued Jared. He only got that one word out when the five men grabbed him, carried him to the end of dock and threw him into the water.
Jared climbed out on the end of the dock, "You have been bad boys, no snacks and straight to your rooms!"
They threw him in again.
Jared climbed out again and stood on the end of the dock. "Snack time, you assholes," he said laughing. The group cheered and they all went up to the cabin, grabbed a plateful of lunch and sat on the deck to eat.
"How are you feeling, Josh?" asked Liam.
"I feel fine. I feel normal is the best way to say it, like nothing happened," he replied.
"You were difficult to heal. You had severe bleeding going on… a subdural hematoma. It needed to be repaired to prevent further bleeding and the complications of increased cranial pressure."
Jared looked around the table and saw Darren looked a bit confused. Jared looked at Troy and said, "Can you explain what the medical stuff we were just talking about was to the hose puller. Make sure you use small words though."
Everyone laughed but Darren; He raised his right hand with his fingers and thumb sticking up straight, his thumb touching the tips of all his fingers. "Do you know what this is Jared?" he asked.
"No clue," Jared replied.
Darren then repositioned his fingers had all moved into a fist with the middle finger alone still sticking up. "It's a whole bouquet of these," he said chuckling.
"That's one for the hose puller!" Liam said laughing.
"Fuck you too, little one. Jared, you are having a bad influence on him. He's getting mouthy," Darren said.
Jared then looked serious and then spoke. "It is getting closer to sweat time. I need to speak with Liam. Darren, I just remembered you actually missed the sweats last year because of your schedule, didn't you?"
"Yes, I was upset about it too" he replied.
"I need you with Liam as well then and it may answer at least some of your questions. Can the rest of you clean up lunch and check the fire to make sure it is still hot?" asked Jared.
Troy spoke up, "Will we have time for a volleyball game? Tyler and I like watching Liam's tight little ass wiggle." Liam stood up and wiggled his ass at them.
Troy came and gave it a smack with his hand. "It feels even better, Tyler!"
Josh came to the rescue and said, "We better get out of here before Jared turns us into newts."
"He turned me into a newt" said Tyler. The guys were looking at him when he continued, "I got better."
Darren spoke up, "That's it. I didn't come all the way in the bush to hear you three recite Monty Python sketches. Josh, I am hiding those DVD's when we get back."
"We could do Letterkenney? Forecheck, backcheck, paycheck bro," said Troy.
Darren shook his head, "I don't know what's worse."
Tyler spoke up, "Jared you better talk to Liam about what happened when we were working on the lodge this afternoon. Some of his knowledge popped up while we were fixing up the sweat lodge. He knew about the rocks."
Jared looked at Liam and smiled. "We'll definitely talk about that. Thanks Tyler."
The others got up and set about their tasks.
"Liam, you have some knowledge about what this is about already from some of the things we have talked about." He nodded his head in agreement. "Darren, you are aware of some things, but you have not been exposed to as much as the rest. I know what I did this afternoon surprised you."
"To put it mildly. I know you are a special person and possess things as Josh describes as gifts from the Creator."
"He is right. My Spirit Guide or Totem is the bear, a healer. I come from a long line of First Nations healers and the Creator channels his will through me. It is something big for you understand, I know. But it will become clearer tonight.
"Darren, people sometimes have events called visions. At night they may be viewed as dream, or even termed day dreaming if the person is awake. They are the way the Creator or his messengers speak to some people. Liam, would you describe your vision to Darren please," asked Jared. Liam did so and Darren listened attentively. When Liam finished, Darren looked at him with shock all over his face.
"I never told anyone, not even Josh, I thought it was just a weird dream a couple of nights ago. I saw the same thing in a dream or vision," said Darren.
Jared looked at both of them. "I know. Everyone here had the same vision at the same time that night but it is something they didn't talk to you two about it because of how new you are to this. Let's look at the vision and what we believe it means.
"Liam, do you recognise the location of your vision?" he asked.
Liam thought for a minute and then his eye flew open. "It was where we picked up the rocks for the fire earlier today."
"Yes, it was Liam, and it is a sacred and a powerful area." They discussed the vision and its possible meaning for about 20 minutes. They were not able to resolve the exact meaning of the bald eagle and wolves based on what they saw or know. Jared knew, but he wanted it to be revealed properly during the sweat.
"Normally, spirit guides only reveal themselves during a vision quest. I have my suspicions this may not be the case tonight. We all had some strong visions, including me. One common theme between them all is they end when we all go into the lodge. This could mean the paths out of the lodge have not been chosen for us or the Creator has chosen not to reveal them to us until we are in the lodge.
"The Sweat Lodge is a place of spiritual refuge and mental and physical healing, a place to get answers and guidance by asking spirits, totem helpers, the Creator and Mother Earth for the needed wisdom and power. The four directions and sacred colours each bring their strengths to us as well. It is a very special place for us and it is even made more powerful because of the bond the six of us share as brothers."
Darren and Liam were spellbound listening to every word Jared said. Jared went on to explain the traditional ceremony and the way it would be done tonight. They did not have a gate keeper to bring the rocks but he would have Liam do it when the times were right. They were to remove all ear rings, necklaces, watches and other such things. Nothing is to be on the body except the breech cloth as it was allowed by being a deer hide from Mother Nature or be naked as either was acceptable.
Jared asked about the rocks. Liam explained what he had suddenly known in his mind.
Jared looked at him and said, "Grandfather was right. You do have the ancient knowledge."
The three of them spent about almost an hour and a half talking with Jared answering many questions. When they were done, they searched out the others and played volleyball for an hour.