Growing Josh

Growing-Josh-NOVAL

“Goddamn it! I’m not wear’n that mother fuck’r,” yelled Trent, slamming the door behind him.

Darrin sighed, he had been enjoying the truce between Josh and Trent, but apparently it was over. The fact that Trent was living in a tiny house several feet away had helped with the fighting, but Darrin thought, all good things must come to an end, as they say. He carefully saved the paper he was writing, knowing he was going to be dragged into the fray at some point. Right on cue, Josh stormed through the door, stiff-arming it open and stomping past as it hit the wall with a shuddering crash. He spotted Darrin and made a beeline for him. “He won’t do it! He has to wear it. It’s just stupid not to!” yelled Josh, his face crimson with anger.

“What won’t who do? What’s stupid? And please stop yelling, I can hear you fine,” said Darrin, trying to remain calm.

“Trent!” yelled Josh. Realizing he was still loud he tried again. “Trent. We’re working with the horses but he won’t wear a helmet.”

“Not gonna either. Fuck’n things look stupid as hell! I ain’t gonna look like a fuck’n dork!” said Trent forcefully from across the room.

Josh turned to him, “It doesn’t matter what they look like. It’ll save your life if you get thrown and hit your head. ”

“Oh that’s bullshit. Whitey wouldn’t throw me,” said Trent in a slightly calmer voice.

“You never know, especially when we’re starting with them. It’s just stupid to not wear a helmet!” said Josh with a little heat.

“So you think I’m stupid ’cause I’m not a college boy. Is that it?” said Trent, his arms crossed over his chest as he glared at Josh.

As Josh started to reply, Darrin signed them to stop. “Ok, Trent. You know he wasn’t saying you’re stupid. So don’t go there. Josh did you explain why, or did you just tell Trent he had to wear a helmet?”


This story is a work of fiction. All characters are older than 18. They have fun having gay sex. If gay sex is not allowed in your country, you should consider moving to another one. The characters are not having safe sex, please use condoms while exploring your sexuality. As always, I look forward to your comments and suggestions. Thank you for choosing to read my story and I hope you enjoy! You may contact me at gaynerdy2014@gmail.com , also if you have your own story. Please send to this email gaynerdy2014@gmail.com , or click SUBMIT YOUR OWN STORIES! at the top right corner of HOME SCREEN. Also, If you include your name. I will give credit as due, otherwise, it will read as - Read By: Bobby Newberry. THANK YOU for helping to build Gay and Nerdy Archives Library of Erotic Stories and more. Note: We do not own these stories, only share. If you believe this story should not be here. Email gaynerdy2014@gmail.com and explain. If so, we will fix this mistake. Please keep in mind. IT COST MONEY TO KEEP THIS WEBSITE UP AND RUNNING. So with that in mind please consider purchasing something from one of our Adult Toy Stores (By clicking link, or picture below). Win, win for both parties involved. We get financing for website and you get pleasure from your toy purchase. No purchase is too small. Check out one of our stores listed here: Bobo Sex Toys, Sextration.com, and Sex MONKEY Toys. Store and DVD’s. SO WITH THAT IN MIND. UNZIP and ENJOY! Also check out: The Gay Classifieds.


“Well I was gonna—” started Josh.

“No! He just told me I had to wear the damn ugly ass thing,” said Trent.

Darrin focused on Trent, “I think it would be a good idea, at least while you’re getting the horses use to riders. You don’t know what might set them off. Once they’re behaving then maybe you won’t need the helmet. Besides, no one is going to see it but us. We just want you to be safe and not get hurt. It’s not like you’re doing the Rose Parade in a bike helmet.”

“Fine! But I still think it’s stupid!” spit out Trent. With a withering glare at Josh he left the house.

Darrin turned to Josh with a slight frown, “You know, if you would explain things to him, life would be easier.”

Josh started to argue then deflated knowing he was in the wrong, “I know, he just pisses me off so bad sometime. He can be so damn stubborn.”

Darrin smiled slightly at Josh, but let the comment go. After a few moments of silence, Josh turned and left. As the door shut, Darrin heard from the bedroom.

“Glad my office isn’t in the living room,” said Mitch.

“Asshole! Next family crisis is yours to deal with,” said Darrin.

Mitch appeared at the door, walked over and kissed Darrin. “You betcha buckwheat. Next time is mine,” he said with a chuckle.

Darrin swatted Mitch’s ass as he walked past, then went back to the writing that had been interrupted.

<><><><>

The fall had been busy for everyone on the ranch, and the frantic season hadn’t left Darrin with time to work on his research at the university. To remedy the lack of progress, Darrin had started staying a little later in the evening, but today Darrin had let time slip away as he worked on analyzing his data. He was trying several statistical models, and comparing results to see which were the more accurate. Each one was methodically and carefully studied as Darrin went through the details. Suddenly, a loud male voice coming from the hallway shattered his focus. When he glanced at the clock, he discovered it was much later than he’d intended to stay, and a glance out his window confirmed the time as he was confronted with inky blackness. Realizing the shouting had continued, he moved from behind his desk to see what was happening. As he stepped into the hallway, he was shocked to find Kevin Boorman facing the student, apparently trying to calm him down.

“You’re sick, dude! I don’t fuck’n like guys! What the fuck!” yelled the kid.

Darrin stepped up and cleared his throat to get the student’s attention. When he glanced back, Darrin said, “Can I help?” Glancing at Boorman he added, “Do you want me to call the police?”

“No, no! No cops! He just needs to get away from me!” screamed the almost hysterical student.

“Alright, ok, let’s just calm down. Did he touch you? Are you in one of his classes?”

“No! He didn’t fuck’n touch me. I’m not in any of perv’s classes either. Damn it! He’s just gross!”

“So what happened?” asked Darrin, becoming a little confused.

“The goddamn perv asked me out! What the fuck!”

Darrin took in the student, and wasn’t terribly surprised to find a stereotypical twink standing in front of him. His short spiked hair, thin body and smooth face made him look very young; apparently Boorman liked them young. Suddenly it dawned on Darrin that he was not sure how old this kid was, he didn’t look 18, but that was no indication.

“Son, how old are you?” asked Darrin, watching as Boorman’s face fell at the question.

“I’m 19! What the fuck does that have to do with anything! Get this queer away from me!”

“Ok, ok. Do you want to file a complaint?”

“No! I just want the fucker to leave me alone!” said the student, starting to calm down.

“I can promise you that Dr. Boorman will not be bothering you again,” said Darrin.

The kid looked from one to the other of them, taking Darrin’s words into consideration and calmed suddenly. “Ok, good. I gotta go. I got a thing.”

“Sure, no problem,” said Darrin as he stepped back so there was a clear exit for the student, who glanced at Darrin again, and walked past. Soon Darrin could hear the staccato rhythm as the student raced from the building while Darrin glared at Boorman. Once the sound of the door slamming shut marked the student’s exit, he stepped closer to Boorman.

“We need to talk, Kevin.”

Boorman gulped and nodded, turning and leading the way to his office. As they stepped in, Darrin pulled the door shut and scowled at Boorman.

“What the fuck were you thinking? You didn’t even know how old he was, did you!” said Darrin in a low growl.

Boorman swallowed once, then again, as he tried to formulate a reply. Darrin tired of waiting quickly and slammed both hands down on the desk and yelled, “Answer me!”

“Yes, god, shit,” Boorman inhaled deeply and began again, “No, I didn’t know how old he was, I thought he was a student. I don’t know what happened, he showed up, I answered a few questions he had, I thought I saw the clues,” Kevin took another breath, “But obviously I was wrong.”

“Damnit, Kevin! This is a dangerous game,” said Darrin, his face hardening as he continued “But I promise you, if that kid was in your class, or underage, or if you were forcing yourself on him . . .”

“You wouldn’t like the consequences, the best would be you going to jail or losing this job,” finished Darrin.

Kevin shuddered slightly and nodded in understanding.

“Damnit! Your life would be so much easier if you’d just come out,” said Darrin in exasperation.

“No! I’m not gay! I don’t need to come out. I just haven’t found the right woman,” said Kevin in a burst.

“Really? You expect me to—” Darrin stopped and saw the look of total panic coming over the other man’s face. With a sigh of helplessness, he simply turned and left the office.

<><><><>

Weeks had passed since the blowup with Josh, and he had been wearing the helmet, but it was because Darrin had wanted him to, not because of anything Josh had said. He was still learning to deal with the older boy and his tendency to boss Trent around. Today they had cornered off again, and now the horse didn’t want to do things he was performing perfectly just a few days earlier.

Trent held onto the lead rope tightly as his horse reared again. Tugging on the rope, he tried to coax the horse down the alleyway.

“He can tell you’re pissed, it’s making him nervous.”

Trent pivoted to see Mitch standing behind him with his ubiquitous cowboy hat cocked back. With a sigh, Mitch stepped forward, took the lead from Trent, then stood calmly until the horse stopped prancing in place. Once he’d settled, Mitch slowly walked him back to his stall. Coiling the lead, he turned to Trent and handed it to him.

“The feud you and Josh have going is affecting the animals. Even Max is unhappy,” said Mitch. With a slight pause he continued, “Fix it. Fix it now.”

Trent watched as Mitch left, his lips twisting in discomfort as the truth of Mitch’s words penetrated. He couldn’t remember the last time Max came to him to be petted, and he didn’t remember seeing Josh get much attention either. He liked the animals, he loved his horse, and Max. Now that Mitch had pointed it out to him, it was obvious that the baggage between he and Josh was having effects that Trent was not willing to accept.

As he heard Josh walking into the barns, whistling some nameless tune, he decided he was going to learn to get along with the dark haired young man, even if it killed both of them.

<><><><>

Darrin walked into the bedroom and fell face first onto the bed. With a moan, he lay there like fresh road-kill, a few twitches but not much else. When Mitch realized the silence had gone on for too long he turned to check on his husband. Seeing that he hadn’t moved, Mitch pushed away from his desk, walked over, and sat beside him on the bed. He reached over and began rubbing Darrin’s tense back.

“Oh jeez, you have about a year or so to stop that,” said Darrin with a sigh.

“What’s up, good look’n? What has you so tense?” said Mitch, leaning down to plant a soft kiss on the back of Darrin’s neck.

Darrin sighed at the feeling of his muscles relaxing under Mitch’s careful massage, “Nothing really, normal crap at work and trying to plan Trent’s birthday party without him finding out about it.” Darrin paused and looked over his shoulder at Mitch with an arched eyebrow, “And remember, you promised no cock-shaped anything this time,” referencing the penis shaped candle and ice cubes from Trent’s previous birthdays.

Mitch chuckled softly, “I promise, the only dicks will be the ones between the guys legs.”

Mitch rubbed and kneaded Darrin’s back for several more minutes, then he walked over and turned up the heat in the room. Coming back to Darrin’s limp form, Mitch pulled his shirt out of his slacks and pushed it up. His rubbing turned to gentle scratching as he worked to relax Darrin. Once he felt that he had covered the last bit Darrin’s back, he gently rolled him so he could access his chest.

Leaning down, Mitch gently kissed the base of Darrin’s neck as he opened the first button. Working slowly down his chest, Mitch enjoyed the texture of Darrin’s chest hair as he moved lower and lower. As the last button popped open, he slowly spread Darrin’s shirt and enjoyed the sight of his husband’s muscular chest. Leaning down, he kissed each hard nipple as it protruded from the dense fur. Grinning, Mitch unbuckled Darrin’s belt, opened his khakis and slowly slid the zipper down.

Instead of his usual jockstrap, Darrin had taken to wearing thigh length boxer briefs that were very fitted. Mitch had decided that he actually thought they were sexier than the jock, although he did like that he could screw Darrin without taking the jock off. But the dark grey pair of underwear he discovered when he peeled Darrin’s pants down were hot so far as Mitch was concerned.

Soon he had Darrin stripped down to those tight briefs and was working on his ass and thigh muscles. Reaching up he smacked Darrin on the side of his hip, “Come on, let’s go soak in the tub.”

Darrin rolled on his side to watch as Mitch quickly stripped. Soon he was tossing his white briefs into the corner and tugging at Darrin’s arm to get him into the bathroom. He pulled him to the tub, then released him and started adjusting the water. Soon there were several inches of muscle-relaxing hot water in the deep tub. Mitch turned to his man, interlaced his fingers behind Darrin’s head and kissed him softly. With a smile Mitch let his hands slid down Darrin’s torso and hooked his thumbs inside the waistband of his briefs, slid them off his butt and pushed them to the floor with his foot.

Reaching down he took Darrin’s plump cock in his fingers and squeezed it gently. “Get in the tub, babe.”

Mitch watched with a smile as Darrin’s hairy ass scissored open as he climbed into the tub, giving Mitch a peek of his pink hole nestled in the dense hair. He watched as Darrin slowly settled into the hot water, a slight hiss coming from him as the heat permeated his tight muscles. Finally with a sigh, Darrin relaxed against the tub and looked up at Mitch.

“Come on in, the water’s fine,” said Darrin with a smile.

“Well move your fat ass up and I will,” said Mitch with a grin.

Darrin chuckled and slid forward slightly, watching as his husband climbed in behind him, then relaxed into Mitch’s arms. He watched as Mitch pulled a thick washcloth from the rack, and soaked it with hot water. Darrin sighed as Mitch ran the wet cloth over Darrin’s shoulders and neck, then gently scrubbed his short trimmed hair. Squirting some soap on the cloth, Mitch washed Darrin carefully, chuckling at his reaction when Mitch ran the cloth into the water and over Darrin’s genitals. He pushed Darrin forward until he was on his knees, and then gently washed his ass crack, letting the cloth tease Darrin’s pulsing hole as he did.

Satisfied that he’d washed every spot on Darrin, Mitch pulled his man back against him and dropped the cloth into the tub. His hands traveled over Darrin’s torso, drifting through the water until they found his hard cock. Mitch began biting and sucking on Darrin’s neck as he leisurely jacked his cock. Darrin sighed and relaxed, allowing himself to drift as he was surrounded by the warmth of the water and the strong connection to Mitch.

But soon Darrin felt himself reach the point of no return. His body tensed as his orgasm began and erupted his load into the water. Mitch jacked him slowly, watching the white clouds of semen shoot into the bath. The jizz floated lazily around the tub as Darrin’s body tensed with each round. As the orgasm released him, he slumped into the hot water, and smiled up at Mitch.

“Oh god, that felt so good. I feel so good,” said Darrin with a smile.

The pair relaxed against each other for several long minutes, Darrin fully realizing that the pipe poking him in the back had nothing to do with the plumbing. With a smile, he turned and slid down his husband, took a breath and then pushing his face underwater and over Mitch’s cock. Servicing it frantically, he quickly had to surface for air, but then dove again. After a third time, Darrin surfaced and chuckled to Mitch.

“Maybe I’ll just stay above water.”

Mitch laughed softly, “Might be a good idea.”

Darrin twisted in the tub so the pair were facing each other and took Mitch’s cock in his hand. As he jacked the hard cock under the cooling water, he could tell Mitch was getting close. Darrin slowed down, wanting to torment his man for as long as possible. But he couldn’t resist the little rubs, the gentle teasing as his fingers fell into a well-worn routine. Rubbing hard on the base of Mitch’s cockhead he leaned in and kissed him with passion.

“Fuck! Fuck!” yelled Mitch.

Mitch’s cock exploded, Darrin watching with fascination as stream after stream of white fluid entered the clear water. The spectacle fascinated Darrin as he continued to play with Mitch’s softening cock until he felt a rough hand close over his.

“It’s sensitive, babe. But you were amazing, like always.”

Rinsing each other quickly, they climbed out of the tepid water and gently dried each other. Their gentle touches and caresses continued under the covers as they spooned against each other. Darrin smiled contentedly, feeling very relaxed for the first time in days.

<><><><>

Darrin was awakened the next morning by a sharp squeal of pain. Looking sleepily over at his husband, he yawned and stretched, immediately yelping as something yanked hairs under his arm. Looking over at Mitch, he drew in his brows as he stretched his leg and another patch of hair was pulled.

“What the hell?” said Darrin.

“I don’t know! It’s like someone put fuck’n spots of glue on me,” said Mitch sounding bewildered, and a little pissed.

Darrin felt another spot on his abdomen, reaching down he scratched at the crusty location and lifted his finger to his nose. Sniffing it lightly, he paused for a moment, and then started laughing.

“What? What is it?” said Mitch.

“It’s semen, from the tub. We both unloaded in the water and apparently it stuck to us.”

“Well fuck!” said Mitch with disgust, then started laughing. “I think we need a shower to wash off the fuck’n cum! I’ve got spots of it all over.”

“Yeah, me too! Come on, we can wash each other,” said Darrin as he pulled Mitch to his feet.

They wrapped their arms around each other, both were soon laughing and cussing as they moved and new deposits were discovered. Soon they were relaxing in the hot shower, cleaning each other while they discussed the upcoming day. Suddenly Darrin froze and Mitch stopped.

“What, babe?” said Mitch.

“Shit! It’s today,” said Darrin.

“What is?”

“Trent’s party. I got confused. His birthday is today!”

Mitch slapped Darrin’s bare ass and laughed. “Well, we better get our asses in gear then! We’ll take care of it, together just like anything else.”

<><><><>

Trent walked into the darkened house cautiously, not sure what was going on. It was early evening, and while he didn’t really live there, he spent almost every evening hanging out with the guys. He was actually hurt, and more than a little pissed, that they would leave him here and not even invite him to whatever they were doing. Dismissing them as irrelevant, Trent turned to flip on the kitchen lights.

The room exploded with shouts of surprise and happy birthday. The shock was enough that Trent ran part of the way out of the room when his survival reflexes kicked in and he reacted. Finally getting his emotions under control, he stopped and turned back to see a small crowd of smiling faces as he tried to understand what was happening. Finally Mitch took control and motioned Trent over.

“Happy birthday!”

Trent raked the room with a scathing look, while inside he was elated. Last year the guys had thrown a party for him, but he’d only been at the ranch for a few weeks then. He wasn’t sure that he would get another one this year. They had all been so nice to him, but he still didn’t trust their motives. He was also surprised to see the sheriff. He was certainly an unexpected guest.

Trent watched with arms folded across his chest, trying to maintain his façade of distain, but the look slowly dissolved into the face of an 18-year-old who was rapidly becoming overwhelmed. He opened each gift, being more and more touched by the fact that they actually knew him; they’d taken the time to pay attention. Mitch and Darrin had given him mostly clothes, but they were the kind he liked even though Mitch was always giving him trouble about the style of clothes he wore. But they were exactly the size and colors that he wanted. He now had more clothes in his closet than he’d owned in his entire life.

He was floored when Josh handed him a shoebox-sized package that had a slight metallic rattle that Trent wasn’t sure how to decipher. Ripping open the package, Trent snapped the tape holding the lid in place with several determined tugs, and lifted the lid. Glancing inside he knew immediately it held several new halters for him to use with his mustang. But as he looked closer he realized these weren’t the typical halters from the feedmill, the braiding and construction looked, different. He looked up at Josh with a questioning look on his face.

“I made ‘em. Mitch showed me how to braid, and I’ve been working on them for awhile,” said Josh.

“How long?” asked Trent quietly.

“I dunno, couple of months maybe,” said Josh, suddenly looking shy.

Darrin watched for a moment as the two younger men struggled to put this new information in perspective. Realizing they needed rescuing, Darrin turned to the sheriff.

“Jim, did you have something for Trent?” said Darrin.

“Sure did,” said Jim as he stepped forward and held out a tube to Trent.

Trent gingerly took the cylinder from the lawman’s hand, examining it carefully.

“Don’t worry, kid. It’s safe to open,” said Jim with a chuckle.

Trent bristled slightly at the ‘kid’ comment, but quickly relaxed knowing it was just part of the sheriff’s persona. He laid the tube across his legs and ripped off the brown paper. Popping off the plastic cap, he gently pulled out the rolled paper. Opening it, he saw it was a collection of graphic images created primarily in black and red. He looked back at the sheriff with a shocked look on his face.

“I told you, native people need to stick together; even ones that are blond,” said Jim with a chuckle.

“But . . .” stammered Trent.

“My college roommate was Haida. A friend of his does traditional work. I thought you might like some of the artwork of your dad’s people.”

Trent slowly unrolled the paper, carefully studying each image as he tried to regain his composure. Trent prided himself on never showing weakness, never letting anyone know they had gotten to him, he was always the badass in every situation. But the sheriff’s gift had affected him deeply. Suddenly all the good memories of his father, the ones he had carefully walled away to protect them, came flooding back. The large bronze skinned hand that held his small pale one, the kiss on his forehead at night, the long dark braid that Trent would tug at. It all came back, memories he thought were long lost, as if each of the tribal totems somehow triggered a new surge of memories. By the time he reached the final symbol, a killer whale that was exactly like his tattoo, he couldn’t look up, he wouldn’t let himself look up, because his eyes were flooded with tears. He couldn’t let these men see him crying, he hadn’t cried since his father died.

Mitch saw the surge of emotions overcome Trent and caught Darrin’s eye. With an imperceptible nod from Mitch, Darrin realized what was happening.

“Josh, would you go bring the ice cream from the chest freezer while Jim and I get the cake. We need some food at this party,” said Darrin as he directed attention away from Trent.

As the other three began getting the food together, Mitch walked over and put his hand on Trent’s shoulder and handed him a box of tissues. Never looking up, Trent pulled a few out and wiped his eyes. After a few seconds he looked up at Mitch, “It just brought back memories of my dad. I hadn’t really thought about him in a long time. Sorry.”

“You don’t ever need to apologize to anyone in this house for having feelings. I’m glad you have good memories of your dad. Someday, when you’re ready, I’d like to hear about him.”

Trent finally looked up at Mitch, wiping the last tear from his cheek. “Yeah, I think I’d like that.”

“Cake’s ready everyone!” announced Darrin cheerfully. “Come blow out the candles, Trent.”

Trent bounced to his feet, having swept past the sadness as only a teenager can. He walked over to the cake and watched as Darrin lit eighteen candles very carefully.

Trent inhaled, leaned in, and at the last second paused and looked at Darrin with a twinkle in his eyes.

“No flaming dildo’s this year?” said Trent innocently, then blew out the candles while Darrin sputtered.

<><><><>

Josh sat nervously at the kitchen table, not quite sure why he was doing this, but understanding that he needed for it to happen. After Zach had dumped him he hadn’t wanted to be with anyone. But now he was having feelings again, ones that were different from those he’d had with his first boyfriend Tony, or his recent lover Zach. He wasn’t sure why, but he couldn’t stop thinking about him. It was becoming obsessive; Josh would catch himself staring at his lips while he talked, watching his ass when he walked away. Josh resisted at first, but finally decided he had to try, he knew it could be a disaster, but he had to get it out of his system. His agonizing wait finally came to an end when he heard the door slam shut.

Turning he watched as Trent walked into the room. Feeling Josh’s eyes on him, Trent slowed then stopped.

“What?” said Trent curtly.

“Umm, I need to ask you something,” stammered Josh.

“What?”

“Would you mind coming over here? I don’t really want to yell it across the room,” said Josh quietly.

Trent paused, then sighed and walked to Josh, standing across the table with his arms crossed. “Well?”

Josh’s words tumbled out, “I was wondering if you wanted to go out, you know, like a date. I’d pay for everything, not that you need me to, but since I asked you I thought—” Josh stopped, realizing he was sounding like a stammering twelve year old who was asking a classmate to go steady. Glancing up he looked into Trent’s ice blue eyes, and waited.

Warring feelings erupted inside Trent. Part of him thought this was a joke, but the look on Josh’s face said otherwise. Was Josh just looking for a quick fuck thinking that because Trent had survived on the streets for months by selling his body that he’d be easy? Well if that was the case, he was in for a rude surprise. Two months ago a date with Josh would have been ridiculous, but now . . . now it didn’t sound that bad. He looked at Josh, trying to get an idea of why, but saw only a very unsure man who had put himself at risk for rejection by asking Trent out.

“When?” said Trent.

“Whenever you’d like, anything you want to do,” said Josh as hope started to grow.

“Saturday night, I want a Sonic burger, onion rings and a movie. One of the action flicks, you pick,” said Trent without any outward emotions.

“Yeah. Sure! That’d be great, sounds fantastic,” said Josh, as his dream rapidly became reality.

“K,” said Trent. Josh watched as Trent turned and walked back out of the house, pulling his leather gloves on as he went.

Trent walked quickly to the barn, knowing he needed some time alone with the horses to settle his nerves. His stomach was in knots and his emotions in turmoil as he tried to work out what he had just agreed to.

<><><><>

Trent sat quietly as the pickup rolled to a stop. He had to admit, it had been fun. Once Josh got over his stammering and stuttering, he was pretty easy to talk with, and he loved to chatter about his art classes and what he was learning. Trent would have thought it would have bored him to tears, but it was actually interesting.

The burger and onion rings had been good too, and the latest comic book adaptation that Josh had picked had held their attention. Josh had also treated him with respect; he hadn’t pawed at him or tried anything. Well, he had slid his hand over the top of Trent’s while they were watching the film, but Trent had enjoyed the gentle touch. But now they were at the end of the date, and Josh would want something in exchange. One thing Trent had decided months ago, and the attitude of the guys had just reinforced it, no one was taking anything else from him. He would work through his issues eventually, but whoever he was with was going to move at his speed, not at the pace of rampant hormones. He heard a rustle and looked over to see Josh turn to look at him.

“Tonight was cool. I really had a good time,” said Josh.

“Me too,” said Trent, and with a smile he added, “Damn good burgers too!”

Josh chuckled, “Yeah, Sonic burgers are the best.” Josh paused for a moment and continued, “The movie wasn’t bad either.”

“Nope, it was great, especially the epic fight scene, I mean –” Trent held up his hands with a smile.

Trent saw that Josh was leaning toward him, and suddenly the pickup felt very hot. He wasn’t sure what to do. Did he want this? He’d never let one of his john’s kiss him. But suddenly he wanted this expression of gentle sensuality, but he wasn’t sure he could deal with it. He needed to know; he needed Josh to understand the importance of the act.

“Josh . . .”

Josh paused, concern flashing across his face. “Yeah?”

“I’ve never let anyone kiss me, not like that . . .” said Trent softly.

Josh paused and thought about what Trent was saying, “Nobody?”

“No, it was too personal. The sex I could take myself out of, but not a kiss,” said Trent, suddenly he smiled, “You not ever see ‘Pretty Woman’?”

Josh smiled softly, “Yeah, I have. I’d love to be your first, Trent. If you’ll let me.”

With a slight tremor, Trent leaned toward Josh. As their lips touched, Trent felt passion explode through his body. Josh’s lips were hot and moist, and with each press the sensations improved. He felt Josh’s hand curl around the back of his neck, and this time the touch felt wonderful. Their lips pressed harder as Josh rubbed Trent’s neck. Trent was enshrouded by the passion of the touch. His senses became overwhelmed in delightful ways that he had never imagined. Soon the sensations were flooding his body, his nipples were hard and aching, his cock was stiff and dripping as it sought release. The sensations became overwhelming when he felt Josh pull back slightly. Leaning his head down, Josh rested his forehead against Trent’s as he panted for breath.

“Oh god, that was the best fuck’n kiss I’ve ever had,” said Josh with a gasp.

“Yeah. Fuck,” stammered Trent.

Trent looked into Josh’s eyes, to see lust shrouding them. He felt the hands shift, until Josh was cupping his face between them. Josh turned his head and slid in, their lips again igniting a shower of emotions that ensnared both men. Trent felt Josh’s tongue glide over his lips, and in response parted them slightly. Immediately Josh sensed the willingness, and drove his tongue deep in Trent’s mouth, tasting and explore his steamy oral cavity. Quickly, Trent responded, and their tongues warred for entry. Pressing hard as they tongue fucked each other’s mouths. Trent felt his body tremble with passion, not certain how to deal with these raging emotions.

Josh felt the younger man tremble under his hands, his cock hard as steel and desperately wanting more. But while he thought right now Trent would have little will to resist, Josh didn’t want him to have regrets. With almost overwhelming disappointment, he slowly pulled back. Still holding his date in his hands, he could feel shiver after shiver race through Trent’s body. Hesitantly he leaned in and kissed Trent on the forehead. Pulling back again he glanced at Trent and was amazed at the power of their shared kiss. Trent was flushed and panting, his body still wracked with occasional tremors.

“You ok?” said Josh softly.

Trent gulped once, then twice, and nodded. He pushed up and moved slowly to the door of the pickup. Josh watched him crack open the door, slowly slide down the seat, seemingly barely catching himself when his boots hit the ground. Josh thought he was going to walk off without a word, but was surprised to see him turn.

“This was fuck’n amazing, Josh. Thanks,” said Trent softly.

“Yeah, can we do it again?” asked Josh hesitantly.

“Hell yeah,” said Trent with a smile.

Josh watched as Trent walked to his house, making sure he made it inside then backed up the short distance, and parked at the main house. Josh waited patiently, knowing Darrin or Mitch would probably still be awake and he didn’t want to have to explain his rampant erection.

Trent leaned against the door as he closed it behind him, still panting. His body was wracked with shock waves of passion as he tried desperately to regain control. He would have never believed a kiss would have the kind of effect it had. He was glad he’d never given that gift to any of the johns. Trent lifted his shaking hand to open the button on his jeans, after several failed attempts, he managed to open them, then pulled out the front of his briefs to see his thick pubic hair coated with massive quantities of cum. The white pleasure was still leaking from his softening cock as his underwear became progressively more soaked.

Trent held up his pants and carefully made his way to the shower. Quickly stripping, he was soon standing under torrents of hot water. As he turned slowly under the steaming hot water, a shy smile crept over Trent’s face.

<><><><>

As the mild fall days morphed into winter, Josh and Trent became more and more comfortable with each other. They were slowly getting to know each other, but since both of them had so much baggage, they were reluctant to give over any power, understanding that information was dominance. In spite of the misgivings, the pair progressed, granted it was in short spurts and fits, but becoming more and more comfortable with each other, learning slowly to trust each other. They each gave the other small parts of their hearts. To the careful observer it was obvious that Josh gave his trust more readily though, his love for Trent becoming a very important part of his life.

Their physical relationship developed too, although more slowly. Josh had let Trent set the pace and so far the couple had moved little beyond passionate kissing. Josh was being very cautious and wanted Trent to be ready for each step.

Tonight they were contentedly relaxing on the couch with their legs intertwined, when Mitch came in with a smile covering his face. The boys looked up, as did Darrin from his desk.

“Mom and Dad are coming for Thanksgiving!” said Mitch excitedly.

“The Thanksgiving that’s next week?” asked Darrin, his brows knitted together.

“Yup! It’ll be great! I can’t wait to show them the ranch,” said Mitch as he paced the room in excitement.

Darrin turned to the two boys, who self-consciously separated, “You two don’t make plans, this house has to be cleaned top to bottom. The barns too, I want everything cleaned up before they get here.”

“Where’re they gonna sleep?” asked Josh.

Darrin hesitated for a minute, fully aware that the two of them were dating. Sighing quietly he made a decision, knowing full well that he may regret it later.

“They’ll sleep in your room, Josh. If you don’t mind, you can bunk with Trent. We can get a blow-up mattress if you want,” said Darrin

Josh looked at Trent and they nodded without any further comment. Darrin took that as acceptance and moved on to other details. The next hour was a flurry of planning and task assignment as Darrin mapped out the holiday. Soon the boys had gone to their respective beds, with a soft kiss when they thought Darrin and Mitch were not looking.

Darrin watched as Josh closed the door behind himself. He heard Mitch clear his throat softly. “I know, this could be a disaster,” said Darrin.

“It could make the Little Big Horn look like a slight misunderstanding,” said Mitch with his brows arched.

Darrin twisted his lips and shrugged, hoping he and Mitch were both wrong.

<><><><>

Trent stood behind the other three, not sure what he thought about the arrival of Mitch’s parents. The past week Darrin had been on a complete ass bender about getting everything ready for their arrival. The whole drama about them coming already had him wondering, and Darrin’s obvious nervousness was just adding to his anxiety. Now that they were standing on the porch watching the car come up the driveway, his concern was almost palpable. Trent watched as the car rolled to a stop, hesitating as Mitch and Darrin hurried to greet them. He watched as the four of them took turns embracing, before he realized that Josh was still standing beside him.

Josh looked over with a lopsided grin, “I’ve never met them either.”

Trent inhaled, his mouth forming an “O” with the realization. As he watched, he saw Mitch turn and wave them over. He and Josh slowly walked over, smiles plastered over their faces. As they got closer Mitch grabbed Trent’s arm and pulled him into the small crowd.

“This is Trent. He’s been helping out for the past year or so. He’s fantastic with the horses, I’ve never seen anyone with his touch before,” said Mitch to his parents, then looking over at Trent he finished the introductions, “Trent, these are my parents, Patsy and Mike.”

Mitch’s mother made it almost a full second before she wrapped her arms around Trent and pulled him tight. Of course she knew his background, but she didn’t care. For some reason he reminded her of Mitch at that age. She felt a slight tremor go through Trent and decided she had forced her affection on the boy long enough. Releasing him, she stepped back with her hands still cradling Trent’s arms.

“It’s great to finally get to meet you, Trent,” she said quietly.

Trent glanced over to see Mitch’s dad holding out his hand, and mechanically let his hand be pumped. His arms fell limply to his sides as he watched the introduction ritual repeated with Josh.

“Mom, Dad, this is Josh. He’s the one responsible for the goats, and that crazy red and white dog,” said Mitch with a chuckle. Josh reddened slightly as he shook Mike’s hand and was held tight by Patsy.

Patsy slid her hand in both boys’ arms and beamed at them. Turning to Josh she started. “Josh, we’ve heard so much about you. I really want to see the herd of goats you have, and this new mustang that you’re working with.” She smiled and turned, “Trent, I also want to see this miracle in horsehide that you’ve apparently have working better than a well trained Lipizzaner. Now, if I could get the two best looking guys here to escort me to the house?” said Patsy with a smile.

Both boys grinned back at her, already feeling closer to her than either of their mothers, who had discarded them. Trent was more cautious, but still Patsy was working her magic on him as they slowly walked her to the house, listening to her charming chatter. As the three of them walked into the house, Mitch heard his dad chuckle. Looking over, he lifted a questioning eyebrow.

“I was just thinking. Your mother always was good with wild things,” said Mike with a laugh.

<><><><>

That evening was spent in pleasant conversation, with Trent and Josh feeling included in the conversation. Josh told Mitch’s parents about the degree he was working on in graphic arts, and Trent was pulled into the conversation as he regaled them with his work with Whitey, his BLM mustang; as well as the tricks he had been teaching Josh’s Border Collie, Max and his purchase of some of the goats from Josh’s growing herd.

Since Patsy and Mike’s home was a modern day homestead, they were very interested in hearing both boys’ experiences. Soon they were telling stories of Feathers, their Friesian horse that wasn’t sure if he was a horse, or a dog; and their wandering flock of chickens that made their egg cartons look like a Pride flag. Trent relaxed and was soon laughing along with everyone else.

Eventually the night began to wind down and Mitch’s parents obviously needed sleep. After Patsy yawned a third time in so many minutes, Darrin called an end to the evening.

“I think it’s time for bed. I know I’m about to crash,” said Darrin.

“I’m afraid you’re right. We’re about to fall asleep in the middle of the conversation,” said Mike as he helped his wife to her feet. “Where did you want us? At this point I could sleep on the kitchen floor.”

“No, ya’ll get Josh’s room, he’s going to bunk with Trent,” said Mitch with a smile toward Trent.

Patsy turned to look at Josh and Trent, “You boys ok with that? We hate to put you out.”

Both boys signaled their denial of any inconvenience. Josh finally spoke up, “No, we’ll be fine. My blow-up mattress is all ready.”

After only a slight bit of discussion, Patsy and Mike agreed. With everyone helping, it took only a few minutes and their luggage was in Josh’s room. With warm goodnights from all, the boys quickly found themselves closing the door behind them as they walked into Trent’s house. Josh tossed the bag with his clothes into the nearby chair, and then sat on the side of the bed.

“You tired?” asked Trent.

“Nope. You?” said Josh.

“No,” said Trent. The quiet stretched out for several moments, until he continued, “Wanna play some Wii?”

“Sure! I don’t play the one the guys gave me too much. That sounds fun,” said Josh with a smile.

As they played, they started to relax. Both of them knew what they wanted to happen tonight, but had reservations, for different reason. At well past midnight, Josh was suppressing a yawn and had to look at Trent with a smile.

“I think it’s time to get some sleep. We’ll need to do the chores in the morning so the guys don’t have to,” said Josh.

Trent chuckled and said, “Yeah, you old college man. Let’s get you some shuteye before you crash.”

Josh nodded with a smile, and started stripping to his briefs. He kicked off his boots, pulled the shirt over his head, and quickly dropped his jeans to the floor. Standing in just his briefs, Josh suddenly realized Trent hadn’t moved.

“Sorry, I usually sleep in my briefs. But I can put on the t-shirt if I’m making you uncomfortable. I’ll have the air mattress inflated in a few minutes,” said Josh with concern.

“No,” said Trent softly.

“Ok . . .” said Josh looking confused as he reached down to pull his shirt out of the pile.

“No, I mean you don’t need to fix another bed. Why don’t you sleep in the bed with me? I’m fine with it,” said Trent.

“You sure?” asked Josh.

“Yeah, sure. It’ll be fine. Just sleeping, right?” said Trent in a rapid flood of words.

Josh watched as the slender young man quickly stripped. While they had been dating for weeks, they had never done more than kiss and a little light petting. The thought of being next to Trent was seductive for Josh, but he wasn’t sure what Trent’s reaction would be if they went any further. It had been Trent’s decision to sleep together though, and Josh was excited to be next to the handsome young man. As he watched Trent finish peeling off his clothes, he admired his body. For 18, he had a nice amount of hair between his pecs and over his muscular abs, dark blond and so short and dense it almost looked plush. The briefs that Trent had received for his birthday came almost to his knees, and were very form fitting. As Trent turned back, Josh got a little weak in the knees at the sight of the huge cock snaking down the leg of Trent’s underwear.

As he stared transfixed at Trent’s dick, he remembered walking into Trent’s house, to find Trent dancing around in the nude, his long cock flopping like a sexual snake. Josh stopped himself, realizing his obsession was affecting his own cock, which was plumping up nicely in his white briefs. Trying to control his obsession, he studied the tattoo covering Trent’s shoulder. He recognized the native designs from Sheriff White Cloud’s birthday gift and the blackwork combined to create a wonderful, powerful pattern. As he became mesmerized with the design he unconsciously stepped closer, then reached out and traced his finger over the tattoo. The intimacy lasted for several seconds before he felt Trent shutter under his touch, bringing him back to reality.

“Oh, sorry, Trent,” stammered Josh.

Trent looked over at him with a smile, and put his hand on Josh’s bare shoulder. “It’s ok, it felt good. My dad was Haida, and the killer whale and raven are two of their clan totems. It helps me remember him.”

“It’s beautiful,” said Josh as he studied it again.

“Thanks, I like it.”

Trent scrambled into the bed, yanking covers over himself to hide his rapidly stiffening cock. He enjoyed their make-out sessions, but even with all his bravado, Trent wasn’t sure that he was ready to go further. His hesitancy didn’t keep him from being affected by Josh and his taut body though. As Trent watched Josh taking a leak in the dim bathroom light, he could see the dark hair that was growing on his muscular chest and coating his legs. He loved the definition that Josh had on his muscles too, just a nice cut look from all the work they did around the ranch. Even though they were about the same height, Trent always felt like a little skinny kid around Josh. He knew he’d put on quite a bit of weight since he arrived at the ranch, but he still felt thin compared to Josh.

Trent watched his sexy boyfriend as Josh carefully checked doors and turned off the lights in the room. He squatted down and petted Max, who had snuck into the room, for a few minutes too, which Trent found charming. Once he’d taken care of everything, he walked toward the bed, and Trent ran his tongue over his lips in anticipation as he got closer. He could see Josh’s hairy thighs tighten and release with each athletic step. Josh’s cock wasn’t as long as his, but it was definitely a keeper, and Trent thought it might be really thick, which somehow excited him even more.

Josh stopped at the edge of the bed and gave Trent a gentle smile. “You sure?” asked Josh.

“Yeah, it’ll be fine. Just—” said Trent.

“Just what?” said Josh.

“Don’t start anything, ok? I mean, if I want it, then . . . But I might not. I just . . .” said Trent with frustration in his voice.

“Anything you want, Trent. And I promise to be a perfect gentleman,” said Josh with a sympathetic smile.

Trent chuckled a little, scooted toward the wall and flipped back the bedding. “Come on, you’re going to freeze something important off if you don’t get in this bed.”

Josh chuckled and climbed in front of Trent. They were soon nestled in the covers, with Josh lying quietly on his back while Trent cuddled against his side. Josh waited, running his fingers over Trent’s face and tracing patterns through his hair. He hoped Trent would take the initiative, but was not willing to push his desires. Soon the comforting warmth had Josh feeling very relaxed, but determined to stay awake. Then he heard a soft snore in his ear, and a relaxed wiggle from his bed partner, clearly indicating Trent had fallen asleep. Josh grinned ruefully, thinking his hard member was going to make it tough for him to reach the same state.

<><><><>

Trent woke slowly the next morning, glancing around the dim room he realized it was well before sunrise. Trent’s next conscious thought was the realization they had shifted positions, and his body had responded to the change. He was now spooned against Josh, his cock hard as a rock and leaking precum as it lay in the crack of Josh’s ass. Trent started to back away, but managed to wedge his dick tighter in Josh’s ass crack. Trent let out a soft sigh as his hips started pumping slighting, rubbing himself up and down Josh’s butt. The heat coming off Josh felt wonderful, as did the increasingly wet sensations as Trent’s cock rubbed faster and faster. As his breath started coming in gasps, he realized what he was doing, and that he was doing it without Josh’s consent, freezing Trent in horror.

“Don’t stop, that was nice.”

Trent jumped at the sound of Josh’s voice. Trying to decide what he should do, he realized that Josh had started rubbing his cloth-covered ass against Trent’s rigid cock. Trent sighed and tried to explain,

“Sorry, I shouldn’t have. It just sorta happened,” said Trent with a stammer as a particularly nice wave coursed through his body.

“You never have to ask me,” said Josh softly.

Trent moaned at the sound of his deep voice, he curled himself around Josh, burying his face against Josh’s neck and whispering, “You might regret saying that someday, college.”

Josh’s intended reply faded to a soft sigh as Trent began to caress his chest. His entire body was a hotbed of sensations, and he was willing to do anything Trent wanted, but he knew the teasing couldn’t continue for much longer, or he would explode. When Trent started rubbing, then tugging and twisting his nipples, Josh’s breath began coming in gasps. Josh’s other lovers had played with his nipples, and he had enjoyed it, but Trent was somehow rough and loving at the same time, and it was sending barbs of passion racing through Josh’s system.

Suddenly Josh realized that fingers were circling his navel, the dense hair surrounding it was magnifying each touch as Trent toyed with him. Josh desperately fought for control, not wanting to climax before Trent reached his goal. He was rewarded when he felt Trent’s slender fingers slide under his waistband. He gasped and bucked, feeling a surge of precum erupt from his cock as Trent’s hands slid through his pubic hair. Finally the emotions and passion overwhelmed his caution.

“Oh god, Trent. Please touch it! Oh fucking hell, Please!” said Josh in a gasp.

“Whatda you want? Tell me?” whispered Trent in his ear.

“Jerk it, play with it, whatever you want. I just need to come so bad,” said Josh as he felt the fingertips glide closer to his rampant cock.

“Like this?” said Trent as he lightly wrapped his fingers around the base of Josh’s cock and pulled up slowly.

“Oh. Yes. Fuck. Fuck!” screamed Josh, his orgasm driven past the point of no return at Trent’s touch.

Trent felt his lover tense against him, and continued his slow torturous stroking. As Josh shook with overwhelming sensations, Trent rubbed his cock against the fabric of his own briefs, already translucent with precum. With a gasp, Josh erupted, cum shooting through the already wet fabric. Trent teased him slowly, as volley after volley erupted from his nuts. The weeks of carefully controlled passion was erased in a heartbeat by Trent’s delicate touch. Even in the dim predawn light, Trent could see cum running down the outside of Josh’s briefs. Finally Josh slumped against him, gasping desperately for air.

“Oh shit. That was amazing,” said Josh as he tried to recover his breath. Trent held him, feeling close to someone for the first time in a long time. He was not really concerned with his own pleasure at that moment, because he was getting what he wanted, a caring lover.

But Josh could feel Trent’s hard member poking him urgently. Twisting in bed, Josh moved face to face with the slender young man. Josh pulled him in for a kiss, and let his hands drift down Trent’s chest as their lips slowly separated. Josh gently rubbed his fingers over Trent’s nipples, needing confirmation that Trent wanted him to continue. After a few seconds, Trent let out a shuddering sigh and nodded slightly.

Josh smiled broadly as he ran his hands down Trent’s chest, enjoying the feel of soft hair under his palms. Running his hand over his flat stomach, Josh let his hand travel over the fabric that was so wet he wondered briefly if Trent had already shot. Finally reaching Trent’s diamond hard cock, Josh gripped it tightly, watching precum belch out through the cloth at his touch.

“Oh fuck! Damn, that feels good,” said Trent through a moan.

Josh grinned, but he wanted more. Letting his hands trail back up Trent’s contorting body, he slid his thumbs under his waistband and slowly slid them down his torso, smiling to himself as his long cock lurched out, slinging a trail of precum as it did. Josh grabbed the writhing monster and lifted it upward, letting his hand travel slowly down its length. He was amazed at the volume of precum leaking from Trent’s cock. Josh wanted so badly to lean down and run his tongue through that stream of masculine essence, but instinctively knew that Trent wasn’t ready for that, yet.

Instead he focused on the throbbing piece of meat in his hand. He was fascinated with the huge blue vein traversing its length, tracing it with his finger, hearing Trent gasp as he did. Stopping where the vein disappeared, he slowly ran his finger around the ridge of Trent’s cockhead.

“Fuck!” screamed Trent.

Josh felt the man beside him shake, but before he could react, the first massive volley of cum hit him on the side of the face. With the first shot barely having arrived, a second followed, completely drenching the side of Josh’s face. The next handful of explosive jets hit Josh in the chest as he sighed in contentment. As the last of the semen oozed from Trent’s cock, Josh ran his hands over his cum slathered chest. Suddenly Josh recalled his last boyfriend’s reaction to touching jizz, and froze in concern over what Trent’s reaction might be. Then he felt a hand slide across his chest, helping smear the jizz over him.

“Oh man, you’re fuck’n sexy covered with my cum,” said Trent sensuously.

Josh suddenly felt a weight lift that he hadn’t even realized was there. But he was sure now, this was not going to be the same vanilla relationship he’d had with Zack, and he was thrilled at that discovery.

<><><><>

Darrin and Mitch cuddled against each other, kissing and holding each other, but neither wanting to take the chance that Mitch’s parents would hear them if they took it further. That wasn’t a problem for them though; they had begun to enjoy these quiet times with just the two of them as much as the lovemaking, well almost as much. This morning they were enjoying the scene of the prairie coming to life as the sun rose outside their window. Darrin leaned over, kissed Mitch and wrapped him in a hug.

“I’m so lucky to be with you. And you just keep getting better looking,” said Darrin with a grin.

“Oh shit, what do you want?” said Mitch with a chuckle.

“Welllll,” started Darrin.

“Come on, spit it out,” said Mitch, wondering what was on Darrin’s mind.

“Kids,” said Darrin hesitantly.

“Yeah, what about ‘em.”

“Well. Do we want any?” said Darrin as he chewed on his lip.

“I thought we’d talked about this before,” said Mitch with a slight twist to his lips.

“Oh. Ok, well nevermind,” said Darrin rapidly.

Mitch scooted around in the bed until they were facing each other, “No, not ‘nevermind’. Tell me what you’re thinking.”

“Well, you know a lot of people are having kids with surrogates. I just wondered if you wanted to have a child of your own?”

“I haven’t got a burning desire, no. What about you? Did you want a fruit of your loins?” asked Mitch with a smirk.

Darrin chuckled, “Not particularly, but I thought we should talk about it. I didn’t want any surprises years down the road when you tell me you regret not having kids.”

“I think we’re always going to have kids, I just think we’re going to get them at the really fun time, after puberty,” said Mitch then leaned in to kiss Darrin.

Darrin nodded, looking serious for a few moments, and kissed Mitch in return. “I think you’re right, that’s going to be our parenting.”

Mitch curled up behind Darrin, taking him in his arms, enjoying the feeling of his chest against Darrin’s back.

“Satisfied?” asked Mitch softly.

“Oh yeah, very satisfied,” said Darrin with a sly smile.

<><><><>

Josh and Trent had enjoyed the visit from Mitch’s parents, both of whom had had been warm and completely supportive of the boys. They had introduced Patsy and Mike to the animals and detailed their plans, with many discussions which left the boys with the feeling there were being heard.

Josh was thrilled to find out Patsy had some background in graphic arts too. Trent had bonded almost immediately with Mitch’s dad. They had worked for hours with Whitey, which not only created the bond between the two of them, but deepened the bond Trent had with the horse. Mike had privately told Mitch that he agreed with his assessment; Trent had a gift with animals.

The goat herd that the two boys were developing was a source of many conversations, to Mitch’s public outrage, and private delight, as he loved that his parents were bonding so well with the boys. But the developing plans for the herd was a source of continual good-natured sparring between Mitch and the younger pair.

Darrin had pulled out all the stops for their last meal together. The roast, masses of side dishes and vegetables, followed by several different types of dessert, had everyone full and draped over the furniture in various states of catatonia. The boys had taken over what was becoming their spot, the couch. Patsy watched as they nestled next to each other and began to cry softly. Mitch climbed out of his chair at the soft sound, shocked to see tears rolling down his mothers face. He walked slowly to her side and knelt, taking her hand gently in his.

“Mom, what’s wrong?” asked Mitch quietly.

Patsy leaned forward and took Mitch’s face in her hands. “I’m so sorry, Mitch. We should have protected you better. You should have been with someone instead of trapped by Steve. Can you ever forgive me?”

Mitch swiped his arm over his face, wiping the tears that had started leaking down his face. The fact that he had never really talked to his parents about the sexual assault at the hands of someone they knew, or the abusers subsequent death in jail when he was arrested at the ranch were scars he still had. But he had never blamed his parents.

“Mom, you didn’t do anything wrong. Steve was just evil. And I’m fine. Look at Darrin and me.”

Darrin walked over and sat on the edge of Patsy’s chair and leaned down to bumped her gently. “You raised an amazing man. Thank you.”

Patsy took Darrin’s arm and hugged it. The young couple had sat up during the exchange and now Patsy was looking at them with a smile.”

“These are two fine men. You’re lucky to have found them,” she said with a smile.

Josh pulled Trent into a hug, then nodded toward Patsy. “Yes, Ma’am. We know how lucky we are to have ended up on the ranch and also to have found each other.”

Trent smiled and nodded, not wanting to upset the sweet lady who he’d come to love over the past few days. But the display of loving affection he had just witnessed only served to create an emotional chaos inside Trent.


Chapter 2: Discovery, supportive friends and a get away.

Josh shoved another wheelbarrow full of horse manure and bedding toward the pile behind the barns. He was starting to get frustrated with Trent, thinking the younger man had left him with the unpleasant job of cleaning stalls while Trent was checking on the goats. They’d moved the herd to a new pasture last night so it wasn’t a bad idea to take a walk through the herd, but Trent had been gone for an unreasonable length time. He and Trent had been getting along well after the visit from Mitch’s parents a few weeks before, but Josh still wasn’t going to let him get away with dumping the dirty work on him while he screwed around. Entering the relatively dim light of the building after unloading, he saw Trent’s silhouette moving with agonizing slowness toward him. Josh’s frustration boiled over.

“Damn it, Trent! Where have you been?”

Trent continued moving closer without responding. Josh started wondering what had happened. As Trent got closer, he could see something in his arms. Josh watched him with growing concern. Trent stumbled slightly and a thin leg swung out from his arms. Dropping the wheelbarrow Josh raced toward Trent. As he closed the distance, Josh could see that Trent was carrying one of the goats, the cavernous hole he could see in its underbelly clearly signifying a violent end. Stopping just in front of Trent, Josh could see it was one of Trent’s black and white does. The impact tore through Josh when he locked eyes with the younger man and saw tears streaming down his face.

“Something killed her. She was all wadded up in one corner of the new pasture,” said Trent softly, almost without emotions as he cradled the lifeless body in his arms.

Josh gave the corpse a quick look, and then put his hand gently on Trent’s shoulder. “It looks like a coyote to me. Dogs would have killed more and tore them up.”

Trent looked into Josh’s eyes, the seemingly unending stream of tears rolling down his face. “Do you think she suffered much?”

Josh started, and then stopped, unsure of how best to answer Trent. Finally, with a sigh, he gave Trent the truth. “I don’t know, Trent. Sometimes they started feeding on the organs before the animal is dead.”

Trent shuddered, not ready or willing, to continue that line of thinking, “I want to bury her. I don’t just want to throw her in a ravine.”

“I’ll help you,” said Josh.

Josh quickly gathered up a pair of shovels and a feed sack for the body. Helping Trent slide the doe into the sack, they loaded up the ATV and Josh drove them to a quiet meadow along the creek. Pulling out the shovels, and without a word, they dug a small, deep grave and laid the burlap wrapped body in the bottom. Quickly refilling the grave, they stood quietly for several minutes. Trent finally shook his head and turned to toss his shovel into the ATV.

“She was one of my favorites,” said Trent.

“I know, but it happens,” said Josh quietly.

Without looking up Trent asked, “What can we do to keep it from happening again?”

Josh tossed his shovel beside Trent’s, using the few seconds to collect his thoughts. Knowing there was no foolproof system, but that he needed to offer some direction.

“Well we could look at electric fences. They have some you can move around now. I’ll talk to Mitch about getting a couple of donkeys too. They hate coyotes,” offered Josh.

Trent nodded as he sat on the ATV. He didn’t want to talk; he didn’t want to think about his early morning discovery. He especially didn’t want to contemplate the nagging feeling that this was just the first of what would be his normal set of disasters.

<><><><>

Darrin was carefully going through his latest publication. He’d refocused on the research component of his job, wanting to be bullet-proof when he came up for tenure in a few years. Now that he was developing his own reputation as a researcher, obtaining grants had become easier. As he was proofing the last page he felt a presence in the office. Glancing up, he saw that Emma Ruck was standing at his door.

“Hi Emma, what can I do for you today,” said Darrin cheerfully.

“Just thought I’d drop by and invite you and your family to the house for a little New Years Eve party.”

“That would be great, but . . .”

Emma laughed, “Yes, all of your family, including the two trouble makers. Unless they are battling again, and if they are, just let me know and I’ll have a little talk with them. They’ll behave.”

Darrin chuckled at his mentor, knowing she could make grown men cry when she wanted. He had no doubt that she could put the fear of god into two recalcitrant young men. “I’ll be sure and pass along the threat. I know Josh has a healthy respect for you, so he’ll be good. As for Trent . . .” Darrin raised his arms in a helpless gesture.

“Oh, Trent understands about surviving. I’m sure he will recognize the alpha bitch,” said Emma with a chuckle.

Darrin’s eyebrows shot up, not certain how to respond. Fortunately Emma continued without a discernible pause. “How are the papers coming?” asked Emma in a typical change of topic.

Familiar with his faculty mentor’s communication style, Darrin made the transition seamlessly. They discussed the progress he was making and she offered a few suggestions before leaving his office. Darrin had always equated Dr. Ruck to a force of nature and this little visit just reinforced his opinion. But he would be certain to pass along the invitation to everyone, especially the two young lovers.

<><><><>

Josh and Trent rode behind Darrin and Mitch as they drove the handful of miles to Dr. Ruck’s house. Darrin had already told them that it would be a good idea to be on their best behavior tonight, or Dr. Ruck would have a talk with them about how to conduct yourself when a guest in someone else’s home. Frankly, Josh was terrified of her anyway so he had no inclination to cause trouble.

Glancing across the pickup Josh watched Trent for several minutes, chuckling a little to himself at how he had dressed. While the other three were wearing new Wranglers and dress shirts, Trent was wearing the latest styles of layered clothing, completely with skinny jeans that tapered to almost nothing at his ankles. Josh knew that Trent was amazingly attractive; he’d seen him nude every night since Mitch’s parents had left because they had continued sleeping together, losing the underwear after a few nights. But Trent was already a slender guy and Josh thought the tapered pants made his legs look like toothpicks. But he was happy, and that made Josh happy, so he certainly wasn’t going to say anything about it.

Trent glanced over at him, reached over and took Josh’s hand in his and squeezed it. Trent glanced at the three handsome men in the pickup with him and sighed to himself. He felt a little like the ugly duckling in comparison to them, and he was well aware that he might have been more comfortable with jeans and boots too. He had them, it wasn’t that, but he had on what he wanted to wear. No one had said a word to him about his clothes. He had seen a slight smirk on Josh’s face as they left, but he hadn’t said anything about it either.

As they turned into Dr. Ruck’s driveway, Trent thought about their invitation. Darrin had made it clear that everyone was invited, including Trent. This would be the first New Year’s party he had ever attended. Last year the guys had really not done much of anything. They had eaten tons of food, sat around the television to watch the ball drop in Time Square, then waited an hour to see the countdown in Bricktown. It had been all pretty low key. As they rolled to a stop, Trent thought to himself that he hoped this wasn’t going to be a night of old people sitting around talking and getting drunk. But he was certain of one thing, regardless of everything else, he wanted his midnight kiss from Josh.

As they all walked into the house together, it was obvious that someone who knew how to have fun was throwing this party. The house was large, and actually arranged with several different seating areas. The largest one was a nesting of large comfortable looking chairs. But the other two were obviously arranged with the younger attendees in mind. They were each set up with different game systems and already had several people battling for supremacy in differing worlds. Darrin glanced back and had to smile when he saw that Josh and Trent both were already entranced by the games.

Emma saw them come into the house and moved over to them. “Hello! I’m glad you could all make it. There’s tons of food and beverages.” She turned to Trent and Josh, “Sorry guys, but the punch and pop for under aged are over there,” she said pointing to the area closer to the gaming consoles. The two younger men glanced at Darrin and Mitch and when they got the nod of approval, headed for the food and video games. Emma snagged Mitch’s arm and directed him in the opposite direction. “I want to see what you think of the punch, Mitch. I mixed it up special.”

Darrin’s head snapped to his mentor, wondering what she was up to because he clearly recognized the subtle tone of deviltry in her voice. She might be one of the most successful researchers in the department, but Darrin also knew she had a streak of orneriness a mile wide too, and he had a feeling Mitch was about to get a large dose of it.

As they walked up to the punch bowl, Darrin noticed several grins shot their direction. He scanned the area, trying to figure out what was going on while Emma ladled them both glasses of punch. They both sipped the potent concoction carefully and watched the room. Suddenly Darrin was startled by a snort and laughter from Mitch. Looking back, he saw that his husband looking at his punch and laughing louder by the second. Darrin glanced into his own glass, and then with a flick of his head he locked eyes with Emma, and saw barely contained mirth blooming across her face.

“I can’t believe you—”

Mitch’s laughter chose that moment to erupt. “Boobs! You put ice boobs in the punch! Oh. My. God. I love it!”

Emma’s mirth finally burst out. “Yes, I thought it was only fair after you served me punch with penis ice cubes a few years back. It took me awhile to find them though!”

Mitch and Emma teased each other for several minutes and then the party settled into a predictable rhythm. Darrin watched as Mitch hammered back several more of Emma’s special glasses of punch. Knowing neither of them wanted the boys to drive them home, Darrin relegated himself to fruit juices and water for the evening, with no remorse at all. Settling in with one of the older gamer groups, Darrin was soon having a great time.

Trent and Josh had also quickly become involved with another of the groups, mostly undergraduates that for one reason or another Dr. Ruck had invited. It seemed that they were not the only same-sex couple among the younger crowd. A few others were sitting very close and exchanging touches and glances.

Mitch, by far the most gregarious of the four, had worked his way through the crowd and ended up seated and chatting with other guests. He became engrossed in a discussion about pasture forages with someone from the agronomy faculty. For Mitch, the conversation was fascinating and critical to their livelihood.

Trent was enjoying just watching as Josh and another guest played against each other. Suddenly his skin began to crawl as someone sat very close beside him, almost touching. Trent glanced over to see a very familiar look, one he had seen time and again from the johns. This guy was looking for one thing, and Trent wasn’t interested. He started to move away, and suddenly felt a meaty hand on his shoulder.

“Hey, I’m Mark. I haven’t seen you around campus.”

“I don’t go to the university. I work for Maverick Cattle,” said Trent trying to be civil. He again tried to leave, but this time Mark pinned him to his seat. Mark leaned and in a husky whisper said, “Come on, stud. I know your type. You need a little dick.”

“A little dick is all you’d ever have to give too.”

Trent’s head spun, to see Josh standing beside him. His arms folded over his broad chest, looking protective, and very angry. But apparently Mark’s survival instincts had never developed since he continued to hold Trent down and looked at Josh.

“Move along, Junior. The little hipster twink and I were having a discussion.”

Josh moved forward, ready to rip Mark’s hand off his boyfriend, when he felt a slender hand gently restrain him. Glancing to his right he saw it was Dr. Ruck, and the look on her face would have made any sane living creature flee in terror. As she stepped forward, Mark locked eyes with her and his hand slowly slid off Trent’s shoulder.

“Mister O’Brien, I guess my decision invite you tonight was a poor one. Come with me, I believe we need to visit . . . outside.”

Mark rose, slowly, stiffly, as Emma watched him with arched brows. As he slowly followed her out the front door, Mitch sat down beside Trent. He turned to Trent and asked quietly, “You ok?”

“Yeah, fine. Don’t worry about me.”

“Trent, you’re part of our family. We just wanted to make sure that you are ok,” said Darrin as he sat on Trent’s other side.

Trent was suddenly overwhelmed. The three men he had known for little more than a year were suddenly forming a protective guard around him, and worried about him. He’d never had someone looking out for him before. He’d always had to protect himself, but now he had three people, all of whom looked like they were ready to rip off Mark’s head.

Suddenly they heard a sound almost like a dog’s bark. Darrin looked out the front window and could see Emma having a discussion with the miscreant who had touched Trent. Mark’s head was down, and Darrin could well imagine the words Emma was slicing through him with. Suddenly it ended with her spinning to the door, and Mark stumbling toward his vehicle.

Emma reentered the house and paused for a spilt second and then walked over to Trent. Kneeling in front of him, Trent was surprised to see that the woman looked visibly shaken.

“Trent, you must accept my apologies. I have no idea what made him think that was acceptable behavior, especially as a guest in my house. I can assure you that he understands now, and he understands very clearly.”

Trent was now feeling overwhelmed. He might not know Dr. Ruck well, but he certainly knew she was important and well regarded. Looking from Darrin, to Mitch and finally to Josh, he stopped himself from his initial response to dismiss her need to apologize. His place in all this, his acceptance into Mitch’s family, he really couldn’t believe it, but he knew he was not going to get away with denial.

“Thank you. I don’t think I did anything to encourage him. But I didn’t like him touching me,” said Trent quietly.

“Trent,” said Emma softly, waiting for him to look at her before he continued. “You did nothing wrong. I’m just so sorry it happened.”

Trent managed a heartfelt, if slight, smile. “It’s ok. But I don’t want to spoil the evening.”

“That’s very nice of you, Trent. And it really isn’t ok,” said Emma. She continued to kneel in front of Trent for several long seconds, and suddenly leaned forward and hugged him tight. Releasing him, she met Trent’s eyes and smiled. “Darrin was right. You are an outstanding young man.” With that proclamation, she stood and joined the other guests, assuring them that all was well.

Darrin and Mitch soon followed suit after they were convinced that Trent was ok. But when he looked at Josh, there was a firm look of determination that kept Trent from trying to dismiss him. Josh simply sat beside Trent, wrapped his arms around him and held him for the rest of the evening. When the clock struck midnight, Trent was greeted with a soft and loving kiss that left his body tingling.

The ride home was quiet, each man lost in his own thoughts about the evening. They all had baggage. Given, it was from differing sources, but baggage nevertheless. After a brief goodbye, Josh and Trent walked the short distance to Trent’s house and some much needed rest. The pair moved through their evening routine and soon their bare bodies were spooned together as Josh held Trent very protectively.

The events of the night and the support from so many differing sources had Trent worried. Too many good things were happening, far too many. Trent lay in Josh arms, trying to decide what he needed to do to protect these people who seemed to feel a need to support him. As the stygian night began to lighten, he finally collapsed into an exhausted sleep.

<><><><>

Darrin was sitting at the table, the house quiet for once, thumbing through, of all things, seed catalogs. He had been thinking about putting in a vegetable garden for a couple of years now, and the visit from Mitch’s parents over Thanksgiving had cemented the idea in his mind. During the winter break he had ordered catalogs from a variety of companies. In the midst of all the activity over the break, ending with the near disaster at Emma’s, this was the first time he’d had time to look through them.

He was looking for vegetables you couldn’t buy in the supercenter. Nothing was exactly set in stone, but he was leaning toward some of the old varieties. Ones he could remember his grandfather raising when he was little. He could remember being so excited when he got to wander along with his grandfather and pick what was ripe. He was still smiling at the thought when Trent walked into the house. Darrin heard the refrigerator open and close, then felt Trent moving toward him. Darrin was certain that his curiosity was just getting the better of him. When the footsteps stopped, he looked up and smiled.

“Hey Trent, what’s up?”

“Nuth’n much. What’re you look’n at?”

“Seed catalogs,” said Darrin, “I’m thinking about putting in a vegetable garden this spring.”

“Really? You want to grow your own like Patsy and Mike?” said Trent.

Darrin chuckled a little at Trent’s sudden interest. Mitch’s parents had certainly captured the young man’s attention. “Yeah, something like that.”

Trent pulled out a chair and started looking through the pages spread out before them. Darrin chuckled to himself at how readily Trent had assumed Darrin would be ok with him helping. That was certainly a very different person than the one Sheriff White Cloud brought to the ranch all those months ago.

They looked in silence until suddenly Trent’s excitement escalated as he read one of the descriptions. “This is that Amish one, Brandywine. Patsy said it was the best tasting tomato she’d ever had!”

Trent twisted the catalog so Darrin could see, and watched with a smile as he dutifully wrote down the name on a slowly growing list of seeds they were going to order. The minutes ticked by quickly as their common interest made the selection process fun and the conversation animated. Darrin was actually surprised at how much information Trent had. He’d apparently pumped Mike for information when they were visiting.

As they finished the last brochure, Trent looked down the list. “You know, these are all heirloom,” he said.

“Heirloom? What’s that?” asked Darrin.

“They are the ones that will come back the same if you save the seeds. Patsy and Mike said they tasted the best,” explained Trent.

“We did good then,” said Darrin with a smile.

“Yeah!” said Trent. Trent paused for a few seconds in thought. “But we can’t plant any of this for months.”

“Some of it we can plant pretty early, like the kale and peas. But the tomatoes and peppers we’ll start in the house, and we’ll have to do that pretty soon,” said Darrin.

Trent woke slowly and peacefully, the night had been bitterly cold and his house had proven to not be particularly winterized. He and Josh had piled a few more blankets on top of them and had snuggled against each other. As Trent drifted out of his highly contented fog, to realized that his cock was again proving to have a mind of its own. It was hard as steel and buried in Josh crack. Trent bit back a groan as his hips involuntarily pressed forward until his cock was leaking against Josh’s hole. The cascades of pleasure were rattling Trent’s thoughts until his cock was doing all the thinking. Suddenly he realized that he was doing it again, and he started to pull back.

“Don’t. Please. It feels so good,” Josh whispered.

“Josh. . .” whispered Trent.

Josh twisted his upper body until he could look at Trent. “It’s ok. I want it, if you’re ready. I was just tested a few weeks ago and I’m clean, and you haven’t been with anyone since you arrived and you got tested then.”

Trent relaxed slightly, his cock lodging tight against Josh’s hole and sighed as the heat of his ass circled Trent’s cock.

“Josh, I’ve never,” said Trent softly.

“Shh, let me. You just lay back and relax,” said Josh with a smile.

Trent looked at Josh, saw the eagerness in his face, smiled and nodded slightly.

Josh grinned and jumped from the bed, the frigid room suddenly toasty warm as he ran to the bathroom and was back with the lube they had bought for when they needed it, which was now. Quickly back in the bed, Josh looked down at Trent’s massive erection and his smiling face. Josh looked down, ready to lick the column of manhood, but something told him no. Following his instincts, he squirted out a palm full of gel and then coated Trent’s cock.

“Oh fuck, that feels good. God, lube is such a good thing,” said Trent with a grin.

Josh smiled back and filled his hand again. Lifting his top leg, Josh reached back and smeared his crack. Quickly shoving two fingers inside himself, he gasp at the sudden intrusion. While his fingers opened his ass, he leaned in and started kissing Trent. He looked at Trent’s massive erection and the realization that he hadn’t considered how large Trent was, especially in comparison to Zach. Josh wasn’t particularly drawn to big cocks, but since he was falling for Trent he wasn’t upset that he was hung like a horse. In the midst of everything Josh realized he didn’t want Trent to wait too long or he might change his mind.

With a loud wet sound Josh drove in a third finger, trying not to gasp at the sharp pain. After he’d thrust them inside himself a few times, the pain diminished, and Josh felt that he was ready. Moving across the bed, he knelt over Trent and reached down to aim his rigid cock. Josh lowered himself until Trent’s swollen cockhead was wedged firmly against his hole. Pressing down harder his ass began to expand as the thick stone-hard cock worked its way inside. As his outer sphincter stretched, the pain began to return. But Josh bit down on his lip and pressed hard, forcing the turgid cock inside. As the head popped through, Josh froze, waiting for the pain to subside.

His body was trembling and drenched in sweat. Josh wanted this more than anything before in his life. He would not disappoint Trent because he had rushed their first anal sex. With resolve, Josh began pushing down again, forcing Trent’s cock through, the searing pain almost overwhelming him until finally it ripped through into Josh’s gut. Josh gasped as the pain lanced through him, locked in place, hoping the pain would truly recede after a few minutes. Suddenly he felt a feather soft touch slip up his chest and begin rubbing his nipples.

“Josh, you don’t have to do this. I know I’m big. I don’t want to hurt you,” said Trent.

“Just give me a second. It’ll get better.”

The look of concern on Trent’s face didn’t lessen the hardness of his cock. After a little more time, the pain did lessen. It helped that Trent kept up a steady stream of touching and stroking him, trying to revive Josh’s deflated cock. Josh lowered himself millimeter by millimeter until at long last he felt Trent’s bush caress his ass. With a sigh of relief, he reached down and let his fingers drift over Trent.

“You’re all the way in. Damn, you’re even bigger than I though. But it feels amazing,” said Josh with a smile.

Trent smiled back, his head swimming with desire, wanting to bend Josh over and fuck him hard. But while he was on the streets he’d known guys that the johns had gotten rough with, and they didn’t recover quickly. So Trent lay still, letting Josh set the pace while he enjoyed every moment.

Josh started slowly, gradually moving his body up and down Trent’s hard cock. His speed gradually increasing until Trent was gasping with pleasure. The waves of desire washed over Trent with each motion of Josh’s body. Soon his body was shaking with desire as he tried to delay the inevitable. But Josh began working his nipples and Trent lost his tenuous grip. He grabbed Josh’s hips tightly, his body quaking.

“Oh fuck! Fuck! I’m coming, Josh!”

Josh tried to tighten his ass, but the violent pain stopped him in his tracks. Letting Trent unload, Josh merely endured the final moments of their first anal sexual encounter. He could see the sheer lust playing across Trent’s face as he shot blast after blast of cum into Josh’s used ass. With a final shudder, Trent’s body relaxed, and he looked up at Josh.

“That was incredible,” said Trent softly.

Josh leaned down, kissing Trent softly, glad that he had enjoyed it. “I’m glad you enjoyed it. That makes me very happy.”

Trent waited, but when nothing else was forthcoming, he reached down and lightly touched Josh’s flaccid dick. “So what’s wrong? Is it me?”

Josh suddenly chuckled, shocking Trent before he explained, “No, exactly the opposite actually. It was a little more, uncomfortable, than I’d thought it was going to be. I wanted you so bad that I think I forced it a little too fast.”

“Oh . . .” said Trent softly, his voice laced with concern.

Josh smiled and caressed Trent’s face. “It’ll be ok, and it’s completely my fault.” Josh paused for a minute and then looked outside at the rapidly growing light. “We need to get dressed. We told Mitch we’d take the horses out with him today to go through the south pasture moving cattle.”

Trent nodded and moved to get out of the bed, unsure what was going on, but feeling his security again eroding.

<><><><>

As the day wore on, Mitch had noticed something was off with Josh. The grimace on his face seemed to grow with each passing minute in the saddle. He’d asked a few times what was wrong, but now Mitch was becoming concerned. He’d watched the pair as they walked the horses to cool them down, and then bedded them in their stalls. Mitch could tell that something had happened and since Darrin was catching up on a few things on campus, this time the problem was his to try and straighten out.

Peeling off his boots at the door, Mitch watched as Josh moved stiffly into the living room and sat slowly on his hip, a pained expression flitting across his face. Mitch glanced over to Trent, and was surprised to see a look of guilt on the younger man.

“Ok, what the hell is going on? What happened to you, Josh?” said Mitch with a stern look.

“Nothing. I’m fine,” said Josh, trying to sit straight in the thickly padded chair, and failing.

“Trent, why is Josh in pain? Don’t bullshit me either,” said Mitch sternly.

Trent looked at Josh, concern warring with guilt on his face. “Josh, he might know what to do. It seems to just be getting worse.”

“Goddamn it,” Josh muttered but without any other response.

Trent turned to Mitch and in his typical blunt delivery, explained what had happened. “We fucked this morning, for the first time. I was too big, and Josh got ripped.”

“Ripped?” asked Mitch, knowing that Josh was far from a virgin. Turning to Josh he continued, “How bad? Are you bleeding?”

“I don’t know. I haven’t checked. But it hurts like a mother fuck’r.”

Mitch let out a long sigh, “Come on. Sitting in a hot tub will help. We need to see if it is bad enough that you need to see a doctor.”

“No! Please, Mitch! I don’t want anyone else to know,” said Josh with a shame filled voice.

Mitch looked at him for a long second, and then relaxed, putting himself in Josh’s place and understanding the young man’s concern. “Ok, but if you’re bleeding, you’re going. Got it?”

Josh nodded and pushed himself up from the chair and slowly followed Mitch to the bathroom with Trent trailing behind. Mitch quickly started the water, making it comfortably hot. Laying out towels, he turned to the two men standing behind him. “Trent, help him into the tub and see if there’s any blood in his underwear. He needs to just soak for a while, it’ll help the pain. Then, we’re all going to have a talk.”

Mitch left the room to give the couple some privacy. He busied himself around the kitchen, getting things ready so there was less work for Darrin when he got home. Mitch was also concerned about Josh. If he was that sore after one session, then things went wrong. Mitch hated to embarrass the couple, but he wasn’t going to let this go without discussing it. Finally he heard the door open and looked up. Seeing the two walk sheepishly into the living room, Mitch motioned them to the couch. He smiled to himself at how tightly Josh was gripping the towel around himself, but he decided this talk was best gotten out of the way immediately. Looking to Josh, he began his questioning.

“How do you feel? I’m sure you’re still sore, but how bad’s the pain?” asked Mitch.

Josh shifted in his seat; uncomfortable at the personal direction he knew this conversation was going to take. “It’s a lot better. The hot bath helped.”

Catching Trent in his gaze, Mitch continued. “Was there any blood?”

“No,” said Trent quietly, but then with a mischievous grin he added, “No brown racing stripe either.”

Mitch chuckled and appreciated the drop in tension between the three of them at Trent’s joke. With a smile and a slight sigh Mitch continued.

“So things didn’t go exactly as planned this morning. What do you need to do to keep this from happening again?”

“I just rushed it. That’s all,” said Josh with a quiet look on his face.

“It sorta happened fast. I’m sorry I hurt you, Josh,” added Trent with a guilty look on his face.

“No body to blame here. I just want to make sure you know what you need to know,” said Mitch, his voice neutral. He waited as the silence stretched out to uncomfortable levels. With an inward sigh he realized this was going to be up to him.

“So, why was it rushed? What happened?”

“Well,” began Trent, “I woke up . . . in the mood.”

Mitch stifled a snicker and managed to nod in a knowing way.

“And Josh said he wanted to, and that he would do everything.”

“Josh, what happened?” asked Mitch.

“I don’t know. We used plenty of lube. I think I just didn’t realize how big Trent was,” said Josh as his face flushed crimson.

Mitch turned to Trent, starting to ask the question that was killing him to ask, but knew it was really none of his business, so he continued. “What about foreplay? Didn’t that help you get him looser?”

“Ahh, there really wasn’t much foreplay. I sorta shoved a few fingers up there and did myself,” said Josh, his face turning a remarkable color.

Mitch turned back to Trent, “Why not, that’s a lot of the fun. And it helps get everything looser, at least it does me, especially oral.”

“Yeah, I didn’t do anything,” said Trent, starting to look guilty again. He glanced over to Josh and continued, “I don’t think I’m ready to suck off anyone, it . . . it’s too much like what happened on the street.”

Josh looked over at Trent, hurt that his boyfriend hadn’t shared his feelings. He started to say something, but caught a barely perceptible shake of the head from Mitch, and let the comment go.

Mitch looked at both of them and sighed. “Ok, well it will heal, but it’ll probably take a few weeks. If you see blood then we need to go to the doctor. I know you don’t want to do that, but we don’t want an infection or something. The hot baths will help the soreness and you’re welcome to use our tub. Also, you need to make sure you eat lots of fiber and drink a ton of water. I know it sounds like old man talk, but for while stuff coming out is going to hurt, and you want it easy to pass.” Mitch stopped for a minute, letting them think about everything.

When he was convinced that they knew what he was talking about, Mitch continued, “Next time, more foreplay and make sure you are good and ready, Josh. If it hurts, then you need to spend more time letting Trent open you up. I know in the heat of the moment you just want to . . . well you know. But there are consequences later.”

Stopping for a breath he turned to Trent. “I know this is new for you. But anal sex takes more time, and if you are well endowed, then it’s your responsibility to protect your partner. Just because someone is gay doesn’t mean they can take a rolling pin shoved up their ass. It varies and you have to be the one to take care of the other person.”

Mitch looked down, took in a deep breath, and looking back he chuckled softly at the sight of two very uncomfortable young men in front of him. “Yes, go. I’m sure this talk was less fun for you than it was me.”

Mitch held it together until he heard the door shut behind the fleeing pair. Then his body shook with mirth as he thought about crazy horny teenagers, and how glad he was that he and Darrin were past that stage.

Later that evening, as he and Darrin were undressing for bed he recounted the events of the day to Darrin, and both were chuckling at the poor, embarrassed younger couple.

“Well, at least they did know enough to use lube and not try to get by with spit,” said Darrin.

“Oh god! We’d of had to take Josh to the hospital if they’d tried that. He must have been ripped pretty good as it was from the pain he was in all day.”

Darrin stopped, his mouth open as he thought about whether to say what he was thinking or not. Mitch looked up and saw his expression, and began laughing.

“I know, I thought the same thing. How fuck’n big is Trent?” said Mitch with a laugh.

With warm laughter echoing around the room, both men climbed into bed, snuggling against each other and enjoying the warmth of their relationship.

<><><><>

As they neared spring break for the university, Darrin was looking forward to some time away. He had been working hard to get the rest of his research submitted for review, and he was badly in need of rest. They had talked about going to Boys’ Town in Chicago, but somehow Chicago in March didn’t seem like a great choice. But they had done a little searching on the web and found out the Houston stock show and rodeo were at the same time as Darrin’s spring break, and Houston in March sounded much more enjoyable.

The plans for the getaway had Darrin distracted so when walked past Kevin Boorman, he almost got to his office before the huge red mark peeking from underneath his shirt registered. Darrin paused for a heartbeat, his good judgment telling him to leave it, but he couldn’t let it go. He just couldn’t pass up a chance to push Kevin’s buttons. Doing a quick about face, he trailed Boorman back to his office. Darrin stood at the doorway and smiled, watching him walk around his desk to sit down. Kevin finally realized he wasn’t alone, and didn’t look happy to see Darrin standing at his doorway.

“What do you want, Anderson,” barked out Kevin.

“Why Kevin, I’m shocked at your greeting. We’re so tight,” said Darrin smoothly and with a smile. Continuing, he decided that he wasn’t going to stand and chitchat when he could poke at Boorman immediately.

“Looks like you had a great weekend though,” Darrin said, motioning toward the mark on Kevin’s shoulder.

Boorman’s eyes cast a furtive glance around the room. There were several moments of silence while Darrin gave Kevin enough time to spin a convincing yarn. When it was obvious that none was forthcoming, Darrin prodded his nemesis again.

“Was he at least good looking? Not another tiny twink I’d hope,” said Darrin with a smirk.

“No! He wasn’t a twink!” said Boorman sharply, then gasped and covered his mouth when he realized what he’d said.

Darrin stood quietly and looked at Kevin, giving him time to truly worry about what he had just admitted. As he did, he suddenly realized that not all of Boorman’s squirming was from psychological discomfort, he was moving remarkably like Josh was a few weeks earlier. Darrin couldn’t keep a snort of laughter contained, which garnered him a sharp look from Boorman. Darrin plastered on a stereotypical sweet smile as he leaned onto Boorman’s desk and in a voice that only Boorman could hear Darrin said, “When his dick went in, I bet you found out you were a screamer.”

Boorman sputtered, becoming more and more upset as Darrin turned and walked out of the office. The entire way to his office Darrin was smiling broadly at the thought of Kevin squirming with the innuendo Darrin had dumped on him. He so enjoyed the entire incident that he was still smiling about it when he arrived home.

Mitch looked up as Darrin walked into the bedroom. He immediately saw the smirk on Darrin’s face and knew something was up.

“What have you done?” said Mitch.

Darrin started chuckling, but after hours of holding it in he quickly burst out laughing. “Boorman. It was tacky of me, but it was just too easy.”

“What?” said Mitch, trying not to smirk.

“Well he has a huge hicky on his shoulder, and I was giving him a hard time about how he got it. Then I noticed he was very careful to sit on the sides of his ass, like a certain youngster around here was doing a few weeks ago,” explained Darrin with a smile.

Mitch gave up all pretense at not thinking this was funny. “And what pray tell, did you say to our friend Doctor Boorman?”

“I told him that I bet he was a screamer,” said Darrin with a smirk.

“Oh, you are an evil man,” said Mitch and then broke out laughing.

“It was bad, and I shouldn’t poke fun at the little twerp, but it was just too easy this time.”

“Yup, you were a bad, bad boy. I might just have to punish you later,” said Mitch with a grin.

“Oh? And are you going to spank me?” said Darrin with a leer.

Mitch walked over, wrapped his arms around his husband and gently started rubbing his nipples. “Oh yeah, punish me babe. Please punish me.”

Darrin’s head relaxed, enjoying Mitch attention, when a loud bang announced the arrive of the younger pair. Sighing, Mitch released Darrin with a kiss on the back of his neck and a whispered promise. “When we get to Houston, you may be walking funny too.”

“I’m looking forward to it,” said Darrin with a sigh.

<><><><>

“Last year when you two left, all hell broke loose. I don’t want to do that again,” said Josh with his arms crossed.

Mitch chuckled and shook his head. “Last year was just a quirk. I’m sure nothing will happen this time. We aren’t calving any heifers, the goats are doing fine. Trent knows what to do much better than Zach did.”

“I swear, Mitch. If it goes to shit, it’s not my fault,” said Josh adamantly.

“We’ll only be in Houston for a week. We’re going to the fair and rodeo and just unwind a little,” said Darrin, piping in to help Mitch out. Trent however, stood to one side, feeling out of place in this discussion. He had his own concerns, but they were just representative of his past problems. He was distantly listening to Josh argue, but even he knew it wasn’t really that Josh objected, it was that he was worried. But Mitch and Darrin were double teaming him and he soon had to relent.

Josh and Trent helped load the guy’s luggage into the pickup and stood silently on the porch as they watched the pickup drive slowly down the driveway. Josh was worried about he and Trent being in charge for a week, but he guessed it would be ok. He noticed Max coming toward them and squatted down to give him a good scratch. Max turned his red and white muzzle to Josh, and puked on his boot.

“Oh fuck!” yelled Josh while Trent snickered.

<><><><>

Night was descending as they pulled into the hotel. Darrin had to smile when the valet and the bellhop almost sprinted to them. He was impressed with the lobby, very modern with white marble and chrome. But then Mitch typically made great choices when they traveled. The rest of the staff were just as friendly, very helpful, and didn’t lift a brow when Mitch registered the two of them in a room with a single king-sized bed. Mitch did, of course, notice and rewarded the staff with generous tips.

During the trip to Houston, Darrin had already been on the phone several times to calm Josh down about Max, assuring him that unless something else happened, the collie would be fine. They’d also had another talk that everything would be okay, this time the result was not as convincing. But Darrin put that behind him as the walked into the room and watched as the bellhop put their bags to one side. Once they were alone Darrin turned to take it all in.

“You always pick great places, Mitch,” said Darrin.

Mitch chuckled, “Well I try not to pick rat holes.”

Darrin reached over and lightly punched his teasing husband on the arm, “You know what I mean dick weed.”

“Dick weed, dick weed? I hadn’t heard that since I was in seventh grade,” said Mitch with a laugh.

“Yeah well, it seemed appropriate,” said Darrin with a smile. Darrin watched as the look on Mitch’s face shifted, going from juvenile humor to one much more indicative of adult thoughts. He watched as his handsome husband walked closer. After six years Darrin still wondered what Mitch saw in him, because he thought Mitch was stunning, even more now than when they first met. His dark hair now had the beginnings of silver, his rough face still dark and desirable, not to mention his highly kissable lips. Darrin also knew that his body was still tight and hard, with the perfect covering of hair to make him want Mitch continually.

As the distance between then narrowed, he could smell the scent of his husband curl through his nostrils, instantly awakening his cock, his nipples stiffening. It had been several weeks since they’d had time for more than a perfunctory meeting of each other’s needs, certainly not the lovemaking they both desired. The look on Mitch’s face clearly said that he was ready to begin to correct that deficiency.

Darrin ached for Mitch’s touch, wanted to feel the gentle but masculine touch that his body craved. When his fingertips touched Darrin’s face, electrical pulses ran through his system, shifting his focus to his man. Darrin felt Mitch’s strong fingers trace through the short hair on his head, intertwining behind his neck and pulling them together. Their lips met, lingering, as the fire of passion roared inside them both. As the kiss broke, both men gasped for air, wanting the other.

“Fuck, you make me so hard,” said Mitch in a deep gravely voice, his lust barely controlled.

“You promised to fuck me until I was walking like Josh,” said Darrin with a lustful smile.

“I’m a much better lover than Trent. My partner won’t be hurting, at least nothing more than’s needed,” answered Mitch with a leer.

Darrin groaned at the thought, knowing Mitch would take him to the heights of passion. Darrin was lost for several minutes as he flashed through some of the more memorable moments with Mitch, but he was brought back to the present quickly when he felt Mitch’s hands slide under his shirt and begin rubbing his nipples. He distantly felt his husband’s hand begin to open his shirt and it was soon fluttering to the floor, quickly followed by Mitch’s. Mitch pulled them tight together, their chests rubbing, each hair shooting sensations through Darrin’s system until he was beginning to think he was going to explode in his pants. But Mitch was better than that, and slowly released Darrin.

“Oh no, lover. You’re not wasting that fresh jizz on your undies. I don’t care how sexy I think they are,” said Mitch breathlessly.

Darrin stared dumbly as Mitch pulled him so he was standing beside the bed. Mitch sat in front of Darrin and began to undress him. His hands slid down Darrin’s legs, untying each shoe and then lifting Darrin’s foot out, rolling the socks off and tossing them aside. Mitch reached up and opened the top button on Darrin’s trousers, letting them slide down his legs. Mitch chuckled and looked up at Darrin. “No more professor pants this week, I only want to see your ass naked, or in Wranglers.”

Darrin chuckled huskily and nodded his agreement.

Mitch looped his fingers through the waistband of his pants and then, with agonizing slowness, pulled them down, Darrin’s rigid cock trapped inside. Mitch leaned in, planting soft kisses on the hard shaft as it was slowly reveled. Once it sprung free of it’s confines, Mitch caught it in his lips and sucked the leaking precum from it. Mitch looked into Darrin’s eyes with lusty need.

“You are so handsome, and you keep getting more handsome each year,” said Mitch.

Darrin grinned, shaking his head in denial, but suddenly gasped as Mitch began fondling his nuts. As he stretched Darrin’s scrotum, trapping his nuts, and then letting them escape, Darrin’s gasps of pleasure came with more and greater force. As he again approached release, Mitch gently freed him, watching his body sway as the ripples of desire filled him.

Mitch stood, gently guided Darrin, laying him face first on the bed, pausing for a moment to enjoy the sight, and then quickly stripping and lay on top of him. He began by nibbling Darrin’s neck, then slowly made his way down his back, his lips and tongue reacquainting themselves with his man. He reached Darrin’s wonderful ass, gripping it and gradually opened it for inspection. Seeing the deep red rosebud buried in the nest of hair, Mitch wanted to ram his cock inside, feel the hot tight tunnel he knew awaited him and pound Darrin until his cock exploded, filling his husband with cum until it leaked from around his cock. But tonight was not that kind of lovemaking.

Instead, he moved closer, catching the scent of his lover, and tentatively circled Darrin’s hole with his stiffened tongue, loving the texture of hair surrounding it and the delicate folds that radiated from his hole. He knew Darrin’s desire was growing, his moans escalating in volume with each lick. Knowing Darrin’s needs, Mitch quickly rolled his tongue and speared Darrin’s hole with his tongue. He began to tongue fuck his husband, each time his tongue pierced Darrin’s hole, his husband became less and less coherent. Knowing it was time; Mitch bounded from the bed and frantically dug in their bag, quickly emerging with an enormous bottle of lube. Setting it on the nightstand, he filled his hand with gel and smeared it over Darrin’s butt, quickly spearing his loosened ass with two fingers.

Mitch worked them slowly, fingering his husband as the moans again gained in volume. Pausing briefly he added to the lube and reinserted with three fingers. He teased and played, trying to drive Darrin into lustful oblivion. He knew it was close, that Darrin was almost ready, when suddenly his world turned topsy-turvy.

Mitch quickly regained his bearings, only to find that he was on his back, and Darrin had straddled his waist. Darrin grinned at him maniacally, and spat out. “Too long!”

Mitch nestled his hands behind his head, ready to enjoy whatever his husband wanted. He felt Darrin’s strong hand wrap around his cock, aiming it at his ass, and then Darrin sat down, taking all of Mitch inside him in one steady push. Mitch watched Darrin’s face, involuntarily recalling Josh, but there was no hint of anything other than glorious pleasure from Darrin. Hitting bottom, he ground his ass against Mitch’s crotch, and then began using Mitch to pleasure himself. With head thrown back, mouth open and panting, Darrin lost himself in the wonder of Mitch inside him, fulfilling his need.

Mitch could tell immediately that Darrin was close. The foreplay had him ready to fire his load. His hands grabbed Mitch’s chest, kneading his muscles as their bodies joined in breathtaking fulfillment. Mitch could tell from the gasps and deep groans that he had found Darrin’s prostate, hammering it harder and harder as he was lost in their lovemaking.

Suddenly Darrin grabbed his leaking cock and started flogging it with both hands, his ass tightening, signaling to Mitch that he was about to explode. Mitch was grasping the precipice of his own orgasm, not wanting to lose it before Darrin.

His thoughts refocused when hot cum hit his cheek. Followed by the feel of a ribbon of cum splashing across his chest. As Darrin’s orgasm reached its highpoint, Mitch felt himself being covered with hot seed, his torso and face splattered with semen.

Without a word, Mitch curled upward, pushing Darrin back against the bed, his legs over Mitch’s shoulders. Mitch’s throbbing cock plunged into Darrin’s ass, enjoying the gasp of pleasure that escaped from between Darrin’s lips as Mitch pounded hard into him. Mitch wanted to breed his man, their mating again consecrating their union. Mitch rotated his hips, enjoying the pleasure found at the depths of his husband. Desperate to extend the sensations, Mitch moved with tender consideration, until his body began to shudder with need. As his lust mounted, he began to lose himself in the act, his hips snapping forward, awarded by gasps from Darrin. After a few moments they were both lost in the joining, with Mitch ramming his engorged cock harder and faster as his needs built.

Mitch knew he was reaching his summit, he could feel cum boiling from his balls. With an animalistic cry, he rammed himself deep into his husband. His load emptying into Darrin’s gut, Mitch trembling as his entire body shook with release. The waves of delight washed over Mitch, until with a final grunt, he released the last of his load into Darrin. The pair gasped, panting hard, both exhausted from their passionate exchange.

Mitch slowly started moving back and forth, feeling his hard cock press through the wet load he had given Darrin. Mitch ran his hands over his lover, amazed as always at the intense pleasure they could share. Mitch was not yet finished though.

Running his fingernails down Darrin’s back, Mitch slowly pulled out. He smiled as a small stream of white cascaded from Darrin’s hole. Running his finger through it, he slowly pressed into the trickle and entered Darrin’s well-satisfied butt. Wanting to finalize their lovemaking, Mitch wiggled down the bed until his face was at Darrin’s butt, and inhaled deeply. The strong scent of sex enveloped him; the mingling of his own sex and Darrin’s forming a fog that awakened a more primitive Mitch. In a final act, Mitch leaned in and ran his tongue over Darrin’s asshole.

“Ah fuck,” said Darrin dreamily.

Mitch dipped in again, filling his senses with the passion that existed between the pair. After a final swipe, Mitch pressed his body upward, slipping over Darrin’s body until he was nibbling at the back of his neck. After a delicious, satisfying time, Darrin turned his head and kissed Mitch again.

“Thank you, lover. That was amazing,” said Darrin with a satisfied sigh.

Mitch kissed him back, playfully biting his lower lip. “For me too.”

Darrin suddenly let out an unexpected giggle. “I hope the two trouble makers are enjoying their time without us too.”

Mitch nodded in agreement, “Yeah, I’m sure they are enjoying some time with us not hovering over them.”

<><><><>

Josh looked in disbelief as Trent led both horses toward him, both with pronounced limps. Josh looked at Trent with a look of disbelief.

“What the hell happened to them?”

“I have no idea. I was cooling them down and they both started limping. Maybe something happened when we had to chase the bulls back to their pasture after they tore up the fence.”

“Oh shit! What else can go wrong!” bemoaned Josh.

Trent started to say something, but heard a noise coming around the barn. They both turned just in time to see the first goat scamper around the barn and head down the road. As the trickle became a torrent, Josh looked at Trent in dismay.

“Fuck a god damn duck!”


Chapter 3: Work, home and a significant birthday.

Darrin sat on the edge of the chair, concerned that the head of his department had asked to meet with him. It had been over a month since he and Mitch had returned from their trip to Houston. They’d had a wonderful time while they were there, and Darrin had managed to get a little of the relaxation he so desperately needed. Since coming back, he had been focused on teaching his classes and his research. He was not aware of problems with either, but when the departmental secretary had contacted him to set up a meeting with the head of the department, it began to gnaw at him. He wasn’t certain what had happened, but he felt like a little a kid being sent to the principal’s office.

Darrin had flipped through one of the magazines in the seating area, reading the same paragraph four times as his case of nerves worsened. Finally the door opened, and Dr. Miller the department chairman, motioned Darrin into his office. Darrin perched on the edge of one of the conference table seats while the chairman retrieved a folder from his desk. Dropping the folder on the table he sat opposite Darrin, a small, insincere smile plastered across his face.

“Well, I’m sure you’re wondering why we’re meeting. It seems we have a little problem, and you were implicated in it.”

“Oh? What’s the problem,” said Darrin, trying not to fidget.

“Well, it seems you gave one of your colleagues a stack of DVD’s and there was homosexual pornography on a few of them. Now I’ve looked them over, and while I found the subject matter objectionable, I did not see anything illegal. So consider this a friendly warning. We want to maintain the university’s image, especially where your area is concerned. I’m sure you understand.”

Darrin tried to reconcile what he was being told, and the underlying comment as well. Considering his choices carefully, he began.

“First, I have to tell you, I would never have pornography on campus. I can’t imagine where these are from, but I can assure you, they aren’t mine. Second, I’m not sure I understand about ‘my area’. I don’t see the connection between my research and these allegations.”

“No, Darrin. Not your research. But you are representing you people.”

Darrin looked at him as he replayed what the chairman had just said, the pieces of the puzzle came together as he considered the comment. “No, sir. I am not the representative for all gay people on campus. The LGBTQ community is a mix of vastly differing personalities. It would be a tragic fallacy if someone considered me the spokesperson. Everyone’s views are unique, just like any other group of people.”

“Oh, of course, of course. I wouldn’t presume to think otherwise. But these images and videos are… explicit. We wouldn’t want the upper administration, or the campus newspaper, to discover that you had pornography in your office.”

As Darrin listened to the less than subtle accusation, his temper flared. He struggled with the implications, thinking through the department head’s comments, his anger becoming more inflamed with each passing second.

“Dr. Miller, I’d like to request you call campus police and have them search my office and university computer for porn. I’ve already said I do not have anything of that nature in my office, but you seem convinced otherwise, so I’d like to put it to rest. I’ll wait here in your office until they are finished.”

“Oh. No, umm, no, no. I don’t think we want to do that. It would involve the Dean, and we don’t want to do that. I do believe you, Darrin, but since you’re the only person who is homosexual in the department, one must assume…”

“I’m the only gay faculty who is open about it, but that doesn’t mean I’m the only one,” said Darrin, a mask of neutrality plastered across his face.

“Yes, yes, I’m sure that’s true. It must be a prank. Perhaps one of the students from that group you’re the advisor for thought it would be funny. I’m sure there is another explanation,” said Dr. Miller as he backpedaled as quickly as possible. That admission marked the end of their meeting as Miller fled the meeting, using the excuse of having a meeting across campus.

Darrin left the departmental office in a fury, stalking down the hallway for a confrontation with the person he knew had created this situation. He stopped at Boorman’s open doorway and hammered on the doorframe with his fist. Boorman jumped, the color draining from his face when he saw who was at the door.

Without a prelude Darrin tore into him. “Did you think it was going to be fucking funny? Or were you stupid enough to think some porn would get me fired. I’m sure the rumor will spread through this department like a wildfire, but so help me god I will get even with you, you little asshole.” Darrin said with a snarl.

Kevin stammered several times before managing to talk. “What’re you talking about? I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

“You fucking asshole. I gave you a stack of blank DVD’s over a month ago when you whined you didn’t have any. There was nothing on them either. What did you do, copy some of your own porn onto them and then give them to Miller?”

Boorman’s eyes shifted, unwilling to meet Darrin’s eyes. His face deepened in color until his face was cherry red. He started to shake his head, but Darrin leaned across the desk and into his face.

“Watch your ass, Boorman, watch your ass!”

Turning, Darrin’s angry steps echoed down the hallway. Walking into his office, he slammed the door, the glass shuddering with the ferocity. Dropping himself into his chair, he sat trying to regain his composure, wondering why he had ever thought academia was a good career choice.

<><><><>

Trent slowly drifted awake, the house lit by the morning sunrise. He enjoyed the slow pace that marked their typical Sunday morning. He found it humorous that even though none of the other three were particularly religious, they all seemed to take Sunday morning off. He could feel Josh just inches away, but it was already too hot to sleep curled around each other, even in mid-May. He loved the attention Josh showered on him. Josh treated Trent with loving consideration; the depth of his compassion far outstripped his chronological age of twenty. Their arguments had become almost non-existent, although they still cornered off from time to time. The length of time they were angry with each other had shortened though, and make-up sex was pretty amazing.

Trent eased out of bed to relieve his full bladder, and immediately heard Max scramble from his bed. He braced himself, knowing what was coming, and soon enough he felt a wet nose shoved just below his nuts. In spite of himself, he jumped slightly, and then chuckled at the dog. He squatted down, rubbing Max’s favorite spots. After spending a few minutes with Max, he walked into the bathroom and succeeded in draining his bladder, but only after closing Max out of the room. When he opened the door, he found an unhappy red and white dog greeting him with ‘the look’. Trent chuckled, knowing Max wanted fed, as well as all the attention he could beg from Trent. With a yawn and a healthy scratch of his nuts, Trent moved into the kitchen and measured out Max’s morning food.

Trent watched for a minute, chuckling that he now understood the term ‘wolfing down your food’. With Max taken care of, Trent headed back to bed, crawled in and wrapped his arm around Josh.

“‘Bout time you got your butt back in bed,” said Josh in a rumbly voice.

“Well someone had to take care of your dog,” said Trent with a chuckle.

“Yeah, whatever. I think he likes you better than me.”

Josh smiled and draped his arm over Trent’s shoulders like a blanket. Josh began to caress Trent’s chest, enjoying the leisurely pace of their morning. Josh knew their first attempt at anal sex had largely been a disaster, especially for him since he’d had a tender ass for a week afterwards. Josh had enjoyed it with his first two boyfriends, and he wanted the same with Trent. But to say Trent was well endowed was an understatement, and Josh had intimate knowledge that sex with a cock of porn star dimensions was a very different experience when it was attached to your boyfriend.

Josh had been trying to ready himself, stretching his butt whenever he had a chance, which was largely during his daily shower. This morning he felt very relaxed. It would be hours before they would be expected at the house for lunch. As his desire grew, Josh curled tighter against Trent, enjoying the smooth skin of his back. As his cock hardened, poking against Trent, he heard.

“Well good morning, little Josh.”

Josh chuckled and rubbed his hard cock against Trent’s ass cheek. “He likes you. He thinks you have a cute ass.”

Trent laughed again. “He’s just a slut and not very picky.”

“Trent…”

Trent froze, immediately knowing what Josh was going to say. He twisted in Josh’s arms so they were face to face, his cock slowly stiffening in spite of his misgiving about trying again. But Trent knew they had time to get Josh ready this time, and after Mitch’s talk with them he knew better what to do.

“Are you sure?” asked Trent as he considered the invitation.

Josh lips caressed Trent’s cheek as his fingertips traced a path across his face. “Yes, I am. I’m going to need you to help me get ready though.”

Trent pressed Josh back against the bed, his cock now hard as granite. He wanted Josh, he wanted them to make love, almost as much as he just wanted to fuck him. But this time he’d make sure Josh was ready, they would go slow and make sure no one was hurt when they were finished.

Trent curled his head lower, catching Josh’s nipple between his teeth as his hand slid down his lightly furred belly. His fingers burrowed through Josh’s thick pubes, gripping them between his fingers and tugging on them until Josh sighed. He continued to tongue and suck on Josh’s nipples, wetting the swirl of hair surrounding each one. His hand released the dark pubic hair and cupped Josh’s nuts. Between the gentle caresses on his sack and the attention Trent was giving his nipples, Josh’s cock was leaking a thin stream of precum. Trent released Josh, resulting in a groan of depravity, and pushed himself to one elbow.

“Roll over, Josh. I want room to work on that nice tight ass.”

Josh smiled and clambered to his hands and knees. Trent shoved their pillows under his pelvis, and Josh relaxed with his ass at the perfect angle for Trent’s tender explorations. Opening Josh’s crack, he could see the pink orifice that was his ultimate goal. Trent slid his face low, his tongue darting out and catching that sensitive piece of skin just under Josh’s nuts and slathering it with slit. Holding tight against Josh’s ass, he traced lower, running his tongue the length of Josh’s butt crack.

“Oh fuck! That feels so damn good,” said Josh as he panted for air.

Trent let out an almost silent chuckle, enjoying the reaction he was getting. He refocused, lapping up and down Josh’s crack until it was drenched with spit. Josh’s chest was flat against the mattress, his arms sprawled out, soft moans coming from between his lips as Trent sent wave after wave of passion through his body.

As Trent sensed the building passion that was assaulting Josh’s system, he dove in again, this time attacking Josh’s hole like a terrier after a rat. He wiggled his tongue against Josh’s tight pucker, licking and working over Josh’s hole until it began to loosen. Prying his cheeks further apart, Trent started ramming his tongue inside repeatedly causing Josh’s moans and cries of pleasure to escalate. Trent pulled back, watched Josh’s hole convulse and knew he was ready for the next step.

Trent grabbed the omnipresent bottle of lube and coated Josh’s hole. Sliding his finger through the gel, he coated it and then began pressing into Josh. With a sigh and a slight outward push, Josh’s ass swallowed his lover’s finger.

“Oh man, that feels amazing,” said Josh with a gasp.

Trent curled his finger, stroking the smooth lining of Josh’s ass. “Oh just wait, cutie. We haven’t got to the best part yet.”

Josh’s only response was a low groan.

Trent eased his finger out and drenched two fingers with more lube. Easing them into Josh, Trent methodically pressed them deeper, giving Josh time to adjust with each new intrusion. Several minutes later, Josh had two fingers buried inside his ass. He stroked them in and out, adding more lube continually. Keeping up his slow ascension, Trent worked his way to four fingers, and had Josh quivering on the bed beneath him.

Trent allowed his fingers to glide out of Josh, smiling at the sigh of pleasure coming from the young cowboy. Trent lay across Josh’s back and whispered. “You ready to get butt fucked, cowboy?”

“Yes fuck hell oh god fuck me,” said Josh in a torrent.

Trent planted a hot kiss on Josh’s neck, then moved back until he was kneeling behind his lover. He drenched his rock hard cock with lube and then pressed the head against Josh’s well-worked pucker. Grabbing Josh tightly, Trent pinned him against the pillow and started pushing inward. Josh’s ass relaxed in tiny increments until with a final twitch, Trent slid past the first gateway. Trent froze, denying his body the pleasure it sought as he froze in place, careful that Josh felt nothing but pleasure. Soon he felt the death grip on his cock lessen and Trent pushed forward again. Feeling the intense pressure as he breached the second portal, Trent slipped through, lodging himself inside Josh.

Josh’s body shuddered at the intrusion stretched to his limits, even with Trent’s amazing foreplay. “Oh god. Don’t move, let me get use to it first.”

Trent reached down, letting his fingers trail over Josh’s back and lightly furred ass. He enjoyed the sight of the muscular cowboy impaled by his thick cock, with still inches of dick to go. Trent began rocking back and forth, burying his cock deeper with each forward stroke. After several exquisite minutes, he felt the base of his cock surrounded by Josh’s ass. Trent pressed against Josh, burying the last fraction of an inch inside his man. His hands trailed over Josh, giving him time to adjust to the new sensations. Josh was panting and faintly flushed, but Trent couldn’t detect any of signs of pain. Josh panted hard, the feelings coursing through his body indescribable, turning his head he gave Trent a lust filled smile.

“God, that feels great. Go ahead; just start slow. Oh shit. It’s fucking mind blowing.”

Trent nodded in acknowledgment and began taking short strokes into Josh’s ass. As they made love, the minutes blurred together, and the amorous feelings blanketed them both. As Josh adjusted to Trent’s massive size, the feelings of pleasure intensified, until with a sudden jolt, Trent rammed into his prostate.

“Oh holy shit!” screamed Josh as his body convulsed. Trent had moved far past the gentle phase and was driving himself against Josh’s sweet spot. The continual collision had Josh lost in the beginning of his orgasm as his prostate swelled with impending ejaculation. Josh’s moans reached a fever pitch when Trent felt his ass seize around his cock. With a lust driven expression, Trent slapped Josh hard on the ass cheek.

“Fuck!” yelled Josh.

Josh’s body bucked, bringing Trent to his peak. With Josh’s last tremor of orgasm, Trent felt his own cum boiling out. Pinning Josh beneath him, he leaned forward and bit down on his shoulder, hard enough to elicit a squeal. Trent began pumping Josh’s gut full of cum, his pleasure cresting again and again as he felt the volleys of jizz filling Josh. With a lingering groan, the last of Trent’s seed oozed into Josh, and he collapsed across his lover.

Kissing the mark he had made on Josh’s neck, Trent chuckled a little as the two of them drifted in the cloud of lust. “Sorry, Josh. I guess I got carried away.”

Josh waved his hand weakly in the air. “It’s all good. Bite me, spank me, make me write bad checks.”

Trent laughed and moved back, feeling his softening cock begin to ease out of Josh, sighing as his cockhead slipped from inside. He watched as a thick white stream flowed from Josh’s ass. Josh groaned and moved slightly, then let out a wet sounding fart.

“Gross! Dude!” said Trent in disgust.

Josh chuckled and looked back at Trent. “Seriously? You expect to fuck me with that elephant trunk you call a dick for an hour and think air’s not going to be forced up there?”

Trent paused for a minute and then smacked Josh on the ass again. “Yes, I do,” said Trent with a laugh.

Their revelry was broken by the sound of a loud sniff. Both looked down in time to see Max walk close to them and sniff again. The dog gave them an offended look, and sneezed several times before walking back to his bed and lying down with his back to the two youngsters.

“I don’t think he was impressed,” said Josh with a giggle.

<><><><>

The couple had relaxed, enjoying the rest of their leisurely morning before sharing a shower to wash the smell of sex off them before going to the main house for lunch. They arrived to find Mitch and Darrin cavorting like kids, and Trent smiled at the insight that he and Josh were not the only ones to take advantage of the quiet morning.

As Darrin loaded the dishwasher, he glanced over and smiled at Trent. “Hey, I’m going to plant the peppers and tomatoes we started from seed this afternoon, did you want to help?”

“Sure! Is it time? It’s not too early?”

“Nope, we just need to work in some manure, stake them and get them ready for an Oklahoma summer,” said Darrin. Turning to the other two, he smiled. “You want to help us with the garden?”

“Ahh, no,” said Mitch with a unrepentant grin.

Josh looked back and forth, trying to find a way out of helping with the garden without offending Darrin and Trent. After a few minutes of watching Josh, Mitch took pity on him. “You don’t have to be together every second, Josh. Trent and Darrin will be just fine, and you and I can look at those damn goats and see where that one keeps getting out.”

Josh looked at Trent for confirmation and received a small smile and nod. With a sigh of relief, which garnered a chuckle from the others, Josh jumped up from the table and almost ran out the door to find the problem with the goat’s fence. Mitch soon followed; his black cowboy hat wedged onto his head and a grin plastered across his face.

Trent helped Darrin clean up the kitchen and happily followed him to the garden. He smiled at the rows of plants erupting from the ground. The early plants, like potatoes and onions, were already sturdy and tall, making the plants they had been hardening-off look weak and spindly. But Trent knew with some care they would be just fine.

They worked together to spread load after load of composed manure onto the newly tilled ground. By the time they had dumped the last wheelbarrow load onto the soil, they were both sweaty and covered in dust. Starting the tiller, Trent soon had all their compost carefully worked into the soil. He started helping Darrin, spacing out the tiny plants to what seemed to Trent to be extraordinary distances, but Darrin assured him that they would more than fill the gaps. As they nested the plants into the friable soil, they chatted like old friends. Darrin gave instructions only when needed, and Trent appreciated not being made to feel stupid. The sun had barely moved from its zenith when they were finished.

Darrin stood and wiped his hands on his jeans, looking over the garden. He put his arm over Trent’s shoulders and pulled him against his side, ruffling Trent’s hair as they looked over the results of their hard work. After a few minutes of quiet contemplation, Darrin playfully kicked Trent in the ass. “Good job! Why don’t you pick some lettuce and we’ll fix a big salad for dinner.”

Trent nodded, not trusting his voice as his old enemy surfaced. He wasn’t sure how much longer he wanted to chance hurting these men any more than he already would, but it wasn’t today, he had more time before he and the disaster that followed him changed their lives into chaos.

<><><><>

Darrin dragged through the door, glad that another exhausting week was behind him. With classes having started again and all their accompanying stresses, Darrin was glad to have a few moments of quiet to recover. Fortunately, Boorman seemed to have stopped the attacks against Darrin completely after the incident with the disks of pornography. But even without the sneaky confrontations, Darrin felt the pressure of needing to keep his image at work squeaky clean. The demands were piling up, to the point where he was considering talking to Mitch about quitting his university job and working on the ranch full time. He hadn’t mentioned it before because he was concerned about the ranch supporting the four of them.

He shoved Josh’s art supplies to one side and dropped his bag on the table with a hollow thud. He began unbuttoning his shirt, wanting to lose the trappings of academia as quickly as possible. Yanking it off, he tossed the shirt to the floor as he walked into the bedroom. He’d noticed Mitch intently working at his desk, but since Mitch had not acknowledged him, Darrin finished undressing. After yanking off his socks, Darrin walked over to Mitch in a pair of cerulean blue boxer briefs. Having shed the last vestiges of his job, Darrin reached down, scratched his nuts and then rested his hands on Mitch’s shoulders.

“It doesn’t look good.”

“Why? What’s wrong?” asked Darrin.

“It’s this damn drought. We had to buy hay because the pastures dried up last summer. That killed our bottom line. And the calves aren’t growing as well because the cows are giving less milk, and the grass that is left is crappy. Corn is so expensive it wouldn’t help to creepfeed them…” Mitch turned to look at Darrin with a sober look on his face. “We’ll be lucky to breakeven and keep the entire cow herd this year.”

Darrin saw the stricken look on Mitch’s face and knew his decision about quitting was already made. They were in this together, and they just hadn’t seen enough good years in the short time they had been on the ranch to compensate for a bad year. With an inward sigh, and a squeeze of Mitch’s shoulder, Darrin resigned himself to keeping his job. That was the end of the topic so far as Darrin was concerned, his family needed him, so that was what he would do.

They discussed options until the room began to dim and they realized it was getting late. Darrin reached over to turn off the desk lamp and saw an envelope with Josh’s handwriting on it. He picked it up and turned to Mitch.

“What’s this?”

“Oh, Josh mails his rent for the goat’s pastures. He says it’s more business-like. That’s this month’s I guess. It should also have the ranch’s cut from selling this year’s kid crop, so it might be enough for a steak dinner for all of us,” said Mitch with a chuckle.

Darrin smiled and opened the envelope as he slid out Josh’s official looking invoice a low whistle erupted from his lips.

“You might want to look at this, babe,” said Darrin as he handed the check to Mitch.

Mitch gave him a quizzical look and then took the check. He had stood immobile for several long moments before he looked at Darrin with shock on his face. “Holy shit! That’s enough to cover the whole winter feed bill. We’re suddenly solvent.”

Darrin chuckled at Mitch. “It also means you’re going to have to tell Josh his goats kept the ranch from going into the red.”

“Yeah, you’re right. Damn it!”

Darrin laughed softly and started chanting. “Goats, goats, goats, goats.”

“Oh shut the fuck up,” said Mitch as he turned to leave, a slight smile tugging at his lips.

<><><><>

Josh lay on the bed working on his sketches for class while Trent lounged on the opposite end. Trent was reading the latest sci-fi book he’d picked up, so he didn’t bother Josh with the noise of the television. He knew Josh was putting a lot of effort into his assignments. Josh really wanted to start a business of his own, and Trent thought he probably could do it. Later in life he’d tell Josh, but no time soon was he going to admit that he admired all the work Josh was willing to put in on a project. Trent didn’t consider himself driven; he thought he gave up fairly quickly on almost anything.

Josh had been sketching for several hours now, and Trent was starting to get curious about what he was doing. It wasn’t like he had never seen any of Josh’s work. He thought Josh was amazingly talented. Occasionally Josh had asked his opinion on different projects too, but Trent never felt he knew enough to talk about it. As he watched Josh, curiosity got the better of him, and he crawled around on the bed so he could see. Watching for a minute over Josh’s shoulder he saw a page covered with small designs, most looking goat-like.

“Goats?”

“Yeah, I’m suppose to design a logo for a business, so I decided to do one for our goats,” said Josh.

“Our goats?” said Trent, his emotions suddenly in turmoil.

“Yeah, they’re ours,” said Josh. Looking up he smiled at Trent. “It was great to see Mitch eat crow. The goats did really well.”

“They’re browsers, the cows are grazers,” said Trent automatically.

Josh leaned over and kissed his cheek. “Yes, babe. I know. So they had something to eat while the cows were just getting hay. It didn’t hurt that we had a phenomenally high kidding percentage either.”

“Shh, don’t tell Mitch. He might barf up the crow he had to eat,” said Trent with a chuckle. Focusing again on Josh’s work, he saw that he was playing around with the different kinds of horns their goats had. Trent had always been amazed at the variety among the Spanish Goats. Reaching down, he pointed out one with spiraled horns.

“Him, I’ve always like his horns. I think that the best one.”

Josh chuckled and shook his head. “Yeah, I do too. But my teacher is an old white haired fart who makes us do a shit ton of sketches, or the asshole take off points.”

“That sounds fucking pointless.”

“Yeah, I think so too. But I only have a few more, and I’ll be done.”

“Cool,” said Trent as he watched Josh sketch. After a minute, he continued, “What then?”

Josh sighed. “I need to practice for my figure drawing class. I suck at drawing people. But I don’t exactly have a model here.”

“I’ll model for you,” said Trent.

“Really?”

“Sure! How hard could it be to lay still and let someone draw you?”

“Well…” Josh paused for several long moments and then got a crooked smile. “The models are nude.”

“Oh…”

Josh watched Trent as the silence began to become awkward, both men started talking.

“Nevermind, it’s ok,” said Josh.

“Ok, it’s fine. It ain’t like you never saw it before,” said Trent with a shy look.

Josh paused, watching Trent’s face and saw only a charming smile. With a shake of his head, Josh decided to take Trent up on his offer.

“Ok, well you can lay on the bed. You have to keep from moving for 20 or 30 minutes, so you need to be comfortable,” said Josh. Looking back at Trent, he got a smirk on his face. “Need any help undressing?”

Trent laughed at the expression on Josh’s face. “Yeah, I bet you say that to all the boys.”

“Well, there is one guy—”

Trent punched Josh in the shoulder and scowled at him. “Yeah, yeah, you better never screw around on me, mister. Talk about hell having no fury.”

Josh laughed at his lover. “You’ve been reading them fancy books again, ain’t ya.”

“Oh shut your fuck’n pie hole,” said Trent as he quickly stripped and then lay across the bed. Josh helped him get comfortable and used a few of their lamps to get the lighting effects he’d seen in class. Once everything was set, Josh had to admit Trent was a handsome model. His body was slender while still showing muscle, a light furry patch had developed between his pecs, but otherwise his torso was smooth. The hair was much more pronounced on Trent’s legs, and Josh knew his ass, which was out of sight, had a nice coat of hair. But without a doubt his cock was the show-stopper. With Trent on his side, his flaccid cock lay across his leg and almost touched the bed. Josh had to laugh to himself. If he ever showed these sketches to anyone, they would think he had exaggerated the size.

Josh started to work and began drawing Trent. After finishing the first pose, Trent agreed to do another, followed by another until Josh finally called it quits.

“That’s enough, babe. Damn, that was great. You really helped! I owe you one!” said Josh.

Trent crawled across the bed, a sultry look in his eyes as the reached out and pawed at Josh’s crotch. “Oh, I think I’ll take payment now,” said Trent.

Josh smiled, knowing that his cock had been leaking the entire time he was sketching Trent, not a problem he had with the models in class. Pushing his sketchpad out of the way, Josh knelt on the floor in front of Trent and teased him with several false passes of his lips before finally giving him a soul-searing kiss.

Josh rolled Trent to his back and slithered onto the bed beside him with a lustful look on his face. Knowing what he wanted, Josh quickly sucked Trent’s soft cock into his mouth. He knew Trent would be erect in short order, but he relished the feeling of having the entire leviathan in his mouth before it expanded beyond what he could hold.

As it grew, Josh’s tongue explored Trent’s swelling cock, tasting and licking with enthusiasm. Josh felt Trent pawing at his pants, wanting access to Josh’s steel hard cock. Trent pulled Josh’s dick from the confines of his underwear, and then felt it sink into his hot mouth. Trent pressed down steadily until Josh could feel his lips against Josh’s pubic hair, his throbbing cock lodged in Trent’s throat.

Moving in slow motion, the pair explored each other members with tongue and mouth, their hands caressing and groping as the amorous feelings built. Josh wrapped his hand around Trent’s throbbing cock, licking it like the crème-filled treat it was. He curled the tip of his tongue and drilled against the underside of Trent’s cock head, enjoying the response he got from his partner.

Josh’s own needs were not ignored as Trent took him deep down his throat, time and time again. Josh recognized the feeling of urgency as his system tripped, semen racing outward as Trent continued to deep throat him. Josh tried to warn Trent of the impending flood.

“Coming! Fuck! Fuck! Fuuuucccckkk!” screamed Josh.

Trent pressed his face tight against Josh’s crotch, twisting his head, knowing that the sensations would drive Josh crazy. Trent had struggled with having oral sex with Josh at first. It had been a reminder of that part of his life when he was selling his body on the streets. Time at the ranch had gradually eliminated that though, and he attacked Josh’s suddenly spurting cock with enthusiasm, swallowing each blast.

As Josh’s orgasm subsided, Trent released his cock from the depths of his throat. With a smile plastered across his face, he sent his tongue exploring over the surface of Josh’s soaking wet cock. Trent soon had Josh trembling with each stroke of his tongue, until he was begging for Trent to stop. With a chuckle, Trent kissed Josh’s distended slit and released his captive.

“Oh holy hell. That felt amazing. You’ve ruined me to anyone else, ever,” said Josh.

“Yeah, you ain’t quite done yet, pardner,” said Trent in a cartoon-like western accent.

Josh smiled and pulled Trent’s monster back to his mouth, jacking its base as his tongue waltzed across the deep red cockhead. With only a few strategic movements, he had Trent balanced on the edge of orgasm. Josh released his cock with a pop and started rubbing it across his rough face. The sensations soon had Trent moaning a torrent of indecipherable words, but the meaning was clear. Josh was hitting all the best spots. With a final scream, Trent’s body locked in climax, the first explosion hitting Josh and leaving a creamy white stripe that traveled from Josh’s forehead to his chin. His tongue darted out to sample the lusty elixir from his lips, just as the second volley squirted across his hair and down his cheek.

Josh took the still exploding cock and smeared its juice over his lips and face, enjoying the smell and texture of his face covered with cum. He was so glad that Trent enjoyed a little kink in his sex too, unlike his previous boyfriend.

Trent tugged Josh around until they were face to face. They kissed tenderly, a strand of virulent cum trailing between their lips. Trent grunted out a contented bass, and caught the strand with his finger and sucked it clean. He leaned closer to Josh and started licking the semen from his face, pausing occasionally to share it with Josh. Time seemed to creep as they luxuriated in post-orgasmic bliss. Trent pulled back to look at Josh’s face and chuckled at the glistening visage before him.

Twisting on the bed, Trent retrieved his t-shirt. With it he wiped Josh’s face clean, planting a gentle kiss with each wipe of the soft cloth. Finished, he tossed the shirt to the floor and wrapped his arms around his lover.

“Anytime you need a model, just let me know,” whispered Trent.

“Hmm, I think I’m going to need lots and lots of practice.”

The two snuggled against each other. Josh curled around Trent, feeling very protective of him. Leaning down he whispered into his ear. “I love you, Trent”

He felt Trent tense within his arms, but he wasn’t expecting a reply. He carefully nuzzled his face against Trent’s neck. Josh drifted to sleep with the realization that Trent had relaxed against him.

<><><><>

Darrin stood looking at the imposing building that loomed before him. With each passing day, it was becoming more difficult to enter this edifice of academia. It’s very brick, glass and steel seemed to destroy a little more of Darrin’s soul with each passing day. But there was no one he could talk to about this, Dr. Ruck would never understand, she lived for her research. Mitch wasn’t a choice, he was stressed enough just making ends meet so they could keep their ranch. The goats had saved them this year, but if the drought became protracted next year could be worse.

Darrin steeled himself to yet another day of guarded conversation and contemplation of underlying motives. He’d promised himself that he wouldn’t let the necessity of working at the university weigh him down, but it had. Slowly shuffling to the gapping maw of the soul-sucking structure, Darrin felt a small hand run through his arm and then close a firm grip. Glancing over he saw Emma’s visage.

“Morning. How are you this morning?” said Darrin, trying to pull on his big boy pants.

“I need some coffee, and company.”

Darrin paused and studied his mentor’s face. Knowing she would weasel her way into the problem, but he didn’t feel this was her problem to solve. “I really have some things to take care of before class. Maybe later this afternoon.”

Darrin felt a slight tightening of her grip. “No, I think now would be perfect.”

Darrin sighed to himself, knowing there was no good way to get out of whatever Emma wanted to talk to him about. They walked to the student union with her hand laced through his arm until they were at the table, coffee in hand. Emma sat down across from him, inhaled the aroma of her cup and then smiled at Darrin.

“It’s good to sit with friends and enjoy a few quiet minutes. Isn’t it?” said Emma.

“Yes, Ma’am. It is nice to relax.”

Emma took a sip of her coffee and smiled warmly at Darrin. “You know you’re doing exceptionally well.”

“Thank you. I know I need to finish the article for—”

“Darrin. Shut up,” said Emma, an endearing smile on her face.

Darrin started, not sure of what to think.

“As I was saying… you’re doing exceptionally well. Now stop it before you kill yourself.”

Darrin looked at her, confusion etched across his face. “I’m concerned about my tenure decision coming up in two years. I know I have to have a bulletproof case. I’m sure you understand that.”

“Lord, child. You have written more papers than most of the tenured people since they got tenure,” said Emma, a tone of concern in her voice. “Are you happy?”

Darrin gave her a startled look. “Of course, I’ve got a very rewarding job at a prestigious university—”

Emma stopped him with a gesture. “No, not the bullshit answer. Are you happy? Is this job affecting your life? When’s the last time you and Mitch had sex?”

“Dr. Ruck, that’s really none of your business,” said Darrin, afraid he understood where this conversation was going, and not liking it.

“Which means not anytime recently,” she said with a frown. “Look, Darrin. I like you. I like your family. I don’t want you to burn out, which you are dangerously close to doing. You have to start protecting yourself and your personal life. We can’t afford to lose any competent people.”

“And it doesn’t hurt that I’m gay, even though it makes me a huge target for bigots in the building.”

“Suck it up. You aren’t going to get any pity on that front from the first woman in the College of Ag at this University. Do you think my life was much different than yours is now?”

Darrin sat stunned, the thought of Dr. Ruck being the focus of discrimination had never occurred to Darrin. He saw her simply as a successful senior faculty who was respected, and more than a little feared.

Darrin looked at her with a smile. “Actually there’s a big difference. I have a friend and ally that you didn’t.”

Emma started chuckling, then smiled at Darrin. “Not true. How do you think I know Bill Koch?”

Darrin’s mouth fell open that the curmudgeon of his graduate experience, and a staunch defender of him and Mitch had also been the defender of Emma at the beginning of her career. He listened to the deep alto giggle as Dr. Ruck leaned back, enjoying her coffee.

<><><><>

Darrin sat calmly at the kitchen table, watching Josh and Trent run around like some crazy fire drill. They were trying to get ready for Mitch’s 30th birthday, and they had volunteered to do all the work, Darrin only had to show up. After Dr. Ruck’s talk, Darrin had sat everyone down and explained what was going on with his job. He told them that he was going to be home more, but with some things they would still need to pitch in and help. So when the two boys came to him and said they wanted to plan the birthday party, Darrin was firmly in favor of it.

Looking around now, he wondered what the fuck he’d been thinking. The house was a complete wreck, the cake hadn’t arrived, the meal was just getting started, and guests would begin arriving soon. This was going to be a complete train wreck. Sighing, he moved to help them, and Trent appeared at his elbow.

“Go get dressed. And prepped for later,’ said Trent with a leer on his face.

“Hey, that’s none of your business!” said Darrin sharply.

“Well Josh and I are going to town after the party to give you some privacy. If you use it playing Xbox that’s your choice.”

Darrin started to object and rethought his decision. He did want some time alone with Mitch, and the boys spending the evening in town was a perfect excuse. It meant they could have some time together without watching how loud they were, which was a big plus in Darrin’s thinking. The occasion of Mitch’s 30th birthday certainly wasn’t a time for quiet. Besides, Emma was right, it had been far too long since they’d had time for more than a quickie. Darrin fully planned to get screwed long and hard tonight. Without another word, Darrin left the boys to their disaster area, and moved to the bedroom so he could get ready.

When Darrin heard the first knock on the door, he was finishing dressing himself. He threaded his belt through the loops and was buckling it when he walked into the living room, and stopped in amazement. The room was spotless, the decorations were up, and the table was set for the small group they had coming. Darrin turned from side to side, taking in all the work the boys had done. As he completed his circuit, he heard a snicker from the kitchen.

“Didn’t think we could pull it off, did ya?” said Trent.

Darrin chuckled and shook his head, “Nope, I’m busted. I didn’t think you could get it together.”

Walking over to the kitchen, he began to lift a pot lid, and was stopped by Trent. “Oh no, you don’t. You’ll see what I made when everyone else does.”

Darrin grinned and nodded in agreement. There was a knock at the door, and Darrin walked over to greet the first guest. Unsurprisingly it was Emma and her husband.

“Hello, Emma. Nick. Glad you could make it.”

“We wouldn’t miss it. Trent told me he was the head chef for the evening.”

“Damn right I am. And most of it came from the ranch. Our vegetable garden is doing fuck’n fantastic,” said Trent from the kitchen.

Soon the other guests; Doug, his mother, and Sheriff White Cloud, had arrived. Now they were just waiting for Mitch. Fortunately, he managed to arrive just as the last dish was being plated; otherwise he would have had to deal with Trent’s wrath. With Mitch’s arrival, they all moved to the table and settled in for a great meal. Trent had been practicing his skills since summer and did the majority of the cooking at the ranch now. He particularly liked using produce from the garden he and Darrin had planted in the spring, to Darrin’s delight.

The meal started, and Darrin was shocked to see them serving an Italian five-course meal. Trent put two beautiful antipasto plates on the table that drew rave reviews from everyone. Once those were finished, he and Josh cleared the table and Trent began serving the pasta plates. Darrin thought he was holding them curiously high, but gave it little consideration. Serving Darrin and Mitch last, Trent sat back down and watched expectantly.

A chuckle erupted from Doug’s mother, Ann, followed almost immediately by a rich guffaw from Emma. Darrin lifted the fork filled with pasta and alfredo sauce to his lips, and the pasta caught his eye. Pulling the fork away from his mouth, he saw the pasta was in the shape of cocks and balls. By this time, Trent was beaming at the rippling laughter that filled the room. Darrin caught Trent’s eye just as Doug let out a spewing sound with a mouth full of pasta.

“Now Doug, eat your penis pasta. It’s good for you,” said Ann as she wiped the tears of laughter from her eyes.

“I thought the white sauce was a particularly nice detail,” said Emma in a charming voice.

Darrin groaned in defeat as he watched the thick white sauce drip from the erotic pasta. The laughter continued as the small group enjoyed their second course, with snickering comments about viscous cream and tiny penises. Darrin was somewhat taken aback by the adolescent humor, especially from the two women. But he relaxed after a few minutes, knowing the humor was all good-natured. It was even more evident that Mitch was having a roaring good time, which was really all that mattered.

The remainder of the meal went well, with no more adult novelty humor. Even the red velvet cake that Trent had made for Mitch’s birthday cake was sans penis candles. The group moved to the living room and enjoyed the wine Trent had asked Mitch to pick up. The two older women found they had much in common, and both were still chuckling about Trent’s pasta selection. The night progressed as it had started, with good-natured humor. They shared personal stories until everyone was wiping tears of laughter from their eyes. As the time became late, people began to leave for home, everyone wishing Mitch a happy birthday.

<><><><>

Darrin washed off the last plate and put it into the dishwasher. As he reflected on the evening, he decided it was a great birthday for Mitch, and he still had his gift to give. The boys had already left for the movies, making it very clear they were staying for the double feature and would be back late. Trent had also made a few whispered comments to Mitch, which had been rewarded with a smack to the back of the head. As he rinsed out the sink, he felt a pair of arms wrap around him, pulling him close.

“Everybody’s gone,” whispered Mitch.

“So they are. Did you have something in mind?”

“Yeah. I had fuck’n your ass until you’re screaming in mind.”

“Hmm, I think that could be arranged. Let’s go to the bedroom,” said Darrin as he turned to look at his husband.

Mitch almost growled out, “No, the kids are gone and I want you right here and right now.”

Darrin leaned in, flicking his tongue along the edge of Mitch’s ear. Dropping down slightly, he sucked Mitch’s earlobe between his lips and bit down gently. Mitch moaned as Darrin whispered into his ear. “You sure you don’t want to go to the bedroom now?”

Without answering, Mitch lunged forward, pinning Darrin against the counter. Darrin could feel their cocks pressing against each other as their bodies melded. Mitch’s hands rammed into the back of Darrin’s jeans, grabbed his ass hard with both hands and squeezed. Darrin could feel Mitch’s finger probing, searching for his hole as they tore at each other. Their passion grew, events finally allowing them to release the hunger they had for each other. Darrin realized this was going to be sex; raw, hard and lustful, and he was ready. His thought of a soft loving session was lost with the first searing touch of Mitch’s fingers trailing along his crack. Mitch broke his kiss, panting and flushed as he tore at the buttons on Darrin’s shirt.

“Strip,” said Mitch with a growl.

Darrin responded, losing more than one button in his eagerness to comply. In a heartbeat, Darrin was standing naked in front of Mitch, his skin flushed, his cock hard and dripping. Mitch’s eyes were lidded as he reached out and grabbed Darrin by the nipples, grinding them between his fingers. Darrin rewarded the maneuver with a guttural groan.

“Are you ready lover? You ready for me to throw a fuck into you?”

“Fuck, Mitch. Hell yes.”

Darrin watched as Mitch stripped, keeping their eyes locked as his thick cock sprung into view. As the last piece of his clothing hit the floor, he grabbed Darrin and pushed him across the stone countertop. Mitch rammed his crotch against Darrin’s ass, his fingers clawing down Darrin’s back, leaving red lines marking the passage of Mitch’s nails across the pale skin trapped under him. Darrin thrashed, completely submerged in the passion of his lover taking him. Their animalistic foreplay continued until Darrin’s back was a crisscross of red lines and Mitch was reduced to long growls to articulate his passion.

Both men were beyond ready when Mitch stepped back and looked for some kind of lube. Grabbing a bottle of oil Trent had left out, he ripped off the top and threw it aside, dribbling oil down Darrin’s ass crack until it was dripping onto the floor. Mitch shoved two fingers inside Darrin, rewarded with a low groan. Mitch’s foreplay was quick and ruthless, adding a third finger to Darrin’s ass and fingered him hard. In a matter of heartbeats, Mitch had splashed more oil over his throbbing cock and was banging at Darrin’s hole. His fingers sank into Darrin’s shoulders as he jammed his cock into Darrin’s gut.

Darrin gasped at the combination of passion and lust as Mitch took him roughly. His body responding in similar passion, so the pain was almost non-existent. Darrin felt Mitch find bottom, loving the sensation of Mitch’s wiry pubic hair grinding against his butt cheeks. To Darrin’s disappointment, the sensation fled as Mitch pulled out. But he quickly became elated when Mitch began fucking his butt.

In moments, Mitch was ripping into Darrin, pounding his ass with a ferocity they hadn’t shared in years. The gasps and low screams from both of them filled the house, sex only two men could share. Darrin was holding on tight, and loved the passion Mitch was sharing. He knew it had been awhile, and with the abandon Mitch was attacking his ass, they wouldn’t last long. With a shift in position, Mitch began hitting Darrin’s prostrate with direct blows. The overload washing over Darrin until his mind was submerged in a grey fog of lust.

Some time later Darrin surfaced from his sex induced haze to realize that Mitch was snorting like a stallion breeding a mare. Knowing Mitch was close, he began meeting each thrust with a backward slam of his hips. After their bodies had slapped together a handful of times, Mitch pinned Darrin to the counter top, his body shuttering with climax.

“God, god, God,” screamed Mitch.

Darrin lay gasping on the counter, feeling Mitch’s cock throb, milking it with his ass as his husband found some much needed relief. Minutes slipped by as Mitch’s orgasm continued. With the last drop of cum lodged in Darrin’s gut, Mitch collapsed across him, gasping for air as he kissed Darrin’s neck. They lay quietly, Mitch’s breathing slowing until he could speak again.

“Babe, I’m so sorry, I don’t know what happened. I just wanted you,” whispered Mitch.

“Don’t you dare apologize!” said Darrin with a smirk, “That’s the hottest sex we’ve had in a while.”

Mitch nuzzled against Darrin. “Yeah, damn it was hot.”

Mitch’s hands trailed over Darrin, his cock softening and slipping out. The drip of cum as it leaked from Darrin’s ass creating a strange counterpoint to their cooling bodies. Mitch kissed Darrin a last time.

“Turn over, I want your load, lover.”

“Oh no, you don’t. I have a whole massage thing set up in the bedroom. We’re going to shower and clean off the oil, then I’m going to rub massage oil all over your hot body until you can’t stand it anymore, and then I’m going to fuck you senseless,” said Darrin with a smile.

“Damn, what are you waiting for? Let’s go!” said Mitch with a grin.

Darrin took Mitch’s hand and led his soul mate to the shower, and they were still celebrating Mitch’s birthday long after the boys had returned from their double feature.


Chapter 4: Things don’t go well.

Mitch stood staring out the window. He could not believe the snow had cut his world down to a few feet beyond the glass. The howling wind had whipped the snow into a monster of epic proportions. It had been coming for days, the meteorologists out of Norman giving warning after warning for what they were dubbing the storm of the century. But every big storm in recent memory had gained that moniker, so it was easy to discount the dire predictions. The cold seeped into the house, Mitch wrapped his arms around himself and shivered in spite of the thick sweats he had pulled on when he had forced himself out of bed.

“Hey, here’s some hot coffee. Swimming in sugar just like you like.”

Mitch turned and gave his husband a warm smile as he took the steaming cup between his cold hands, savoring the heat. He stood staring at the swirling wall of white and sipped his coffee. They had done everything they could to shelter the animals. Storm, Lady and the two BLM horses were stalled in the barn, Josh and Trent’s horses seemed particularly eager to move inside. The boys had even stayed in Josh’s room instead of Trent’s little home. The main house had an auxiliary generator so even if they lost power, they still had heat and lights. Nevertheless, Mitch couldn’t help but be concerned. Josh and Trent’s growing herd of goats were more than could fit into the barns, so they had turned them out with the cattle in a wooded pasture that offered more shelter. He took another sip, contemplating the result of this storm on their ranch.

“Stop fretting about it.” Mitch felt Darrin’s strong hands glide along his neck and rub his tense muscles. After a few minutes, Mitch surrendered to the gentle probing and let his muscles go slack. The couple marveled that the bond between them continued to grow with each touch or each hurdle conquered. They both knew they would support the other, and this was just one more obstacle to overcome. When he felt Darrin lean forward and lovingly kiss the back of his neck, Mitch relaxed. They stood in silence, Mitch wrapped in Darrin’s arms as the unending storm pounded their ranch. They were brought out of their time together by stumbling footsteps from Josh’s bedroom. Mitch turned his head for a stolen kiss before he turned to see which of the rascals was the first to find his way out of their den.

“Shit, it’s coming down like a mother fuck’r,” said Trent as he stumbled out of the room in a t-shirt and briefs. He stretched and unconsciously scratched himself as his sleep-fogged brain awoke. Trent stumbled into the kitchen, grabbed a coffee mug from the cabinet and filled it with the coal black brew. He held it up to his face and inhaled softly. This was Trent’s long established routine, mug of black coffee, inhale, and sip. After a few mind-clearing shots, he made his way to the living room and curled into a chair to watch the snow blast past.

“You think everything’ll be ok?” asked Trent.

“I think so. The cattle and those damn goats are pretty tough. They should be ok. We’ll check on them once this blows over. At least it’s just a blizzard and not a tornado,” said Mitch.

“Yeah, I seem to remember the damn goats saving your bacon,” said Trent, a grin plastered on his face.

“Smartass kid!” said Mitch, returning Trent’s smile.

The trio watched, intent on the destructive fervor of the storm. The clang of stainless against ceramic marked the beginning of Josh’s day. Trent walked into the kitchen and gave his love an early morning kiss.

“Hey handsome. How are you this morning?” said Trent in an almost reverent tone.

Josh stretched, uncoiling like a cat. His arms wrapped around Trent and pulled him close for a scorching kiss. With arms intertwined, the two made their way to the couch where they could watch the snow while laying against each other.

Hearing the clatter of pans, Trent knew Darrin was making breakfast, and he moved to help. They put together a huge meal, knowing they had a long day ahead. Between the two of them, the table was soon filled with biscuits and gravy, fried eggs and crisp bacon.

Darrin called everyone to the table, and they descended like the proverbial locusts. The heaping platters were quickly emptied, and in less time than he would have imagined possible, Josh was crunching on the last piece of bacon. The cleanup was equally quick with everyone pitching in to help. A glance at the window showed no change in the turbulent weather, so the weather bound cowboys scattered to find some indoor activity to occupy their time.

Several hours later, everyone was drawn to the sound of Mitch stomping on his boots and pulling on his heavy coat.

“Where’re you going?” asked Darrin.

“The blizzard’s about over, I can see the buildings now. I want to go check on everything.”

A glance out the window confirmed Mitch’s observation and started a flurry of dressing. Once they opened the door, the group entered a world of sparkling brightness and thigh-deep snow drifts. Josh and Trent hurried to the barn to check on their horses. Max was playing enthusiastically, tunneling under the new snow and then erupting like one of the mythical snow beasts. While the younger pair were checking on the equine population of the ranch, Mitch and Darrin started shoveling a path to the ATV’s. Mitch was relieved when both cranked and then kicked over with a smoky roar. Going over, or through, the obstacles the storm had created, they were soon in the pasture and began their search for livestock.

Darrin and Mitch canvassed the pastures for cattle. They were both concerned when they saw a collection of snow-covered mounds. Afraid for the worst, they headed toward the closest group. Mitch’s heart pounded, worried they had lost the herd, when the closest mound exploded into a thousand pounds of deep red cow, very much alive.

Mitch let out a held breath, hopeful the scenario would repeat for each one. The wish was gradually fulfilled as one-by-one the sleeping cattle revealed themselves. It took some time, but before the hour was up, they had found every cow, to the immense relief of both men.

Roaring across the snow, they entered the pasture where the goats had been put before the storm. With the hope that Trent and Josh had equal success in finding their animals, they headed their machines into the brush-covered pasture. Thick with squat cedar trees from fence line to fence line, it had seemed like a good choice to shelter the goats. But they didn’t make for an easy search.

Mitch killed his vehicle and listened for the horses, hoping they were close. Just as he was about to give up, he heard the familiar nicker he was searching for. Motioning to Darrin, they raced in the direction of the horses. Even though they’d had good fortune so far, Mitch was concerned that the more diminutive goats had not withstood the storm as well as the cattle.

Still prepared for the need to salvage two young men’s emotions from devastated loss, he almost slammed into the sea of goats that streamed around a massive cluster of cedars. Mitch managed to shut down the ATV before he crashed into them, and then sat in happy disbelief as the vast array of spots and horns moved first in front, and then around him. He heard a gentle chuckle behind him, and glanced over his shoulder to see Darrin with a huge smile on his wind reddened face.

“Looks like they managed to survive,” said Darrin with a grin.

“Yeah, it does. I’m really glad that I was wrong.”

The stream of animals dwindled, and Mitch could hear the reassuring noises of horses moving through the snow. Behind the last cluster of goats, he saw the boys coming around the snow-covered trees with the stragglers. He waited, still concerned, to hear what the younger couple had found. By the smile across their faces, he knew there were no losses, which let Mitch finally relax. As the horses closed the distance between them, he noticed one goat was sticking beside Trent’s horse like a tick and bleating continually. He couldn’t help but watch her as Trent stopped beside him.

Mitch turned to ask Trent about the doe, and saw a wiggling movement in the canvas bag tied to Trent’s saddle horn. Mitch watched the bag jiggle for several moments before looking to Trent for explanation. With a chuckle, Trent untied the bag and handed it to Mitch. He opened the neck of the bag and looked inside with the doe trying to climb onto the ATV with him. Mitch looked at the wriggling mass of bodies and legs inside and looked at Trent.

“Apparently she decided last night was the perfect night to give birth,” said Trent with another chuckle.

Mitch balanced the bag on his lap and stuck his hands inside. They emerged with three tiny kids, two black like their mother, and the other with pinto markings. All three obviously healthy, well fed, and ready to be reunited with their mother.

“How in the world did they not freeze?” said Mitch.

“I don’t know!” said Trent with a shake of his head. “We couldn’t find the goats and were afraid we had lost them. But they were in the cedars where they’re so thick you can’t get through them on horseback. Josh and I managed to get them out, but this doe kept yelling and wouldn’t leave. So we went back, crawled under the big ass cedar she was circling, and found the little guys. But they’re too small to get through the snow, so I put them in a bag I’d thrown in the saddlebag just in case.”

“Well the little farts are tougher than I gave them credit. We can put the doe and her babies in one of the horse stalls and we’ll let them grow some before putting them back with the herd,” said Mitch.

He gently slid the triplets back in their carrying bag and handed it to Trent. He watched as the younger men rode slowly toward the barn, chatting and laughing as they moved through the sunlit winter scene. Mitch shook his head in disbelief, amazed that they had made it through the latest crisis and hoped they were finished with near disasters for the next few years.

<><><><>

Winter had ended with a whimper after the early March blizzard. Things had settled down on the ranch and people had again settled into the day-to-day life, everyone except Trent. While things were going well, Trent knew disaster was coming; it always did. He knew he should have been brave and left already. They had become invested in his life, and he had let it happen. He knew better, he had learned the lesson soon after being dumped in foster care. He should never have let Josh fall in love with him. Even worse, he had fallen in love with the ranch, Mitch, Darrin, Max and everything and everyone else. He knew better than to let it happen. He could feel the pressure; he had to leave soon. The heartache was building, ripping his soul apart. He began to prepare for his exodus.

The other three had left Trent to take care of things while they took an overnight trip to Amarillo. There had been several things they’d needed from the west Texas town and Trent didn’t mind taking care of things overnight. It was mostly checking on the animals, and otherwise just enjoying some quiet time. The crew had left early one morning. By evening, Trent had taken care of everything they had left for him to do.

Rising early from a restless night, he decided to clean their house. They had both been busy for the past few weeks, with Trent kidding out the goats and Josh finishing his semester. So the house needed cleaning, and Trent felt it was a perfect time. He decided to have an old fashion spring-cleaning and soon had everything he could move laying in the spring sunshine. The place was scrubbed and vacuumed to within an inch of its life by the time he was ready to put the furniture back in place.

One thing he couldn’t move alone was their maple dresser, which took both of them to budge. Trent was in such a cleaning furor that he decided to remove all the drawers and see if he could move it then. Soon there were drawers on every flat surface. Trent scooted, tugged and cleaned until he was satisfied, and then started putting everything back together. Almost finished, he grabbed the drawer of Josh’s underwear and headed to the dresser. Trent struggled to put in the last drawer until his hand slipped and the entire content was scattered across the floor. With a sigh, Trent wedged the now empty drawer into its slot and started putting things back inside. As he grabbed a last pile to shove inside, a small white box fell out of the pile of clothing.

Trent gave it a curious look and picked it up. He looked at it closer and realized it was from a jewelry store. Without considering the consequences, Trent opened it and a ring box slipped out. His hands were shaking violently at the fears welling up inside him, and made the simple task of opening the box almost impossible. After numerous tries, he managed to open the lid, and saw a simple gold band nestled inside.

Trent slipped the ring out and held it between his fingers. The light reflected off an inscription, which Trent carefully read. As the words leapt off the bright metal, Trent felt as if a hand was constricting around his heart. The inscription said simply ‘To my husband, Trent.’

Trent tried to stem the flood of tears with his sleeve, but they dripped off his chin and onto the floor. His body was racked with sobs of grief over things that could never be. He’d come so close to happiness, so close to love. He wasn’t even sure what love felt like until he’d come to the ranch. He knew he didn’t deserve their love, everyone before had convinced him how worthless he was. The guys were just gullible and naive. They didn’t need the kind of trouble he brought. The tears of loss flowed, until with a shuddering sigh he wiped his face for a last time.

It was time.

He needed to go.

The walls that Trent had let down slammed back into place and isolated the weak emotions of love and caring so he could do what needed to be done. He finished putting the drawer back together, not wanting Josh to know he’d found the ring. He wasn’t leaving immediately. Trent wanted to have a few last memories of Josh and the ranch, and he had one last gift for Josh before he left forever.

<><><><>

Josh watched Trent’s receding horseback silhouette, wondering what was going on. It wasn’t that Trent was a stick-in-the-mud, or anything like that. But since Josh had gotten back from his trip to Amarillo, Trent had seemed almost manic. The frantic need to do everything seemed to overwhelm him. It left Josh with an unsettled feeling. Josh let his horse walk forward, considering for a few moments until deciding it was just Trent being Trent and that he should enjoy the cheerful behavior because there would be a crash at some point. With a whoop, Josh rammed his cap down on his head as his heels urged his horse into a run, trying to keep up with Trent.

The next few hours raced by, and they found themselves collapsed on the creek bank, the horses grazing nearby while the boys soaked up the spring sunshine. The fiery sun had encouraged both of them to peel off their shirts. Josh rolled on his side, his head propped up as he watched Trent. Suddenly a hand shot out, grabbed his nipple and twisted it.

“Asshole!” squealed Josh as he launched himself onto Trent. The battle quickly turned to a sensuous wrestling match, the light sweat on their skin adding to the sexual heat invading Josh’s body. The wrestling became less and less about winning a bout, and more about the building feelings. Josh felt Trent’s hands slide up his bare sides and catch his head. He rolled so Josh was pinned under him. Trent froze in place, his warm breath caressing Josh’s lips, which were only a fraction of an inch away.

“I win,” said Trent.

“I let you win.”

“Oh?” Trent lifted himself, and Josh’s senses flared with the perfect blend of pain and pleasure as Trent grabbed both his nipples, digging his nails into them as he twisted them hard. Josh let out a low moan as the passion flared. He groaned as Trent released him, and ground his crotch against Josh.

Trent held Josh’s face between his hands. “I want you to fuck me.”

“Now? Here? You sure?”

“Yes, now. I want you to pop my cherry.”

Josh chuckled at the bad porn line but could feel the stiffening in his jeans at the thought. They had an active sex life, but he hadn’t wanted to rush Trent, so he’d never tried to top.

Josh felt Trent grab his face and pull him so they were looking at each other. “I want this, don’t over-analyze everything.”

Josh smiled, having been caught in his own downward spiral. He rolled to his back and then pulled Trent on top of him. His hands ran over Trent’s back, eventually trapping his head with his outstretched hands and pulled him in for a kiss.

There was an urgency to Trent’s response, a sense of need that Josh had never felt before. It was as if he were oxygen, essential to Trent’s survival. Josh knew he should stop them, see what was causing Trent’s emotions to surface in ways Josh had never seen before, but lust overwhelmed his brain. Sex became more important than whatever was happening with Trent.

Josh sat up, pushed Trent back and kissed him with passion. Their tongues warred, the small lances of flesh invading the other’s mouth again and again. Josh felt Trent’s desperate gasp as they made out. The emotions filled Josh until his world was reduced to just him, Trent, and the sun-drenched embankment.

Trent could feel his cock throb and press against his jeans in response. Trent paused for a second, then dove in, biting Josh’s hard nipple. The fireworks generated overwhelmed Josh’s system, the last of his thinking brain drowning in lust. Trent’s fingers skated over his chest and stoked the fire with each pass until Josh’s moans were reverberating through the open air.

Past caring, Josh’s hands and eyes explored the luscious form in front of him. Trent had developed into a hot young man. Still more slender than Josh, his body was a rippling mass of perfect muscles. Josh loved the tattoos, tracing them with his finger as he remembered Trent’s explanation of the native totems. His finger trailed off the edge of the ink and he wrapped his arms around Trent, enfolding him in a crushing embrace.

His hands slid lower, urgent in their exploration of Trent’s back. Reaching the arch of his lower back, they plunged into Trent’s jeans and grabbed the tender flesh of his ass. His fingers slid between Trent’s ass cheeks and ran their length. As he rubbed against his pucker, a glimmer of sanity broke through the lust and caused Josh to lurch backward.

“Fuck! We need lube!”

Trent smiled, reached into his pocket, extracted a small clear bottle and handed it to Josh. With the bottle tight in his grip, Josh watched as Trent unbuckled his belt, yanked open his pants, wriggled out of his clothes and crouched in front of him. Trent panted heavily, his chest sinking toward the ground, surrendering himself to Josh. Trent’s eyes were filled with desperation, and beseeched Josh to enter him.

Josh stripped and was soon as bare as Trent. Moving behind him, he squirted lube into Trent’s lightly furred trench until it was matted and dripping. Josh wanted nothing more than to plunge his cock into his lover and rip his cherry ass open. But he did not want to repeat his own first experience. Knowing he wanted Trent to remember his first time for the pleasure, and not the pain. He worked to be as gentle as possible when he opened Trent.

Through all this, Trent voiced no concern. His only sounds were small mews of delight as his ass was prepared. After Josh had been working three fingers into his ass for many long minutes, Trent looked back with a look of desperation on his face.

“Fuck me, Josh. Please, just fuck me.”

Josh watched the quivering hunk of man in front of him as he emptied the rest of the lube over his rock hard cock. Josh let out a soft groan as he pressed inside. Trent’s tight ass closed around Josh’s cockhead, and he paused giving Trent time to adjust. Before he knew what was happening, Trent had slammed back into him, sinking his cock completely into Trent’s gut.

“Oh shit!” screamed Trent.

Josh froze, afraid to move until Trent’s pain had subsided. Within moments though, Trent was grinding his ass against Josh. Josh gritted his teeth in an effort to restrain himself as the heat from Trent’s ass permeated his body. He moved in rhythm, meeting each of Trent’s backward thrusts. The union between them blossomed until his hands clamped onto Trent’s waist and he started fucking in earnest.

The two moved in unison, neither able to do more than moan in ecstasy with each time Josh lunged forward. Trent squealing with pleasure each time he was impaled. Josh mounted him like a stallion breeding a mare, thrusting and snorting in a race to his climax.

Josh lost himself, everything forgotten but his pleasure. He ripped his cock out and plunged it back in over and over. The wet sound of Trent’s ass filled the air around them, their breath coming in gasps. Josh felt himself plunge over the edge, his body wracked with ecstasy as he convulsed and emptied himself into his love. Josh pinned Trent under him, filling him with his seed, breeding him.

He could feel Trent’s body shake under him, shivering while his over-stimulated system released like a hair-triggered virgin, which he hadn’t been in a very long time. But Trent had never let anyone fuck him. He gave that gift to Josh. Trent collapsed on the grass, taking Josh with him. They held each other as their chest heaved and they tried to recover.

Eventually, the chirp of cicada and the rustle of the cottonwood leaves along the creek came back into being for the two. Josh wrapped his arms around Trent and pulled their naked bodies together. His hands gently danced over Trent’s skin, wanting to always remember what Trent had given him.

Josh tilted his head closer and whispered, “I love you.”

Trent lay quietly in Josh’s arms. Unshed tears built in his eyes as he forced himself to focus on leaving.

<><><><>

Darrin watched Trent as he chewed the food he’d just put in his mouth. He knew something was wrong, but he could not put his finger on it. Trent was in the best mood in months. He’d been playing with Max for hours, joking with Mitch, generally being a happy teenager, which wasn’t like Trent at all. It wasn’t that he was an unhappy kid, but he was normally much more reserved. His behavior was triggering some nagging feelings in Darrin, something he felt he should recognize.

The evening wound down, and Trent continued to act out of character. Neither of the other two seemed to notice, so Darrin relegated it to his own pessimistic nature. He went to bed, not sharing his unease with Mitch for one of the few times since they had been together. The next day Darrin left early for the office to catch up on the backlog of tasks that had accumulated.

He’d gotten through most of his day, the feeling of unease never relenting. By the time Emma stopped by to chat, he had worked himself into a fine state of nerves. She took one look at Darrin, and her face darkened.

“What’s wrong?”

“I’m not sure.”

The very fact that Darrin was so direct signaled his distress. He carefully answered her questions in as much detail as possible, not sure what was going on. The grim look that was growing on Emma’s face was a clear indication that he’d been right, something was wrong.

“Darrin, where is Trent now?”

“I’m not sure. Home, I guess.”

Emma took a deep breath. “Go home. Right now. What you described is one of the signs of someone contemplating suicide.”

“Oh, God.”

Darrin fled the office, his door left open and everything in disarray. He forced his pickup to top speeds on the rural dirt roads that wound their way to the ranch. Was he too late? How could he have been so stupid to not recognize the signs yesterday? The miles home had never seemed longer. By the time he’d slid his pickup in front of the door, he launched himself before it stopped rolling.

Darrin ran into the house, screaming for someone, anyone, but mostly for Trent. The panic was building when he saw Mitch appear at the bedroom door, a look of concern on his face.

“What’s wrong, babe?”

“Where’s Trent? I have to find Trent!”

“I don’t know. His house, I guess.”

Darrin spun and ran out the door. Mitch followed closely behind, even though he didn’t know what was happening. Darrin burst into the tiny house without knocking. Scanning the room, his heart sank when he saw Josh sitting on the bed, holding a piece of paper, tears streaming down his face. Josh looked up, made several attempts to talk, and finally got out two words.

“He left.”

Darrin felt a split second of relief, which was immediately overwhelmed by a host of other emotions. Mitch walked to Josh, took him in his arms and held him while Darrin lifted the paper from his hand. He held the tear-stained page, reading about Trent’s fear of hurting them and the misplaced idea that he was a lightning rod for all things evil. The letter went into great detail, begging them to take care of his horse, and to toss the ball for Max since he was the only one who seemed to find time to do it. The litany went on for two pages. Part apology and part diatribe, it was clear that he was on the street again and that he did not want them looking for him.

Darrin laid the letter back on the bed, sitting beside Josh and wrapping his arms around him as the tears burst from his eyes in a renewed freshet. Mitch looked from one of them to the other and then picked up the letter and read through it. Once he was finished, Darrin heard Mitch let out a deep sigh, and then sat on the other side of Josh, being there while he cried.

Darrin was devastated. He thought Trent understood they considered him family. But Darrin was also old enough to know never was a very long time, and sometimes things change that you could never expect. But you had to survive long enough to come to that point. Deep inside, in a place he’d never share with Josh, he was just relieved he’d only ran. Darrin had never been so happy to be wrong in his entire life.

<><><><>

Sheriff White Cloud let his squad car roll to a stop beside the walking figure, rolling down the passenger window.

“Leaving?” asked the sheriff.

Trent exhaled, wondering what was going to happen now. He stopped, looking down the highway for several beats of his heart before replying.

“Yeah, it’s time. Before anyone gets hurt,” said Trent with a tint of steel in his voice.

“You know that’s not the truth. They’re going to be hurt. Josh especially.”

“Josh will recover. It’s just easier this way, for everyone.”

“Everyone? Or easier for you? What happened? Did it get too real?” asked the sheriff.

Trent finally turned his head to look at the sheriff, his last comment hitting too close to home. His anger at the unavoidable situation surfaced, and he snarled back.

“It’s me! Why the fuck can’t you get it through your head? No amount of redman mumbo jumbo is going to fix me either. Josh can find a normal man, and the other two… well they’ll understand they just got a broken one in me.”

“I don’t see how you’re any more broken than anyone else, but I won’t argue it with you,” said the sheriff. “Where are you going?”

“I dunno. Somewhere east of here. I’ve done west, wasn’t really impressed,” said Trent.

“Here.”

Trent took the card the sheriff offered, noting that it was Sheriff White Cloud’s business card before he looked back at the sheriff with a questioning look.

“Look, I’m not going to help you run, your family here would never forgive me. But when you’re ready to come home, call me. I’ll come get you.”

Trent gave a hollow laugh and held the card back. “Here, take it. I’m not coming back, not soon, not ever. Besides, you wouldn’t really drive across a bunch of states to get a lame ass trouble maker.”

Sheriff White Cloud pushed Trent’s hand back. “Keep it. You’ll be back. This country seems like hell on earth to some folks, but for those who listen to it, it’s the song that you fall asleep to every night. It’s tough country and unforgiving, but it will call you back because nowhere else will you feel at home.” The sheriff nodded as Trent sighed and put it in his back pocket.

“And yes, I’d get you home if you call. I might not be your ride the whole way. The thing about cops is they have lots of friends spread out over the country. So I might call in a few favors to get you home, but I would get you back.”

“Yeah, well have a good life, Sheriff. I don’t think you’ll see my scrawny ass around here ever again.” Trent backed away from the car, giving an awkward wave as it drove past him, shaking his head at the image of the mystical Indian that White Cloud tried so hard to cultivate.

Trent turned to the east, adjusted his backpack and resumed his journey.

<><><><>

Darrin leaned against the posthole diggers, wiping the sweat from his face as he looked across the parched landscape. The forecast was for rain this afternoon, but Darrin could see nothing on the horizon. The day was unnaturally still, especially for an Oklahoma summer day. The humidity was higher than normal; it felt like Darrin could cut it with a knife. He was concerned about many things, but chief among them was Josh.

In the month or so since Trent had left, Josh had not gotten over the loss. It was as if Trent was a critical part of his being, and without him, Josh would wither away. He rarely came out of the house, sleeping with the sheets that Trent and he had slept on the last night together. Nothing could persuade him to wash them, they could barely get him to wash himself. Josh, who was typically so meticulous with his grooming, didn’t care any more. Mitch’s threat to drag him outside and hose him off was the only thing that had gotten him out of bed and into the shower.

Darrin had starting going in and washing clothes and keeping food in the refrigerator, although more often than not he had to throw it out a few days later when it spoiled. Mitch had forced Josh to eat dinner with the two of them for the first couple of weeks, but finally gave up and let him eat alone.

Fortunately, Trent had left at the end of the semester, so Josh’s grades hadn’t suffered too much; mostly the work was already finished. But this had gone on through the entire month of May and now they were into June with no improvement. Darrin kept thinking that Josh would shake himself out of it, but nothing seemed to help. Darrin had even gone to the extreme of bringing his mother and Dr. Koch into it. Neither her coddling nor his belligerent tirade seemed to have any effect on Josh. He simply sat and stared with a distant look in his eyes.

They had tried forcing him to get out of the house and help, making him take care of his animals. But he walked like someone impaled by life and had no desire to find a way to make things better. Today, Darrin had suggested they just let him stay in bed, each time they made him help it felt more and more like beating a puppy, and Darrin couldn’t take much more.

He’d tossed in the things he needed to work on the fence, wanting to be alone with his thoughts. Mitch seemed to be of like mind, saddling his horse, telling Darrin he was going to check the west fences.

So Darrin had barely let the weather do more than register a passing note. Turning back, he rammed the diggers back into the sand and shale filled hole, taking his fury out on the earth.

<><><><>

Several hours later, with only a few of the needed posts planted in the hard ground, Darrin sat at the table, slowly eating his meal alone. Mitch was still repairing fence, Darrin had got a text message from him saying he’d be coming in late. He’d made a passing attempt to pull Josh out of bed, to no avail. Not that he was in any mood to deal with the heartbroken young man. He recognized that Josh was hurting, but had no idea how to fix the problem.

Darrin’s food was tasteless as he shoved bit after bit into his mouth, mechanically chewing and then swallowing as he had a million times before, oblivious to the happenings around him as the hours trudged by, the incessant drone of the television, the heat-rippled vista beyond the refrigerated air flooded room. Darrin found himself being dragged into the darkness of his emotions.

His consciousness emerged through the quagmire of his mind, a familiar screeching noise pulling him beyond the immediacy of his own problems. Coming to the present, Darrin realized it was a tornado warning blasting on the television. A quick glance outside confirmed a boiling mass of pitch-black clouds screaming toward them. A few moments of listening to the weather reporter and Darrin took off in a sprint. They had a safe room in the house, but it was also their closet, and was largely impassable after the last few weeks.

Hitting Mitch and Josh’s numbers, Darrin tried to reach the other two. But neither answered. Darrin rammed the phone in his pocket, racing to the bedroom and frantically clearing the shelter. He threw clothes and boots with reckless disregard, knowing he may only have a few minutes before it arrived. As a pair of tossed boots shattered a mirror, Darrin heard the gust front hit, the house creaking as 70-mile-per-hour gusts began assaulting the house. As Darrin finished his single-minded task to get the shelter operational, he succeeded, and pulled the door shut with a satisfying clang. As Darrin shoved the door back open, he realized he was still alone in the house.

Not knowing where the other two were, he ran toward the door that was the most sheltered from the wind, hoping Mitch had taken shelter somewhere in one of the many arroyos on the ranch, not allowing himself to let the darker thoughts stop him from trying to save Josh.

Rounding the corner, he was hit with the full force of the straight winds, his hat ripped off his head and was soon part of the blowing shrapnel. He struggled against the wind, desperation flooding him as he tried to reach the little house. As he covered the last few steps he saw it, he saw the demon of the southwest, although it took him a heartbeat to realize the scale of this monster. This was no vining funnel from film. This was a half-mile wide behemoth that ate buildings and destroyed lives. As Darrin forced his way inside the tiny house, parts of the barn were being sucked into its maw. Darrin ran to the bedroom, panic setting in, to find an empty bed. He stood a second too long, heard the house creak, and then a west window shattered as a pole from the barn rammed through it like a medieval battering ram.

Knowing his spare time was over, Darrin dove for the bathroom, throwing himself into a corner, covered his head, and for the first time in a very long time, prayed. Not for himself, but for the rest of his missing family.

And then, hell broke loose.

Darrin covered his face and head, making himself as small as possible as debris hit him like bullets. What lasted seconds seemed like hours as the roaring storm passed over the ranch. He could hear wood shattering and metal screeching as their buildings were destroyed. The walls of the bathroom shook as the house disintegrated a bit at a time. Darrin was only dimly aware when the wind took the roof, leaving him exposed.

Then the rain began, sheets of water pouring from the sky. Making it impossible to see anything, but it signaled the passage of the tornado. Darrin eased himself out of the debris piled against him. Pain surrounded him, but he didn’t have time for it. Pressing his hands against the sole standing wall, he pushed himself to his feet, and then turned to see the damage.

Fortunately Darrin had stood facing the house, which miraculously seemed largely intact, or at least repairable. Turning, he realized that everything else was a total loss. But now, he needed to find Mitch and Josh.

He’d been surprised that Josh wasn’t in the house. He had been certain that he would still be languishing in his bed. But now Darrin knew where he had to be, he’d gone to save the horses, not knowing they had turned them out into a pasture this morning when none of the horses wanted to re-enter their stalls. But Josh wouldn’t know that.

His leg aching, Darrin hobbled toward the destroyed barn, afraid of what he’d find.

The piles of refuge, tin, and wood formed a labyrinth through the destroyed structure. But guessing where Josh would be going, Darrin wove his way to Whitehead’s box. It had been near the center of the building, and when the roof had collapsed, it had largely crashed on the middle area.

Darrin began digging, throwing lumber left and right, pulling off sheets of metal until his hands were bleeding in a multitude of places. Reaching down he grabbed a large section of intact roof, and heaved it off the floor…to find Josh.

Darrin dropped beside him, noting the pool of blood surrounding his head and the impossible angle of his left femur. Darrin knelt in shock for a moment, not wanting to know, but finally he reached in, and found a pulse.

<><><><>

Mitch had been exhausted by the drama unfolding at the ranch for the last months, angry beyond words that Trent would leave like he had, exhausted by Josh’s deep depression and trying to be understanding with his empathetic husband who was working too hard at keeping everyone else together, to the detriment of himself. That morning Mitch had needed a day without drama, where he could make a difference, where he could fix something. So he’d told Darrin his plans, saddled his horse and threw enough snacks into his saddlebags to keep him fed for the day.

He’d gotten frustrated with the boy’s horses. They’d went out to the exercise pens without a problem, but then screamed and fought him when he’d tried to put them back in their stalls. After losing a half an hour trying to make them do what they obviously didn’t want to do, he had given up. Deciding a day grazing wouldn’t hurt any of them, he’d turned them loose in one of the pastures east of the house. His patience was stretched to its limits when Storm decided to choose today to be difficult too. But the topper was when Mitch looked back to find Max trailing behind him. He tried to send the little red and white imp back several times, but finally gave up when he slunk back again. With a sigh, he urged Storm into a lope that soon had them headed to the far side of the ranch.

Having stopped for lunch, Mitch was sitting in the early afternoon shade of a lone cottonwood tree, looking at the clouds building in the southwest. Just a thin sketch on the horizon, Mitch knew with the sultry conditions it was prime setup for a hell-bringer thunderstorm. Knowing he needed to get a move on or he would be riding in drenched on a decidedly unhappy horse, Mitch quickly picked up. He double-checked that he had the tools he needed and swung into the saddle. They started out at a good clip, the urgency of the situation translating to Storm.

Unfortunately, his afternoon was soon swallowed by the routine of repairing fence. Mitch was at first shocked that the cattle hadn’t simply walked through the gaping holes, but then realized with everything that had happened over the last few months, some details had been lost. Without realizing it Mitch moved further and further from the security of the ranch, and neglected to track the progress of the storm. As a result, he was taken by surprise when Storm became rebellious as he tried to go further, and even more surprised that Max refused to be separated from the horse and rider by more than a few feet. Storm’s tolerance of the dog was also remarkable. All of this flashed through Mitch’s mind just as the gust front passed over him picking up leaves and dust and pummeling them with debris.

Mitch snapped his head upward, shocked at the writhing clouds above him. He suddenly understood the animals’ responses. Looking across the prairie horizon he could see the front edge of the rain driving toward them, and he knew they’d never make it back to the ranch before it hit. Remembering a wide wash in the creek close to them, he spun a now-cooperative Storm toward shelter.

They reached the side quickly, the first plump drops splattering in the fine dust around them. Mitch pressed the horse, forcing him down the steep embankment, knowing they didn’t have time to do anything else. With a scream of displeasure the big stallion plunged downward, his hindquarters almost touching the bank. But in a split second, they were racing for a sandstone outcropping that Mitch thought would give them some shelter. He vaulted from the horse, grabbing the reins and pulling him under the little shelter provided, Max already winding his way between Mitch’s feet, when the storm hit with a shaft of lighting.

The lightning hit the largest cottonwood in the area, almost directly across from them with an ear-shattering explosion. The next minutes were spent trying to calm a stallion white-eyed with terror. It wasn’t until he had some semblance of control on the massive horse that he realized the skies had opened and a deluge had begun. Within seconds, Mitch and both animals were drenched, and Max was letting out a most unhappy whine. Mitch knew there was nothing else to do, and hunched his shoulders against the driving rain.

Even through his discomfort, Mitch realized he heard an unusual sound. The low rumble of a train seemed to be coming toward them. As the roar built in volume, the stories of tornado victims flashed through Mitch’s mind, and he knew what was coming. Suddenly he was pinned against the dirt embankment as both animals crowded against him.

Mitch was engulfed in the roar of the winds and the crash of broken branches thrown into the wash. He flinched at the crash as one of the big limbs of the cottonwood snapped at its joint and joined the growing pile. As the seconds ticked past, the roar seemed to lessen, but Mitch realized he had another problem that he should have realized. The arroyo was there for a reason, it drained the surrounding land into the creek, and both were swelling quickly from the torrent of rain.

Realizing they needed to move, Mitch started struggling with the now terrified horse. Knowing they would never be able to make it back up the now muddy bank they had slid down only minutes ago. Heading down the creek away from the growing freshet, Mitch tried several paths out, all were too dangerous in the current situation. As he was getting frustrated, Mitch stumbled upon a place where a previous flood had washed out a gradual dish-shaped area making it easily climbed.

Mitch grabbed Storm’s reins just under the jaw, running his hand over his silky nose to try and calm him. They started walking upward, the rain slowed to normal levels. The bank was not simply traversed, and toward the top, Storm stumbled and then tried to rear in fright. Finally past his tolerance level, he fought Mitch, lunging repeatedly as he tried to escape. Suddenly, he crow-hopped forward and then came down inches from Mitch. Settling into a formidable position, he refused to budge. Mitch pulled, cursed and pleaded, knowing that the headquarters were in the path of the twister.

“Damn it, horse! Come on!”

Mitch heard a yip from Max and the horse rushed forward, almost dragging him to the top. He flashed Max a brief smile and then jumped onto the wet saddle, plunged his heels into the horse’s flanks and instantly barreled across the dripping landscape.

As the house and barns came into view, it was obvious they hadn’t been spared. All Mitch could see was mangled metal and snapped timbers. He was comforted by the knowledge that everyone was in the safe room, at least that was his wish.

Mitch’s hopes were shattered as he rounded the corner. His first sight was Darrin emerging from the mangled wreckage of what had been their barn, carrying Josh in his arms. Blood was covering one side of Darrin’s face, as well as his hands. He slid Storm to a stop and vaulted from the saddle. Racing to the pair, he could see the despair on Darrin’s face. As he got closer, the horror was more apparent. Josh’s hair was drenched in blood and Mitch could detect no signs of life in his limp body.

He sprinted to them, holding out his hands as if to take on this burden somehow. Darrin glanced up with a despondent look. Mitch braced himself for the worst as Darrin started to speak.

“He’s still alive.”

<><><><>

Trent sat on his bed, watching the tiny television as he ate. It was an expired TV dinner from the convenience store where he worked, but it was hot and filling. The scream of acid rock flowed through one wall while the warring couple on the other side screamed obscenities at each other. The bass line to the whole horrid composition was the stream of traffic on the interstate highway that seemed to be feet from his door.

The drone of the national news suddenly became interesting when Trent heard the word ‘Oklahoma’. His eyes glued to the set, he watched the segment recounting the barrage of storms they that had hit them the night before. Trent watched with growing tension as he recognized some scenes.

His tension muted into horror as a shot of the place he had called home for the past several years was shown as evidence of the devastation. Trent’s world shifted with that realization, his rationale for leaving destroyed. He shoved his hand in his pocket, pulling out a handful of change for the pay-phone in the parking lot across the street. He sprinted out the door and was soon holding the receiver in one hand while he rifled through his wallet for the all-important card. Finally recognizing its well-worn edges from the multitude of nights he had held it and wished he could call.

Shoving change into the phone, he began hitting the buttons on it as if the tragedy were the machines fault. Trent paced on the tether it would allow while the phone a thousand miles away rang. Trent counted each ring, willing someone to answer. He had began to panic when there was a click and a deep voice said.

“Hello. White Cloud here.”

“Sheriff… I need that ride.”


Chapter 5: Rebuilding and reconnecting.

Josh eased his eyes open until a slit of light was shimmering through them. He wasn’t sure where he was or what was going on. He felt surrounded by a heavy fog. Was he dead? Was this heaven? If it was, his parents were going to shit a brick, because Josh should be headed the other way according to them. He chuckled and in his ears it sounded like gravel being poured out of an old tin bucket. But it did serve to clear some of the haze from his mind.

“Josh?”

Josh forced open his eyes again and saw a hazy shape at the side of his bed. “Darrin?”

Josh heard happy voices in the distance. He realized his mouth was dry when he tried to moisten his tongue, and it stuck to his lips. “Thirsty.”

Almost instantly, Josh felt a spoon pressed against his lips. He eased open his mouth and felt a few kernels of ice fall inside. Josh enjoyed the sensation of the cold liquid melting like few things before. He swallowed, feeling the cool liquid slide down his throat. Josh rested a few moments then the whole action was repeated again. He stared at Darrin as he gave him spoon after spoon of ice chips.

Josh woke with the room in the dim of early evening. His eyes still closed he heard a soft murmur of conversation and tried to focus on it. After a few moments, he was able to pull together the conversation he was overhearing.

“How bad are his breaks?”

“The doctor said the left leg was broken in a couple of places. They pinned it together, and his right ankle was smashed up pretty good, but they said he’d be back to one hundred percent in a few months. The arm wasn’t as bad, but It’s going to be six months of physical therapy at least. He’s going to need someone with him all the time for the next couple of months at minimum.”

“Yeah, but he might not want me around.”

“It’s been hard on him. I think your stunt about killed him.”

“I know. I fucked up, again.”

“I don’t know that he’ll ever forgive you.”

“Yeah.”

Poor bastard, he sounds like he’s in bad shape – thought Josh as he drifted back asleep.

<><><><>

“When will they let him out?” asked Trent.

“The doc thinks tomorrow. They wanted to make sure there were no lasting effects from the concussion. That section of roof hit him pretty hard.” Mitch smiled slightly. “But not so much that he hasn’t already been quizzing us about how all the animals were. He was glad to hear that they were OK.”

“I’m glad he was at least doing that, but what happens after he’s released?”

“We take him home. I’ve already made arrangements for an ambulance to bring him to the house.”

“He knows he’s going to need help?”

“Yeah, we’ve talked about it, and he’s not happy about any of it. You know how he is about his privacy. We’ll get a hospital bed to make it easier, but taking care of Josh isn’t going to be fun.” A frown settled onto Mitch’s face.

Trent chuckled, “Yeah, I don’t think he’s going to deal with a bedpan very well. He still was closing the door to take a dump when we were together.”

“Ah crap, I hadn’t even thought of that.”

“I’ll take care of him,” said Trent.

“He doesn’t trust you. He may not want you anywhere close to him.”

“He’s not going to have a choice. Darrin is still teaching, and you need to run the ranch.”

“What’s he not going to have a choice about?” came a gravelly voice from the bed.

Mitch walked beside Josh’s bed and rubbed his hand over one of the few spots that wasn’t black and blue, or covered with tubes and wires. “You’re going to need some help for awhile, Josh. We were just talking about who was going to stay with you.”

“You or Darrin?”

“No. Trent’s here and he’s willing to stay with you.”

Josh tried to lunge off the bed, but screamed in pain as he moved parts of his body that had lost a battle with a barn roof. With a groan, he settled back into the bed and tried to look around.

“Where?” said Josh.

“I’m right here, Josh.”

“Get. Out.”

“Come on, Josh. Just let me help you.”

“Get away from me! Get out! I hate you! Goddamn it! Get out!” Josh collapsed onto the bed and groaned.

Mitch ushered Trent into the hallway. He could see the warring emotions and furtive eyes on the man’s face. “Decide now, and I mean it. Either leave Josh for good, or decide it’s worth the fight. I’m going back in and will try to calm him down. But so help me god, I’ll kick your ass if you hurt him any more. He never got over you leaving.”

Trent nodded and stood without saying a word. Mitch watched him for a minute and then walked back into the room.

“Get out! I said get out!”

“Josh. It’s Mitch.”

“Oh.”

Mitch could see Josh shaking from the stress, his body having just healed enough for him to regain consciousness. But Mitch knew they had to find someone to take care of Josh; he and Darrin just couldn’t do it. He was going to need around the clock care for the next month or so, and help even afterward. As many broken bones as he had would not heal quickly, even with all the screws and pins they put into Josh. Mitch sat on the edge of the bed to talk with him.

“Josh, you know someone is going to need to take care of you. Pretty much full time for the next few months.”

“I’ll be fine. Don’t worry about me.”

Mitch almost laughed, there were limits to how macho even he was willing to be. In his book, multiple broken bones meant you were out of business for a while. He vividly remembered his fall down the creek embankment, and how fortunate he had been to have Darrin to care for him. How do I explain to a broken-hearted boy that the best person to take care of him, is the person who broke his heart? Yeah, that shouldn’t be a problem at all. Mitch shook his head.

“Josh, do you want a twenty-four-seven nurse? You can’t do anything without help right now.” Mitch caught Josh’s eyes with his own and held them. “Not anything…”

Josh started to argue, and then looked around. Most of his body was either in braces, casts or was stitched and under traction. He knew he was shy, and didn’t want some strange woman, or man, helping him take care of the most personal things. He hated Trent right now. But it wasn’t like Trent hadn’t seen everything he had already. Somewhere deep inside, Josh was a little happy that Trent would be dealing with the nastiest job Josh could imagine – his bedpan.

“We’re never going to be together again. Never! I don’t even want to be friends with him. But I guess he’d be better than some stranger helping me take a crap.”

Mitch chuckled and shook his head, knowing that Josh was considering part of the unpleasant tasks Trent would be doing to be vengeance. He refocused on Josh as he turned with a hard look at Mitch.

“What’s to keep him running again? Cause this sure isn’t going to be fun for either of us. And I have no intention of being nice to him.”

“I told him if he ran again I’d hunt him down this time, and he wouldn’t like the results,” said Mitch as he crossed his arms over his chest.

Josh laid his arm across his face, covering his eyes as he let out a long breath. “Make sure you do.”

<><><><>

Trent heard the bell ringing again and gritted his teeth. He knew Josh would be mad at him, but Trent didn’t realize he really hated him. He thought it would get better, but Josh was becoming meaner, and less like the person he loved, with each passing day. Trent understood Josh was being vengeful, but he hoped it would get better at some point. As he picked up Josh’s tray, the bell started pealing again, and his name was screeched from the other room.

“I’m coming, Josh.”

Trent walked toward the room, with hesitation at first but then with renewed vigor. At least he was back at the ranch. His belief that he was somehow the cause of all the problems around him obviously wasn’t correct. Leaving had not kept this disaster from hitting the ranch and hurting his family. His mind was still running through his ill-conceived beliefs when he walked through the door, and a thrown metal bell barely missed his head.

“You know, if you kill me Mitch promised to get you the biggest, meanest nurse that he could find to take care of you – and her name will be Brunhilda!”

“Damn it! Don’t fuck with me. I hate this, I hate you, and I hate being helpless,” screamed Josh.

“You know, I love you.”

Josh froze in mid-tirade, stopped as he prepared to go into yet another infantile rant. Trent watched him pause for several long seconds and then explode in new levels of hysteria.

“No! Fuck’n No! You don’t get to say that! Never! I. Hate. You!”

Trent sat the tray down with a sigh. “No, you don’t hate me. You probably do hate what I did, and I can’t really blame you for that. But I don’t really think you hate me; otherwise Brunhilda would look good compared to me. I made a mistake, based on my life so far. I was wrong, and I don’t blame you for being angry.”

“Angry? Angry! Angry doesn’t touch it! It felt like you ripped out my heart. I’m furious, I’m incendiary, I’m about to go super nova. You made me hurt worse than anyone ever before, even my crazy parents who tried to beat me to death. That’s how much you hurt me!” screeched Josh.

Trent looked down, tears starting to flow. When he looked back at Josh, they continued to run down his face. “I thought about you the whole time I was gone. I wanted to call a hundred times. I stood in front of a pay phone almost every day and wanted to call and beg you to take me back.”

“And how many guys did you fuck while you were gone? I’m sure you were on your knees again as soon as you were away from here.” Josh lashed out in his pain.

Trent paused and took a deep breath, telling himself Josh was just trying to hurt him because he was hurting.

“No one, Josh. I didn’t turn tricks. Not once.”

Josh wiped his face with his arm and seemed to calm a little. “Why not?”

“I’d saved money from here. And I was working the midnight shift at a convenience store when I found out about the tornado.”

“Why’d you come back?”

“Because I thought I was needed, because I was afraid one of you were hurt, because that damn Indian was right, this is the only place I feel right in my own skin.”

“The sheriff?”

“Yeah, he told me once that this country gets into you and then you can’t live anywhere else. I told him it was redman mumbo jumbo, but I guess he was right.”

Josh smiled for the first time Trent could remember since he’d come back. “He does have a disturbing tendency to be right doesn’t he?”

Trent wiped his face with his hand, and smiled at Josh. “So are you going to stop busting my balls?”

“Hell no! I’m fuck’n helpless, I poop in a pan, and I’m itching like crazy under these damn casts,” said Josh with a note of melodrama in his voice.

“Well since I’m the one taking care of the pan, and cleaning your butt, let’s at least try to be friends. OK?” said Trent.

“OK, we can work on friends. But I don’t know if it can ever be more than that.”

“I’ll take it. If it just keeps bells from being chunked at me, it’ll be an improvement.”

“At least I’m a bad shot.”

“Well, there is that.”

<><><><>

Darrin walked onto the porch and stood beside Mitch. He looked at the concrete slabs where a little more than a month ago had been a complex of buildings and barns. Most of their equipment had been strewn over a ten-square-mile area and in pieces that were barely recognizable. The insurance would eventually replace most of it, but it would take months.

They had been fortunate that most of what had been destroyed was insured, but not everything. They were on the list with several contractors, but there was a lot of damage in the area, and it wasn’t going to be repaired in a day, or even a handful of months. He rested his hand on Mitch’s shoulder.

“It’s going to be fine. Josh was the only one with serious injuries, and all of the animals got through it without a scratch. I’m glad they finally got all the debris hauled away though. Piles of our barns everywhere was kind of depressing,” said Darrin.

“Anne came by,” said Mitch without a prelude.

“Doug’s mom?”

“Yup, she’s getting out of ranching, says she’s too old. Doug doesn’t want to expand. After the divorce, he hasn’t wanted to do much.”

“OK, what does that mean to us?”

“She’s offering to sell to us. We can even rent for a few years first if we want.”

“Oh. Crap,” said Darrin, shocked with the revelation.

“She’s selling the house with it,” said Mitch, as a smile tugged at his lips.

“But I like this house.”

“Not for us, for Josh and Trent.”

“Babe, I think that’s a lost cause.”

“They had a talk today. Well more like Josh screamed, and Trent worked on not being too insulted.”

“And?”

“They’re going to try to be friends. It helped when Trent told Josh that he hadn’t been working the oldest profession again.”

“I had wondered, but I figured it wasn’t my business,” said Darrin.

“Yeah, me too,” said Mitch. “But anyway, the boys could live in Anne’s house. I think Josh would especially appreciate it.”

“Why?”

Mitch looked at him with a puzzled expression for a few seconds and then understanding spread across his face. “I forgot, you’ve never been there. Her house is built into a hill, the whole house is basically a tornado shelter.”

“Oh,” said Darrin, his eyebrows shooting almost to his hairline.

<><><><>

“Come on, you need to do ten more,” said Trent.

“I don’t care! I’m tired, and I’ve done enough of the stupid exercises for one day. I’m sore already.”

“The physical therapist said if you want your full range of motion back that you needed to do these exercises. Come on Josh, just do the last few.” Trent pleaded.

He’s still here, thought Josh. That’s saying something. I know I’ve been hard to live with these last months. Even though now I can waddle into the bathroom, Trent is still sleeping on a cot in the room with me in case I need something. We’ve had a couple of arguments, but the last ones were just because I’m in such a foul mood.

“Come on. Do the last exercises and I’ll drive you to Sonic.”

“I don’t like Sonic,” said Josh sullenly.

Trent chuckled. “I know you’re lying when you tell me you don’t like Sonic. You are addicted.”

Josh stared at Trent, looking sullen before finally shaking his head and one side of his mouth flicking up. “OK, but I need onion rings, and I want to take a bath before I go and soak for about an hour.”

“Deal, they said you could take a bath now. All the incisions are healed, and your casts are off.”

“Fine, what’s the next of these god-forsaken exercises?”

Trent looked down at the paper, more to hide his smile than anything else. Josh was getting back to his old self. A cranky version, but most of that was directed at his injuries, not at Trent.

<><><><>

“How are things going at home?” asked Emma.

Darrin leaned back in his chair as she walked in his office. He looked at Emma and withheld his first, waspish, response. She had been so supportive of his family, all of his family, and he knew it was from genuine concern that she asked. But his submission for tenure was due in a little more than a month. This was the make it or break it point for Darrin’s career, and the stress was starting to get to him. He let out a long breath and calmed himself.

“As good as can be expected. Josh is still doing PT, but he’s back in his classes with Trent’s help. Mitch is making do without half the equipment we had last year, and a ranch bordering ours is going on the market. The owner wants to know if we’re interested in buying it.

And I’m having a meltdown trying to get my tenure packet together.

Otherwise things are great.”

Emma sat there for several moments, the silence building. She then started to chuckle. “So it’s pretty much normal?”

Darrin thought about his litany of problems, and realized she was right. He chuckled and shook his head. “Yes, I guess you’re right. There’s always some crisis between the four of us.”

“So Josh is being a typical guy and being bitchy when he isn’t healing instantly. Nothing new there. Men are so high-maintenance,” said Emma, “So tell me about this additional acreage.”

“It’s Anne’s, the woman who was at Mitch’s birthday party, she’s retiring from ranching, and her son has all the land he wants to deal with already. She’s moving into a trailer next to his house, so she’s selling the home place too. Mitch is thinking it could be Trent and Josh’s house instead of rebuilding the little house we had.”

“So the boys are back together?”

“Not exactly, but apparently Josh has stopped screaming how much he hates Trent.”

“Hate, love, it’s such a fine line sometimes,” said Emma with a grin.

“Well, Josh was devastated when Trent left.”

“I know, I remember. I guess I shouldn’t joke. But it sounds like their relationship is on the mend.”

“Mitch seems to think so too. I hope the two of you are right. They seemed like such a great couple, and I hope Trent is over his issues now.”

“The problems Trent has may be there his whole life. It would be a positive step if he’s at the point where he doesn’t run when things seem to be going badly.”

Darrin shook his head, his mouth puckered as if he’d just eaten something sour. “I suppose you’re right. I just hate to see them go through all the peaks and valleys of a relationship.”

“You mean like the rest of us?”

Darrin chuckled and then shrugged. “OK, OK. I give up. No relationship is perfect. Lord knows Mitch and I have had a few rough spots.”

“Everyone does, and sometimes the relationship ends because of the problems. But more times than not, working out the issue makes the relationship bond stronger.”

Darrin threw up his hands in surrender. “OK. You’re right.” Darrin cocked his eyebrow at the woman. “How about my tenure packet?”

Emma grinned at Darrin. “If you’re asking someone to proof it, I’m your Girl Friday.”

Darrin smiled back at his friend and then started showing her everything he had at this point.

<><><><>

Trent sat on the bench and ran his boots through the worn spot in the soil below him. He contemplated the whirls of powdered soil that puffed across his dark boots, trying to distract himself from the issues they were having, while he waited for Josh to get out of class. Things were better. Josh didn’t intentionally try to hurt him anymore, but Trent had hoped they would be closer to repairing their relationship. He wanted back what they had before he ran, but he knew Josh was still hurting. Everyone knew Josh had been wounded. But when was he going to get past it?

“Young man, do you mind if I sit here?”

Trent looked up to see an elderly woman with long braids standing at the other end of the bench.

“Oh. No ma’am. Please have a seat.”

“Thank you, Khee khoat.”

Trent shot her a quizzical look, to which she smiled. “Khee khoat just means you are a man. It’s Kiowa, but then you aren’t Kiowa, are you. You’re that Hiada boy my grandson has been telling me about?”

“My dad was Hiada, but I don’t know much about them. But who’s your grandson?”

“He’s the sheriff. Jimmy White Cloud is his name.”

Trent couldn’t hold in a chuckle. He felt sure that no one but this gentle woman called him Jimmy. But the next time the sheriff was hassling him, it might just be worth it to drop it on him. He looked closer at the woman, and thought maybe she was the one whose ire he didn’t want. If there was such a thing as a Native American matriarch, she would be it. Her hair was divided in two thick, salt and pepper braids, and while she moved slowly, it somehow was the epitome of dignity.

As Trent looked closer, he noticed there was more to her appearance than what one would first notice. Her simple blouse was decorated with lines of beadwork, and the small purse she was carrying was a work of art. Her shoes were soft moccasins that extended to her knees and another accent of beadwork ran along the bottom of her conservative skirt. Trent wasn’t sure he could have brought it all together to describe it. But it was a fitting frame for a woman that he certainly wouldn’t want to tangle with. As their eyes met, he saw she was smiling at him.

“You’ll make a great two-spirit. Even better that you have native blood too, even if it isn’t Kiowa,” she said and then chuckled. “How is Josh doing?”

Trent let out a long held breath, feeling the tension return. “He’s getting better. Just too slowly for him. He hates needing help. But he’s learning to deal with it, and they say he can start using crutches in a few weeks. He’ll be glad when that happens.”

Nanna nodded as she considered his evaluation. “And what about you two? His spirit has to heal as well as his body.”

“Yes, ma’am. It does, but… well… He won’t let me back in. He doesn’t trust me.”

“Should he? Have you given him reasons to trust you again?”

“I’ve taken care of him since he’s been home, and I’ve told him over and over that I love him. I don’t know what else to do.”

“You know, the Washita Mountains were once like the Rockies.”

Trent cocked an eyebrow at the strange change in the conversation. “Yes, ma’am. I guess so.”

“But all that’s left is the granite core. Just huge rocks the size of houses if you go up Mount Scott.”

Trent nodded this time, wondering where this was going.

“You know what happened?”

“To the mountains?” asked Trent, deciding he was about to hear some of the native philosophy that Sheriff White Cloud was so fond of dispersing. “No, ma’am. What happened?”

“The wind happened! Didn’t you take geology? Nothing can stand up to a millennium of the Oklahoma wind.”

Trent chuckled and nodded. “Yes, I can see that. But…” Trent wavered, still not making the connection.

“You have to be the wind, Khee khoat. Just wear Josh down.”

Trent smiled at the old woman. “Yes, ma’am. I’ll do that.”

He watched as she levered herself off the bench and then reached down to pat his knee. “Such a nice polite man you are. Jimmy didn’t describe you that way.”

Trent nodded in acknowledgment, realizing he’d had an entire conversation without a ‘yeah’ and with a whole lot of yes, ma’am and no ma’am’s. He guessed Josh was wearing off on him.

<><><><>

“You know, if you aren’t going to let him back in you need to be honest with Trent and cut him loose,” said Mitch with no preamble.

Josh looked up from the refrigerator; his evening snack time now sent spiraling in a direction he was tired of exploring. Darrin had given him the same talk a few days earlier. He sat the snacks on the counter and let out a sigh. But now his stomach had turned sour, and he wasn’t interested in the food. Deep down Josh knew he still had feelings for Trent. But the pain had been so overwhelming; he didn’t think he could survive it again. He didn’t trust him, but he had to admit that Trent had been there when he needed him.

“If it’s that easy, what would you do?” said Josh.

“Do you love him? Have you talked to him about why he left?”

Josh stood quietly, thinking about the question. He put both hands on the counter and sighed. “Yes, I love him. I was going to ask him to marry me. I had a ring and everything. And no, I haven’t asked what happened.”

“If you love him, don’t you owe it to him to talk about why he left?”

“Damn it, Mitch! I don’t want to be reasonable,” said Josh, half way meaning what he said.

“I know, but you can either decide to stay pissed off for the rest of your life, or give him a chance to explain.”

“OK. Fine. You and Darrin are right. I’ve been acting like a kid. I’ll talk with Trent. Now, would you mind helping me get this stuff to the table? It’s a pain in the butt to try and carry it all on crutches.”

Mitch walked over, grabbed the food Josh had pulled out and followed him. He was careful not to let Josh see the look of triumph plastered on his face.

<><><><>

“We need to talk.”

Trent looked up to see Josh standing at the doorway, leaning on his crutches and looking particularly miserable. Trent braced himself for another outburst about how horrible he was and how tired Josh was of being injured. He’d heard it all before, and would probably hear it again, but he would do it.

“Sure, Josh. What’s up?”

“Why did you leave?”

Trent froze, his emotions roiling at the thought of rehashing that episode. But he had known it was coming. At least if Josh was ever going to forgive him, it was. They had talked about the surface stuff already, Trent knew Josh was asking for the details now. He braced himself and then began.

“Well it wasn’t you; it was me. I know that’s the worst line in the world, but it’s true. You were great, life was great, I guess it was just so good that I was afraid how much it was going to hurt when it crashed around me. Because Josh, disasters always follow me.”

“Yeah, you told me all this. But why then, what made it unbearable? I thought I was giving you lots of time.”

Trent let his head drop, staring at his navel he said, “Cause I found it…”

“Found it? Found what?” Josh screwed up his face, trying to figure out what Trent was talking about.

“In your drawer, I was cleaning, everything fell out, and I found it. I swear I wasn’t digging through your stuff.”

“In my drawer?” said Josh, still trying to remember. Suddenly his eyes shot open. “The ring?”

Trent nodded, worried what Josh’s reaction would be to what could be interpreted as him digging through Josh’s personal stuff. His heart was fluttering as he watched Josh, unable to decipher the flitter of emotions that came across his face. Josh gave him a hard look.

“It was engraved. I had it engraved.”

“Yes. That’s how I knew for sure what it was.”

“It got too real for you. You knew at some point I’d already decided to ask you to marry me.”

“Yes. Scared the fuck’n hell out of me.”

Surprisingly. a soft chuckle came from Josh. “I hear the whole marriage thing has that effect on guys.” He let out a sigh. “But you don’t have to worry. That ring is long gone. It was still in our house when the tornado hit.”

Trent felt a flutter in his heart, Josh had called it ‘our house’. “I’m sorry it’s gone, Josh.”

Josh leveled a look at Trent that stopped him cold in his tracks. “I’m not getting the next one, and I won’t be asking you to marry me either.”

“Oh…I understand.”

“That’s right. This time you have to seduce me, and you will be the one down on one knee. And yes, I damn sure want you on your knee when you do it.”

Trent’s mouth fell open, a mask of disbelief on his face. Time stood still while he processed the information. After what seemed like hours he began to speak again, and as he did a huge smile broke across his face. “I got it. Don’t worry, I’ll take care of everything, when the time is right.”

Trent walked over the Josh and wrapped him in a warm hug for the first time since he’d returned. He felt a slight tension from Josh initially, but it lessened as the hug lingered. After a few minutes, Trent released him. He separated from Josh and then wiped a tear from his face.

“Thanks, Josh. I’m glad we’re back together.”

“Trent, I’m not gonna lie to you. We aren’t back to where we were. It’s going to take some time. But I’m willing if you are.”

“I’m here for as long as it takes,” said Trent, a victorious smile on his face.

Josh chuckled. “Anyone who is willing to wipe my ass for me, deserves a second chance.”

Trent’s smile was incandescent as he shook his head at Josh.

<><><><>

They went slowly through the house the guys were considering buying. As they moved, Trent was finding the thump of crutches on the floor a comforting sound. For both him and Josh it was the sound of reclaimed freedom. Josh stopped to study the kitchen, and Trent walked over, wrapped his arms around his hips and pulled him close.

“So, what do you think?”

Josh twisted slightly and gave Trent a peck on the cheek. “It looks great. It’s not huge, but plenty of room for us. Anne liked to cook so it’s got a nice kitchen. I know you’ll like that. And the bathroom off the master bedroom is nice sized.”

Trent chuckled and rubbed his hand over Josh’s back. “You sound like a Realtor. Just tell me you like it and I’m good.”

Josh shuddered slightly in Trent’s arms. “To be honest, the best thing is that it’s built into a hill. One tornado in a lifetime is more than enough. I’ll sleep better here than anywhere else I can think of during storm season.”

“I thought you might say that. I talked with Mitch, and he said we can buy the house from them.” Trent stopped and looked into Josh’s ice blue eyes. “If you’re OK with that.”

“You want to buy a house together?” asked Josh.

Trent chuckled. “Yeah, I guess I do.”

“I do too.” Josh grinned.

“Looks like we’re going to be home owners then. We’ll need to move the goats down here I guess,” said Trent.

“Darrin said the two ranches will still be run like one, so they can go wherever we want. But there is a lot more brush down here, so we’ll probably move them. At least for a little while.”

Trent nodded, relieved that their goats were coming with them. He looked back at Josh and then leaned over and kissed him gently, cupping his hand behind Josh’s neck.

“Come on, let’s look through the rest of the house since we’re going to be moving in later this week.” The pair went through the house, planning what should be where as they went from room to room. Once they had finished, both of them were looking forward to being in their new house.

<><><><>

“Can I get a few minutes rest by saying that I’m recovering from an injury?” said Josh.

Trent laughed and wiped the sweat from his forehead. “Only if I can rest too.”

“Man, I hate moving.”

“Well, at least we had help. And this is the last load of boxes. You got off pretty easy with the doctor saying you couldn’t lift more than ten pounds,” said Trent as he leaned against the kitchen table. He watched as Josh walked over to him, a limp very evident in spite of his obvious attempts to hide it. Once he was closer, Trent grabbed him and lifted him to sit on the table. Standing between Josh’s legs, the two of them leaned against each other. They were both sweaty and hot, but the interior of the house was cool and dim.

Trent wondered—was this it?. They had been affectionate, but he had not pressed the intimacy issue. Partly because of Josh’s concerns about him, but mostly he did not want to reinjure Josh. He would have never told him, but Trent was very happy that he was able to take care of himself again. Health care was not an area Trent ever wanted to explore as a career. His attention was snapped back when he felt Josh’s fingers stroke his stubble-covered cheek.

“You’re beautiful.”

Trent chuckled. “Ditto, lover.” He leaned in and kissed Josh softly. As their mouths separated, he pulled back, licked his lips and gave Josh a leer.

“How are the bones today?” asked Trent, a happy lilt in his voice.

Josh leaned in and flicked his tongue against the tip of Trent’s nose. “Very good, as in completely healed. But I have another bone that needs some attention, badly!”

Trent chuckled at Josh but leaned against him and groped his crotch. “Let’s see if we can’t fix that bone too.” He pulled down Josh’s zipper, let his fingers slip in the opening and touch the hard shaft trapped inside. Josh let out a low growl as Trent rubbed his fingers over the growing wet spot in his underwear.

“Better?” asked Trent with a smirk.

Josh answered with a flurry of satisfied sounds. Trent’s hands slipped under his damp T-shirt and lifted it over his head. His hands wandered over Josh’s chest, still toned and desirable in spite of the months of forced inactivity. Trent’s fingers traced through the chest hair and enjoyed the sensation. Leaning closer, Trent ran his hands over Josh’s back and let his tongue circle the brown nipple. Josh pressed against him, his breath coming in gasps. Trent felt Josh’s strong hands gripping his head, directing his efforts to where Josh wanted it most.

“I’ve missed this so much. Damn, it feels good.”

Trent released Josh’s nipple with a pop, and then leaned in for a kiss. He snagged Josh’s bottom lip and tugged on it gently with his teeth. Releasing it, he dove in and ran his tongue between Josh’s lips, tasting and sampling the flavor that was uniquely Josh’s.

Trent continued to sample Josh for several long minutes. Slowly pulling apart, both gasped for air, their cocks engorged with blood. Trent leered at Josh, and without losing eye contact, he reached inside Josh’s pants and fondled him. His body shuddered under Trent’s touch.

He stepped back, enjoying the sight of his man again writhing with passion he had created. Trent ripped his shirt off and let it fly indiscriminately. He saw Josh was watching him and decided to give him a show. Turning his backside toward Josh, he started slowly rolling his hips, showing off his bubble butt that he knew Josh liked so much. Opening the first button, he let his jeans slide down his hips, teasing Josh with a view of the top of his ass.

He spun around and thrust out his bulging crotch and grasped it with both hands, squeezing it hard as he did. Thrusting, he started lowering his zipper, his thin white underwear stretched obscenely. Trent did a bump and grind until his jeans were around his ankles, and then kicked off his boots and ripped off his pants.

Moving against Josh, he dry humped the handsome man’s leg, feeling his underwear become soaked as his cock belched out precum, the friction driving him toward his edge.

Trent moved his hips away and tugged at Josh’s clothing, dropping it in a pile beside them. An urgency encased Trent as his hands began to reacquaint themselves with Josh’s stunning body. He gripped Josh’s dick tightly in his hand and started licking it like an ice cream cone. His tongue ran quick swirls around its head, tracing and dipping into the drooling slit in its tip with each revolution. He squatted lower and sucked one of Josh’s nuts into his mouth, covering it with spit.

He felt a hand grasping his head, pulling him off. “Slow down, babe. I’m so close. I’m about to nut on your face.”

“Oh no, I have plans for that load,” said Trent. He leaned in and kissed the underside of Josh’s cock and then stood up and pressed his lips against Josh’s.

“Don’t move,” whispered Trent. He sprinted for the bedroom and was back in moments with a bottle of lube. He slid onto the kitchen table, lifting his legs so Josh could watch him prepare himself. He filled his hand with the clear gel, and then rubbed it up and down his crack. Pressing against his hole with each pass, he started moaning from the sensations. His eyes fluttered shut, and his breath exhausted in a gust as he rammed two fingers inside himself. He heard Josh’s moan of appreciation and smiled to himself. It was working. Things were coming back.

Trent continued, teasing and prodding until he had three fingers buried inside. Pressing them hard and deep, he froze for a second, his body arching upward as the pleasure surged through him. He let his fingers slip out and looked at Josh.

“Fuck me, Josh. I need you inside me again.”

Josh moved closer, grabbed Trent’s thighs and pulled him to the edge. He rubbed his cock over the drenched hole, and then without warning, plunged himself inside Trent.

“Damn!” said Trent, hissing through the pain of the sudden entry. But the sting quickly evaporated and sensations of ecstasy flooded his system. Josh paused briefly and then began pounding Trent. The pleasure was overwhelming, Trent’s mind drifted into a sex-induced haze as Josh’s thick cock battered his prostate. He needed this so much; he knew he’d never last long. He had not been with anyone since he’d left. And it felt perfect, being back with Josh.

Josh’s rhythm faltered, signaling the beginning of his orgasm. Trent felt his hands lock on his thighs as, with grunt after grunt, he emptied his nuts into Trent. He could feel the pressure, the twitching, inside him. Trent locked his heels behind Josh’s ass, trying to pull him tighter.

Trent smiled in surprise when Josh began to gain speed, his cock losing none of its steel. He urged Josh on, digging his heels into his butt, feeling his already swollen prostrate taking a magical pounding. Trent again lost himself in the sensations, his body racing toward the pinnacle of his pleasure. With a final shudder and moan, cum shot from his throbbing cock.

“Damn!” screamed Trent.

Trent writhed on the table, Josh pinning him and rabbit fucking his hole while his cock shot jet after jet of translucent cum over them. Trent felt one stream land across his face just in time to see Josh’s face transformed by a second orgasm. The two of them drifted in the web of their shared climax, feeling a rejoining begin. Their scents and sacred fluids joined, and Trent knew he would need to take Josh with him to meet his father’s family, so he could introduce his husband to them.

<><><><>

Darrin struggled to shake off the cloak of sleep as he recognized the noise that had awakened him. Grabbing for the phone, he tried to calm the normal panic that accompanied late night calls. On his first attempt to push the call button, the phone had reacted like a living creature and flipped out of his hands and onto the floor.

“Damn it!”

Darrin felt Mitch struggle awake as the phone, and Darrin’s cursing filled the room. With a final lurch to grab his still buzzing phone, Darrin slid off the bed and landed on the floor.

“Fuck! Goddamn phone!”

With it firmly in his hands, he hit the button and shoved it against his ear as he scooted his bare ass across the carpet so he could lean against the bed.

“Hello!” said Darrin, his nerves and patience shot.

The dead silence did nothing to improve his mood, even as Mitch crawled across the bed and laid a hand on his shoulder in support. When the silence continued to stretch, he tried again, furious that someone was prank calling him.

“Hello? Who is this!”

A few more moments passed, and just as Darrin was about to cut the call, he heard someone clear his throat.

“Ah, yeah, hi. Darrin?”

“Yes, this is Darrin. Who is this? How did you get my number?”

“Hmmm, it’s Kevin. Kevin Boorman. I had the department directory in my phone…”

Darrin was shocked, the last of the sleep fog blasted away. He turned to Mitch whose eyebrows were knitted in concern, which shifted to surprise when Darrin mouthed the name of the caller to him. Seconds later Mitch’s face was clouded with anger, and he motioned for Darrin to hang up. Darrin knew so far as Mitch was concerned, nothing good could come of this. In many ways, Darrin agreed with Mitch, but he was also curious. He supposed it was the sign of a good researcher.

“Hello? You still there?”

Darrin’s frown deepened as he answered. “Yes, I’m still here. What do you want, Boorman?” Darrin glanced at the clock. “It’s three o’clock in the morning, what’re you doing? I don’t appreciate having more crap pulled on me.”

“No. I swear I’m not pulling anything. I… Well, I need help.”

“And you called me? Seriously? What the fuck were you thinking?”

There was a pause that stretched to an uncomfortable length, Darrin could hear breathing, but there was no conversation. He needed the time though; he really did not want to help. Kevin had caused trouble for him and Mitch ever since graduate school. That same person was asking for help now, from him. His anger was building, Kevin had no right to ask him or Mitch for help.

Darrin was about to tell him to fuck off, when he heard Kevin start to talk. “There was no one else I could trust…”

Darrin exploded. “You’ve got to be kidding! You’ve tried to get me fired every chance you get, and I’m the one you can trust?”

“Yes, you could lie about me. But you won’t. No matter what I’ve done, you’ve always been honest.”

Darrin clenched his jaw, his frustration showing. “Call one of your friends. Don’t you dare call here again. You’ve caused us enough trouble. Bye!” Darrin yanked the phone away from his ear and was about to hit disconnect.

“Wait!” Kevin screamed. The soul rending desperation in his voice chipped away a little of the ice surrounding Darrin’s heart in regards to this person.

“What!” said Darrin, a ferocious bite to his voice.

“There is no one else I can call. And I sure can’t tell anyone else what’s happened.”

“Why? What happened?”

“Well, I was robbed.”

“So? That’s not great, but your friends will understand.”

“And he stole my clothes…”

“OK…”

“While I was tied to the bed.”

Mitch, who was eavesdropping, burst out laughing. Darrin grabbed his pillow and smacked Mitch with it. Not that Darrin didn’t understand the feeling, he wanted to laugh at karma coming back to bite Kevin in the butt too. Darrin couldn’t resist the opportunity to give their enemy a little dig.

“Why were you tied to the bed?”

There was a very long pause, but this time he couldn’t keep the smirk off his face as he waited patiently. With enough time, the answer Darrin had been expecting came out.

“It was a date…”

Mitch howled with laughter with that explanation, and this time Darrin didn’t quiet him. Darrin even had to chuckle softly, it was just too good. He noticed that Kevin wasn’t saying a word as if he were letting them enjoy his predicament.

“Craigslist, before you ask.”

The final admission broke the little resolve Darrin had, and he joined Mitch in the peals of laughter. They both held onto each other in their enjoyment, the phone forgotten as they relished the fall of their archenemy. As they slowed their laughter, they both shrugged at the other, knowing they wouldn’t leave him in the situation. Darrin picked up the phone and smothered a final chuckle before beginning.


Chapter 6: Settling in and finding lost family.

“You knock. You’re enjoying this too much for me to spoil your fun.”

Mitch grinned in agreement and reached up to rap his knuckles on the weathered door. He paused and his eyes sparkled when he balled up his fist and started pounding on the door instead.

“Boorman! Open the fuck’n door!” Mitch paused for a second, then let fly another series of thumps on the rattling door.

Darrin shook his head and rolled his eyes, but he was enjoying Kevin’s discomfort as much as Mitch. He just didn’t want to be as obvious. Mitch winked at him and pulled back his fist to pound again, but the door opened a crack just in time to stop him.

“Jeez, guys! I don’t want to draw any more attention.”

“Come on, Boorman. Let us in if you want help,” said Mitch.

“Okay, you’re right. Come on in.”

The door opened enough to let them into the cheap, dingy motel room. A threadbare yellow blanket was wadded up on the bare mattress. The room had a faint stench of urine and other odors Darrin didn’t want to think about. He had to admit Kevin looked traumatized, and the dingy white sheet wrapping him from neck to ankle didn’t help. Darrin held out a beaten-up gym bag.

“Here. We brought a mix of clothes so something should fit. Whatever won’t, just donate it to Goodwill or something, we don’t need anything back.”

Kevin nodded and took the bag. Without another word, he went into the bathroom, firmly closing the door behind him. Darrin studied the cinder block walls of the room painted a color obviously selected for some reason other than aesthetics, and his hearing assaulted by the wheeze of a window air conditioning unit that had seen better days. Darrin wondered why Kevin would ever agree to meet someone here.

Darrin turned at Mitch’s snort to find a dressed Kevin Boorman coming out of the bathroom.

“I see you found something to wear.” Darrin fought hard to keep from laughing and Mitch wasn’t helping with the steady stream of chortles he was making.

“Ok, I know I look like some kind of clown. But this is all that would come close to fitting.” Kevin rolled up the sleeves to a flannel shirt that looked big enough to hold Darrin and Mitch both and then tugged on the crotch of a pair of Trent’s skinny jeans he’d somehow managed to get his lower half into.

Mitch snorted again. “Do you have any feeling below the waist?”

Boorman slung the bag over his shoulder, headed for the door without a backward glance and climbed in the pickup.

Once they settled into the pickup seat, Mitch twisted to looked back at Kevin. “What about your car? Do you have spare keys?”

“At the house. I can’t ask anyone to bring me back though. I’ll have it towed back.”

“Okay, whatever works for you.”

Minutes later they were rolling down the predawn rural highway, the silence in the cab deafening. Curiosity got the best of Darrin. “How the hell did you end up in that… situation.”

Kevin leaned forward, and paused before he answered. “I was horny, and apparently my little head was doing all the thinking. We’ve been emailing for months and he’d been wanting to get together for some fun. It seemed safe, he didn’t come across like some nut case.”

“So you met him at the motel?”

Kevin let out a held breath. “Yeah, we’d talked about some light bondage. You know, kind of foreplay.”

Mitch let out a snort that sounded like air-brakes on a semi and ended with a barking laugh. With a sheepish look on his face he glanced at Kevin. “Sorry…”

“I guess I deserve it.”

“So… He stripped you and tied you down?” Darrin could not help himself, this was just too good not to drag out the details.

Kevin’s face turned crimson. “Yeah, face down, spread-eagle on the bed. You know, to the corners.”

Mitch tried to swallow down his laughter before he spoke, and failed miserably. “So, you were all stretched out on the bed and he robbed you?”

“Umm, not exactly. We sort of– did it.”

Darrin wiped the tear of suppressed laughter from his eyes. “So you had sex?”

“Yeah, he was sort of into leather. And was wearing–”

“No! Wait! Assless chaps! Right?” squealed Mitch, not even trying to keep from laughing hysterically.

Kevin’s eyes squeezed shut and he gave a barely detectible nod. He grimaced when Mitch’s peals of laughter echoed through the truck.

“Wait, wait…please tell me he had a riding crop! Oh please! It will make this trip worth it.”

Darrin started feeling a little sympathetic for Kevin. “Come on, Mitch. Let it go. We don’t need to know the details. Kevin’s just been robbed.”

“Yes, a riding crop and a black leather harness. It was fucking hot, right up to the moment he walked out with my money, keys, every stitch of clothes I had and left me tied up.”

Darrin and Mitch both lost control. He pulled onto the shoulder and stopped, laughing so hard Darrin was afraid he would drive off the road. Collapsed across the wheel, he was cackling as hard as he had in months. Glancing over at Mitch to find him in a similar predicament, sagging against the door, his body shaking with mirth. After several minutes had passed Darrin took a deep breath and wiped the tears from his eyes.

“How’d you get loose?”

“I dug at the knots until I got a hand loose. I was there working at it for quite a while. His knots were pretty good. I was afraid at first that it would be housekeeping that found me tomorrow morning.”

“Then you called me?”

“Yeah, like I said. I couldn’t think of anyone else who would save my ass.”

Darrin shook his head at the thought of their archenemy tied to a bed and robbed by a leather daddy.

“Sorry Kevin, it’s just…”

“I know. Payback is a bitch, and so is karma, and both bit me hard tonight. I deserve the laughter. Actually if all you guys do is laugh about it that’s a lot less than I probably deserve. You could tell the whole department and try to scuttle my career.”

“We aren’t going to out you. But I would suggest you get checked for STD’s. I don’t want to know anything else, but this guy isn’t exactly someone I’d trust.”

Kevin twisted his lips at the unsolicited advice. He slumped against the back seat and got a contemplative look on his face. Darrin glanced into the rearview mirror and gave him a look of concern.

“I know, you’re right. I should get tested.”

“Not should. You have to get tested. You’ve been exposed…”

Darrin could see Kevin begin to shake and hoped the enormity of the situation had finally gotten through. Because until this very moment, he had been almost relaxed about the whole incident.

“Boorman. I mean it. Promise you’ll get tested. You need to know.”

Darrin thought Kevin wiped at his eyes, but the interior of the pickup was dark and he couldn’t be certain.

“Kevin?”

“Yes. Okay. I’ll get tested. Alright?”

“Thank you. It will make me feel better, I appreciate it.”

The rest of the trip was completed in relative silence, with only an occasional chuckle from Mitch.

<><><>

Mitch and Darrin walked through the door, to find Trent and Josh making breakfast. Josh waved in their direction with the turner he was holding. “Sorry, we forgot to get breakfast stuff so we came up here to eat. Want some pancakes?”

Mitch sat down and yawned, the excitement and humor of the night wearing off and just leaving exhaustion.

“Where have you been?” asked Trent as he put two more plates on the table.

“Rescuing Kevin Boorman.” Darrin’s face split by a yawn.

Trent froze and looked at the pair to see if they were kidding. He knew exactly who Kevin Boorman was, he had ended up on the ranch because the sheriff had caught him sucking Boorman. Trent was also the one who made Darrin’s work life difficult. But neither of them seemed to be joking.

“You must be shitting me! Why would you help that asshole?”

“He called and needed help. He’d been robbed.”

“Tell him to call the fuck’n cops.” Trent looked from one to the other, wondering why they were helping this viper.

Mitch started chuckling. “We helped him because his dom had stripped him, tied him to the bed, whipped his ass and god only knows what else before stealing his clothes, money and keys and left him stranded in a crappy motel down by Altus.”

Trent’s face was struggling with barely suppressed humor. “Naked and tied down.”

“Tied to the bed, yup.” Mitch relayed joyfully.

“A leather daddy?”

“Pretty much what it sounded like.”

“Screwed his ass.”

“Well I try not to think of Boorman having sex, but we can assume.”

“Robbed him after fucking him.”

“Yup.”

“Left him tied up and took his clothes.”

“You got it.”

Trent dropped into a chair and buried his face in his arms, peals of laughter erupting as his body shook.

<><><>

“What’re you doing?”

Trent wiped the sweat from his face and leaned against the shovel. “Planting flowers, well actually planting anything that might survive the damn summers around here. Anne apparently had a brown thumb because there’s nothing but bermuda grass around the house.”

“How did we afford all this?” Josh motioned to the rows of plants spread out on the ground.

Trent stomped the shovel into the ground. “People gave ‘em to me. Everyone seems to be cleaning up flower beds and they heard somehow that I wanted to plant some flowers.”

Josh grinned, knowing how fast word could get around in this seemingly desolate part of Oklahoma. He well knew any news spread like wildfire in this area of widely separated ranches. He walked through the plants that were in bundles of every kind. He’d never helped Darrin with the garden, but he wanted to work with Trent.

“Looks like you have a shit ton of plants. I can help if you’d like.”

Trent slowed and then stopped, eyeing Josh with a little suspicion. “Why? You’ve never helped before.”

“It was never our house before. And it wasn’t with the man I love before.”

“That has a nice ring to it.”

“That I love you?”

“Yeah, I know you do. You just don’t say it very often.” Trent pointed Josh to a large clump of iris’. “Take those and put them in that back corner. Even you can’t kill an iris.”

Josh hoisted the cluster of dagger-shaped leaves and moved them where Trent had indicated. He grabbed the extra shovel from the wall and quickly dug a hole in the loose soil.

“Make sure you plant them at the same level they’ve been growing or they’ll rot.”

Josh grunted in acknowledgment and pushed some of the soil back in the hole until he had everything situated.

“How’s this?”

Trent stabbed his spade into the ground and walked over to check Josh’s work. He evaluated everything carefully and then wrapped his arm around Josh. “You know, these will be here for a long time. Everything we’re planting will come back each year.”

“That’s cool. So we don’t have to redo this every year.”

Trent chuckled and rubbed his hand over Josh’s velvety hair. “Yes, lazy ass. We won’t have to do this every year. It’ll be a reminder of this past year.”

Josh gave Trent a quizzical look and raised an eyebrow. “Why would you want to remember this last year?”

Trent held up both hands to fend off Josh’s budding anger. “Now wait before you get all pissy.” Trent smiled and tugged on Josh’s ear. “And you almost have Darrin’s eyebrow thing down pat.”

“I’ve got you to practice it on for the rest of my life. Now, explain to me why in the hell you’d want to remember this last year.”

“Well, if for no other reason than I realized you are the most important person in my life, that’s enough isn’t it?”

Josh leaned in and kissed Trent. “That’s a good reason, but I don’t know that I’d want to remember the other stuff–the bad stuff. And there was a lot of bad stuff.”

“There was, starting with me leaving. Then you getting hurt. There was a lot of bad.” Trent looked at Josh and felt an ominous fluttering in his stomach. “You still haven’t completely forgiven me, have you?”

Josh stood still, his eye locked on the ground, and he shook his head. “I’ve forgiven you. But I can’t just erase what happened.”

Trent nodded, beginning to work again as they talked. “I can see what you’re talking about. But I’m going to be working to help you erase it for the rest of our lives. Because that’s how long I plan on being around.”

Josh grabbed an enormous clump of ornamental grass someone had dropped off and tried to heave it into the hole Trent had dug. A strained grunt was the main result of his first attempt to move it. “Damn! That weighs a ton.”

Trent chuckled and retrieved a machete from the tools he had piled to one side. The knife cut an arc above his head, slicing into the roots. After a few well placed hits, he handed the knife to Josh and worked to pry the roots apart.

“That’s the other reason it’s good to remember last year. I got over some of my big hangups. I don’t think I’m a lightning rod for all bad things that happen.”

Trent motioned Josh for the machete and started driving the sharp metal blade into the opening he’d just widened. After a few more whacks, the clump fell into two pieces. He handed the blade to Josh and wiped his face with the tail of his T-shirt. “You can cut those in half and that’ll give us plenty.”

Josh looked very contemplative as he cut into the grass roots. After dividing the first half, he made his first cut into the second. “You know, I didn’t want to live without you. I thought it just hurt too much.” Josh toyed with the blade, spinning it in his hand and then cutting into the plant again.

Trent folded his arms over his chest as he listened to Josh. “I’m sorry I made you feel like that. I was just being a selfish shit.”

Josh worked on finishing the division. Once the halves fell apart, he looked up at Trent and grinning. “Yes, you were a big shit. But I have no intentions of taking it out on you any more. I meant what I told you.” Josh motioned to the house. “Hell, we own a house together. How fucking insane is that?”

Trent stepped closer and ran his fingers along Josh’s jaw. “It’s not insane at all. I plan on living in this house, with you, for the rest of our lives.”

Josh put his palms on either side of Trent’s face, trapping him gently. “That sounds like a great plan to me. What else you got planned for us, stud.”

Trent grinned at Josh and finished planting one of the grass clumps before he spoke. “Well, you do realized the American dream is a house, spouse and two point five kids.”

Josh’s eye grew to the size of saucers. “Kids! Like people kids?”

Trent laughed at Josh’s qualifier. “Yes, people kids, not goat kids.”

“Shit!”

<><><>

“God damn, mother fuck’n, mangy, stupid mother fuck’n asshole goats!” Trent screamed at the backsides of the herd that had just eluded them again.

“You’re losing your touch, you repeated.”

Trent glared at Josh, too frustrated to understand why there was humor on his face. “What?”

“You used mother fuck’n twice, usually you cuss so much better.”

Trent started to snap back a reply, but recognized the humor in the situation and smiled. “Yeah, well. Hanging around a goodie-two-shoe pussy like you has taken my edge off.”

“Good to know,” said Josh with a grin. “Now are you ready to try to drive them again? Maybe if we weren’t on horseback? I don’t think the best Quarter horses in the world could drive goats, and ours aren’t Quarter horses.”

“My horse is as good as any fuck’n Quarter horse.”

“Which wasn’t even my point. Let’s try it on foot with Max.”

“Fine.” Trent spit out, swinging his leg over the saddle and then jumping to the ground. He grabbed the reins of both horses and led them to a small grassy opening in the trees. Leaving the horses grazing, he began the long walk to circle the goats, finding Josh and Max waiting for him when he arrive.

Josh motioned Trent beside the herd and sent Max in to sweep the goats from behind. Josh moved opposite Trent, checked to see everyone was in position, and signaled Max to press the goats from behind. Josh was eager to see Max perform since he’d been working with a local handler to teach Max about herding livestock. They’d had a few chances to work with small groups of cows, but this was the first time Max and Josh had the chance to work the goats. Josh enthusiastically signaled Max to pressure the back animals of the herd.

Josh grinned as Max crept up in typical Border Collie style. The goats turned, watching Max as he crawled closer. Josh could see the dog’s presence was beginning to work on the goats, they were getting restless, their ears perked toward him and the ones closest pressed against the animals further away. Josh was squirming with excitement as he whistled the signal to move the herd.

All hell broke loose.

In an instant, Josh got a graphic demonstration why you can’t use herd dogs on goats. When Max charged the herd, instead of moving as a group like sheep or cattle would, they shot to the four winds. He and Trent were screaming and running as they tried to turn the fleeing goats in the direction they wanted. The pandemonium increased exponentially when Max broke training and began chasing whichever animals were closest to him, making them even less likely to cooperate.

Trent threw up his hands and stomped off, leaving the mess to Josh. Time slowed to a crawl and the number of ways a goat could demonstrate his escape skills increased with each passing second. Feeling like hours had passed and ready to give up, he heard the rattle of a bucket half-filled with feed. Trent walked past, with an ever-increasing herd of animals following him like the Pied Piper. The patchwork quilt of colors paraded in front of him and his face showed the conflicting emotions. He was thrilled the goats were finally cooperative and moving into the new pen, but he also dreaded the ‘I told you so’ he was going to get from Trent. He had advised against using Max, and had been right.

Josh managed to get Max back under control, and they watched the insatiable goats follow Trent. Josh hunched his shoulders in defeat and not particularly looking forward to facing Trent as he dropped in behind the final goat. Trent was many yards from the gate when Josh trailed in behind the last one and closed the gate. Josh looked up to see Trent motioning them toward him.

<><><>

Trent scanned the herd as he sprinkled the last of the bucket of grain across the ground. He wished they had started with the bribe; it just made better sense for them to entice the recalcitrant animals rather than try to force them. But he knew Josh had been excited about the possibility of having Max help move the goats.

It had been a train wreck from the beginning. First, the horses did not like the goats streaming around them and had made their unhappiness very clear. Which meant the herd had scattered several times before Josh suggested they try moving them on foot using Max. Trent had his misgivings about it, but he recognized it was one of those times when Josh was determined to do something, and come hell or high water he was going to do it.

Trent recognized the impending disaster just from the nervous way the goats were moving. He tried to keep them together, hoping he was wrong–right up to the moment they scattered into the heavy brush. He worked to try to keep some going the right direction for a few minutes before throwing his hands up in frustration. At that point Trent started back to the pickup and trailer they’d used to bring the horses.

Trent tromped across the landscape, wishing he’d done this from the beginning but knowing deep down he really couldn’t have. On the walk back, bribe in hand, he thought about the last few months and the discussion they’d had the day they did the landscaping around their house. It had been good to talk it through, and Trent was sure it wouldn’t be the last time. He knew they would have trouble, but he was confident they would weather the storm.

Trent had meant what he said about their lives together, for weeks he’d been carrying the ring he’d got Josh. The perfect time to propose just hadn’t presented itself, and Trent knew it needed to be flawless. But he could wait, they loved their house, everything else would come in its own sweet time. It was just a matter of when.

As Trent got closer to the goats, he began shaking the feed to call them in. They soon were following him closely, all trying to stick their head in the bucket to steal some corn. Trent couldn’t help but smile as the goats poured out of the brush. By the time he arrived at the elusive gate, he was fairly certain they were all following him. As he went through, he walked backward for a few steps and caught a metalic glint on the horn of one of the yearling does. But then she disappeared into the herd.

Once he thought the entire flock was in the new pasture, Trent began sprinkling feed in a long stream across the ground. The goats pounced on the grain and all were soon eating. He caught an odd glimmer again, and realized a young female had managed to get something caught on her horn. Looking up, he saw Josh and motioned him over.

“Something’s on her horn. We need to catch her and cut it off.”

Josh looked around. “Any suggestions?”

“How is Max at cornering one animal?”

Josh grinned. “Which one?”

Trent scanned the herd again and spotted the diminutive black and white female on its edge. “That one.”

Josh whistled a series of commands to Max and he soon had her separated from the others. But the boys quickly discovered separating her and catching her were two very different things.

Josh looked up from the ground where his last diving attempt at catching her had left him. “Any other suggestions?”

“Got a rope?”

“Damn it! Of course, I’ll be right back.” Josh sprinted across the pasture as quickly as he could to find the horses who were grazing and the lariat he’d put over his saddlehorn this morning. In a handful of minutes, he had returned and had rope in hand. He swung the loop over his head and tossed it, only to see her jump through the closing loop.

“Well fuck!” yelled Josh.

A series of attempts followed, until chance was finally on Josh’s side, and he managed to catch her. They dove on the small animal and soon had her immobilized. Josh was fishing his rope off her when he heard a gasp from Trent.

“Oh god, it can’t be…”

“Why? What’s wrong?”

Trent pointed to the small band of metal circling the goat’s tiny horn. Josh leaned in closer and then let out a tight gasp. “It can’t be! A tornado couldn’t do something this slap ass crazy, could it?”

“I’ve heard of tornado’s driving straw into posts, but this is just freaky,” said Trent with a smile, “But I think that’s your ring, well my ring, oh you know what I mean.”

“The ring…yeah I think so too. Can we get it off?”

“Yeah, give me your knife. I think I can work it off.”

Trent spent the next few minutes gently scrapping the horn. After several minutes of working on the squirming animal, it popped loose. Holding it tight in his fist, he released the goat and watched her go skittering off toward the other animals. He turned to Josh and slowly unfurled his hand.

Josh moved toward Trent like he was a skittish colt and with a shaking hand he lifted the offered ring. Tilting it in the bright sunlight, he could barely make out the inscription through the network of scratches imparted on the soft gold.

“To my husband, Trent” Josh read aloud.

Trent thought to himself, if this were a movie, there would be violins and every other indication this was the right time. Since they were both already kneeling, it didn’t quite meet all the restrictions Josh had given him, but Trent thought it would still be okay.

Turning slightly so he was on both knees, but looking directly into Josh’s eyes, Trent pulled the ring from his pocket. Threading it over his pinkie, he held it up to Josh and smiled as tears started down his face.

“Josh, will you marry me?”

Josh looked shocked, his mouth moved but no words emerged. Eventually he stopped trying to speak and just nodded and held out his left hand. Trent started to slide it onto Josh’s hand, but paused. He flipped the ring so Josh could see the interior.

“Read it.”

Josh looked carefully, tilting the ring to catch the light. He was touched, but not terribly surprised. It read, ‘To my husband, Josh’.

“You goof. Put it on my finger.” The pristine gold band slid up to his knuckle, and then with a little pressure popped on. Josh held it up like a new bride, happiness beaming from him.

Trent waited a few minutes, letting things settle. “Well?”

“Well what?” asked Josh.

“I don’t have my ring?” Trent grinned at his husband.

“But it’s all scratched up and a little lopsided. Let me get it fixed.”

“Don’t you dare. That ring is just like me, a little scuffed and out of round.”

Josh smiled and without another word slid the ring onto Trent’s finger. “Yes, I will marry you. Will you marry me?”

“I’d think that would sort of be obvious for a college boy. Yes, of course I’ll marry you.”

Josh grabbed Trent and pressed their lips hard against each other. Trent could feel his muscles tense from the sensations, holding Josh tight in his arms. The heat of the moment flooded his system and his cock began to stiffen. A moan escaped his lips as Josh gripped his ass and squeezed it tight. Before he could lose himself in what he was doing, Trent pushed back slightly from Josh. He gave Josh a light kiss on the tip of his nose and then for good measure groped his crotch and found his cock as swollen as his own.

“Babe, as much as I’d love to fuck you silly out here. I think we need to get the horses and Max and get everything home. Then we can see about a celebration fuck.”

“Is it going to make me squeal?”

“Guaranteed!”

<><><>

Trent looked at the envelope with a return address of Ketchikan, Alaska and felt a mixture of joy and dread. After weeks of searching, he had found a man he thought was his father’s uncle. Trent had been lucky and gotten help from Sheriff White Cloud’s friend from college. Tony was Hiada and had used his tribal connections to help Trent in his search.

He had taken the information and carefully crafted a letter to the person Tony thought was his great-uncle, but there was no way of telling if this person even knew his dad. Trent was so young when he’d died that he didn’t remember much about his Hiada background, or relatives.

Josh walked up behind him and started rubbing his shoulder. “Go ahead, it’s not going to get any better, or worse, from waiting.”

“I know, but if this guy says he’s never heard of my dad, then…”

“Then you’re no worse than you were before.”

Trent twisted his head and pulled Josh in for a kiss. “True. Let’s open it.”

Josh pulled Trent down to the step and laid his hand across Trent’s shoulders. “Go ahead. It can’t be any worse than the worst you’ve already imagined.”

Trent looked at the letter, and tears started rolling down his cheeks. He looked into Josh’s eyes when he patted Trent’s back.

“It’s not that big of a deal. No matter what they think, I still love you,” said Josh.

Trent turned to him, tears now dripping from his chin. “No, it’s good. They’ve been trying to find me since they found out Dad died. They were right behind me for years, until I disappeared off the map when I ran away from the last foster home.”

Trent held up a plane ticket. “They want me to come visit. They said they’re having some kind of party.” Trent glanced down to see the word. “A potlatch*…” Trent looked at Josh, who shrugged.

“Never heard of it, but I don’t know a whole lot about tribes out of Oklahoma.”

“Well, they sound excited about it.”

Josh nodded, hiding his disappointment that he wasn’t going with Trent.

“We’ll have fun, regardless. I can’t wait to take my white boy husband to meet my relatives.”

Josh glanced at Trent’s face. “I’m going?”

“Of course you are. Why wouldn’t you?”

“Well, for one thing they didn’t send me a ticket. And the second thing, do they know you’re…”

“Two-spirit?”

Josh grinned. “Yeah, two-spirit.”

“Oh yeah, they were fine I’m gay.”

“Really? Well that’s good.”

“And so far as the plane ticket, I’m buying it for you.”

“I can get my own. I just didn’t know if I was welcome.”

“Josh, don’t fuck with me about this, I’m getting your ticket. And if you’re not welcome, then I’m not staying.”

“Ok…” said Josh, looking more than a little hesitant.

<><><>

Mitch lay under the sheet, his foot sticking out into the air as Darrin fussed over his clothes.

“You realized that they give tenure to people who go into the meeting wearing spurs and smelling like cow shit.”

“And those people are so straight they can barely handle their own dick, much less someone else’s.” Darrin pointed out.

Mitch chuckled and slid the sheet between his legs. “Yeah, what was the guys name last year who got it and had a ton of kids.”

“Evans. Oh god, he has five girls. If we’re a sausage fest here, he’s whatever is the opposite.”

“A clam bake? A taco convention?”

“Eww! Stop it, that’s just nasty.”

Mitch laughed and laid back against the bed, stretching and pushing the sheet off his bare body. The sight in front of him was enough to make Darrin want nothing more than climb back into bed with Mitch and enjoy making love with his husband all day long. He was still the most handsome man he’d ever seen and he’d like nothing better than to spend the day screwing his hairy butt. But today he was making his case for getting tenure. He’d already submitted his materials to the personnel office, now it was a matter of convincing a bunch of conservative good-ole-boys that they wanted to give an out and proud fag a permanent job.

Ok, no one here had ever called him a fag, at least not to his face, but he still worried. Boorman had been very quiet since he and Mitch had rescued him from the date gone bad. But Darrin still wouldn’t put it past him to try and cause trouble. The agony of preparing for this day had been going on for months. There was no way he could be any more ready than he was right now. He gathered the rest of his papers from where he’d left them the night before and carefully slid them into his messenger bag.

Adjusting the strap over his chest, he leaned in to give Mitch a goodbye kiss. The strong aroma of Mitch’s morning scent curled through Darrin’s nostrils and caused his cock to stiffen. Mitch gave him a sharp tug on the strap and Darrin tumbled into bed on top of Mitch.

“Damnit, Mitch! I was ready to go!”

Mitch grabbed his crotch and squeezed his semi-hard dick. “It feels almost ready to go to me.”

He put his hand in the middle of Mitch’s chest and pushed himself up. “Behave. Besides, the toddlers could show up any minute now.”

“Oh yeah, they were coming to help me weren’t they.” Mitch rolled to the edge of the bed and then made his way to the bathroom.

Darrin watched through the doorway as Mitch’s hairy butt clenched with each step until he stopped in front of the toilet and the crashing sound of his morning piss started. Darrin quickly gathered the rest of what he needed, and checked his hair in the mirror, finishing just as Mitch walked out of the bathroom, his plump cock arching over his dangling balls. He grabbed a pair of jeans from the closet, tugged them over his bare ass and then carefully zipped them shut.

A very familiar set of arms wrapped around Darrin’s torso. “You’re going to do fine. You’ve worked hard to get tenure.”

Giving Mitch another kiss, Darrin allowed himself the luxury of running his hand over Mitch’s hairy chest. “You’re going to be here for dinner, right? I may need someone to pickup the pieces.”

“I’m here, and I’ll cook.”

Darrin’s eyebrows shot up and his mouth twitched.

“Ok, I’ll get it from the cafe.”

Darrin swatted Mitch’s ass and headed for the door. As he went through, he shot back, “I want coconut cream pie too. Lots of pie.”

Mitch chuckled and waved him out.

<><><>

Darrin sat in the chair, trying not to squirm as his nerves grew more and more raw. The meeting was dragging on as always, but his entire career never had hung in the balance before. He did not have any interest in the reports on the training status of the various labs through the department, which was one of the more interesting part of the reports.

Finally the endless minutia that is academia ended, the director cleared his throat, and in the same monotonal delivery named off the people who were up for review, ending with Darrin.

Darrin sat quietly, his nerves frayed beyond belief as the seemingly endless stream of colleagues gave their presentations. He knew he should be more focused, what they were doing was just as important to them as his presentation was to him. But he couldn’t do it, today the focus just wasn’t there. The afternoon droned on until Darrin could understand how a trapped animal could chew off it’s own leg to escape a trap.

“Darrin, you’re up.” Darrin almost shot through the ceiling, his nerves so worn he couldn’t have lasted much longer. But he thought about Mitch, who would kick his ass if he didn’t give it his all, and began.

The next twenty minutes raced like a Formula V car. Darrin covered each requirement in detail, showing chart, table and graph to drive home his point. After a few introductory slides, he dropped into his comfort zone as an instructor and began to deliver it like no presentation he’d done in the past.

The minutes rolled past and Darrin concluded the talk with a flourish, knowing he had delivered on his promise to do his best. The questions came, as he knew they must, and he answered each one with a thoroughness that had even Emma smiling. The director stood and looked around the room. “If there are no further questions, I’ll ask Darrin to step out while we discuss his application for tenure.”

“Excuse me, but I’d like to make my comments before he leaves.”

Darrin turned at the sound of a voice he knew, Boorman.

“Ok, Kevin. If you’d like. I’ll give you the floor.”

Darrin wasn’t sure what to expect, he had hoped they were over the battle, but he couldn’t be certain. He braced himself for the worst, and hoped for the best as Boorman started.

“I give Darrin my enthusiastic endorsement. As he has clearly demonstrated, he is a prolific researcher and a popular and caring teacher. If he were to be denied tenure it would be the biggest mistake this university has ever made.”

As Kevin sat back down, Darrin did something he thought he would never do in his lifetime. He smiled at Kevin Boorman.

<><><>

Darrin carried the sealed envelope in like it was a dead rat. He’d found it in his faculty mailbox in the late afternoon and wasn’t sure he wanted to open it at the office, in case it was bad news. He already knew his recommendation from the department had been positive, but it had to be approved by administration. Darrin realized he always was looking at the dark side, and honestly there was no reason he shouldn’t get the promotion. But doubts still hovered in his mind. He walked into the kitchen, dropped his bag on the counter and walked toward Mitch, who was doing paperwork.

Mitch looked up and grinned at Darrin. “Hey, babe. How was your day?”

“It came.” Darrin held out the official notice to Mitch.

“Well? What did it say?”

“I don’t know. I didn’t open it yet. I needed a little moral support.”

“Well, you have it. Open that sonna bitch!”

The letter opener from Mitch’s desk made quick work of the envelope and Darrin had the letter in his hand reading it. With a smile he turned it over to Mitch, who skimmed through it quickly.

“Well there’s what I was looking for. ‘Have received tenure’. The magic words we’ve been working five years for.”

Mitch let out a whoop, grabbed Darrin and held him tight. Darrin made a token attempt to calm Mitch, but was actually ecstatic at Mitch’s reaction.

“We’re having a party. Tonight! I’m calling all our friends, and the boys.”

“Babe, it’s kinda short notice. They won’t want to come out here.”

Mitch gave a mischievous grin. “Oh yes they will. I’ve been planning this for months. I just need to make a couple of calls.”

An hour later found them with a house full of friends. The food and drink had miraculously appeared and everyone had a filled plate in one hand and a drink in the other. Mitch walked up and clinked his beer bottle against Darrin’s.

“Good job, college.”

Darrin leaned in and kissed Mitch’s cheek. “Thanks, babe. For putting up with me.”

Mitch let out a deep chuckle and then took a swig of beer. “It was a two-way street. You were always there when I needed you. This last year has really been a bitch.”

“It has, but when you fell down the embankment it wasn’t good either.”

“No, but we’re still here. So I guess we’re lucky.”

“Or stubborn.” Darrin chuckled and spun Mitch and pushed him toward the crowd. “Come on, we have guests to entertain.”

That began a very enjoyable evening of drinking and conversation. Everyone expressed their happiness at Darrin’s tenure, but none of them were surprised. As the food began to dwindle, and the night grew late, the guests began to say their goodbyes.

Emma appeared at his side, clasping Darrin on the shoulder and squeezing it. “Was all the stress worth it?”

Darrin was grinning. “It’s pretty amazing. Yes, it was worth it.”

She chuckled and patted him again. “Just don’t get lazy now that you have tenure.”

Darrin was beginning to feel the effects of the booze and almost managed a giggle. “No worries, Mitch would kill me if I started slacking off at this point.”

Emma gave him a peck on the cheek. “As well he should. Enjoy today, it’s not going to be perfect from here out but at least you’ve managed that first big hurtle.”

“Yes, ma’am. Thank you for all the help too.”

“Posh! I didn’t do much. Just a few well placed kicks when you needed it.”

Mitch had wandered to the group after he’d seen the last of the other guests out. He was still chuckling at the kicks comment when Emma tapped him on the cheek.

“Don’t get smart there, mister. You need him to keep you in line too.”

“Yup, you’re right.”

“Of course I am. Now go, celebrate with each other.”

Mitch winked at Emma. “Oh, I plan to do just that.”

Emma grinned and followed Mitch to the door. With hugs all around, Mitch and Darrin said goodbye to the last couple, and walked back into their empty living room.

“You know, its been a long time since we have had a night alone. We haven’t taken advantage of it with me being so stressed for the past several months.”

Mitch let his hands trail down Darrin’s back, grabbed his ass with both hands and squeezed tight. “And just what are you proposing, stud.”

“I was thinking about fucking your ass until you walk funny tomorrow. I was thinking we could try out every horizontal surface in this house and see how it is to fuck on them.”

“So let me get this right. You want to stick your fat hard dick, into my tight hairy hole, using as many places in this house as possible.”

“Yup!”

Mitch smiled and grabbed the bottom of his shirt and yanked it apart, the snaps sounding like a machine gun burst in the quiet house. “You better get busy then. Cause my ass is all twitchy about getting fucked.”

Darrin unbuttoned his shirt, rippled his shoulders and then let it fall to the floor behind him. He reached out and grabbed Mitch by the crotch and pulled him in tight. His other hand slid inside the back of Mitch’s jeans, as always he enjoyed the texture of his ass. His fingers drifted downward until he found Mitch’s tight pucker and rubbed his finger across it.

“Oh, that feels nice.”

Darrin pulled Mitch tight against him, and let out a low rumble. “Just wait, nice isn’t what I have in mind.”

“Oh my, is the big bad college professor going to fuck his rancher husband.”

Darrin rammed his dry finger inside Mitch’s ass. “Damn straight I am!”

“Oh fuck! For god’s sake use some lube!”

Darrin bit down on Mitch’s neck, sinking his teeth in as he sucked on the spot, wanting to mark Mitch as his again. “What if I want to just fuck your ass?”

Mitch bent his neck, giving Josh full access. “Whatever you want, college. Whatever you want.”

Mitch let out a growl and grabbed Darrin’s face, crushing their lips against each other, his tongue demanding entry into Darrin’s mouth. Soon their tongues were warring and Darrin’s passion was overwhelming. He grabbed Mitch’s arm, lifted it high over his head and pressed his face into the dark hair covering his arm pits. The strong, slightly rank, musk washed over Darrin. The raw masculinity was overpowering as he wound his way around his man’s body. Once he had filled his senses with Mitch scent, he pulled out of his pits, licking the residue from his lips.

“You make me so fucking hot. God, you’re sexy.”

Darrin pulled Mitch over to the sofa and pushed him over the overstuffed arm. He wormed his hands under Mitch, unbuttoning his jeans and then tugging them and his underwear down to his thighs. His hands opened Mitch’s meaty crack, overwhelmed with desire as always. The darkly furred trench was one of Mitch’s best features so far as Darrin was concerned.

In an instant, Darrin rammed his face into Mitch’s ass, his tongue burrowing inside as his hands frantically touched every bit of Mitch he could reach. Grabbing his ass in a tight grip, he pulled it open as he ate out Mitch’s hairy ass. Reduced to mews and gasps, Darrin loved how his man responded to him. He pulled back and swatted Mitch’s ass.

“How about it cowboy. You ready to get fucked?”

“Anytime you touch me I’m ready.”

Darrin reached under the couch with a smile on his face, which froze. Moving lower, he swept his hand under the couch, trying to find the bottle of lube they normally kept there.

“You know they took it, right?”

“What?” Darrin was frantically searching.

“The lube you’re looking for. Mutt and Jeff took it. They fuck like bunnies now that things are back to normal. And they found your careful stashes of lube.”

“God damnit!” Darrin stood, pushing himself against Mitch. He stomped to the bedroom, back in an instant and looked up to see Mitch grinning at him.

“What?”

“Well, I’m laying across the couch, my wet ass stuck up in the air while you stomp around all pissed off because our sons stole our lube, and your boner is still pushing out your jeans like you have a fence post in there.”

Darrin slowed down and then chuckled as he walked to Mitch’s ass again. He filled his hand and smeared the gel over Mitch’s crack, causing the hair to matt down even further. Then he thrust two slick fingers deep inside of Mitch, hitting his sweet spot with the first thrust.

Darrin pulled back, giving his dick a thick coating of lube before putting the slick head against Mitch’s pucker and pushing. His well worked hole opened effortlessly and Darrin eased into Mitch’s ass. In spite of his hedonistic performance tonight, he didn’t want to cause real injury.

Pausing to allow Mitch to adjust, he pulled almost out before pushing rapidly back inside. Darrin’s pace increased with each pass until his ass was a blur as he pounded Mitch’s gut.

“Fuck!” Mitch’s body roiled, humping against the couch as Darrin slammed into him. Darrin smile evilly and pulled out.

“What the fuck! I was about to nut.”

“I know. That’s why I pulled out. It’s all about me.”

Mitch chuckled. “You asshole. Well you only get tenure once. What’s next, kinky boy.”

“Strip.”

Mitch pushed himself up, shoved the pants down to his ankles and stepped out of them. He grinned, then snaked his hand back and slid two fingers inside. Mitch’s eyes rolled up and his moans began again as his fingers plowed into his own butt.

Darrin leered at Mitch and moved to where he could watch him finger fuck himself. Darrin slowly stroked his aching cock, incredibly turned on by the sight of his manly husband performing for his benefit. But Darrin wasn’t interested in just watching tonight.

Moving behind Mitch, he shoved him forward, aimed his dripping cock at Mitch’s well opened hole, and slammed himself inside.

“Fuck. Direct hit captain!”

Darrin chuckled at Mitch but clamped his hands on his waist and slammed into his gut. The noises coming from Mitch were building in volume, as they neared their shared climax. Mitch’s body tensed, locking him in place as he began shooting. His moans and indecipherable speech punctuated the stripes of cum across the living room floor.

Darrin caressed each inch of Mitch’s body. The vice-like grip surrounding his cock slowly abated. As Mitch released him, Darrin started sliding into his gut. The heat and friction pushed Darrin to the edge. He thrust wildly, pounding Mitch as his orgasm rolled over him.

Darrin’s toes gripped the floor as the first pulse of cum shot out of his cock. His body shook with release while his cock filled Mitch’s ass with cum. Darrin let out a final grunt of pleasure, and rocked back off his toes.

“Oh damn, that was good.”

A smirk covered Mitch’s face when he looked over his shoulder at Darrin. “Good? Good! I pay for 8 years of college and the best word you’ve got in your big head is good?”

Darrin ran his hands slowly over Mitch’s back and chuckled. “Let see… how about fantastic, stupendous, earth shattering, mind blowing, amazing, or maybe superlative.”

“Superlative?” Mitch started laughing.

“Yes, superlative. A perfectly acceptable choice. And when I move your ass to the table and fuck it again it will be superlative also.”

“I’m not sure about your fancy word, but fucking on the table sounds fun. And yes, I can use fun for my description. I only have a lowly masters degree.”

Darrin grabbed Mitch under the arms, helped him off the side of the couch, maneuvered him to the table, and pushed him backward until he was sprawled across it.

He slid his hands under Mitch’s thighs and pushed them forward. He planted small kisses down the backs of his thighs until he arrived at Mitch’s ass.

“My, this looks well used!”

“Smartass. Get busy making me feel good.”

“Ten-four, roger that.”

Before Mitch could respond, Darrin plunged his tongue into Darrin’s gaping ass and started licking the residue from their first session. Soon both of them were well on their way to their second climax of the evening.

<><><>

“Fuck!”

“What?” Mitch tried to focus on what had Darrin upset as he struggled to wake up. While Darrin scrabbled off him, Mitch twisted in his sleep induced haze, and fell off the couch.

“Come on! Can’t you hear them?”

“What? Fuck! What’s going on?”

“The boys are here, and we fell asleep after fucking everywhere in the house. Shit! That’s them!”

Mitch pushed himself up, laughing as Darrin ran for the bedroom. Mitch shrugged, grabbed a pillow from the couch, clamped it against his crotch, and strolled to the bedroom.

They need to learn to knock, or they might get surprises, thought Mitch.

Mitch was sauntering to the bedroom when they burst into the kitchen.

“Holy fuck! I’m not hungry now. The last thing I wanted to see was your hairy ass.’

“Last time I saw it, Josh’s ass was pretty hairy, and you never seem to lose your appetite for it.” Mitch shot back over his shoulder.

“It smells like sex in here too,” said Josh.

Mitch paused and looked back as he hid all but his upper chest behind the bedroom door. “Really? Hmm. You might want to wipe the counter off with bleach before you fix breakfast on it.”

“Ewww!” squealed Josh.

Mitch chuckled as he closed the door.

<><><><><>

    • A potlatch is a traditional gift giving celebration of the indigenous people of the northwest coast of North America. They were outlawed in both Canada and the United State until the mid-1900′s due to missionary influence.

Chapter 7: A visit north ties up some ends for Trent.

Trent paused at the plane exit, the cool moist air of early fall a shock to his Oklahoma acclimated system. There was a bump from behind him, and he glanced to see Josh toss a backpack over his shoulder.

“It’s nice. Not like the hundred-degree days we just left.”

Trent turned and gave Josh a light kiss. “You’re absolutely right. One point for Alaska, it’s cooler than Oklahoma.”

“Yeah, I don’t think it would be too hard for anyone to believe it’s cooler in Alaska than Oklahoma. Come on though, I think some of these people behind you might want to get off the plane too.”

“Oh. Yeah.” Trent stepped forward, only to have Josh lurch against him. He pulled Josh to one side when he started shaking. “What’s wrong?”

“I’m fine. It was just a little turbulent. I can make it.”

Josh wobbled up the ramp and entered the terminal. They stopped for a minute to get their directions straight, the pair started at a brisk walk toward the exit. Trent noticed Josh was moving slower and slower, and then stopped outside the first restroom. Trent looked closer at Josh and realized he looked the worse for wear.

“Josh, you sure you’re okay.’

“I dunno. My stomach is not very happy right this minute. Just give me a second.”

He wavered for a few minutes, his breath ragged and his face flushed.

“Josh?”

“Oh god!” Josh dropped his bags and sprinted for the restroom.

Trent gathered up Josh’s bags and followed him at a more sedate pace. He stood outside the stall door to hear retching from inside. “Josh. You okay?”

“Oh fuck, I’m so sick.”

Trent gave a silent smile, hoping it didn’t leak through to his voice. “It’s okay. When you feel better we’ll go.”

After a few minutes of quiet, Trent wet a few paper towels and then held them over the stall to Josh. “Here, wipe your face. It’ll make you feel better.”

There was a pause, then Josh flushed and the door opened. “Damn, I haven’t been that sick in a long time.”

“It’s okay, the descent was a little rough.”

“A little rough, hell! It was worse than the crazy rollercoaster you talked me into at the last county fair.”

“Yeah, I think you puked then too.”

“Oh, shut your pie hole.”

<><><><>

Trent scanned the crowd as they moved through the exit. His uncle had just given him the cryptic information that family would know family. Trent wasn’t positive he had enough family blood in him to recognize anyone, much less a great uncle he had never met. So he scrutinized the crowd in hopes something would trigger a long buried memory.

His eyes were drawn to a stately gentleman with obsidian shoulder-length hair who moved toward them. “I think I see who we’re looking for.”

Josh glanced over. “Yeah, I’d say you’re right.”

The pair closed the distance. Trent stepped in front of the tall man. “Thomas Grant?”

“Yes.”

“I’m Trent.” He paused for a moment and gathered himself. “Your great nephew.”

Trent was suddenly engulfed in an embrace. The hold was tight, Trent exhaled, and his spine popped. The arms retracted and two large hands rested on his shoulders.

“We’ve been looking for you for years. Everyone is so happy you’re back.”

Trent beamed back at the man. “I’m glad too. I didn’t think I’d be able to find you.”

Trent turned and pulled Josh beside him. “This is my…” Trent turned to meet Josh’s eyes and felt his heart connect with his soulmate. “Well Josh is my fiancée, but who knows when we’ll be able to get married.”

Thomas took Josh’s hand and shook it. “Glad to meet my nephew’s husband. It’s great to have both of you in the tribe.” He clasped both men’s shoulders and gave them a warm smile.

“Let’s grab your luggage. If we miss the ferry we’ll have to wait for the next one. I was hoping to give you some time to relax before the potlatch tonight.”

Trent met the man’s strides and they strolled down the concourse. “What exactly is this potlatch?”

He turned and shot both men a smile. “One hell of a party!”

<><><><>

The drums stilled and the echoes of the singer’s voices receded into the night. The dim recesses of the longhouse was cloaked in darkness Trent’s eyes couldn’t penetrate. The potlatch had been going on for hours now and he was stuffed with delicacies from cousins he would never be able to remember. His fingers went up to touch the new earrings one of them had given him. They were tiny raven masks carved from cedar. The smoothness fascinated Trent.

He refocused on the events in time to see his uncle and aunt move into the firelight with a highly patterned blanket across each of their arms. The sharp drumbeat began slowly as they swayed toward the two of them. Trent glanced to each side and realized they had to be coming toward him. Trent’s heart gave a flutter when the couple stopped in front of he and Josh.

“Trent. We are blessed to have you back after all these years. Your presence has given a gift that cannot be equaled. In honor of the tradition of the potlatch, we have these for you and your husband.”

He unfolded the first of the blanket from across his arm and opened it for Trent to see. The striking patterns in yellow and black, with an accent of blue, caught Trent’s breath. He looked again to his uncle who nodded to him. He stepped closer to Trent and draped the Chilkat blanket across his shoulders. The long fringe sways with the movement and then settled with a sensual sway. Trent slid his fingers over the weaving, enjoying the texture as it moved under his touch.

He looked up to watch then put a second matching blanket over Josh’s shoulders. His eyes were the size of saucers when he looked at Trent. He felt more was coming when his uncle turned back to the crowd. “We are excited to have these two with us. My nephew tells me they want to be married. The Haida have long recognized the importance of Two-Spirits in the world. I have decided to sponsor their marriage in the Haida traditions.”

Trent’s mouth dropped open, he looked frantically at Josh, hoping he wasn’t offended. But to his delight Josh smiled at him and shrugged. His muscles relaxed as he turned back to the ceremony. He knew they would discuss it later, but was glad Josh seemed okay with whatever is going on.

They turn as the drumbeat begins again. Trent knows this will be an occasion he will never forget.

<><><><>

“You know, this taking care of their critters is a pain in the butt.”

Darrin leaned against the manure fork and chuckled at Mitch. “Yeah, like when we went to Houston, left everything with them and it all went to hell.”

Mitch chuckled and winked at Darrin as he sat the wheelbarrow down between their two stalls. “That was a completely different thing!”

“Because you were the one on vacation and they were left shoveling shit?”

“Exactly!”

Darrin shook his head and tossed the load from his fork onto the growing pile. “It won’t kill us to help them take care of their animals this once.”

“You know if anything happens to any of them we will have to leave the state.”

Darrin grinned and shrugged his shoulders. “Oh yeah, you got that right.”

They worked together, enjoying the silence and the satisfaction of physical work. Mitch slowed and then leaned against the stall. “You know they exchanged rings?”

Darrin tossed another forkful into the wheelbarrow. “Yup, Josh told me the story. It’s really sweet.” Darrin stopped and looked at Mitch. “Why? I’ve already explained to Josh what legal paperwork they needed in place to get what protection they can.”

“It’s too bad they can’t get married.”

“It’s too bad we can’t get married.” Darrin observed. “But we live in Oklahoma. They aren’t going to change the laws any time soon.”

“No. But I can check with the sheriff. He might know of some loophole we don’t know about.”

<><><><>

Trent stood as if frozen, afraid he would end up in the cold Pacific Ocean. Somewhere along the way, they forgot to mention a traditional Haida wedding involved canoes and an ocean. He could see the sea of red button-blankets on the shore ahead of him. He was in one of the traditional cedar canoes his people had used for centuries. His uncle said there were only a few people left with the knowledge. Trent hadn’t realized the Haida were one of the tribes almost wiped out by small pox. He found it hard to believe only five hundred Haida were left after the epidemic. Trent had heard stories from Sheriff White Cloud about the Trail of Tears for the Cherokee and the Long Walk of the Navajo, but this was the first time he’d heard about small pox blankets being given to native tribes. He was learning his heritage was not all sunshine and drums. Trent stumbled as the canoe shifted.

“Careful cousin, it’s bad luck for the groom to drown.”

Trent shot the figure beside him wearing the raven mask a grin.

“It might have helped if I’d been born a few hundred feet from the ocean. And there sure aren’t a lot of ocean’s close to western Oklahoma.”

“Oh jeez, how can you live in that miserable part of the country?”

Trent looked around, taking in the view around him. It was beautiful verdant country, and there was a tug of attraction. But as he’d discovered when he ran away from Josh, the pull to the harsh Oklahoma prairie was ingrained in him. It hadn’t taken many days in the continual gray and rain of the northwest coast to miss the baking sunshine of home. He loved finding his family, and he would be back to visit. But this wasn’t home.

“Hey, the button-blanket processional is starting. Brace yourself so you don’t end up in the bay!”

Trent readied himself for the final part of the wedding.

<><><><>

They watched some relative of Trent’s as he worked on a new carving. The traditional patterns developed as the long curls of cedar emerged from his gouge.

“That’s amazing.” Josh ran his finger along the sharp delineations.

“Thanks, it was almost lost to us but there’s more interest in traditional skills these days.”

Josh shook his head in disbelief. “The artwork we’ve seen over the last few days were beautiful. Nothing like I’ve seen before.”

Thomas chuckled and nudged Trent. “Maybe because there aren’t a lot of cedar trees a couple of hundred feet tall in Oklahoma.”

Trent nodded in agreement, as fascinated with the skills of the carver as Josh was. “No, biggest trees we have on the ranch is some big ole cottonwoods along the creek. But they aren’t even close to as big.”

“The beadwork the tribes back home do will blow your mind though.”

The carver snorted in derision. “Show me a hundred foot tall piece of beadwork.”

“They’re different, that’s for sure.” Josh gave him.

<><><><>

Trent’s uncle dropped them back off at the house around mid-afternoon. “I’ve got a few things to take care of in town. Since your flight is leaving tomorrow, we’re going to have a few people over. One of the elders wanted to meet you. But you probably would like to relax a little this afternoon.”

Trent let out a sigh. “That would be great. I’ve really enjoyed meeting everyone, but it would be good to get some time to relax.” He turned and flashed a grin at Josh. “Besides, I’d love to get to explore a little. We really haven’t had time to look around.”

“Sure, I can understand that. Just don’t get lost, this isn’t the wide open prairie.”

“Got it, uncle. We’ll be careful.”

<><><><>

Trent sat on the fallen giant, the damp atmosphere filled the air with the scent of moss and a millennium of growth and death to build this natural cathedral. Without a word he motioned Josh to him, pulled him between his legs.

“You having a good time?”

Josh let out a snort and grinned. “I see where you get your bluntness. Your family is a little overwhelming.”

Trent echoed Josh’s laugh. “Yeah, they did kind of tell us they were having a marriage ceremony. That was a little much.”

“At least they weren’t discussing whether you should wear a button blanket or not.”

“And you didn’t have to worry about falling out of the damn canoe either.”

Josh chuckled. “True, very true.”

“Something else is missing you know.”

“What’s that, babe?”

“Well, we haven’t exactly had a lot of private time.”

Josh clasp his hand over Trent’s denim covered crotch. He let out a soft breath as the fire ignited inside him as it did each time Josh touched him. Trent’s hands slid under Josh’s shirt, and let the hair glide under his fingers. As they glided over the hard nubs of Josh’s nipples and Trent smiled at the rumble that drifted from Josh’s chest at the touch.

Josh’s hand closed on his nuts and squeezed harder. The tinge of pain was a needed counterpoint to the heat filling his system. He leaned back on his hands, opened himself to Josh’s desires.

“So what did you have in mind, love?”

“Well, unless you managed to sneak in lube, I don’t think we’re fucking.”

Trent chuckled. “Nope, and I don’t think even I leak enough precum to make up the difference.”

Josh’s hands slid over Trent’s chest. “I’m sure we can find some other way to release a little tension, blow off some steam, pump up the action—”

Trent clasped his hand over Josh’s mouth. “Enough with the bad puns.” He grabbed Josh by the collar and pulled him in, pressed their lips together. Josh’s scent mingled with the aroma of fertile earth that surrounded them, exciting Trent on an entirely new level. He grabbed Josh’s hips and yanked him tight against his own groin, his hands slid down to his ass and squeezed it in his hands.

Josh broke the kiss and pressed his hands against Trent to separate them. “Damn you’re fucking hot.”

Trent chuckled and squeezed Josh’s ass in his hands. “You’re damn fuck’n hot too. Now lets get you out of some of these clothes.”

Trent slid his hands under Josh’s shirt and delighted in the feel of soft hair as it passed under his fingers. They reached his nipples and rubbed over them softly, eliciting low groans from Josh’s lips.

Trent opened the button on Josh’s jeans and then tugged them open, the faint sound of the zipper a quiet counterpoint to the sounds of nature surrounding them. He reached in, clasped Josh’s hard dick in his hand and squeezed it tight, then stroked it from base to tip through the material.

Josh gasped and grabbed Trent’s shoulder for stability. “Shit, it always feels so good when you touch me.”

“Oh, I plan on doing a whole lot more to make you squirm.” Trent plunged his hand into the front of Josh’s briefs and ran his fingers through the thick pubic hair before he grabbed his silky hard cock. He worked his hand up and down its rock hard length and let his jeans drop to his ankles. Trent gripped the top of Josh’s underwear and slid them down until Josh’s clothing pooled at his feet.

Trent leaned back, drinking in his husband’s beautiful body. He ran the back of his knuckles across his hard nipples and was rewarded with a shudder from Josh. He gripped the denser hair nestled across his sternum and pulled it, eliciting a groan from Josh that reverberated through the forest.

Trent chuckled and swatted Josh on the ass. “Hey, a little quieter. We are out in the great outdoors.”

Josh bit his lower lip, glanced around and then shuffled closer to Trent. “Sorry, babe. But you make it feel so good it’s hard to be quiet.”

“Maybe I should give you something to keep you quiet then.”

Josh grinned and pawed at Trent’s jeans, desperate to strip him. With a few quick movements, Trent’s pants were open and Josh yanked them down. Trent smiled as his cock arched out of its confinement to hit Josh across the cheek. The precum drooled out of his slit, but Josh pressed his lips against Trent’s cock, sucked the clear stream into his mouth. Trent leaned back, the thick green moss felt like he was sitting on velvet. He let his hands run over his chest, found his hard nipples and tweaking them with his thumbs. His eyes drifted shut at the jolts from his nipples and Josh’s tongue ran back and forth across his throbbing cock. His breath came in gasps when he realized his body was close.

“Josh, slow down or I’m going to nut right now.”

Josh ran his tongue over Trent’s slit, sent a shiver through Trent and almost drove him over the edge. He gasp, thinking of anything other than how good Josh made him feel. Once the sensations receded, he opened his eyes and looked down to see Josh’s happy face that Trent slapped with his hard cock.

“What’s wrong, stud. Does something have your attention?”

Trent grinned, grabbed the sides of Josh’s head and pulled him up. His fingers dug into the back of Josh’s head while he pressed his lips hard against Josh’s. Trent shoved his tongue inside Josh’s mouth and explored his hot mouth. Trent loved the slight tang of precum flavoring Josh’s mouth. He released Josh and they broke apart with both of them gasping.

“Damn, that was hot. I don’t think we should lay out here with our asses in the air for too long.”

Trent nodded in agreement, trying to regain his breath. He lunged forward, grabbed Josh’s cock, and squeezed it tight. “Let’s see how long you last.”

Josh let out a quivering sigh. “At this rate it won’t take long.”

Trent slowly stroked up and down, his fist twisting at the top of each stroke, delighting in the gasp that escaped from Josh’s lips. With an ornery grin, Trent stuck a finger inside Josh’s mouth while he worked on the hard cock in his hand.

Josh’s eyes flew open as Trent’s finger slipped inside. But he quickly adjusted and slobbered over it. He tongued it like a small cock, his tongue wrapped around it, and left it coated with spit.

Trent eased it out of Josh’s mouth, he grabbed Josh’s nuts, tugged them down hard, and caused a groan from Josh, who spread his legs to give Trent better access. Trent released his sack, slid his wet finger over Josh’s perineum and slipped the tip into Josh’s hole.

“Ah, fuck.” Josh let out a sigh.

Trent grinned and slipped the spit-slicked finger inside, making certain to press it against his prostrate.

Josh’s body began to shake, his ass clamped around Trent’s finger. Trent squeezed Josh’s cock just as he started bucking his release. Trent grabbed Josh’s hip while he pressed his finger deeper inside his man. Josh let out a garbled scream and the first jet of white shot from his crimson cock. Several more jets exploded from his cock, Trent looked down to see his stomach and thighs crisscrossed with lines of semen.

Trent smile as the final shudder move through Josh’s body and a final glob of cum oozed from his dick to slowly stretch out and then hit the leaf-covered ground. Trent stripped the final bit of jizz from Josh’s dick and caught it in his palm. He smiled at Josh as he smeared cum over his aching cock and began to stroke it and play with his nipples. He knew it wouldn’t last long, but he wanted to shoot while he stared at Josh.

Josh’s hand snaked out and he wrapped his fingers around Trent’s balls and rolled them in his fingers. Trent closed his eyes, the wet sound of his hand flying up and down his cock was pushing him toward the edge. The tug of Josh’s fingers on his nuts, the scent of hot cum covered him, Josh’s heavy breath as he recovered, all formed a delicious combination.

Josh lowered himself and put his lips over the tip of Trent’s cock. Josh’s tongue drill into his slit and was the final piece and drove him over the edge. His muscles locked as the first shot raced through his system. Blast after blast shot out of his dick and ecstasy flooded his system. His senses heightened, twisting and looping. Feeling sensations he’d never experienced before.

Trent clamped his eyes shut, trying to block out what he’d just seen. He opened his eyes as the last rumble of passion traveled through his system, and saw the figure of his father fade into the forest.

Trent’s lips quivered. “Did you see him?”

Josh jumped to his feet, wiped the cum dripping from his lips. “See who? Shit! Get your clothes on.”

“Calm down, Josh. If I saw who I think, clothes or no clothes won’t matter.”

Josh gave his husband a quizzical look.

<><><><>

Trent sat in his uncle’s living room, his fingers played with the edge of the chair. His nervousness was obvious to even a casual observer, but Josh could almost taste his unease. Trent glanced over his shoulder again, checking on his uncle who was moving around in the kitchen. When he started for the living room with three glasses trapped between his hands, Trent flipped his head back around to stare at the rug.

Thomas stopped in front of Josh. “Fresh made lemonade. Well fresh as in I just emptied a can of frozen stuff into the pitcher.”

Josh smiled and accepted the offered glass. “Thanks. That was nice of you.” He lifted the glass to his lips and took a sip. “It tastes good.”

He walked closer to Trent and offered him one of the two remaining glasses. It was a moment before Trent came out of his trance, and when he did he took the glass without comment.

Thomas eased himself into the recliner obviously reserved for the head of the household. He leaned back and let out a soft sigh. He raised the glass in a mock toast to the pair and then took a drink. His face twisted. “Dang, that’s sour.”

Josh chuckled a little. “I thought it was just me. Maybe it was suppose to have sugar?”

“Maybe so.” Thomas set the glass down, clasped his hands together and then looked at Trent. “Well, my fine young nephew, great nephew I guess, anyway. I thought you might have a few questions. Since you don’t know much about your family.”

Trent shifted his weight and seemed to consider his words. But he shook his head. “What can you tell me about my dad. I don’t remember a whole lot.”

Thomas reclined against the over-stuffed chair, taking a drink and the tartness never registering on his face. “Well, he was a restless kid. His mom and dad had a lot of trouble. When he was little it was just running away, or getting lost, or just being so absorbed in what was going on around him that he’d forget to come home. Nothing really bad, just like he had one foot in this world and one in another. ”

Trent rolled the glass between his palms, watching the droplets gather until they ran down the glass. “So he was a problem kid?”

Thomas chuckled, but there was no humor in the sound. “You know, a couple a hundred years ago he’d probably have been a shaman. Someone in alignment with the spirits. Now they give you medication and poof—the voices go away. But he was an old soul. Like he knew he wouldn’t live very long.”

“What happened then, after he was a kid?”

“Drugs, alcohol, crazy stuff. Like he was trying to quiet the voices. After his parents were killed—well nothing could stop him. It was like he was trying to die, but didn’t want to actually kill himself.” Thomas dropped his eyes to meet Trent’s. “That’s when he met your mother. She was here one summer with her parents. The blond hair and blue eyes, well for your dad she was exotic.”

“How’d they meet? She never would talk about dad after he died.”

Thomas chuckled. “At an illegal drag race if memory holds right. Your mom was after a bad boy, and your dad couldn’t have fit the bill better. A few tattoos, a couple of piercings, shoulder length black hair, he was the image of a bad boy. And your mom loved it.”

Trent thought about his step-dad, and how he abused both of them. He realized his mom didn’t understand the difference between someone who could make you feel alive, and someone who might end up killing you. “How did they end up in the lower 48?”

Thomas smiled at Trent. “Good to hear you pick up some of the lingo. But to answer your question, they left. It was that simple. One morning I got up to go to one of the spring salmon runs, and he was gone.”

Trent sat silently for several minutes. “What would have happened if he’d stayed?”

“I would have left him on an island in the Haida Gwaii.”

“To get rid of him?” Trent’s voice was sharp.

Thomas shook his head. “No, youngster. To save him. I’d hope the raven and the killer whale would talk with him and help him.”

“He’s talking with a crow?” Trent’s eyebrow shot up.

“Not a crow, raven. I know those goofy southern tribes have coyote, well we have raven.”

“The Navajo have Coyote, they’re a couple of states west of us.” Josh chimed in with information.

Thomas waved his aside. “Not quite the same, but similar. Anyway, even if you don’t believe in the spirits visit’s, spending a month by yourself on a small island will snap some sense into a youngster.”

Trent nodded, squeezing Josh’s knee when he started to talk. “Okay, so my dad and mom ran off. What happened then?”

His uncle shrugged, dejection covered his face. “I don’t know. They just disappeared. I tried to find him. After the European diseases almost wiped us out, it became even more important to know where everyone was. So I searched, tried law enforcement, other tribes, everything I thought might work.”

He inhaled deeply, obviously impacted by what he had to say next. “Someone found my address in his wallet and contacted me to tell me he’d been killed in an accident.” He turned to Trent. “That’s when I found out you’d been born. I tried to find your mom and convince her to come back to Haida Gwaii, but she was already gone. I tried to find you, but I was always just behind. I was furious your mother turned you over to Human Services.”

He gave Trent a smile. “It would have been easier if you hadn’t kept running away.” The solemn look returned. “Then you disappeared, I was afraid I’d lost you.” He slapped Trent’s leg and gave him a warm smile. “Then, out of the blue, you call. That was a great day.”

Trent gave signs of the internal struggle for several minutes. “Where is Dad buried?”

“Here on the island. I had the remains brought back.”

“Can I see the grave?”

“Of course.”

<><><><>

Trent stood looking at the headstone. Josh had stepped back, giving Trent some private space, but close enough that in the verdant silence Trent could still hear his quiet breath. He flipped a glance over his shoulder to see his uncle waiting beside the jeep. He looked back to the marker, already wearing a coating of moss like a fluffy goose down comforter. Trent eased himself down, kneeling on the soft ground as he pulled a few stray weeds from around the base of the stone. As Trent patted the lightly disturbed soil back into place, he started to speak, almost in a whisper.

“It’s been a long time, Dad. I’ve really missed you. I can’t even begin to tell you how much. Some nights, when I was little, I’d pretend you were coming to tuck me in, kiss me and tell me to get some sleep. I wouldn’t of course, so you’d read me a story until I would crash. Some nights that kept me sane.

I still remember you taking me camping to the Wind river, and talking about how the salmon came to feed the Haida people. I remembered every thing you said, every totem you talked about.” Trent got a lopsided grin. “Okay, maybe not all of them, I was pretty young. See, I have them as tattoos.” Trent pulled back his sleeves to display his artwork. He touched them gently, and then let the sleeves drop.

“Sometimes I was fucking pissed at you too, Dad. Why did you leave me alone? I needed your protection. There were nights I wanted to die. My body was being used, but my mind was with you. But I remembered you said Haida come back into the newest babies.” Trent shook his head, realizing he was rambling. He took a deep breath, filled his lungs, and then let it out in a rush.

“It’s okay now. Josh and I are married. We’ve already been through some bad shit. So life has to be better from here on out, right?” Trent chuckled. “Yeah, Mitch would tell me I was full of crap too.”

Trent traced his fingers across the face of the stone. Feeling the marks of humanity across the face of nature. “This place isn’t home for me. I already miss the heat and sun of the plains. Apparently the sheriff has turned me into some kind of Kiowa wannabe.” Trent chuckled again, but then became solemn.

“I’m glad I found your people, and I hope you are already reborn and fishing some river around here. I’ll come back and visit—” Josh’s hands landed on his shoulders. “—Even if my home is in a concrete bunker in a hillside in Oklahoma.”

Josh leaned over and kissed the top of Trent’s head. “And goats, don’t forget the goats.”

“Jeez, who could forget our menagerie?”

Trent rose to his feet, turning to take Josh in his arms. He held Josh tight for several long minutes before releasing him with a tear filled smile.

“It’s time to go home.”

<><><><>

Darrin paced the floor, not certain why he was so upset, but his stomach was churning with the news the boys were married. He understood it was a tribal ceremony. He got the connection it was no more binding than he and Mitch’s ring exchange. But still—

“I don’t get it. You’re gone for a week, and you have a secret marriage ceremony?”

Trent ran his hand through his hair, confusion evident on his face. “It just sort of happened. You couldn’t have flown to Alaska for a day. Why are you so upset?”

Three sets of eyes watching Darrin as he paced the floor. His glance to Mitch yielded only a raised eyebrow. He knew he should think through the entire sequence of events more carefully, but he wasn’t in the mood for being reasonable. Something snapped when Trent and Josh spilled out the story of their trip, and left Darrin in a foul mood.

Mitch slid to the front of the chair he’d been reclining against, took a drink of his beer, then stood and stretched. “I think this conversation can wait. It’s late and everyone is tired.”

Josh and Trent scrambled to escape the confusion of Darrin’s anger. They said their goodbyes and escaped to their own house. The screen door snapped shut, reverberating through the house as Mitch walked to the kitchen, his bare feet making no sound as he retrieved two beers. Walking back he settled onto the couch, handed Darrin his beer and then laid back and put his feet in his lap.

“So what’s crawled up your butt?”

He bristled at the implication. “Nothing. I just think it was fuck’n stupid for them to get married in Alaska.”

Mitch watched Darrin for a few minutes, then tilted the bottle back and took a drink. He sat the beer on the floor beside him and stretched his arms above him, and waited.

Darrin twitched with unease, Mitch’s close proximity always had an effect on him. The relaxed pose he’d taken up this time was classic Mitch, and it made Darrin refocus on the scent of his husband, filling the air around him.

“Stop it. It’s not fair to use your magic powers over me to get me to be reasonable.”

Mitch chuckled and shook his head. “What the hell are you talking about?”

“You know how sexy you look all laid out like that?”

“Does this make it better?” Mitch grabbed the tail of his tee and pulled it up, exposing his flat stomach and the hair fanning across it. The same peek that had driven Darrin crazy when they first met back in college. Darrin’s crotch tightened as his cock responded to the show Mitch was creating.

With a gleam in his eyes Mitch continued his teasing show, lifting the shirt until his hard nipples protruded above the dark hair surrounding them. Darrin leaned down, put his splayed hand over Mitch’s torso and let his hand explore it. “Yeah, maybe. You are just as sexy as when we first met.”

“Really? What about now?” Mitch flexed his abdomen, lifted himself off the couch and peeled the shirt off to launch it across the floor. Lowering himself in tiny increments, Mitch lifted his arms behind his head, exposing his thick hair of his armpits. Mitch’s mating scent filled Darrin’s being. The sharp pheromone curled through his nostrils, sending electric pulses of lust to his now throbbing cock.

Darrin leaned in, letting both hands trail up Mitch’s muscular body. “Not fair.” Darrin whispered just before he lay across Mitch’s body. The hairs rippled under his sensitive hands as he slid them across Mitch. He lowered his mouth, taking Mitch’s hard nipple between his lips and let his tongue flick out and tease it’s tip. The faint taste of sweat and Mitch flooded his mouth, and fire pulsed through his body. Soon having coated the first nipple, he moved to the second and gave it the same lavish care. The rumbling noises Mitch rewarded him with curled through his system. He wanted Mitch.

Darrin pushed himself off his lover, jumped to the floor and stripped, his clothes scattered around the room. His cock flexed as he freed it, a strand of precum flung from its tip. He attacked Mitch’s jeans, cursing the button when it fought back, but winning in the end. As he slid the zipper down, exposing more beautiful dark hair, Darrin licked his lips in anticipation.

Darrin grabbed the bottom of Mitch’s pants and gave them a sharp tug. Mitch lifted his hips and wiggled down, trying to help Darrin as he undressed him. As soon as Mitch’s bare ass touched the couch, Darrin yanked the jeans off and threw them across the room without another thought.

He looked at his man’s naked body under him and started stroking his aching hard cock. He knew what he wanted, he wanted to mark Mitch as his, and he wanted to work off his aggression and frustration on his husband’s hot body.

“Get on the floor.” Darrin ordered Mitch.

Mitch smiled, loving this facet of his husband like he did all the others. He was fine with Darrin being the aggressor, he knew whatever happened, and they would like it. Mitch decided to make this part of the show for Darrin.

He threw his leg over so he was face down on the couch, he slowly humped the sofa, arching his back and moaning in exaggerated erotism. He glanced over his shoulder to see Darrin toy with his deep red cock, his eyes fixed on Mitch’s ass.

The gyrations of his butt as he slid up the couch cushion held Darrin’s rapt attention. Deciding to up the ante, Mitch reached back and grabbed both halves of his hairy ass and pried them apart. Then he pushed the stakes higher, taking his finger and letting it slide over his puckered hole.

“Oh fuck.”

“Like what you see, babe?”

Darrin fell on him like a starving man and buried his face in Mitch’s ass. The scents and textures that hovered around him drove Darrin harder. He wanted his man, he wanted all of him. He curled his tongue and drove it into Mitch’s ass like a small hard cock. He rubbed his face over each of Mitch’s butt cheeks, his goatee grabbing the whirls of hair lining Mitch’s crack.

Darrin broke his connection and rocked back on his feet, the look on his face, wonton hedonism. Darrin drew back his hand, bringing it down hard on Mitch’s ass. The sound of hand against butt rang through the room. Mitch shook his butt and moaned softly.

“Move it, stud. Over on the rug.” Darrin menaced Mitch with his upraised hand.

Mitch gave Darrin a lustful look, spit from Darrin’s work on his ass dripping down his crack and over his balls. Darrin watched him crawl across the hardwood floor, Darrin wanted him more than he had in years. The sight of Mitch’s act at subserviency, played against Darrin’s boiling lust, was more than he could contain.

He flew behind Mitch, ready to punch his dripping cock into his man. Mitch glanced over his shoulder, seeing what Darrin was going to do, he flipped over, panting with desire as he sat on his butt. Darrin looked down at him, wondering what happened.

“No. Not like that.”

Darrin took a deep breath, his dick jumping with unfulfilled desire. With a nod he acknowledged the mistake he almost made. But the sight of Mitch’s masculine body was more than he could resist. He lowered himself, pressing Mitch’s striated back against the high pile of the neutral rug, until he straddled Mitch’s chest.

“I want this, I want to have you.”

Mitch laid all the way back, interlocking his fingers behind his head and leering at Darrin. “Go for it, college.”

Darrin leaned forward, his teeth gritted for control as his cock scraped against the hair on Mitch’s torso. He kept moving lower, bracing his arms on either side of Mitch’s head. Twisting his pelvis, he pushed his cock through the hair on Mitch’s muscular torso and between his pecs. A sigh escaped his lips and he groaned as his cock completed its first push forward. Two rough hands caressed his butt, driving him forward.

“Mitch, this feels amazing. God, you’re sexy.”

The hands tightened on his buns, almost pinning him into place before releasing him. “Good, It feels great to me too.”

Darrin moved again, pressing his crotch hard against Mitch’s hard chest. His body started slowly, but soon a trail of precum had seeped out of Darrin and his cock was sliding across a well-lubed trail. The heat built, his balls tight as he moved across the muscular planes of his husband. Fingers brushed across his nipples, adding a final burst to ignite his fire.

Cum barreled through Darrin’s system to shoot across Mitch’s chest, his body trembled with each round of jizz added to the white latticework across Mitch’s chest. His arms shook as he held himself barely above Mitch’s head, his body threatening to collapse as the final round fired and left a final pool of white above Mitch’s bellybutton. Hands closed around his face and looked down to see love gather in Mitch’s expression.

“I love you.”

Darrin’s soul wrapped itself around those words, pulling them into himself. He carefully balanced on one arm and caressed Mitch’s face.

“You’re so beautiful, and I love you so much.”

Darrin gave him a quick kiss, and slid down his torso, gripping his thick cock and starting to jack it. With a few strokes, Mitch collapsed against the floor, groans escaping his lips. Darrin smiled as Mitch began to tremble. He flicked his tongue over Mitch’s hard cock.

“Shoot it on me, baby. Shoot on my face.”

Mitch’s body arched with his words, the first jet caught Darrin under the chin, with the next a line of white appearing from his eyebrow to chin. Darrin’s tongue darted out, tasting the translucent gel. With a final tremble and moan from Mitch punched up last of the cum in his system. Darrin took it in his lips, drinking it down.

Once he’d slurped the last bit of cum from Mitch’s cock, he looked up to see Mitch smiling at him.

“What?”

“Better mood now?”

Darrin chuckled. “Mighty big words for a man whose dick is still in my hand.”

Mitch chuckled and stretched, his supple body shifting in the light. “I ain’t afraid.”

<><><><>

“What do you mean Zach is coming? Why the hell would you invite your vanilla ex-boyfriend to visit?”

Josh let out a sigh. “First, I didn’t invite him. And second, who cares? It’s not like I’m going to jump his little twink bones. I’ve had sex with you, why would I want to go back to one scoop of vanilla when I’ve got a triple-decker banana split?”

Emotions flickered across Trent’s face too quickly for Josh to categorize. But he recognized the one it settled on, humorous resignation.

“So I’m a banana split, huh.”

Josh folded his arms over his chest and studied Trent for a moment. “You have the biggest banana I’ve ever seen.”

Trent couldn’t maintain his air of anger and started laughing. Shaking his head, he pulled Josh into a tight hug. “It’s a good think I love you.”

Josh kissed Trent and then grabbed his wrists. Trent cocked an eyebrow. “There’s more…”

“He’s bringing his husband, and their kids.”

Trent began laughing, sliding his hands out of Josh’s he gave a playful slap on the arm.

Josh looked confused. “I thought that would set you off.”

“Why? Zach’s not going to get away with anything. What his husband doesn’t catch, the kids won’t let him get away with.”

Josh nodded in agreement, a smile spreading over his face. “True, very true. This should be an interesting visit.”

<><><><>

Josh stood with Christopher, and watched Trent and Zach play with the twins. Josh had to admit, if someone created children from Zach and Christopher, these kids were them. Light complexion and white blond hair, they looked like smaller versions of their dads.

He smiled at the toddler’s antics. “They’re cute kids.”

Christopher glanced over and then beamed at his children. “They’re great. They’ve sure changed our lives.”

“I can only imagine…”

Josh walked over to the rug the kids were playing on and squatted beside them. “Hey would you two like to go see the horses?”

Timmy stumbled to him and Josh caught him just before he fell. “Horthy?”

“Yup, you can see the horsey. Maybe even pet him. How does that sound?”

“Good! Ammy! Go see horthy!”

Sammy waddled to his twin, falling into Josh’s lap with a delighted giggle. Josh helped them both up, and started outside with them. By the time they got to the door, Christopher had moved to the other side and helped get the kids out. They ambled to the newly rebuild stables. Josh could hear the shuffling inside and then both horses stuck their heads over the stall doors and peered at the kids.

<><><><>

Zach shook his head as they moved out the door. He turned with an odd look to Trent. “I’m not much of an outdoor guy. I changed majors after my first year in college when I realize ag wasn’t for me.”

Trent toyed with his nails for a minute, trying to feel comfortable with his man who Josh had loved, at least at one point. The kids had provided a convenient distraction from each other.

“What’s your major now?”

Zach let out a soft chuckle. “Computer science.” He winked at Trent. “I can help Chris find all the porn he can deal with.”

Trent let out a chuckle at Zach’s humor, feeling his defenses soften. “It is important to keep the porn files straight.”

“Yup!”

Zach looked out the window, seeing the toddlers coming out of the stables and toward the goats. “I can’t believe Josh still has those nasty goats.”

Trent let out a chuckle. “The goats are ours now, I bought half of them. They saved the ranch last year.”

“Saved the ranch, huh. Sounds like a bad plot for a graphic novel.”

Trent moved to the kitchen and began cleaning up from the morning mess. As the hot water filled the sink, he slipped the dishes into the soapy water. As he finished washing the first dish, Zach was at his side and began to rinse and dry the dishes as Trent washed them. They worked in silence until they’d cleaned and stored away the morning’s dishes, once Zach put the twins bottles in the drainer. Trent turned to him.

“You’ve changed…”

Zach chuckled as he dried his hands. “Raising two babies forces you to grow up. And with those two cuties how could you not step up and take care of them.”

“Well, they look just like you two. That’s pretty impressive.”

Zach chuckled and carefully laid the towel across the counter. “Christopher’s sister donated the eggs, the sperm was mine. So they are our kids.”

Trent’s mouth formed an O as implications occurred to him. After a few moments, he turned back to Zach. The conversation suddenly taking on a relaxed tone.

<><><><>

Josh and Trent stood at the front door, waving as the family drove off in their oh-so-suburban mini-van. They enjoyed the time together, going much better than he’d hoped. Zach had a new maturity, and Christopher was the perfect match.

“Who would have thought Zach would have made such a good dad.”

“A few years ago he wouldn’t have. He’s changed. Christopher is a good match.”

Trent looked at Josh. “Sorry you let him go?”

Josh began laughing, taking several minutes to regain his composure. “Christopher confided in me that he thinks Zach is kind of kinky. They’re a great match. We’re a better match.”

Trent wrapped his arms around Josh and pulled him in for a kiss. “Their kids are cute though. Did you know Christopher’s sister was the egg donor and Zach was the dad?”

“Really? Well that would explain a few things. Like how the kids look so much like them.”

Trent kissed Josh again. “I want kids too.”

“I know, babe. We’ve talked about it and I’d like kids too.”

“I have an idea…”

“Oh god, should I be scared?”

“Maybe, it involves Darrin’s sister.”

Josh looked at him and started chuckling. “You better start working on that one!”


Chapter 8: Marriage, children and the finale.

Darrin shaded his eyes with his hand, wondering who was creating the boiling dust cloud he could see coming down the road. As it slowed to turn into the ranch, he could see the familiar insignia of the county sheriff.

“Hey Mitch, Jim is coming.”

Mitch leaned the pitchfork against the stall he was cleaning and walked out into the sun, enjoying the warmth of the Indian summer day. He pulled off the worn leather gloves and shoved them into his back pocket. “Wonder why he’s coming for a visit…”

Neither of them could be sure whether this was a pleasant visit, or one that would send their again peaceful world into upheaval. The sheriff had brought both Josh and Trent to the ranch, but now the two were married, well as married as two men could be in Oklahoma. He and Mitch had been enjoying the drama free weeks since the pair had returned from Alaska. They walked over as the car rolled to a stop.

“Hey Jim. Nice day to be out.”

Jim White Cloud pulled off his grey cowboy hat and ran his fingers through his iron and steel colored hair. He slid the hat on and cocked it to the back and smiled at the pair.

“Don’t worry. I’m not here on official business. Well, not official county business anyway.”

Mitch lifted his eyebrows. “Oh?”

“You know how gossip spreads around here. Nanna heard about the boys Haida wedding. It didn’t set to well for some northwestern tribes to be stealing ‘her’ Two-Spirits.”

Mitch started chuckling. “Well have her ream those two then. Darrin would probably help.” The scowl Darrin shot his direction only increased the volume of his laughter.

Jim grinned at Mitch and slowed his laughter. “Oh, she’s going to talk to them too. But since you two are members of the tribe, she wanted you to have a traditional wedding.”

Mitch glanced at Darrin and lifted his eyebrows, looking back to the sheriff. “Traditional wedding?”

“Yes, we are a sovereign nation. I’m not exactly sure what that means to the state government, but it means quite a bit to us.” He paused and grinned at the pair. “Don’t worry. You’ll have a good time.”

Mitch nodded weakly, conflicting emotions swirling inside him. Sheriff White Cloud walked back to his car, chuckling as he went. Once he was inside, he rolled down the window, and with a huge grin across his face asked, “By the way, how do you boys like breechcloths and leggings?”

Mitch snapped his head toward Darrin and the two locked panicked eyes while the sheriff drove off roaring with laughter.

<><><><>

Josh slowly walked to the porch of the low-slung white house. The grass giving a typical late summer crunch of dormancy under each footstep as they walked closer to the figures sitting quietly on the porch. As they entered the shade, Josh was relieved to have entered the tiny oasis typical of every country home on the Great Plains. He looked back to see Trent lagging behind, looking like a truant school boy being taken to the principals office. Josh understood the feeling, he hadn’t been able to shake the fear that they were in trouble since Sheriff White Cloud had told them his grandmother wanted to talk with them.

Trent had been fine, until Josh had explained she was a Kiowa elder, and kind of spooky perceptive about stuff. But even if they weren’t both a little afraid of her, which they were, they would have still came to see her just because the sheriff had asked. Josh looked back and motioned Trent forward.

“Come on,” Josh said under his breath, “They’re waiting.”

Trent nodded in acknowledgement, but if anything slowed his pace. After a few more steps, Josh circled back, grabbed his arm and pulled him to the porch.

“Hello, youngsters. Come. Sit.” Josh lifted his head to see the smiling face of Nanna White Cloud. He admired and respected this woman, and she was always so kind and supportive. It was impossible to not enjoy talking with her. It was like visiting the repository of ancient knowledge about how a people could live in this god-forsaken region of the country without drying up and blowing away. In fact, the tribe seemed to be grounded in the bedrock of the region and could face almost anything and survive. They had been some of the first people to show up after the tornado hit the ranch headquarters. The couple stepped onto the porch and was greeted by the dull thud of a boot on hollow wood as the three people on the porch rearranged the chairs and pulled two more over for the guys.

“Hello, Mrs. White Cloud. Looks like it’s gonna be a hot one.” Josh tipped his cap onto the back of his head and smiled as he looked at the other people.

“Hello, Joshua. I believe you’re right. Going to be pretty hot. An Oklahoma scorcher.” Nanna smile at both men and then motioned to the other two people with her. “This is Jim Horse Thief and Emma Carson. They’re friends of mine, us old folks like to sit and chew the fat ya know.”

Josh and Trent nodded, their apprehension built with each tick of the clock. “Please, boys. Have a seat. We just wanted to talk.”

They moved slowly, looking like scared fawns that were ready to scramble for cover at the first sign of a threat. They settled into the padded chairs and then took the drinks Nanna offered. Trent took a drink from his glass and smiled at the refreshing chill of iced tea down his throat. Settling his glass on his knee, he focused on the three older people.

“Well, how have you boys been doing?” Nanna took a sip of her tea.

Trent exchanged a glance with Josh. “Good, Ma’am. Keeping busy.”

“Yes, young people need something to use up all that energy that’s wasted on them.” Nanna wiped her forehead with a cloth she had been fanning herself with. “I hear you boys been up to Alaska.”

“Yes, Ma’am. We went up to see my father’s people.”

“Haida? Right?”

“Yes…” Trent’s internal warning lights flashed impending disaster signals, but he couldn’t figure out how to avoid the plunge off the cliff. “We had a nice visit.”

“We hear you got married, traditional Haida ceremony.” This time the other two elders leaned forward for Trent’s response.

“Yes, best as they could figure out. No one remembers ever having a two-spirit wedding before.” Trent broke into a grin. “Josh got the girls part.”

Josh shot Trent a stern look and his face colored deep red. All three of the elders chuckled and bobbed their heads. “Yes, the Kiowa have wedding traditions too.” A mischievous glint came to Nanna eyes. “We steal our wives.”

Trent and Josh exchanged glances while the three chuckled over some inside joke. After a few minutes where the air filled with sophomoric laughter, Trent cleared his throat. “I’m sorry, Ma’am. But I don’t think we understand what you mean.”

“Please, youngster, call me Nanna. Everyone else does. And I think we’ve had enough fun at your expense, so we should explain.”

“Yes, ma’am…Nanna.” Trent got a nod and a smile. “We are a little confused.”

“Well, you know two-spirits mark good things for the tribe. Until Darrin and Mitch moved in, we hadn’t had anyone in a long time.” She glanced at her other guests. “At least not brave enough to tell anyone. Certainly not a couple.” She beamed at Josh and Trent. “But now we have two couples. Unbelievably good for the tribe. But one of them snuck off and got married under another tribes traditions…”

Trent’s lips formed an O as he took in the information. “So you want us to do a traditional Kiowa wedding? You want me to—steal—Josh?” Trent couldn’t suppress the chortle that came out. He turned to Josh with his lips pressed hard against each other.

“How do you feel about being stolen?”

Emma chimed in, “Or buy him with horses. That’d work too.”

Laughter spewed from Trent. Josh’s lips were twisted up like a baler had gotten to them.

<><><><>

Trent lifted the dress pants from the rack and let them fall back in place. He turned to look at Josh and the corner of his mouth quirked.

“You really aren’t thinking this is what we are going to wear for the wedding. Somehow I don’t see us wearing a three-piece suit to the wedding where you get stolen.”

Josh took a deep breath and let it out. “Yeah, I know. I just don’t want to look stupid. I think that’d embarrass Darrin, and he’s been kinda pissy ever since we got back from Alaska.”

Trent chuckled. “Yeah, I finally asked Mitch what was up. He said not to worry about it. Said they had some stuff in the works that would fix everything.” He shrugged and started flipping through the shirts. “And no, he didn’t tell me what. Just that they had some stuff going down that would fix it.”

Josh had the sensation of someone watching them. When he turned, he saw a big guy going through jackets a few rows over, but nothing else. Turning back to Trent he nodded. “Ok, then I’ll try not to worry about it. I guess we can go look for some new Wranglers and some dressier shirts.”

“The western store is just down the street. Let’s go see what they have.”

Josh followed Trent to the door and into the warm early autumn sunshine. They covered the distance when Josh felt prickles along his spine. “Hey, is there a guy following us? Big redheaded guy with a John Deere cap?”

Trent looked over his shoulder to the largely vacant sidewalk. “Nah, I don’t see anything. Just a couple a blue-hairs shopping.”

Josh tried to relax, but kept feeling like they were being followed. He stopped to look in the window they passed, and had to agree with Trent, he didn’t see the guy again. He relaxed measurably. Josh followed Trent into the western store and lost themselves in trying to decide on the perfect clothing for them to wear to the wedding. They’d finished up and were standing on the sidewalk when Trent got a grin on his face when he spotted a coffee shop. He turned and grinned at Josh. “I want a chai tea.”

Josh’s face screwed into a scowl. “Ick! I don’t see what you get out of that.” He let out a low chuckle. “But while you’re there, I wouldn’t mind a latte.”

“Yeah, make fun of my tea, country boy.” Trent chuckled and bumped against his husband. “No problem, weanie. I’ll get your latte.”

“Meet ya back at the truck.” Josh smiled as Trent headed to the coffee shop. Josh turned to take their purchases to the pickup. He arrived to find a huge dually pickup parked so close he could just get the door open. Dumbass! Parking so close.

“Hey.”

Josh spun to find a huge guy standing at the other end of the pickup, blocking him in and too close for Josh to close the door and escape the other direction. All the pieces flowed together as he recognized the hulking presence he’d been feeling all day. I thought we were safe. I thought it wouldn’t come to this. But this guy looks crazy.

Josh’s pulse raced, steeling himself for a fight because he wasn’t going down without one. “Hey. Can I help you with something?”

The brute stepped closer, starting to raise his arms. “You Josh Edwards? That gay guy from high school.”

Josh tried to figure how would be the best defense. He knew he couldn’t get into the pickup before Sasquatch caught him. Damn. He has to outweigh me by a hundred pounds.

“I’m Josh, and I’m gay. So I guess yeah I’m who you’re looking for…”

The bulking man suddenly rushed at Josh, grabbing him around the chest. Josh started to struggle, realizing he’d let his arms get pinned. Shit! Shit! Shit! He started to struggle, knowing he needed to be screaming his head off for help. As he filled his lungs with air…

“Thanks!”

What? What the fuck! Did he just say thanks? Josh stopped, trying to make sense. Suddenly the grappling hold seemed more like an enthusiastic hug. “Thanks? For what? Do I know you?”

The large man released Josh and moved back an arm’s length. “Probably not. I was a sophomore when you were a senior. Just a skinny redheaded kid.”

“Well, what are you thinking me for then?”

“Your speech, at graduation.”

“Yeah…”

“Well. This sounds corny, but it saved my life. I knew I was gay, and couldn’t take the guilt. I had everything planned to kill myself, and then I heard you talk. I decided there was at least a little hope. I’m Matt by the way.”

Josh’s mouth dropped open as he tried to recall that tirade he delivered to most of the town. Josh was shocked to realize he couldn’t even recall the details of the speech. He looked at the freckled face with the mass of red curls exploding from under a green cap, trying to imagine how he’d had this kind of impact on someone he’d never known until now. Suddenly a question came to Josh. “Why were you stalking me then? Why didn’t you just talk to me?”

Matt’s face turned deep red at the question. “I was embarrassed. I am afraid you’d think I was weird.”

Josh started laughing as Matt’s face got even redder. He shook his head and noticed Trent walking slowly up to them. He motioned him closer. “Hey Trent, come meet a friend of mine.”

<><><><>

Darrin urged Lady forward through the sand plum thicket. The trail so narrow through the dark skinned bushes that his chaps were scraping through their almost thorny branches. The fruit long gone, the low-slung trees still were used for shelter by a lot of animals. He was hoping one of the animals needing shelter was their missing cow.

Mitch stood in his stirrups and called across the thicket to Darrin. “Hey! You find anything yet?”

“Nothing. You sure she’s missing?”

Mitch shot Darrin a scowl. “Yes, I can count that high.”

“Don’t be bitchy, I was just asking.”

Mitch started muttering. “You want bitchy? I can show you bitchy. Make you think bitchy. Ass. Hole.”

Darrin chuckled but didn’t reply. He knew how much it frustrated Mitch to have an animal missing, and they’d been looking for two days now. Darrin was afraid that they were going to find the remains instead of the cow. Although between the brush and the cedars, you could hide an army in here and we’d never know it. Darrin yanked back on Lady’s reins, forcing the mare back a step or two.

“Hey Mitch! I think I heard something.”

“What’s going on?”

“I heard something, and no it’s not mice across the dead leaves.”

Suddenly the world whipped into a maelstrom of events too fast to differentiate. Lady let out a squeal and bolted as the foliage around them exploded. Mitch fought with Storm, who reared when the mahogany demon jumped between them. Darrin’s feet slipped from the stirrups and time slowed as he pitched backward from the startled horse. His impact on the unforgiving ground knocked the air out of him and left him stunned.

Darrin watched through dazed eyes as the struggle played out between Mitch and what ended up being one of their bulls. I told Mitch that son of a bitch had crazy eyes. But with that thought the bull turned and let out a deep snort as he looked at Darrin sitting on the ground between the huge cedar trees. Darrin began to crawdad as he realized the bull was targeting him and the metallic taste of fear as Deja vu flooded his body.

Just as the bull charged, a red and white streak shot across Darrin’s field of vision. The streak erupted into a snarling, barking tornado as Max threw himself at the bull. Not questioning his luck, Darrin struggled to his feet and looked around in time for a shadow to fall across him. He looked up and found Trent with a hand extended.

“Come on! Lady is half-way back to the house.”

Darrin grabbed Trent’s hand and jumped as he heard a loud snort from the frustrated bull with the quick annoyance Max was becoming. Darrin landed with a thud on Whitey and grabbed onto Trent like a lifeline. His grip was iron clad as Mitch and Storm thundered back into the tableau playing out before Darrin’s horrified eyes.

“Come on! Let’s get out of here!”

Trent touched his heels to his horse’s flanks and they were off with a lurch. Darrin calmed his adrenaline filled system with each length they were away from the crazed bull. He looked back to see Storm nudging a cow and calf into the opening to have the trio take off at a run.

With a piercing whistle, Trent called Max back to them. A grin covered his face as he glanced back to Darrin. “That was close! You’re lucky Max and I were coming out to help you look for the cow.”

Darrin flashed back to the near miss that got him and Mitch together and started to shake. Sweat beaded on his lip when Storm came to a bounding stop beside them. He looked at Mitch with a faint smile. “We have to stop meeting this way.”

A smile erupted on Mitch’s face. “Yeah, I think twice in a lifetime is plenty to have your butt saved from some bull or another.”

Trent raised an eyebrow and looked from one man to the other. Focusing on Darrin he asked. “So getting rescued by the handsome cowboy is some habit of yours?”

Mitch leaned over and patted Darrin on the back. “It’s kind of how we met. But that bull was trying to hurt someone. This one was protecting his cow. They’re gone.”

Darrin twisted and looked back at the now quietly grazing animals. He shook his head and turned back to Mitch. “He’s gone. I don’t want to worry about getting to close to whatever cow he’s decided to protect.”

A thoughtful look crossed Mitch’s face. “I have an idea.”

<><><><>

Josh spun toward Trent, his face a twisted mass of conflicting emotions. “You sure this is going to work? I don’t think this is such a good idea.”

“No, for the one-hundredth time. She may tell us no way. Probably will. It’s not like this is a reasonable thing we’re asking.”

“I know, I know. It’s not reasonable, it’s actually pretty crazy. But it is Darrin’s sister, so she might understand.”

Trent glanced over at his husband. “What did Darrin say?”

“He didn’t say much, other than he couldn’t guess what she’d say.” A grin appeared on Josh’s face. “He did say there’s no one worse than a convert.”

“What the hell does that mean?”

Josh shrugged. “I dunno.”

They drove for a few miles in silence, each wrapped in their own concerns and worries. They both knew their chance of success was microscopic. Even if Darrin’s sister agreed to their wild scheme, the costs were going to be astronomical. The white frame house in the cluster of trees they were barreling toward was getting larger.

“That’s it, I think.”

“Yeah, just exactly how Darrin described it.” Josh took a deep breath and exhaled noisily. “Well, here goes nothing.”

A thought suddenly occurred to Trent. “Why at her mother’s house? Why didn’t we meet her at her own house?”

Josh’s eyebrows arched across his forehead. “Oh shit! I never thought of that.”

Trent let out a chuckle as they turned into the gravel driveway. “Well I don’t know either, but remember what Darrin said about his family.”

“I know, I know. No cussing, and don’t be surprised by some of the things they say.”

They rolled to a stop in front of the house and sat in the pickup for a few moments. They looked at each other and with similar expressions of ‘what the hell were we thinking?’ etched across their faces. But they couldn’t just not show up now. They were expected, and Darrin had kind of stuck his neck out to make things easier too. But they were asking—a lot.

Trent smacked him on the shoulder. “Come on, this isn’t going to go away just because we suddenly became chicken shits. We got to at least ask, and hope something bad doesn’t happen.”

Josh nodded in agreement and their doors opened with synchronized precision. The walk to the front door was interminable, and once they arrived they stood for several minutes before Josh reached up and knocked. The door flew open and Darrin’s mother appeared in the open doorway.

“Come in! Come in! I wondered when you boys were gonna show up. I’ve got iced tea already fixed and in the icebox. Ya’ll sit in the living room and I’ll bring us all a glass of tea.”

Josh followed Trent into the room she had motioned them toward, and found Darrin’s sister smiling at them. She met them half way across the room and hugged each of them in turn. “I’m glad you guys could come. It sounded real important.”

They looked at each other and then Josh shrugged. “It is important. But if you don’t mind we’ll wait a few minutes until your mom comes back.”

Dana nodded and settled back into her chair and watched the two. The asthmatic window unit kicked off and on several times while they waited, punctuating the Texas heat. Trent had started examining the room when Diana arrived with the drinks. “Here we go. Sorry it took a little while longer. But I know how you people like your fancy tea so I have chamomile, mint and green for you to pick from.”

Josh and Trent exchanged a glance, understanding why Darrin had warned them about his mother. Josh glanced at Dana to see her reaction, and got a flicker of a smile and a shrug. They grasped their glasses of tea and settled back into the overstuffed chairs. After a few sips from each of them, Josh leaned forward, and almost set his glass on the table until he saw Dana’s eyes get large. Trent smiled, and handed him a coaster. He sat the glass carefully on the tiny cloth square and turned to look at the two women.

“Well, I’m sure you’re wondering why we’re here. I just want to say that while our request is unusual, it isn’t without a lot of thought. We hate to put this kind of pressure on you, but we thought you’d be the perfect person.” Josh looked from face to face and even Trent looked expectantly. “Yeah, well. I guess that makes it clear as mud. I guess just need to put it out there.”

Trent patted Josh on the back and turned to Dana. “We wanted to ask you for eggs.”

Dana looked at them both. The thin lines of her eyebrows almost touched. Then they shot across her face when the full impact of the request settled on her. “You want my eggs?”

“Yes, ma’am. We thought it would be like part of the same family. Cause Darrin is basically like a father to both of us.”

“My eggs… For a baby.”

“Babies. One from each of us,” added Trent.

“Two babies. Oh.”

“Yes, ma’am. Two babies. Like paternal twins, kinda.”

Dana sat down her glass, her hand trembling slightly as her condensation coated tumbler landed on the coaster. “I think I need some air. I’ll be right back.”

They watched as Dana made her way out the door and into the simmering Texas heat. Darrin’s mother turned with a smile and met their gazes. “She just needs a few minutes. How are things going back at the ranch? I heard Darrin say something about raising rodeo bulls?”

They talked for quite some time, Josh would occasionally catch a glimpse of Dana as she walked past a window. But Darrin’s mother never seemed to notice. The later afternoon sun came through the window and they moved to the cooler dining room.

Diana grabbed their glasses and headed for the kitchen. “Heavens, these got warm. Let me refill these for you.” She glanced back at the pair. “Green tea for both of you?”

Trent and Josh plastered on a smile and nodded. “Yes, ma’am. That’d be great.” She disappeared into the kitchen and Trent turned to Josh. “I can’t handle much more of that tea. It tastes like piss.”

Josh glanced back to make sure she hadn’t heard Trent. “Shh, keep it down. We don’t need any trouble. Dana is still outside walking, I think she’s been doing it so long she has a path worn.”

“Not quite. But close.”

The boys spun to see Dana standing in the doorway, her face solemn. Josh’s heart sank at the expression on her face. He could tell the news was not going to be what they’d hoped.

Dana moved to the couch opposite the pair, and settled in with a sigh. She looked at them with a smile that didn’t quite reach her eyes. “Let’s wait until Mom comes back. It’ll save me from saying it all twice.”

Josh nodded and slid back in his chair, he noticed Trent was perched on the edge of his seat, his nerves far too taut to let him wait calmly. All three of them jumped when the door to the kitchen banged open and Diana traipsed into the room carrying a tray of drinks. She carefully lowered them to the table and then picked up one and handed it to Dana.

“I heard you talking so I fixed you a Dr. Pepper. I thought you might be thirsty after all your walking and thinking.”

Dana lifted the glass to her lips and drained half before lowering it again. Josh took a drink of his tea without thinking and immediately regretted it. As he struggled to swallow, he at least had the consolation that Trent had made the same mistake. But he got it down quickly when Dana cleared her throat.

“First, I want you to know this was not an easy decision. I thought and I prayed. I tried to decide what God would want me to do.”

Josh groaned inwardly, afraid of the direction of the conversation.

“But after all that, I decided that this is what I need to do to balance out my inaction years ago when that poor child died.”

Trent and Josh looked at each other then looked back at Dana. “So the answer’s yes? You’ll give us eggs?” asked Trent.

This time the smile was genuine. “Yes, that means I’ll give you some eggs. I think I have a few to spare.” After a pause, she turned to her mother. “So Mom, what do you think?”

Diana slowly put her glass on the table. Josh knew she was upset because she didn’t use a coaster. She steepled her fingers together and looked at each of them individually. Finally her gazed rested on her daughter, and she smiled. “Yes, heavens yes. I think it’s a fantastic idea. And these boys will be great dads.” She grabbed her glass again and started downing it like a shot of scotch.

Dana took another sip of her pop and grinned at the boys. “What about the mom?”

They glanced at each other, both wearing a confused look on their faces. “What do you mean?” Josh finally asked.

“The mom. Who’s going to carry them?”

“Oh. The surrogate. We don’t know yet. They’re really expensive so we might have to wait a little while. But we can freeze the eggs, so you don’t have to worry about that.”

“Well, what if I carried them?”

Trent spewed his tea back into the glass. Josh managed to remain somewhat calmer. “You? You sure about that?”

The sound of glass shattering filled the room and everyone turned to find Diana with a look of utter shock on her face and a puddle of tea and glass beside her chair. Josh dashed to the kitchen and grabbed a roll of paper towels while Dana moved to comfort her mother.

“It’ll be fine, Mom. I think I kind of owe Darrin something so carrying his grandkids would be good, I think. It’s not like I need to worry about not working or anything.”

“People are going to talk though, sweetie. What will we do about the rumors?”

Dana snorted. “They’ll always gossip about something. We might as well give them something really juicy.”

“Well this should keep their tongues flapping for…well, for years.”

Dana nodded and then turned back to Trent and Josh as they cleaned up the last of the glass and tea from the wooden floor. “Looks like you have the eggs, and the incubator. When do we start?”

Josh’s grin split his face from ear to ear. “Give us a while to figure it out. We still have a wedding to plan, and I have a feeling it will be a doozy.”

Dana squeezed her mother’s shoulder and nodded. “I heard about the double wedding. It should be great. We wouldn’t miss it for the world.”

Josh turned to Trent and smiled, having already tried on the breechcloths once.

<><><><>

Darrin looked at himself in the mirror. How did I let myself be talked into this? “If I wore this into a leather club in Dallas I’d be hit on by half-a-dozen dudes before I made it to the bar.”

Mitch let out a chuckle and wolf whistled at the sight of Darrin in leggings and breechcloth, which managed to show off strategic parts of his butt. “Well, I think you’d be in more demand than the guys who were just wearing assless chaps. I mean, look at you. There must be a hundred hours of beadwork on just the breechcloth, not to mention the work on the leggings.

Darrin looked down at the outfit, feeling both proud, and incredibly self-conscious at the same time. The designs on the regalia required an incredible artistic eye, the colors and patterns were so intricate and dazzling that he didn’t know what to think. The thing that amazed him even more, their outfits were theirs to keep. And no one would let them pay for the work. But from the amount of twittering and head nodding among the ladies who had made them, Darrin began to feel like a dress up doll for them.

Mitch let out a disgusted snort and turned to Darrin. “I have to trim up. Otherwise I’m going to look like a pint sized wookie in this thing.”

Darrin turned from the mirror with a grin plastered on his face. “Last time you did that, you bitched for a month about how much it itched.”

Mitch considered for a minute and then nodded. “Yeah, it did. I don’t want to do that again. What if I wear a shirt under the vest, and trim where I have to?”

“I don’t know. It isn’t like a white cotton shirt is traditional outfit.”

“I know, I know. I guess I’ll just have to clip it and deal with the consequences.”

“Get the clippers and I’ll help you. We’ll just shear it close, it has to be better if we do it that way.”

Mitch retrieved the clippers they used on his hair every few weeks and handed them to Darrin. “Go ahead. Just try and leave what you can.”

“Well, you’re going to have to strip. I don’t think you want little diamonds and stuff cut into your hair.”

“I don’t know. It might be kinda fun.”

Darrin shot Mitch a scolding look. “Strip.”

Mitch chuckled as he unfastened the elaborate costume and carefully laid it on the bed. Darrin walked over and flipped on the clippers. He looked at Mitch for a moment then turned it back off. “Hang on.”

Darrin trotted to the bathroom and emerged with two large towels. He laid them side-by-side and then flipped the clippers on again. “Stand on them. I don’t want to be explaining why Mac is shedding so much.”

Mitch grinned and stepped onto the towels. Darrin quickly cleaned up the places where the leggings and breechcloth didn’t cover. Then he stood in front of Mitch and looked at his hairy chest. “We have to clip it. I don’t see any other way.”

“Do it. It’ll grow back. I don’t wanna piss off Nanna.”

“Ok.” Darrin plunged the clippers over Mitch’s pecs and soon a blizzard of dark hair fluttered to the towel. Darrin carefully clipped around each nipple, holding them out of the way as he did. He heard Mitch’s breathing deepen and looked down to find him hard and leaking. With a smirk on his face, he ignored Mitch’s shaft, until he’d sheared off the last of Mitch’s treasure trail.

By then a silver strand trailed from Mitch’s cock. Darrin pressed the vibrating clippers against it, and smiled at Mitch’s groan.

“Like that?”

“Oh yeah, babe. That feels nice.”

Darrin ran the tip of his tongue along the underside of Mitch’s dick and then flicked it in his slit.

“And how about that?”

“Oh, God. Come on, suck it.”

Darrin stood up and turned off the clippers. “Nope, not ’til after the wedding. You’ll just have to wait.”

Mitch looked at him with disbelief etched across his face. “Motherfucker!” He stomped toward the bathroom, his hard cock bouncing in front of him.

“No jacking off either!”

“Asshole!”

<><><><>

Josh started chuckling as he watched Trent try and put on his outfit, around a rampant erection. Trent continued to fight with his cock, just making it even harder. In a fit of frustration, he turned on Josh.

“What the fuck’s so funny?”

“My man trying to force his big dong in the little breechcloth, that’s what’s so funny.”

Trent pulled his cock from the edge of the breechcloth and shook it at Josh. “You should come help me then.”

“Nah, I don’t think it would be good on our wedding day,” Josh chuckled.

“Oh yeah, it’d be good. Damn good. Cause my dick isn’t going in here unless it gets some relief.”

Josh walked closer and wrapped his fingers around Trent’s hard cock and started stroking him slowly. “What if I just get you all hard and hot and leave you like that? How would that be?”

Trent growled at Josh. “Is that the way you want this day to go?”

Josh chuckled. “Ah, maybe not. What if we try this?” Josh knelt, then leaned in and sucked the head of Trent’s cock into his mouth. He swirled his tongue around the rim of his cockhead, tasting the faint tinge of precum.

Trent wrapped his fingers around Josh’s head and pinning him tight as he slowly pushed his cock in and out. Josh closed his eyes and focused on the wonderful sensation of Trent inside him. The thick juice that Trent exuded was always delicious, and today it seemed particularly sweet to Josh. He lifted his hands and grabbed Trent’s ass, the feel of beadwork under his fingers reminding him of the special nature of this day.

Josh slipped a hand under Trent’s breechcloth and trailed a finger up and down his crack. He sank it deeper with each thrust of Trent’s pelvis into his mouth. A few moments later he had found his goal and twitched his finger across Trent’s pucker. Trent’s fingers tightened around Josh’s skull and the pounding came hard and fast.

Josh fought to relax, knowing it wouldn’t be long. But the blast of cream Josh expected didn’t happen quickly enough and Josh had to breathe.

“Fuck. Give me a sec,” Josh panted.

Trent grabbed his hard cock and jerked it furiously. A few heartbeats later his beat off rhythm became erratic in a signal that Josh knew oh so well. He leaned forward, his mouth open to signal his willingness. Trent grunted as he released the first volley which left a broad white stripe across the bridge of Josh’s nose. The second caught the edge of his mouth and his tongue darted out to lick it clear.

Josh pressed his mouth against the tip of Trent’s dick and was fed stream after stream of hot seed. The volume was enough that a thin stream trickled from the corner of his mouth. Josh stroked Trent’s leg as the trembling lessened until he stood steady and his breathing was only slightly faster then normal.

Trent leaned down and ran his tongue over Josh’s face, licked through a strand of cum and then kissed Josh and shared. Time held still as the blatantly masculine exchange became one of love. The pair was oblivious to the changing numbers on Josh’s watch, until a pounding sounded at their door.

“Hey!” yelled Mitch, “You two gonna join us?”

Josh glanced at the clock. “Shit. Sorry, Mitch, we’ll be there in a sec.”

Josh could hear Mitch stomp away. He turned to Trent with a grin. “Hey you need to tuck it in, we’re on stage in about 5 minutes.”

<><><><>

Trent tried to focus on the ceremony, but after everything that he and Josh had already been through, they’d already seen worse. He checked himself quickly though, better not to call trouble. Besides, he couldn’t wait until the stealing part. He and Josh had practiced it some, he didn’t want to drop Josh when he grabbed him at a gallop.

His attention snapped back when he heard his name. “Trent, do you have the ring?” He realized they were to the ring exchange. He and Josh had the rings they’d given each other months before, but for this ceremony they were going to do it again. He easily slipped the highly polished ring he’d gotten Josh over his finger, started to lean in for a kiss, but remembered where they were at the last moment. He rocked back on his heels, working to maintain himself as he watched Josh fumble through the one pocket they’d put inside the vest so they could at least carry a few small things.

Josh’s hand shook like an aspen leaf in a summer thunderstorm. Trent worried Josh might drop the ring his hand shook so hard. He glanced up at Josh’s face, only to find silent tears rolling down his cheeks. Josh smiled feebly then Trent could see him grit his teeth in a herculean effort to put the small round shape on Trent’s finger. Trent let him try, almost laughing out loud at the importance they were putting on this symbol, when they’d already lived through most of what kills marriages.

But then Trent looked at the ring he’d been wearing for months and remembered. He flashed back to that day. How bad he wanted to lose it on Josh for trying to use his dog to move goats. But then they’d spotted the ring tightly wedged around the young goats horn. He shook his head at the shear improbability of finding that ring after losing it in the same tornado that had almost killed Josh.

Suddenly the importance of the moment hit him with more force than the North Canadian during spring flood. His eyes began to twitch and burn, he fought it tooth and nail. But then it happened, a tear rolled down Trent’s cheek.

Josh let out a mini snort, and got a chuckle from Trent. But then Trent felt a firm hand on his as Josh slipped the out-of-round ring over his finger. The ring moved slightly and with an almost imperceptible motion, it settled into it’s usual home. Trent caught Josh’s hands and held them. He whispered to Josh. “Only for you…”

<><><><>

Darrin watched the touching scene with the younger men. He was glad to see the effect on Trent. Josh had been confiding in him all week about his case of nerves, but Trent had been so nonchalant about it. It did Darrin good to see a few tears in the boy’s eyes, all for good reasons. It meant his past was slowly being replace by his present life with Josh. He’d also gotten some odd questions from Dana about the boys, he needed to get them cornered and find out what they were cooking up.

Nanna cleared her throat and nodded at Darrin. “The ring please.”

Darrin nodded and slipped Mitch’s ring over his finger. His finger didn’t show a line of untanned skin. At first Mitch not wearing his ring had bothered Darrin, but he’d understood when Mitch had explained that when you are working around equipment, and they had plenty, a ring was a great way to lose a finger. After that discussion, he had been fine to see the ring resting on Mitch’s dresser each day.

Mitch was equally confident in his motions and his ring did settle into its usually spot without any problems. The remainder of the ceremony seemed to finish in the blink of an eye. Their kisses were exchanged… and then it got interesting.

There was really no way to steal him and Josh. It wasn’t like they could sneak up to the teepee at night, scratch against the tanned buffalo hide and roll from under it. So between Trent, Mitch and Nanna, they’d concocted this wild pickup for both he and Josh. They had practiced it a few time, but with the only saddle being a blanket, they ended up eating dust as often as not. Darrin sincerely hoped it worked for both of them this time.

They all moved to a large, flat field where the event unfolded. He’d been wearing the outfit for so long that he’d gotten used to it, but from some of the smiles from his friends who were attending, he’d be hearing comments about this day for a long time to come.

Nanna stopped at the edge of the field and gently patted them both. Darrin watched as she settled into a lawn chair to watch the spectacle with everyone else. He turned to Josh, surprised to see the flush of excitement on his cheeks. “You ready for this?”

Josh nodded and ran his hands over his clothes. “Yup, I’m pretty pumped. I think it’ll be fun.”

Darrin smiled and moved to the opposite side of the field shaking his head. Fun wasn’t exactly the term Darrin would have used to describe this, but it hadn’t seemed as half-witted months ago when it had all been proposed. Now it was his turn to be nervous, his palms kept sweating as he thought more and more about what could go wrong, then he heard a yell that would terrify their meanest bull, picked up by most of the guest until it drown out everything else.

Suddenly Trent and Mitch burst from the ridge above them and raced toward him and Josh, urging their horses on.

<><><><>

Trent spotted both men, standing in the ankle high buffalo grass, their breechcloth’s swaying in the slight breeze. Trent focused on Josh and urged Whitey down the slope toward his husband. 30 feet. As he raced toward Josh, everything slowed until it seemed like one of those documentaries where you was watched the individual wings of the bumblebee move through the air.

He caught the look on Josh’s face, nothing but confidence. 20 feet. The bits of dirt and grass flew from racing hooves, spraying an arc as the horse slid into a turn. 5 feet. Josh was poised, arm outreached with a grin on his face. Mitch leaned to the inside of the turn, his arm extended. At the same instance hands grasp forearms and locked.

Using the momentum of the horse, he slung Josh through the air and he landed with a pop. Josh tucked himself against Trent, clamped his legs around the horse and his arms around Trent. Once he felt them fuse together, they leaned forward and raced toward the creek like the hounds of hell were on their heels.

The wild race lasted only long enough to get them out of sight, and he sat up and Whitey slowed accordingly. At a gently lope, they could catch their breath. “Hot damn!”

Trent turned his head and chuckled. “What was that for?”

“It worked. The crazy ass thing actually worked. Darrin got on too. So everyone is good.”

“You saw ‘em?”

“Yup, just as we topped the ridge. They were headed to Anniversary Hill.”

“How do you know?”

Josh laughed at his husband. “Because Darrin is awful at keeping secrets. Although there wasn’t really much for him to spill. We all knew that’s where they’d spend their honeymoon.”

Trent motioned to the bend in the creek where they had spent so many enjoyable times. “Kind of like us?”

Josh snorted and then cracked up at his own noises. “Yeah, exactly like us.”

<><><><>

Mitch jumped off the horse and turned to watch Darrin carefully swing his leg over his neck and then jumped to the ground. He let out a low groan that set Mitch into a fit of laughter.

Darrin scowled at him. “What’s so freakin’ funny?”

“You.”

Darrin crossed his arms and raked Mitch with an even harsher glare, which then evaporated into a grin. “I’m too old to be yanked onto a running horse.”

“Too fat too. About wrenched my arm outta its socket.”

“Fat? You surely are not stupid enough to say my ass is fat on tonight of all nights.”

Mitch’s smile deepened and the laughter rose in volume. “It’s good to know you haven’t gotten any less easy to tease over the years.” He wrapped his arms around Darrin and pulled him tight to his body. “I love you, babe.”

Darrin smiled and shook his head. Leaning closer he kissed Mitch. “Love you, too.”

Mitch returned the kiss and then looked at the camp that he’d planned. Friends of theirs had helped with everything. With Emma in charge of the details he had no concerns. But Mitch scanned the area for one specific item, the cooler. Finally finding it, he strode over, lifted the lid, and then closed it again with a satisfied nod. He turned to Darrin.

“There’s short and T-shirts in the tent so you can change. Put the wedding stuff in the plastic box so it’ll stay clean.”

“Why? Usually you don’t care about stuff like that.”

Mitch’s eyebrows lifted. “I overheard someone speculating about how much they’d cost to have made.”

“And?”

“It was over five-thousand dollars.”

Darrin’s mouth fell open. “What?”

“That’s what he said. Ten-grand. I want to put them all in display frames. Trent has been threatened too.”

Darrin’s lips form a silent oh as he looked down at the intricately beaded pieces of clothing. Suddenly conscious that he was wearing expensive artwork, he started to take it off where he stood.

Mitch began to chuckle. “Go ahead. If they’re peeping in on us, they deserve to see naked hairy asses.”

Darrin paused for a moment, then shrugged and carefully undressed. He folded the individual pieces and laid them carefully in the box Mitch had brought. He considered staying naked, but then pulled on the shorts and tees that Mitch had brought. Just in case someone decided to check on them. Once he’d wiggled into the shirt, he found Mitch standing with a box of matches.

“Go ahead and start the fire. I’ll be out in just a few minutes.”

Darrin found the wood ready, just waiting for a match. With the scratch of it against the box, the match exploded into flame and he carefully laid it on the puff of starter. Within a few seconds, a compact flame licked at the smallest twig. Darrin carefully nursed the fire as he waited. He jumped and let out a squeak when a hand grabbed his shoulder. Darrin spun, to find Mitch doubled over laughing.

“Damn, that’s one of the funniest things I’ve seen in a long time.” Mitch was still chuckling when he pulled up two of the campstools and sat down on one. Darrin fed the fire slowly, building a nice flame. He worked on it until he was giving it pieces as large as two fingers and then sat beside Mitch.

“OK, I have a fire going. Now what? I’m hoping you have some food in there. ‘Cause I’m starved.”

Mitch’s eyes twinkled. “Go check.”

Darrin shot him a questioning look, but then walked over and popped the lid. He stood there for a few moments and looked like he was on the verge of tears. He began moving his mouth, but no sounds emerged. Finally Mitch walked over with a smile and started pulling out food that had special meaning to them. The first one was something no one else would understand, a package of thick sliced baloney.

Mitch pulled out the pans and other cooking stuff, and soon had baloney frying in the skillet. Darrin sat still, amazed his husband remember those special baloney sandwiches they shared so many years ago in the Texas Hill country.

“You. How. You rem—”

“There’s elk steak too. Just about everything we’ve had at important points in our lives together.

Darrin stood speechless as his wonderful husband cooked him a meal of memories.

<><><><>

Josh pulled the food from their cooler and lay out a delicious meal. He shook his head as he sprinkled a little salt and pepper over the ribeye steaks Trent had packed. As he worked on the accompaniments for the meal, he saw Trent shake his head.

“What’s wrong?”

“Oh, nothing. I was just thinking about what Mitch packed for them.”

“Why?”

“It was such weird shit. Like baloney and okra.”

Josh shrugged. “Who knows? They eat strange crap sometimes.”

Trent nodded in agreement.

They worked together and soon had dinner fixed. They sat quietly on a blanket and enjoyed each other’s company. The sun lowered itself enough that their tiny valley was in shadow, while the hilltops surround them were frosted crimson and umber. A light breeze blew across the water and drew the flames into a dance. The pair had stripped out of their regalia too, but had op’d to wear only the gym shorts Trent had packed.

Josh grinned at Trent. “Lets go swimming.”

Without a backward glance, Trent dropped his shorts and began walking into the creek. He sat on the sandy bottom and waved Josh to join him. “Come on, get your ass in here. This is the best idea you’ve had all day.”

Josh waded into the creek and sat down between Trent’s legs. The cool water slowly swirled around them as they enjoyed the palette of the setting sun. Josh leaned in and kissed Trent on the chin. “How do you like being married?”

He let out a barking laugh. “About the same as I did in Alaska. None of them are legal. I mean, I appreciate all the work everyone put into it. But…” Trent shrugged.

“Hopefully, soon.”

“How about we just make out instead of thinking about that crap.”

“Sounds like a fantsti—”

Trent cut him off with a hard kiss to the lips. His hands clasped around Josh’s neck as he dragged him closer. His kisses turn down Josh’s chin, planting soft kisses along its entire length. He ran his tongue along the edge of Josh’s ear. Josh sighed as the soft beginnings of pleasure travels through his body. He reached out and caressed Trent’s chest, finding his nipples and flicking them gently with his thumbs. Josh’s breathing became ragged, when Trent stopped.

“Come on. Let’s get on dry land.” Trent held out his hand and Josh took it in his. The pair moved to the blanket and lowered themselves to it. Josh ran his hand over Trent’s flat stomach, wrapped his hand around his cock and squeezed it.

“Damn, you are so hard. You just came a couple of hours ago.”

“What can I say, rapid recharge.”

Josh chuckled and ran his tongue along the underside of Trent’s cock. He dropped his hand lower, wrapping it around Trent’s balls and tugging on them while he trapped the head of his cock in his mouth and traced the tip of his tongue along the underside.

His focus shattered when Trent sucked his nuts into his mouth and began running his tongue over them. The heat and pressure were too much. He could feel his cum rising.

“Fuck! Ah, shit.”

Josh tensed, the first stream spraying from his deep red cock. Josh cried out with each ripple of his muscles. Trent licked along its length and Josh shuddered.

“Damn! Sorry, it happened so quick.”

Trent kissed him tenderly, and then flicked his hard nipple. “Nothing to be sorry about.”

Josh shook again at the sensations. Then he grabbed Trent and started stroking his rock hard cock. “Fuck me. Now.”

Trent cocked an eyebrow. “Don’t you want to wait a few minutes?”

“No. Now.”

Trent grinned and retrieved a small bottle of lube. Josh felt the breeze of dusk quickly followed by the wet slickness of the lube Trent pushed inside. He pulled his knees higher, opening himself as Trent slowly fingered him. The normal deadening of desire gone, he felt each stroke of Trent’s finger in exquisite detail. Josh was shocked that with the last drop of white cum dripping from his cock, it was beginning to plump again.

The friction sparked along Josh’s nerves as Trent eased him open for what he knew would be a wild and fast ride. He smiled at the sight of Trent’s cock, throwing off strands of precum. The sensations traveled through him until he reached the point where his only sounds were light mewing noises coming from between his lips.

Trent moved between his legs, put his hands on the back of Josh’s knees and pushed forward. Josh sucked in air when Trent’s hard cock pressed against his hole and then pierced it without a pause. A lancet of pain shot through Josh and he tensed, but Trent pushed his hard member deeper. Josh felt the stretch as Trent’s thickness descended inside him, and then the fire hit Josh’s system as Trent slid along his prostate.

Josh let out a guttural moan and dug his bare heels into Trent’s hips. Josh’s mouth hung open as Trent ground deep inside him. Josh focused on Trent as he began sliding out until just the ridge remained inside Josh then suddenly plunged deep inside.

“Ah, shit!”

Trent grabbed his waist, ramming deep with each snap of his hips. Josh rode the elation of Trent’s lovemaking. He took his lips between his teeth, his thrusts erratic. Josh dug his heels in harder in response, urging Trent on. He reached up and started playing with his nipples, adding to the flood of pleasure surging through his body. Josh arched his body upward, moving with Trent, wanting more.

Trent slammed Josh hard, sliding him across the blanket, and exploded. Josh sensed the warmth filling him, grabbed his hard cock and started jerking it. He wrapped both hand around his now stiff cock and pounded it while Trent emptied the last of his seed into Josh. As he came down from his orgasm, he began caressing Josh.

“Come on, babe. Shoot for me.”

Josh felt a familiar churning, his muscles contracting in delicious symphony. His ass clamped around Trent’s cock, loving the sensation of its semi-stiff girth inside him. With a final surge, he shot.

Josh felt the final ecstasy followed almost immediately by a thick stream of jizz curled across his chest. As he milked his second orgasm of the night, his cock belched out globs of cum. With a final straining groan, the finale dripped to his crotch. Josh dropped back, panting hard. Trent lifted his hand, and gently ran his tongue over it, loading his tongue with semen. He leaned down, kissing Josh and slipping a little of his cum between their mouths. Josh moaned at the intimate action, and his body was surrounded with the scents of their lovemaking. After several delicious minutes, Trent broke the kiss and looked down at Josh.

“I think we’re going to need another swim.”

Josh chuckled contentedly, running his hands over his slick chest, enjoying the sensation of cum leaking from him. “You think?”

<><><><>

Mitch lay back, looking at the stars above them in the perfect black night, the cool breeze running over his chest, his arm around Darrin. “Perfect night.”

Darrin tilted his head and kissed Mitch’s forearm. “It is. ‘Course this hill is the best place to look at it from too.”

“Agreed.”

“I’d never want to live in town. We couldn’t do this.”

Mitch glanced down at their naked bodies lying across the air mattresses and blankets they’d brought to sleep on. The fire a few feet away giving off a soft pop from time to time. In the distance the faint sounds of one coyote calling. It was an idyllic setting. With an ornery grin he turned to Darrin.

“Would you miss the naked nights on anniversary hill, or the scenery?”

Darrin kissed Mitch and then ran his hand down his chest. “Your naked body is part of the scenery.”

Mitch rolled toward Darrin until he lay across his chest. He lowered his head and ran his tongue around Darrin’s nipple. Mitch teased it for several moments before lifting his head and blowing across it gently.

“Umm, feels good,” Darrin said.

“Good. Then just relax.” Mitch turned slightly and ran his tongue between Darrin’s pecs. Reaching his throat, he kissed it gently, moving upward until his last kiss landed on Darrin’s chin. With a grin, he planted a kiss on Darrin’s nose.

“So what did you think. About today?”

Darrin looked into Mitch’s dark sparkling eyes, marveling at the fight it has been to hold them together. But amazed at the fact they were still here, still together, after so many years.

“I think I’m glad you didn’t drop me.”

Mitch started laughing again and kissed Darrin on the forehead. “Well relax, and let’s see if I can’t make you remember why you love me.”

Darrin grabbed Mitch’s face. “Never doubt that I love you…never.”

Mitch grinned and slid his hand over Darrin’s stomach. “I don’t, babe. But it’s still good to hear.” Mitch gave a childish grin and wiggled lower, taking a swipe at Darrin’s nipple as he did. Soon his tongue circled Darrin’s navel, fingers lightly playing with his nipples. Darrin tensed as Mitch moved lower, then forcefully expelled the breath he held when Mitch’s hot tongue slithered across the underside of his cock.

Mitch swiped his tongue over the swollen head a few times, enjoying Darrin’s response. His fingers drifted through his thick bush, wrapping his fingers around it and tugging lightly. His hand shifted lower and he watched for Darrin’s response as he took his balls in his fingers and tugged on them gently.

“Ah, shit. That feels nice.”

Mitch let his fingers glide downward, searching. He scooted lower, his face between Darrin’s legs, and pushed them upward. Prying Darrin’s butt cheeks apart, he ran his finger over his twitching hole. Mitch blew lightly over it, watching it convulse under the attention. He leaned forward and ran his tongue over the pink opening.

Darrin groaned and grabbed his legs, pulling them higher and exposing himself to Mitch. Mitch spread his ass and lapped over his hole again. After several minutes of working over it, Mitch leaned back and looked at his husband. Darrin’s eyes were closed and a fine sheen of sweat covered him, his breath came in shallow gasps. Mitch gently pried Darrin’s hands from his knees and lowered them to the ground. He crawled back up Darrin until they were face to face.

“How was that?”

“Fucking fantastic!”

“I think it’s my turn, whatda you think?”

“Bring it, babe.”

Mitch crawled higher until he could spread his butt over Darrin’s face. The sweet feel of Darrin’s tongue over his hole created delicious electricity for Mitch.

Darrin looked up at Mitch’s fantastic hairy ass. The whirl of dark hair over each ass cheek remained one of the sexiest things Darrin had ever seen. As Mitch’s ass descended, Darrin was assailed by the wonderful musky scent he so easily identified as Mitch. Darrin lifted his face and buried it between Mitch’s cheeks and began feasting on prime man.

His tongue danced along its edge, coating hair and butt with thick trails of spit. Mitch slid himself back and forth while Darrin darted his tongue in again and again as he sampled the feast of Mitch. Grabbing his thighs, Darrin pierced Mitch’s hole with his tongue, pressing in his flesh spear. With that, Darrin lost himself in the pleasures presented to him. His actions filled the air around them with soft animal sounds as Darrin pressed himself hard into Mitch’s crack and licked and ate it.

Mitch showed his appreciation with his sighs and exclamations. His need built with each pass of Darrin’s tongue. The sparks of lust were turning his body into a brush fire of desire. His cock was steel hard and dripping, precum slung from it with each twitch of Mitch’s body. He needed it, he needed Darrin inside him.

“Damnit. I need fucked!”

Darrin grabbed his cock and waved it at Mitch. “Climb on board!”

Mitch grabbed at the bottle of lube he’d dropped nearby and smeared it over his hungry ass. He dipped a couple of fingers inside himself and moaned. Crouched over Darrin’s cock he aimed it, then lowering himself down its length. The entry was the perfect combination of pleasure and pain, driving Mitch crazy with the building lust. He pressed down relentlessly until Darrin’s pubes were tickling his ass cheeks.

“Ah fuck…”

Darrin had his hands over Mitch’s thighs, enjoying the texture slide under his palms. Mitch rocked slowly, his mouth draped open. Darrin loved the hot sensation as it curled around his cock. His focus sharpened even further when Mitch began to fuck himself with mini-thrusts. The motion became longer and longer until he was pulling almost out, Darrin’s cock head on the edge then dropping back onto it. The slack-jawed expression on Mitch’s face loud testament to how intense the feelings were.

“Having fun, babe?” said Darrin.

Mitch smashed himself against Darrin’s crotch, sending amazing jolts of pleasure through his body. “Damn straight I’m having fun. But this’ll be more fun.” Mitch began bouncing up and down on Darrin’s cock, riding it like an obscene pogo stick. The waves of pleasure built for Darrin, each bounce scrapping along Mitch’s tight ass. He slammed himself down on Darrin and began grinding his ass in a circle.

“Ah, fuck. That feels amazing.”

Mitch let out a groan as his eyes fluttered. “You should feel it from here.”

Darrin felt his cock sweep through Mitch’s gut. The steamy man he was buried in was driving him to the edge. He fought it down, wanting this to last, this delicious taste of masculine sex. But Mitch knew his buttons too well. As he balanced on the precipice, Mitch grabbed his nipples and twisted them.

“Holy shit!”

Darrin grabbed Mitch’s thighs and began pounding into him. He rabbit fucked upward as the wave raced through his system. As the ecstasy hit, his mind clouded with delicious climax and his body pulsed as it shot into Mitch. The ripples of hedonism rolled over him as he distantly felt his body convulse again and again. As the last pulse flowed from inside him, he distantly became aware of Mitch rubbing his nipples. The sensation built until his entire body was too sensitive to touch.

“Oh, stop. Please. Ah, fuckin’ hell.”

Mitch grinned at his spent husband as he slowly stroked his dripping cock. His body was still a live wire, the sex having inflamed each bit of his system. He was handling his cock like loaded dynamite, which it certainly was loaded.

“How you feeling?”

Darrin ran his hand up Mitch’s thigh. “Wonderful. Really, really mellow.”

Mitch let out a snort, unable to stop touching himself. “I always figured you were one of those pot smoking college professors.”

Darrin looked at him confused, then smiled. “No, dude. No pot in my office.”

“Darrin.”

Darrin ran his hands over Mitch’s body, enjoying the after sex euphoria. “Yeah, babe.”

“I’m so close.”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah.”

“Go for it, babe. Shoot.”

Mitch’s hand flew along his shaft as he stared. His face scrunched as he added a second hand and ground his ass against Darrin. A few seconds later his head dropped to the side and a stream of cum shot out. In rapid-fire succession more ribbons of cum bisected his chest. With a final groan from his lips, Mitch stripped the last cum from his dick then collapsed.

He lay panting for a few minutes while Darrin gently caressed his body. Then Mitch looked up with a smirk. “You’re all icky. I think you got cum on you.”

“And whose fault is that?” Darrin chuckled at Mitch’s expression.

“Not me! Nope. Couldn’t be me.”

“I don’t suppose you thought to pack something to wash up with.”

Mitch cast a glance around the tent and then looked back at Darrin with a smirk on his face. “How do you feel about ice water?”

<><><><>

Darrin knocked Mitch’s feet off the coffee table then handed him a beer. He joined him on the couch and took a drink from the bottle in his hand. “So, you’ve done what?”

Josh looked at Trent for moral support and then turned back to Darrin. He forced a smile on his face and continued. “Yup, your sister volunteered to be the egg donor, and hatch ‘em”

“Hatch them?”

Josh flushed red. “Well, you know. She’s going to be our surrogate mom.”

“Ah huh, and just what made you think this was a good idea?”

Josh stammered for a minute then turned back to Trent. An unspoken assent passed between them and Trent took over the narrative. “Well, because she’s your sister.”

Darrin glanced at Mitch, who shrugged. “Yeah, go on.”

Trent looked back at Josh as the silence stretched between the two couples. Finally Mitch thundered. “Oh, for God’s sake. Just spit it out!”

“Well it’s kinda like you’re our parents…” Trent began.

“Which in some ways make you and Josh’s relationship kinda twisted,” said Mitch with a smirk.

Trent lifted an eyebrow at Mitch. “Yeah, well this should twist your jockstrap then. Josh and I think of you as our dads, so we wanted eggs from Dana so the kids would be your grandkids.”

“What the fuck!”

“Shit!”

“You can’t be—”

“What the hell do you mean–grandpa.’

Trent and Josh both started laughing. Finally they caught their breath as the older couple shot them incredulous looks. “Don’t sweat it. It’ll probably take a couple of years before there are any babies around here.”

Darrin looked at Mitch with a look of disbelief on his face. “Grandchildren?”

Mitch chuckled. “Looks like our boys are having twins, Pops.”

~~The End~~

Written By: Red Dirt Writer

New! Fund Raiser Link:  Local Gay and Nerdy Fundraiser for LGBT Teens and LGBT Elderly.

Picture: Google+

Looking for writer’s who want to post their stories on GayNerdy.com and, or The Gay Classifieds

More to come! Let me know what you think and don’t hesitate to comment me ideas of what you’d like to read next. Thanks for reading, I hoped you enjoyed it.

STORY SPONSORED BY: BOBO SEX TOYS and DVD’s.

Unzip and Enjoy! (Click Play arrow to watch video)

Video Title: Australian Navy Men Orgy

Leave a Reply

WARNING: EXPLICIT CONTENT
The content you are about to view may be considered offensive and/or inappropriate. Furthermore, this content may be considered adult content, if you are not of legal age or are easily offended, you are required to click the exit button.
%d bloggers like this: