Thursday, May 28, 2020

COVID Closet (Part 2 of 3 Parts)


dontravis.com blog post #391

Courtesy of pexels.com
Does it seem a little chilly in the frat house to you? It does to me. Well, let’s see what happens next.

*****
COVID CLOSET

          The first two days weren’t too bad. Bruno nearly wore out his iPhone talking to everyone he knew while the queer kept to himself. The kid was quiet as a dormouse. That suited Bruno just fine.
          But by day three, that was old hat. He filled the next eight hours playing computer games, twelve sleeping or catnapping, one in the weight room, and three doing things he didn’t even remember. He figured his mistake came on day four. He began thinking about his last night with “the former Cherry.” That’s the way he thought about her now. He was gonna have to come up with a moniker for her. He wasn’t sure he could call her given name without breaking into a smirk. Maybe “Honey Dew.” He liked the melons, and melons made him think of breasts, and breasts seemed appropriate. Yeah. Honey Dew it would be.
          By day five, he was wondering what Harry was doing to keep busy. Hadn’t seen much of the guy. He spent his time in his room or in the library. Probably pounding his pud and thinking of hunky guys. Hell, maybe Harry was thinking of him while he beat it off. His back pimpled at that thought. The rat bastard better not be!


          Harry put down the book he was reading and stretched his back before glancing at his watch. Two o’clock. Bruno should be heading down to the little gym in the frat house basement any time now. That was nice. Harry liked to sneak out onto the landing at the top of the stairs and watch his frat brother work out in nothing but a skimpy pair of gym shorts. The guy had an amazing body. Harry especially liked his pecs. They were like flat slabs with an intriguing dark spot centered in the middle of each. Well not quite. The jock’s right nipple was slightly off center. Harry didn’t know why, but that sent erotic messages to his groin. Ant that butt. And trim waist. And innie belly button. And… well, everything. He shivered at the thought of another free show coming up.
          Catching a glimpse of Bruno passing the library door, Harry closed his book without taking the time to mark his place and scrambled to his feet. Not too quick. Had to time it right. If Bruno caught him watching, no telling what might happen.
          By the time he eased the basement door open, Bruno was already at one of the machines that clanked a lot but showed off the jock’s biceps wonderfully. He got the door closed successfully, but brushed against the banister, making the keys in his pocket jangle. Bruno glanced up and glowered a moment but didn’t go off on him as expected.
          “Where you been hiding out?” Bruno asked in a halfway civil tone.
         Crap! He was caught. He might as well make the most of it. “My room and the library mostly.” He tripped down the stairs. “But even I do a little exercise… walking mostly. So reading and sleeping’s not doing the job. Thought you might show me how to do some of those curl things or weights or squats or whatever.”
          “Sure, but you’re not dressed for it. You got any sweats?”
          “Yeah. I’ll be right back.”
          Harry rushed up to his room and wasted half a minute wondering what to put on. He had short sweats and long sweats. He chose the shorts, decided the sneakers he wore were appropriate, and gulped audibly before foregoing a shirt and racing back to the gym.
          He slowed when he hit the stairs. Wouldn’t do to go running like a little boy chasing after a popsicle. The analogy made him smile. As he cleared the bottom step, he halted in his tracks to see Bruno eyeing him critically.
          “Not bad, guy,” the jock said. “Better’n I thought. You put some time and effort in it, and you’ll buff up okay.”
          He thought his knees would give way. “That right?”
          “Make a muscle.”
          Boy, if he could only pick the muscle! Obediently, he raised his arm and tensed. His knees did buckle slightly when Bruno reached out and squeezed his upper arm.
          “A little work and that’ll pop right up.”
          Wouldn’t take any work at all to make the muscle he was thinking of pop up. “Can you show me what I need to know?”
          “Yeah, we can work out a routine for you. Not too tough a one at first, but it’ll condition you.”
          Harry’s heart raced at the thought of working alongside the nearly naked hunk. Did he have on one of those jock strap things under those thin shorts? “Thanks, Bruno.”
          Harry noticed they overstayed the hour Bruno usually put in down in the basement. Understandable, his new mentor spent a lot of time showing Harry how to do this or that or the other. He didn’t give a damn about the exercise, but he went goose-pimply every time Bruno touched him to correct this stance or put his knees in the right position or whatever. Later, while Harry was lying abed taking care of the condition caused by his proximity to Bruno, it occurred to him that the jock had touched him just about everywhere except for the muscle he was exercising at the time. Hell, was it a muscle or an organ? And then the moment came, and his mind ceded rational thought to a detonation of exquisite sensations.


          As they worked out the next day, Bruno came to understand Harry had put himself into his hands. The kid knew nothing about workouts. Bruno was constantly correcting a stance or showing the guy something new. His chest swelled. Hell! He was a mentor. A teacher. A coach. Felt kinda good. He glanced over at Harry working hard on the frat’s cheap-ass, unstable stair stepper, frowning, concentrating… working.
          The kid wasn’t as scrawny as he’d thought. Good muscles on a slight frame. Hell, give him the summer, and he’d have Harry Cooper as beefed as any jock in school. His eyes roamed the figure.
          Christ! Why was he eyeing Harry’s butt? And the muscles playing in his back and thighs. Damn, what was happening. He needed another night with Honey Dew. But Bruno had to admit Harry was behaving himself. Hadn’t come on to him at all. Acting decent. Maybe he’d been too hard on the guy. Maybe Harry wasn’t a fag at all.

*****
Do you perceive some changing attitudes in this story? They say that in good fiction, the characters change and evolve. But wow! We’re only seven days into their isolation, and some changes do seem to be taking place.

Until next week.

The following are buy links for the recently released The Voxlightner Scandal.


Now my mantra: Keep on reading and keep on writing. You have something to say, so say it!

My personal links: (Note the change in the Email address because I’m still getting remarks on the old dontravis21@gmail.com. PLEASE DON’T USE THAT ONE.)
                                                                                                    
Facebook: www.facebook.com/donald.travis.982
Twitter: @dontravis3

Buy links to Abaddon’s Locusts:


See you next week.

Don

Thursday, May 21, 2020

COVID Closet (Part 1 of 3 Parts)


dontravis.com blog post #390
  
Courtesy of Pixabay.com


After the little ditty about Zack and Zel, it’s time to return to a proper short story. You can thank my reader (and friend) from Palm Springs for the following story. In an email exchange one day, he mentioned that all this social lockdown stuff might provide material for a story. So here you have it. Blame him; not me.

*****
COVID CLOSET

          Bruno Hadley fought to keep his voice calm. “What do you mean I can’t leave?”
          The college provost looked comical decked out in full protective gear, including one of those powder blue gowns. His navy pantlegs sticking out below the hem were capped by wood-brown leather oxfords. The idiot had no sense of style at all. And why had he brought the college doctor and a security guard with him? Or at least, that’s who Bruno suspected lurked beneath the camouflage garb.
          “Unfortunately, your roommate has the COVID-19 virus,” the man replied. “Too bad it happened before classes were dismissed and everyone went home, but that’s the way the ball bounces, as they say.”
          Bruno’s belly knotted. The slug didn’t even attend college sports—baseball, basketball, football—hell, even tennis tournaments—so how’d he know anything about bouncing balls?
          “So I’m going to be cooped up in here?”
         The doctor spoke up. “You and Cooper will have to isolate for a while. You’ll have the run of the empty frat house, but that’s all.”
          Bruno snorted. “Hey, man, I gotta be home by this weekend. My family’s got a big get together planned.”
          “Not anymore, they don’t.” The doctor’s voice sounded downright sinister, making Bruno wonder if that was really the medic hiding under that outfit. “Large gatherings are a banned now.”
          “Even family members?”
          “The virus doesn’t recognize family ties. It goes where the wind blows. Well, that’s not strictly true. Probably—”
          “Yeah, yeah,” he said, eyeing the mute figure who hadn’t spoken a word yet. Probably Mickey Mahaney hiding under all that gear. Bruno and the security dick ran afoul of one another a couple of times this past term. Beer was usually involved in one fashion or another. Bruno gave his nose a swipe. Might as well test things right now. “Well, I’m going home, and you’ve got no right to stop me.”
          That motivated the Mick. “Got every right, Hadley. The governor issued a proclamation.”
          Bruno almost snickered. “So the governor can override the constitution with the flick of his pen?” He turned to face the slight figure standing six feet to his right. “Don’t you have anything to say, Cooper?”
          Harry Cooper shifted from one foot to the other and dropped his gaze to the floor. “Like they say, we’re quarantined.” He raised his blue eyes. “For how long?”
          “Ten days,” the doctor said. “At a minimum.”
          “Ten days!” Bruno exclaimed. “No way.”
          “Let me explain something to you, my pugnacious young friend,” the doctor said. “Your roommate is in the hospital. Like as not, in a few days he’ll be on a ventilator. Then we’ll see if he survives.”
          “Damn, I shoulda left yesterday,” Bruno said, regretting his decision to remain on campus one more day to be with Cherry, his cheerleader girlfriend. He grinned internally. After last night, she’d have to come up with a new name.
          “It wouldn’t have mattered,” the provost said. “We’re contacting all the members of this frat house and putting them in isolation, in situ, so to speak.”
          “At least, I’d be at home.”
          “Where you could infect your entire family,” the doctor said.
          The skin prickled on Bruno’s back. He’d have to rethink walking out the door the minute these three stooges were out of sight. “You’re serious?”
          “Dead serious. And I chose that word deliberately. People you know are going to die from this outbreak, possibly starting with your roommate.”
          “Okay, so what do we do?” Bruno asked, accepting the inevitable.
          “Remain in the house. One hot meal will be delivered each day. You can raid your fridge between meals. Take your temperature first thing in the morning and last thing before you go to bed. Keep a record of it. If it goes over 101 degrees, call the infirmary at once. If you lose your sense of smell or taste, call. If you experience any shortness of breath, call. In the meantime, go about your life as normally as possible.”
          “Yeah, right.”
          The doctor indicated Cooper. “You can interact but keep at least six feet between you. Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. Call my office if you have any questions. Oh, yes, wash your hands often. Thoroughly with warm water and soap. Wash at least long enough to—”
          “Yeah, yeah. I’ve heard all the propaganda.”
          Bruno watched the men depart. Mahaney paused at the door and looked back. No doubt that was intended to mean the Mick would checking on him. Once they were gone, Bruno turned and looked at the guy standing to his right.
          Christ, being confined to the frat house for ten days was punishment enough. But to be shut in with the college queer? That was cruel and unusual punishment.


          Harry stared at the handsome brute eyeing him from six feet away. The guy’s hostility was almost rendered bearable by his physical appearance. A shock of honey brown hair that curled at the ends. Greenest eyes he’d ever seen on anyone… ever. Wide, square shoulders. Biceps rippling every time he moved. Pecs that took Harry’s breath away. Six-two at least, giving him at least four inches over Harry’s five-ten. He dropped his gaze. How would that translate in another inevitable comparison? He was startled out of his inventory of his companion’s assets by a gravely voice.
          “Don’t get any funny ideas, Harry.”
          “Too late. I’ve had them all semester.”
          “Being locked up in here with you doesn’t change nothing.”
          “The door’s not locked. You can walk out any time you want.”
          “More’n likely I’ll just throw your ass out.”
          Harry smiled. “You’d have to touch me to do that. Welcome to try.”
          “Keep your distance, you hear?”
          “You come too close, I’ll cough on you.”
          Harry had the pleasure of seeing the hunky guy recoil at the idea.
         Bruno glared for another moment and then stomped off upstairs. Headed for his room probably. Had it occurred to the dumb jock that his room was where his roommate, another jock, had spread the virus all over the place? When he went upstairs after reading a few poems from a book in the frat library, Harry discovered Bruno wasn’t as dumb as he thought. The guy had moved to a room that had been vacant before the college was closed for the corona virus. Harry smiled broadly when he recalled what he and Joe, the frat’s president, had done in that room—that very bed—not a week ago.

 *****
Okay, so we’ve got a overtly hetero jock and a bookish gay quarantined together in a college frat house after everyone else has gone home due to canceled classes because of the COVID-19 virus. What could possibly go wrong? All they have to do is social distance for ten days, right? Or the question might be, can anything possibly go right?

Check in next week.

Until then.

The following are buy links for the recently released The Voxlightner Scandal.


Now my mantra: Keep on reading and keep on writing. You have something to say, so say it!

My personal links: (Note the change in the Email address because I’m still getting remarks on the old dontravis21@gmail.com. PLEASE DON’T USE THAT ONE.)
                                                                                                    
Facebook: www.facebook.com/donald.travis.982
Twitter: @dontravis3

Buy links to Abaddon’s Locusts:


See you next week.

Don

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Zack and Zel Went Up the Hill


dontravis.com blog post #389

Courtesy of  commons.wikimedia.org
I’d say that the Brits liked “Liam” as well as anyone else. While normally US readers are by far the most numerous, readers from the UK almost equaled the locals. Saudi Arabia came in third. I’d hazard a guess there are some repressed feelings among that culture, wouldn’t you?

This week, back to flash fiction. The following is a story in 880 words. And I used a voice I don’t normally use when writing fiction: the omniscient. Let me know how it holds together.

*****
Zack and Zel Went Up the Hill

          Everybody in the little farming town of Leghorn knew Zack Cryer went loco over Zelda Milhous. But the young man had a problem. He broke into a sneezing fit whenever he was around her. Allergies, most folks figured. Lots of locals suffered from that ailment in this part of the country. Some had it hard when spring blossomed; others endured the malady during the hay baling season. But it seemed like Zack was allergic to his sweetheart, which meant he suffered “purt near year-round,” as old Mr. Williams put it. Except for the two weeks each year when Zelda’s family visited her grandmother down in Texas. Then he’d go from sneezing to pining, moaning about how much he missed his darlin’. The more sarcastic villagers muttered darkly about the mental soundness of a man who craved an absent allergen. Things got so bad the kids made up a little ditty about his predicament.
          Zack and Zel went up the hill, and Zack came down a sneezin’.
          The town folk were of three minds about this problem. Some claimed he really was allergic to her; others said her perfume got to him; and still others didn’t give a whiz about it at all.
          Those who leaned toward the olfactory explanation wondered aloud why she didn’t simply stop wearing the perfume. Opinions differed about that as well. Her closest friends claimed she really loved that particular aroma. Her not-so-close friends pointed out she favored the perfume over her beau. Snarkier minds opined it was her defense against Zack.
           Whatever the case, Zack kept hanging around Zel despite all his sneezing. Contemporaries in the perfume camp who claimed it as a defense against Zack, found purchase for their belief when Zel started seeing Mort Henderman, a bachelor farmer five miles down the road from Leghorn who was a tad older than her twenty years.
          Once again the town—eager for gossip that didn’t involve the price of hay or the lack of rainfall—took note and divided into different schools of thought. Some claimed Zel was being practical, not romantic, and was simply seeing to a secure future. Mort was known to own his 240 acres free and clear. Heck, there wasn’t even a mortgage on the white frame two-story at the front of the property.
          Others claimed the perfume wasn’t doing an adequate job, so Zel took up with Mort to further discourage Zack, although their belief looked a little shaky because Zel’s best friend Mallory Higgins confided Zel was actually fond of Zack… except for his sneezing fits.
          The more elderly among the town folk, nodded to themselves and tisk-tisked that the little strumpet was simply a gold-digger. How else would you account for the difference in their ages?
          And as usual, there were those who didn’t give a damn one way or the other.
          It all came to a head in the spring of ’19 when Mort Henderman suggested the honorable state of marriage to Zelda Milhous. Everyone in Leghorn knew about the proposal before Zel had the opportunity to show off her diamond engagement ring.
           Zack Cryer did not take the news well. He stopped sneezing enough to rant and rave and head straight for the local moonshiner. He stopped paying attention to life—didn’t show up for his job or swing by Ma’s Corner Café for his customary coffee and pancakes. He just holed up in his little house and moldered.
           There he stayed until he broke out the front door early one afternoon, unwashed and unkempt, to stagger into his old Ford pickup and weave his way through the town from end to end. Some said he went out to the Henderman farm but headed back to town when he didn’t find Mort’s Pontiac in the driveway. Others told about him checking in at the beauty parlor where Zel worked, scaring the bejesus outa beauticians and customers alike with his wild-eyed ranting before taking off upon learning Zel wasn’t there.
          The one thing everybody agreed on was that Zack found the newly engaged couple at Ma’s eating a late lunch and shot Zel dead with a big black revolver his granddaddy had left him.
          From there, the accounts differed. He pointed the Colt to his own head and claimed he was going to shoot himself right in front of them. Or he threatened Mort with it. But all agreed he turned toward Zel when she started screaming bloody murder. The muzzle of his six-shooter followed the direction of his eyes, and a shot rang out.
          Like usual, the town split into camps. The gun went off by accident when Zack started sneezing. No, it was deliberate. Maybe he was aiming at Mort. The gun was Mort’s, but Zack took it away from him. Ah, well, the villagers sighed, the law will sort it out.


          Children still chant their ditty in Leghorn, but it has a new verse to it.
                       Zack and Zel went up the hill, and Zack came down a sneezin’.
                      Zack and Zel went up the hill, and Zack came down a blazin’.
           But one wag at Zelda’s funeral probably put it best.
          “Guess that proves there’s a shot for every allergen.”

 *****
What camp do you fall in? Did Zack shoot Zelda by accident? Had he intended to shoot Mort… or himself, but fate dealt another hand? I have my own opinion and would like to hear yours.

Until next week.

The following are buy links for the recently released The Voxlightner Scandal.


Now my mantra: Keep on reading and keep on writing. You have something to say, so say it!

My personal links: (Note the change in the Email address because I’m still getting remarks on the old dontravis21@gmail.com. PLEASE DON’T USE THAT ONE.)
                                                                                                    
Facebook: www.facebook.com/donald.travis.982
Twitter: @dontravis3

Buy links to Abaddon’s Locusts:


See you next week.

Don

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Liam (Part 2 of a 2 Part Story)


dontravis.com blog post #387

Courtesy of rawpixel.com
Last week we met Tommy Zachus and his idol Liam Spotsworth. We watched as Tommy, struggling to become Tom, adored his hero from afar, drinking in stories of Liam’s exploits with women and dreaming of something. What he didn’t know. Until the two cowboys went skinny dipping one day.

What more can possibly happen now? Read on.

*****
LIAM
          The summer turned strange and wonderful. I had no trouble getting out of bed because Liam would be waiting for me. We were a team. A damned good team. And he taught me about… me. Wednesday of the next week, he drove to the pond at the end of the shift without asking. This time, we didn’t swim, merely washed away the day’s sweat and grime and then took to the blanket. He showed me what he liked and what he didn’t. Friday, we did it again. And that became the pattern. Wednesdays and Fridays were ours. I never asked what he did on the weekends in town, and he never told me stories again.
          As the summer neared its end, he invited me to spend Friday night with him at the line shack, a place where the hands overnighted during gatherings… what the cowboy movies call roundups.
          After showering, I made up a story about spending the weekend with a school buddy in town and drove the GMC out onto the highway, turned toward town, and took a back gate onto the ranch. Liam was already at the shack. He’d come straight here after our shift—we’d skipped the “swim”—to clean up the place and cook some stew for our supper. I got out of my truck trembling with anticipation. How would this differ from our swims?
          Seeing Liam setting out the fixin’s for our meal clutched at my heart. It felt full and near to busting. My man was waiting on me. And that’s the way I thought about it. My man. And what a man. Rangy, lean muscles, unruly black hair, blue eyes, a laughing mouth, and as handsome as any man or woman I’d ever set eyes on.
          “Just in time,” he said. “Set yourself down for some Spotsworth stew. You’re cleaning up afterward.”
          My voice almost got stuck behind my heart. “Glad to.” I threw my leg over the back of the chair and took a seat like a proper cowboy. We finished a good meal without talking. As he pushed away his empty plate, he eyed me across the table.
          “You’re a damned good-looking guy,” he observed.
          “Me? You’re—”
          “We’re not talking about me. We’re talking about you. You are, Tom. You’re handsome and sexy. And I’m damned lucky you do what you do for me. Just wanted you to know I appreciate it.”
          I swallowed hard. He’d called me Tom. “Welcome. It’s something I want to do for you. I… I really like it. But with you. Not with anybody else.”
          His smile almost rendered me into a pile of melted tallow. He winked. “Tonight, we’re gonna take things a little ways down the road.”
          My heart jumped. What did that mean.
          “I’m getting real fond of you, Tom.”
          Wow! I love you, dude. But you’d never say that, would you. You’d say “fond.” I blinked. “Me too, Liam. Real fond.”
          He stood and held out his hand. “I’ll help you with the dishes later. Right now, I’ve got other things on my mind.”
          I took his hand and followed him into the bunk room. He’d turned down the covers on the biggest bed and put two lighted candles on little tables on either side of it. Hues from the western sunset splashed against the closed blinds, giving the semi-dark room a dreamlike, romantic quality. The world was silent except for the thudding of my heart.
         Beside the bed, he turned to me and brushed my hand away from my shirt buttons. He undressed me himself, and for the first time took me in hand. He grinned, elfin this time.
          “And that’s nice too. Your turn.”
          I undressed Liam Spotsworth and shivered with anticipation as he pulled me to him and kissed me. We’d never kissed before, and I was shocked by my reaction. I felt it down to my toes. My knees went weak again. Chill bumps puckered my back. My core burned with hot flames.
          Wordlessly, Liam laid me on the bed and crawled between my knees. Candlelight sent dancing shadows across his features. Entranced, I did not resist as he raised my knees and came to me. I wasn’t even aware of the pain as he entered me, merely joy at watching this man’s man—my man—claim me as the center of his world.
          I don’t know how long it was before I began to feel things within myself. A pleasure I’d never experienced flowered deep inside me. The electricity of his legs against my thighs. The heat of him exciting my insides. And finally, the ecstasy of an unassisted ejaculation just as he reached his own orgasm. And then the joy of a shared “little death” that the French write about. I knew from his eyes, it has been as wonderful for Liam as it had been for me.
          We spent the weekend at the line shack to share our time, take walks, and make love. Sunday evening before we made ready to go, he took me to bed again. After entry, he hesitated above me.
          “I won’t be here when you wake up tomorrow,” he said, his voice low in his throat.
          “Course not. We’ll be at ranch headquarters.”
          “You will. I won’t.”
          “What do you mean?”
          “I joined the army, Tom. I report tomorrow.”
          “What! Why?”
          His smile held sadness. “You’ll be off to NMSU in a week or so.”
          “But—”
          “Besides, I’ve grown too fond of you, Tom.”
          I stared into his eyes and took the plunge. “I love you, Liam.”
          He chucked me under the chin. “I think that’s what I just said, dumbo.”
          “I-is that a bad thing, Liam?
          “To some people it is.
          And then he made love to me for the last time.

*****
I’d say the summer led to a great deal more than where we left off last week. It led to genuine feelings between the two young men. But as is so often true… life got in the way. Alas. I wonder how the two of them fared beyond this point.

Let me know how you liked the story.

Until next week.

The following are buy links for the recently released The Voxlightner Scandal.


Now my mantra: Keep on reading and keep on writing. You have something to say, so say it!

My personal links: (Note the change in the Email address because I’m still getting remarks on the old dontravis21@gmail.com. PLEASE DON’T USE THAT ONE.)
                                                                                                    
Facebook: www.facebook.com/donald.travis.982
Twitter: @dontravis3

Buy links to Abaddon’s Locusts:


See you next week.

Don

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Liam (Part 1 of a 2 Part Story)


dontravis.com blog post #387
  
Courtesy of rawpixel.com
Man, did I get some reactions to last week’s “If Only….” Glad I could stir some memories for you.

This week, our story takes you to a northern New Mexico ranch to meet a couple of young men, one sheltered, the other experienced. Tell me what you think of Liam Spotsworth and Tommy Zachus
*****
LIAM

          I wished I was Liam Spotsworth, but I wasn’t. Liam was a curly-headed cowboy on the J-Bar-Z; I was Tommy Zachus, the ranch owner’s son. He was edging toward twenty; I’d just landed on eighteen. He was a man’s man; I was wary of them. He chased—and caught—women; I was afraid of them. I’d been raised on our northern New Mexico ranch; he hailed from somewhere in Montana and had been everywhere. I’d been nowhere. He was handsome—heck, he was beautiful; I was… just me.
          The summer of ’19 promised to be a good one. I’d graduated from high school—sure wouldn’t miss that 20-mile bus trip five times a week—and had opted for a 2012 GMC Terrain as a graduation present rather than a trip to Rome and Venice. Don’t know who was happier with my choice, me or my working pony, a pinto named Hopper. I drove that truck—that how I thought of the SUV—all over the ranch. Even herded a few ornery cows with it.
          But even better than that, I was teamed with Liam until I was scheduled to take off for New Mexico State over in Las Cruces this fall. Liam had only been on our spread for about six months, but he was a cowboy down to his boots and already knew more about the place than I did. And, heck, I’d been born here. Well, to be accurate, I knew the landscape better than he did, but he had more cow sense than me.
          By the end of the first week, we were down to talking about personal things. Liam stayed on the ranch for five days straight, but on Friday evenings, after he slicked up so he looked good enough to eat, he piled in his old ford F-150 and started on the ten mile trip to town. We didn’t see him again until sometime Sunday night looking a damned sight less slick and plumb wore out.
          No matter how late he got in, he was always up and at ‘em at first light Monday morning. Heck, I had more trouble dragging my fanny out of bed at that early hour, and like as not I’d stayed home the whole weekend. Then he’d spend the rest of the workweek telling me all about his previous weekend. I lapped it up, but I always wondered how he managed to do things like that to women. I mean, they were such prim things according to my thinking, but they sure didn’t come off that way in his yarns. The second week we worked together I couldn’t keep my mouth shut any longer.
          “Are you spinning me tales?” I asked right after him telling me what a rollicking good time he’d had with Marybelle Spinner.
          “Course not.”
          “That’s not the Marybelle I know. She was a year ahead of me in school, and she was the biggest prude in class.”
          He paused in tightening a strand of wire with the come along jack and looked me right in the eye. “She just needed a man to loosen her up a little. You shoulda done it before she graduated.”
          I felt myself go red in the face. “She… she was older’n me.”
          “So?” He paused again and fixed me with two eyes bluer than the broad New Mexico sky. “You ever been with a gal?”
           “Uh… sure. Dated a couple this last year.”
           “No, I mean ever been with a gal.”
          I figured my knees’d give way any minute now, and my cheeks would have fried a hen’s egg. “You mean done it with a girl?”
           He nodded as a smile broke across his handsome mouth. “Yeah. Fucked a gal.” He paused and the smile grew wider. “You haven’t, have you? You never landed one of them have you?”
          The hammer I was using to tack wire brads to fence posts grew so heavy in my hand I almost dropped it. My back pimpled so bad I thought my shirt moved. “Uh… not all the way. Not yet.”
          “Man, we gotta repair that hole in your experience.” He laughed. “How come you’re blushing?”
           “Dunno.” I had trouble getting that one word past my windpipe.
          To my relief, he let it go and we returned to stringing wire. Although I confess to snatching glances at him now and then. How would his big shoulders look while… pleasuring Marybelle? I admired the way his torso made a vee on its way to his small waist. I liked his hips flaring so they were wider than his beltline. What did those trim buttocks look like when he was throwing it to her? I had to quit thinking like that because it was beginning to show.
          We threw our tools in the back of Liam’s pickup and got in so we could move down the line to the next fence post. Like I always did, I scooted into the truck first so I could watch him slide gracefully into the seat. This time there was something different, and I gawked so much he caught me at it.
          “Sorry,” he said, adjusting his fly. “I guess talking about Marybelle got to me. Just ignore it.”
          I couldn’t believe what came out of my mouth. “Hard to.”
          He chuckled, removed his hat, and glanced over at me. “Hard. Yeah, that describes it, I guess.”
          I almost passed out as the next words came out of me without conscious thought. “I-I’ll take care of that for you.” Oh, man! Did my cheeks burn then. “If… if you want.”
          “You’d do that?”
          I willed myself to meet his gaze, noticing how his dark hair curled and looked like an unmade bunk. A handsome unmade bunk. I licked lips suddenly thick and slow. “For you I would.”
          “You ever done it for anyone else?”
          I shook my head so hard my thatch whipped around. Did it make noise like moving hay?
          “Just yourself, huh?” he pressed.
          I swallowed a lump in my throat. “Sometimes?”
          “Like every day, I’d guess.”
          “N-no. Once a week, maybe.”
          “You like it?”
          “Used to. Not so much anymore.”
          His smile sent my stomach plunging. “Outgrowing it, most likely.” He straightened in the seat and switched on the Ford’s motor.
          I was relieved… and disturbed. That kinda talk had been disturbing and… I don’t know, exhilarating all at the same time. But it was over now.
          We hadn’t moved ten yards when he clapped his hat back in place and said, “After the shift’s over, maybe we’ll mosey down to the pond and take a dip. Then we’ll see.”
          My stomach didn’t just fall away, it near disappeared. My heart pounded hard enough for me to hear.


          From then on, Liam didn’t even try to hide his condition. Sometimes he looked normal behind the fly, and sometimes he looked all puffed up. But for the last hour before we quit, there wasn’t any sign of excitement. So he’d probably forgot all about the swimming hole… and my offer.
          Finally, he squinted skyward and beat the dust from his hat against his leg. “We put in a good day’s work, kid.”
          Kid. He called me that sometimes. Other times, he called me Tommy. Wished he’d treat me like a grownup and settle on Tom.
          We stowed our tools and wire in the bed of the truck and piled in. My belly did it’s disappearing act again when Liam headed down to the pond. I was almost breathing normal when he parked along the shore. Our pond’s the only freshwater body of water on the ranch. Dad had dammed the one perpetual spring on the place years back and allowed a body of water maybe fifty yards across to build. Too bad it wasn’t near the house so we could all take a dip whenever we wanted.
          Slower getting out of the truck than Liam, he’d already dropped the blanket he grabbed from behind the seat, shucked his shirt, and kicked off his boots and denims while I was fumbling with my shirt. When he rolled off his jockeys, my legs dumped me on the ground. We were going skinny dipping. And the guy with me was as handsome as could be from top to bottom. I couldn’t measure up, but I couldn’t weasel out, either. He hit the water. So I finished stripping and scrambled into the pond, hoping he didn’t get too good a look at my skinny frame.
          When Liam heard my splash, he swam over to where I was and gave me that great smile.
          “I-I thought you forgot,” I stammered.
          He grabbed my hand and guided it to himself. “Does that feel like I forgot?” His deep baritone was throaty as hell.
          “N-no, feels more like an iron bar!”
          He laughed and pulled away to swim about twenty yards out before going underwater. I stood where I was and watched for him to reappear. But he didn’t. I’d started to fret when something grabbed me by the legs, and Liam burst up out of the water right in front of me, chest to chest, groin to groin, that iron bar probing between my legs. He rested his hands on my shoulders. I wished they were somewhere else.
          “Aren’t you going to swim?” he asked as he shook water from his eyes.
          “You bet!” I said, but I didn’t move until he swam away. Then I followed him across the pond and back, where he splashed up out of the water onto shore and spread the blanket on the ground. Water draining from him followed the contours of his muscles. I’d never seen anything so sexy.
          I crept up out of the pond, half ashamed of my condition until he turned to face me and I saw he was in the same state of excitement. Although his “state” outweighed mine, it wasn’t as bad as I feared. A shiver went down my back as his eyes raked me.
          “Nice,” he said.
          “T-thanks. But not as nice as you. You’re….”
          He sat on the blanket. “Aren’t you gonna come over here?”
          “Sure,” I gasped and got my legs to moving. I plopped down beside him as close as I dared.
          He lay back on the blanket, leaving his impressive condition totally exposed. I gaped, muscles frozen.
          “Well?” he asked. “Did you mean it?”
          “You bet!” I took him in hand. Stroking him gently sent such shivers through me I thought I was having tremens like Uncle Luke used to get after a binge.. Here was my idol, my Adonis, lying naked and submitting to me. Unbelievable. Wonderful.
          He pulled to his elbows and fixed me with those blue eyes. “Hey, dude. I can do that for myself. I thought you meant take care of me.”
          “I-I am.”
          “Not that way.” He reached out a lean bronzed arm, clapped me on the back of the head, and pulled me down.
          I only hesitated for a minute.


*****
Where’s this going? Liam has already woven his magic over the younger, more innocent Tommy. What more can happen? Check in next Thursday and you’ll see.

Until next week.

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