“Hey, wake up there monkey breath. We got a sally port to build and you have a job interview this afternoon.”
“Come on, let’s get that sally port done before it gets hot outside.”
“Yeah right, what was that other part? A job interview? With who, for what?”
“Dad’s got some stuff to do this morning and wants to sit down with you this afternoon to look at your drawings and to see about giving you a job.”
“I’m not sure what that means. I mean, I know what a job is, like raking and sweeping. But to have a job, I’m not sure I know how to do anything. And the stuff I know how to do, I’d do anyways. Don’t you have to know something to get a job?”
“I don’t really know. I get an allowance and that’s sorta for doing stuff, but like you said, I’d do those things anyways. I guess he’ll explain it this afternoon. I just can’t wait until he sees your drawings.”
Ty’s eyes got big. “Shit, I was supposed to do more.”
“Relax, you know pa. If you need more time he’ll give it to ya. Besides, you did more in town didn’t ya?”
“Well yeah, but I think he wanted to see how I can draw buildings and stuff.”
“Come on, one thing at a time. Let’s go build the sally port. Get some clothes on and please brush your teeth. Man, your breath this morning would knock a buzzard off a shit fence. You been sucking on a Taiwanese yaks ass or something?”
Ty hit him in the arm, “Hey, like yours is a rose garden in the morning?”
“Yeah well, morning breath is like having roaches. It’s not a sin to have ’em, just a sin to keep ’em. I like to start my day with some of your kisses, so hurry up. I’ll go out and get things started. I figure we can get a couple hours in before breakfast and a couple more after. Then when it gets hot, we can cool off with a dip in the watering hole and you can draw some more. Then we’ll have lunch, you can meet with pa and we can finish it later this evening or tomorrow morning.”
“Sounds like a plan. I’ll be down in a minute. Hey! I didn’t hear getting naked in that schedule!” Ty yelled from the bathroom.
“That’s the swimming hole part!”
“I knew you didn’t expect me to go a whole day!” Ty shot back, garbled from talking while brushing. He came out and looked at his shoes. He ran to the window and opened it.
“What kind of shoe day is it?”
“Try the Rockports.”
Ty went back in and sat on his bed, picking up the Rockports, he looked at them. Beautiful, he thought. The suede leather was unblemished. He peeled them open, feeling the stiffness of the new leather and opened them wide so his feet would go in. The smell of new leather filled his nostrils. He thought about how great it was to wake up unafraid. This new world offered so much to him. His thoughts turned to Officer Bill and he made up his mind to send him an email when he could. He slipped his feet into the brand new shoes and felt their firm, un-flexed soles as he laced them up. A smile lit on his face as he stood and felt the spring of new shoes for the first time. Sure, he had the cowboy boots, but these felt different, almost like they wanted to shoot him up in the air with each step. He pulled a t-shirt out of the drawer and slipped it over his head. He glanced over at his dresser where the treasured buck knife lay. Someday, he thought. He ran down the steps and out the front door, there was some morning kissing to be done.
“Well it’s about time you showed up. I was thinking you went back to bed. I was going to have to come back up and get ya.” Nick had his shirt off and his white waistband showed when he bent over to saw the piece of wood. Ty marveled at the way Nicks muscles worked and their sinewy taut appearance as his arm flexed with every rip of the saw.
He stopped and walked over to Ty who was leaning against the first stall. He grabbed the slat in the wall on both sides and leaned in slowly to kiss him. Their lips touched and Ty felt the warmth of his breath. His nostrils flared as the scent of Nick filled them and he kissed him back.
“Well looks like you had a successful shopping trip in town, where’d you buy him at? Weren’t they selling any girls there?”
Nick snapped around grinning and blushing, “Nope fresh out. So I got this one on sale. Figured to save money, don’t have to buy a new wardrobe.”
“Yeah, but . . . well, isn’t there a little too much down there and a little too little up there?”
“Cheytan, what are you talking about? He’s perfect everywhere.” Nick said, smiling.
Cheytan stepped forward and stuck out his hand, “Hi perfect everywhere, I’m Cheytan.”
Ty took his hand with a worried look on his face, “I’m Ty. Pleased to meet you,” he said in almost a whisper.
“I’m pleased to meet you too. I’m sorry if I interrupted something. I can go if you like.”
“No, please stay for breakfast. We were just working on a project.”
“Is that what that was?” Cheytan smiled.
“Uh no, that was the in between the project you saw. We’re making a sally port for the chicken coop so the chickens quit getting out.”
“A sally port? What’s that?”
“Tell ‘im Ty, it’s your idea.
“Well, it’s a smaller-like pen that you walk into so if they get out, they can’t go anywhere and they are easy to chase back in.”
“Wow, that’s a great idea. I’ll come by when you get it done and take a look. Maybe I’ll have to have you guys over and help me put one on mine. I had two get out just this morning. How’d you think of that?”
Ty looked at Cheytan and then down, “They have them in prison.”
Cheytan lifted his chin to make his eyes meet his, “Sounds like you’re making the best out of a bad situation. That’s all a man can do. We have a saying, ‘Don’t carry yesterday’s shame with you tomorrow, it’s had its day.'” He gave Ty’s shoulder a little squeeze and turned to Nick. “I really just came over to make sure you made it back and to feed if you didn’t. Is your pa around?”
“I figure right about now he should be pouring coffee and wondering if he should drink it or splash it on his face.”
“Well, I’ll go check him out, then.” Turning back to Ty, “It’s a pleasure to meet you. I think it will be a pleasure to know you. I’m serious about that port thing. Sounds like a great idea, give me a call when it’s done, I’d like to see it.” Ty nodded with both hands in his pockets.
Nick grinned, pulling Ty back against the stall as Cheytan walked out. Grinning, Nick said, “Where were we?”
“Uh, you guys coming in for breakfast soon? I’ll warn your pa.” Cheytan’s voice chimed in from outside, interrupting their kiss again.
“Yeah, be there in just a minute.” Nick once again leaned in, sure he was going to get his kiss quota for the morning.
“Your usual, eggs over easy right? How’s perfect everywhere like his eggs?”
Nicks laughing broke the kiss, “The same, we’ll be right there. Come on, breakfast and more ribbing is awaiting us.”
“I don’t think he likes me.” Ty said.
“Nah, if he didn’t, he’d tell you. He had no problem telling a few of the others. No, I think he likes you a lot. Give him a chance. I wonder if Indians are ok with gays?”
“He’s an Indian? A real one?”
“Yep, a real one. Come on let’s eat.” Ty swallowed as he felt his hair.
“Cheytan is really cool. He’s the one who taught me and dad a lot about the animals in these parts.” Nick leaned over and whispered, “He looks completely hot without his shirt on too.”
“Cheytan, good to see you. Aw shit, I should have called you to let you know we made it back. I’m sorry, we were just so road tired when we got home, it slipped my mind. Come on in, have some breakfast. Hey, did you see those boys of mine anywhere?”
“Uh yeah, they were uh, working on some chicken port thing in the barn.” Cheytan said, with an untold story in his eyes.
“You mean you walked in on one of them trying to swallow the other one. Yeah, they been doing that a lot lately. Looks like I have a little getting ‘used to’ to do. So, what do you think about Ty?”
“I think he is the one you’ve been looking for. He has shame in his eyes, but it looks like shame he has been forced to carry, not earned. If he can get past that, I think he will be alright. Looks like he is good medicine for Nick, too.” Cheytan said, putting his hand on his shoulder. “I saw the woman’s spirit in him long ago and I wondered how he would live when his time to grow into a man came. They are good for each other, maybe good for you too. Something about young love that rekindles a man’s own fire inside.”
“What do you mean you saw it long ago? How did I miss it?”
“When we had the fires, I saw how he watched the other men, how he smelled the clothing as he collected it. You didn’t see it because you didn’t look. You had other things to see at the time. Are you alright with it?”
“Yeah, took a bit and some I am still getting used to, but yeah, I’m alright with it. The thing I am having trouble with is whether Ty loves Nick as intensely as Nick loves Ty. Nick gives everything his all. Ty has admitted he doesn’t know what love is but . . .”
“Look, you cannot change the wind. Feel its love as its cool breeze passes your cheek and hold those you love tight when she blows. Now, how about some of those rooster bullets? The boys said they’ll be right in. They want their usual.”
“Right, better get cooking then.”
“Right, uh here, let me hold that coffee cup for ya,” Cheytan said, taking his coffee cup from him and drinking from it. “Mmm, you know you make a good cup of coffee. You’re going to make someone a great wife one day.” Cheytan ducked the thrown towel as he picked up the sports page. As he sat down still sipping the stolen coffee, the boys came in.
Cheytan smiled, “Hey how about those Lakers?”
Nick smiled, “Is that the game with a puck?”
Ty grinned and squinted at the back page, “I think they were doing better then. Larry Byrd could walk without a walker. I think you’re reading Oggie’s drawer liner from 1996.”
Cheytan laughed, and Oggie and Nick joined him. Soon the whole group was laughing almost to tears.
“Oh shit, my eggs,” Oggie said, turning and scooping them out onto his plate, “Ah! I’ll eat these. The centers are done.”
“Wait, I’ve never tried them that way. Can I have ’em?” Ty asked.
“Sure. Look, if you don’t like them, I’ll make you a couple more.”
Nick got the strawberry jam out and put it on the table.
“I figured you were going to need something for your toast. You can’t dip in the yolks.”
Oggie scooped eggs for three more plates as Nick made toast and put butter on them. Oggie slid the plate of sausage links and bacon on the table and turned the fire off on the stove. “Let’s dig in before it gets too cold.”
The room got quiet as everyone began to eat. “Mmm, Oggie this is delicious. Thank you.” Cheytan said in between bites.
“Mmm, you are always welcome, you know that. Hey, we need to plan a picnic or something, bring the family over. We haven’t done that in a long time.” Oggie suddenly glanced at Nick.
“Yeah, not since mom died,” Nick said, just pausing a moment. “It would be good.”
“Yeah, I think Carol would like that too. And it would give Ty a chance to meet my family.”
“Cheytan, what do your people think about gays?”
“Gay people have been around forever, they are part of the community, like everyone else. There are some that tease amongst the boys, but to share your spirit with a women’s is thought to be almost mystical. They have gifts that those who have only one spirit do not.”
“I don’t know, but there is always something about them that is extraordinary. Take you for instance, Nick. You have the ability to put a smile on anyone’s face at any time. I think you could draw smiles at a funeral. It’s just something about your spirit. Remember the fires? Those guys would come in dragging, hot, miserable, frustrated, knowing they had a long way to go and little time to do it. There were days when the fire would win. As they came back into camp though, you were waiting with lemonade or Gatorade or water. Every one of them would stop and smile. They could go on because you made them a little happier. That’s a gift.”
“Wow, I never thought of it that way. I was always just happy to see them come back okay.”
“I wonder what my gift is?” Ty said, rocking on his hands under his legs like he did so often.
“That’s easy,” Nick grinned. “Get your drawings.”
“Nah, they’re not that good. Besides, that’s not a gift. It’s just scribbling on a page. Anyone can do that.”
“No they can’t. Go get them, please? I’ll jelly your toast while you’re gone.”
“You know, put jelly on your toast.” It dawned on Nick, jelly isn’t something he probably ever had. “Look, you go get your drawings and I’ll have a surprise for you when you get back.”
Ty jumped up, he knew whenever something like this occurred he was about to experience something wonderful. He took the steps to his bedroom two at a time, grabbing his sketch pad and pencils. He returned to the kitchen to find two slices of toast slathered amply with something red and gooey-looking. He handed the pad to Nick as he sat down and looked at the toast and then at everyone watching him. He picked up a slice and took a bite and froze. His eyes smiled almost as much as his mouth.
“Oh, this is incredible. Oh God, this is good. Do they put this on steak?”
“Uh, no, I don’t think so.” Oggie laughed as Nick stood up smiling and moved around to get in between Oggie and Cheytan.
“Here, look at these.” Nick flipped open the sketch pad to the deer at the escape.
“Oh my God, you did these?” Oggie said to Ty.
“Pa, he had never seen a deer and he just got a glimpse of them on the drive up here. His mind is like a camera. Here, look at these.” He flipped it open to the first page of Nick in the cowboy outfit, standing facing him with his hat, belt and Buck knife in boots. Cheytan leaned in and looked at the crotch of the boy in the picture and reached over and pulled out the waist band of Nick’s pants and looked in.
“Hey! What are you doing?”
“Well, it’s been a while since I’ve seen it, but I sure don’t remember it being that big!”
“Well, maybe not for you,” Nick giggled. Oggie took the book and leafed through it. “These are fantastic, Ty. I would certainly call this a gift.”
“And Pa, he had me stand a certain way, like in each picture, and he just lightly drew some lines really fast, then he moved on to the next. After four or five different poses, well, we got busy with other things.”
Oggie grinned, “The belt buckles! Ah! Now it all makes sense, she opened the door and saw you two at it.”
“Uh, thanks pa.”
“Hey, it’s alright, we’re family. Now let me see them buckles.”
Nick stood up and Cheytan read, “Longest ride.”
His says “Best form.” Nick said, sitting, both boys able to use the strawberry jam as camouflage as Ty was still chewing and slathering another slice of toast.
“I thought this stuff only came in grape and was used to lubricate the peanut butter sandwiches so you could swallow them. We got that when they ran out of bologna. And yours has fruit in it, too.”
“So let me get this straight, he would just put some outlines in and then he would do the rest later? Did you have to get in the pose for him again?”
“No pa, that’s just it. He sees it in a glance and his mind takes like a picture of it and his hands take it from his brain to the paper.”
Oggie leafed through and came to one and stopped. He drew a breath as his eyes welled up. It was a beautiful woman in very abused shape. A slip hung over one shoulder and a cigarette hung limp from her mouth. Oggie didn’t need to ask who it was, he knew.
“Hey, can you draw me?” Cheytan asked, breaking the silence. “Uh, preferably with my clothes on. You know, just my head.”
“Sure.” He took the pad and grabbed a pencil out of the box and looked up at him, studying him for a moment. It was odd how his face lost expression, almost trance-like when he started to draw. His hands moved across the paper almost mechanically, touching the page briefly here and there but skipping places. He continued to draw as he got up and walked out of the kitchen and out on the front porch. He sat on the steps, drawing feverishly. He drew a perfect likeness in the center of the page but didn’t stop there. He drew a silo in the top left corner and Smokey’s head laughing like he did when Nick scratched his withers. The lower left he drew the front of the house and the upper right he drew a hawk flying in the clouds. He stopped and drew a little breath and walked back in the house. They all sat at the table, the dishes had all been done and the breakfast cleaned up. Almost an hour and a half had passed. Ty had lost track of time
“What happened to all the food?” he said, stopping in the doorway.
“Silly, you’ve been drawing almost two hours.”
“No way,” he said, looking at the clock. “Oh, I’m sorry. I wanted it to be good for you and I’m not very fast. I guess I just got lost in it.”
“Well, let us see what you did,” Cheytan said, getting up and reaching for the tablet.
“I can do another one for you, I’m afraid I’m a little out of practice,” he said, glancing up only slightly, then looking at Nick with a worried look on his face.
“Holy smokes,” Cheytan said. “Og, look at this.” He turned the pad around and set it on the table in front of Oggie.
“Holy shit! And he did that in an hour and a half.” He looked at Ty, “Son, you have a real gift here.”
“Pa, look at Smokey and the house. Look! There’s that split board on the door frame. And wait,” Nick said, running outside. He counted something, looking at the front of the house. He ran back in and grabbed the notepad and started counting. “Yep, exactly 8 knot holes in the boards around the house.”
Ty glanced up, “Nine, I think.” He took the pad and counted out the nine, one being in the edge of a corner board. Oggie took the pad and went outside and looked. Each one was in exactly the right spot.
“Damn, he’s good.”Oggie said. “Ty, son, you are fantastic. I was going to do this later but now is as good of a time as any. I’d like to give you a job. Let’s start you at ten bucks an hour and you can work two or three hours a day helping me. But I want to make a few phone calls because I think you have some real talent here.”
“What would I have to do?”
“What you do best. Draw! Can you draw from your imagination too or just what you see?”
“I don’t know. I mean, I’ve drawn a few things from my mind, but they were described to me. Like a guy wanted a winged dragon. He wanted the body to be brown and the wings green with red eyes and claws. He wanted it sort of flying and breathing fire, here let me show you.” He took the pad and drew it very quickly. “Well, you can see, but I don’t have the right colors to do it properly. But the one I did for him was in ink and Van Go had to do the colors because we only had blue and black ink from a couple pens we scarfed from one of the guards.”
“Ty, you want to take a little trip with me? I have a client who just bought some land and he wants to talk about a building to go on it. I’d like you to look at it and then help maybe draw some ideas for him. Maybe listen to his ideas and see if we can come up with some pictures of what he has in his mind. It is going to be a gallery so it needs to be a special building.”
“Sure, when? Can Nick come too?”
“Sure, if he wants too. We’ll only be gone for about three days.”
“Actually, I have some things to do around here that I’ve neglected a bit. I mean, it’s only three days right?”
Ty looked worried, “Yeah sure, alright.” He turned to Oggie, “When do we go?”
“Tuesday morning.” Leaning in a little towards Ty, “Nick doesn’t like to fly much, says it feels weird to him.”
“We’re going to fly there?”
“Yeah, it’s a pretty good distance from here. I mean, it is only in San Diego, but they want to move on it pretty fast.”
“Wow, I’ve watched planes from the yard. I always wondered if they knew I was watching. They were all going on some grand adventure. Oggie, this is all like a dream.”
“Look Oggie, I have to run. Give me a call and I can stop by and check on Nick, see if he needs anything. And about that picnic, how about this week end? We can do it at my place, that way when you get back, you don’t have to do anything to get ready, except maybe make a salad or something.”
“Yeah pa, I’ll make potato salad and do up some chickens.”
“Okay, and I’ll bring a mess of steaks.”
“Yes!” Ty said, pulling a fist from the sky.
“Okay then. You want to check with Carol first, make sure she doesn’t have plans?”
“Yeah, I guess I better huh? She’d be chasing me around the house with a tomahawk.” The boys laughed. “I’ll give ya a call when I get home. Nick, you want me to help ya feed?”
“No, we got it, thanks Cheytan. We gotta collect eggs anyways.”
“Come on, I’ll get the feed this time.” Ty said, running out the door.
“He’s starting to not be afraid, pa.”
“Yeah, I see that. I think he’s going to be alright. And that art he does is fantastic. Now, if we can get him to do something other than naked boys . . .”
“Pa! Don’t make him give that up. It always comes with a price I don’t mind payin’,” Nick grinned as he slipped out the door.
Oggie picked up the pad and leafed through them. He walked to his office and fired up his computer and placing the pad on his scanner, he scanned all the images into his computer.
He opened his email and clicked on compose.
I’m coming down Tuesday with a young man who I hope to adopt soon. I just discovered he has an incredible talent. I had planned to have him work on projects with me and still do, but I need some advice on how to further him along. Did I mention that he is just thirteen? I should also mention that he and my son, well, they have become quite an item. You’ll understand when you look at the pictures, but the boy is a human camera. He just caught a glimpse of the deer he drew. He had never seen deer before either. I figure you might have some ideas how to help foster this wonderful gift along.
Let me know what you think.
Oggie sat at his computer looking at the scans Ty had drawn. He marveled at the detail, especially on the pictures of Nick.
“Here they come!” Ty said as they squeezed in through the door. “Yeah well, you guys won’t have a prayer just as soon as the sally port gets done. Here chic chic chic, here chic chic chic.” Ty said, as he spread the feed, the old rooster came after Ty, “Hey, help!” And Ty made a field goal.
“Ty, don’t kill him. I said a little boot. No rooster no eggs. And he’s too tough to eat. Go easy on him.”
“Sorry, got scared.” He continued to spread feed, glancing over at the rooster who was up strutting again, but keeping his distance from Ty.
“Got ’em. Let’s go. Still have to toss a flake to the horses.”
“I’ll do that while you take the eggs in.”
“Yeah, no big deal.”
Ty went into the barn and tossed a flake to Smokey, then Chewbacca and then to Camille.
Nick waited a few minutes after washing the eggs and putting them in the basket, but Ty didn’t come back in.
Nick went out and quietly opened the door and saw Ty sitting on the wall of a stall talking to Camille. Camille had her head over the wall and stretched her head sideways to lay across his leg. He scratched her neck as he talked to her. Nick just stood in amazement. They had connected in a special way.
“Think later she may give you a ride? I need to check the fence line later today. Maybe do that and then to the lake.”
“Sure!” Ty said quickly.
“Well, you said that pretty fast. Not afraid of the lake anymore.”
“This is all a dream isn’t it? Dreams can’t hurt you. Not really.”
“Yeah, sure, just a dream. Come on, let’s get a bit more done on the sally port. You want to saw or hold?”
“Can I saw?”
“Sure, just cut beside the line on the right and keep your fingers out of the way.”
Ty sawed for a bit and started to sweat, pulled the t-shirt off and wiped his face with it and draped it over the top of the stall wall. Nick let the horses out in the corral and came back in to find Ty sawing away at the next piece. His body glistened as he worked. The stray beams of light made the sweat on him sparkle and his beautiful copper tan made the boys glance and smile surreal.
“You could be right,” Nick said quietly, as he pressed his jeans tightly against the bent over boy. “Maybe this is just a dream.” He pulled Ty’s ass tightly against his steaming hot rod. Ty could feel his firmness even through the many layers of cloth in between them.
“Hey, we’ll never get this thing built if we keep finding other things to distract us.”
“What’s your point?” Nick said, amused.
“Come on, we don’t want it to be half done when we go on our trip, do we?
“Since when did you get so responsible?” Nick grinned.
“Hey, it’s a dream isn’t it?”
“Then I can be responsible for a bit. Come on, show me how to do this. We’ve got all of these cut, now what’s next?”
“Ok, now get the hammer and some nails and let’s start putting it together. Let’s get a couple nails started and then we’ll put them in place and hammer them up. I’ll do a couple then you can.” Nick started a couple nails and then had Ty hold two boards together as he drove the two nails in with just a few hits. Setting up the next board with two nails Ty tapped the head several times and it looked as if they hadn’t moved.
“Here hold the hammer down here. Let the weight of the hammer head do the work. Like this,” Whack, whack! “Here,” he said, handing the hammer back to him, “Now you give it a try.”
Ty gripped the handle at the base and took a mighty swing and the nail was suddenly bent over.
“Oh shit, I’ve ruined it!”
“No silly, it takes practice. I’ve bent lots of nails. Still do once in a while. Here, that’s what the claw part is for. Now start your nail. Don’t whack it hard until your hand isn’t holding the nail. I did that once and my nail turned all black for about a month. It was ugly when the nail fell off, and man, did it hurt. So get it started again.”
Ty took careful aim this time, his tongue sticking out the corner of his mouth. He smacked it a good one, driving the nail to its new home.
“See, just takes practice.”
They continued until they had the framework all assembled.
“Come on now, you grab that end and I’ll grab this one and we’ll just put it up against the other.”
They held it up, but the ground sloped up on the end. “Wait a minute, let me get a shovel, we’ll dig it out a little right there and you’ll see, it will line up just right.”
Nick got the shovel and dug it out a little bit, then they dropped it into place. “Hold this tight against that one while I screw it into place.” Nick took the screw gun and a sheetrock screw and screwed the pieces together.
“Cool, can I do some?”
“Sure, God bless Mister and Misses Sheetrock screws.”
Ty screwed a few more in and then moved down and put a few more in. “Phew! It’s hot.”
“Yeah, let’s stop for today and go for a swim. Tomorrow we can hang the door and put the chicken wire on it.” Nick grabbed the screw gun and Ty the screws and the shovel and they stowed them in the barn. Nick opened the barn doors and clicked his tongue and called Smokey. Ty did the same and Camille came to him. Chewbacca came also.
“Sorry Chewbacca, pa ain’t going out today, maybe tomorrow. But you can hang out here in the shade if you want to. I’ll tell pa you want to go for a workout. You haven’t been out in a bit.”
“Why don’t you ride him? You know how well enough, don’t ya?”
“Yeah well, me and Chewbacca don’t get along that well. I tried that once and he threw me off. Pa says that he knows he can scare me now and that I should have gotten back on him and rode him hard. But I like Smokey. I figure if I have to prove I’m stronger than he is every time I get on him that he isn’t worth it. One day he and I will have to have a go at it but not today. Need some help saddling Camille?”
“No, I’ve got it.” Ty said, straining to lift the saddle over Camille’s back without knocking the blanket off. Camille stood ever so still. Ty walked over to the tack room and looked at the next piece to be installed on Camille. “Why do all these mouth things look different and which one should I use?”
“Those are called bits and the pointed ones are more aggressive.”
“What does that mean, more aggressive?”
“The way they work is by putting pressure on a horse’s mouth when you lead left or lead right. When you pull back that on the reins, that piece presses against the roof of his mouth. When I say more aggressive, I mean it hurts more, so that the horse listens and does what he is told. When you get a real stubborn horse like Chewbacca, sometimes you have to use something very aggressive to get them to behave.”
“Does it always hurt?”
“No, it depends on the horse and the rider. If you use even a softer bit it can hurt if you pull to hard. Here, use this one for Camille.”
“I don’t want to use one if it hurts her.”
“It won’t. Just be gentle and talk to her. She is used to it. Remember that her ears point forward and you are sitting behind her. She needs something to give her directions. This is something she is used to. She doesn’t mind it, really.”
“Alright, but if it hurts her, then I’m not going to use it anymore. If it means that I walk, then I walk.”
“I understand. I love Camille too. Mount up, let’s go. I’ll run in and tell pa we are leaving. I’ll be right back.”
Ty walked up to Camille, holding the bit, “Now if this hurts you, let me know ’cause I don’t ever want to hurt ya. Are you ok with this one?” Camille answered by taking it in her mouth and chewing it a bit, getting it in the right place for her. Ty put it all in place and went around and climbed up on the box.
“Ready Camille?” He slipped one leg over her saddle and settled into place. Camille shifted a bit. Ty took the reins and holding them forward and to the right like he had been shown, he nudged her in the side and she started to turn and walk out of the barn.
“Look pa,” Nick said, glancing out of the window at the young boy sitting astride Camille, one hand around the reins and resting on the saddle horn, the wrist of his other hand on top of that. He had on his jeans and a nice shirt with his straw cowboy hat. He sat calmly waiting for his boy to return.
Oggie walked over and looked out the window, “Well I’ll be damned. Just a few days ago and he was scared to death of Camille, us, everything. He is coming right along. I think he’s starting to settle in with us.”
“Yeah, I was afraid that Cheytan walking in might have scared him back a few steps, but it turns out he is alright with it.”
“Why would you think that?” Oggie’s concern showing in his eyes.
“I don’t know, he just sorta expects the worst.”
“Yeah well, that seems to be what he has received most of isn’t it. Maybe we can make him alright with it.”
“You going to be alright with him on this trip?”
“Yeah, I think we’ll be alright. You are welcome to come along.”
“Nah, you know I really hate flying. I mean, if he starts to wig out or something, I’d like to be there, but not if I don’t have to be.
“Well, go on then and don’t keep him waiting.
“Alright pa, we’re just going to check the fence line, then down to the lake for a bit. You might want to take Chewbacca out before your trip. He’s really restless today, he wanted to come along too.”
“Ok, how about tomorrow? We can all take a little ride.”
“Great, let’s make it early. Ty said he wanted to see more deer so I put a lick out and some corn. Been doing it for a few days, hoping maybe we can get a look at some before your trip.”
“A great idea, we’ll have to get out there early, let’s plan about six.”
“Cool, that way we can get up there before they start beddin’ down. See ya later pa.”
“I was beginning to wonder if I was going to have to take her back to the barn, you were in there forever.”
“Sorry, you know how pa is when he get’s ta jawin’. I told him about Chewbacca wanting to go, so he is going with us tomorrow, but we want to go early.”
“Well, you’ve been wanting to see some more deer, so I set some stuff out that they like a lot. If we get up early enough we can maybe sit up on the hill a ways and watch them. They have really good eyesight and can sniff ya on the wind so we will have to be really quiet and stay upwind of them.”
“Really! Do you think they’ll be there?”
“It’s hit and miss. Maybe they will and maybe not, but we stand a really good chance.”
“Thanks for doing that.”
Nick smiled, “You know I’d do anything for you. I love you.”
“Thanks for that too.”
“Oh stop thanking me. Can’t you see that you do things for me too? Sometimes I feel like God made you go through all that just so you would end up here and I could love you.
“I’m sorry. I know you went through hell. I know you had horrible things happen to you. But I gotta tell you that there were times I would have traded places with you just to have someone around to touch me. I know what you’re thinking and you’re right. I really wouldn’t, but there were times when I would sit here and listen to the sun dry the tall grass. Absolute silence. Then the Cicadas would kick in for a moment. Then quiet. It would go on like that, for days sometimes. I thought there was no one for me and that I was sent here by God because I was . . . you know. I was gay. The others came and wanted no part of me. I made myself scarce. I’d come up here and sit under that tree and dream about someone just for me. I couldn’t even make a picture of him in my mind because I never really saw anyone that way. Then the others went away, one by one. I was alone again. Then one day I was coming back from checking the fence line and I saw the sherriff’s car leaving. At first I thought, ‘Great, another one. Why doesn’t he give up on them, none of them want to be here.’ Then the dust cleared from the sherriff leaving and there I saw this beautiful boy standing there. I had my picture now. I knew at that moment. Then when I rode in, you just stared at me. I often wonder what was going through your mind at that moment. And then you shook my hand and I had to ask for it back.” Nick smiled, looking at Ty blushing. “I think I knew then that you were special. I knew one thing for sure. You were going to stay if I had to put you in bibs and hang you on the barn door. The fence line looks good, let’s go down for a swim.”
They turned the horses down the path towards the lake.
“You’re awful quiet today. Don’t you have anything to say?”
“I’m afraid that if I say anything, that I’ll wake up from the dream.”
“You’re so silly, come on, let’s get wet,” Nick said, getting down off Smokey. He started to remove the saddle and blanket while Smokey sipped from the lake.
Ty copied the all-too-familiar steps, though his was a little more difficult because he had no box to stand on, but he managed and then led Camille over under the shade of a tree. He rubbed her neck and spoke quietly to her. She leaned down and nibbled some grass as Ty turned around and headed out to the sun. He had changed. His movements sure and deliberate, unafraid. Ty toed his Rockports off and stuffed his socks in the top and peeled his shirt off, folding it and placing it on the tall grass. He placed his hat on top of it and unbuckled his jeans, letting them fall. He gently stepped out of them and folded them. Placing them on the ground, he peeled his whitie-tighties off and folded them also, placing them on top of the jeans. He placed his hands on his hips and turned to see Nick standing there, still fully dressed.
“What gives? I thought you wanted to get wet.”
“I did, I mean I do. But I was watching you, you are just . . . different.”
“Is that bad?” Ty said, walking over to Nick, his boyhood starting to lift just slightly off of his balls. It was apparent that he was starting to enjoy the prospects of removing Nick’s clothing. He slipped his arms around him and pulled him in against his nakedness and kissed him. He reached up and took off his hat and gently stuck it on top of some tall grass. Then reaching around Nick, he grabbed his shirt tails and lifted it over his head. Nicks golden brown summer tan was beautiful. Ty ran his hands down his chest, brushing his nipples as his fingers grazed his rippled abs. Nicks stomach muscles contracted as his touch sprang serious life into the now binding fledgling staff. Ty undid the buckle and the snaps and lowered his jeans and then his boxers as he pulled his boy tight against him. Rod against rod, one hand on Nick’s perfect, boy-mound, ass and the other pulling his chest against his. He breathed out heavily and slowly, turned his head up to look into those waiting eyes. He kissed him, long, slow and sensuously.
“Way differently,” Nick said, breathing heavily. He stepped forward, forgetting that his pants and boxers were around his feet. He landed on top of Ty, whose giggles broke the mood. Then Nick started to giggle too, kicking off the tangled mess of clothes.
“Come on, let’s get wet. We have time for this in a few. Let’s cool off first. I’m sweating and we haven’t even done anything yet.”
He jumped up and ran into the water with Ty hot on his heels. Nick paused a moment and Ty dove for him, grabbing him and wrapping his legs around his waist he settled down against his rock hard staff. Ty kissed him before he could say anything. Nick wrapped his arms around him and they turned in the water, Nick settling down to their necks in the cooling water. Their embrace broke and they sat looking into each other’s eyes, an unspoken language taking place somewhere deep inside one another. Ty broke the silence.
“I know what love is now. I’m not sure I like it all that much.”
Nick looked at him with furrowed brows. “I don’t understand.”
“I know. Love means having to worry for two. I hated worrying for one, but worrying without you is worse.” His eyes locked on Nick’s.
“Can’t you please come with me? I don’t want to go alone.”
“You’re not alone. Pa is with you.”
“I’m alone if you aren’t with me.”
“Sure, if it means that much to you, then I’ll go.”
“How can you say ‘If it means that much to you?’ You are my everything!” Ty said, looking him in the eyes. “I can’t go without you.”
“What about the dream?” Nick asked.
“Screw the dream, you’re my reality and I’m still scared. Please, . . . please, come with me.”
“Sure, I’ll come with you, now shut up and kiss me.”
“Come on, let’s do some sun.”
“Hey Milt, what have you got for me?”
“I was able to get in to see him. Being a PI and a notary I got to see him the same as an attorney. A real work of art this one is. The first thing he wanted to know is if I fucked the kid. If I did he wanted fifty bucks, twenty for a blowjob. I hate that the guy is using good people’s oxygen. I told him he had a choice, go back to the yard with a jacket on for having short eyes or he could set the kid free and nothing would be said.”
“What’s that mean in normal folks talk, Milt?”
“When they bring someone new in they put a fluorescent vest on them to make it easier to watch them. When they are there because of crimes against kids they would put a different color vest on them. The inmates have a low tolerance for that type. The life expectancy is short. So, to make a long story short, he signed and I still let the word be known. He signed, but I don’t think he will ever see the street.”
“Nice work Milt. Look, get the paperwork over to Larry’s office and e-mail me your bill. I’ll have a check out to you in the morning.”
Oggie hung up the phone, “That was the only roadblock,” he said out loud. A great smile grew on his face as the wheels turned. Social Services, I need to make an appointment. He leafed through his Rolodex until he found the right number.
“Hello, Sharon? Ogden Castle, I don’t know if you remember me or not but . . .”
“Oggie, how could I forget you? And how is that young boy, Nick, isn’t it?”
“He’s great. I’m flattered that you even remember me. Look, the reason for my call is I am about to do it again and I’ll need another study.”
“Well, that shouldn’t be too tough. Is everything the same? Did you get married or anything?”
“Nope, still happily disengaged, thank you. But I’m trying to do this as a surprise for the boy. He has a birthday coming up and…”
“As I recall you live out a good ways. Any chance we can get you to come in? We could just do it like two old friends meeting for dinner. Do the boy’s interact well?”
“Oh yes, quite well. Two peas in a pod, so to speak. They’re almost inseparable.”
“And what is the young boy’s name?”
“Tyson Ignacio Coruthers”
“And how did you come to know Tyson and what are his circumstances?”
“He came to us through the courts and his past was not very good. He’s had a rough life. He has a bio-father that used to sell him and well, he has really opened up to us. He has been good for us and we have been good for him. He is a keeper and I want to make sure he has everything in life that he should have had all along.”
“How does Nick feel about sharing your attention?”
“He’s fine with it. This was more or less his idea.”
“Alright, when can we meet for dinner?”
“I think Friday night would be good. We are going to San Diego for three days to look at a property for a client. We’ll stop in LA and I’ll rent a car. Where would you like to meet?”
“How about the Outback? You cowboys like a good steak, right?”
“Oh, I think you can safely say that, yes. That would be fine. Say around 7:30?”
“Great, see you all then.”
“It’s a surprise for him, so let’s try and keep it low key.”
“I understand. But he does want it, right?”
“I’ll let you be the judge of that, but he has said so, yes.”
“Shouldn’t be a problem then. See you Friday? I’ll e-mail you my cell phone in case there are any issues. What’s your e-mail?”
“How long you been staring at me like that?”
“Not long. You’re just so beautiful when you sleep.”
“So you keep saying. What time is it?”
“It’s sex thirty,” Ty whispered, before pressing his lips to Nicks. His leg slipped over Nicks and his boyhood rested against Nick’s thigh. He slowly curved his hips, rubbing his fullness against him.
Nick grabbed him by the waist and pulled him inside his legs, boy against boy, flame against flame, Ty’s rocking increased as it was met by the same. Nick ran his finger tips slowly across his dimpled boy mounds as they flinched with the stimulation of his touch. They continued to kiss passionately, rocking and writhing like two worms in heat, sliding against each other until one exploded, layering his flaming hot spunk between them. The hot bath landing on Nick’s breathless, mindless passion brought him over the edge as he dug his heels in and pushed, blasting his seed between them. Ty collapsed on top of him and they lay panting, Ty with his ear to Nick’s chest, he could hear his heart trying to escape. They lay there in each other’s arms until they returned to the earth they left.
With a dangerous grin, Ty stuck his tongue out and with just the tip, tickled Nick’s nipple. Nick rolled him off and raised up above him, their bodies meeting only where their staffs touched. Nick looked, smiling down at his boy, his love. Nick dropped down on his forearms and kissed Ty again.
“Come on, we gotta get back. Pa has to make reservations for me too.”
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