NICHOLAS LASHER was singing at the top of his lungs as they were playing “Renegade” by Styx. His hand moved to turn up the volume on the truck’s radio. The window was rolled down, blowing his honey-blond hair. Spring had finally arrived, even though it was already late May.
He was on his way home after a long shift on his job as an emergency room doctor at the community hospital. Spring fever had hit the mountain town with a bang, and he’d had a long day treating patients with ailments from hay fever to a severed finger, courtesy of a novice with a chain saw.
“Oh, Renegade, who had it made, retrieved for a bounty?”
Nicholas suddenly grabbed the steering wheel with both hands and yanked the truck to the side to avoid the deer that leaped out in front of the truck. As he felt the truck begin to roll, out of the corner of his eye, he saw the deer sprint away. Then he heard the sound of glass breaking and metal crunching and felt himself lifting off the seat. He was tossed around the cab of the truck as it rolled over twice. Then silence. The pain was blinding. He began to beg for unconsciousness or even death.
“Not gonna happen as long as I’m around. Come on and look at me with those blue eyes.”
Nicholas opened his eyes and saw the most beautiful man. He was Native American, with black hair and chocolate eyes.
“Don’t worry, Nick, I’ve got you, and I’m not going to let you go.” The man grabbed onto Nicholas’s hand, and then Nicholas began to fade and was surrounded by a white mist. He felt himself being pulled away.
HE WAS drifting, and the fog was quite thick. It swirled around Nick, and he brushed a hand in front of his eyes to clear it away. It was like he was flying, and he could see a ranch house, a barn, and some outbuildings. There was a man walking toward the outbuildings, and Nick rushed by and then stopped with a jolt. The mist began to recede, and he saw that he was standing on a porch. The wooden boards beneath his feet creaked with his weight.
He looked down and saw he was wearing denim jeans, cowboy boots, and an old-fashioned duster.
“Nick! Your turn to deal!”
He turned at the sound of the voice and peered through the doorway. Four men sat at a table in the room, cards scattered before them. The room was lit by an oil lamp casting shadows.
“He must have hit his head when that mare threw him this afternoon,” said an old codger seated by the fireplace in the back of the room.
The other men in the room laughed at this, and a barb was thrown out, “Never known Nick to be rejected by a woman.”
“Let’m alone,” someone said in a sharp tone from behind Nick, startling him. He turned to look at who was speaking.
The tall, well-built foreman continued, “You men best get some sleep tonight. Roundup starts at dawn. Nick? Go on out to the barn and help Bear Claw settle the horses.”
“Yeah, Nick! You go stay with your injun friend tonight!”
Nick departed the bunkhouse for the barn to laughter and another rebuke to the cowboys from the man who seemed to be in charge.
Nick pulled open the door of the barn and stepped inside. The small glow of light and the man speaking drew him in closer.
“Ya don’t need to skulk around the door. C’mon in. Or are ya afraid?”
Nick couldn’t see who was speaking since the light was between him and the man who was in one of the stalls.
“’Fraid of what?” Nick asked as he closed the barn door and pulled the bar across it to prevent anyone from coming in behind him.
“Talkin’ to me. Crazy injun. Never goes to town, always with the horses.” The man finally stepped out into the light. He was gorgeous. He stood over six feet tall, and his lanky build was disguised by buckskins and a fur coat that fell to midthigh. His black hair fell in waves down his back.
Nick walked toward the man. “I know you’re not crazy. Just not comfortable around the other cowboys.” He continued to move closer. “But I know you’re comfortable with me, Tibbs.”
He stopped walking and grabbed the man by the arm and pulled him into his arms. He buried his face against the wrangler’s neck and gently kissed him. Tibbs returned the embrace and moved his mouth to capture Nick’s lips with his own.
“I didn’t think I was gonna get to see ya ’fore roundup started. It’d be weeks before we could be together. How’d ya get away?”
“Carson sent me out here. It’s like he knows.”
“Take off your clothes. I want ya right now,” Tibbs said. “I’m gonna take ya hard. Ya will remember me tomorrah when ya spend a long day in the saddle.” He caressed Nick’s face, turned, took off his coat, and began to loosen his belt. The sound of the metal clacking nudged Nick’s brain.
He responded to the sound like Pavlov’s dogs did to the dinner bell. He stripped off his clothes and bent forward, holding onto the railings of an empty stall. Tibbs moved behind him and caressed the ass that was displayed. Nick’s hands reached behind him, grabbed his own ass, and spread his cheeks apart. His pucker twitched in anticipation. His hands returned to the railing to brace for what he knew was coming next.
“Don’t make me wait any longer, you fucker. Shove your dick in my ass.” Nick turned his head and looked deep into the chocolate-brown eyes.
Tibbs took some of the salve he used on the horses and spread it across Nick’s hole. He pushed one finger in and then replaced it with his throbbing penis. He pushed in all the way with one long, slow thrust. Tibbs grabbed onto Nick’s hips and slowly pulled out, then pushed back in, increasing speed with each thrust until both men were breathing hard, and sweat was dripping onto Nick’s back from Tibbs’s forehead.
“Is this what ya wanted? Me fuckin’ you?” Tibbs asked.
“Yeah. I want it. I want it harder.”
Nick began to moan as Tibbs was hitting his prostate with every thrust. Nick could feel his orgasm building, and he helped it along by grabbing his own penis, rubbing it back and forth, his pleasure building even further as Tibbs grunted.
“I’m gonna splash your insides with my juice. I can’t hold back anymore. Oh?” Tibbs said as he began to ejaculate. He pushed inside as far as he could, and spurt after spurt of his semen coated Nick. He thrust a few more times after coming, knowing that Nick still needed to come. Tibbs reached around and put his hand over Nick’s and began to stroke with him. Tibbs kissed his neck, caressed Nick’s back and arm. Nick stiffened up, let out a low moan, and came, his semen falling to the barn floor.
Nick shuddered and turned into his lover’s embrace, his breathing slowing back to a normal rhythm. He wanted to stay in this position forever but instead he reached for his pants and put them on.
“I’ve got to get back to the bunkhouse. The others will be wondering where I am.”
“I thought you might stay the night with me.” Tibbs pulled up his pants and buckled the belt that had set off Nick not fifteen minutes ago.
“I can’t. You know that. I’m putting my life on the line now.”
“Yeah. Don’t want to be seen with no Indian.”
“That’s not it, and you know it. They would kill us if they saw what we were doing.” Nick finished buttoning his shirt and shrugged into his duster.
“We’ve been doin’ this for months. No one knows. Hell, they ignore me. It’s like I’m invisible.”
“Get out of my way. I told you I can’t. It’s not worth it.”
“You mean I’m not worth it. Then, go. Get the fuck out of here.”
Nick walked toward the door of the barn and took one last look at the man he had feelings for, but he knew he could never show it. Not even to the recipient of those feelings. He shut the door behind him and leaned against the rough wood. Why was he this way? Why didn’t the whores in town tempt him like they did the others? Maybe it was time he moved on.
“WE’VE been on the trail for two weeks now. I need a night of drinking and whoring,” said one of the cowhands riding next to Nick.
“Yeah,” the others echoed.
“You’ll get your chance soon enough,” the foreman said as he caught up to the cowboys. “We should be close to town tomorrow. Once we get the cattle loaded on the train in Wichita, you boys can have two days before we head back.”
“Yeehaw!” came the reply, and the men moved toward the back of the herd.
“Nick, when we get to town, I need you to come to the office with me. There’s a ranch in Oklahoma looking for a foreman. I know you like it here, but this is a favor to me. To tell you the truth, son, there are some rumors about you and that Indian. The men are grumbling about it. I had to let him go. Told him to be gone when we get back. Watch your back when we’re in town.” Carson rode off and left Nick with his thoughts.
Was Tibbs all right? He hoped that Tibbs had gotten away, as the foreman had said, and that the men had not hurt him. Damn it! He should have stayed the night with him. Now he knew he had to go, before anyone else heard the rumors about him. He was going to take the advice, and the job, that the foreman had given him. He looked west to the horizon, to a new beginning, and he noticed that fog was moving in. He rode on into the mist and started drifting up and away.