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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.

Stonegate Stables - 34. Chapter 34

Wednesday was the one year anniversary of the day that Vincent and I had decided to become a couple. I'd been thinking about what to do for a while, and had all the arrangements made. I snuck home a little early to finish up some last minute stuff, and was just closing the front door behind me when Vincent came around the corner from the hall with a wooden spoon in his hand.

"What the hell are you doing home?" he asked, pointing the spoon at me as we stared at each other in surprise.

"I could ask you the same question," I replied testily, putting my hands on my hips. "You're not supposed to be home until six tonight. You said so this morning."

He glanced down, then back at me and started to laugh. "I just wanted you to not rush home so I could get dinner ready."

"And I came home to put the finishing touches on my surprise.” We stared at each other for a moment. "But it doesn't matter. We'll eat your dinner, and then do my surprise."

I love lamb chops, and Vincent had done them up with fresh green beans, baby carrots, and sliced tomatoes, accompanied by a marvelous chardonnay. He had set places at our little table on the patio, and we ate out there as evening fell. The day had been warm, and as the sun went down, it cooled off just enough to be comfortable. The air was still, and as we sat there quietly, a coyote trotted across a corner of the pasture, getting a vigilant look from Zena.

Vincent lit candles as it got darker, scooting his chair around next to mine as we enjoyed the last of the wine. He brought my hand to his mouth and kissed my knuckles.

"Do you remember that morning you called me to come over? Your voice was all shaky, and I asked if you were all right. You sounded so upset that I was sure you were going to tell me that you were in love with TJ, and that we were through."

I had turned to look at him while he was speaking, and as he finished, he met my eyes. We stared at each other for a long moment, each of us remembering that day clearly. I smiled, nodding my head slowly as I squeezed his hand.

"No.” I paused and slowly shook my head. “I was so sure about what I wanted, and so afraid that by then you’d lost interest, or changed your mind, or some other damn thing . . . and you took so long to say anything that I almost died waiting."

We watched the sun narrow to a sliver as it dropped behind the trees, briefly lighting the sky. Vincent was looking at the sunset, and I was looking at Vincent. The golden light turned his skin a deep honey brown, and I felt a surge of emotion so strong that it caught my breath for a second. I reached up and ran my fingertip across his mouth, then down his goatee until I could hook my finger under his chin and turn him to me.

I studied his face carefully, noting the lines around his mouth that hadn't been there eight years ago, the touch of gray at his temples. His eyes hadn't changed much, except for the little fan of wrinkles at the corners; they were still dark and liquid, regarding me with a somber expression. He leaned his face into my hand as he held my gaze.

"I love you, Vincent."

He finally smiled back at me. "I know you do, baby. That's maybe the one thing in my life that I never doubt."

He leaned over and kissed me slowly, running his tongue along my mouth and sending little trickles of heat to my dick. I slid from my chair and knelt between his feet, gripping his thighs as I buried my face in the crotch of his jeans and blew a warm breath through the fabric. When I did it a second time, and then a third, Vincent dropped his head back with a groan. As his cock thickened, I opened his pants and reached in to straighten it up towards his belly, but left it in his shorts.

I rose up a little to lick my way up his stomach, teasing him with nibbles and kisses. As I pushed his shirt higher, I glanced up to see him watching me with a smoldering expression, his jaw tight and his eyes narrowed. I sat back on my heels to unbutton my shirt, pulling it wide to stroke my hands down my body, ending with one hand gripping my crotch. I lifted the other to my mouth, sucking on my index finger before reaching it slowly out to him. He watched it coming, lowering his gaze as my wet fingertip made contact with his nipple. He drew a quick breath at the coolness of it, and his cock flexed in his underwear.

The tip of his erection strained against the waist of his shorts as I mouthed him though the thin fabric. Vincent pushed his jeans and shorts down a little to lift his cock and balls up over the elastic. He dropped a hand to the back of my head as I sucked down his erection. The taste and smell of him hardened me quickly, and I ripped open my fly with a moan, grabbing my dick in one hand as I reached for his nuts with the other.

As I blew him, Vincent put his hands on my shoulders, holding me lightly as he watched. Before long, he began to thrust quickly, arching back as he pumped out most of his hot load onto my hand. I kept hold of him as I stood up, jerking my cock and grimacing as the pressure in my nuts increased. Vincent scooped some cum off his belly and began to knead my balls, sliding them around in his slippery hand. A few seconds of that finished me, and he grinned as I sprayed his chest with strings of ejaculate, each one accompanied by a soft grunt as I panted through it.

We wiped up with our dinner napkins, and put ourselves back together as we settled into our chairs again. Vincent put his arm over my shoulders as I leaned my head into his. We sat like that for a long time - with full stomachs, empty balls, and happy hearts.

At eight, I ran upstairs to check on things, and then came back down for Vincent. As I led him along the hall to our closed bedroom door, he looked at me curiously. He was always surprising me with wonderful experiences, so I had really worked at thinking this one up. I reached for the knob and turned to watch his face as I pushed the door open. His eyes went quickly around the room as his face broke into a delighted smile.

"Arabian Nights?" he asked in a goofy accent.

"Something like that," I agreed.

I’d arranged to have our room swathed in yards and yards of jewel-toned fabric with tassels everywhere. A satin canopy hung from the ceiling, draping the bed in deep crimson. The room looked like the inside of a sheik's tent with dozens of candles flickered in the breath of air from the open window. As we stepped inside, two hot-looking young guys dressed only in crimson jocks stepped out of the shadows.

Now I have no idea what sheiks wear under their robes. I expect it isn't a crimson jock, but I’d asked for two scantily clad sensual masseurs, and this was what they sent me. On these two it worked, believe me. Vincent rolled his eyes to me, and I grinned back.

They led us to massage tables set up head to head near the big window that overlooked the back meadow. The sky was clear and full of stars, and we lay on our stomachs holding hands as we were kneaded and pummeled. The boys rubbed and pressed their crotches against us as they leaned into the massages. It was as intimate and calming as I'd hoped, and I felt myself drifting away in a cloud of chardonnay and scented massage oil, Vincent's hand warm in mine.

But these were to be sensual massages, and eventually my masseur began to concentrate on my ass, stroking his hands up my crack, over and over, so that the sensation was one of endless touch. He nudged my legs apart, reaching deeper to grasp my testicles in both hands, compressing them in his palms. As he tugged and squeezed, he slid a thumb up and into me, moving it just enough to keep my attention. As I arched up into his hands, Vincent's tightened grip and low moan told me something similar was being done to him.

They didn't get us off - I'd instructed them to stop short of that - but after they'd gotten us close a few times, they led us to bed, blew out all but a couple candles, and left. Matt's drawing crossed my mind as Vincent pushed me onto my side and wrapped his arm around my chest, pulling me into the curve of his body. Being held like that is the most secure feeling in the world, and I wasn't surprised that Matt had depicted himself in that position.

We dozed for a while, and when I woke up around eleven-thirty, Vincent was already awake, lying on his side with his head resting on his outstretched arm. When our eyes met in the dim light, his mouth moved in the faintest of smiles. His hand was resting on my chest, and I covered it with my own as I looked at him.

"Make love to me," I whispered to him in the stillness of the room.

He didn't reply, but his expression softened and in it, I could see the same tenderness and devotion that I felt for him. We lay quietly for several minutes, gazing at each other, my hand still over his on my chest. Just when I couldn't stand it another minute, his hand began to move. He drew his fingers in and then spread them back out slowly, his thumb brushing across my nipple each time.

He watched me carefully as he intensified the movements of his hand, and when he pinched my nipple the first time, I cried out. His face tightened, his cock jerked against my leg, and he covered my mouth with his, smothering my next cry as he kissed me deeply.

We took our time, touching each other's bodies with hands that slowly grew more urgent. Sex with someone new is exciting and I love it, but making love with a person you know well and love deeply is as good as it gets. Vincent knew my body intimately, and used that knowledge to bring me close with his hands and mouth. After my nuts tightened up for the third time, I was panting and moaning and begging him to fuck me.

He scooted up to my ass, his knees spread wide around my hips, and I felt the wet tip of his cock press firmly against me. I pulled my knees to my chest and groaned aloud when he finally began to push into me. He stopped with just the head of his penis in me, and waited until I looked up at him.

"I love you, Sean," he whispered to me as he ran his hands up my body, then back down to hold my thighs. As he pulled me onto his cock, he held my eyes. "I love you," he said again, so softly I could barely hear him.

That night a year ago when we'd decided to become partners, I'd never been in love before and hadn't realized how my feelings for him would deepen over time. It had only been a year, and already our relationship had evolved and matured; I couldn't imagine my life without him. Watching him as he began thrusting steadily into me, the muscles of his stomach flexing with the effort, I knew that he and I shared something deeply intimate that many couples don’t find in their relationship.

He brought me to an intense climax before pulling free and straddling my waist. I rubbed his hard dick in the cum that covered my belly, and then stroked him as he squeezed his balls in one hand. Each time my fist slid over the head of his cock, he let out a soft, incredibly sexy grunt - little 'unh,' 'unh,' 'unh's’ that grew louder and more frequent the closer he got to shooting. In just moments, he rose to his knees; his entire body tense as he fired onto my chest and stomach, grimacing each time his cock spurted.

When he gained some control over his body, he lay down next to me, his ragged breathing slowly becoming more regular. His hand slid up and down my arm, tugging at the hairs on my wrist, stroking his fingers between mine. He was quiet for quite a while, but finally he rolled to me, taking my face in his hands, talking softly to me from five inches away.

"Sean, your love is the most wonderful gift anyone's ever given me. It makes me strong, and it keeps me humble, and I love you so much."

Of all the things he'd said to me over the past year, these words touched me the most. I reached out to cup his cheek in my hand and we kissed then - a soft, searching kiss, his lips warm on mine - a kiss that held all the wonder and awe we felt for what we became when we were together.

The gymkhanas grew more popular each month. July was the fourth one and we had to cut back on the number of events to fit all the contestants in. They were paying for themselves now, which was all I'd been aiming for. I viewed them more as public relations events and something fun for the local kids.

Kelly won the ring toss on Rascal, getting all five of his rings on the poles in the quickest time as he cantered along. Kelly was doing well under Tommy's watchful eye. He was strong and durable, and worked hard at whatever was put in front of him. After a month of extra meals, both he and Rascal had put on several pounds and looked healthier. He'd gotten a lot more comfortable around the barn, and grinned at me whenever I came across him.

Katie came home first in the water bucket race, soaking wet and grinning all the way. She and Zena were quite a team, and I was starting to believe she could do damn near anything on a horse. She was beginning to get Calvin over fences consistently, learning to control his moods and his temper.

Matt spent the day in the announcer's booth since Adam was on a horse-buying trip. I don't know if it was his artistic streak or what, but he was a great announcer, adding all sorts of silly comments and little jokes. He went out into the crowd at lunch, doing impromptu interviews with the kids and their horses. He'd make up a goofy voice for each horse, and it was pretty funny, a side of him I hadn't seen. He was becoming a very confident person – not just because of Vincent and me, I don't think - but also thanks to Adam, Katie, David, and all our other friends. They'd given him back the free spirit that had been quashed for so many years.

The crew I'd hired to do work on the rodeo preparations was moving right along. Stout pens had been built off to one side of the western arena, with alleyways connecting them to the bucking chutes that were still being built. I’d watched the workmen one afternoon as they set massive timbers one after another, and then tied them together with 2x6s set a foot apart. It looked plenty strong to me, and I hoped it would look as good to my insurance guy, who had paled when I told him bulls were coming in September.

The promoter showed up again on the day of the gymkhana, taking a bunch of pictures that I began to see on posters around town and in an ad on the local TV channel. He dropped off a few posters at my office, and I put them up at the stable, figuring most of the rich owners would attend just for the novelty of it.

Cody had shown some interest in the tie-down calf roping event when I told him about the wild card entries. He hadn't roped seriously in years, so he'd started practicing daily, flinging his rope at anything that moved. It got so bad that we all began looking around corners before stepping out into the open for fear of getting lassoed. Luckily, his aim improved quickly, and he went to work on actual calves that he borrowed from the place we got the steers. Most afternoons, you could hear their bawls all over the property.

The horse really has to know what it's doing - top notch roping horses sell for well into six figures. Queenie wasn't that good, but she caught on quickly, backing up just enough to keep tension on the rope so that Cody could get the calf tied. He was having a good time with it, whooping and hollering every time he made a quick run.

I talked to Katie about the barrel racing. She was interested in at least giving it a try, so one day we set up the cloverleaf pattern in the arena, and she began trotting, then loping through it on Zena. We knew she wouldn't be competitive with the pros in so short a time, but I was going to run a novice division for the local girls, and she definitely had a chance there.

As I watched Zena swap leads coming around the final barrel, Tommy walked past with Ginger on a lead rope, heading for the wash rack. I remembered Ginger had stopped on a dime that first time I'd ridden her and had a stock horse pedigree that just wouldn't quit; I had an idea.

"Tommy, bring her over here."

I waved Katie to the gate, and we tacked Ginger up with Katie's gear, then she climbed on. She'd only ridden Ginger a couple times, so we did a little flat work first, letting them get used to each other. Ginger eyed the barrels with interest, her ears forward. I hollered at Katie to circle a barrel the next time past, and when Ginger realized that's where Katie was aiming her, she took off like a rocket. Katie grabbed the horn and held on as Ginger dropped her shoulder into the turn, almost brushing Katie's foot on the ground before powering away toward the next barrel, clods of dirt flying out behind her churning rear feet.

Katie pulled her up partway to the barrel. "My god, she almost dumped me!"

"I think maybe we've got a ringer here. Take her down to the far end and make a run on her. Don't urge her at all - let's just see what she does." As she trotted away, I added, "But hang on like hell."

As Katie circled to face the barrels, Ginger began to crab-step sideways, fidgeting with the bit, and tossing her head in her eagerness to go. Katie pointed her toward the first barrel and leaned forward. Ginger shot away like she'd been goosed, slowing at the last second to round the barrel, then sprinting toward the second one, doing a flying lead change halfway there. The second turn was as clean as the first, and then they were pounding toward the last barrel.

Katie had lost her hat on the second turn, and Ginger's ears were pinned flat to her outstretched head. As they straightened up from the last turn, Ginger went into a full gallop with no input from Katie, slowing only to avoid running through the arena fence. Katie trotted her back to me, her mouth open in wonder at the thrill of it.

"God, that was fun!" she yelled. "That's as cool as taking Cal over a big vertical!"

"She's obviously done this before," I remarked, patting Ginger's warm neck. "But she hasn't done it in a while, so that's it for today."

We gave Ginger back to Tommy so she could have her delayed bath. Katie rode her daily from then on, and when I timed her the week before the rodeo, she was within hunting distance of the pros that'd be here soon. Now it was even more of a mystery why someone had so badly neglected a horse of Ginger's caliber and training.

Wade's and Vincent's birthdays were later that week, so of course we threw a party. I had a big tent erected down by the creek, hired a company to roast a pig, dug horseshoe pits, marked out a diamond for softball, and invited everyone I could think of.

Sunday was warm with big puffy clouds that gave an occasional break from the sun. Chex and Zena were still at Stonegate, so we opened the gate to the pasture and let everyone park there. Close to a hundred people showed up - everyone's parents, all our friends, most of my employees. Jesse and Ben drove over for the day, and even Dylan made an appearance.

He looked good, leaner than the last time I'd seen him, and his hair was buzzed. He greeted me with a hug and a kiss, and seemed friendly and relaxed. I saw him now and then throughout the afternoon, finally catching up with him as he sat out a round of horseshoes. He was sitting in the grass watching as I sat down beside him with two cold beers.

"Thanks." He glanced at me, and then looked out across the meadow. "I need to apologize to you, Sean. I was a real shit the last time I saw you."

"Apology accepted." I looked down at my beer, rolling it between my hands as I continued. "Can you tell me what was bothering you back then? It really hurt that you wouldn't talk to me."

He heaved a big sigh, and was silent for a few moments. "I was jealous of what you had with Vincent." He held up his hand to silence me as I looked up quickly. "Not that I wanted to be with you myself, but that you'd found someone that you could have that kind of relationship with. You looked so fucking happy."

"I was. I still am."

He smiled. "I know, and I'm happy for you, both of you . . . honest, but it made me realize that I really didn't feel like that about Adam, which made me feel guilty because I know he cared a lot for me."

"He loved you," I told him quietly.

He glanced at me. "I know." He sighed again, softer this time. "I knew it wasn't fair to keep seeing him, and then after I broke up with him, I had to stay away for a while, to get over him and….. I don't know. I missed you guys a lot." He waved it away with a swing of his bottle. "Anyway, I'm sorry. I was really glad when I got your invitation so that I had a reason to come out here."

"Jesus, you don't need a reason or an invitation, for Christ's sake!"

"You know what I mean." He dropped his arm over my shoulder and pulled me to him. "So Adam's still seeing Matt?"

"Yeah." Just the thought of them made me smile. "They're really good together. Matty needs someone sensitive and gentle, so Adam is perfect for him. And Matt's real affectionate, which Adam loves."

"Sounds like a match made in heaven," Dylan said lightly, but I knew it bothered him still. We went on to talk about our families, catching up on various happenings. Our relationship had changed in the months we'd been apart, and as we talked, I realized that I would never sleep with him again. We would be friends and family forever, but our time of being lovers was over.

I watched him as he talked, thinking about all the things we'd shared - our fumbling teenaged jerk-off sessions, that first miraculous time of sliding my dick into his virgin ass, our companionable evenings on the couch. He turned to me and stopped talking when he saw my expression.

"What?"

I smiled and hugged him. "Nothing. I'm just glad we're friends again."

He smiled back, a rueful one-sided smile that made him look twelve years old. "Me, too."

I saw him a little later speaking with Adam. As I watched, Adam pulled him into a hug, which Dylan returned and they stood there for a long moment, wrapped in each other's arms. Dylan was making up with everyone today, it seemed. He found me a while later to say goodbye, thanking me for the invitation, but claiming he had an evening's worth of work to get through before Monday morning. I watched him go, pleased that we had patched things up somewhat.

Jesse turned out to be the home run king, smacking the ball almost to the far fence a few times. David had a dead eye in the horseshoe pit, scoring enough ringers to have people shaking their heads in admiration. Bonnie had a great time galloping around the field with the other visiting dogs, all of them ending up in the creek periodically to cool off. It seemed like the whole pack of them waited to shake until they were in the middle of a crowd of people, scattering shrieking women in all directions.

In the late afternoon, we demolished several pigs, roasted in a pit in the meadow until they were falling apart. After dinner, families started leaving, taking home cranky children and tired dogs. By eight, it was down to just us boys, so we went up to the house and sprawled in and around the hot tub.

David leaned across Gabriel who was on my left to ask me, "What are you doing about 'Full Moon'?"

I frowned at him. "'Doing' about it? Nothing, it's sitting on the mantle. What do you mean?"

"What's 'Full Moon'?" Danny asked from across the tub.

David ignored him as he shook his head. "Matt didn't tell you, did he?"

"David….." Matt said in a warning tone.

I was clueless and must have looked it. "Tell me what? What the fuck are you talking about?"

"What's 'Full Moon'?" Ben asked from my other side.

David ignored him, too. "We sent it out for framing, and while it was at the framer's, a collector from Chicago saw it. He was in town for a show at the museum. The framer knew it was a gift, but the guy bugged him enough that he finally called me." He paused as he met my eyes. "He offered me $25,000 for it. Said he didn't care that the artist was unknown, he had to have the drawing."

My eyebrows were somewhere in my hairline as I stared at him. "Twenty-five grand?" I swung my head to Matt, who just shrugged.

"What the hell is it?" Jesse demanded.

David glanced at him. "A drawing Matt did for Sean and Vincent. You haven't seen it, huh?"

"No one has," I replied. "We haven't had anyone over since he gave it to us."

"You need to get it insured," David advised. "If that one guy wanted it that badly, no telling what it would go for at auction."

"I'm not going to sell it," I said indignantly, as Vincent's hands tightened on my shoulders.

"I know that, Sean," David replied with the exaggerated patience you show a slow three-year-old. "My point is that it's an asset that needs to be appraised and added to your homeowner's insurance."

"One of Matt's drawings is worth $25,000?" Danny asked.

"Fuck, I guess so," I said. "Jesus."

I pinched the bridge of my nose and narrowed my eyes at Matt, who was suddenly fascinated with the hairs on Adam's leg.

"Matt sold a painting for $25,000?" Cody asked as he came back from taking a piss.

"Good god," I muttered in exasperation. "No, he didn't."

"Let's go see it." Gabriel this time.

Finally, it became easier to announce a trek to the house to view the drawing than it was to correct all the misinformation flying around. We climbed out of the tub, dried off, and pulled our shorts on. I sent Matt ahead to turn on lights, and so that he could see everyone's reaction when they first saw 'Full Moon.'

Appreciation of art is truly in the eye of the beholder, and it's always interesting to watch people view a piece you yourself are already familiar with. As they came into the room, faces filled with expectation softened into expressions of delight and amazement that 'our' Matt had produced such a fabulous portrait.

The power of the drawing was such that it made couples reach for each other. Vincent had reached for me that first night, and now Jesse stepped behind Ben, looping his arms around Ben's waist to gaze over his shoulder at 'Full Moon,' their faces close as Ben leaned back into him.

Wade put a big hand on the back of Cody's neck as his eyes ran over our naked bodies. Cody stepped closer to pull Wade's arm down across his chest. Wade was quiet while the others were commenting on how detailed it was, how the light was just right, how it captured us so perfectly.

Danny was the last one through the door. He was laughing with Gabriel as he looked up at the drawing. He sobered quickly and his laughter died as he walked slowly forward. He stared at the drawing for several moments, and then looked to me. His expression had a hunger to it that I hadn't seen before, and we stared at each other across the room until Gabriel said something to him.

Adam had walked to the window and was gazing out into the night, his back to us. Matt looked at him occasionally as he answered questions about the drawing. Wade glanced at Adam also, then to Matt. When his eyes came to me and held, I realized that he understood what was going on with the four of us. He looked away from me as Matt walked to Adam, touching his shoulder tentatively. They spoke for a moment, then Adam walked over to us with his arm over Matt's shoulder.

"Can you do something like that for me and Cody?" The deep rumble of Wade's voice made us all turn to him.

Matt looked at him and nodded. "Something like it, yes. And I won't charge you twenty-five grand for it, either," he added with a smile.

Without looking away from the drawing, Wade replied, "I'd pay it."

Matt stared at him for a moment, and then looked back to the drawing. In his face was the realization - finally - that he was a gifted artist. He hadn't really believed it before, but now, with 'Full Moon,' I could see that he understood what it meant to be able to create something that moved people so deeply.

Copyright © 2011 Gabriel Morgan; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
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