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  • Shadowgod - Almost Home
  • Shadowgod - Almost Home
  • Shadowgod - Almost Home
    MacGreg
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  • 3,742 Words
  • 2,206 Views
  • 27 Comments

Dissonance - 7. Ursa Major

Ben and Travis’ attempt at a post-meal retreat was unsuccessful. Dessert was served in the front sitting room beside the fire, and everyone’s presence was expected. The sun had long since disappeared behind the foothills, and the ranch now sat in quiet stillness – no cars passing, no helicopters overhead, no evidence of a busy world beyond. To Ben, the atmosphere was stark and deafening in its placidity. He was unaccustomed to such silence.

Claiming a spot on the dark chenille sofa, Katy nestled herself between Ben and her brother. Her vanilla-scented perfume was acute, her black miniskirt riding up her slender thighs. Ben did his best to scoot away from her, but the right side of her body touched him regardless. Everyone else sat in chairs around the room, consuming apple fritters and hot coffee while continuing to discuss the various antics of Hollywood, which, by that point in time, was unbearable for Ben to listen to or participate in. He would have much preferred to discuss cattle breeds or the current conflict in Beirut or the goddamn exploration rover on Mars. But even Arturo seemed fascinated by the idea of film-making, and so the conversation droned on.

Bryan discussed myriad challenges they’d faced during the production of ‘Swell’, including the incident of Ben breaking his nose and chipping a tooth after accidentally slamming the butt of a swordfishing harpoon into his own face. Intrigued by the story, Katy swooped in for a closer look, requesting that Ben reveal exactly where the harpoon had hit. Ben smiled wide to reveal the cosmetically-repaired incisor and the scar on his upper gum, and she said, “I can’t really tell,” lingering too long, touching his thigh, fluttering her eyelashes. He sat forward to dislodge her from his side. Retrieved his coffee mug from the table. Glancing at Travis, he noticed a stone-cold expression on the guy's face.

“So, Audra,” Katy chirped, oblivious to any tension, pulling Ben back beside her, shifting her position so that her arm was pressed tightly against his elbow, her plump breast cushioned into his bicep. “Is it true that Ben was in a grunge band in high school?”

And suddenly there poured from the girl’s mouth a torrent of questions concerning him – but never asked directly to him, as though he wasn’t present in the room. It was one of the most peculiar circumstances he’d found himself in, and it left him a bit dumbfounded. She asked about his hobbies, his interests, his love life, who he’d taken to senior prom. Far worse than any tabloid reporter digging for answers to irrelevant questions. Throughout the inquisition, Audra remained good-humored, tripping over her answers lightly, never revealing too much, trying to make light of an awkward situation. Bryan sat across the room, attempting to contain laughter, but it managed to bubble to the surface through stifled snorts anyway. Arturo feigned deafness and aloofness, lost in his fritter. Mrs. Cooper excused herself to the kitchen to retrieve more coffee.

Travis, on the other hand, was clearly aggravated. He sat rigid, an ankle braced against a knee, a muscle twitching in his jaw, eyes burning a hole in the floor as he listened to question after question spill from Katy’s mouth like torrential piss. Each time Ben glanced at him, he could tell that his patience was waning. Finally, Travis spoke in a low, venomous tone, never looking up from the worn Aztec-design area rug he’d been staring at for the last fifteen minutes. “Katy,” he said. “Shut the fuck up already.”

Silence filled the room like a vacuum. Katy glowered at him. Hesitated only a second before responding, “You shut up. I wasn’t talking about you.”

Travis lifted his eyes to meet hers. His pupils were dilated with a slow-rising fury. “No, but you’re talking about Ben, and I’m pretty sure he’d tell you to shut up, too, if he wasn’t so goddamn polite.”

In a juvenile gesture, she flipped him the bird and said, “Fuck off.”

They glared at each other, Travis with clenched jaw, Katy with fisted hands at her sides. The room seemed to close in on everyone. Ben glanced over to Audra, who sat looking back at him with tension covering her face. He decided to try and ease the moment by clapping his hands together and flashing his brightest, most sparkling smile. “Boy, how ’bout them Rockies, huh?” he exclaimed. He wasn’t certain where the hell he was going with the comment, but his attempt at pacification fell on deaf ears, anyway. Katy curled up against him. Pressed in even closer than before and said to Travis, “I have a newsflash for you, big brother. Ben isn’t interested in you.” She spoke slowly and deliberately, as if trying to communicate to a child, and then she proceeded to plant a kiss directly on Ben’s mouth.

“Katherine Elizabeth!” Mrs. Cooper’s startled exclamation filled the room as she returned just in time to witness the event.

Ben plucked Katy away. Like removing tentacles from his skin. Exhaling an uneasy laugh, he moved over to sit on the arm of the sofa. A clear boundary needed to be drawn between them: me here, you there, little girl. He wished she’d leave the room altogether – he didn’t want to see the situation worsen – but she was petulant and immature and sat there with a pout on her face, twirling locks of her raven hair around a forefinger.

Travis’ agitation spiked. He stood up, grabbed his sister by the elbow, and propelled her down the hall, out of sight. A moment later, their muffled voices were raised in anger. At one point, Katy screamed loud enough for all to hear: “Are you fucking kidding me?!”

Ben slid from the arm of the sofa back down to the cushions and ran a clammy hand down his face. What the hell just happened? He wondered how he’d plummeted into an alternate, perplexing reality.

Mrs. Cooper stood in the middle of the room, the steaming coffee carafe still perched in one hand. She looked distressed, probably asking the same silent question to herself. Placing the carafe down onto a hot pad, she made her way to the hallway as though intending to play referee, but Katy marched across the foyer past her, bare feet loudly thumping against the oak floorboards. Without uttering a word, she bounded up the stairs in a jog, her long hair flying behind her. A second later, Travis passed by as well, heading in the opposite direction, grabbing his coat from the foyer and yanking the heavy front door open. Ben called out to him, but it was too late; he’d already exited, slamming the door closed behind him.

Ben glanced around the room, expecting someone to appear from behind the curtains and proclaim that it was all a well-played joke. Or for the floorboards to crack open and swallow the sofa, along with him on it, down into the abyss below. He would have preferred that, something explosive and paranormal to explain the incident, but nothing so dramatic happened – just awkward silence settling across the room like agitated dust particles.


*  *  *  *  *


Ben decided to go after him. The sibling rift was his fault, even if the underlying cause for the friction wasn't. Getting to his feet, he caught Audra's eye. A wordless communication passed between them: Tread lightly, she seemed to say. He nodded and managed a smile of assurance before stepping into the foyer to pull his ski parka on. He braced himself for cold air but was met instead by a mild evening when he stepped outside – brisk yet calm, a vast, cloudless sky filled with uncounted constellations scattered above him. The waxing gibbous moon offered some light on the path before him.

He didn't bother to zip up his coat as he headed toward the bunkhouse, intending to check there first for Travis before wandering off elsewhere. As he walked, he gazed up across the fields toward the silhouette of snow-covered mountains beyond and wondered if they would still go snowboarding in the morning. At that point, it seemed irrelevant; so much had happened, he almost wondered if they shouldn't head back to Aspen early.

The revving of an engine resounded, echoing across the valley. Ben looked toward the distant barn and watched an ATV quad pull out, its fat tires grinding against snow and gravel as the driver maneuvered it across the ground. It was Travis, dressed in his Sherpa-lined coat, his blonde hair aglow in the moonlight. Cupping his hands to his mouth, Ben yelled his name. Miraculously, Travis heard him and spun the ATV around. Riding over to where Ben stood, he idled the engine. “Hop on,” he insisted, sliding forward on the seat to make room.

Without hesitation, Ben climbed up behind him and hooked his hands into the rear rack for support. They drove for half a mile. Illumination from the headlights and the moon guided them over a crunchy snow and gravel path that traversed the ranch. The property seemed so expansive, it was hard for Ben to believe that it had once been nearly five times its current size. After passing a few fenced pastures and an old windmill that stood beside a well-water tank, they ascended a hill that overlooked the ranch. Here, Travis came to a stop and cut the engine. Ben slid off the seat and wandered away a few feet to admire the nighttime view.

Travis leaned against the warm ATV and lit up a joint. Catching sight of this, Ben quickly returned to his side. Travis took a toke, passed it to him, and said with lungs full, “You sure Audra won’t hunt you down?”

Ben shook his head. Tried to make a joke, smiling broadly. “She’d never be able to climb up here that quickly.”

Travis chuckled, but only slightly. His mood remained somber. Ben tried to think of something humorous to say but didn’t get the chance to speak before Travis spoke himself. “I’m sorry about what happened back there,” he commented, gazing off across the valley. “This happens sometimes. A lot, actually. She knows every single button to push, every single tactic to use to make my fucking blood boil.”

“Why?”

“Because she can. Because she wants to make me miserable.” As the joint was returned to him, he took a drag and continued to stare off into the night. Evidently, the weight of their argument remained heavy on his shoulders. “There was someone,” he continued solemnly. “An intern who was here for a while, from Laramie. He got in the middle of everything and really fucked it all up. Now, Katy can’t let it go. For that matter, neither can I.”

Travis' profile was half in shadow, half in moonlight. Ben took note of the sharp line of his nose, the sternness of his jaw, the way his eyes squinted against the smoke circling his face. There was nothing impressively handsome about the guy, yet the attraction was strong for Ben. He felt it in his gut, in his groin, like a torch. On occasion, he'd experienced intense stirrings, but never like this. Never this inflamed or this stark or this vividly real. Travis exuded sexual energy from his pores like a goddamn preternatural creature.

“So I take it everyone knows you're into guys?” Ben asked. The question had been pricking at the back of his mind ever since they'd arrived at the ranch. To Ben, it was apparent that this small-town, mountain cowboy had no hesitation at being who he was, which intrigued and mystified him.

Travis didn’t blink an eye, as though the question was perfectly natural for him. “Not everyone. My dad never knew. He died before I had the courage to tell him.”

An image of his own father discovering this new path he’d tripped down flashed before Ben’s eyes, sending an instant cramp of anxiety to his gut. Self-proclamation was not one of his strong points, and he couldn’t imagine anyone else learning about his fleeting interest in Travis. In fact, he wasn’t sure he was ready to reveal the truth to Audra or Bryan, even though they were already witnessing his transgression first-hand and had undoubtedly been discussing it together ever since Travis had been discovered half-naked in his suite earlier that day.

Travis studied him briefly. Handed him the joint and surprised him by saying, “I take it you've never come out?”

Ben stared at him, bewildered. Does he think I’m a goddamn closet faggot? That kind of secret was fodder for the media. Sure, it was 2005, and a few brave souls in the industry had come out over the decades, risking their careers to pave a path for acceptance, but it was still suicide for someone like Ben to proclaim to be anything but heterosexual. He was fully aware of that fact, every fucking day. And he wasn’t that brave – or that gay. Bringing the weed to his lips, he took a long drag, hoping to calm his nerves, which were razor sharp by then. The intensity of the smoke caught in his throat and perpetuated a brief coughing spasm. “Shit, Travis,” he exhaled, trying to control the coughing long enough to speak. “I’ve never done this before.”

“No?” Travis frowned, a look of consternation on his face. “Well, that explains some things…”

“You’re damn right it does.” Ben returned the joint and wandered away from him, annoyed at the unfounded assumption. Nearing the edge of the ridge, he stopped and peered down. Caught glimpses of cattle scattered in shadow across the field below like tiny figurines on a game board. Travis approached from behind and slid his arms around his waist. Body heat bounced off of Ben’s back like electrons. He didn’t push him away.

“There’s a reason you got into my truck last night,” Travis whispered, grazing Ben’s ear with his lips. “Don’t fight this so hard.”

The embrace was mollifying. Ben leaned into him, pressed against his chest, the back of his head resting in the crook of Travis’ shoulder. His palms covered the man’s calloused, cold hands. Annoyance dissipated from him like the evaporation of an early morning fog. Forget the anxiety, he told himself. Just be with him. Enjoy the ride. They stood together for a while in the silence of the night, peering up at the myriad constellations in the night sky. “Ursa Major,” Ben commented, pointing to the northern Great Bear configuration. “Shit, man, I never get to see stars like this. In L.A. it’s all bright lights and smog. Easy to forget there are other parts of our galaxy out there. At least, I forget, until I step out into the wilderness like this.”

“Even when you see it every day, you can lose sight of the bigger picture,” Travis stated. “It’s easy to be egocentric, thinking of yourself and what’s happening in your own little pocket of the world.”

“Yeah, I do that a lot,” Ben admitted. “I mean, I travel, meet a ton of people, attend charity galas and industry functions and Hollywood parties, but the truth is, I’m trapped inside my own head a lot. Disconnected most of the time. Not sure why that is.”

“Maybe because you're disconnected from yourself,” Travis speculated.

The truth of the statement hovered in the air around them, circling through the cold.

“Something’s been bugging me since last night,” Ben said. “How the hell did you know about... this… about me?”

Travis shrugged. “I didn’t,” he responded. “Not right away. But once I noticed you noticing me in the restaurant, I kind of figured. My intuition is alarmingly accurate. It’s always in the eyes.”

“Really? I was that obvious?” How many others have noticed that in my eyes..?

“Not to most,” Travis assured him. “Just to those looking for it. Me. Maybe a few others. You felt it, too, though, didn’t you? That pull?”

Ben shrugged. “I’m not sure what I felt. Even when you offered me a lift, I didn’t know what I was thinking or expecting. It was impulsive.”

“Yeah.” Travis hugged him tighter. “Unconscious thoughts are strong. Hidden parts of ourselves that drive us can’t always be explained. Sometimes, impulse is the best thing to go with. At any rate, I’m glad you went with yours. Glad to have you here.”

Ben turned around and prompted a kiss. There, in the middle of nowhere, without concerns of Katy or Audra or anyone else interrupting their intimacy, he felt liberated to make full contact. In reciprocation, Travis slid his hands inside Ben’s open parka and lifted his shirt a fraction to touch his stomach. The sensation of cold fingers on warm skin was unexpected, and Ben’s abdomen involuntarily twitched. As Travis’ hands moved higher, gripping him just beneath the ribs, Ben kissed his mouth harder and yanked the zipper of Travis’ coat down to reach up under his shirt, too. His fingers explored Travis’ chest, sliding down to trace the treasure trail below his navel, hooking into the waistline of his blue jeans and tugging gently.

At his touch, Travis inhaled deeply and barked, “Come here.” Pulled Ben down with him onto the large granite rock they were standing on. The surface was freezing cold and covered in patches of snow, but neither of them cared. Travis hovered above Ben with his wet mouth firmly pressed to his. As his hand slid down to cover Ben’s crotch, Ben instinctively moaned; he’d wanted – no, needed – to be touched there all fucking day. His body pulsated with a pent-up sexual energy that demanded release.

In what seemed like one fluid motion, Travis unbuckled Ben’s belt, unsnapped his jeans and pulled the zipper down without his lips ever leaving Ben’s mouth. When he reached inside his boxer briefs to take a hold of him, Ben thought, Goddammit, I’m gonna lose it straight away. But Travis only lightly played with him, giving him a gentle squeeze as his mouth traveled over his Adam’s apple and across his neck, his goatee abrading Ben’s skin along the way.

With shirt pushed up, a chill traveled through Ben’s body and continued to surge through him as Travis licked a path down the length of his abdomen, leaving a trail of saliva, continuing farther until he reached the waistband of Ben’s boxers. Here, Travis paused and met his gaze. “Is this what you want?” he asked gruffly. Ben nodded. Screamed in his head, Yes! Fucking yes! Had never felt so desperate since he’d lost his virginity to Natalie freshman year.

Travis knelt between his legs to pull at his jeans, and Ben arched up to allow him to slide the denim down over his hips. He followed suit with his boxer briefs, and then there he lay – fully exposed to the elements, teeth chattering, buttocks half-frozen to the granite rock beneath him. The chilled night air was like ice on his burning erection, but his arousal never faltered. Travis mumbled something about Ben’s thickness before sliding him into his mouth. The man didn’t bother to warm up to the task, simply swallowed Ben in, all the way down to the hilt. He worked Ben like an expert, his movements quick and strong, his mouth sliding up and down in a smooth, steady rhythm, his tongue slithering with each thrust and pull, his fingers lightly pulling on Ben’s testicles, which were now heavy and full and ready for release.

Unaccustomed to such proficiency, Ben reached his peak almost immediately. Too quickly. When the wave arrived, he gasped, grabbed Travis’ hair between his fingers and held tight to his head to hold him down. But Travis didn’t attempt to pull away anyway – simply allowed him to let go and shoot waves across his tonsils. Afterwards, Ben lay panting, overwhelmed, trying to regain his senses. Intense euphoria coursed through his head. Travis slid forward to straddle above him and drowned him in a messy kiss, and Ben tasted the saltiness of his own seed in the man’s mouth, as though Travis had purposefully held some aside to share with him. Under normal circumstances, Ben would have found such an experience appalling, but with Travis, he didn’t. Nothing about the circumstance was normal.

Travis’ belt buckle scraped against Ben’s naked groin as he inexplicably rolled off of him and got to his feet. Leaning up on an elbow, Ben looked at him imploringly. “What’s up?” he asked.

Travis wiped the corners of his mouth with a thumb and forefinger and replied, “Let’s head back and get out of the cold.”

Ben hesitated, wanting to stay there longer despite the fact that his entire body was pulsating in uncontrollable shivers, that the air was now freezing the sweat which lightly covered his torso and crotch. His teeth began to chatter again. He said, “Let’s stay awhile,” and raised a hand up to entice Travis to return to his side. But Travis just looked down at him, obstinate, hair falling across his forehead, hands stuffed in the pockets of his coat.

Disappointed that their encounter had ended so abruptly, Ben reluctantly hoisted his pants back up and stood from the rock. All at once, an odd sensation of lightheadedness overtook him, throwing him off-balance, and he swayed slightly, reaching out a hand to steady himself but finding only air.

Travis grabbed him by the elbow and said, “Hey, you okay?”

His concern was genuine, and Ben smiled. “I think so,” he replied. “I guess you must have sucked the oxygen right out of me.”

“It’s a combination of the weed and the altitude,” Travis stated. “Happens to everyone not accustomed to it.”

Ben didn’t know if he fully believed this theory. He’d already been in Colorado for several days; he doubted the altitude would still be affecting him in that way, and he’d smoked plenty of pot in his life. But he didn’t mind having Travis’ arm draped around his shoulders as they walked back to the ATV.

“Sure you’re okay?” Travis asked again before releasing him.

Ben nodded. “I’m fine.”

Together, they slid onto the cold seat. Travis jumped the ATV to life, once more sending a cacophony of noise across the silent valley, and Ben gripped his shoulders as they traversed back down the hill.

Thanks for the read and the feedback!

Copyright © 2017 MacGreg; All Rights Reserved.
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You've done an amazing job on this story MacGreg. I'm completely hooked. I don't know who I like more, Ben or Travis. I'll pick both. But Katy I can do without. Hope she learns to piss off. Hot scene there on the rock, thanks for that. More please... Larry

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I'm surprised they let Katy go on so long before they cut her off. Her acting out like that suggests she needs to talk to a therapist to understand her own need to attempt to take things from her older brother. This is more than normal sibling rivalry.

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Another great chapter! Whew...I think I need to cool down a bit after reading that scene on the rock. *fans self* You hinted at the deeper issue between Katy and Travis by mentioning the intern. I have a feeling you could write a separate story about that incident. Katy has some issues, that much is clear. Ben has a lot of patience, and I don't blame Travis for blowing up at her. I'm waiting for the shoe to drop with her. I just know she's going to cause some serious trouble for them. Ben and Travis are so hot together. When they finally give in to each other completely it's going to be so worth the wait. I'm guessing there will be a lot more conflict before that happens. I read once where a good story was described as having conflict, then more conflict, then the conflict has conflict, and once you think it's going to be resolved... more conflict! lol I like to take that to heart in my own writing. I particularly liked the descriptions in this chapter. I feel like I'm at the ranch and out in the cold air. I can feel the tension with Katy and Travis and the awkwardness involved in the whole situation. I can also feel the pull between Ben and Travis. I also love the food descriptions. You are making me hungry... lol now I want apple fritters. Was it your story that had a description of Yorkshire pudding in an earlier chapter? I meant to comment on that. I love that stuff. I could go on and on about this story, but I'll shut up now. In case I haven't told you before... I love this story. lol

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Dammit, Mac! Just when I got my new pc all set up, you go and make my screen totally combust! I'm sending you my NEW bill now!!!!! :lmao:

 

Seriously though, there's some serious sibling rivalry going on on that ranch. Katy's just acting like a little ho. I bet her mom was mortified when she saw that kiss!

 

I can't wait to find out about the intern. Katy got in between he and Travis too, huh?

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On 12/07/2016 06:56 AM, LarryT said:

You've done an amazing job on this story MacGreg. I'm completely hooked. I don't know who I like more, Ben or Travis. I'll pick both. But Katy I can do without. Hope she learns to piss off. Hot scene there on the rock, thanks for that. More please... Larry

Kind words, thank you Larry. I've enjoyed developing Ben and Travis' characters and bringing them to life. You'll find out a little bit more about Katy's deal - eventually. ;-) Thanks for following this story. Cheers - Mac

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On 12/07/2016 08:10 AM, JeffreyL said:

Wow! If Ben was confused or conflicted before, he will either figure things out or be really confused now. Can't wait for the next chapter to see how he reacts when his mind clears. Great scene on the rock. Thanks. Jeff

Thanks, Jeff! Confusion and conflict are all a part of the substance of this story, but there will be moments of great clarity, too. There are many more experiences for Ben and Travis on the horizon. And some surprises, too.

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On 12/07/2016 10:06 AM, droughtquake said:

I'm surprised they let Katy go on so long before they cut her off. Her acting out like that suggests she needs to talk to a therapist to understand her own need to attempt to take things from her older brother. This is more than normal sibling rivalry.

Hey droughtquake, you're right, there's a deeper wound that fuels their sibling rivalry, to eventually be revealed. I appreciate you following along and giving comments. Cheers

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On 12/07/2016 10:32 AM, Valkyrie said:

Another great chapter! Whew...I think I need to cool down a bit after reading that scene on the rock. *fans self* You hinted at the deeper issue between Katy and Travis by mentioning the intern. I have a feeling you could write a separate story about that incident. Katy has some issues, that much is clear. Ben has a lot of patience, and I don't blame Travis for blowing up at her. I'm waiting for the shoe to drop with her. I just know she's going to cause some serious trouble for them. Ben and Travis are so hot together. When they finally give in to each other completely it's going to be so worth the wait. I'm guessing there will be a lot more conflict before that happens. I read once where a good story was described as having conflict, then more conflict, then the conflict has conflict, and once you think it's going to be resolved... more conflict! lol I like to take that to heart in my own writing. I particularly liked the descriptions in this chapter. I feel like I'm at the ranch and out in the cold air. I can feel the tension with Katy and Travis and the awkwardness involved in the whole situation. I can also feel the pull between Ben and Travis. I also love the food descriptions. You are making me hungry... lol now I want apple fritters. Was it your story that had a description of Yorkshire pudding in an earlier chapter? I meant to comment on that. I love that stuff. I could go on and on about this story, but I'll shut up now. In case I haven't told you before... I love this story. lol

Valkyrie, your comments are great. I like to keep this story moving along with some mystery, unfolding the characters a little bit more along the way. Glad you liked the rock scene. More to come, so to speak. Haha. Cheers.

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On 12/07/2016 03:19 PM, Lisa said:

Dammit, Mac! Just when I got my new pc all set up, you go and make my screen totally combust! I'm sending you my NEW bill now!!!!! :lmao:

 

Seriously though, there's some serious sibling rivalry going on on that ranch. Katy's just acting like a little ho. I bet her mom was mortified when she saw that kiss!

 

I can't wait to find out about the intern. Katy got in between he and Travis too, huh?

Haha, sorry again about the meltdown of your computer, Lisa. Better keep an extinguisher nearby for future use, lol. Much more of this story to be revealed, including the intern. Stay tuned.

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Katy has issues, but so does Travis. Why did he pull back into himself at the end? Is he sensing there's a world of hurt waiting for him? Is he falling so fast it scares him? With a guy that has his own huge issues to deal with? Interesting chapter, laying more foundation to shake beneath us... cheers... Gary....

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On 12/10/2016 04:35 PM, Mikiesboy said:

More, mmmm, you getting the ladies all hot n bothered! The cold rock scene was defo not cold, nicely written!

Glad you think so, Tim. ;-)

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On 12/10/2016 04:41 PM, Headstall said:

Katy has issues, but so does Travis. Why did he pull back into himself at the end? Is he sensing there's a world of hurt waiting for him? Is he falling so fast it scares him? With a guy that has his own huge issues to deal with? Interesting chapter, laying more foundation to shake beneath us... cheers... Gary....

Travis has had some hurt in the past, which we'll learn about. He's enthusiastic about Ben but also skeptical. He knows the stakes are high and that conflict is likely, which makes the encounter unstable. But maybe the bond they form will be strong enough to endure... TBD... Thanks Gary.

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On 12/12/2016 07:20 AM, dughlas said:

There are definitely issues that need resolution. I'm trusting you to get us there as you've done a masterful job to this point.

I'll get you through it, dughlas. Promise. :-)

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One thing I noticed was how Ben is lying to himself. His thought mentioned his 'fleeting interest' in Travis, and he became offended at the thought he may be a 'faggot', but then he initiated the kiss, and was more than willing to participate. It was what he wanted, with no sign of it being 'fleeting'. In short, Ben still needs to come out to himself...and that has to happen soon or someone is going to get hurt. :(

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Well, if Ben (or Audry) had cut off Katy's impertinent questions at the start it would never have gotten out of control. The moment she began molesting him physically, he should have gotten up and asked Bryan to change places with him. And the adults of the family should have stopped her too. Travis is the only person with integrity and honesty in that room, the rest of them are insensitive or cowards - and Katy is a menace. :pissed:

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On 01/17/2017 02:32 PM, Graeme said:

One thing I noticed was how Ben is lying to himself. His thought mentioned his 'fleeting interest' in Travis, and he became offended at the thought he may be a 'faggot', but then he initiated the kiss, and was more than willing to participate. It was what he wanted, with no sign of it being 'fleeting'. In short, Ben still needs to come out to himself...and that has to happen soon or someone is going to get hurt. :(

Graeme, I never responded to this, and I apologize for the delay. Thanks for reading and commenting. You are correct here with your conclusion of Ben lying to himself. Unfortunately, he suffers from this predicament more than once, but he won't be able to lie to himself (and to others) forever. There will be a breakthrough. Cheers - Mac

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On 01/29/2017 10:38 PM, Timothy M. said:

Well, if Ben (or Audry) had cut off Katy's impertinent questions at the start it would never have gotten out of control. The moment she began molesting him physically, he should have gotten up and asked Bryan to change places with him. And the adults of the family should have stopped her too. Travis is the only person with integrity and honesty in that room, the rest of them are insensitive or cowards - and Katy is a menace. :pissed:

Hey Timothy, I'm glad you picked this story back up. Thanks also for your comments. There are many aspects of this story and these characters that are disconcerting/ frustrating/ disappointing, but you will also (hopefully) discover some redeeming qualities along the way. Everyone agrees that Katy is a menace. She needs to be wrangled in, but at this point, Ben is hesitant to rock the boat. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts. Cheers - Mac

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Brother, you write a nice, tight story. I can get inside these people's heads and walk around a little, and I love that.

 

Ben is going to have to make some admissions to himself, even if he cannot make them to the world. This thing with Travis is now far enough along that it just isn't going to sit well to consider it a brief infatuation. Travis, for his part, is making no bones about what he is feeling.

 

Katy is deliciously irritating, the little vixen that wants but cannot have, the fox in the hen house of Travis's ambitions. That the two have battled before is obvious, and that Katy is quite good at it - in a very plainly juvenile fashion - indicates that her ability to get under Travis's skin goes back a ways, to younger days. Ben's inability to handle her is a little alarming, and indicative of his mental status as on the fence of life at this point, unable to make a leap either way.

 

I'm sorry I don't get back more often. I do love the story and think is extremely well-written. That it stays so well in mind between visits only shows how well you have etched the visuals. Back again a.s.a.p.

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On 4/29/2017 at 0:22 PM, Geron Kees said:

Brother, you write a nice, tight story. I can get inside these people's heads and walk around a little, and I love that.

 

Ben is going to have to make some admissions to himself, even if he cannot make them to the world. This thing with Travis is now far enough along that it just isn't going to sit well to consider it a brief infatuation. Travis, for his part, is making no bones about what he is feeling.

 

Katy is deliciously irritating, the little vixen that wants but cannot have, the fox in the hen house of Travis's ambitions. That the two have battled before is obvious, and that Katy is quite good at it - in a very plainly juvenile fashion - indicates that her ability to get under Travis's skin goes back a ways, to younger days. Ben's inability to handle her is a little alarming, and indicative of his mental status as on the fence of life at this point, unable to make a leap either way.

 

I'm sorry I don't get back more often. I do love the story and think is extremely well-written. That it stays so well in mind between visits only shows how well you have etched the visuals. Back again a.s.a.p.

Hey Geron, thanks for your continued appreciation of this story. It's fine that you read it when you can - the point is that you keep coming back and offering these insightful comments, which are so great. There is a lot of development between characters still to come, as well as more revealing facts about Katy's and Travis' strained relationship. Ben is slowly coming out of his shell. Thanks again for the comments. Cheers - Mac

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that little spoiled b*tch......if I was Travis I would've slapped her......damn the consequences

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These two, Travis and Ben are so interesting.  I'm sure people hope they'll fall in love, move in together at the very least. I wonder though. I'm not sure either of them can give up enough for that to happen. Great chapter. 

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On 6/4/2018 at 9:36 PM, MichaelS36 said:

These two, Travis and Ben are so interesting.  I'm sure people hope they'll fall in love, move in together at the very least. I wonder though. I'm not sure either of them can give up enough for that to happen. Great chapter. 

Thank you, Mike. I don't write romance stories, I write stories. If they happen to have an HEA, well, that's not the reason for telling the tale. We shall see.

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