“Why do I have this feelin’ this ain’t gonna go so well?” Grayson muttered.
Ashlee frowned, and Clem hated that his date was worried about what might happen.
“You didn’t break up that long ago right? And it wasn’t good?”
“No. He’s a homophobic jerk.”
Everyone looked a bit stunned, but it was Sukie who recovered fastest.
“This is your ex-boyfriend, right Cher? How does that work exactly?”
Clem simply shook his head, and when Nathan turned Cayman away and headed back towards the chutes, he let go of a tense breath he hadn’t even realised he’d been holding.
“It’ll be broncos up next…” Grayson began, but Clem tuned out of his explanation. He’d heard it all before; sat on one bronco once when he was sixteen, landed on his ass in the dirt, and ended up having a scuffle with a boy who was a far superior rider than himself and wanted the world to know it. But that wasn’t what had the muscles in his shoulders bunched up. Two minutes earlier, Ashlee had been boneless and practically purring in his lap, and nothing in the world had existed for Clem except his toffee brown eyes and the pinkness of his lips: now he felt tense, the air tasted faintly of the threat of danger, and Clem knew his ex was not above hitting anyone with words or fists.
“Hey,” Clem took a deep breath, and let all the air of his lungs out slowly, feeling his pulse calm with the motion, “I’m sorry.”
“Why? This is the best date ever,” Ashlee’s smile was open and honest, and Clem couldn’t help but grin back. “That’s better, Sugar. You’re so damn beautiful when you smile y’know. Grayson said they sell pie at the hot dog stand. D’you want pie?”
Clem hugged his date, then picked Ashlee up and deposited him on the bleachers as he stood up.
“What flavour do you want?”
“A man who takes me to rodeo, drives an enormous truck, and comes back with gifts of pecans?” Ashlee replied. As Clem smiled, kissed him gently and turned to walk down across the bleachers, he heard Ashlee sigh happily. “Gosh, I got lucky…”
Jimmy was just turning around from the stand when Clem got there, balancing a large number of paper plates and pie slices in his arms. He stopped when he saw Clem, and gave the other man a slightly embarrassed smile.
“Hey. Clem, look-,” he began
“It don’t matter, bud.” Clem smiled and peeled off some notes as he made his order, “a really big slice of pecan pie, one blueberry, an’ two sodas please.”
“No, it does matter. That was damn rude of me.” Clem didn’t contradict his friend, and Jimmy scuffed his boots in the red dirt. “Can you imagine what my mom would say if she knew I’d done that? Even if your boy there would confuse her too… Jeez,” Jimmy shook his head quickly. “Look, none of us have seen you in ages, and it’d be nice to hang out. Gonna be the last of the good weather soon: tailgate party on Friday night? Bring your man and have some beers, it’ll be good.”
“Just like old times, eh?”
“Yeah, except Nate won’t be tryin’ to drink everyone there under the truck. I ain’t gonna miss that.” Jimmy nodded and turned away with his pies. “Clem?”
“Yeah?” Clem asked after he thanked the lady who ran the stand, taking his two pies and two sodas from her.
“Did you want your ex and your date to have a fight? Trouble is heading that way.”
Clem didn’t think he’d ever climbed up the bleachers as fast in his life, taking huge strides to reach Ashlee quicker than Nathan would. The pretty young man didn’t seem to have noticed, and simply sat chatting with Sukie, his bright eyes flashing up at Clem from under his long lashes as he arrived.
“You got more root beer?” He jumped to his feet to take things off Clem, and as Clem handed over a slice of pie, Ashlee stood on tiptoes to kiss him.
“What’d I tell you, Cher? He’s a keeper,” Sukie declared with satisfaction.
Clem turned to see Nathan standing on the step below him. Suddenly more than a foot shorter than the farm hand, Clem could already see the rage building in Nathan’s eyes: it was terribly unattractive. Before he could say anything back, Nathan’s gaze left him, and he glared across at Ashlee.
“Ashlee, this is Nathan Cole. Nate, this is Ashlee-.”
“His boyfriend,” Ashlee declared as he wrapped his arm around Clem waist, “thanks for the pie, Sugar.”
Clem blinked, but not even Nathan’s increasingly angry presence could stop his broad grin.
“Clem?” Nathan’s voice was tight and hard. “Can I talk with you?”
“That sorta depends on if you have anythin’ to say,” Clem had not forgotten the last thing Nathan had said to him, “what do you want Nate?”
“What the hell, Clem? The fuck are you doin’ here with,” Nathan glanced Ashlee up and down and sneered, “That?”
“Excuse me?” Ashlee’s tone was suddenly hard and brittle as cold steel, and Clem wondered how he would ever discover all the facets of the seemingly soft young man. “I think since we’ve been introduced you could call me by my name.”
“I wasn’t talkin’ to you.” Nathan moved to grab Clem’s arm, but the farm hand moved away from him. Clem couldn’t help the faint look of disgust that passed over his features at Nathan’s proximity. “Clem! Seriously, you can’t be here with some pansy from Austin. Freaks should stay in the city where they are safe.”
“Did you just threaten my date?” Clem growled. “You don’t own this rodeo Nathan. It’s not up to you who I decide to bring.”
“An’ what is everyone gonna think of you?” Nathan spat back.
“I’d be more worried about what people are thinkin’ about you, Nathan Cole,” Clem replied. “It’s hardly polite and welcoming.” He lowered his voice and glared at his ex. “You want word to get around you’re the intolerant shithead who can’t keep a civil tongue in his head to newcomers? What would your father think if he’d heard how you treated Sukie?”
“How dare you-!”
Clem stepped down from the bleacher to stand level with Nathan: he was still taller than the other man, and now he grinned.
“I’m bigger an’ stronger than you Nate, even if I am a ‘pansy’: it’s time you learnt that.” Clem felt Ashlee’s hand on his shoulder, soft fingers on the back of his neck, and he shivered in tense pleasure. “I am proud of the man I’m with; that ain’t gonna change just ‘cause you got your knickers in a twist. Now fuck off,” he finished dismissively.
Clem didn’t bother to watch Nathan leave, because he responded to Ashlee’s warm touch, spun around, grabbed the young man’s jaw and kissed him hard. Ashlee clung to him like he needed Clem, as though he was an oak tree, unshakeable by anything; and he loved it.
By the time the last of the brave and foolish cowboys had been bucked off the broncos and the ring had been set up for team penning, the final event of the rodeo, Ashlee was back in Clem’s lap, squirming against his crotch whenever no one was looking, and Clem had invited Sukie and Grayson out to join them at the tailgate party, meet some more of the locals and have an excuse to get a little bit drunk and dance in the headlights. Grayson had looked at Clem with fear at the word ‘dancing’ and the big farm hand recognised the man’s general apprehension that one of these days he would accidentally squash someone with his boot. As Clem watched Ashlee punch numbers into both their phones, he half wondered if they had ever agreed on the assumption Ashlee could run his social life, but he knew he didn’t really care: he couldn’t imagine how he was going to get through another whole twenty-four hours without seeing the young man again.
They said goodbye to Sukie and Grayson, hugged and shook hands, just before the last team finished, and as the claxon pealed for the final time, Ashlee took Clem’s hand and entwined their fingers together.
“Take me home?”
“Yes sir,” Clem couldn’t have said anything else, and he pulled Ashlee up as he stood. The slender young man bumped against his chest, and Clem held him there with one big hand pressed into the small of his back. “Stay with me?”
“I wouldn’t have it any other way, Sugar.”
They waved goodbye to Madison, Jimmy, and the guys from the other side of the stands, and Clem held the door open for Ashlee and followed the young man’s denim clad behind with his eyes. When he boosted Ashlee up into the passenger seat of the Ford, his date grabbed his forearm and held on.
“Say it again?”
“I love you,” Clem whispered gently. Ashlee still looked shocked, as though he wasn’t sure he believed what his senses were telling him, and Clem kissed his slack pink lips. Ashlee opened up for him, and Clem realised he would need to stop when he heard someone else’s boots scraping in the dirt. “We’d better go?”
Neither of them spoke much on the drive back, because the tension in the air was palpable, the atmosphere in the truck thick, sweet, and rich as molasses. By the time they had driven out to Four Corners farm, there was barely a sound other than the hiss and chirp of the crickets in the long grass and the low rumble of the tyres over the un-paved road. Clem tried not to spend the entire time undressing Ashlee in his head, and looked resolutely out at the road ahead as he drove through the main gates, up to the long barn, and parked his truck next to Ashlee’s cute cornflower blue Beetle.
“You wanna go for a walk down by the creek?” Clem offered, unable to decide which answer he wanted to hear.
“Well that depends,” Ashlee released his seat belt buckle with a surprisingly loud snap, and turned to tuck one leg underneath himself so that he could face Clem, “on whether or not you wanna have sex in the grass or on a mattress.”
“If you think I can resist seeing you naked much longer, then you are very much mistaken.”
“Oh…” Clem felt himself grinning happily. “The river’ll still be there tomorrow.”
“I was so hopin’ you’d say that.”
Ashlee took his hand and held it as Clem let him into the long hallway, pressed against him as Clem unlocked his front door, and didn’t let go of him until Clem had to use both hands to turn the shaky key in the latch in order to give them some privacy. Clem braced his hands against the thick wooden door as he toed off his boots, concentrating on drawing breaths nice and slowly so he wouldn’t explode the moment Ashlee touched him.
“Sugar?” He turned. Ashlee stood in the hallway, his boots held in one hand, biting the side of his lower lip. “Where do I put these?”
Clem growled in pleasure, took two big strides forwards and grabbed the young man around his skinny little waist and lifted him into the air. Ashlee shrieked, dropped his boots in surprise, and clung to Clem’s broad shoulders. Clem wrapped his arms tight around his partner, pulling Ashlee close, and pushed his hand into the back of Ashlee’s hair as they kissed. It was a great kiss, deep and wet, and Ashlee vibrated under his touch, groaning into his mouth as Clem came up for air.
“Well if you are gonna keep sendin’ me pictures of yer underwear…” Clem began. He readjusted his grip, and Ashlee automatically wrapped his legs around his hips as Clem stroked the denim pulled tight over his behind. Ashlee wiggled his hips in a distinctly erotic manner.
“You got a bed around here, Sugar?”
“Let me give you the tour.” He placed his hands directly under Ashlee’s butt and kicked their boots to one side as he carried the young man through his little house. Ashlee clung around his neck, warm and hard against him, and Clem was distracted by the throb of his erection in his suddenly too tight jeans to bother with anything other than walking Ashlee directly to the bedroom. He lay the beautiful man down on his queen sized bed, intent on kissing him until they were both suffering from oxygen deprivation, but Ashlee placed a firm hand on his chest and pushed him back.
Clem was going to ask him what was going on, but as he stood back, Clem watched the young man kneel up, take the hem of his jumper and begin to peel himself incredibly slowly out of his clothes. The farm hand swallowed whatever he’d been going to say, and watched with fascination as Ashlee’s bare olive skin was revealed inch by torturous inch. Everything about him was smooth and clean, and his skin looked delicate like magnolia blossoms. By the time Ashlee had tossed his jumper across the room in one elegant movement, Clem couldn’t have looked anywhere else. Ashlee was slender, and even if he’d been the sort of man to go to the gym and lift weights every day, he would never have been a bruiser. As it was he was soft and supple, with exactly the right amount of subtle definition across his chest and abdomen. His denim skirt hung low on his curvy hips, and Clem could make out the red lace edge of his panties over the waistband, and there was no resisting.
“Clem?” Ashlee’s tone was slightly confused as Clem stepped forwards and sank to his knees at the foot of the bed. “Ah!” Clem put a big hand behind each of his knees and tugged him forwards to the edge of the mattress before running his fingers up under the hem of Ashlee’s skirt. The big man looked up at his date, and Ashlee looked amazed and overwhelmed with what Clem was doing. “Ohh..” Clem took that as all the permission he needed and slid his hands up Ashlee’s smooth shapely thighs, pushing up his skirt until the fabric bunched around his hips, and without stopping to look, placed a soft kiss on the warm bulge in his silky underwear. “Oh, Sugar…”
When Clem moved back two inches, his gaze drifted from Ashlee’s face above him, his bright honey-toffee eyes and open super pink lips, down the young man’s trembling body to his crotch. The panties Ashlee wore were everything Clem had imagined, smooth and shiny, the polka dotted fabric pulled taut over the hardness of his cock. The red lace blended against Ashlee’s olive skin, and Clem placed his hands on Ashlee’s hips and smoothed his thumb over the thin fabric. Ashlee’s thighs shivered.
“You’re so beautiful,” Clem placed another super soft kiss on his crotch, “I wanna be your boyfriend.”
“Y’all ready are, Sugar.” Clem hooked his fingers into Ashlee’s sexy underwear and drew the front down just enough to allow his erection to escape. Ashlee groaned, his whole chest vibrating as Clem licked the length of his cock and kissed the throbbing tip. “Oh Clem!” Clem pressed a hand over Ashlee’s pert silk covered butt and set about giving the best blow job he had in years. Ashlee was a grateful and appreciative receiver, and his almost contradictory moans, groans, purrs, and whimpers made Clem feel all-powerful and strong. Clem sucked him until Ashlee was panting, using his hands on the top of Clem’s skull to keep his balance rather than try and guide his boyfriend’s movements, but just as he was preparing to draw back, the slender young man gasped half a warning half a second too late, and Clem’s throat was flooded with his seed. He swallowed happily, and grinned.
“Hey,” Clem wiped his mouth with the back of his hand as he sat back on his heels, “you alright up there? You’re not gonna pass out on me are ya?”
“Not a chance, Sugar,” Ashlee’s grin was all sorts of sexy, “get up here.”
Clem pulled himself to his feet, and divested himself of his shirt at the same time. With his fingers undoing the thick leather belt, he paused, and looked at his boyfriend. Ashlee was watching him with desire and interest, and he licked his lips.
“Yes?” Ashlee tore his eyes away from Clem’s crotch and smiled at him. The young man placed one hand on his waist and hugged himself against Clem’s hard tanned chest, “is everything, OK?”
Clem took a deep breath.
“I wanna tell you I love you again, but I’m worried I’ll scare you off.”
“You couldn’t get rid of me now, Sugar: I’m addicted to you.” Ashlee bit his lower lip, “but yer still wearin’ too many clothes.”
Clem stripped in two efficient movements, and stood at the end of his bed naked, rigid, and throbbing in time with his pulse. Ashlee stared at him, and Clem felt himself start to blush as the pleased smile spread further across Ashlee’s face.
“Oh boy!” Ashlee fingers dug into the duvet as looked Clem up and down, “aren’t I just the luckiest guy alive?” He placed the tip of one finger against Clem’s sternum, and ran it down his front down past his navel. “Ten seconds; close your eyes.”
“OK.” Clem shut his eyes, keeping the image of Ashlee photo-perfect in his mind. When he heard the young man clear his throat, he opened his eyes and gawped. Ashlee was kneeling in the centre of the bed, half turned away from him, naked but for his pretty silk and lace panties and Clem couldn’t help but stare at the big satin ribbon bow that hung on the back. Ashlee wiggled his hips invitingly, his perfect heart-shaped ass suddenly the centre of Clem’s universe.
It was very much like the first time they’d met, because Clem could barely string the events together in his brain even as they happened. He crawled onto the bed, knelt with his knees between Ashlee’s own and ran his hand up the young man’s chest to his jaw; they kissed, Ashlee turning to look up and over his shoulder as Clem plundered his hot little mouth; Ashlee pressing his silk clad ass back into Clem’s hard crotch; Clem cupping his behind, gripping tight and making Ashlee moan in a manner that was nearly obscene as he pressed one finger through the fabric against his entrance. Ashlee handed him a condom, and Clem put it on almost without looking, unable to tear his eyes away from his boyfriend. He pushed Ashlee’s panties down his hips, exposing his plump flesh, and one long kiss later he was sliding into the silky constricting heat of the other man. Ashlee moaned and whimpered, and Clem held him tight against his own chest as he slid slowly in and out between the pert mounds of his ass. Ashlee’s cock poked from the front of his underwear, but when Clem reached for him, the young man held his wrist tight and kissed his fingers instead.
“Ungh…” Clem didn’t have the will to argue with him, but flicked his gaze between watching his long cock disappear into and appear from his partner’s body and memorizing every plane and curve of Ashlee’s chest and abdomen as he fucked him.
Ashlee wrapped both his hands around the back of Clem’s neck, and pulled him down for another searing kiss as his body tightened inexorably around Clem’s erection. The big farm hand’s eyes flashed open just in time to watch his boyfriend’s second orgasm, and the sight drove him over the edge. He groaned, pinned the young man against his chest and thrust into him in a few jerky thrusts as he came.
They collapsed together onto the mattress, panting hard, and after a moment Ashlee wriggled and Clem heard his underwear fall finally to the floor with their other clothes. He took a moment to sort himself out and discard the condom into a tissue, but less than a minute later Clem had his boyfriend back in his arms, neither of them caring that they were much too hot and sweaty to be cuddling.
“Clem?” Ashlee stroked a finger down the bridge of his nose, and Clem sniffed and snuffled at him, making Ashlee giggle gently. “Oh you big silly thing…” Ashlee kissed the tip of his nose, and Clem realised he’d never down anything as soft and silly as snuggling up with anyone before. “I love you too, y’know.”