Chapter Eighteen



Lakota pulled out his pocket watch and frowned; the Bentley twins, Wayne and Wesley, were nearly thirty minutes past due. The fact that timepieces were at a premium here had forced him to send Yancey out in search of a few of his patients. However, he knew both the twins carried expensive gold watches.

Yancey had offered to collect the young men but Lakota had told him he’d wait a while as they were his only appointments of the day and would not be inconveniencing anyone else. He was about to take Yancey up on the offer when two beautiful faces appeared in his entryway.

“Good afternoon, gentlemen,” he said. “I was beginning to think you had forgotten our scheduled exams.”

“Not a chance, Doc,” one of the twins flashed a grin at him. “We wouldn’t miss it for the world.”

Lakota raised an eyebrow, not quite sure if there was some hidden irony in the sentence, but then decided to ignore it. He gave them a smile. “Let’s begin; if you would like to take a seat.” He indicated the log in front of his improvised desk. “I’d like to ask you some questions before we begin the actual examinations. First question I am embarrassed to have to ask, but would you mind identifying yourselves so that I am sure of which brother I am speaking with?”

 “I’m Wayne.”

“And I’m Wes.”

“I am the older twin,” Wayne informed him, rather sullenly. He seemed preoccupied and distant.
.
“And I am the better looking one,’ Wes said with a cheeky grin, his demeanor totally different from his twin’s.

Lakota grinned back at the two young men in front of him. He would have to watch it with these two, especially the younger twin. “Please understand that though some of my questions may seem very personal, the information is important for my ability to provide you with the best possible care. I promise you total confidentiality in what you say to me. Yancey will be assisting me with the physical exam and taking some notes for me. He is a nurse and is sworn to your privacy, just as I am.”

The twins nodded their acceptance of this. 

They quickly covered the usual areas such as age, medical history and current issues. They answered the questions with confident ease; freely chatting about their childhood illnesses and laughing at some of the remedies they had been subjected to, although Lakota could see Wes was more forthcoming with the stories than was Wayne.   

“Now if either of you have any questions for me please do not hesitate to ask. You can do that now or if you’d rather, we can wait until the physical exam is over and you can have a private talk with me. It’s your choice. I want all my patients to know I can be approached on any matter relating to your health or well-being and this includes areas of sexuality. Again, whatever you say is confidential. The one advantage we all have here is in not having to be careful of someone discovering what we are. Here, men who lay with other men are considered normal.”

The physical parts of the examinations were finished quickly and both the younger men were declared to be in excellent health. Lakota had carefully examined the burnt area on Wayne’s hand and found it to have healed more than adequately.

“It is healthy that you’re both getting involved in some of the physical work here. It’s good exercise; it will strengthen your muscles, and help shed a bit of the weight you are carrying.”

Wayne looked indignant and Wes glanced down his trim body in horror. “We are not fat!” he protested.

“No, no, I am not saying you are fat. Just that you could afford to lose a few pounds, plus build up some muscles at the same time. Physical work never killed anyone, young man!”

Both twins gave identical scowls and Lakota worked to hold back a laugh.

“All right, gentlemen, you can finish dressing. Thank you for coming in for this examination. Is there anything further you’d like to discuss?” the good doctor asked.

Wes shook his head as he straightened his clothes, but Wayne looked at the doctor hesitatingly.

“Yes?” Lakota was quick to catch the note of indecision in Wayne’s face.

“Um, Doc, can I speak with you ... alone?”

Wes looked up in surprise and opened his mouth to speak. However, Lakota spoke first. “Yancey, I believe lunch is almost ready. Why don’t you take a break and get yourself and Wesley something to eat?”

“Hmmm, sounds good. Don’t you agree, Wes?” Yancy replied, taking the younger man’s arm and gently but firmly leading him outside’

Lakota turned back to the older twin. “Now, Wayne, please make yourself comfortable. Let me wash up and I’ll be right with you.” He returned moments later, still drying his hands as he spoke. “What can I do for you?” he asked kindly.
Wayne suddenly looked shy and very young. “Doc, you said it was okay to talk to you about … um … “

“Sex?” Lakota prompted.

“Yes.”

“Go on,” the doctor gently encouraged.

“Well, I was just wondering,” Wayne stopped, going a bit red in the face as the doctor gave him his full attention. He swallowed. “I was just wondering if it’s normal to hurt so much when we engage in … you know, the sexual act?”

“You are referring to anal sex?’”

“Yes,” Wayne said as his blush deepened.

“Anal penetration can be very painful if not handled properly by the person performing the act, or if the person receiving it is not comfortable. The first recommendation I can give you is to be relaxed with your partner. You should be with someone who cares about you and your well-being.” Lakota spoke softly yet seriously and Wayne looked at him with wide, almost unblinking eyes.

“Lubrication is also very important, for without it you can be badly torn and left bleeding. Your partner should loosen the passage slowing with lubricated fingers until the ring of muscles called the sphincter has stretched enough to accept his well-lubricated member. Then penetration should be slow and measured until you have had time to adjust. Once you have reached that point, intercourse should be rather painless and indeed very pleasurable.”

“What if I can’t take it?” Wayne asked shyly.

“If it is too painful then you should tell your partner to stop. Then you can either work on relaxing the passage further or try again another time. This is a process requiring trust and caring from both of you. Do not rush into it or hurry it when you are trying.”

“Thank you, Doctor. I’ll remember what you said,” Wayne responded as he stood.

Lakota put a gentle hand on the young man’s shoulder. “Please feel free to talk to me at anytime. I am always available for questions or problems.”

Lakota watched Wayne walked towards the mess tent. He was beginning to realize that a large part of his duties here were going to be as a councilor, as well as physician.

Wes squinted at his twin. “What are you up to?” he asked suspiciously, having followed him out of the mess tent after they’d both eaten lunch.

“What do you mean?” Wayne responded with a question of his own.

“You going someplace? You keep disappearing.”

“Are you spying on me?” Wayne asked, getting a bit red in the face.

Wes scoffed at him. “You got secrets?”

Wayne was being very secretive lately. First of all, he hadn’t told Wes about burning himself until Wes questioned why he was lying down instead of helping with the laundry. Next, Wayne didn’t want Wes around when he spoke with Lakota after their medical check-up. And now he kept disappearing by himself and acting very strange. True, they had never spent much time together before nor did they share many secrets, but that didn’t mean Wayne could not show him some interest and concern. After all, they were stranded here without family or friends.

Feeling left out and hurt, Wes lashed out at his brother. Within minutes, the twins were grabbing one another by the throat or shirt front and cuffing at one another’s head.

Nathan and Samuel ran towards the raised voices.

Samuel couldn’t believe what he was seeing. Both twins were giving full vent to their anger, seriously swinging at one another. Neither had given any indication that something was wrong earlier and yet here they were fighting like a couple of wildcats.

“Hey, you two, break it up!” Samuel shouted, grabbing a twin but not sure which.

“He started it!” Wayne hollered back. “You tell him to stop!”

Samuel gave each of them a bit of a shake. “Both of you are to stop immediately!”

Wayne felt himself shrinking in face of Samuel’s admonishment. The man was imposing to begin with, but riled up like this and he was rather scary.

“What is going on here?” Nathan demanded quietly, his voice smooth and clear despite the din.

“Ow …” Wayne cried out as Wes’ fist landed on his shoulder.

“Take that, you asshole!”

“Wesley!”

Wes’ head jerked up at Nathan’s voice. The usual soft silkiness was gone; in its place was a stern no-nonsense tone, which made him slightly nervous. He would have stopped right there and then, but Wayne moved in again and Wes was quick to reciprocate.

“Cut that out!” Nathan ordered when he and Samuel finally succeeded in separating the two younger men.

Samuel helped keep the twins separated by taking hold of the one he was beginning to consider his. “Wayne, settle down now. What’s got into you two?” he asked in a voice that was calmer and full of concern.

Wayne sniffed. “Just leave me alone! I don’t want your pity. I don’t need your help. Just leave me the hell alone!”

Samuel wasn’t fooled by the words. He instinctively knew they meant the exact opposite of what was said. “Nathan, I think Wayne and I are going to go take a walk. You have a hold of Wes, right?”

“You go ahead, Samuel. Wes and I will be fine. I have a few words to say to him as well.”

Samuel nodded and turned the older twin towards the beach, where he felt they could find a bit of privacy for a while.

Nathan watched the two figures retreating then turned and regarded the remaining young man solemnly. “Calm enough now?”

“I didn’t do anything!” Wes protested. “Stop picking on me!”

“No one is picking on you, Wesley. But the council will have plenty to say if you and your brother are called up before them for fighting,” Nathan patiently explained, hoping to remind him of the rules. He lowered his voice and softly invited Wes to walk with him. “I think we’ve provided our fair share of this morning’s entertainment, don’t you?” Nathan lightly teased as he led Wes away. He could see that the other man was hurting and having heard part of the twins’ argument was determined to help him move past it.

 “Are you tired from working in the fields?” Nathan inquired as he took hold of Wes’ hand.

“No. We haven’t done much work today ‘cause we went for our medicals,” Wes responded, he liked the feel of the bigger hand wrapped around his..

“And how did that go, if you don’t mind me asking?” Nathan knew he was treading into personal territory.

“It was okay for me. Doc says I’m healthy as a horse,” Wes said, his shoulders drooping in a dejected manner.

“But…” Nathan gently prompted.

“He said I was fat!” the young man groused.

“I have a hard time believing he meant anything derogatory by it,” Nathan offered by way of comfort, not letting the man see his smile.

“Wayne asked to stay back to talk to Doc alone, something private. I kinda wonder if … oh well, some people are just so secretive!” Wes gave a watery smile. “I didn’t mean to. I just felt ...”

“Left out? I know, Minx. It’s going to be alright. But we have to talk, okay?” Nathan briefly hugged the younger man as he stopped at the forest’s edge and leaned against a tree to face his companion.

“Talk about what?” Wes said a little sulkily, not feeling the slightest inclination to carry on a conversation at the moment, not even with Nathan.

“We have to talk about the increasing number of times you and your brother are bickering before you end up doing irreparable damage to your relationship.”

Wes’ eyes snapped defensively. “We are brothers. Brothers fight! It’s normal.”

“That’s true enough. But not necessarily on a daily bases, especially once they reach adulthood,” Nathan gently admonished.

Wes shrugged but a slight tinge colored his cheeks. “We’ve always fought. Pa used to warn us that he would take his belt to us if we continued, but he was bluffing and we knew it. The most we ever got were a few swats with his hand.” Wes gave a sudden irrepressible grin.

Nathan shook his head at him. “There are so few of us here, Wes, and so much to do. None of us have either the time or energy to fight among ourselves. We have to stick together to make this work. Do you understand what I am telling you?” Nathan asked, his tone compelling enough to capture Wes’ full attention. There was no accusation in his voice, only mild exasperation.

Wes sobered at hearing the seriousness in Nathan’s words. He simply nodded and answered. “Yes.” He did understand. There was enough quiet conviction and firmness in Nathan’s tone for Wes to automatically responded to his authority.

“Good! There is one other thing I want you to be sure of, young man. Unlike your father, if I were to threaten physical discipline, I would carry it out.” Nathan watched the expressions playing across Wes’ beautiful face as his words were absorbed.

Wes had to shake himself mentally to let the thought sink in. “Huh? W-what are you saying?”

“I believe, Wesley, that both you and your brother would benefit from a little guidance. Do you think boundaries in the form of rules and consequences would help you?”

“I don’t like rules and I certainly don’t like consequence!” Wes said sullenly.

Nathan smiled. “Well no one can accuse you of not being straightforward. However, the more I get to know you the stronger I feel about this and if we were to further our relationship, rules and consequences would play an important part in it.”

Wes looked undecided for a moment. He didn’t think he liked what Nathan was saying, yet there was something about the man that attracted the hell out of him.

Nathan paused, trying to find the right words. “Look, I enjoy your company. You make me feel, hmm, different and I find I’m beginning to care a great deal about what happens to you, Minx. I don’t know if you feel the same, but I would like it very much if we could get to really know one another.”

Wes blinked. “You do?”

“Yes, I do!” Nathan said firmly. “Some day in the not too distant future, if things work out well, I’d like to be in a position to protect you, keep you safe and perhaps love you.”

Wes peeked at Nathan through his lashes, batting them ever so slightly. “What was that last part?”

“Oh, you heard me!” Nathan succinctly replied, squashing the urge to swat the cheeky young man’s backside. He looked deep into Wes’ eyes and grudgingly acknowledged. “I guess I might be rushing you; maybe you’re not ready for the type of relationship I’d like to have with you.”

Wes’ face dropped. “Well, like you indicated, you hardly know me! So you won’t know what I am ready for or want. I think it’s a good idea to find out more about one another, too.”

Nathan gave a wry smile. “While I’ll admit to us not having known each other long, I probably have a much better understanding of you than you do of me.”

“Just from talking to me?”

Seeing the look of confusion on the young man’s face, Nathan gently explained further. “I am older than you are and have more experience than you do. I’ve made it my business to study people. I did a lot of work with the public sector; community projects and that sort of thing. I have learned not only to hear what was being said but also to read body language.”

Wes listened closely, almost mesmerized by the man. Every nerve in him was responding to Nathan’s presence.  He had never felt this way about anyone before. He wanted him physically, their interaction the other night fresh in his mind. But it was more than just lustful longings. Wes found a certain safety in the way Nathan behaved with him.

“I’d like you to think very carefully about this, Wes. I don’t want you making any rash decisions. We have plenty of time.” Nathan gazed into the dark brown eyes. ‘How easy it would be to fall in love with you, little minx,’ he thought, even knowing he had to give the younger man some space. He wanted both of them to be certain and not act on emotional or physical impulse.

Wes licked his lips and softly inquired, “Just so I understand, are you talking about sex?”

“Not just sex.” Nathan bit back a laugh, highly amused at the tenacious young man’s one-track mind. “I am talking about so much more. I’m talking about commitment, fidelity and a life-time partnership.”

“What about what you said just now regarding rules and consequences? They come along with all these goodies?”

“It’s all part of the package, Minx,” Nathan tenderly responded to the query. “Like I said, you think it over and we’ll talk about it again whenever you’re ready, alright?”

Wes bit his lip. “I won’t deny that I am very attracted to you, Nathan.  I don’t know how to describe it, but I want you.” His voice was low and sensual. “And I really want this to go further. But I don’t do rules well. That’s just me.” He moved forward and pushed his hips against Nathan’s thighs

Nathan chuckled and shook his head, seeing through the actions and words but enjoying it all the same. Without a doubt what this precious young man needed was a firm hand but he would not even begin to know how to ask for it, much less admit it to himself. Nathan’s arms tightened around Wes as he dropped a light kiss on his forehead. “You’ll need to accept the whole package, Minx! It’s all or nothing, Wesley. If you don’t think you could handle me being in charge, then walk away now.”

Wes snapped his head up. Did he have a choice? The physical attraction was there, but there was also something else. He craved for a taste of Nathan’s world, for his sense of purpose and self-assuredness. More so than before, because he was secretly intrigued by Nathan’s promise to hold him accountable for his actions. What would life with the man entail?  His heart beat faster. With his usual impetuosity he boldly declared, “I can handle it, Nathan!”

Nathan’s eyes opened in surprise.  “Aren’t you going to take some time to think it over?”

“No! I know what I want,” Wes responded, hoping he sounded as confident as Nathan.

Nathan looked at him silently for a minute and then smiled. “Okay. We’ll go slow and talk some more about how we want to make it work. But for now, I need to make this clear. There will be times when it will be necessary for me to correct your behaviour. Be forewarned, I will do it and you will accept my authority at those times. I want you to know that while I may get angry with you on those occasions, I will try my best to be fair and reasonable. I might be upset or disappointed with your actions, but never with you,” Nathan assured him, wanting to make sure that Wes understood fully. He strongly suspected that Wes still harboured the false hope that rules and consequences would not enter into the picture.

Wes’ stomach lurched at the words. “Okay, I can live with that,” he answered while trying to suppress the flutter he felt. ”Er, how do you correct bad behaviour?”

Nathan coolly hid any sign of amusement. “Depending on the severity of the infraction; grounding, writing lines, time-out, with the most serious resulting in a bare-bottom spanking,” he said this with clear emphasis, “over my knee. Mark my words, Wesley; I will not tolerate any form of dishonesty, be it in word or deed. Nor do I want you participating in public brawling.”

There was a moment of silence and then the irrepressible dimple peeped again. “Oooh! Bare-bottom, huh? Sounds exciting!”

“I am sure the day will come when you will have the opportunity to find out just how exciting it can be,” Nathan remarked dryly. “In the meantime, we’re expected in the field to help remove rocks.” He laughed at the younger man’s disgust at the sudden anti-climax, flicked a finger at the crinkled up nose and leaned in to kiss it.

Meanwhile, Wayne was kicking hard at the sand as he trailed along with Samuel. He would have preferred to hang back, not looking forward to the scolding he was sure he would be getting. Of course Samuel really had no jurisdiction over him; it’s not as if they were in a relationship or anything. But he knew he respected Samuel, and that he wanted the older man to think well of him. He wished he could turn the clock back and find a way out of this entire situation, but Samuel’s arm around his shoulders was extremely strong and he had no choice but to keep par with the man.

Once they were pretty far down the beach, Samuel turned towards Wayne and calmly inquired, “So you want to tell me what that was about?”

“What do you mean?” Wayne asked while keeping his eyes well lowered.

“Wayne, look up please. I don’t want to talk to the top of your head. I’d like to talk to you. I’d like to know why you two were fighting,” Samuel said as he waited patiently to see Wayne’s face.

Pulling up his eyes, Wayne swallowed on a suddenly dry throat before he responded. “I’m sorry about the fight. It’s nothing really.” Inside, his heart ached. He wanted so much to tell Samuel about the hole he had dug himself into, but he could not bear the thought of the older man’s dismay and revulsion.

“Well, that ‘nothing’ looked like something, Wayne. Is there anything going on between you two?”

The tears threatened to spill, so Wayne quickly looked away, saying harshly. “No, like I said, it’s nothing!” It was easier to be angry than vulnerable. “Can I go now?”

Samuel arched his eyebrow at other man’s tone. “Let’s get rid of the attitude. I’m talking to you calmly and respectfully and I would like to be spoken to in the same manner. If it was such a big nothing, I don’t think you two would’ve been fighting. Now, talk to me. Please!” Samuel quietly requested. He kept hold of Wayne’s arm, having a feeling if he were to let go Wayne would take off.

Attracted by the tone, Wayne turned his eyes back up. “Honest, Samuel, there’s nothing wrong. It’s just one of those fights which don’t mean anything.” He sounded much more respectful.

Samuel studied the young man. “So you’re telling me that you two were fighting just for the hell of it then?” The frustration he felt goading him into being facetious was something that rarely happened.

Wayne flinched, then out of bravado and nothing else, he challenged. “What’s it to you anyway? What do you care what I do? What are you gonna do about it?”

Thrown for a moment by the sudden attack, Samuel stood there stunned. They had been getting along rather well with Wayne seemingly regarding Samuel in the role of mentor, especially after the older man’s help when Wayne had scalded his hand.  Samuel was shocked by the young man turning on him now. 

Recovering his senses, he shrewdly saw beyond the mask and narrowed his eyes. “Something is obviously troubling you, but don’t think you can take it out on me, young man. I will thank you to keep a civil tongue in your head, m’boy!”

Wayne’s eyes glistened with unshed tears at the unexpected rebuke.

Samuel continued. “What’s it to me? Is that what you asked? I’ll tell you then. Crazy as it seems, I happen to think you and I have some place to go together.  God knows there’s something about you that would be easy to love. Although I don’t want to rush into a relationship too quickly, I can’t help but feel attracted to you. As to what I’m going to do about it? Well, I know what I feel like doing about it, but that’s not my place right now.” He watched Wayne’s face, waiting to see how the younger man would react to what was being said.

That was the last straw for Wayne. He had lived through a hellish nightmare of being plucked from his home and family. He had burnt his hand over a simple chore, proving how useless he was in fending for himself. He was tired from all the work he was not used to doing. He had stolen a puppy and was now on the verge of pure panic. He had nothing left in him, except one thought. Samuel cared about him. Samuel was attracted to him. That was all he heard. With a strangled cry, he moved forward.

Samuel intuitively wrapped his arms around the young man and pulled him close. He rubbed his back but didn’t say anything. He had a feeling Wayne needed the quiet at the moment and was glad to let him have it.

“Samuel?” Wayne asked after a long while. “If I ever get into trouble, will you help me out?”

Samuel looked down at the dark head, anticipating a confession. He responded carefully with a question of his own. “Help you out how, Wayne?”

“If everyone gets mad at me, will you get mad too?”

Samuel pondered the query, wondering about the intent behind it. “Now why would everyone get mad at you?”

Wayne shrugged. “Just if they do, that’s all I’m saying.”

“Is there something I should know, Wayne?”

“No, I am just asking.”

Samuel was not convinced but he didn’t see how he could force it out of the young man. He would much rather Wayne volunteered the information. “Ah, a hypothetical question, is it?  Well, hypothetically then, if you did something to make absolutely everyone mad at you, I’m guessing I might be angry with you too. But at the same time, I will help you in whatever way I can,” Samuel reassured him and hoped Wayne would take the bait.

Wayne’s body sagged against the solid form holding him. It was comforting to know Samuel was being frank with him and not just offering false platitudes. He sorely needed that. Even still, he was not ready to reveal all yet. Lifting his head so he could look at Samuel, he instead asked, “What would you do if you were mad at me?”

“Well, it would depend on exactly what you had done. I imagine I have several options depending on where we were in our relationship,” Samuel said honestly.

“Such as?” Wayne waited with bated-breath.

“First I should tell you of two or three things I won’t tolerate and that’s fighting, lying or stealing. I also strongly frown upon disrespect and manipulation. If you were mine, any of those will cause you to feel my displeasure on your bare backside. Although I believe in discipline, I want to be fair as well. For instance, should a fight break out and you were merely defending yourself, then I can see my being a lot more lenient with you, but otherwise …” Samuel hesitated and watched to see what Wayne’s reaction would be to this.

“Otherwise?” Wayne prompted rather timidly even though he knew exactly what Samuel was talking about.

“You will in all likelihood be getting spanked!” Samuel answered, making it clear on exactly what he would do.

“F-for lying and stealing?” Wayne’s voice was hollow, his mind cringing already.

“Yes, those infractions will definitely earn you a spanking as will fighting.”

“What about just arguing?” Wayne squeaked.

“Disagreements happen. That’s life. But it doesn’t have to end up in a knock-down, dragged out fight. I don’t like it. I especially abhor public brawling,” Samuel explained, looking straight at Wayne. “That’s the way I expect our relationship to work, provided we were to have a relationship to begin with. Is that something you think you can accept? Or do you feel I am being unreasonable?” Samuel asked, a little anxious despite himself. He wanted their relationship to progress but he also knew he would only go forward on these terms.

Wayne gulped and went a little limp. How much trouble will he be in when Samuel finds out about the puppy? He didn’t want to go there. If Galen kept his mouth shut, Wayne thought he may still get away with it.

With a despondent sigh, Wayne snuggled into the circle of Samuel’s protective arms. He hid his face in the bigger man’s broad chest and resolutely pushed all unwanted thoughts away. Deeply breathing in Samuel’s scent, he gave himself up to the man. “I think I can live with it. I am willing to give it a try. I do think your terms are reasonable.”

Samuel closed his eyes, savouring the moment. To have found companionship such as this so soon was remarkable. Mostly he was just grateful.

Some moments later, Samuel gently kissed the top of Wayne’s head and murmured, “As much as I enjoy holding you, I have trees to cut down and there is a field with some rocks calling your name.”

TBC….

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