Chapter Twenty-seven



Thomas and Kevin sat across from each other enjoying a cup of coffee and updating the planting schedule. The younger man was more than pleased to be considered the ex-landowner’s right-hand man in overseeing some of the agriculture duties here in their new home.

Thomas glanced up when he felt another slide in beside him to share the log he was sitting on.

“Hi, Galen. What brings you here?” Thomas smiled at the young man.

“I was a little hungry.” Galen returned the smile. “What are you guys doing?” His eyes moved from one man to the other.

“We’re just talking about what needs to be planted next,” Kevin replied. He really liked the young man and it was obvious to him that Thomas was attracted to Galen but was taking things slowly. “We need to make sure the crops are planted at the right time to optimize the final yield. I’m learning a lot about managing the land from Thomas here.” Kevin smiled at the older man.

“What have you been doing?  Have you lost Kelby and Raythe?” the older man asked.

“I wasn’t doing much so I thought I’d have the dessert I didn’t eat at dinner. Raythe is stretching hides for Brock in p-preparation for tanning and Kelby is w-working with Quentin.” Galen picked up a fresh berry and popped it into his mouth. “I’m w-waiting for Spyke. We’re on laundry detail w-with Thad and Jordan this afternoon. ”

“Do you know what Dallas is doing?” Kevin asked casually.

“I haven’t seen him since lunch time. I think he’s still in your tent,” Galen replied after a moment’s thought. “But I did see Gille going off with Lakota to pick weeds,” he added with a crooked grin.

“I hardly think Lakota would appreciate his medicinal herbs being referred to as weeds.” Thomas watched as Galen popped more cheese curds and berries into his mouth. “Please tell me you washed your hands after feeding the animals.”

“Of course!” The younger man rolled his eyes and held up his hands, palms facing Thomas. “W-wanna see?”

“They look very nice,” was the response.

“W-wanna check b-behind my ears?” Galen asked with a cheeky grin, eyes sparkling with mischief.

“I think I’ll pass on that right now, but I might take you up on it later.” Thomas teased.

Kevin laughed. “Well I guess our discussion is over,” he said to Thomas. “I better be off as Dallas is probably waiting for me.”

“Thanks for all your help, Kevin. I’m sure we’ll do well with this plan.”

Alone with Thomas, Galen moved closer in search of physical contact. He smiled up at his friend and pushed the bowl towards him. “W-want some, Thomas?”

Thomas put his arm around Galen’s shoulder, giving him a gentle squeeze.  He reached for the bowl with his other hand and picked up a juicy berry. “Thank you. These are delicious, aren’t they?”

“Uh-huh.”

The men sat in silence for almost sixty seconds before Galen mumbled around a mouthful of berries. “This is kind of n-nice. We hardly ever spend time together.” He leaned against the older man and sighed contentedly.

“We see each other many times throughout each day.” 

“Yeah b-but I m-mean alone; just the two of us. There is always someone else around w-wanting to talk to you or n-needing your help with something.” Galen didn’t intend to complain, he was only stating a fact.

Thomas felt touched by Galen’s remark. He did enjoy his time alone with the younger man. “We both have our responsibilities towards the survival of our community, but I think we could probably find a little while each day to get to know each other better.”

Spyke chose that moment to run into the mess hall. He stopped and looked around, but saw only Thomas. “Hey, Thomas, where the hell is everyone?” he demanded.

Galen gave Thomas a ‘see what I mean’ look.

Thomas leaned back so Spyke could see Galen. Then the older man smiled and answered. “Walker is helping Thad and Jordan to fetch more water. Galen will be right out.”

Ruffling his companion’s hair, Thomas suggested that Galen finish up his treat and get out back to work as he had to do the same himself. “Those logs don’t get cut by themselves and it is only fair I relieve Troy. He was chopping wood the whole time I’ve been in here first with Kevin and then you.”

Galen crammed the last few berries into his mouth and stood up. After swallowing, he cheekily admonished, “You should be setting a b-better example, Thomas. Sitting around like that w-will have the guys thinking you’re trying to shirk your duties.”  With that, he laughed and jumped out of range of the hand swinging towards his butt. Then he made a beeline for the exit.

Thomas chuckled as he took Galen’s bowl over to the wash stand before heading back to work. He had no trouble admitting to himself how much he enjoyed being with the younger man. He just wasn’t sure yet how deep his feelings ran for the lad, or maybe he wasn’t able to accept them this soon.

‘We’ve plenty of time,’ he thought, inhaling deeply.

Wayne stared into space, brooding. “You know Wes, sometimes I hate this island.” It had been another long day and the brothers were resting before attending the evening’s upcoming fireside.

Wes snapped. “Why are you doing this?”

“What?”

“What good is it gonna do? You told me to get used to the idea of this being home. Remember?”

Wayne was silent for a while, and then tiredly replied, “Yeah. I remember.”

“What started this foul mood, huh?”

“I don’t know,” Wayne muttered despondently.

“You’re happy you’ve got Samuel here with you, right?” Wes reminded the other man.

“And don’t tell me you don’t feel the same about Nathan. Is he being good to you, little brother?”

Wes grinned wickedly. “Better than good, if you know what I mean,” he answered suggestively, wiggling his eyebrows.

Wayne blushed even more. “Spare me the details!”

“Aw, come on! You aren’t shy, are you? Don’t tell me you haven’t had anal sex?”

“Unlike you, brother, I like to take my time!” Wayne said smugly.

Wes hooted. “You haven’t, have you? You goddamn prig! I don’t believe it. God knows there was little enough action while we were in jail and that friggin’ uncomfortable boat journey was too hellish to do anything. But we’ve been here on the island for weeks now!  Don’t tell me you haven’t seen his cock or had a hand job?”

“I’m not saying that.” Wayne protested, turning unto his stomach and punching up his pillow to hide his embarrassment. “We have our own way!  We do fine, thank you very much. Your standards are just lower!”

Wes slumped onto his back, trying to find a comfortable position while his eyes glazed over. “Low or not, my man drives me crazy. I could care less what my standards are just so long as he is okay with them. And Nathan is definitely fine with them!”

Wayne laid his chin on his folded hands and studied his brother’s profile.  “Wes?”

“Hmmm?”

“Do you go the whole way with Nathan?”

Wes paused, weighing how much to share.  “Why do you want to know? I thought you didn’t want details.”

“I do now.”

“Are you gonna judge me?”

“Just answer the damn question!”

Wes turned his head to look straight into Wayne’s eyes. “Yes, we go all the way. He tops me and I let him every single time, and it’s great!”

They stared at one another in silence. Finally Wes raised one eyebrow and asked, “Well?”

“Well what?” Wayne hedged.

Wes rolled his eyes in exasperation. “Well what about you, brother? How far do you go with your big man?”

Wayne sighed. “We haven’t done it,” he shyly mumbled.

“Can you please be more explicit?” Wes asked with exaggerated politeness.

“There was no penetration, either way. I, that is we just ...” Wayne swallowed, finding the conversation extremely hard and almost wishing he hadn’t started it. He was much more reticent by nature and didn’t like to share such personal details. But he had something on his mind and needed a sounding block. “We’ve been intimate but there’s been no anal sex. The only time Samuel tried to I ah, sort of freaked out.”

Wes sought for his next words carefully. “Didn’t you ever do it back home? I thought you were no longer a virgin, but are you?”

“No!” “No!” Wayne closed his eyes and a shadow of sadness passed over his face.

“What is it?” Wes asked, suddenly concerned.

“I gotta tell you something,” Wayne murmured. “But swear you will not tell anyone, not even Nathan and especially not Samuel!”

“Okay!” Wes agreed, bristling with curiosity. Ever since the puppy incident, they had grown considerably closer.

“You remember the New Year’s Eve party two years ago? We had that performance in the Town Hall and after that there was the party?”

“Yeah, that was the time you were seeing that ranch foreman from the C-Canyon. We called him the CC, didn’t we?” Wes chuckled.

Wayne’s voice dropped and he sounded almost hoarse as he continued. “That night we went off to the lake. We had been going there a few times, but we never did anything more than a hand job. That night we were planning to but I changed my mind and he got real mad.” Wayne took a deep breath. “He raped me.”

Wes opened his mouth but no words came out.

Wayne continued in a dull tone. “I never saw him again after that but I never stopped thinking about it. I don’t know if it was my fault or not. He called me a tease and said I had led him on. I have nightmares every time I think of what happened. He was so rough and he was big, just like Samuel.”

“Why didn’t you say something? Why didn’t you tell Pa?” Wes demanded as he began to shake with fury.

Wayne laughed. “Tell Pa?” he asked in a bitter tone. “Pa would have whipped the living daylights out of me if he knew I went off with that man. Besides what good would it have done? It’s not as if we could tell the sheriff and get him arrested. There was nothing we could have done!”

“You could have told me!” Wes spoke softly, not bothering to hide his hurt feelings.

“What for, little brother? So you could go after him and do what?”

Wes turned his face away feeling sick to his stomach. “Yeah, damn right I would have gone after him; that stinking son-a-bitch!”

“Exactly!”

There was a pregnant silence and then Wes whispered in a timid voice. “D-did he h-hurt you bad?”

Wayne scowled. “He did.”

“Is that why you can’t do it with Samuel?”

Wayne shrugged as he sat up and ran his hand through his thick black hair. “I guess. Probably. Who knows? Maybe it’s just me? I changed my mind, remember? It was partly my fault. We had agreed and I went back on my word.”

“That bastard!” Wes clenched his fist and brought it down onto his pallet. “He still had no right to force you!”

“Remember your promise; not a word to anyone. I gotta get this worked out because I think Samuel isn’t gonna wait forever.”

“Hell, some people don’t ever do that, you know, the anal thing. Perhaps Samuel is one of them.”

Wayne shook his head dejectedly. “No. I can tell he wants it. He’s being very decent so far but it’s not fair to him. God, I don’t want a repeat of what happened!” he groaned miserably.

“Maybe if I ask Nathan’s advice ...”

“I’ll bloody-well knock your head off if you breathe a word of this to anyone!” Wayne sounded so fierce, Wes shrank back. “Not to anyone! Do you hear me?”

“Okay, okay, I hear you! Relax! I am not going to say a word!”

Wayne nodded grimly at his twin. “And don’t you go back on your word like I did!” he unhappily muttered, already having seconds thoughts about divulge the ever-so-personal and long-held secret.

TBC…. 


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