Chapter Twenty-three

“Aaaah,” Brodie moaned as the big rock slipped out of his hands and landed on his left foot. He held his breath as he sank to the ground and grabbed onto the injured toes in hopes of dulling the pain. A shadow momentarily blocked the glare of the morning sun and he glanced up as Seth squatted down beside him.

“Are you okay, man?” Seth asked in a voice equally mixed with curiosity and concern.

Brodie was unable to answer verbally and settled for nodding his head as another shadow drifted over the two young men.

“What happened here?” Quentin inquired, kneeling next to Brodie and removing his hands to check out the damage. “This is going to need tending to, Brodie. Come on, I’ll help you get to the infirmary.” Putting a hand under the young man’s arm, Quentin assisted him in getting to his feet. “Wrap your arm around my shoulders,” he kindly suggested.

It took twenty slow, painful minutes to reach their destination. They arrived shortly after the morning physical had been given and while Lakota was out for a breath of fresh air. As when Brodie had hurt his hand, Yancey was the only one on duty.

“I have someone here who needs medical attention,” Quentin announced, lifting the flap while supporting the limping man into the tent.

“Again, Brodie?” Yancey shook his head and just managed to hold back a smile. “This is the second time you’ve hurt yourself in a rather short period of time.”

“Like I said before, I’m kind of accident-prone. I’m lucky if I get through a whole novel without getting a paper-cut.” Brodie joked to cover his uneasiness and headed for the examining table, knowing that would be where the nurse would want him. He resigned himself to accepting Yancey’s assistance in getting up onto the large crate.

“Seeing as you have everything under control here, Yancey, I’ll head back to the fields. See you both at the noon meal.” Quentin gave a final wave and left them alone.

“How did this happen, Brodie?” Yancey asked as he poured warm water into a bowl, dropped in a washcloth, picked up a bar of soap and turned back to his patient.

“I dropped a rock on it,” Brodie explained nervously. He dubiously eyed the nurse’s every move.

“It would have made the injury less severe had you been wearing your boots.” Yancey glared disapprovingly at his patient and then tenderly began cleaning the blood and dirt off Brodie’s wounded foot.

“Come on, Yancey, some of the other guys are going barefoot!” the young man protested.

“That may be so, but I haven’t seen any of them in here after dropping rocks on their feet.”

Brodie squirmed uncomfortably at the mild scolding. The nurse did have a point. “But it’s not my fault the rock slipped out of my hand,” Brodie muttered and grimaced when the wet cloth passed over the painful laceration. He cried out when Yancey carefully moved his toes.

“Oh, Brodie, I’m afraid these three toes are broken, lad,” Yancey sadly announced and pretended he hadn’t seen the young man’s knuckles turning white from gripping the side of the examination table so tightly. “I’m going to lightly wrap your foot to prevent dirt getting into these abrasions, but that’s all. Okay?”

“Uh-huh,” Brodie whimpered, still clutching the blanket he was sitting on.

“It may be a good number of days before you can put a boot on this foot and you’ll not be returning to the fields until such time as you can do so.” Yancey finished his ministrations, cleaned and put away the items he had used, and lifted Brodie down from the table just as the first bell rang to call the men in for the noon meal. “Let’s get you over to the mess hall and settled before the line forms. We certainly don’t need you getting trampled by a stampede of hungry men, do we?”

Five minutes later, Yancey had his patient seated and served. “Alright, Brodie, you sit here with your foot elevated and eat your dinner,” he firmly instructed. “I see Lakota has returned and I want to ask him for some pain medication for you. I’ll be back shortly.”

It took less than ten minutes for Yancey to re-enter the mess hall. The nurse was displeased to find Brodie perched on the log he had left him on but with his untouched plate on the stump where his sore foot should have been resting. Placing the mug in his hand next to the plate, Yancey gently slid the young man down to the ground.

“At least this way your foot won’t need to be raised as you are no longer above it.” Yancey handed Brodie the mug and sternly ordered, “drink this!”

Not wanting to further irritate the older man, Brodie immediately obeyed. “What was that?” he asked, after swallowing the contents and contorting his face at the bitter aftertaste.

“A painkiller Lakota prepared for you. Now I’m going to get my dinner and then we are going to enjoy our meal together, aren’t we?” Yancey fully expected his directive to be complied with.

“I see the medicine has taken effect,” Lakota said, joining them with a plate in hand a short time later. He smiled and nodded towards the sleeping young man slumped against Yancey’s right side.
“Yes. I think I’ll take him back to the infirmary and put him to bed in the ward for a couple of hours so I’ll be able to keep an eye on him should he need anything.” Yancey tried to present a professional image, but Lakota wasn’t deceived. Yancey was showing definite signs of being interested in their good-looking, highly intelligent librarian.

Larry glanced up from sawing branches off a fallen tree. He gazed past Mitchell and over at the broad, sweat-covered and shirtless chest of his partner. The big Scot was chopping down another towering pine. The ex-marine found himself becoming aroused at the intoxicating sight of Aiden’s flexing muscles and started fantasizing about being alone with this handsome lover of his.

“Hey, soldier-boy, quit your day-dreaming!” the black man’s voice carried over the noise caused by the saws and axes. “If you don’t pay attention to what you’re doing, tree appendages won’t be the only thing you’ll cut off,” he dryly commented, looking pointedly at the tenting of the other man’s trousers.

Larry was about to tell his work-mate to shut up and mind his own business, when he noticed Aiden staring across at them. His blush intensified as their eyes met and from the smile on the other man’s face, Larry believed Aiden was reading his mind.

The evening meal wouldn’t be ready for another forty-five minutes, so Lakota took the time to update his files. He’d somehow managed to see two patients today. All the men being so busy made it a lot more challenging to get the physicals done. This duty seemed to be taking longer than he had originally thought it would.

Seth Edwards, age twenty-five, five feet and nine inches tall. This very pale-skinned young man is suffering from the sun burning his sensitive skin. I have recommended he keep covered with light clothing and a broad-brimmed hat at all times while working outside and that he takes regular breaks in a shaded area. From what’s been observed in the past, getting him to stop working will not be a problem. He is otherwise in good health though his behaviour was surly at best during the examination. He claimed to be uncomfortable with medical procedures. I do believe he is a young man in need of some firm guidance, though I have no doubt that with some discipline and maturity, he will make a fine member of the community. I have every confidence in Preston Chadwick being just the man to keep this young fellow in line.

Preston Chadwick, age thirty years, six feet, two and a half inches tall, another fine example of vigorous health brought on by a balanced diet and a physical lifestyle. Preston’s amicable nature makes him a pleasure to know. I believe he’s chosen wisely when asking our young gambler to be his partner.  

Lakota closed his book and stretched his tired muscles. Looking again at his watch, he could see it was nearly the supper hour. He hoped Gille would be back by now so they could enjoy a meal together and perhaps take a walk later and have a bit of private time. It was not easy for two men to find a place to make love when they shared a tent with four others. Suddenly he realized the ward was now without any patients. Although Gille was long done with his extra duty of cleaning the infirmary after the evening meal, the doctor saw no reason for the two of them not coming here and taking advantage of the now empty tent. He felt himself growing aroused just thinking of the possibility. 

The workday had ended, and the crackling of the fire reminded the men that the evening’s activity was about to begin.

“Come on, you guys!” Spyke called to his lagging partners. “Thomas is gonna continue reading from the book he started last night, and we don’t wanna miss any of the story.”

“Actually, I’d rather go for a walk because I’ve already read ‘The Tale of Two Cities’ a couple of times,” Larry informed his younger partner.

“I just might join ye, lad, as I read it not so long ago meself,” Aiden offered.

“Well, even though I heard it before, I still want to hear it again. So is it alright if I stay here and listen?” Spyke asked and after getting affirmative nods, hurried over to settle next to Galen and Thomas.

Larry sighed with an unexplained feeling of headiness. He was going to be alone with Aiden for the first time since they became a threesome. He felt a thrill go through his body when his hand was enfolded in a much larger one and he was led towards the beach.

“Would ye care to share with me what was distracting ye this afternoon, laddie?” Aiden requested as they ambled down the path hand in hand.

Larry remained silent while searching for the words to explain just how much the bigger man’s body excited him. His footsteps faltered, causing Aiden to stop and turn to face him.  

“I hope this makes sense. I’ve never been very good at verbally expressing my feelings. That is why I keep a diary.” Larry paused and took a deep breath before continuing. “Watching you work, seeing you in only your kilt, your strength so apparent…it arouses me, makes me want you more than I’ve ever wanted anyone else.”

“Aye, I understand. I also find ye very sexually attractive. Come, I know how to take care of this need we feel for one another.” Aiden tightened his hold on Larry’s hand and gently tugged him further along the sandy shore until they found themselves at the spot where the three of them had committed to each other not so long ago.

Pulling the younger man into his arms, Aiden lowered his head to passionately kiss Larry’s lips and probe until their tongues met. Laying Larry on the ground, Aiden proceeded to slowly undress him while hungrily kissing and nibbling at his body. Once his partner was almost frantic with desire, the big man quickly divested himself of his own clothing, taking a moment to remove a small jar from his sporran.

“Oh God, Aiden, I want you inside me so bad!” Larry moaned. “But I’m uncertain if I can take all of you because of your size.”

“Easy, lad,” Aiden murmured as he stretched out beside his partner. With lubricated fingers, he gently prepared his lover to receive him. He covered his own erection with a generous amount of Vaseline before maneuvering the smaller man until Larry was lying prone on top of him. “In order to avoid hurting ye, it needs be that ye control the rate of penetration.”

Larry sat up and impatiently began to impale himself on Aiden’s engorged member. He gasped at the burn and tensed up. Large hands firmly lifted him, and a soothing voice offered encouragement. “Slow down, lad. Relax, take deep breaths. Easy does it.” Larry obeyed and rested for a few moments, then tried again. A callused hand wrapped around his penis and the familiar pleasure of masturbation quickly had him relaxed enough to accept Aiden’s entry into his body.

Another groan escaped Larry’s lips when Aiden’s thick shaft became completely embedded inside him and they allowed the sexual fires to consume them as they moved steadily towards their goal. Varying his position slightly, Larry allowed the slow, gentle thrusts to massage his prostate until simultaneous orgasms were reached.         

Collapsing on Aiden’s broad chest, Larry lay contentedly in loving arms and relaxed as tender kisses were placed on his head. He was elated by the low murmurings of how exciting it was to be inside him, how sexy and handsome he was, and how much he was loved and cherished. He sighed deeply several long minutes later, when Aiden slowly slipped from under his body to gently remind him of the need to clean themselves and return to the campsite.

The twins lay on their pallets listening to the muted voices of the men gathered around the bonfire.

“This is so boring!” Wes complained as he turned on his side and bunched up his pillow.

“At least we only have one more evening to be cooped up in here then we can attend the firesides again,” Wayne reminded his brother. “Although truth be told, I’m too damn weary to be anywhere else but here.”

“Not to mention too sore! And it’s only our first day of laundry duty,” Wes groused. “Thank God the day after tomorrow is Sunday and there’ll be no laundry to do.”

“Yeah, but we’ll have twice as much the next day. Where the hell does it all come from anyway?”

“For shit’s sake, Wayne. There are twenty-eight of us here, where d’ya think it comes from?” Wes asked sarcastically.

“I know that, stupid, but surely to God they don’t all change their damn clothes every day!”

“They don’t have to for it to pile up,” Wes muttered. “At least there’s a lot less now than there was when we first arrived. Of course, God only knows how long it had been since anything had been laundered.”

“Yeah, and another plus is that it is getting warmer and some of the guys are wearing fewer clothing.” Wayne grudgingly decided that maybe things weren’t quite as bad as he thought. “Still, it’s miserable to be punished like this, huh?”

“You can say that again, brother!”

The young men lay back, each promptly caught up in his own thoughts. Both were absorbed with their new-found relationships, but more specifically with the memory of how they had been privately chastised by their own partners. Both needed to talk about their feelings on the experience but didn’t quite know how to approach the subject and each of them was somewhat fearful of how the other would react. 

“Ah, how’s the hand, Wayne?” Wes suddenly asked in an attempt to get a conversation started.

“What? Oh, the burn? It’s all healed now and has been for some time.”

“Thanks to Samuel, I’d say. He took care that you got it dressed regularly. I saw him dragging you to the infirmary and bullying you into drinking that horrid disgusting tea.”

Wayne blushed in the semi-darkness. “Yeah, he’s been good to me.”

Wes turned on his side once again and regarded his twin. “So how’s it going with you two?” He sounded serious.

 The older twin shrugged. “It’s a bit strange at times.”

“How do you mean?”

“Samuel is very a caring man. You’ve seen how he mothers me, right?” They both grinned boyishly at one another. Wayne sobered. “But …”

“But what?” Wes prompted.

“He frightens me sometimes, even if he doesn’t mean to.”

Wes sat up quickly, eyes wide. “In what way?”

“Well, sometimes he can get rather serious and stern,” Wayne hastened to explain, seeing his twin’s reaction. “I mean, he isn’t cruel or anything. I know he’s not at all the violent type, big though he is.”

Wes nodded. “Yes, he looks a little fierce when he gets mad. I’ve seen it with my own eyes, and I wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of him.”

Wayne heartily agreed. “That’s a wise decision, brother. Getting Samuel riled up is a bad idea!”

“Does he scold and lecture?”

“He can make me feel like an ill-disciplined kid, if that’s what you are asking.”

Wes sighed inwardly. “I think I know what you mean. Nathan scares me too sometimes in that way.”

“Yeah?” Wayne’s interest peaked. “He actually looks so self-possessed most of the time; like he doesn’t even know how to get mad. I’d say he’s mild compared to Samuel.”

Wes snorted. “Don’t be deceived. He sure knows how to make his displeasure known when he wants to, believe me.”


Wes slid a sideways glance at his twin. “You really want to know? Promise you won’t repeat what I tell you to anyone!”

“Yeah, promise! Go on, tell!”

“Well,” Wes said, dropping his voice conspiratorially. “He spanked me. Like a kid; on my butt; over his knees!”

Wayne blinked. “He spanked you?”

“Yep, for taking that punch at Galen. He had just warned me about fighting and I turned around and did it again.” Wes flushed at the memory, but he was not entirely regretful. Some deep-buried need in him seemed to have responded to that spanking and even as he recounted the tale, he felt a little thrill run down his spine.

After a moment of silence, Wayne looked up from beneath his thick lashes. “Well, guess what? Samuel gave me hell too over the puppy incident. He was seriously not pleased.” He paused, undecided. He was much more reserved and found it difficult to share his feelings even with Wes.

“What did he do?”

“This morning after we apologised to Kelby and Galen, he took me into that clearing near the stream. You guys were still back at the campsite getting the laundry started. He spanked me; just like what Nathan did to you. I couldn’t believe how much it hurt. I was glad you guys were so far away.  He’s got a damn hard hand!”

Wes stared at his twin in disbelief. “Is this some kind of weird society we’re being initiated into? Or did the two of them just discuss what they intended to do?”

Wayne shrugged. “Who knows? Coincidence maybe!”

“Are you okay with that, Wayne?” Wes asked softly. “Being disciplined in that way?”

Both boys gazed thoughtfully at the tent walls. “He had told me what he won’t abide by. He’s kinda strict, you know. He made it clear what the consequences would be and that it was the only type of relationship he wanted, and I agreed. So yeah, I guess I’d have to say I am okay with it. How about you?”

“Nathan gave me a choice. Take the loving plus the discipline; the whole package he said or nothing. Some choice, huh?”

“You don’t have to agree if you don’t like it. You know that, Wes!” Wayne urged. “He doesn’t have the right to discipline you physically or any other way. He’s not even on the council!”

Wes’ eyes glinted. “But that’s the way I want it! Damn it! I don’t like the idea of being punished or being made accountable for stuff, yet I wanted it at the same time. I can’t explain it and now I don’t think I can give it up even if he no longer wanted it.  It’s like some kind of craving. Once I’d got a taste of it, I like the idea of having Nathan in charge, making decisions for me, and telling me what I can or cannot do. Does that sound sick to you?”

“No,” Wayne muttered, “’cause that’s the way I feel too. It’s kinda a relief, isn’t it?”

“It is until such time as we get called upon to answer for some misdeed!” Wes snickered, his sunny humour peeping out again. “I wouldn’t be so sure of relief then, dear brother! Nathan has a hard hand too! And,” Wes paused dramatically, “he promised I’d feel his hand on my bare butt if I don’t shape up!”

Wayne shuddered. “Do you think there are others in the same situation as us? Surely, we can’t be the only ones in this kind of relationship. Look at Troy and Levi. I remember when we first landed; wasn’t Troy kinda strict with Levi?”

“Yeah, now that you mention it. And what about Aiden? Now that man categorically scares the shit out of me sometimes! He’s so much bigger than Nathan or Samuel and I hear he’s got something going with Larry and Spyke. I’ll bet he spanks too. Aiden, I mean!”  Wes added unnecessarily.

“He’s with both of them?” Wayne asked in surprise. “Man, where have I been when all this has been going on?”

Wes opened his mouth to reply; then stopped in mid-sentence and listened.

“What the hell is that noise?” Wayne loudly whispered.

“Sounds like someone having sex in the tent next to ours. Man, they sure are going at it!” Wes’ amusing revelation caused both of them to giggle gleefully. 

The sounds from the other tent eventually calmed and the twins smiled knowingly at one another. A few more whispers and giggles, and then their voices died away as the exhausted young men fell asleep.

Sometime later, Nathan and Samuel quietly entered the tent. They lovingly gazed down at their sleeping beauties for a few moments.

Nathan stripped off his clothing and placed every item neatly folded on a small empty crate that served as a chair. He stretched out on his bed after moving it closer to Wes’ and drew the young man into his arms.

“You did a great job today, little one,” he whispered, tenderly kissing the dark head that unconsciously burrowed into his shoulder. “I am so proud of you, my precious little Minx!”

Freed of his clothing, Samuel lay down next to Wayne who turned over in his sleep and cuddled closer. “Sleep, my pet,” Samuel whispered and kissed Wayne’s head. “You’ve more than earned your rest.”

Aiden and Larry returned to the campsite to discover embers where the bonfire had been. Most the men had turned in, leaving only a few behind.

“’Tis wondering I am just how much of the story he actually listened to.” Aiden smiled down at his youngest partner who was sleeping next to the dying fire.

Larry snickered in response and stood by as the older man bent to hoist Spyke into his arms.

They walked across the compound and entered their tent to retire for the night. Aiden gently laid Spyke on his pallet, removed the lad’s clothing and pulled the blankets over him. He smiled when blue eyes opened and stared up at him.

“Did you enjoy your walk?” Spyke murmured intuitively, with a soft smirk on his face. “Next time, it’s my turn!” he quietly stated before turning over and falling back to sleep.

Aiden softly chuckled while Larry rolled his eyes at his young partner’s audacity and muttered, “cheeky little bugger!”


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