A Second Chance, Part III -- Life Must Go On
(Copyrighted by the author)
Co-Author & Editor: Radio Rancher

This is a story of love between men. As such, there is some sex but it is really more about their relationship. If you're into romance, I hope this story pleases you. There are also some minor children in this story but there is no graphic sex between them and no sex between children and adults.

The following story has to do with graphically explicit sexual descriptions of sexuality between consenting adults. It is intended for the entertainment of mature adults, is entirely fictitious, and is only intended to be a fantasy. The names are fictitious as well. Any similarities to actual persons, living or dead, are purely coincidental. If you are not, at least 18 years old, please do not read any further down in this story.

The author retains all rights. No reproductions are allowed without the author's consent. Comments are appreciated at dinggrey@gmail.com

Chapter 15

James and I watched as everyone slowly came back to wakefulness. They were all so excited about the upcoming camping trip. The newer members of the family had been keyed up for days. It was going to be a wonderful experience for everyone concerned. James and I knew we were going to enjoy it too.

The floor of the main part of the barn was crammed with equipment and supplies, ready to be loaded into the packsaddles and panniers, that would be attached to the backs of the horses, once more. The packsaddles were all loaded into the bed of the large new pickup truck, which was ready to carry the vast majority of the stuff they would be taking, as far as a truck could go. Colt looked at the pile and looked that the truck, and thought, 'It doesn't look like it is all going to fit. I think we will need the Toyota as well, besides there are way too many of us to fit in the one truck so it is either take the other truck or make two trips. I think we'll take the second one. We can also hook the old hors trailer to it, and spread the load some. That way, we can get all of the horses and gear up to the trail head, in one trip.' He looked at everything again.

JC looked at each of the young men; working so hard, and said, "You are really taking charge of this trip, Guys, I am so proud of all of you. He looked at the piles of gear and provisions, and said, "Yeah, I think we can drive up to the foot of the mountain, load the essentials, that we will need to set up the camp, on a couple of the horses, and, get it up to the campsite. Then we can come back down, for the rest, of the stuff, the next morning. We'll take twelve of the horses with us, and give them a chance to graze, and have a little fun, before they have to carry the other stuff to the camp." JC smiled and muttered to himself, "It's a damn good thing we bought that bigger trailer." Then he said, "There will be a lot more of us going this time, and we will all want horses to ride, while we are up there." He patted Earl on the back. "Earl, do you and Jack want to drive the Toyota, to get stuff up to the trail head? I figured you two might like to have some time alone together." JC was pretty perceptive, about people's feelings, and he could tell how much Earl and Jack really loved each other.

"The road up there is kinda rough, guys, so you need to be extra careful, driving on it." Mike pointed out, as he came over and placed his saddle on one of the piles. "We don't want anyone hurt, getting there, do we?" he giggled, thinking, about his leg, and how silly he had been for not being more careful, himself. "We can load the extra horses in that little old trailer. It is big enough to hold six horses, easily, but I think if we put four in there, it will make it a little easier on that pick up. The Toyota is a bit old, but it will give us more room for equipment as well. We can load the extra gear in its bed."

"I am really glad that we are going to get to go this time." Earl said smiling, as he hugged Jack.

"Yeah I always wanted to go camping, but I have never had the chance before. I am so excited about this trip; I can't even begin to tell you how happy I am. Best of all, we will all be together, even Julie is going to come with us. It will be one big family outing." Jack grinned, and then kissed Earl passionately.

Colt giggled. "You two can't keep your hands off each other very long, can you?"

"Nope" they chorused.

Colt thought, 'He really knows his stuff. He's right. If we take twelve horses, there should be enough for all nine of us to be able to ride, and that leaves three more to carry the equipment and provisions.' He looked around at the horses and grinned. There was a mob of horses crowded up to the fence looking at Colt.

All the horses seemed excited and eager to go on a trip, except, Sugar. Once again, complaints issued forth in profusion from the horse with the sweetest name, and the sourest disposition. James and I looked at Sugar's mind, to see if we could see what was bothering her so much, and found that a loose right rear shoe had been bothering her for some time, which she had not told anyone about, and, sadly, no one had noticed. I was so sorry about it, I sent the thought to Colt to have a look at her feet, and he did so, rather quickly. As he lifted her foot, she almost kicked him in his middle. Luckily, he noticed in time to avoid a direct hit. He walked around in front of her, and asked her why she hadn't told him that her foot was sore.

"No one ever cares about me, anyway." Sugar said, with a shake of her head.

"Well, Sugar, I don't know where you ever got that idea, but it is certainly not true. We love you very much and there is no way we would want you to be in pain. I am so sorry that I didn't think about the possibility of you having a loose shoe, Sweety. I will get that shoe fixed for you, before you go anywhere. There is no way we will let you be in pain, any longer. Please remember that if anything is wrong, no matter what it is, just let us know." Colt told her, as he patted her gently on the withers.

"I think you really mean it." Sugar replied.

"Of course we mean it." Colt told her. "You are one of the family, just like everyone else. We care about you and we want you to be happy."

"I figured no one cared about me, cause everyone always talks to Star and Darkstar, I notice you sometimes say something to Ginger, but I can't remember the last time anyone came over to me and said anything. I know I get brushed and stuff, but, people just sort of ignore me most of the time. I thought you just didn't like me, and I didn't know what I had done wrong. When my foot started to hurt, and no one even noticed, I figured that no one cared about me at all." Sugar nickered and shook her head.

Colt picked up his phone and called the vet. "Hi, there, Doc Martin, this is Colt Anderson, at the lazy L. We have a mare that has a loose shoe on her right rear foot. Can you have someone get out here as soon as possible. I want to make sure that the shoe is taken care of, so she won't be in pain. Thanks, we'll be waiting." He closed the phone and petted Sugar on her neck, and kissed her nose. There was a small electric pulse when Colt's lips touched Sugar's nose, like a static charge, but there was much more to it than that. They both felt the love pass between them. For the first time in her life, Sugar realized that someone really cared about her, and interested in how she was feeling.

"Thank you very much, Colt, for everything. You are so kind." she nickered, and colt hugged her again. "I wish I had not been so stubborn, and had just told someone I was hurting, instead of feeling sorry for myself, thinking no one cared." Sugar whinnied.

The vet's truck pulled up in a few minutes, and he got right to work on Sugar's sore foot. He put new shoes on her, all around, saying, "We might as well replace them all, and trim up her hooves, then she will be starting on an even keel." he told us, and then he got quite a surprise, as did Colt, very shortly. Sugar walked up to Doctor Martin, and stuck her head into his chest, and nickered softly to him.

He lifted her head to his mouth and kissed her gently and lovingly on her nose. "You're quite welcome, my dear, and you do look very beautiful. I know that your family loves you very much. They take good care of you, and they have your coat shining like the sun." Doc Martin said.

Sugar nickered again, "You're welcome again. Yes, Sugar, I think I might have an apple here with me, and you are quite welcome to have it." the vet spoke, as he took an apple out of his pocket and cut it into several pieces with his pocket knife, and handed it to her, one piece at a time. Sugar gently took the proffered apple pieces with her lips and chewed them slowly. When she had eaten the entire apple, she nickered once again and nuzzled the doctor's hand.

"You are quite welcome beautiful lady." Doc Martin said.

Colt looked at the vet and chuckled. "I see she has you wrapped around her... well, I was going to say little finger, but she doesn't have any fingers. She certainly likes you, though. I noticed you understood her as well as we do."

"Yes," said the vet, "I don't advertise that, because most people don't believe me when I tell them, and it looks kind of silly in the phone book, but being a full blooded Sioux, gives me a definite advantage, in that we often commune with nature and become one with the spirit of the planet. It has its advantages. I can see that you share some of the gifts yourselves." The vet patted Colt on the back. "It helps me a great deal when I need to know what is bothering an animal, to be able to understand what they are trying to tell me." The vet smiled. "She is a lucky horse. She didn't realize just how lucky she was, until today." he said. "I would give her at least another day, before having her carry any weight, till that hoof has a chance to get accustomed to having a properly fitting shoe, if I were you." She can walk on her own quite well, even now, but I think I would wait for at least another day before loading anything on her back, including riders, unless she agrees to it, and they are very light.

Colt paid the vet, and gave him a generous tip, for getting to the ranch so quickly, and being so helpful.

Doc Martin thanked him and said, "Any time you need me just call my cell number. I'll write it on the back of my card, here." He wrote down the number and handed the card to Colt.

"Thanks Doc, I'll put it in my speed dial. Let me help you get this put away." Colt stated with a grin.

It seemed that everyone wanted to find out what was going on with Sugar, and as the vet's truck pulled away, everyone tried to talk at once.

JC managed to get the floor and asked, "Did he just talk to Sugar? It sure looked like they were talking to each other."

"Yep." Colt said, "He said he doesn't advertise it but it helps him know what is wrong with the horses he treats. He is a full blooded Sioux."

"I always have had a lot of respect for him as a vet, but I sure didn't know he was a whisperer. I am going to make sure that I recommend him to everyone I know that has horses." JC grinned.

"Okay, It is after eleven, now." Colt said, looking at his watch. "I think if we can get all the gear and provisions properly sorted, so we can get them neatly packed, we should be able to start moving, on the way to the campsite, around this time tomorrow. We aught to wait till it's almost time to leave, though, before we pack the ice chests with the dry ice, and the perishable food, though, so it won't spoil on the way there, and if everything goes well, we should make it to the lower campsite, before nightfall."

James and I watched the family getting everything ready and we looked at each other. "It is so good that they are all together, and that they all love each other. This might just be the best thing that has, or will ever happen to them. They will learn some valuable lessons, and they will have a wonderful time." I told him.

"Yes, you are right, and the bonds that will be made, or strengthened during this trip, will last a lifetime." James commented, as a tear rolled down his cheek.

I wrapped my arms around him, and kissed him deeply. "I love you so much; you do know that, don't you?" I moaned, as he returned the kiss. God! He is such a wonderful kisser. Now that we don't have to worry about breathing, our kisses last a whole lot longer. It is so much fun.

I almost jumped two feet in the air, when Julie rang that damned triangle. And yelled that lunch was ready, and if everyone didn't get in there soon, she would eat it all herself. James and I just laughed. We knew better than that. Julie always cooked enough for twice the number of people she thought would be eating, knowing full well, that people's appetites were always greater when they were working hard, and when it was her cooking they were eating.

Everyone dropped what they were doing, and quickly headed for the house. People didn't waste any time at all while they got cleaned up, and into the dining room. Everyone figured that they would be having a light lunch of sandwiches or something, and maybe a salad, but Julie had other ideas.

The table was set, and there were three kinds of dinner rolls, both mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes, a huge sugar cured ham, with a huge bowl of baked beans to go with it. There was a salad that seemed to have every kind of green leafy vegetable imaginable in it. Julie had made her special homemade salad dressing, which was the best tasting dressing on the planet, bar none. When everyone seemed to have slowed down to a snail's pace on eating the feast, Julie excused herself and went into the kitchen, and came back pushing a cart with deserts of several different kinds. There was a huge strawberry rhubarb pie, an apple pie, and a peach cobbler. All piping hot from the oven. There was also a huge container of ice cream, with several types of syrup to choose from. The smell was so marvelous that James and I had to restrain ourselves to keep from grabbing some for ourselves.

Everyone gasped when they saw the deserts, but surprisingly everyone that had been so full, only a few minutes ago, seemed to find room for desert.

Julie remarked about it, "I see you found your lost appetites again, fellas." She giggled and took a piece of the apple pie and sat back down to eat it.

Earl and Jack volunteered to clean up the dishes and put the remaining food away in the fridge. Colt and Matt started to help too, but Earl and Jack told them to go sit down and relax, because, as Earl put it, "We haven't been here to do this in ages, and I think it is our turn." Jack agreed, and started pushing the rest out of the room, toward the living room. "Now get going, before I get mad or something." He was trying to sound stern, but it didn't take long before he was giggling, and finally broke into a hearty laugh. "Go on, we'll be through in a minute anyway. All we have to do is put things in the dishwasher, remember. It isn't really anything hard. Go on and relax, and we will be in, in a minute."

Richard and Andrew sat on the love seat and cuddled, it was strange to see Andrew stealthily glance at Mike, when his head was lying on Richard's shoulder. He thought. 'I can't understand why I keep thinking about mike, I love Richard, and He loves me, and Mike and JC love each other deeply as well. I keep seeing Mike look at me with those same sparkling eyes that he uses on JC. It makes me feel so guilty, sometimes.'

Of course, James and I were not unhappy about the family becoming more of a family. The time that Andrew had spent taking care of mike, while Mike's leg was sore, had brought the two of them very close indeed. It was not just lust; there was love building between the two of them. It was a love that would give the entire family a boost, eventually, but once again I seem to be getting ahead of myself.

The guys had been sitting in the living room for some time watching the football game, when Julie came in, carrying a giant bowl of homemade popcorn. It was topped with real butter. Whenever a recipe called for butter and gave the choice to use butter or margarine, JC had told her to always use butter.

"The only reason to use butter is to make stuff taste better, and putting margarine on it makes it taste worse. If you ever put that axle grease on something, I will not only not eat it I will return it to you with a less than polite remark." he had told her. Julie never used anything but butter from that day on.

She had brought in a stack of individual bowls for everyone to have a bowl of his own.

"I knew you would be hungry again, so I thought you might like some popcorn. Eating that microwave stuff is like eating puffed cardboard. This is really popped corn. Would you like some lemonade?" she asked, smiling.

"Did you make it from Lemons?" Mike asked, knowing full well that if Julie offered lemonade, she had indeed made it from fresh squeezed lemons.

He hadn't noticed that she had walked over, right behind him, when he asked the question. Julie reached out and popped him on the back of his head, saying, "Have I ever served you anything but fresh squeezed lemonade?" then she giggled, and leaned over and kissed him on top of his head. Needless to say everyone wanted a glass or more of her lemonade.

Since Julie was going to join the men on the camping trip, she decided to stay another night, rather than make the fifteen-mile trip home, and back again, in the morning.

Everyone had done a lot of lifting and moving things that day, and so it was no surprise when Matt started to yawn. He was soon followed by Colt, and then Earl and Jack. Mike and JC had been inside for a great deal of the time while the boys had lugged everything to the middle of the barn. Richard had been doing maintenance on Little Colt, so he was tired as well. Andrew was not nearly as tired as Richard or JC, but he was beginning to feel the effects of all the food digesting, and became a bit tired himself. There was a chorus of yawns that followed Matt's first loud one, and everyone began to get ready to hit the sack. They were going to have to get up pretty early, if they wanted to have everything packed and ready for the trip.

It was chilly for this time of year, and everyone was snuggled under the covers. The foursome of fathers and sons huddled together for warmth, and certain areas began to show signs of being interested in something besides sleep, which gave them all some ideas of interesting ways to get really warm. (make that really hot) They were all wound up for fun, and kept each other busy for some time before they were ready to fall into a joyful sleep.

Jack and Earl, made marvelous love to each other, trying to make up for some of the time they had missed while they had been separated from each other.

Richard and Andrew explored the love that they felt for each other and managed to use up an enormous amount of energy.

Julie lay in her bed and began to read the next chapter of "Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince," and she managed to finish most of it before she fell into a peaceful sleep.

James and I channeled healing energy to the whole family and watched as they all snuggled into warm blissful sleep, until early the next morning.

The next morning, James and I nudged everyone into a gentle wakefulness, and watched as life returned to the house.

Julie was the first to stir herself awake. She yawned and stretched, slowly rose, and took care of her morning ritual. When she finished, she made her way to the kitchen, started the morning coffee brewing, and began preparing a huge breakfast for the entire family. She fried the left over ham and made a huge pan of scrambled eggs, several pounds of bacon, and her famous biscuits and gravy.

All that delicious food being prepared, and the thing that everyone notices is the wonderful smell of bacon frying, and coffee perking. Soon everyone was revived enough to make it to their bathroom and clean up their mess from the night before. Colt, Matt, JC, and Mike showered together and took care of the situations that greeted each of them as they stood proudly waiting for relief.

Richard and Andrew had a similar experience as they rose to the occasion and got ready for the day.

Earl and Jack remained in their bed holding each other in a loving embrace, until they finally realized that it was time to get up, so to speak and they managed to make it into their shower to rid themselves of the extra bodily by products they had managed to accumulate during the night.

Everyone managed to find their way into the dining room, just as Julie was bringing in the serving dishes which were filled with the scrumptious breakfast she had made.

James and I watched as the guys and Julie managed to empty all the serving dishes in record time. Very little conversation took place as the poor starving family inhaled everything in sight.

"Would anyone like another cup of coffee, or another glass of juice?" Julie asked.

Everyone managed a polite, "no thank you, but that was a wonderful breakfast." They each got up from the table and paid their usual price for the delicious feast, by giving Julie a huge hug. As usual she returned the hugs with gusto and her face lit up like a Christmas tree.

On this trip, since there would be nine people going, once someone actually bothered to count, they decided that since each of the trucks could hold four people, comfortably, Julie would drive the jeep up to the trail head. That way, if she wanted to leave, before the rest of the group was ready, she could drive back without causing anyone else to be stranded.

They all went out to the barn to get everything packed into the trucks and get the horses ready to be loaded. Colt, Matt, Earl, and Jack went out to the corral, and called the horses to come over to the barn to get them loaded into the trailers. All the horses seemed eager to go on the trip. Even Sugar seemed happy. She nickered at Colt, and slipped her head gently under his arm.

"Yes, Sugar," Colt reached around and rubbed her head, "I do love you, Sweetheart, and I hope you will let us know, the next time something is wrong. I know we understand you, when you talk to us, but, sadly, we can't read your mind, so you will have to tell us if there is something you want. Here, Girl, Have some apple slices." He started giving her pieces of apple, which she took from him very gently. "Okay, Sugar, that is all I have right now, but I will grab some more before we head out, so we will have some for later on. Now, I need you all to listen to me, and the other guys, please, we will get you all comfortable in the trailers, and take you up to the trail head."

Colt was speaking very quietly, and petting several different horses as he spoke. "We would like to have some of you carry some gear up to the campsite, for us, and we would also like a ride up there, ourselves, if you don't mind. But it is quite a ways to the foot of the mountains, so we will take you there in the trailers. Oh, yes, I almost forgot. Sugar, I won't even ask you to carry anything or anyone. Until your feet feel better, you can feel free to just graze and have fun."

It was kinda funny to watch them pack for this trip, you'd think they were going to stay up there for a month, from what they had loaded, but in reality, it was only for a few days.

All the gear that was piled in the middle of the barn floor was loaded into the two trucks or shoved into the compartments under the horse trailers. Some things just seemed to fit better in long narrow spaces. Much of the stuff was put into place in the panniers that would be placed on the packhorses. This was done so that they could make sure that everything would fit properly, and also to keep everything packed tightly, so it wouldn't fly off of the truck while it was traveling on the rough roads that ran up to the trail head. The last thing to be packed and loaded were the Ice chests. One of them had been filled with dry ice. That one contained a good supply of frozen food, which we could use when we needed a quick meal. Most of it was precooked portions of some of Julie's wonderful meals. There was also burger meat, for cooking on the grill, along with some special steaks that Earl and Jack had brought back from England. Everyone was eager to try it, since British beef was supposed to be some of the best meat on the planet.

The other cooler contained the fresh produce and the cold drinks that needed to be refrigerated, like milk and orange juice, and a few bottles of beer. That cooler was filled with ordinary ice. JC and Richard were the real fishermen of the group. No one else had done much fishing. Mike pointed out that he had been fishing when he was ten or eleven years old, but he didn't really do very well at it, however, everyone loved fresh fish, so hopes were high that fish would indeed be on the menu at least some of the time. Julie didn't mention the fact that she had packed several Catfish in the cooler with the dry ice, just in case the catch turned out to be less than satisfactory. There were three fully charged cell phones, packed in various backpacks along with enough FRS radios for just about everyone to have one. There were several quick charge twelve-volt chargers for the batteries in the FRS radios, and the twelve-volt cables for the cell phones.

Finally, it looked like everything was packed in the various nooks and crannies, and it was time to head to the trailhead. The horses and their tack were all loaded into the trailers, so everyone climbed into the vehicles, and they slowly headed toward the mountain. The trip to the trailhead was pretty much uneventful, unless you count getting pulled over by an over eager County Mounty. He was a regular Barney Fife. He informed them that they needed a flag on the large tent pole that was sticking a foot or so out the back of one of the trucks. He was kind enough not to give them a ticket, though. He told them that next time he saw them carrying something that long without a flag on it, he would ticket them the most the law would allow.

Once they got to the trail head, they made short work of getting the horses out of the trailers, and letting them have some time to graze and have some fun. A large pile of equipment and supplies was placed, next to the truck.

Just when they had finally finished sorting out the essentials for the first night, Star came trotting back to the trail head, nosing a little colt, in front of him. The little gal looked like she had not been in the world very long at all. She was the cutest little thing you could imagine. She had a shiny black coat, except for her four white feet, and the tiniest white circle on her forehead. Colt asked her, kindly, where her mother was, but the little baby was not very clear about anything. Something about a hole, and momma Lying down, and she wouldn't get up, was all Colt could manage to get out of the poor little thing.

Colt looked at Star and said, "Star, love, would you please go back to Darkstar and Ginger, and see if they would be willing to help us look for Dotty's mom? Mike, Matt, and I want to go search for her, and please tell the others what is happening, and see if someone wants to come over here and show Dotty some love. She is terribly upset at the moment. She's afraid that she is all alone, and she's pretty scared."

Even after all this time, it is still amazing to me how easily Colt and the others can understand the animals. I have to concentrate rather hard to do it even in the situation I find myself in now, but Colt and the other boys just understand it as if it were their native language.

"How did you come up with Dotty, for her?" Asked Mike, when he overheard Colt telling Star the situation.

Colt turned to Mike and said, "That's what she said her name was, so that's what I called her."

"I have to wonder how she and her mother got out here, and why they came." Mike mumbled, thinking out loud.

"I don't know," said Colt, "but if we find her mom alive, maybe we can ask her. I suppose we'd better call the vet, and get him out here. I'd like to have him examine Dotty, if nothing else, and maybe he can help us find her mom, if we haven't already found her ourselves. Besides, I am sure once we do find her, she will require medical attention, even if that requires him to put her down painlessly. So, the quicker we call him, the faster he can get here."

Mike retrieved Colt's cell phone from the backpack laying on the ground, and handed it to Colt. Colt punched in the speed dial number for the vet. After three rings the phone was answered.

"Doctor Martin here. Is that you Colt? What's up?

"We found a young colt, at the trail head at the Wind River Mountain. The colt, who's name is Dotty, said her mom was on the ground, and not moving. If you can possibly get up here and help us with her, we would sure appreciate it. We were just about to mount a search party for the mother." Colt said with a warm tone in his voice.

"That sounds like the best thing to do, under the circumstances. Is the colt on its feet?" Doc Martin said.

"Yes she seems to be in good shape, except that she is really frightened, that something is wrong with her mom. I am worried about the mother as well. I have no idea how long they have been out here, but Dotty said her momma fell down from a hole and won't get up and won't talk to dotty anymore. I am worried that the mother is either dead or unconscious." Colt caught his breath, to keep from crying.

Doc Martin noticed, and said softly, "Don't worry Colt, I will get there as quick as I can. I should be there in less than a half hour. I'm just finished with my last patient today, and I'm not too far from you, as it turns out. I assume you have someone there taking care of the little one."

"Yes, Doc, Earl is grooming her right now, and feeding her some oats. She is loving the attention, and Earl has fallen in love with her. He just kissed her on the nose. It is so cute. Oh, Doc, She just told Earl, that she loves him. That is so sweet." Colt giggled.

"Okay, as soon as I finish up here, I will be right up there. Go ahead and try to find the mother, and keep her as still as possible when you do. There might be a broken leg or something like that. I'll see you in a little while. Bye for now." The phone went silent, and Colt closed the phone and put it back in his backpack.

"I'm really glad we have cell phones, otherwise I would have had to drive back down to the nearest town to look for a pay phone." Colt mused, softly almost to himself.

JC had saddled Star, Darkstar, and Ginger, and was feeding each of them apple pieces, when Sugar nuzzled him.
"Hi, Sweet Sugar." he patted her head. She nickered and looked up at JC. "I'm sorry dear lady, but I don't understand you, but if you go over there to Jack," he pointed at Jack, and Sugar nuzzled him again. "I think he will understand you." She pushed her head into his chest and rubbed it up and down a couple of times and walked over to Jack. She nickered at him and he smiled.

"She just asked if she could take care of Dotty." Jack announced, as he kissed Sugar on the nose.

"That will be wonderful, Sugar. Thank you very much. I am sure you will get along very well together." JC said with a smile.

Jack walked over to Earl, and introduced Sugar and Dotty to each other. Dotty looked up at Sugar and nickered.

"Well, Sugar, You seem to have made a good impression on her. She just called you Momma." Earl giggled. Sugar nickered.

"Hello, little darling, I'm not your momma, but I will be glad to take care of you. You are so beautiful. You look a lot like Star. I think you are very nice. You can come over here, and I will groom you till you shine like the sun."

Meanwhile Matt, Colt, and Mike had mounted their horses and headed out in the general direction that Star had first come running from. They fanned out, made a circle, and repeated the task, making smaller and smaller circles till they spotted something on the ground that had been hidden by some bushes. It was a Mare. She was lying perfectly still. There was no movement of her chest, and Colt was certain that she was dead.

"I think she has been here for more than a day or two." Matt said as he held his nose. She couldn't smell that bad in one day. That poor colt, staying here watching her mom, not knowing what to do."

"Yeah, and her mom was beautiful too." Colt sniffled and looked up to the heavens, and softly said, "Thank you God for sending us here. I am sure it was your hand that led Dotty to Star, and led us to come here so she could find him. Thank you."

"You are a very wise young man." Doctor Martin said softly as he put his arm around Colt.

Colt turned around and hugged the kindly vet, and began to cry. "It fills me with awe and amazement when I think of all the wonderful things that God and his angels have done for all of us." Colt choked out, as he tried to gather himself together and stop his tears.

"It's alright to cry, Colt. God loves you and me and all his creatures. I am sure that you are right about him sending you and Star here. I see that she is in fact dead. Look, Colt, she has no shoes, and her coat is matted in several places, it has not been very long since that colt was born. She delivered her alone. I suspect that delivery weakened her severely, maybe disoriented her, so that she was not steady on her feet. Look there is the hole she fell into. There are no tattoos or markings of any kind on her. She must have been a range horse. I wonder who the father was." Doc Martin said looking at Colt.

"Ah..." Star nickered. "That would be me, Doctor. She came around the ranch a while back, and wanted me to make love to her. She was so horny and she had the cutest... well you know. So I took her and she was so happy. She told me she loved me. I don't know if she did or not, but we sure had fun together. The next morning she ran off, and I never saw her again. I sure love the little colt though. Can we take her home with us?"

Doc Martin looked at Colt and smiled. "I think you probably should adopt the little colt. I can tell by her markings that she is Star's child, and he wants her. Sugar has adopted her, and everyone seems to love her already. I will certify that her Mother was not owned by anyone, so you can take her without any fuss at all."

"Okay doc" Colt said, "Can you manage to get your truck in here to pick her up out of there, or do we need to notify the forestry department?"

"I can take care of her. You guys can head back to the trailhead and get on your way, if you want. I will get my truck over here, now that I know where she is, I won't have any problems taking her out of here." Doc Martin stated.

"Thanks, Doc. How much do we owe you?" Colt asked with a smile.

"Colt, you don't owe me a thing. You did the right thing by Dotty there, and you took the time to find her momma, even though you got here too late to help her. In a way you did help her, though, cause you saved her daughter. I am sure she is thanking you right now, and I can't possibly take any money for doing what is right. If you want to pay me, then you can give whatever you feel is fair to the local animal shelter in my name and in Star's name. Congratulations Star you have another wonderful colt to love and watch over." Doc shook hands with Colt, Matt, and Mike and headed off to get his truck.

The guys mounted their horses and headed back to the trailhead. When they got back to the vehicles the pack horses were loaded and ready to head for the lower campsite. It didn't take long for everyone to get mounted and for them to move out toward the campsite. The boys were surprised at how well Julie handled Fern, and Fern was nickering every so often about how nice Julie was to her.

"I think you have made a friend, Julie. She really likes you." Matt said with his cute Matt smile.

"Well," Julie remarked, "I like her too. Even if I don't understand what she says, I can feel her emotions, and she just radiates love. You get so you feel the mood of the horse you ride, and she seems very happy at the moment. So if it's alright with you guys, I would like to ride her around the ranch, and improve my riding skills, so I can at least look like the rider I once was, even if I can't do the stunts I used to do. It has been so long since I rode. I used to ride in the rodeo when I was young, and not as achy as I tend to be now days. Remind me to show you some of my pictures."

The trail they were traveling on was rough and rocky, so they had to go pretty slowly, but it didn't seem to bother Sugar and her new adopted daughter. They were so cute walking together right behind Colt, riding Star and Matt, riding Darkstar.

When they reached the camp area, James and I spent several minutes enjoying the wonderful view. The view was breathtaking. This part of Wyoming was indeed a beautiful place, with the pine trees, and the gorgeous meadows of wild flowers, and tall green luscious grasses.

Once all the gear was removed from the horses, and they were given permission to roam about, freely, Mike asked Andrew to go with him to find some fresh mushrooms. Mike thought he remembered where there was a massive amount of them in the wooded area near the river.

Andrew agreed quickly, He was thinking, 'Well, I can go with Mike and help him, and it won't be nearly as much work as setting up tents,'

So Mike and Andrew headed off to find the mushrooms.

Julie had mentioned that fresh mushrooms were just the thing for the hearty soup she had intended to make to have with their supper. Everyone had offered to help Julie to prepare the food, so she could enjoy some leisure time of her own.

Mike and Andrew were not having much luck finding the mushrooms. It turned out that most of the ones that Mike had remembered from their last excursion were, in fact, toadstools and not mushrooms at all. The two of them decided to continue to look as they made their way farther down the river. They eventually came upon a cave.

Mike said, "I wonder if there might be mushrooms deep inside that cave over there."

They were wearing their backpacks. God only knew why they still had them on their backs, but maybe it was God that suggested that they carry them. As it turned out, several things that were in them came in quite handy. There were a couple of flash lights in each of the packs, and when they got in the cave they noticed that once they had turned the corner just after the entrance, It became pitch black inside. Mike found his flashlight first, and switched it on. It was one of the modern LED flashlights which put out a large amount of light and used very little energy, so the batteries would last a lot longer than an ordinary incandescent lights. They had explored several caverns inside the cave and had found quite a few mushrooms to take back to Julie. They started toward the entrance, when they noticed the storm raging outside.

"I sure hope the rest of the family has their tents finished before this storm hit." said Mike. The wind was whipping in through the opening of the cave, and it was bringing in a lot of water. Mike and Andrew were splashed with a huge surge of water as the wind whipped it straight into the entrance.

"I can't believe how cold it has gotten," Andrew said to Mike.

They backed farther into the cave to get out of the way of the storm blowing its way in. Their clothes were soaked clear through. Mike looked at Andrew and said, "I don't know about you, Andrew, but I am going to take off these clothes. I am so damned cold, that I am shivering, and these things are making it worse."

Andrew looked at Mike, and smiled. "I don't know what is happening to me, Mike, but looking at you half naked like that, makes me feel all warm and cozy inside, but I know you are right. I am soaked to the skin. I need to get out of these clothes too." he began to strip, as he looked at Mike. Mike, please don't hate me, when I tell you this, but I want to hold you. My rod is getting very hard, and I want you to touch it. When we were together, while your leg was healing, I realized that I love you very much. I still love Richard, but I love you too."

"Oh Andrew, I could never hate you. You are a beautiful person, and, believe it or not, I feel the same way about you. I love JC with all my heart, but, when you held me that night, I knew that I loved you too. We need to wait out this storm, why don't we take advantage of the God given chance we have and make love?" Mike said with passion in his voice.

They finished removing their clothes and embraced each other. They looked around the small alcove they were in and noticed that the floor in one corner of it was covered in moss. They lay down and began to pleasure each other passionately. James and I could see the true love that the two men shared with each other. They found each other's bodies and they engulfed each other in the love that they knew they both shared. They lay there holding each other even after the passion finished. They kissed each other deeply and lovingly. Finally, they drifted off into a gentle sleep.

Meanwhile back at the camp...

It hadn't taken very long to get the campsite properly set up. The tents seemed to take hardly any time to set up, since the boys were getting used to putting them up now.

It wasn't too long before they were looking like a regular boy scout camp,

All the personal gear was stowed, safely. Everyone took turns, blowing up the air mattresses and fixing up the beds, for later use. When that camping equipment company says their air mattress can take whatever you can do to it, I bet they didn't consider a family like The Anderson family, but, by golly, they were right. It stood the test quite well.

It was a damn good thing they had everything set up as soon as they did, because the heavens soon opened up and dumped a huge load of water all over the area where they had set up the camp. Poor little Dotty was terrified. She whinnied and colt brought her into the tent to try to make her comfortable. She thrashed and cried, and generally made nervous wrecks of everyone around her.

Meanwhile back in the cave...

James and I held each other and watched Mike and Andrew, lie there together and fall into a peaceful sleep, in each other's arms. We sent them warm loving energy, and the strength to handle what was coming, before they would wake up.

Meanwhile, back at the campsite...

The storm was passing over and the rain had slowed down to a light drizzle. The horses were all huddled under the canopy of the trees, which kept a lot of the water off their coats. The late afternoon sun, once it came back out was not really giving off much heat.

It was about that time, that everyone remembered that they hadn't seen Mike or Andrew, since they went off looking for mushrooms.

"I hope they didn't get caught in that downpour." said Matt.

"I bet they took shelter in that old cave that's up there," Colt replied. "It's not that far we could walk there."

"I think maybe we aught to go check and make sure they are okay. Mike's Leg may be better, but I bet he is having some pain in it, with this wet chilly weather." Matt pointed out.

Matt and Colt, told the others that they were going to find Mike and Andrew. They pointed out that they were a little worried since they hadn't heard from them since they left to find the mushrooms.

Colt and Matt headed out toward the river, to look for Mike and Andrew. They saw the cave when they were about a hundred yards away. As they approached, they wondered if they would find the pair, soaked to the skin or if they had managed to get inside before they were drenched to the skin.

Inside the cave...

Mike and Andrew slowly returned to the conscious world. As they awoke, they noticed that both of them had cum in their sleep. Their naked bodies were smeared with their cum. They held each other in a loving embrace and found each other's mouth. They were passionately kissing each other, when Colt and Matt turned the corner, and from the faint light of the flashlight that Mike had not turned off. The two boys saw the two men that they loved and respected, seemingly doing the nasty, holding each other in a bear hug and kissing each other, as they lay together, in a world of their own.

Colt and Matt froze in place for a few seconds, as they watched Mike and Andrew. Then as if they were suddenly released from some force that held them immobile, Colt and Matt screamed In unison, "WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!!!

To be continued...


Author's Note:

I want to thank Darryl AKA Radio Rancher for a wonderful addition to the story in this chapter. Now he has me wondering what Mike and Andrew are up to, guess we have to wait and see. Thanks for a great chapter.

I also want to let all my fans know that my stories also appear on http://storylover.us/ just look for Tickie under Hosted Authors. I also have a Yahoo Group http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Tickiestories where I not only post my stories but photos of my characters and other items of interest.

Co-Author's End Note:

Talk about putting a damper on a roaring fire. What is going to happen when they get Mike and Andrew back to the camp? Are Matt and Colt going to tell JC and Richard what was going on? Will Mike and Andrew tell Richard and JC what was going on? Will JC and Richard go off somewhere together to get even? Will Julie have an affair with Anne of green gables? Will marry have a little lamb? Is Helen Ready? And will porgy make it to the meeting of the philatelist club? The answer to these and many other questions will forever remain a mystery, and will definitely not be answered in the next episode of SOAP.

AKA Radio Rancher