By E Walk
(Copyrighted by the Author)
Edited By Radio Rancher
Chapter 2 - The Truth Comes Out
As Spring and I were going home from the party, we were talking about what had occurred. We thought it was weird that Howie and
Robert knew each other, but it seemed as if it was a strained relationship.
Spring offered her opinion, "Lenora, maintained her cool tonight. I could almost feel her bones bristle when Robert's Father made his outburst and when Mr. Willingham made his comment about being queer."
I nodded, "It was rather uncomfortable, I'm sure, for George and Michael. Everyone knows that they are gay, but I'm sure they didn't appreciate the term queer being bantered about at the party. I think Trent and Trevor handled the evening very well. I still don't understand why they and Mr. Willingham chose to sit with us during dinner."
Spring started to laugh, "Hey, they probably thought they were providing us a cover. George told me that people have begun to talk about us being a couple. I'll be so glad when Adrian gets back from his Iraq tour and we can finally get married."
We arrived at the spread and checked to make sure the horses were okay. When we went into the house, we said our goodnights. I reminded Spring that we should be up by 7:00 so that we could load Cracker Jack and General Beauregard, our riding clothes and tack and be at the stables in case we were some of the earlier riders in the jumping event.
She went to her room and I made sure that I had my jumping outfit ready before I finally got ready for bed. Sorry, to disappoint you readers. Spring and I are nothing more than friends and partners in the horse farm.
I work as a school psychologist and Spring teaches P.E. in the local Senior High School. We work in the same school system and that's where we met and became friends because of our names.
After we got to know each other, we found out that we both loved horses. She was into jumping but I preferred to just ride them. We found this small spread where we could raise horses, and our parents advanced us the funds to establish a small breeding operation for appaloosa horses. We were able to make a few bucks during the two years we had been in operation with Leonora Nixon's help.
After I crawled into bed, I was reviewing the events of the evening. I thought to myself, `If I were only a few years younger I would be chasing after Trent and Trevor.'
I kept remembering the handshake between Howard and Robert and I could still almost feel the intensity they were feeling. I wondered what was going to happen and how would Trent and Trevor react. My mind must have shut down because I was awakened by the sound of the alarm at six o'clock.
I quickly got ready and made sure that Spring was awake. I fixed a small pot of coffee and put a coffee cake in the oven to get warm while I went to hook the horse trailer to the pickup and backed it up to the barn. I went to check on the horses and everything seemed fine.
When I got to the house, Spring was having her coffee and coffee cake. I glared at her, "Thanks for helping to get ready. I still don't know why you entered me in this competition. You just want to make me look bad so you can look good."
Spring looked up at me, "Autumn, chill out, will you? We are pre-registered and can't sign in until nine o'clock. Look at it this way, maybe you will meet a neat guy today. Sit down and relax until it is time to load the horses."
When we got to the arena, we checked in and were assigned a place in the stables. We were walking Cracker Jack and General Beauregard to their assigned stalls. We started to groom them when someone began to move their horses into the two adjacent stalls. We hadn't been paying attention, but did so when we heard, "Well, Trev, look who we have here. The Two Seasons ladies."
We looked up and Trent and Trevor were standing looking over the barrier between the two stalls. I couldn't help myself, "Well, if it isn't the two Nixon brats. I'm surprised to see you here today. Aren't you out of your league, juniors?"
Trevor took up the challenge, "Look, ladies, we'll clean the course with your backsides today. Tell you what we're going to do; we're going to challenge you that whoever has the worst score today buys dinner for the others. I hope you brought lots of money."
Our discussion was interrupted by the person in the stall on the other side of us, "Can an old man get in on the wager? I need someone to buy me some food."
We looked to see who was talking. Trent started to laugh, "Mr. Willingham, we'll gladly take your money. Are you sure that you can afford five steak and lobster dinners with all the trimmings?"
Howard answered, "Mr. Willingham is dead. My name is Howie and I'll sell my horse to pay for the meal in the unlikely eventuality that I should loose."
Trevor giggled, "Mr. Howie, we'll loan you the bucks so you can pay and you can come clean our stables until the money is paid back. I think you want to get us grounded for calling you Howie. How much did our parents pay you to tempt us?"
We were interrupted by the public address system, "Will today's contestants please approach the officials stand and find out the positions in which you will be jumping today?"
When we got to the official, he announced, "There are twenty entries in the event today. The order in which you jump today was determined by a drawing of names. The first contestant is Trenton Nixon. He will be followed by Spring Winters. Mr. Willingham was to be the tenth person to jump and Trevor was announced as the 19th person to jump.
I had a sick feeling in my stomach, `Oh sure, make me go last so everyone can laugh at me.'
Trenton and Spring went to the stable to get ready, so Trev, Howie and I decided to sit in the stands to watch the first contestants.
Trenton entered the course area and the announcer came, "Today's first contestant is Mr. Trenton Nixon riding Prince of Tara Heights."
Trenton surveyed the course and took Prince to the starting position. You could almost see Trent breathe a sigh of relief as they started. They seemed to be having a terrific ride until they got to the triple fence jump where the Prince clipped the top bar with his back left hoof. The rest of the round was clear and Trent had a great time. He sure wasn't going to be buying dinner.
We heard him tell Spring as they passed each other, "This is really a tight course. I really doubt that anyone is going to have a clean round so go for the time. Give Cracker Jack a lot of slack."
Spring and Cracker Jack assumed the ready position and Cracker Jack hit the same rail that the Prince did and when Spring finished, she had the same identical time as Trenton.
Trent and Spring joined us after they took care of their horses and Howie went to get ready. As he was leaving he nodded, "I think I'll have a shrimp cocktail and three double Rob Roys on the rocks with dinner. I hope you can afford a bottle of imported French wine, Trevor."
Trevor yelled after him, "Yeh, I hope you can afford some caviar for an appetizer, Mr. Howie."
We watched the contestants and no one came close to what Trent and Spring had done. Howard and his Arabian Prince surveyed the course and they had a clean run until they got to the last obstacle and Prince stumbled and knocked the obstacle down. Everyone watched but both Mr. Willingham and his horse got up. Howie remounted Prince and they appeared to be fine.
Trevor and I followed them back to the stables. Trevor was really concerned, "Mr. Willingham, are you okay. May I please check to see if Arabian Prince is okay?"
Howie looked at Trevor, "Son, I'm fine. Prince just stumbled as he was getting ready for the final jump. You may check him but I'm sure he's fine."
Trevor went into the stall and checked, "Mr. Willingham, after you change your clothes, take Prince and walk him around for a few minutes and make sure he isn't limping. I can't feel anything wrong, but I'm not very knowledgeable. I wish my Dad or Mother were here, they would be better able to tell."
We heard a voice, "Be careful what you wish for, Son. You need to get into your riding gear. I'll check Mr. Willingham's horse while he changes. Son, be very careful today. The course is extremely tight. Good luck and good luck to you too, Autumn."
As Trevor was walking away, "Mr. Willingham, I think I would like a Chateaubriand with fresh asparagus and hollandaise sauce after the caviar."
Mr. Nixon looked at Mr. Willingham, "Howie, what was that all about?"
"Robbie, your sons, Spring, Autumn and I have a wager. Whoever has the lowest score this afternoon has to pay for dinner. Unless Trevor and Autumn have major catastrophes, it looks likes like I'm buying. I hope you have some money I can borrow,"
I interrupted the conversation between the two gentlemen. "I need to go change into my riding gear so I can watch Trevor. I'll probably need to sell General Beauregard before the afternoon is over to pay for dinner."
I walked to the arena just as Trevor and the Knight of Papillion were surveying the course. Trevor went to the starting area and the two bodies seemed like they were glued together and they had a clean run. Trevor and the Knight made it look so easy.
The announcer came on, "Ladies and gentlemen, that was the first perfect round of the day. Not only was it a perfect round, but it was accomplished by the youngest of our contestants. Our final contestant, Ms. Autumn Summer, will have a difficult time topping that performance."
I thought to myself, `Thanks a lot.'
General Beauregard and I walked through the course and we took the starting position and I just let the General go and moved with his movement. He moved effortlessly through the course. When we passed the finish line, the announcer came on, "Ladies and gentlemen, we have a first. We had two competitors with perfect scores. The incredible thing is that they had the same identical time. Both of the riders are in the area as I speak. Will Mister Trevor Nixon and Ms. Autumn Summers approach the judges stand?"
Trev came galloping in on the Knight and we walked to the judges platform together and the lead official handed us each a cup. Trev raised his cup, "To caviar and Chateaubriand."
I mimicked him, "To shrimp cocktails and Rob Roys."
We raced our horses back to the stable area and we were soon joined by everyone else including Robert Nixon. Trevor and I were taking care of our horses when they arrived, Mr. Nixon announced, "Guys and ladies, we're going to take Mr. Willingham to dinner at E.J. Steak and Seafood place. Why don't we meet you there at 6:30?"
Everyone agreed and Spring and I loaded the horses into the trailer and cleaned the stalls so we wouldn't have to pay the cleaning fee. As we were riding home, Spring looked at me, "Autumn, what have we gotten ourselves into? We're having dinner with two men who could almost be our fathers and two teenagers who could almost be our sons."
"Spring, I haven't the foggiest notion of what's happening. Let's just enjoy it and have some fun. We aren't paying the tab so let's see what we can find out."
We arrived at E. J.'s before anyone else did. We sat in the foyer and Howie Willingham arrived and while we were talking to him, the three Nixon men arrived. I thought it odd that Mr. Nixon, the second and Leonora weren't with them. We were standing, talking when George and Michael walked in. Trevor and Trenton went to them and invited them to join us for dinner.
Trenton escorted Spring, and Trev escorted me. As we approached the hostess, Trevor spoke for the group, "I believe that you have a reservation for the Mr. Robert Nixon party. We will be having a party of eight."
The hostess looked at Trevor, "Sir, I'll look to see if we have any of the waiters that will wait on you and your friends. I mean, how could you and Ms. Summers embarrass everyone so badly today. You made everyone look like they were novices, right Mr. Willingham. If you will follow me, I see a table with a brand new waiter that ain't never served anyone before."
The young lady showed us to a round table near the window that looked out onto a garden with a fountain that looked as if the water was cascading down a circular stairway. Trevor held my chair for me while Trenton helped Spring. I noticed that Mr. Willingham and Mr. Nixon sat next to each other and George and Michael were sitting on the other side of the table.
The hostess waited until we were seated. "Kim will be your server tonight. He just arrived from Tibet yesterday, so you will have to forgive him if he doesn't speak English too well. The boss felt sorry for him and gave him this job so he could buy some food for his ten children. Enjoy your meals if you can."
A young man arrived with six Rob Roys and two glasses of soda for Trevor and Trenton. I thought it odd that he hadn't even asked us what we wanted. He returned with eight small plates with caviar and crackers. I started to laugh, "I'm beginning to smell a rat. Which of you two guys did this?"
Trevor and Trent were giggling and Trent answered, "We thought we would save time so we called in our order when we made the reservation. Tommy, the waiter, is a friend of ours. In fact, I'm dating his sister but she has a concert tonight."
Tommy returned with eight shrimp cocktails with extra large shrimp.
As we were eating, Howie looked at George and Michael, "Gentlemen, I apologize for losing my cool last night. I had no right to speak as I did in a mixed group of people I didn't even know. But I was deeply offended when Robbie's Dad challenged why I was at the party."
Trevor looked at Howie, "Mr. Willingham, I don't ever remember anyone referring to our Father as Robbie before. I think that maybe you and Dad had better explain what's going on so we don't conjure up any false ideas. All of us heard the comments last night. My initial reaction was that something happened between the two of you in the past that upset Granddad. It was rather apparent that when you and Dad shook hands that you held each other's hands a little longer than normal. I really got suspicious when the two you left the area to talk."
Robert looked at his sons and then at the rest of us. "Trent and Trevor, Howie and I fell in love over twenty years ago when we were college roommates. Your Grandfather decided during our senior year in college that he wasn't going to have a queer son and that I was going to get married. Howie and I had not seen each for 21 years until last night. I didn't even realize that he had moved into the area until last night. When I saw him, I realized that I still had very strong feelings for him."
Howie looked at the boys, "Would it bother you if we were to become more than friends again? We certainly don't want to create any problems for the two of you.
Tommy had cleared the dishes and brought a Caesar salad which everyone was just picking at. Trevor took a deep breath, "I have no problem with you being gay, but what is going to happen to Mother and Fairacres? Trent and I both realize that you and Mother don't really love each other. It's been more like you are just business partners than husband and wife."
Trevor's comments were interrupted by Tommy's arrival with a rolling service cart. He rolled up the cover and started slicing a large Chateaubriand steak and his helper added small new potatoes that had been lightly browned and seasoned and asparagus with Hollandaise sauce.
After Tommy left and we were eating, Trevor continued, "Oh, you play a good game and not many people realize what is really happening. When you are in public together, you give everyone the impression that you are a happily married couple."
Spring looked at the gentlemen, "Are you sure that you want to discuss this in front of George, Michael, Autumn and me?"
Trenton answered before anyone else could, "Spring, why not discuss it in front of the four of you? Perhaps you can help us with the damage control. Dad, please answer Trevor's question about what's going to happen to Mother, Grandfather and Fairacres."
"Guys, your Mother and I talked for a long time after the party last night. I told her the story about what happened and we agreed that we would continue to operate Fairacres as we have in the past. I will continue to be the business manager and she will manage the operation of the stable so Fairacres will remain unchanged."
"I talked to your Grandfather this morning and he has decided that he will be going to live with your Aunt Louisa in Tallahassee, Florida. I reminded him that he had signed the ownership of his spread over to me and therefore the land is all in my name. Your Mother and I are both concerned about how you two guys were going to take what is happening?"
Trevor looked at his Dad, "I have no problems if you and Mr. Willingham are more than friends like Mr. Michael and Mr. George. Where are you going to be living?"
Howie answered, "Trevor and Trenton, you're Father and I are not going to be able to just pick up and continue what we had twenty years ago. Too many things have happened to both of us in the ensuing years and we're not college students anymore. It's almost like starting over. Well almost."
Trent looked at Howie, "Mr. Willingham, have you ever been married?"
Howie shook his head no, "Trent, I have never been married. Yes I dated, but I could never find anyone I wanted to marry. You're next question is probably going to be if I have ever loved another man. The answer is no. I was so devastated when your father left that I swore I would never permit myself to fall in love with another man. I was fine until I met you and Trevor last night."
That was what was needed to relieve the tension. Trevor was laughing, "Everyone finish eating, we're going to have a special desert."
The rest of dinner was fun and Howie was finding out personal information about the rest of us. After Tommy cleared the table, he brought the serving cart with a large chafing dish. He poured a small glass of liquid into the dish and used an elongated lighter to ignite the liquid that caused a bright blue flame. He started to dish up the flaming cherries onto dishes of ice cream as his assistant served the dishes."
As Tommy was closing up the dish, he asked if anyone would like anything else. The four gentlemen asked for coffee. Spring, Trevor, Trent and I passed. When Tommy brought the coffee, Trent handed Tommy a card and whispered, "Add 20% for a gratuity. The service and the food were excellent. Tell Cindi I'll see her tomorrow."
As we were leaving the restaurant, George suggested, "Why don't we go back to our place for a night cap since we are the closest house to the restaurant? It's about halfway between where everyone else lives."
I could hardly wait to get home and talk to Spring about what happened tonight. How are Trent and Trevor going to handle the situation?
Author's Note: If you would like to read more of this story and other interesting stories, you might want to visitwww.tickiestories.us.
Editor's Notes: Well it looks to me as if the boys are handling the situation very well. The big question is, how are the two former lovers going to handle meeting each other again. Well they be able to bring back any part of what they once felt toward each other? I think they just might, since they seem to still really like each other, and it wasn't either of their fault that they had to stop seeing each other. Even the problem of the snotty ogre will be solved, since he is moving to Florida. I think that most of the obstacles that remain involve the sadness over the fact that they had to be separated for so long. Unless I miss my guess, they will get over all the hurtles, and jump back into a good relationship. I don't think that will be anyone who will object to them getting back together, least of all the boys.
I, for one, am waiting very impatiently for the next chapter. I really love this one.
Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher