Mike and Danny: The Snowstorm
by Rock Lane Cooper

This is a work of homoerotic fiction. If you are offended by such material or if you are not allowed access to it under the laws where you live, please exit now. This work is copyrighted by the author and may not be copied or distributed in any form without the written permission of the author, who may be contacted at: rocklanecooper@yahoo.com

Chapter 4


Ted pulls up Bobby's tee shirt and bends down to put his lips to one of Bobby's nipples. In the candlelight, it is round and dark against his pale skin, and Ted feels it grow full under his touch. Opening his mouth, he presses his tongue against it and then gently sucks it between his teeth. Bobby sighs and shivers.

Ted strokes down along his side, the skin smooth beneath his hand, and slips it under the waistband of Bobby's jockeys. He cups his palm over one firm butt cheek, holds it for a moment, and then slips his fingers further, as far as they will go into Bobby's warm, damp crack.

Bobby giggles, his body stiffening, and as his backside shifts under Ted's hand, Ted pushes his fingers in a little further, finding the tight little ring of his butt hole. Then Bobby sighs again, arching his back and relaxing, surrendering. He loves this.

Bobby, already twenty, has never been touched like this, so he says. And Ted believes him. There has been no one to kiss the creamy smooth skin of his chest, his belly, the inside of his thighs, or toes. No one has put fingertips to the neat pair of balls that hang close and covered with blond fuzz between his legs.

Certainly no one has held his penis, with anything like affection or desire, as it gets hard and long, stretching upward and straight as a stick of sugar candy. Which is how Ted described it to him once, making Bobby blush. No one has ever admired him—not this way. Not till now.

Bobby is still a minister's son, sweet and yearning to be good, almost an innocent, even while he lies naked in Ted's arms. He's like sugar candy, all right.

"I am not sweet," Bobby protests. "I'm tough."

"Bullshit" Ted laughs.

They are in Mike and Danny's bed. "This is where Mike and Danny do it," Bobby said with a sly grin as they undressed and got in. And as they hugged under the covers, Ted noticed the blue painting he had made of Danny on the wall. Someone innocent in his own way, but with his glasses and a vocabulary got from books, doing a pretty good job of pretending he was a man of the world.

Now on the wall, almost dark in the dim, flickering candle light, is the Danny he thought he could see when he first saw him, working late one night in the college library—a naked man, one knee raised, like he's dancing around a fire, his cock and balls flying.

The room is cold, and the wind is blowing snow around the house, rattling the windows. The two of them press tight together, partly for warmth and partly because they'd be doing this anyway, having sex because they never get enough of it.

For Bobby it is all new. He's never had a man to love him before—in any way. For Ted, Bobby is all new, someone he would not have imagined himself with, someone with no experience, someone so devoted to him.

Bobby cuddles against him, tracing around Ted's ear with his fingers, then slipping them into Ted's thick hair, and holding the back of his head while Ted sucks his nipple.

With another man, Ted would have been wrestling, their bodies crushing roughly together, his hunger and his desire driving him—struggling like it was a kind of contest between them. Enjoying either the triumph of muscling the other guy into submission or the surrender of exhaustion, breathing hard, overpowered by someone stronger. Either way the excitement making them break into a sweat. And there would be the thick, sharp smell of their bodies.

The sex when it would come was something that blew all his fuses. Sometimes he never even got to the fucking part. The other guy could grab him between the legs, and the cum suddenly shooting from him would feel like he was busting wide open. Spent, wet with semen, the waves of intensity still radiating from his groin, he'd wrap his arms around his partner, opening his mouth against the sweaty skin of the man's back or his arm and fall against him, gasping.

There is almost none of this with Bobby, who he cradles sometimes in his arms, like something cherished. He doesn't remember ever feeling this way about anyone. He is amazed with himself.

He rubs his moustache now into Bobby's chest, nuzzling him as he searches with his lips and his tongue for the other nipple. And as Bobby's smooth, bare belly presses against him, he begins a steady stroking with his fingers between his butt cheeks.

Now sliding one knee between Bobby's thighs, he can feel Bobby's cock getting harder, still inside his jockeys, the knob end of it pushing into Ted's stomach. And his own cock, gliding into the groove between Bobby's leg and the bed sheet, is hot and urgent, like it could glow in the dark.

His mind leaps ahead, imagining his cock pressing deep into Bobby, and he decides to slow down. Bobby isn't ready for that yet. They've given it a shot once or twice, and Bobby wanted it to happen. He would try to let Ted in, but couldn't let go enough to stop hurting.

"Do it, do it," he kept saying, breathing hard, but it was no use. When Bobby would cry out, Ted couldn't bring himself to force his way into him. Maybe some other guy he didn't care about so much, but not Bobby.

In his neck and shoulders he feels some of the tenseness of the day, driving the old Chevy station wagon, with the balding tires, mile after mile on freezing roads sometimes in blinding snow. Leaving Norfolk, he'd thought they could make it back to the college, but the storm kept getting worse as the sky darkened. Finally, it was enough just getting to Mike and Danny's. The last stretch of country road from the highway out to the farm was already drifting shut.

And there'd been another reason for the tension. Two reasons, in fact. One named Jim, an old buddy from home. The other one named Buck, a state trooper. The odds of running into both of them on the same day were one in a million. Something that would only happen in a story.

— § —

The motel in Norfolk, where they delivered the paintings, was run by a woman named Alice, who used to be Ted's art teacher at the high school in Chadron. She'd taken a shine to Ted, probably saw him for the mixed-up teenager he was, a tough ranch kid who could also draw and paint. If she ever heard the rumor that he sucked cock, she never let on, just kept encouraging him to do something with his talent, even if it meant leaving the ranch and getting away from Chadron.

One summer, she up and married a guy she met at a church supper and settled with him in Norfolk, where they ran a motel together for six months—until he got struck by lightning, out walking the dog. Now she was there running the place on her own.

"I'd have married you if I could have," she confessed one day, when Ted looked her up after he graduated. It was just before he enlisted. "You were almost full grown for your age and had those sorrowful eyes that just made my heart break," she said. "You still have them."

They were sitting on a bench out behind the office drinking coffee, watching two chickadees pecking at breadcrumbs in the gravel. "And God forgive me, I couldn't help but notice how nice a pair of jeans looked on you. I used to think the only way they'd look nicer is on my bedroom floor." She laughed at that, lighting up another cigarette.

Ted felt suddenly speechless. He wondered if she still wanted him that way. He wished for a moment that he could make love to her, and wondered whether he could if he tried.

"Oh, don't worry, honey," she said, looking up into the blank Nebraska sky. "I thought that about more than one man. And Dexter, my husband, he wasn't the last one either."

Today, when he met her at the front desk of the motel, she wasn't much different. She greeted him with the same smile. She may even have been wearing the same dress.

"I got those paintings you asked me for," he said, knowing that she could have painted them herself but asked him instead, just to keep a connection with him. She'd always said that her students were like her kids—kids she never had.

And when they walked out to the motel carport and took the wrapping paper off a couple so she could see them, she was pleased. Told him they were perfect, that he had a wonderful gift. "The mood in this one is just like you. You haven't changed," she said.

He wanted to know what she meant. Her opinion of him still meant more than any teacher he'd ever had.

"It's sunny," she said. "Look how the sun shines." But there were also moody shadows. "Here, and here," she said, pointing. Bobby stood beside her taking it all in. He didn't know the first thing about art, and Ted was content to leave it that way.

And Bobby. Well, she never paused to measure him up when Ted introduced them. Just accepted him like he'd stepped into a space beside Ted that had always been waiting for him. Ted loved that about her. If she liked you, you could do no wrong. Nothing.

Then, on that gray morning, the winter storm still gathering in the northwest—as he stood in the glow of her appreciation—the clouds began to move in.

"You'll never guess who's here," she said as they started unloading paintings from the car. And at that moment Ted turned, arms full, to see someone from back home standing in the doorway to the lobby.

"Let me take those," he said, holding out his arms to Ted.

It was Jim, who had been his best buddy in high school. Who Ted had loved even long before he knew anything about those feelings. They had met in freshman Spanish class, sitting in alphabetical order—Ted from a one-room country school and Jim from town—and they had never really been apart after that first day.

Jim had taught the box step to Ted, who only knew how to square dance. Ted had taken Jim hunting, and showed him how to carry and fire a rifle. And some things they discovered together, like jerking off by flashlight in Jim's bedroom whenever Ted stayed overnight in town.

"You remember Jim, don't you?" Alice said, and the first stirring of a cold breeze blew through the carport.

"Hello, Jim," he said, flatly, and handed him the two paintings he was carrying.

"Where do you want these, Alice?" Jim said before turning to go inside.

And Ted and Bobby brought the rest of them, as Jim stacked them on the lobby floor against the wall.

Alice was writing a check for Ted as they finished, and Jim took a step toward Ted, as if he might shake hands, but neither of them offered. Jim hadn't shaved, and he was wearing an unbuttoned red wool shirt, the tails tucked into his levi's. On his feet he was wearing only sweat socks.

Alice tore the check from the checkbook. "Jim's spending a few days here," she said. She glanced over at Jim. "Kind of a little vacation from Chadron."

Jim stood, curly hair uncombed, and his dark chest hair showing over the neck of his undershirt. In his jeans, his legs were long and muscular, one of them cocked to the side, his thumbs in his front pockets. Between the knuckles of his fingers, there was the bulge behind his fly, just as Ted remembered it. Then, on one finger, he saw that Jim was wearing a wedding ring.

Ted finally offered his hand. "Good to see you again," he said. The handshake was firm and warm, like the smile on Jim's face.

"They're nice, aren't they?" Alice said to Jim, nodding at one of the unwrapped paintings. "You remember Ted was an artist?"

"Yeah," Jim said, looking at it. "Nice." But to him, Ted knew, it was just a picture of a field with some trees. Ted's artwork was one of the things Jim never understood.

"Bobby, you and Jim unwrap the rest of those paintings," she said, taking charge. "You come with me," she said to Ted and took him back to her kitchen in the little apartment, where there was coffee on the stove.

"Jim's had a little upset with his wife," she said quietly, pouring them both a cup. "He's here for a while till things get sorted out."

Why here? Ted wondered. Jim was never one of Alice's art students. Then he got to remembering the remark she made that day about his jeans on her bedroom floor.

"It's not what you're thinking," she said, almost scolding. "His folks and I went to the same church. I did things like teach Sunday school in those days." She handed Ted a mug of coffee. "Crimeny, all you boys ever think about is sex."

Before they could put up the paintings in the rooms, Ted had to go for more picture-hanging hardware. There was a store in town on the main street, and Jim came along to help him find it. Bobby was happy to stay behind with Alice, who was entertaining him in her kitchen with stories about growing up in West Texas.

The wind had picked up and there were gusts of snow flurries under the slate gray sky. Jim didn't say much. Just sat on the front seat of the car bundled in a heavy winter coat, the hood over his head. He'd pulled on a pair of cowboy boots, the cuffs of his jeans still bunched up around the tops.

They made a little small talk. Stuff you say instead of what's really on your mind. Or what's in your gut and you can't find the words for.

At the store, Jim followed him inside and stood with his hands in his coat pockets. Under the fluorescent lights, he looked tired, like he wasn't really awake, or hadn't slept the night before.

Ted stood at the back of the store as the counter man picked brass picture hangers from a little box in a drawer, and he watched Jim out of the corner of his eye. Not a high school boy anymore, he'd become a handsome man. But he wore his years like a weight on his shoulders. The light was gone from his eyes.

When the two of them were boyhood friends, there was no end to his energy. After the late picture show was out, he'd be still raring to go, wanting to go swimming naked in the river or driving thirty miles to some other town, talking nonstop all the way and laughing. They could find themselves wrestling in some pile of hay at two in the morning under a big summer moon.

Jim had overheard talk from some ranchers' sons that they fucked the occasional heifer, and he wanted to give that a try. Ted did his best to persuade him otherwise, but Jim never quite let go of the idea and kept bringing it up.

And always there was the ass slapping, the ball grabbing—and the jacking off. Jim was a champion masturbator, gripping himself with both hands, levi's falling off him as he stood in his boots, hips thrusting forward, finally throwing his head back as he came, groaning with each spurt shooting from him and sailing into the hay, the grass, the river, the dashboard, the rug on his bedroom floor, wherever they happened to be doing it. He didn't care.

In Ted's memory, there was the echo of their laughter as they'd been pals together, the two of them always fooling around, never apart when they could be together. They'd gone to a Halloween dance once as the Lone Ranger and Tonto.

"What's wrong with you?" Ted finally said when they got back in the car. He started up the engine to let the heater run, dry little flakes of snow gliding across the windshield.

Jim said nothing, then finally blurted out, "Aw, things are just all fucked up."

And as they sat in the car, nosed up against the curb in front of the hardware store, Jim told Ted how getting married hadn't worked out. He was sleeping on the couch; his wife wouldn't talk to him. Whenever they tried to talk, they'd end up fighting.

"Sounds like you're going through hell," Ted said, though he wasn't all that sorry. It was Jim who'd suddenly ended their long friendship after that night when he woke up with Ted's mouth on his cock. And it was Jim who then told somebody else, and pretty soon it had got around to every kid in school.

For months, until long after graduation, Ted couldn't think of Jim without a whole storm of emotions—anger, hurt, emptiness. For a while, it had felt just like falling down a deep, dark pit. Just falling and falling, his chest surging with swirling feelings, aching. So afraid it would never stop.

He knew something about going through hell.

He put the Chevy in gear, pulled away from the curb, and headed back to the motel. They drove in silence, and finally Jim said, "I keep remembering all those good times we had together."

Ted said nothing, just letting him talk.

"I don't think I've ever gone to sleep at night without thinking of the two of us," Jim said. There was this big heavy pause just before and just after that. Like it was supposed to be a kind of bombshell he was dropping.

Familiar with artillery, Ted just kept driving. Did not say how he'd worked up the strength, like lifting weights, to keep from doing the same thing. Those feelings were behind a wall of stone now, many feet thick.

First love mangles your heart, someone once told him. Especially when you don't even know what it is.

"I can't help being curious," Ted finally said. "What were you lying there thinking about the two of us?"

"Wanting to do that last night over again." Jim's voice broke, and then he went on. "Letting you touch me any way you wanted."

"And then telling somebody else about it, like you did?"

"I never told a soul," Jim said, his voice suddenly angry.

"They found out somehow. I sure as hell didn't tell anyone."

"Kids were already talking."

"Bullshit. We were best friends," Ted said, gripping the steering wheel hard.

"And it would have been OK if you'd just left it that way."

"Yeah, I can see that was a big mistake," Ted said. "But I already knew that."

Jim shoved his hands into his coat pockets again. "It wasn't a mistake. You just took me by surprise. That's all."

"So what you're saying is if we had it to do over, you'd have sucked my dick, too?"

"I don't know. I'm pretty confused right now."

Ted thought, that's plain to see, but didn't say so. They were back to the motel now. Ted parked the car in a spot near the entrance to the office. But he left the engine running, until he finished what he had to say.

"What happened back then? Forget about it. It doesn't matter anymore." And he told Jim they were just high school boys, all hormones and not very smart, and it was years ago anyway. It was no use going back trying to fix things.

Ted sighed deeply. "But I just don't know what to do."

Ted wondered if Jim had heard a word he'd just said.

"Go back to your wife," Ted said, without a pause. "Work it out."

"I don't think I can."

"Then don't." Ted turned off the engine and the whirring heater fan fell silent. "You try something, it doesn't work out, you try something else. Life goes on."

The wall in him was not budging. He was glad of that. From the moment he'd turned and seen Jim standing in the doorway, he hadn't been sure it would hold.

Bobby appeared at a windowpane in the lobby, looking out at the parking lot. His face broke into his usual grin. Ted opened his door to go inside, and he heard Jim's door open a moment later.

The rest of the morning and early afternoon, as the weather worsened, they hurried to hang the paintings in all the rooms. He got Bobby to help him, with Alice following from one room to the next, talking with Ted, bringing them coffee and sandwiches when it got to be time for lunch. Jim mostly disappeared, and none of them mentioned him.

When they were done, they stood for a few minutes at the door, saying their goodbyes, one eye on the falling snow. And Jim came out from somewhere in the back. He shook Ted's hand and held it for a moment, saying, "Thanks."

Ted looked at him. Jim still seemed troubled, but like he had made up his mind about something.

"You're welcome," Ted said. And he and Bobby went out the door. As they drove away, Alice and Jim still stood there, waving.

"Who was that guy?" Bobby said after they'd gone a couple blocks.

"Somebody I would have let myself get mixed up with again if it wasn't for you."

Bobby looked at him, his eyes wide.

"Yeah," Ted said. "I'm picking you over him." He turned to Bobby and smiled, feeling a flood of warmth rising in him for this uncomplicated guy who knew so little of the world. He reached across the seat and touched Bobby's cheek, then rested his hand on the back of his neck.

Bobby, who'd never in his life been anybody's first choice, was speechless for a while. "Did you tell him that?" he finally asked.

"Words to that effect," Ted said. And they headed south out of town, as the falling snow thickened.

— § —

Pressed together in Mike and Danny's bed, Ted stops stroking Bobby's backside and reaches down along his leg.

"No," Bobby says. "Keep doing that."

"How about this?" Ted says. He rolls Bobby onto his stomach and pulls off his jockeys. Now both naked, he climbs astride him, slipping his cock between Bobby's butt cheeks and letting his chest sink down onto Bobby's back.

"Nice," Bobby sighs. Lying under Ted like this makes him feel snug and safe. Ted kisses the back of his neck and behind his ears. Then he lifts his hips and strokes his hard-on farther into Bobby's crack. "Aw, nice," Bobby says again.

— § —

The snow had let up some by the time they got to Columbus, and they stopped at a diner on the highway for pie and coffee.

They sat in a booth by a window, watching the traffic go by in the snowy slush and waiting for their pie. It was late afternoon and the place was closing for the day. One of the waitresses walked to the door and flipped over the closed-open sign that hung there.

Two farmers were finishing bowls of chili at the counter, a salesman was going through what looked like a briefcase full of carpet samples in the next booth, and beyond him were four cops in uniform, broad shouldered and crowded together, hunched over mugs of coffee, knees angled out from under the table.

Actually, only three of them were cops and one, in a smokey hat, was a state trooper. Ted glanced out into the parking lot and saw a highway patrol car with out-of-state plates. The doors were too caked with salt and winter road grime to make out where it was from.

The food came, and as they sat there eating, the place slowly emptied until only the cops and the trooper were left.

When Bobby ordered another piece of chocolate pie, Ted got up and went to the john for a piss. When he was done, he checked the mirror, running his fingers through his hair and looking at himself, half expecting the hardened expression of a man who had just told an old friend to go fuck off. But the light was too dim to see much of anything, so he turned on the cold water and splashed some on his face.

As he was bent over, the door swung open behind him. And after a moment he felt a hand on his butt. He didn't move, figuring it was Bobby having some fun.

Then he heard his name, "Ted?" It was a voice deeper than Bobby's. And when he turned he saw it was the trooper. And in an instant he recognized him.

"You remember me," the trooper said, with something like a smirk curling up one corner of his mouth. "Buck," he said. "Bukowski."

Ted said nothing, feeling something like a chill run through his chest and into his gut.

The trooper's smirk turned into a wide, easy grin now. And he looked into Ted's eyes with a steady gaze, not cold but not warm. Ted was aware of the black leather belt around the man's waist and the revolver at his hip.

"Nice seein' ya," Ted said, and began to step around him.

But the trooper took a step back, blocking the door. "I was hopin' you wouldn't be in such a hurry."

Ted raised both hands and stopped. "What are you doing here, Buck?" he asked. "You're a long way from home."

"Transporting a prisoner," Buck said. "Just turned him over. What are you doing here? Last time I saw you was in Sheridan, right?"

Ted had lived in Wyoming for a while, drifting from job to job after he got out of the Army. He'd met Buck at a rough bar after work. Buck was off duty and out of uniform, heading home from a fishing trip.

There was that same smirk that slowly warmed into a grin, eyes always watching him like he'd seen Ted's face on a Most Wanted poster at the Post Office. He was not a tall man, but muscular, like he worked out, his movements deliberate inside his wool shirt and levi's. He could sit still as rock for so long at a time, giving nothing away, it almost unnerved Ted.

That Ted ended up sucking his cock that night was inevitable. Before they left the bar, they had stood pissing together into the trough in the john, and Ted had watched him slowly unbutton his jeans and pull open his underwear until his dick fell out, and Buck had stood there with his hands on his belt, not touching himself as he produced a thick stream that rattled against the metal.

Ted held onto his own cock, covering it, so it wasn't too obvious that it had started to swell as he was pulling it through his fly. And it wouldn't stop. He was so hard when he was done that he couldn't get it back into his shorts. So he quickly slipped it inside his pants and zipped up.

Buck had made like he didn't notice—though he probably never missed anything. And when he was done, he had turned toward Ted, unbuckling his leather belt and opening his jeans all the way to situate his dick and balls inside his underwear in a way that suited him, giving Ted a glimpse of a thicket of dark pubic hair. Legs spread a little, he neatly arranged his shirttails in front and back, and slowly buttoned his levi's over it all before buckling his belt again.

They'd walked out of the bar into a late spring summer night, and as they stood between the cars, in the shadows near the back of the parking lot, Ted had dropped to one knee, quickly undoing all Buck's careful arrangement. And Buck had stood there, as he had at the urinal, hands on his belt. He took Ted's blowjob, like he did all the ones that followed, as something he had coming.

Like the rest of him, his cock was not big, but it was firm and thick, as if he'd been working out with it, too. It quickly filled Ted's mouth. Buck's jeans and heavy shirt were rough against his face and smelled sharply of campfire smoke.

In no time, it seemed, Buck was ready to come, and he pulled away, but just far enough so the end of his dick was still touching Ted's lips. Ted looked up at him and saw him looking back, his mouth set in that firm little smirk, like a high diver studying the distance to the water. Then he pushed forward again, straight to the back of Ted's throat, and with one-two-three measured grunts filled Ted's mouth with warm, thick cum.

He had said nothing then, just buttoned his levi's and turned to go. Ted got into his car and waited as Buck walked to his truck and then drove away, glancing only once in Ted's direction. And Ted had sat there for a while, his dick rigid in his jeans, his balls aching, swallowing down the taste of another man's cum. A man he never expected to see again.

But that had not turned out to be the case. In a couple weeks, he was awakened late one night by a knock at the door. He was living upstairs in an old house with a mostly deaf landlady on the ground floor. When he switched on the porch light and looked through the glass pane, there was Buck. This time in uniform.

Ted let him in, and he stood there, without taking off his hat.

"You're a cop?" Ted had said.

Buck just grinned his grin, pointing to the patch on the arm of his leather jacket.

"Highway patrol," Ted said. "Shit." Still only half awake, his first thought was that Buck had come to arrest him. But it soon became clear he had something else in mind. He wanted another blowjob.

And he wanted it done the same way. Ted stepped toward him, not sure this was so smart, and reached for the fly of Buck's pants.

As it turned out, Buck had got the number on Ted's plates that night in the parking lot and used his DMV access to find out where he lived. He'd driven some distance out of his way, and the miles of anticipation were showing. There was already a good-size bulge in his pants.

Or it may just have been the cut of his uniform that always made him look well endowed. Ted never spent enough time with him to find out.

That night was just like the first, though there was no mud and gravel to kneel in and no concern that someone might happen upon them. Buck just stood there, hands on his belt, taking little time to get hard, pulling out for a moment when he was ready to cum and then pushing himself in again, giving his one-two-three grunts.

Ted was sucking him clean and dry, and Buck was already grabbing his dick away to shove it into his underwear. Then he gave his hat a yank, and he was turning to go. In a few quick steps, he was gone. Ted stood, wiping his mouth, and watched him disappear from the pool of porch light outside the door, hearing his boots clumping on the wooden steps that led down the side of the house.

Something about his schedule, or his love of routine, had him returning once a week on the same night for the next couple of months. There were two-three weeks when he didn't show up, and then he was back again, on a different night, regular and dependable as clockwork.

Once or twice, Ted had a pot of coffee waiting, and tried to persuade him to sit down and have a cup, so they could talk, but Buck shook his head, murmuring some excuse, and made his usual quick exit.

And like clockwork, Ted began taking a hot shower each time after he left, standing with his back to the spray and soaping up his dick, getting the release he needed before he could hope to fall asleep and stay that way until the alarm went off the next morning and he had to get dressed for work.

Finally, on an autumn night, he'd just come home from the bar, where he'd played pool with a cowboy who'd won five dollars off him. He was ready to hit the sack, and undressed down to his underwear, when he heard footsteps coming up the stairs. And when he went to the door, there were two young cops, wondering if they could come in.

Buck had apparently spread the word to his friends. And thinking as fast as he could, Ted had said, no, the guy who used to live there had moved away. Up and went to Idaho. Or Florida. He wasn't sure.

"Sorry to bother you," one of them said, touching his hat in that polite manner cops can have. And they went back down the steps. Ted resolved to set Buck straight the next time he came around. He wasn't available like this to one and all.

But Buck never showed up again. Done with Ted—or whatever had happened—he had given Ted's address to a couple guys, maybe drinking or hunting buddies, who would take what he didn't want anymore. Or—and this was the kinder thought—he had done it so Ted wouldn't be left alone. God knew, for someone like Ted, Wyoming could be one helluva lonesome place.

Now he stood there facing Ted again in the john, exactly as he had on those nights in Sheridan, legs square under him, his hands on his belt. Waiting.

"This isn't Sheridan," Ted said.

"I know," he said. "But the cops I was with just left. There's only your buddy out there eating his pie."

Buck didn't budge from the door or change the expression on his face—still that steady gaze. Like if he just kept waiting, Ted would come around.

Ted returned his look and slowly shook his head. "It's not gonna happen."

Buck raised one eyebrow a little, like he was capable of making it happen. But he'd never had to, never even needed to open his pants. And somehow Ted knew that this was the only way it could be for Buck. He couldn't show that he wanted it. Couldn't bring himself to ask for it.

Ted reached past him for the door handle. "What are you gonna do, pull your gun on me?" he said flatly. Buck's look hardened, and after a moment he stepped aside.

When Ted got back to the table, Bobby was scraping the last of his pie from the plate with his fork, and there was a little streak of chocolate on his face. Without sitting down, Ted picked up the check and took it to the counter, reaching into the back pocket of his jeans for his billfold.

As the waitress rang up the bill, he saw Buck emerge from the men's room, pause to look over at him and then move between the tables to the booth where Bobby was sitting. "Where you boys headed?" he heard him say to Bobby.

In the mirror behind the counter he could watch them talking. Buck was turned away, zipping up his leather jacket, his backside snug in his uniform pants. Ted noticed, as he had many times before, how with his hat on and his short hair, Buck's ears stuck out.

When Ted got back to the table, Buck had already seemed to find out what he wanted to know. He followed them out of the diner into the snow, putting on a pair of black leather gloves.

"Tell you what," he said, all business-like. "We're both headed the same way. I'll follow you. Make sure you get where you're goin'."

Ted tried to discourage him. But Buck insisted. He was looking at the station wagon and saying, "With those tires, you shouldn't even be out on the road."

He wouldn't take no for an answer. Just stood there determined, his hands on his belt, until they got in the car. And as they drove away, he pulled onto the highway behind them.

Bobby, who'd probably never talked to a cop like this one, was awestruck. "Do you know him?" he said.

"We met before," Ted said.

Without Bobby, he realized, Buck was someone else he could have let himself get mixed up with all over again.

"Nice guy," Bobby said.

"When he wants to be."

And as they drove, Ted kept wondering what was on Buck's mind. He'd check the rearview mirror, and there would be Buck's headlights behind them, keeping a steady distance. Not letting them get too far ahead.

If they went off the road somewhere, what might Buck do if he had a mind to? It wasn't like in the men's washroom, when the kitchen cook and the waitress were within the sound of his voice if he let out a shout.

Out here in the storm, both sides of the road just empty snow-covered fields, there would be only the three of them. And there was no one who would stop if they saw a patrol car stopped along the road, too.

He kept thinking, remembering the times he and Buck had been together, trying to recall if Buck had ever made him feel threatened, like he was feeling now. Always, even from the first time, it was a blowjob he wanted, without asking, and a blowjob he got. He might have gotten awkward about it, if Ted had ever been less than willing. But that never happened.

Ted glanced over at Bobby, then into the rearview mirror, and then straight ahead into the blowing snow again. If something ugly could happen, he just had to make damn sure it didn't happen.

Somewhere, outside of Central City, the Chevy swerved in a hard gust of wind, and he realized that his arms were aching from gripping the steering wheel. The snow now blinding at times, he realized it was no good trying to get all the way home. It was still 35 or 40 miles at least.

Finally, he said to Bobby, "What do you say we go to Mike and Danny's until this blows over?"

"Hey, yeah!" Bobby, who seemed unconcerned by the weather, thought it was a great idea.

They stopped in Central City for gas, and Buck pulled off the road behind them. In town, out of the full force of the prairie wind, the snow was falling heavily from the sky.

A boy came out of the station to run the pump. His face and the hood of his sweatshirt were wet, and his glasses kept sliding down his nose.

Ted got out and walked over to the patrol car. Buck rolled down the window as he watched him coming.

"I don't think we can make it all the way," Ted told him and explained they'd be getting off the road once they got to Grand Island.

"You got some place to stay there?" Buck asked.

"Yeah," Ted said, but didn't offer any details. No sense in telling Buck any more than he needed to know.

Buck looked back at him with his firm smile. He'd taken his hat off, and in spite of the darkening day was wearing a pair of Ray-Bans. He nodded, and seemed to be satisfied.

"I guess you'll be OK then," he said.

It could have meant a dozen things. Or it could have meant nothing. With Buck, who could tell.

Ted said thanks for his help and then went back to the Chevy. He paid the boy who'd pumped the gas. He looked down at the boy's jeans, which were soaked to the knees, and told him to keep the change. Then he got in the car and pulled back onto the snowy highway.

Buck followed them to Grand Island, and when they finally turned off onto the road that went out to the farm, Ted noticed in the rearview mirror that Buck had stopped on the highway. He had switched on his rollers and was waiting—waiting and no doubt watching. Then, after a while, he had driven on.

— § —

Ted's cock is now so hard it is aching. He reaches under him and with his fingers presses it down between Bobby's thighs. Then he begins slowly pumping his hips, moving his cock in and out.

Bobby says something that is muffled by the pillow under his face.

Ted stops and leans down, his lips touching one of Bobby's ears. "I couldn't hear you," he says.

Bobby turns his head and says, "I want you to do it to me. Do it inside me."

"You sure?" Ted says.

And when Bobby says, yeah, he gets up and looks for some K-Y. He doesn't have to look far. There's a wrinkled tube of it on a chair by the bed.

They've done this part before, Ted rubbing the gooey gel onto Bobby and then onto himself.

"Roll over," he says to Bobby. "I want to see your face."

Bobby does that, and pulls up his knees so Ted can get between them. Ted bends down first to place a lingering kiss on Bobby's mouth, his dick hard and slippery now against Bobby's.

Then he glides the head of his dick down between Bobby's legs until he finds a little knot of muscle, tight and then relaxing under his touch. Bobby sighs, his eyes shut.

"You still sure about this?" Ted says.

Bobby nods. And Ted pushes inward, then a little farther, and a little farther. Bobby sucks in a gasp of air, and says, "Keep going, keep going."

So Ted does, the sensation in his groin like gliding into a wonderful warm bath, his hands and his fingers now even more alive as he presses them against Bobby's chest.

"Keep going, keep going," Bobby keeps saying between deep sighs.

Ted studies Bobby's face, his eyes opening. And when Bobby sees him, he smiles, beaming with something like amazement.

"Keep going, keep going," Bobby says again.

"If you want that," Ted says. "You need someone with a longer dick." He laughs. "That's as far as mine goes."

Bobby starts to laugh.

"No," Ted says, "don't do that." He feels Bobby tighten around him, and Bobby claps one hand over his mouth, then he bursts out laughing some more. Ted feels himself popping out like something fired from a gun—Quaker Oats, he thinks, and starts laughing, too.

"Do it again," Bobby says. "Do it again." And when Ted gets hold of himself, he does. This time Bobby presses back against the bed sighing and in a gushing rush suddenly comes all over his chest and his belly.

"Wait a minute," Ted says. "You're getting way ahead of me."

Bobby 's saying "Holy cow" over and over, like he can't believe what's happening to him. And he tilts his head down to look at Ted, tears starting in his eyes. He's laughing again, but this time the contractions around Ted's erection are like fierce loving squeezes that send shivers down the insides of his thighs.

He presses back against them once, twice, three times, and then he's coming, too. And when he's done, he falls forward onto Bobby, who is wet with syrupy cum.

"I told you I was tough," Bobby says grinning. "I told you."

"Yeah, you're pretty tough, all right," Ted says and gives him a long kiss.

End of chapter 4. More to come. . .

More stories. For another story about Ted and Bobby, got to nifty.org and read chapters 2-4 of "Mike and Danny Go to College." Click here. The original story about Ted's painting of Danny is also at nifty.org. Click here.

There's a novel-length story called "Two Men in a Pickup" and other stories posted at nifty.org. You can find links to them all, plus pictures of the characters and some cowboy poetry at the Rock Lane Cooper home page. Click here. If traffic is heavy, there is a duplicate home page. Click here.

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© 2004 Rock Lane Cooper