WARNING: This entirely fictional story includes scenes of intimate homosexual acts between concenting individuals.  The story is not about sex though. It is primarily about gay relationships and redemption, about family, friendship and the power and magic of love.  If you are under 18, just go away.  If you are offended by stories with gay themes, just go away.

Unprotected sex can kill you and others you care about. Always use a condom and always practice safe sex.

Notes:  Thanks go out to our editor and best bud Rob who made us take the time - fed us cookies and milk when both of us were overstressed and tired and introduced us to the joys of kite flying on the beach at dawn. Any errors are ours alone.  Please support the Nifty Archive with your donations.

Houseboat on the Bay
Chapter 4

"The Rising Storm"

© Galacticflute 2002

From the last time:

  Lucas Running Elk lay in his bed trying to sleep.  He realized that he'd drifted in and out of a restless slumber for several hours only by the changing of the wall clock's hands.  To his tired mind, no time had passed at all.  The wind howled outside his small but sturdy home tucked into a tiny valley - surely the snow would begin soon.  Sometimes the wind was so strong that the house vibrated from its passing.

   'Arrggg, this is useless,' he thought to himself.

   He gave up trying to sleep and got out of his warm bed, pulling on his robes against the slight chill. Lucas shuffled over to the wood stove and standing there, warmed his hands in front of the ancient glass door of the hot Franklin stove.  Lucas watched the coals and flames glow in their fiery heat, trying to clear his mind and determine the source of his restlessness.

   Lucas allowed the soft deer hide robe fall open to warm the rest of his body too, the revealed dark skin absorbing the radiations from the stoves heat.  He looked down at the front of  him, his hands rubbing his tight belly and strong pecs and chest as if trying to spread the heat.  He felt his soft five inches of uncut penis, begin to swell slightly in response to the warmth being absorbed by his dark skin.  He reached down between his legs and rolled the full hanging ball sack around in his hand while his cock swelled to its full seven and a half inches long and over four inches of  even thickness, the deep purple head peeking out from under the heavy layer of foreskin.  It glistened with moisture in the reflected firelight.

   With a deep sigh, Lucas pulled the robe closed then put the kettle on the top of the stove to heat for herbed tea.  A short time later he sat in his easy chair and sipped the hot honey sweetened drink slowly trying to clear his thoughts, but the unease he felt would not leave his mind.

   His inability to figure-out the source of his agitation disturbed him deeply.  In all the time he'd served as one of his tribes Elders and as Shaman, he'd never felt so disconnected from his Mother the Earth and the Spirits of his long dead Ancestors and Guides.

   'There is something missing, something essential but so subtle it's...being hidden from me?'

   Was this possible, was something being hidden, something so important to the tribe?  Had all the Spirits abandoned him in...in...his own hour of need?

   "My own need, or someone else's need?" Lucas whispered to himself.

   He heard the pickup coming up the road long before he saw the headlights through the blowing snow.  Lucas smiled to himself as he thought about the driver. He would gladly welcome some company tonight and this man was one he'd be very happy to see.

   A lot had happened to Lucas since the summer just past, so much good, so much learning, so much love and he'd finally come to grips with his own emotions after suffering from the loneliness and doubt for so many years, by facing the truth about himself.  It had been the man pulling up to his door now, who had shown him the way: a younger man, one of his own family who had finally broken down Lucas's walls of resistance and fear.

   He walked over to the door and let his visitor inside, away from the gale that was quickly turning into the season's first blizzard.

   Nothing was said - only smiles were exchanged, each man's eyes  locked with the others - while his guest pulled the heavy coat and boots off next to the stove.  He unbuttoned his heavy flannel shirt and removed it, letting it join his coat and boots in a pile on the floor, then pulling his thermal undershirt over his head exposing the rippled muscles of his chest and abs, it too joined the coat, boots and shirt near the stove. Tall and lean, he reached down and unbuckled his belt, opened the buttons, then in one slow but continuous movement, shed his pants and long-john bottoms, where they too joined the growing mound of discarded clothing.

   Fully nude, his thick, long cock leaked glistening drops of precum as he stood up, Iron Hand walked over to Running Elk, who opened his robe to accept his friend and nephew into his arms, then closed his warm deer skin robe around them both. Iron Hand kissed the older man with deeply felt emotion, their tongues snaking into each other's mouths.

   When Luke began to suck and kiss along his lovers neck Iron Hand began to chuckle.

   "I just knew you wanted company tonight."

   Hours later, Iron Hand lay nestled in Running Elks strong arms, their long black hair spread about them like a shawl about their pillow.  He was so relaxed and on the verge of sleep when Running Elk suddenly sat-up in bed, pulling Iron Hand close into his chest.

   "How could I have been so blind?  How could I have not seen it coming?  Have you all abandoned me?" Running Elk shouted.

   "What is it Luke?  What?"  Iron Hand asked him, frightened by the sudden outburst, but alert for the unseen danger he immediately felt around them.

   Iron Hand was shocked when he looked at Lukes face...tears ran down his cheeks, leaving moist trails that reflected the red from the firelight and there was fear in his black eyes.

   "I was all wrong...the threat is not from the here and now, but from the past...the past!"

   The wind suddenly shook the house on the plains in it's icy fury, shrieking like a woman's scream and rattling both the doors and the windows.  Iron Hand realized that his lover was having a vision.  He was being shown things that only another shaman would understand, but as Iron Hand sat in  Running Elk's lap clutching him as hard as he could, visions began to dance in his eyes as he too was drawn into the powerful magic that swirled around both men like a physical force.

   Two days after the blizzard cleared, workers at the research center began to worry when Harold hadn't shown-up at the lab.  That afternoon, after Lucas's absence was noted too,  Matthew and Little Eagle took snowmobiles out to their grandfathers cabin 10 miles from the main reservation center.

   They both knew about Iron Hand and Running Elk's newfound relationship...something that was hard to hide when the signs were so obvious...to another gay couple.  They didn't know if Grandfather was gay or not but it didn't matter to them except for the joy they knew Iron Hand had brought into Running Elk's life:  he looked 10 years younger because of it.

   The boys stopped atop a small rise that looked down into the tiny valley that sheltered their grandfather's cabin.

   "There's no smoke Matt...no smoke in the chimney."

   "I see that and no pickup either, but we both know Iron Hand was here. Lets get down there."

   "Yes...I have a bad feeling about this Matt."

   "Me too Lover, me too."

   A couple of minutes later the boys were standing on the ice encrusted steps at the front door.

   "Go ahead Matt open it, I'm freezing." Matt opened the door and they walked in.

    The house was indeed cold, but nothing looked our of place.  The bed had been slept in, covers thrown back revealing some staining that both boys knew was from passionate lovemaking.

   "Matt look at this," Little Eagle said to his boyfriend, holding up a piece of paper with their grandfather's handwriting on it.

   "Whats it say?"

   "Dear Matthew and Little Eagle. Tell the Elders that Iron Hand and I have a task to do. We'll be gone for a while.  Don't worry.  Its signed, Grandfather."

- Chapter Four -

   Our Uncle, Harold Iron Hand returned to the reservation a week later without Running Elk. He wouldn't speak to anyone about his Shaman uncle except to say he was away on business. Little Eagle and me don't know what he told the Elders, but nothing was said after the Council about Grandfather's highly unusual absence from the reservation.

   Iron Hand did bring back a load of fresh, frozen and smoked salmon from the Pacific Northwest, which left many with the impression the old man had gone to visit Darren and Blake in Seattle. Little Eagle and me didn't buy Iron Hand's line for a second. We know Grandfather's ways too well to believe that he'd run off into the night, in the middle of a blizzard with Iron Hand to visit our cousin Blake and his lover, our new "brother" Darren.

   As Matthew Rodriguez, I was content to let the mysteries of the Council's deliberations alone, but as Matthew Red Hawk-Rodriguez, grandson of Lucas Running Elk, his Shaman blood ran deeply in my veins and and Little Eagles too. We love our Grandfather very much - what was happening now, with him gone swiftly and quietly in the night to where ever Iron Hand had taken him - left us with a feeling of dread and great unease.

   At the first opportunity, we sought-out Harold at the Lab and asked him directly.

   "You both know that I can't speak openly about where Lucas is now, except to say that he gave me instructions for you both. Go out to his place and winterize it. He won't be back until spring, so drain everything and turn down the heater thermostat to 45," Iron Hand told us.

   "That's it? Come on Iron Hand, we know he didn't go see Blake and Darren. What's going on?" I asked looking at Harold boldly almost as a challenge.

   "Iron Hand, Grandfather is our teacher and mentor too and you're our uncle and guide as well. You know that he trusts us and we hope that you do too," Little Eagle added, joining my request with his own strong stare.

   Iron Hand looked at us both as if he was wrestling with deciding something important. His black eyes had taken on that "hard look" he sometimes gives us when Eagle and me would get into some real trouble. His gaze softened, but he still had a frown on his face. Little Eagle and I looked at
each other and knew Cousin Harold had decided to let us help Grandfather or at least to let us know the truth.

   "Meet me here after work. There is something I have to show you, but remember one thing: once I bring you into this - your lives will change - for the better or for the worse, no one can say. Once I tell you what's going on, there's no backing out. This is too important because there are more than lives at stake. You both are very special young men in many ways and...well...we'll talk more about this later.

   "Uhh, lives at stake? Just what is going on Iron Hand?" I asked him.

   "Meet me here and find out Matthew."

   Whether Harold meant to scare us or not, when I looked at Little Eagle, his face was pale. I'm sure I was too, but I managed to tell Iron Hand we'd be back at six.

   The sun was low on the horizon when we left the Lab and walked back through the village to my house, our house really since Little Eagle had more or less moved-in with Mom and me this past summer. There was nothing left for him at his place; my boyfriend felt in the way when his mother's next "friend" came to live there. The alcohol and drugs they brought into their house bothered him a lot, so did the inevitable drunken arguments and violent fights. Although he'd never admit it to anyone, I knew he hated his mother now for what she'd become and it caused him great pain.

   So he left and came to live with me, really  we'd been closer than brothers all our lives anyway and neither of us could see a future without us as partners.  My Mom welcomed him with open arms though and even if she didn't understand about why we loved each other, she understood clearly my path in life included Little Eagle as his included me, so Mom accepted it as something that would be and got on with things.

   A truly good woman; the youngest of Grandfather's daughters, Mom could always find a good word to say about anyone, except for her own cousin, my boyfriend's mother. They hadn't spoken to each other for years. Neither of us knew why.

   There was stew on the stove, the never empty pot changed from time to time, now it was full of savory bits of beef and venison with lots of root vegetables. By Tuesday, it might become chicken stew or perhaps one filled with the salmon and some shellfish. There were the huge slabs of salmon Iron Hand had brought back with him and although we live in western North Dakota, an hour's drive to the south, we could get fresh seafood from all over the world at the big Albertson's. In any case we both put a sizeable dent in the current offering and with hunks of fresh bread, we were soon full to almost bursting.

   After thanking Mom and washing our dishes, we went into our bedroom to relax and digest our meal, but there was no real relaxation - what Iron Hand had told us earlier had filled Little Eagle and me with a sense of helplessness.  Neither of us had ever seen Iron Hand be so preoccupied and concerned either. Whatever was weighing on his mind and heart was going to be explained tonight.

   "What do you think is going on Eagle?" I asked my boyfriend as we snuggled in each others embrace.

   "I'm not sure, but did you see Iron Hands eyes? He was scared Hawk I've never seen him scared...ever.

   "Yeh, but who was he scared for: us, himself, Grandfather or maybe...?"

   "I don't know...maybe for all of us."

   "He said that "...your lives will change..." and "...there's more than lives at stake..." so maybe he's afraid for all of us. I've never seen Iron Hand scared of anything either so it must be..."

   "Something to do with Grandfather's visions?"

   "Are you sure you want to get involved Eagle?"

   "Yes...especially since we'll be able to help Grandfather and that means helping the tribe too."

   "So, we'll meet him at the lab in an hour or so?"


   "Then we have some time," Eagle whispered to me, while he rubbed my cock through my jeans.

   "Yeh, we do." I replied then melted into his arms when his lips touched mine at the beginning of a gentle but deep kiss.

   An hour later, we'd cleaned-up and we told Mom we'd be with Iron Hand for the evening then left, bundling tight against the wind that had blown-up. The wind chill must have been in the teens and was dropping fast. There was snow blowing in the wind too, the icy crystals stinging as they hit our faces.

   We met Harold at the Lab then rode with him out of the village. We knew we were headed to Grandfather's house when Iron Hand turned the big 4x4 F-250 diesel off the highway and down a barely plowed road leading deeper into the hills.


   The road to Lucas's place was covered in deep snow, but the truck just kept going without a problem after I'd engaged the four-wheel drive. Driving slowly down into his little plains valley, I recalled the long discussion I'd had with Lucas regarding the two boy's future together.

   We decided that they both needed to leave this place of their people or wither and die slowly. Glad of the darkness so the boy's couldn't see the wetness threatening to spill from my eyes, I recalled again my own long years of torment and depression then decided: I would tell them everything - well maybe not everything; some of the old man's visions included them, but Lucas was unsure of the meanings of his dreams.  Before any of that information was shared, I knew that Lucas would need to be consulted, as our Shaman and mentor, besides there was still time for their role to become more clearly defined in the turmoil that roiled about my cousin Blake - there had to be enough time.

   That had become my prayer too; enough time to prepare ourselves for the coming storm and teach the boys enough to protect themselves and maybe help to protect Blake and Darren as well.


   I had experienced monsoon rains in Korea during that "police action" many years ago, but this was becoming ridiculous. I knew that it rained a lot in the Pacific Northwest, however I was caught by surprise when the rain just continued to fall, day after day after day. The low dark-gray clouds, steady downpours and fog just added to the feelings of gloom that already gripped my heart. What attracted Blake and Darren to call this region home was, for the moment, a mystery to me. But I hadn't convinced Iron Hand to bring me to Vancouver for the weather: my visions had made me come.

   How could I have been so foolish not to consider Blake's mother and her background in the spiritual conflict that raged around my grandson? In all that had happened since he was a young man, barely into his teens - I had not seen her influences. I now knew why.

They had been hidden from me. My ancestral guides had been enjoined from revealing Blake's true destiny, what his true power could be and he had no idea of how important he could become in time, if there was enough time - for my grandson was a hunted man even if he wasn't aware of it yet.

   That is what brought me to Vancouver: I had to know more about her, her family, where she came from and most important, why - why had Blake been chosen?

   At the Hall of Records, I'd found my son and his wife's marriage license application. The copy I now had in my coat pocket told me some more - where she came from and which tribe she claimed. Now my task was a little clearer and the ferry churning through the fog towards Kitimat at the head of the Douglas Channel on the Inside Passage was bringing me closer to understanding, I hoped.

   My ancestors had not come into my dreams while I slept since I'd boarded the ferry in Vancouver. Even Iron Hand commented that he felt "disconnected" during our long drive into Canada and west to British Columbia. Now I knew that this was a challenge I'd have to confront alone - for now.

   The testing never stopped, I just prayed that there was enough time. During the short fall season, I'd also become aware that my two grandson's Matthew and Little Eagle were also going to play a role - just what that role is to be - had not been revealed to me and there were at least three others
I had no knowledge of yet - they would play a crucial role too. One of them I suspected would be Darren.

   I suppose I should be happy with the forewarning but I was still deeply disturbed and standing here on the deck of the ferry, moving northward in the rain and fog seemed to exacerbate that deep worry.

   "If there's only enough time left," I muttered to myself for the tenth time that day, but I had no idea it would take nearly a year before I understood and everything began to become clear.


   Matthew Red Hawk and I sat together in front of the Franklin stove in Grandfather's small home with our shoulders and legs touching while we listened to Iron Hand tell us of Running Elk's visions and of the danger that we faced. At some point during Iron Hand's telling of his trip to Vancouver with our Shaman and mentor, we grabbed each others hand and held on tightly. What he was telling Matthew and me scared of us both but we knew now what it was we faced.

   If there is a place, a region where all the evil and bad spirits went after giving-up their mortal bodies, it was into this place that Grandfather now walked in his dreams, searching, listening and finding the reasons for why Blake was being attacked...or would be attacked by this evil. Then Iron Hand told us about the role we'd be asked to play in helping Blake and Darren to survive what Running Elk felt was a great danger...to all of us.

   Matthew and I'd be leaving for Seattle when Grandfather called for us. Until then we would continue with our studies and begin working with Iron Hand, learning the ceremonies and other things that we'd need to know before leaving. Running Elk had foreseen his future too and that included Iron Hand becoming our band's new Shaman, succeeding him very soon.

   Grandfather also knew that he would not be returning to the village as a leader of the Council of Elders, instead his future lay elsewhere.  The three of us were huddled together crying unashamedly when Iron Hand had finished his instructions, as he was told to do so by our grandfather, Running Elk.

    Icy winds blew stronger and began to shake the house as Iron Hand started to teach us the first ceremony that began our transition from boys to adults.  We soon understood the role we'd play confronting the face of Evil itself.  I had been right: Iron Hand was scared and so were we.


Nearly a year later...

   "Damn Babe, that's got to be the best one of the series - it's incredible; I've never seen a watercolor so detailed and yet the effect of looking through the fog as its burning-off in the morning sun is so...real! Babe, I'm stunned!"

   I turned to my lover and best friend then planted a gentle kiss on his rosy, full lips. Blake approved of the watercolor. I'd been so nervous that he would only half-heartedly like the subject I'd chosen...him!

   I'd been working on the piece for a while now. It completed the series of watercolors that had been developed from the sketches I made on our trip to visit Blake's grandfather Lucas's summer camp and all his other relatives almost a year ago. It had been a trip that seemed to have consecrated our love for each other and it had changed both of us in subtle ways we were still discovering.

   Blake sat by me and continued to contemplate the watercolor, the look on his face and in his eyes made me believe he was reliving that morning: He was sitting cross-legged looking out onto the plains. There were buffalo in the background, but Blake's gaze looked out beyond what was around him. He'd had a one of his more vivid dreams the night before and I knew he'd spent most of the morning focused on trying to understand what was happening to him. The right combination of colors and light weren't an accident, I too had been reliving that special day as I painted it but I didn't tell Blake that while I was working on this watercolor, I sometimes felt like there had been a guiding hand holding mine and sometimes - holding the brush too.

   "So...now that I know you like this one, I've got to tell you I was offered a huge sum for the entire series, excluding the campfire piece and this one, it's yours, ours - now and forever."

   "What? Someone wants to buy the entire collection?" Blake asked me.

   "Yes, all ten pieces. That Berlin art dealer and his partner, the one's who came through here again last year and had dinner with the two of us, Jan and Mari at the Crab House; remember Marcus and Simon?

   "Oh yes! What a delightful couple. We had a very good time that night. I remember we all were laughing so hard I almost pissed myself.  Marcus offered to buy the watercolors?" Blake asked, beaming at me with that great smile of his.

   "Yep, he sure did." I showed Blake the note Jan had given me a couple of hours earlier.

   His jaw dropped when he saw the amount Marcus was offering.

   "This is in U.S. dollars?" he asked me very quietly, Blake's eyes never leaving mine.

   "Yes that's in dollars, subject to negotiation though."

   "Well, let me know if you need help packing them up, but this one and the "campfire" better still be on our bedroom wall when you're done," he chuckled, before giving me a sweet and delicate kiss on my lips and pulling us closer together, his arm around my shoulder.

   "Darren, this is so unexpected.  I'm very proud of you - of all the work you've put in on your painting and watercolors, but this offer is beyond fantasy.  I couldn't earn this much if I worked five years straight, hell six or seven years!  It's a small fortune!  You are going to accept it aren't you?" My lover
asked me, still shocked at the sum Marcus had offered for the series, maybe not as stunned as I was though.

   "I have a meeting with Jan and Mari on Monday...have to decide by then. Marcus's will be consulted of course, but I have to tell you Blake, this is kind of fast; scary too.  I mean...its one thing to sell a few watercolors and oils around here, but Marcus is one of the top dealers in Europe - selling to him might change things - with the right kind of exposure...well I don't want painting to become a "job" and I'm afraid that it might."

   Blake took me into his arms and pulled me close into his chest, holding me and caressing my back.

   "You know Darren, I'll support any decision you make. We do have a comfortable life here. The houseboat, our work and our friends - us - if you think any of that will be threatened...well I just want you to know I trust your judgment completely. If you want to become intensely involved in your art or even if you want to walk away from this offer, I'll be here for you...always.  Now relax, put all this out of your mind and lets hit the shower. I owe you a massage and I got more of that wonderful herb infused oil yesterday."

   The discussion did end and for the next several hours, Blake took us both to the peak and over, three separate times.


   The small coastal tanker departed the pier on an isolated section of the Mississippi River north of Baton Rouge, then turning slowly down river, her bridge crew setting course for the mouth of the mighty river and the Gulf of Mexico. Deep in the bowels of the ship's engineering spaces sat one of the crew monitoring the contents of her filled tanks. He watched the numbers on the readouts carefully - their cargo was dangerously sensitive to changes in temperature, minute sudden changes of several degrees could result in a disaster that would kill them all.

   The mélange of chemical wastes the tanker carried was "hot," generating huge amounts of heat within the filled tanks.  A rumor around the crew was that the last ship carrying a similar deadly cargo had disappeared without a trace in the North Pacific - their destination this time too.

   Although Micky Randolph knew the huge compressors running in the next compartment constantly cooled the liquid wastes, he still was being paid by their un-named, shadowy employer to insure the success of their task.  The trip would take the vessel a little more than two weeks to reach the spot where the cargo would be pumped into the sea; the glass lined tanks flushed with clean seawater and refilled for ballast before the danger was over.

   This was his third and final trip for the man from Boston; after this last run, he'd have enough hard cash to insure his final days were comfortable.  He was dying and knew his time was limited, but that was the deal: three trips and out, each time on a different ship, each ship appearing like a common coastal tanker from the outside. Yet below decks, her state-of-the-art equipment belied the vessel's outward appearance and hid her deadly task beneath peeling paint and rust.

   The tanker, named " Bella Rosa" continued down the river at five knots and passed Baton Rouge  then the Port of New Orleans during the night, while noon the following day found her clearing Pilot Town before turning southwest and out into the Gulf.  375 feet long and low in the water with a supposed cargo of molasses, not even the river pilot who'd guided her passage down the great river looked twice at old Bella Rose as she disappeared low on the horizon.

   Her next port-of-call was officially Corpus Christi, but the "Bella Rose" never arrived. Her name was removed from the port arrivals list and in Louisiana any record of her docking and passage was erased, just like she'd never even existed.  The next time she was seen by human eyes, her name had been changed to the "Sugar Queen," her markings and funnel repainted to resemble the real Sugar Queen.  The Queen was lost some months before with all hands in the North Pacific - she'd been the casulty in the operation. Before the former Bella Rose began her transit of the Panama Canal, the transformation was complete. Once again, no one paid attention to her passage. just another old and tired molasses carrier making her rounds. Two days later she turned west and disappeared into the fog banks of the Gulfo de Panama.


   The ringing of the telephone startled me awake. I heard Darren mumble something and felt him turn over away from me as I fumbled with the annoying instrument.


   "Blake? Is that you?" I heard a voice I didn't recognize through the static on the line.

   "Yuh. Who's this?"

   "Iron Hand. Look, I'm in Spokane and I'm coming out to Seattle.  I'd like to see you both if that's possible?"

   "Iron Hand! Of course it's possible!" I told him sitting up in bed, suddenly wide-awake.

   "I've got two others with me too; Little Eagle and Matthew Red Hawk are along for the ride.

   I gave him directions on how to find our little marina where we lived on the houseboat. He'd be here tomorrow evening in time for supper.

   "Iron Hand, Matthew and Little Eagle are coming into town tomorrow Darren!" He rolled over and pulled me back under the covers with him.

   "It'll be wonderful to see them again lover, but until then, lets just snuggle and stay in bed," he said sleepily, wrapping his arms around me and throwing his leg over mine.

   The closeness caused our morning piss hardened cocks to grind into each other sending bolts of sheer pleasure up my spine and down to my toes.  Darren always does that to me, but as pleasurable as that feeling was, I knew I had to get-up soon.  I had a final in two days and this morning was the only study time I would find, but as it turned out Darren had other plans for our morning.

   He'd fallen asleep again and was breathing deeply when my need to drain my bladder became an urgent matter, so I gently disentangled myself from his arms and legs and quietly slipped out from under the covers. It was a cool late spring morning and by the looks of it the fog would burn off soon
too.  It promised to be a glorious day again, one of an unusual string of bright sun filled days that we'd been experiencing for the past week.

   After doing my morning business, I started the shower, stepping into our oversized stall, adjusted the water temperature then soaped myself all over, rinsed and then stood under the steaming hot spray, letting it loosen and relax my muscles. I felt Darren's hands slip around my waist and rub
my abs before he leaned in and I could feel his chest tight against my back.

   "You left me alone in bed you bad boy," he whispered into my ear as he nibbled at my neck lightly with his teeth.

   His hands took a nipple each in his fingers and he began to gently tweak and pinch those nubs of sensitive flesh.  He knew how to play with my body like an instrument of our love together.  I was instantly hard and began to moan as his cock filled the space between my cheeks.

   "Take me now lover," I asked him.

   Moments later I felt his perfect cock enter and slowly fill me until I felt his pubes against my ass.  We both moaned with deep pleasure as he slid home and I began to wiggle my hips sending shockwaves of sexual energy throughout my body.  Darren was whimpering with pleasure when I clenched the muscles of my anal ring as he withdrew slowly then refilled my insides again and again with his wonderful cock; slowly out then back in, measured, regular, sensuous movements that were driving me...both of us...wild with lust.

   "Love me harder babe, let me have all you want to give...fill me with your love Darren, I need you so bad...," I moaned as he began to thrust, harder and faster, his balls slapping my ass while one hand tweaked and twisted my hard nipples and the other stroked my own hard leaking tool.

   Our rhythm established, his cock head brushed my prostate on each stroke, the intensity of our lovemaking making me see colors and flashes of light in my eyes. I was tripping on the drug of our love and as I felt the explosion of cum build in my balls, I turned my head so our lips and mouths could meet in a deeply passionate and sustained kiss.  I felt my cum begin to rise, then the contraction of my prostate struck as Darren slammed deeply into me and sent me over the edge, spewing my seed, pulse after pulse splattering the shower tiles.  When I clamped down hard on Darren's thrusting iron rod, he screamed in release and I felt him fill my guts with his hot spunk too.

   We slowly slipped down to our knees, Darren still buried deep in my ass, our tongues thrusting and dueling in each other's mouth, the shockwaves of our nearly simultaneous orgasms finally overloading my brain. I think I passed out from the pleasure surging through my body.

   Minutes later, my senses returned and I found myself in Darren's arms, his long fingers running through my hair as he held me in the warm spray of water.

   "I guess that was as good for you as it was for me lover," he asked as he kissed me lightly around my face and eyes.

   "You don't know how much I love you Darren," I whispered to him, surprised at the depth of my emotions when I felt my eyes fill with tears, as his did too.

   "You are my love and my light in the darkness Blake," Darren told me before kissing me deeply and passionately again.

   I never did study that morning.


   'Almost a year I've spent aching for home and I now I find it so hard to leave.  Is this feeling another trick to delay me or confuse my mind, or is it the feelings I have for Alex that makes me so sad now?' I asked myself for the second time in the past hour while I waited for the ferry to cast off for Vancouver.

   Alex Nekot opened his home and his heart to me and has helped to find the answers to many questions. The many hours I've spent talking to him and the Elders here have meant so much. My mind was so closed to other traditions before and now...it's almost too much to comprehend. I must be growing too old, too set in my ways.  It is time for Iron Hand to become Shaman.

   "Will you go back to your home in the Dakota's now Lucas?" I remember him asking me a week ago.

   "No. I must go to my grandson's in Seattle. The time is coming soon when those spirits that seek his power will come against him and everything he holds precious.  I must be there Alex...I must be there."

   "All of you will face enemies of great evil, we've both seen and experienced their need. Blake is a unique man; they fear his awakening now - so much has been hidden from you.  They will stop at nothing ..."

   "I know Alex.  You've helped me find the truth about my son's wife and her family...the traditions of your people that will help us in the coming storm and all the things all of you have shown me...maybe we'll have the chance to win now.

   "There will be no chance involved Lucas. We are all with you...all the elders, my brothers of the forest and the mountains are with you too and you will prevail...all of you will survive."

   "Humm...?" I remember turning to look at Alex sitting in his recliner by the old wood stove.

   "Alex...I...I have...," the tightness in my throat prevented me from saying more, perhaps saving us both from becoming too maudlin.

   We'd both shed our tears later and alone.  I would surely miss this warm, generous and loving man especially since we had become lovers a few months ago.

   Alex is a true "medicine man" skilled and knowledgeable in the use of herbs and other plants for the benefit of his people. That he also was a university-trained botanist only helped him to minister to his tribal clan.  Ten years younger than my 52 years, Alex maintained a vigirous schedule that included a lot of heavy work and his tight body shows the results.

   It was during a time of teaching each other the ways of our peoples that I knew I loved him and I believe he felt the same about me.  Sharing of rituals around a large bonfire we'd built one evening this past spring, neither of us  could deny our manly desires, need or attraction to each other.

   Our first kiss sent thrills through us both; within a few seconds we were hard and embracing each other in our need.  Then Alex led me to his bedroll.

   Alex's muscled stocky body is completely free of hair, except in the usual places. His thick six inch uncut penis was leaking precum like a faucet when I used my lips to slide back his foreskin in order to suck the blunt mushroom-like head into my mouth, swirling my tongue around gently and swallowing his sweet tasting natural lube as fast as Alex's large, low handing balls produced it - as he was doing the same to me.  Iron Hand had shown me this way of pleasuring a partner, a lesson repeated a number of times between us, but my thoughts were not on him, they were on giving Alex all my love.

   Our first explosion of hot cum arrived quickly as we both ejaculated our loads into each other's waiting mouth.  Alex's thick salty spunk was almost as sweet on my tongue as his precum had been and I swallowed all he produced.  When our lips met again, our tastes mingled together as our
tongues fought a lover's battle in our mouths.

   That first night together under the stars was very special for us both, lonely men - isolated by our tasks in life yet able to grasp love when it presented itself. We made love many more times that night and into the next day.  We found peace for a while in each other's loving embrace for as long as I stayed there in his home or while we traveled together in search of answers: each was the other's refuge.

   Alex, like Iron Hand, has a place in my heart of hearts that will be with me forever.

   When Alex again spoke to me, I was startled from my daydream of memories, back to the reality of what faced me.

   "I know Lucas.  I know what's in your heart as it's in mine too.  You are finding it hard to leave here...to leave me, as I find it hard to see you go.  But this must be the way of things, Lucas."  Alex stood up and walked over to stand behind me as I stared out of the window at the surrounding forest and the brooding dark mountains in the distance; Alex leaned against me,  wrapping his arms around my waist and pulling us closer together.

   "I will treasure our time together Lucas until I leave this mortal shell. You've given me so much...," Alex told me with great emotion in his voice, as he laid his head on my back.

   While Alex held me by the window I gazed from, tears fell from my eyes at the thought of leaving him to be alone once more...both of us, alone again.

   That was two days ago - when I left his small house far back in the deep valleys. I'm sure I could have waited for the weekly mail and supply plane to come into the village from Kitimat, but he offered me one of his canoes knowing I needed the time alone to clear my thoughts and prepare myself for the battle ahead.

   The river was high, but not too bad as I made my way downstream to the railroad crossing 50 miles south of his village. I wept for hours after he shoved the canoe away from the riverbank, but I knew, as he did, that this is the way of things for both of us.

   That first night on the river after an arduous portage around a dangerous rapids, I built a roaring fire on a rocky beach and chanted my blessings on him and his people.

   It was early today, just after leaving my campsite, that I began to feel the presence of the enemy around me, but I knew what it was now and that made me powerful in its presence.  Still, I began to chant because I remember how we discovered the true nature of our sly enemy.

   "Look at this Lucas," Alex called to me.  I put a marker into the the big book containing old police reports to walk over to the table Alex had a number of old files piled up.

   "Your daughter-in-law was an orphan...adopted after she was abandoned in Kitamat, left in a box on a pew in the Methodist Church...1938 or 1939," he said pointing at the faded and mildew blackened social workers report.

   'She'd have been...my god..13 or 14 when she bore Blake...that is impossible...I remember meeting her those few times she'd come to my summer camp after Blake had been born...at least twenty years old then...my son had been 24 when they married.' As that thought flashed through my memories, I felt a sudden pain in my head and blackness overwhelm me. I heard a loud wailing sound too, like a train fading in the distance before I lost consciousness

   When I awoke, Alex was holding me in his arms with a very profound look of relief on his face when I opened my eyes.

   "Are you all right Lucas?  You scared the shit out of me."

   "Yes Alex...please help me stand. I'm all right, just a little woozy, thats all."

   "What happened Lucas?"

   "I was attacked by the Enemy. I think you've found something very important here and there was an attempt to stop us...to stop me...before I put it together.  Forgive me Alex...I've put you in jeopardy too." Alex's look was one of concern and immediate alert, but not fear - this man was a warrior too.

   "You have nothing to be sorry about Lucas, I felt nothing...no...there was something, like a blurriness in my vision for a brief second before you fell." I nodded my head and he understood. The attack had been aimed at me, yet almost immediately I began to feel this was a sign my time with Alex was drawing to a close.

   I truly loved this man and I would not let him become a casualty in the battle. I had to leave. If the Enemy was becoming so bold as to attack us here and in broad daylight instead of during the blackness of midnight, that can only mean it's forces are gathering and growing stronger.

   Alex had me sit in a chair then brought me some water. I was suddenly very thirsty too and after several glasses, my strength began to return.

   "We will find nothing more here. Lets leave this place." I was trembling when Alex helped me up and outside, explaining to the clerk that I'd suddenly become ill.

   Once outside in the sunlight, I felt my strength return to me after Alex had led me to a bench in the park across the street.  I began to explain to him what I thought his discovery meant.

   "They are becoming stronger Alex and tried to hide the truth of her beginnings from us.  This plan has been decades in preperation all to get at Blake." I told him.

   "But why, Lucas. I still don't under...."

   "Blake...my grandson...they want him...they want his strength...his power.  If what I believe is true, they'll try to corrupt him, lead him away from his true path in life. They'll use every trick and ruse, they'll attack those he loves around him." I told Alex, my thoughts becoming clearer and more defined now.

   "Blake has already suffered great loss and conflict in his life: Physical abuse at home; his first lover died in his arms during that damned Vietnam War, his wounds and guilt haunted him for years afterwards.  His ex-partner became a drug addict and thief, finally driving Blake away causing him more torment and self doubt, again filling him with a heavy burden of guilt even though he had no real control over his lovers actions."  I could feel my eyes filling as I remembered the shell of a man I'd seen once during those years: haunted by his memories, seemingly aged beyond his youth, lost and wandering, searching for...Darren!

   "You know that he's openly involved with another man that has dedicated himself to Blake for eternity.  His name is Darren."  When I spoke Darren's name for the first time to Alex, it seemed to me that I felt a brief lightening of my burdens, but that quickly faded, yet I was sure that I'd felt something, something good, something positive after nearly a year of bad news and disappointments, except where Alex was concerned.

   "Darren has also had visions of his own," I continued. " He found a sprit-guide unlooked for: a symbol of strength and purity to my people...the white buffalo.  Yet Blake's own guide has remained hidden, unfound because Blake has never gone on a spirit quest...perhaps that lack of a seeking his guide is part of their plain too."

   But...then there is Darren.  When I first met Darren almost a year ago, I had already seen him in my visions, yet after talking with him for only a few moments, I understood why Blake had been so smitten with the young Texan.  He simply radiated warmth and goodness, even his man scent was fresh and pure and he obviously loved my grandson completely.  That he had been chosen by the spirits to recieve the gift of a spirit-guide; one so powerful and unsought. has made me believe he will play a key part in all of this.

   I must give this more thought...Darren's relationship with Blake and I know there isn't a bad bone in his body or a cruel thought in his heart.

   We sat on the bench for an hour or so, neither of us saying much to the other, content just to be together for that brief time in the sun.  We caught the last shuttle flight of the day back to Kitimat from Vancouver..

   That had been a week ago today. Now I was heading downstream on Alex's river, my steady paddling and the rush of the river bringing me further from Alex and closer to the confrontation with the Enemy.  Late in the afternoon, I saw the railroad bridge appear from around the bend of the river.

   When I reached the near-by village, the first thing I did was to call Iron Hand. The time to act was coming...soon and as the ferry headed out into the Passage, the name of the Enemy came unbidden into my thoughts.

'Akakapa, the Man Eater's,' I remembered.

   Consumers of souls and human flesh, the ancient dark one's who sneak about sowing confusion, lies and hate while looking for those who are weak of spirit and character - those with no honor, seizing their hearts and minds, perverting their lives in order to achieve enslavement. In the fullness of time, their spirits added to make the evil stronger.

   I remembered clearly the shock I had when Alex had said the word out loud - a word in a dead language that may have been unuttered for a hundred years or more - at least by human voices. We were researching books and papers in the basement of the records archive outside Washington D.C. looking for the original reports filed by explorers and military officers who had chanced to come upon the secretive tribe deep in the bayou's and lowlands of Louisiana and coastal Texas, when he found a
scrap of paper in one of the volumes of papers stored there.

   The faded writing on the paper had the date March 12 of 1805 written at the top. It described a meeting between the explorers and members of a Choctaw war party who were pursuing raiders of another tribe who'd killed women and stolen children from their village while the men went to hunt.
The words they used described "man eaters" or cannibals who used captive children to make "powerful medicine" that was directed at other peoples who lived nearby. The Atakapa were greatly feared as the bringers of evil.

"Here, Lucas...look at this. The Atakapa..."

   In that moment we both stood shocked with visions in our minds of clubs and war axes falling...falling against the skulls of small boys and girls, knives used to eviscerate and flesh eaten raw while vile chants rang through the air around us and the painted faces of short, sturdy brown men with bloody mouths and wild, crazed eyes as black as the deepest cave.

   The vision lasted only moments, but we were both sweating and trembling with revulsion when our eyes and minds cleared. I turned and threw-up into a tableside waste can; Alex fell to his knees gagging too. The stench of death was in our minds and hearts.  We had found what we had come
thousands of miles to discover.  Now we knew the name of our enemy!

We'd been sent on this trip to the East by an old blind woman outside of Kitimat who'd been the abandoned baby girl's wet nurse after her own daughter had died.  It was she, in her 76th year who provided us with the clues.

   A small childs toy, appearing one day in the baby's crib with crude but colorful markings around it's base - the figure of a dark young man in brightly colored robes - the baby cried unceasingly until the toy had been returned to it after she took the object from the girl in order to examine it closer. Immediately the child calmed with the totem - as Alex called it - held in her tiny hands.

   The old woman remembered disturbing dreams of hateful ceremonies and visions that had plagued her sleep until the girl was removed from her home.  But it was the memory of another sort that caused her the greatest pain and showed the reach of their power.

   In July of 1945 child was about seven when she had wandered off into the thickets surrounding her small home. She often did that, wandering in the fields of weeds and small trees during the day.  Looking for the girl. the old woman had parted some branches low to the ground and found the child nude with a fully grown man.  She was sitting atop his naked body, astride his hips with his penis buried deep in her little cleft.  Too stunned to move, she watched the girl ride the squat, dark brown man's shaft until they both shuddered with release.

   At that moment, the child turned her head around, fixed the old woman with her cold hard eyes  and then she laughed at her, stood up, stretched upwards with her arms and hands raised abover her head then slowly disenged herself from the man lying beneath her as his long cock covered with his cum slipped from her tiny distended vagina. There was no blood, just his cum dripping out of her.  Then he faded from sight as if he had never been there at all!

   "You have no power over me old woman. Go and forget!  I am Atakapa and powerful before your weakness and fears." The wet nurse staggered backwards out of the thicket and fell. She had been struck blind!  But she never forgot what she'd seen and heard on that terrible morning.

   Shortly after her blinding, the child was removed and adopted into a family from Vancouver.  It was there that my own late son had met and married her, their union producing my grandson Blake.

   Although she never asked us directly, we both felt like she knew what we were searching for.  Behind those blinded eyes her mind still worked quite well and her parting words to us served both as a blessing and a warning.

   "You must not stop your hunt...they must be beaten back into the black place they have returned from.  I feel the strength of your hearts and minds.  You will save the ones you love. But beware of their traps and their tricks."

   Alex and I left her house with our hearts frozen by the story she had told to us.

   A week had passed before we learned she had died suddenly and her house had been mysteriously burned to the ground on the day of her burial.  Authorities claimed bad wiring.

   We both believed she had been waiting for us to come to her before giving up her mortal burdens. We danced around a bonfire that night, asking our ancestors to keep watch for the old blind woman's arrival and to welcome her as a sister.

   But she had given us the clue to begin unraveling the mystery of the orphaned child and her true beginnings.   Alex had used his computer to find the archive that held the most information aboyt the Atakapa.  A few days later we were on a flight to Baltimore.

  Now as I watch the rainclouds gathering in the south as the ferry centered into the channel, my memories of that day at the archive returned:

   A helpful assistant clerk made copies of the papers for us after we found what we needed and other useful information - like the tribe having completely disappeared by 1850 and other similar reports predating the 1850 notations of both early Spanish and French explorers from microfiche copies of the originals.

   During 1777, Father Augustin Morfi, a Spanish priest, described the Atakapa Indians and other local tribes of the Gulf coast.  Apparently even then, the Atakapa were a hidden, secretive and feared people although numbering less than 2000 individuals.  Other, later observations and information revealed fewer and fewer survived as time flowed by until finally...all were dead, felled by warfare and disease, then lost to history.

   I understood all the clues were here now: We are all in great danger with Blake and Darren in the greatest jeopardy of all. From the mists of the dark past, their spirits were trying to return - through Blake!  But the reason - why him - still eluded me.

   I called Iron Hand that night from our motel in Maryland to check on his progress and to tell him to prepare quickly. The next day, we flew back to Vancouver and in the evening, caught the shuttle flight back to Kitimat. After we arrived at Alex's home in the mountains, we spent days going over the document copies. We shared more rituals and healing knowledge...and we made subdued, yet passionate love many times until we both parted on the riverbank.

  While I quiletly chanted and prayed  sitting alone on the ferrys forward deck, I  watched the sun's fire burn through the clouds one last time before setting low in the west - a good omen - yet tears still fell from my eyes once again as the ship bore me south and closer to my destiny and that of the people I loved the most.

End of Chapter Four

   In Chapter Five - the final chapter of Blake and Darren, the confrontation with the evil that has been growing in strength will occur.  We plan to have it posted by next month (Feb '02).  We apologize to all of our Native American brothers and sisters if we have made any errors or offended anyone. That was not our intention or desire. The story of Blake and Darren is entirely fictional - a figment of the author's sometimes overactive imaginations.

   The story of good versus evil can be told in many ways. We write the story of Blake and Darren in order to do that.

Mike and Alan   © galacticflute 2002

Contact us at galacticflute@yahoo.com

Author's Notes:  The Atakapa (Attakapa, Attacapa) Indians, including such subgroups as the Akokisas and Deadoses, occupied the coastal and bayou areas of southwestern Louisiana and southeastern Texas until the early 1800s. Such groups as the Akokisas and Deadoses lived west of the lower Neches River, while the Atakapas proper occupied the territory east of the lower Neches extending into Louisiana. Archeological studies of this area suggest that settlements have been present since before American Indians learned to make pottery, about the time of the birth of Christ. Atakapa means "eaters of men" in Choctaw, but the question has been whether the Atakapas' cannibalism was for subsistence or ritual. Village chiefs in the mid-1700s included Canoe, El Gordo, Mateo, and Calzones Colorados. (As reported in Spanish documents of the time.)

Atakapan society consisted of loose bands that moved from place to place within a set area or territory gathering, hunting, and fishing. The alligator was important to them, for it provided meat, oil, and hides. The oil of the alligator was used as insect repellent. The Atakapan language has fascinated linguists and is among the better-recorded Indian languages. In 1721 Jean Bérangerqv recorded and analyzed the language of nine Akokisas, members of a group closely associated with the Atakapas proper.  Studies done in the 1920s by John R. Swanton and Albert Gatschet led to the Smithsonian publication A Dictionary of the Atakapa Language in 1932. Swanton and Gatschet associated the Atakapas with the Tunican Indians of the lower Mississippi River. Some later linguists have abandoned this linkage and classified Atakapan as an isolated dead language.

The bands of the Atakapas, including the Akokisas, were reported to have engaged in some type of trade not only with other Indians but also with the French and Spanish. Evidence indicates that the Hans people, whom Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca encountered in 1528, may have been part of the Atakapan group. French contact was established after François Simars de Bellisle found himself stranded among the Akokisas in 1719. French exploration and trade in Atakapan territory continued throughout the early 1700s.

The Spanish responded to the French presence on the Texas coast by establishing a series of missions along the San Gabriel River. The mission of San Ildefonso was briefly home to a number of Atakapas from the Deadose, which as a whole the Spanish had little success in converting. All of the San Xavier group of missions  were abandoned in 1755.

Much of what is known about the Atakapas' appearance and culture comes from eighteenth and nineteenth century European descriptions and drawings. They were said to have been short, dark, and stout. Their clothing included breechclouts and buffalo hides. They did not practice polygamy or incest. Their customs included the use of wet bark for baby carriers and Spanish moss for diapers. Customarily, a father would rename himself at the birth of his first son or if the son became famous. In the Atakapan creation myth, man was said to have been cast up from the sea in an oyster shell. The Atakapas also believed that men who died from snakebite and those who had been eaten by other men were denied life after death, a creed that may give support to the idea that they practiced ritual cannibalism. With the coming of the Europeans, the ranks of the Atakapas thinned rapidly. According to Swanton, there were 3,500 in 1698 and only 175 in Louisiana in 1805. By 1908 there were only nine known descendants. Their demise was primarily caused by the invasion of European diseases rather than through direct confrontations with European settlers.

Present day people who call themselves "Atakapa" can not trace their ancestory to those ancient people of the swamps.  As in all things though, belief can be a powerful motivator.