This story concerns adult and teenage gay males who may be involved in sexual situations. If it is illegal for you to read such stories, or if you do not like to read such stories, please leave now.

This story is copyright 2006 by the author who retains all rights.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

This is my third submission to Nifty. My previous submissions can be found in the High School section under Kiel’s Story. Any comments or questions are welcome at:

A warm thank you goes out to all who write. I appreciate knowing someone is actually reading this stuff, whether you like it or not. I try to answer all emails, even flames. (I’m a writer, I live for rejection.) Although sometimes it takes a little time to get back to you, I do try to answer. If I'm remiss in replying to yours, I apologize.

The Pastel Cowboy

by Carl Holiday

Chapter 8 – Who the Fuck Are You?

Zach looked out the window wall of his new bedroom. Uncle David’s condo was on the nineteenth floor of a twenty-two story building on the north side of Pill Hill, named for all the hospitals and clinics on it. Zach had an unobstructed view of Lake Union and most of Seattle north of the Ship Canal. In the far distance, he could just make out the red brick buildings of North Park Memorial Hospital. As he stood there, a seaplane flew past the building heading down toward the lake. After a few moments, Zach watched the white splash as the plane skimmed onto the water between two sailboats.

He was alone, now. Steven was in the hospital. Jeremy was with Johnny. Jerry was slowly recovering from his attempted suicide and was so drugged up most of the time his mind was somewhere beyond his body. Bruce was gone, wherever. Four attempts at making new friends in a new town and they were all gone. He was sort of starting out fresh.

What surprised him after he moved in was Uncle David. There was definitely something wrong with the man. He was too subdued, kind of like Jerry was before he nearly cut his hands off with the box cutter. When he first came to North Park back in May, Uncle David seemed almost normal, but now there seemed to be a dark cloud hanging over him all the time. And, he seemed smaller as if he was shrinking in every direction, not just in height. Uncle David was big, nearly six and half feet tall and weighed well over two hundred, probably close to three, but he still seemed smaller, as if whatever was wrong with him diminished his presence.

Then there was Paul. Steven told Zach about Paul and how he liked to seduce his models in the studio. The thing that Zach noticed about Paul was that he was very attractive for a man in his late forties. So attractive, in fact, he felt a familiar tingle in his groin just thinking about being alone with Paul down in that studio, naked. Steven said there was a bed down there where Paul reputedly enjoyed his models until they were more of a lover than a model. Zach imagined himself on that bed under Paul as the man’s hot, engorged dick thrust deep into his ass.

They were leaving in the morning, early. Zach only had a few hours to get himself settled in his new surroundings. His bedroom was big enough for a queen-size bed with nightstands on either side and a headboard that had sloping cabinets so you could sit up and read; a small sofa and side chair; an entertainment center with a twenty-seven inch television, cable box, DVD, VCR, and a stereo you could buy at Wal-Mart; a desk, bookshelves, and a dresser with a mirror. There was a mirrored closet with sliding doors and another door led into a private bath with a broad marble vanity, whirlpool tub, a separate shower with room for a crowd, a toilet, and a bidet. Zach had to ask Paul what it was. Even then, he couldn’t figure out why he had one or how he would use it.

“It came with the condo,” Paul said, “and David didn’t have them removed, not that he couldn’t afford not to.”

“He’s rich, isn’t he?” Zach asked. He really didn’t know what Uncle David did other than he was a writer of some sort.

“Actually, we’re both kind of rich,” Paul said. “He’s probably got more money, but he’s got an ex-wife, too. She sucks off a lot of his resources, but money isn’t everything.”

It certainly came in handy, though, Zach thought. Jerry was certainly benefiting from money, Bud’s money.

At three o’clock in the morning, all three of them stuffed their luggage into the Mercedes and headed south on I-5 to Tacoma where they caught State Route 16 across the Narrows. Zach half dozed as Paul seemed to where he was driving. He’d look up now and then, but the landmarks were meaningless as he’d never ventured this far from campus. After a nice dream about being naked with Jeremy that gave him a hard-on, Zach woke up as the car pulled into a garage. He got out, adjusted himself hoping no one else saw the bulge in his jeans, retrieved his bag from the trunk, and went outside. They were near water, very near. He could hear waves softly lapping on the shore somewhere off in the darkness.

The motor home was a forty footer, one of those custom busses entertainers used to transport themselves between gigs. It was big, but the beach house it sat in front of was much bigger. It wasn’t huge like the McDonald house on Foundry Ridge, but in the dark and lit with only security lights, its immensity was difficult to gauge. An older man, the caretaker, spoke quietly with Uncle David.

“You’ll drive the first leg,” Paul said.

“I don’t know where I am,” Zach said.

“It’s easy, really, just pull out to the road and turn left, go to the stop sign and turn left. Stay on US-101 to I-5, then we head south to Portland and I-84, and then we head east to I-80, which we follow to US-183. Then it’s south to I-70, east to I-135, south to the Cimarron Turnpike . . .”

“Cimarron Turnpike? Are we going to Oklahoma?”

“Muskogee, to pick up Miles’ two boys, Paul and Franny . . .”

“Franny? That sounds like a girl’s name.”

“Short for Frank, his brother tagged him with it when he was a baby.”

“Are you two about ready to hit the road?” Uncle David asked. “Anybody got to pee first?”

“No,” Paul and Zach said, almost in unison.

“Good, let’s get out of here. Zach you drive.”

“Paul already gave me the good news,” Zach said.

“I don’t want any lip, you just get behind the wheel. Paul will tell you how this thing works.”

“But, I . . .”

“Zach, come on, get buckled in,” Paul said nudging Zach toward the door.

“But, I . . .”

“Just do it,” Paul said quietly. “David, are you going to lie down for awhile?”

“Yes, I’ll take over at that rest area before The Dalles,” David said, as he walked back toward the bedroom. “Arthur said he provisioned us and put in three sleeping bags for the boys. Zach can sleep in our room until we get to Sommersville, then he’ll sleep out here with the boys. Oh, and Zach? Try to keep this thing between the lines.”

Zach stared at the controls, not believing what he’d heard. It was as if his uncle was another person. All the joking, kidding, laughing he remembered when his aunt and uncle and cousins came down to the ranch for visits in the summer must have been done by some other man, it certainly wasn’t the meanie who just closed the bedroom door.

“What’s wrong?” Zach asked.

“Get this thing in gear and down the road!” David hollered from the bedroom.

“Start it up, son,” Paul said. “Just turn the key. We’ll talk about it in a while.”

“Are you two fighting?” Zach asked. The motor home was a bus, it drove like a bus. Being at the end of the line, Zach drove the school bus for a year. He would have done it his senior year, too, except perverts aren’t allowed to drive school busses.

“We’ll talk about it later. You seem to know how to do this.”

“It’s a bus.”

“Yeah, basically, that’s what it is.”

“I took the school bus home on weekdays.”

In less than an hour of uneventful predawn driving, Zach eased the motor home out onto I-5 and up the hill at Tumwater as Ray Price crooned,

Lay your head,
Upon my pillow
Hold your warm and tender body
Close to mine . . .

“You really go in for that country shit, don’t you?” Paul said.

“Yeah, we didn’t have any rock stations to listen to, just Christian, Spanish, and country. Actually, there were three country stations, one played oldies.”

“I don’t know how anyone can listen to that stuff. It’s so fucking straight.”

“Then you’re not listening. Half the songs you listen to don’t specifically come out and say anything about whether it’s about a man or a woman. Listen to these lyrics. He could just as easily be singing about some guy next to him.”

“Watch where you’re pointing this thing,” Paul said as the tires sang out “thumpa-thumpa-thumpa.”

“I’m watching,” Zach said. “Did you ever hear Billie Holiday sing “Love For Sale”?”

“No, who’s Billie Holiday?”

“One of the greatest jazz singers, ever.”

“You listen to jazz, too?”

“Sure, it’s not like we lived in the sticks. Mom liked jazz. I kind of like the old stuff. You know, Billie Holiday, Count Basie, Fats Waller, the classics.”

“So what about “Love for Sale?”

“Well, Harry Connick, Jr., besides a lot of guys, record that song, too. Only, when Billie Holiday sings it you can imagine what she’s selling. When Harry sings those same words, you just want to laugh. It’s like they don’t listen to the words. A woman singing about “young love for sale,” isn’t the same as a guy singing those same words.”

“Wait a minute, that’s Cole Porter from the musical “The New Yorkers.” I’ve heard it. Yeah, and you’re right, it doesn’t sound the same coming out of a guy’s mouth, but are we supposed to care who is singing?”

“Well, I care, and speaking about caring, what’s wrong with Uncle David?”



“The pills he takes make him impotent, so he stops taking them. Then he gets moody as shit, but at least he gets hard and knows what to do with it. He’ll be better by the time we get to Muskogee.”

The conversation died and Zach concentrated on the road ahead. He’d come across Snoqualmie Pass when he came up from Oklahoma so this road was completely new. He thought about going back near where he was raised. Kids would be out at Glasgow Beach soaking up the rays when they weren’t hauling hay, loading steers for their free trip to Disneyland, or simply riding the lawn mower across an acre of weeds their momma called lawn.

His mind wandered back to the conversation he had with Jeremy about going back and helping young kids cope with uncertain futures. How many kids in Carruthers were gay, lesbian, or any of the other flavors of sexual diversity not allowed in good Christian homes? There couldn’t be a lot, could there? There weren’t that many people in Carruthers and the surrounding farm land. Besides, good little Christians didn’t question the vile homophobic shit coming out of their elders’ mouths. He wondered how many sermons he’d listened about the evils of homosexuality and how God condemned those people for their sin; and, how he was supposed to love the person, but condemn the sin. Only, they didn’t live up to their words. They didn’t practice what they preached. They kicked him out, forgetting about loving the person, but condemning the sin. He knew he hated them, and hated himself for feeling that way.

A little tear dribbled down his cheek, but he brushed it away before Paul noticed. Could he go back and live near those people? He couldn’t live in Carruthers, and Hannaford was less than thirty miles away. Everyone in Carruthers went to Hannaford for everything. You couldn’t buy a decent package of toilet paper in Carruthers. He’d be bumping into them everyday. Could he live with those bastards? Could he forgive or would he hate them until the day he died?

They reached Portland in time for the rush hour, but only had to endure I-205 from Vancouver to the I-84 interchange. Then everyone was in the other lanes heading into Portland while they headed east toward Oklahoma. David was up before they reached the rest area. After a light breakfast, David got behind the wheel and Zach went back to the bedroom to lie down.

“We have some DVDs and video tapes if you’re interested,” Paul said as he helped Zach roll out a sleeping bag.

The bedroom wasn’t fancy; in fact, the motor home wasn’t fancy. It was functional, at best. Not cheap, because the woodwork was wood, but it reminded Zach of the inside of a box with some furniture thrown in and a few windows to let in light. Zach wondered what kind of personality would order a motor home that could very easily be used as a jail cell.

“I’m kind of tired, actually,” Zach said. He was alone, mostly. He wanted to feel sorry for himself for a bit. He sat down on the bed and started to undress. “If you don’t have to go out with Uncle David, could we talk?”

“Sure, what’s on your mind?” Paul asked. He sat down next to Zach, close.

“What’s wrong with me? Why doesn’t Uncle David at least act like he likes me being here?”

“You’d have to ask him that, but he’s having a lot of problems right now and you’re a distraction. This trip is for the boys, well Paul mostly as he’s the NASCAR nut in his family, and, now, you’re here. David likes everything to be neat and tidy. Everything.”

“You could’ve said no and left me in Seattle; or, let me find my own place to stay. I was thinking about getting a studio apartment.”

“You wouldn’t have been able to rent it. You’re not eighteen. You’d have to get an adult to co-sign the lease.”

Bud would have signed. Doctor Jeffers would have signed. Steven would have signed if he was able. Zach was down to his boxers and thought of removing them, too, except he wasn’t sure he could keep himself under control.

Somewhere in the back of his mind a thought was piecing itself together. It was very small, hardly noticeable at all. In fact, Zach didn’t notice it, but felt it’s presence in a slight swelling of his dick and a tingling sensation near the tip.

“The other thing is, well, he rather you talk to me if you need anything. He’s out of the parent business and has designated me as your, what, guardian?”

“Daddy Paul, I like that,” Zach said, feeling the thought for the first time as it triggered synapses sending signals to his dick.

“I’m not your daddy,” Paul said, smiling. He laughed, a little. It was more of a chuckle. “You can get that sick idea right out of your head.”

“Steven told me about daddies,” Zach said, feeling his dick quickly soften at the thought of seeing Steven trying to kill himself. “He seems to know a lot of them.”

“How is dear old Steven?”

“In the hospital.”


“Went gaga. He’s out at Fir Grove Psychiatric. Only, they won’t let me see him.”

“Must be under Billy Jenkins. Now, there’s a daddy for you.”

“Sounds dangerous.”

“Billy? No, Billy’s a kind hearted old queen who likes boys, young boys. I’m sure he and Steven go way back. You know, the way you talk, you sound like you and Steven got to be friends.”

“Yeah, friends,” Zach whispered. His dick began to fill out as thoughts of Steven’s little boy body filled his mind. Suddenly, multiple images of Jeremy’s naked body flashed across his mind and he smiled.

He looked at Paul and that little thought came to the surface. Up close, Paul didn’t look all that old. If you didn’t look close, you might almost imagine he was still in his twenties. There was firmness to the skin on his face. Nothing sagged. Of course, Zach couldn’t see under the clothes, but he began to imagine both them closer. His left hand found itself resting on Paul’s muscular thigh.

“We were very close,” Zach said. “Probably a lot closer than Uncle David expected. I learned a lot about being gay. Steven was quite the teacher in those few weeks. We had quite a few lessons about what it’s like being close to another man.”

“Damn it! That’s what I thought was going to happen,” Paul said. He picked up Zach’s hand and placed it on the bed. “It looks to me like he taught you a little bit about the business, too.”

“I was just thinking,” Zach said. He looked into Paul’s dark eyes searching for what?

“Yeah, well you can stop thinking,” Paul said. He stood up, but didn’t leave. Zach could see a slight effect of his hand on Paul’s thigh, a slight swelling in Paul’s jeans.

“I was thinking about you painting me,” Zach said, looking back up into Paul’s eyes. “I was thinking about us down in your studio. Steven talked a lot about your studio.”

“Yeah, well, I think you should get a little sleep,” Paul said as he turned and walked to the door. “You drive next while I sleep.”

“Okay. Paul, but you think about me posing for you,” Zach said as Paul shut the door. Yeah, he’s my daddy, he thought. More of a daddy than his real daddy, but not the kind of daddy Steven was into.

He stretched out on top of the sleeping bag and immediately thought of Jeremy. He found his cell phone and keyed in Jeremy’s speed dial number.




“How’s my favorite sixteen year old.”

“Okay, I guess.”

“Miss me?”

“A lot.”

“Where are you, now? Are you alone?”

“Yeah, I’m still in bed, alone.”

“I am, too. My dick’s thinking of you. It misses your sweet lips, your moist tongue.”

“Are you trying to turn me on? Because if you are, you’re doing it.”

“What do you miss about me, most?”

“The warm tightness of your ass. God, Zach, I’m hard as a rock.”

“I can feel you inside me. You’re harder than you’ve ever been. You’re deep and doing those little thrusts you like to do far inside me. You know, that little bunny humping you do.”

“Oh, god, Zach, I can feel my tongue wrapped around your dick. I can smell you. I’m sucking on one of your balls. Umm, it’s in my mouth.”

“I can feel your thrusts, now. You’re pulling back, forcing yourself into me. You’re pounding my ass. You’re pulling back on my ring then thrusting all the way in. God, Jeremy, your sweet dick feels so good in my ass.”

“Zach, I can’t hold it. Zach! Kiss me! Zach! Uh . . . oh . . . yes, Zach, yes . . .”

“Yes, Jeremy, yes, I do love you, too. Jeremy?”


“Are you okay, now?”

“Yeah, I want to see you.”

“I’m in a motor home going to Oklahoma. I won’t be back for a couple weeks.”

“A couple weeks? What am I going to do?”

“Answer your phone.”

“Okay, but you can call just to talk, too.”

“Sure thing, sweetie.”

“I like that.”


“Calling me sweetie.”

“You do? You don’t think it’s silly?”

“Not when you say it. Did you come, too?”

“Yeah, I did. I’m going to sleep now. I still love you.”

“I love you, too.”

Zach put the phone back in the pocket of his jeans and looked at his unsatisfied cock throbbing with his heartbeats. He lay back down and took it in his hand. He thought of Jeremy’s warm lips massaging its length, his tongue swirling over the head, and his hand cupping his balls with that errant finger sneaking back along the perineum searching for its treasure. He remembered the feeling of Jeremy thrusting into him, the head massaging his prostate as it sank deep into him. That was what he wanted, Paul’s dick filling his ass.

He felt his balls tighten and pulled his legs up over his head. The swollen head of his dick slipped between his lips and his tongue swathed himself as burst after burst filled his mouth. He didn’t taste as good as Jeremy, but he couldn’t be picky whose dick was coming in his mouth; and, at least he had the dick for DIY sex.

Zach and David alternated driving across Idaho and into Utah while Paul slept. For Zach it was a rather boring because David wouldn’t let him listen to any CDs or the radio. He wanted total silence. He said he was working on adapting one of his earlier novels into a screenplay and needed Zach to be quiet. Only, although David had the laptop open he mostly stared at the screen or out the window. A number of times when Zach glanced over he caught his uncle staring at him with a face empty of emotion. It was unnerving because David wouldn’t avert his eyes, but kept staring at his nephew.

“Do you want something?” Zach asked after catching David for the third time. “Is there something I’m doing wrong?”

“Huh? Uh, no, you’re doing fine,” David said.

“Then why are you staring at me?”

“Oh, sorry, I was just thinking and you got in the way.”

“Do you have writer’s block, or something?”

“What do you know about writer’s block?”

“Nothing, I’ve just heard about people not being able to write for long periods of time and getting super frustrated because of it. You haven’t typed a word since I started driving.”

“No, it’s not that. It’s definitely not that.”

Zach was about to say something more, but David turned toward his window. After a couple minutes, he got up and went back to the sofa behind Zach. After a few more minutes Zach heard the familiar soft thud of fingers on a keyboard.

When they reached the rest area a few miles past the I-84/86 split, David took over the driving. Yet, even then, he wouldn’t let Zach listen to music, so Zach went back to the bedroom hoping Paul might be awake so they could talk.

Paul wasn’t awake. He was sleeping on his back and all the bedcovers had been thrown off. He wasn’t wearing anything other than a pair of powder blue cotton sleep shorts.

Zach shut the door and went over to the bed. The tip of the older man’s hard cock was peeking through the unbuttoned, open fly of the shorts. Zach decided only one thing could be done about it. He carefully got up onto the bed and knelt next to Paul. He lowered his head and slipped his moist lips over the cockhead and laved it with his tongue. The cock jumped away from Paul’s smooth abdomen and began to swell from the unexpected attention.

Zach was in no hurry. They’d just merged onto I-15 and had miles to go before I-84 separated again and headed up the Weber River Canyon to the rest stop where Paul was to takeover. He concentrated on giving pleasure simply for pleasure’s sake and not for enticing an orgasm out of the older man. This was as much for him, as for Paul, and he lost himself as he concentrated on the task at hand.

“What the fuck!” Paul hissed as he grabbed Zach’s head and pulled him off his cock. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?”

“You didn’t like that?” Zach said pulling himself out of Paul’s grip. “Your cock certainly seemed to be enjoying itself.”

“David is right out there.”

“He’s driving and he’s too wrapped up in his depression to be paying the slightest bit of attention to you or me. He’s oblivious to anyone except himself.”

“Get out of here. Now!”

“Have you decided how you’re going to pose me?” Zach asked as he got off the bed. “I assume I’ll be nude.”

“In your dreams.”

“Of course, that’s the only way. Oh, and your cock? Next time it’ll be up my ass.”

Zach walked out the door and shut it behind him. He had Paul. The man was going to fuck him and was going to enjoy it, too. He thought of Steven and wondered how much this was going to be worth.

And, then Jeremy came to mind and he nearly stumbled as the motor home hit a rough spot on the highway. He turned and flopped down onto the sofa. An image of Jeremy’s naked body held itself in his awareness. Zach knew he wanted the boy more than ever, but he had to hold him away. Their relationship was not to be. He had Steven. He chose Steven over Jeremy. And, now, he would have Paul. Jeremy was just a kid and Zach didn’t want anything to do with kids.

Nearly a half hour later, Paul came out of the bedroom just as the motor home began to climb the low hill at West Ogden. Zach looked up at him, then went back into the bedroom. He didn’t want to be in the same room as Paul, not with David so close. He wanted to kiss Paul, not to make up, but to entice him further, to lead them toward that bed in the studio. He could almost feel Paul fucking him. Then he realized that wasn’t quite what he was feeling down there. The pressure definitely wasn’t from an imagined cock sliding into him.

Yet, at that moment, Zach wanted to show Paul what he had to offer for the canvas. Maybe, the older man needed a reminder of Zach’s most important asset. He went over to his duffel bag and pulled out his work jeans. He hadn’t worn them since that night at Jeremy’s house, that fiasco of selling his virginity. He felt himself getting hard at the thought of Jeremy touching him as their naked bodies rubbed against each other for that final orgasm before he went in to sleep with Jeremy’s little brother. He pinched his left nipple and was rewarded with an uncomfortable spasm in his lower bowel. Something wanted out and his body wasn’t in the mood for imagined sex with a beautiful sixteen year old boy.

Luckily, the motor home began to slow. Zach looked out the window and saw the near vertical walls of Weber Canyon. On the other side of the river two freight trains were passing each other. The motor home slowed further and then turned slightly before coming to a stop.

“If you’ve got to do a number two, this is the place,” Paul hollered through the closed door.

This is the place, Zach thought, yeah, this was definitely the place. He adjusted himself so that most of the asset was prominently displayed and headed for the door. Neither of the older men were in the motor home, making Zach smile for some reason. Maybe it was just the thought of making a dramatic appearance going out of the motor home.

He opened the door and saw them talking to a Morgan County Deputy. Zach closed the door and walked past them to the men’s room, pausing momentarily so Paul could get a good look. He, also, noticed the deputy glancing his way. After relieving himself, Zach washed his hands and made the return trip, pausing again so that Paul could see what he had to offer; hopefully, triggering some sort of artistic urge to get Zach on canvas, or whatever it was that drove artists to capture reality and turn it into a thing of beauty.

Once he was in the motor home, Zach sat on the sofa and waited for Paul to come in. He was certain this little show was going to work. Paul was his for the taking. He’d be more than willing to stand for hours as Paul applied his image onto a canvas. He knew he had the dick to do it.

“Who the fuck do you think you are?” David yelled as he and Paul walked into the motor home. “Get in that bedroom you stupid little shit! Paul you get us the hell out of here before that deputy starts counting his three dollar bills.”

Zach stood up, but didn’t move.

“I said get in the bedroom, now!” David hissed. “Are you deaf besides being stupid?”

Zach looked at Paul, but he didn’t look back, instead went to the driver’s seat and started the engine. Zach suddenly felt David’s hand tighten itself around his left bicep and realized he was being pulled toward the bedroom. He wanted to resist, but the unexpected force of David’s bulk was too much. Once through the door, he felt himself being thrown down onto the bed. He looked up and saw David rifling through his duffel bag, then pulling out the jeans he’d had on earlier.

“Here, put these back on,” David said throwing the jeans at Zach. “Never in my life have I been so embarrassed. Who the fuck are you?”

Zach didn’t know what to say, but picked up the jeans and began to remove the tight ones.

“You’re no better than a common whore, a hustler from behind some smelly dumpster in an alley. I bought you pants so that you wouldn’t wear those, those exhibitionist clothes. Do you know what that deputy thought you were? Do you have an inkling as to what he thought of me and Paul? Do you care about us? What is it, boy?”

“I thought at least Paul would appreciate me wearing these,” Zach said. “I know he wants to paint me, so I was just reminding him what I had to offer.”

The last thing Zach expected was David’s hand slapping his face. He stumbled, then dropped to his knees. His face stung so much tears came to his eyes. He looked up at David and saw his uncle’s hand clench into a fist.

“You will never go to Paul’s studio,” David said. “You will be lucky if I allow you to continue on this trip. If we were going through Denver, I’d drop you off at the airport, but we’re not. We have to being in Muskogee in two days and that is a lot of driving for two men, but it’ll be a lot easier with three. So we have to keep you, but once there you might as well plan on getting on an airplane in Tulsa. I will not have a common whore in my presence. Do you understand?”

“But, Uncle David, I was just . . .”

“I am not your uncle. I’m the man who was formerly married to your aunt. That’s the limit of my involvement with you. I’ll let you stay in my condominium until school starts, but after that, you’re on your own; and, quite frankly, I really don’t give a shit what you do with yourself.”

He turned and went out the door, pulling it closed behind him.

Zach stared at the closed door and tried to figure out where he’d gone wrong. Uncle David was simply being irrational. That was all he could figure out. The old man’s depression was so bad he couldn’t see Zach in the same way Paul was going to see him. That had to be it. David’s depression was clouding his view of reality.

He finished changing his jeans and carefully folded the tight ones before returning them to his duffel bag. He sat down on the bed and waited for whatever was going to happen next. He certainly didn’t want to go out with the other men.

A little bit after they merged onto I-80 at Echo Canyon, David came back into the bedroom. Zach looked up at him, then got to his feet and went out to sit with Paul. He heard the door close behind him. He could have sworn it almost slammed shut, but didn’t think David could be that mad.

“What’s wrong with him?” Zach asked as he buckled his safety belt.

“David? He’s mad as hell at you,” Paul said. “You’re lucky he’s halfway decent because he could’ve dumped you out at the side of the road. I know I would have for that stupid stunt.”

“But I was just trying to get you to look at me artistically.”

“Artistically? You stupid little county bumpkin. You think dressing like a hustler is going to make me want to paint you?”


“God, you are dumb. I figured you had a head on your shoulders, but you’re just thinking with your dick.”

“What do you mean by that?”

“God, Zach, if you don’t know, I can’t tell you.”

Zach looked out the window at the cattle grazing on the hills around them and thought of home. There were any trees, some junipers, but no trees and there didn’t seem to be that much for the cattle to graze on, either. It was rather stark and barren, a lot like his mind at that moment. He couldn’t figure out where he’d gone wrong. It had to be something simple, something he wasn’t picking up on. It couldn’t be that complicated. Life was too simple for this to be anything more than a simple misunderstanding. Thinking with his dick? What the hell did Paul mean by that?

“We did talk, though. I reminded David that he’d given me responsibility for you, so you get to stay with us. All you have to do is not piss off David. That’s all you have to do. Stay away from his as much as possible. And, get rid of those tight jeans. The world does not need to know you’ve got a seven inch dick. No one cares, least of all me, but you are cute and that just might make me want to paint you. Yeah, you just might get your wish and get to stand for hours while I look at your body.”

“I knew I’d get to you.”

“You don’t get it, do you?”

“Get what?”

“Like I said, if you don’t know, I can’t tell you. You’re just going to have figure it out for yourself. You’re just a kid, you know that. A good looking kid, but just a kid.”

“I don’t understand.”

“Of course you don’t. You don’t want to understand. You just want to fuck. Maybe in a few years you’ll get it figured out, maybe. Some guys are just too dumb to ever figure it out. I don’t think you are, but maybe you are stupider than you look. God, Zach, I really wanted to like you, but you’re so fucking stupid.”

Zach wanted to say something, but figured now wasn’t the time. He knew he’d have to think about what Paul was saying. At least he didn’t have to worry about moving back into the dorm. He’d have to think of a way of thanking Paul, something special. Maybe another blow job. Yeah, that just might do it. Older men liked kids giving them blow jobs. Steven taught him that.