By Waddie Greywolf

Chapter 13

I called dad at noon to tell him not to pick us up. I explained to him, Mr. Wiggins would be bringing us over to our place, he would leave his truck there and all of us would ride with him in the Bronco to the Dunbar ranch.

“Part of Mr. Wainright’s conditions for Sidney helping us was Mr. Wiggins has to be a part of our commando team, Dad.” I told him.

“Humm, I’m bet’n there weren’t a lot of arguments from you and your brother ‘bout that.”  My old man chuckled.

“When you’re right, you’re right, Dad.”  I laughed.  “Sidney thinks we can use the chores as a cover, so the Colonel won’t get suspicious, and if by some chance, he should come home early, we’ll just be pleasant and say we felt bad about him having to do the chores so we came by to give him a hand.”

“Good idea.  We all ready talked about dropping by over there to do the chores before he got home.  Frank can tell him we just dropped by to do them as a neighborly gesture.  Maybe he’ll think I’m afraid of him and try’n to suck up to him.  Fine with me, whatever floats his boat.”  

I laughed at my dad.

“Have I told ju’ lately, I love you, old man?”

“Yeah, but I don’t never git tired of hear’n it from my boy.”

“Well,— I guess I don’t tell you nearly enough,--- but I do. I’m proud you’re my old man, Dad.”

There was a pregnant silence on the other end of the phone.

“Love you, too, Son.  See ya’ll this afternoon.”

“‘Bye, Dad.”

I clicked off my cell phone with a lump in my throat.  I walked to my locker to get my books for my next class.  Peacock’s locker was about eight down from mine.  I saw him rummaging through his locker as I worked the combination on mine.  He saw me and stopped to look at me like he was about to say something, but stopped as my eyes caught his. He quickly turned his attention back to his locker.

“Hey, Gary,— how ya’ doing today?”  I said trying to sound well met but not overly friendly.

He looked up at me stunned, like I caught him completely off guard.  I could tell he thought, because of our exchange last week, I would be angry at him and wouldn’t bother to give him the time of day.  A look of frustration and pleasant surprise came across his face.

“Uh,— I’m okay, Casey.  You all right?”  He responded.

“I’m fine, buddy. You have a good afternoon.”  I tossed off and turned to walk away.

“Yeah,— thanks,— you, too, Case.”  He said, like he couldn’t believe I even spoke to him.

* * * * * * *

That afternoon there were more than a few of our fellow students noticed me and Dwayne climb into Mr. Wiggins huge, black, Humvee, with our little brother.  We started out for our ranch.  Dwayne and I couldn’t get over the interior of Mr. Wiggins’ truck. It was done in the finest leather and not imitation either.  The seats sort of wrapped themselves around you in a warm fuzzy hug. It smelled like the inside of a new cowboy boot and immediately made Dwayne and my dicks get hard.  We looked at Sidney sitting between us and laughed.  He was as hard as we were.  Sidney showed us the backseat DVD screen for watching movies on a long trip.  It had a stereo system that made mine at home pale by comparison.  It was unbelievable, but somehow, it seemed to fit the big cowboy perfectly.  It was as if this truck was made for this cowboy. It shouted strong, handsome, ruggedly individualistic modern Western man.

It reminded the three of us of a funny sequence on the ‘Simpsons’ TV show poking fun at Humvees and large SUVs in general.  Homer bought Marge a new all terrain vehicle called a ‘Canyonnairro.’  Dwayne, Sidney and I were great Simpsons fans and immediately named Mr. Wiggins new truck, the ‘Canyonnairro.’  The three of us would sing the ‘Canyonnairro’ song complete with the, ‘yee-haws,’ the whip crack, and the ‘duddle-lee-ump-tee-umps.’ Mr. Wiggins never watched television so he didn’t have a clue, but he wondered why we giggled every time we called it that?  We were so bad.  Being teenagers, it was also wickedly funny to us.  It was stupid little things like that bonded the three of us together all the more.

Mr. Wiggins pulled up to the front of our house and we immediately transferred Sidney’s bag and box of stuff to the back of dad’s Bronco.  Dad all ready had my stuff in the back.  I was pleasantly surprised to find dad also loaded our tool box and some other tools he thought might come in handy.  As it turned out, a couple did come in quite handy.  Mr. Wiggins lost no time getting to our place.  He didn’t spare the considerable horses under the hood of the Humvee and dad didn’t either getting to the Dunbar ranch.  Time was at a premium for us to get everything done.

We got there and Frank and Curley came out to greet us.  It was a quick ‘hello’ and my dad was barking orders like the competent leader he was.  He sent Dwayne to do his chores and Sidney and I to the barn.  While Sidney figured out where he wanted the cameras and was camouflaging them, I ran the power cords as close to them as I could to reach the twelve volt DC converters for the cameras.  I made sure all the cords were out of the way, wouldn’t be stepped on or tripped over, and covered with hay or dirt.  I was amazed, I thought for sure it would take us an hour or more, but working together Sidney and I were almost through by the time Dwayne completed his chores.  All we had left to do was test the system.  The men stayed talking to each other standing around dad’s bronco and Dwayne, Sidney and I went to Frank and Curley’s bunkhouse.  

I was impressed with the bunkhouse. I thought it would be a bit more rugged, but it was basically a big four bedroom house. It was designed for four men to live in to work the ranch.  It was two stories, and the bedrooms were all upstairs.  There never had been four men work the ranch since Rance and Sadie owned it.  Frank and Curley each had a bedroom, but that was mainly for show.  They slept together every night in Frank’s bed.  There was a huge, full bath with shower upstairs and a half bath downstairs. The living room or common room, a kitchen and dinning room were all downstairs.  There was also a screened back porch with a washer and dryer.  It was down right homey.

We sat at their dinning room table, and Sidney turned on his lap top.  Within seconds he sent a signal to the cameras to turn on and the feedback from each came up on Sidney’s lap top as three separate images.  He tested the zoom in and out function on each and they worked fine.  He sent Dwayne to the barn to stand in the place Dwayne indicated the Colonel usually tied him up and worked him over.  Sidney told him to talk in a normal tone of voice while he was there.

Dwayne did as instructed and I was wowed when I could hear and see everything with perfect clarity; however, when Sidney zoomed in on Dwayne’s crotch, we could see he was erect.  You could see perfectly the outline and head of Dwayne’s hard penis.  It was too funny for Sidney and I.  It only impressed me more of the capabilities of the system and Sidney’s genius.  Sidney was satisfied and shut everything down.  We didn’t want to waste any more time. We wanted to get out of there.   

“Done?”  asked my dad.

“Yes, Sir, Mr. Longhorn, mission accomplished, Sir.” Sidney replied.

“Gentlemen,— let’s get out of here.  Frank,— Curley,— appreciate talking with you, and you know what to tell the Colonel.”

“Count on us!”  Frank spoke in a concerned voice like he wanted to do more than that, but he knew what the boys were doing would bring Brad Dunbar to his knees. That thought alone, plus his partner's love and encouragement,  sustained his anger at a controllable level.

We were off down the drive waving goodbye to Frank and Curley.  Dad took the back way home. It was a little longer, but Mr. Wiggins agreed it would be a good idea.  Mr. Wiggins was up front with my dad and we were in the back seat.  Sidney was in between Dwayne and I.  He opened his lap top and flipped a switch.  Suddenly, Dwayne appeared on three separate screens and we could hear him talking clearly.  Dwayne couldn’t believe what he was seeing an how perfect the picture was.

“Ho-lee shit!” exclaimed Dwayne.  “Little brother, you're a genius. There’s no doubt in my mind.  If we get shots like that of Colonel Jarhead doing his number on me, his ass is ours!”

Sidney had to show dad and Mr. Wiggins after we got home. They were as blown away as Dwayne and I.  My dad and Mr. Wiggins couldn’t stop chuckling to themselves. We were all a bit giddy we’d pulled it off in a minimal amount of time.  Mr. Wiggins looked at Sidney and opened his arms.

“Com’mer, Son!”  He barked at Sidney.  Sidney grinned real big and went to the big cowboy’s arms.  Mr. Wiggins held him and kissed him a good one right on the mouth.  It surprised Dwayne and I.  Naturally, we both pissed in our pants again.  This was getting ridiculous.  We had to wash our Wranglers every day. Mr. Wiggins let him go, and my dad spoke up.

“Com’mer, boy,— y’ain’t through yet!”  He barked equally demandingly to Sidney.  He enfolded Sidney in his arms and planted one on Sidney that made him go weak in the knees.  My dad held him tight and wouldn’t let him go.  Sidney just gave in and enjoyed my old man’s affection.  They broke it off, but dad was still holding him tight.

“Damn, Mr. Longhorn,— I’m so sorry, Sir.” We heard Sidney apologize to my dad.
“Son,— if yore’ ole dick didn’t get hard then you’d have something to apologize to me for.”  My old man and Mr. Wiggins roared with laughter.  Sidney was not to be outdone.

“Mr. Longhorn,— Sir,— ya' gotta’ stop doing that. I’m gonna’ get Casey and Dwayne to teach me to toss a rope.  When you ain’t look’n, I’m a’ gonna’ rope and hog tie your ass and commit crimes against nature on your person worse than Colonel Jarhead ever thought about doing to Dwayne.”  My dad roared with laugher at Sidney’s unbridled candor.  Sidney was learning to bullshit with the best of us. He was coming along just fine.

“Son,— it ‘ud be down right hard to rape a willing victim.”  My old man replied in a senatorial voice.  “Howsomever,— ” he continued, “when you think yore’ man enough to take on this old cowboy you don’t have ta’ go to all that trouble.  All ya’ gotta’ do is have your old man gimme’ a call and tell me it’s okay with him.”

Mr. Wiggins slapped his leg, stomped his big boot on the floor, and started laughing uncontrollably.

“Oh, fuck, Vince!”  Mr. Wiggins was laughing so hard he could barely speak, “You don’t know what the Hell yore’ say’n, pilgrim!  His daddy all ready done give him permission last night!  You’re in deep do-do, cowboy!”
I don’t think I ever laughed so hard in my life.  My old man had an expression on his face like he’d been had,— but good! Dad always had some outrageous come back, but not this time. It was one of the very few times I ever saw my old man speechless.  His mouth dropped open, but nothing would come out.  His ass was nailed to the barn door!  Sidney pointed his finger at him and laughed the hardest. We all broke up laughing at the two of them. It was a nervous, relieved laughter that we needed to get over the adrenalin rush from the launching of what Dwayne, Sidney and I started wickedly referring to as, ‘Operation Sideshow Bob.’

Dad just shook his head in acceptance, grabbed Sidney, hugged and kissed him again. Then I saw his eyes light up and a wicked grin crossed his face. God help me, I knew what was coming next.

“On second thought, boy,— you better start taking them roping lessons from Case and Dwayne.”  Dad could barely get it out from laughing so much.  Sidney roared with laugher.  We all laughed, but you could tell; you could just see the gears spinning in our little bubba’s head, he knew the door was open, he really loved my dad, and one day, he would crawl up into Vince Longhorn’s big cowboy arms, with my blessing, and drink deeply of my old man’s love.

* * * * * * *

We said our goodbyes to our little brother and Mr. Wiggins. They had to get home to fix dinner for them and Mr. Wainright.  It was their night to cook. Dwayne and I helped dad get our dinner ready.  We cleaned up the kitchen afterward and got out our books to do our homework around the kitchen table. The phone rang and dad walked to the hallway to answer.

“Longhorn ranch.”  Dad answered.

“Mr. Longhorn, this is Frank Mayhew.”

“Call me Vince, Frank.”

“Thanks, Sir.  Well, we done told Mr. Dunbar you brought the boys by to do the chores.  He didn’t say nothing.  He just sort a’ snorted like he was surprised.  He asked how long you were here, and I told him the truth.  I told him you were here only long enough for Casey and Dwayne to do the chores and then you left. I told him we talked with you the whole time. He asked if you were bringing the boys by tomorrow afternoon, and I told him I thought you were planning on it.  He seemed satisfied with that.  He didn’t ask any more questions.”

“Thanks, Frank.  I hope he thinks I’m trying to make up to him.  If he does, that’s fine.  Just so’s we can cover for the boys is all I’m interested in. I want this plan of the boys to work.”

“So do I, Vince.  Know’n them boys like I do, I have a pretty good feeling they’s gonna’ pull it off without a hitch. I hope they lock that son of a bitch up for the rest of his life.”

“Let’s hope so, Frank.  I really appreciate you calling.”

“No problem, Vince. If you need anything give us a call, ya’ hear?   We’re always here.”

“Thanks, Frank, I will. Goodnight.”

“Goodnight, Vince.”

* * * * * * *

The next day was Tuesday.  For some reason it was one of those rare days when school was almost bearable.  The weather took a turn for the warmer, everyone was outside on breaks and many ate outside at lunch.  From the early morning meeting outside on the steps the three of us were in high spirits.  I guess our mood was catching as we had three quarters of the student body gathered around us interested in what we might be up to. Sidney was the center of attention. They all wanted to know about his trainer’s new truck. We each took turns extolling its virtues and making everyone laugh at our comparison to the ‘Canyonnairro.’  The humor wasn’t lost on our age group.

Dwayne and Sidney walked with me to the field house locker room after lunch. I had to do my daily ritual and shave. They came along to keep me company. We were alone and could talk openly about what the possibilities for the weekend were.  We were talking in generalities, so if by chance, we were overheard, no one would know what we were talking about.  Operation Sideshow Bob became, OSB.

I was just about finished shaving when the door opened and Gary Peacock walked into the locker room.  He never came into the field house. While Gary was a good sized man, he sort of looked down on sports as something for chumps. We were all surprised to see him and looked from one to the other.  My brothers were looking at me to take the lead. They didn’t know how to react. I could tell Dwayne and Sidney were going to let me handle it. I simply nodded to Peacock.

“Hey, guys— !” Peacock started, kinda unsure of himself, “thought I’d find you three here.  Saw you walking this way.  Look, guys,— I’m sorry for what I said the other day, and I promise I won’t cause any of you any more grief.  You were right, Longhorn,— I shouldn’t have said anything about chur’ dad. It was a cheap shot.  I guess it comes from jealously. Truth is, I’d give anything to have a relationship with my dad like you have with yours.”   he paused for a second, but I didn’t react.  I was waiting to see if there was more. “Anyway,— that’s all I had to say.  I’ll leave ya’ll be.  By the way,— thanks for speaking to me yesterday, Longhorn.”  He turned and walked out of the field house before I had a chance to say anything.

Dwayne and Sidney looked at me.  Dwayne put his hand on my back and Sidney on my arm.

“Our little brother and I was wrong, Case.”  Dwayne said quietly.

“So wrong, Case.  We’re sorry.” Sidney agreed.

“Hey,— what’s to be sorry about, guys?  How the Hell was I to know jes’ being pleasant and saying ‘hello’ to the man would prompt this?  I was jest’ as shocked as you were.”

Later that day I, at our lockers, I offered my hand to Peacock.  We shook  hands and I handed him a note.  I didn’t say anything.  He didn’t say anything. We didn’t have to.  He knew why I offered my hand.  He just nodded, took my note, stuck it in his pocket and walked off to study hall.  The note read, “Thanks! No hard feelings either way. My shots about your dad weren’t exactly kind, brother. Let’s forgive and forget.  Life’s too damn short to carry around heavy burdens of hate. Your brother, Casey.”

Sidney had study hall the same period as Gary. He told us later he watched him read my note, lay his head on his desk and started sobbing.  Mrs. Perkins walked back to his desk to ask if he was all right.  He assured her he was fine and pulled himself together.  We never had another problem with Gary Peacock.  

* * * * * * *
Dad picked the three of us up after school.  Mr. Wainright called dad and said he gave Sidney permission to go with us.  He wanted to check out the system one more time. Dad asked if Sidney could come back, have dinner with us, and then, we’d bring him home afterwards.

“That’ll be fine, Vince.  I’m sure he’ll enjoy that.  Oh, yes, and by the way, I liked to have laughed my ass off when Sticker came home the other night and told me about you putting your boot in your mouth.”   Dad heard Sidney roar with laughter on the other end.

“He got me good, Sid.  Can’t gainsay that.”  Dad laughed.

“Sticker was right. Logan hinted around about his feelings for you Sunday night, when I went in to tell him he could help his brothers.  I told him he certainly had my permission. I have no problem if you two choose to share a little love.  Told ole Sticker I was much more worried about our boy raping you.” Sidney laughed so did my dad.   

“I can’t help but love your kid, Sid;  however, physical love with him ain't a big priority with me right now;  later on,--- if it should happen, I promise it will happen in a natural way.”

“I know that, Vince.  Jes’ like you told me you’d trust me with your boy, I trust you completely with mine.”

Sidney was thrilled when dad told him he was having dinner with us.  We went out to the Dunbar ranch and was once again met by Frank and Curley.  Sidney went to the bunkhouse and retested the system while Dwayne and I did his chores.  With the two of us doing them, we got them done quicker, and Sidney was waiting for us with dad and his uncles when we returned.  We said our goodbyes to Frank and Curley.  They told us they understood from the Colonel, Mrs. Dunbar was coming home the next day.  Dad told them to tell Sadie he’d bring Dwayne home from school tomorrow so she wouldn’t have to go pick him up.  I hadn’t been around Frank and Curley very much, but I was really beginning to like them.  The were much like my dad, two simple men of the Earth who knew how to work and how to love.

We drove home and took the regular route. We didn’t run into the Colonel coming home.  We got to our place and dad left us alone to do our homework. Sidney gathered around the kitchen table with us to do his.  He was finished way sooner than Dwayne and I, and he helped explain some things about Algebra to me I had little understanding about.  He could explain it in a way that made sense to me.  I could do the problems by simply following the rules the teacher gave us, but it was like a puzzle for me to figure out.  I was smart enough to do the problems;  however, I had no Earthly idea what it was all about or what good it was for.

‘X’ and ‘Y’ as unknown quantities were exactly that to me,--- unknown.  Even after I solved a problem using the rules,  they were still unknown quantities to me.  Sidney helped me see a larger picture of balance in all things.  One side of an equation had to balance the other. He showed me a nifty little triangle to help understand the way algebra worked in Ohm’s law.  For the first time, I could see a practical application of how it might,— just might,— be useful. Sidney made a metaphor that maybe it was like that with everything in the universe. There must be a balance in all things.  Dwayne and I was certain,  Sidney would one day prove Einstein was wrong.

Dad came into the kitchen just as we were finishing up and asked if he could start dinner.  It was my turn to cook, but he said he’d picked up a new Lasagne hamburger helper he wanted to try.  Dwayne fixed a salad, Sidney and I fixed the vegetables.  Dwayne and I were used to dad’s open, equal opportunity kitchen, but Sidney never got much chance to get his hands into food preparation at home.  He genuinely enjoyed the comradery of us all working to bring something together to share.  About halfway though dinner Dwayne winked at me and spoke to our little brother.

“Hey, little brother!  After dinner,— wanna’ go upstairs with your brothers and play hide the big green snake?”  We grinned at Sidney. I thought my old man was going to fall off his chair laughing.  Sidney blushed and looked to my dad for help.

“Don’t look at me!”  Dad laughed, “You’re big enough to make your own decisions.”  He told Sidney.  Sidney grinned but continued to blush.

“Shore’ would beat watch’n Simpsons re-runs.”  He allowed.

“Good!  We was a’ hope’n you might.”  Dwayne told him.

After we got the kitchen cleaned up, Dwayne and I took him upstairs.  We spent a couple of hours relaxing and enjoying each other.  Dwayne and I both got Sidney off and he got Dwayne off as my brother got me off.  We lay there,  our arms around each other with Sidney in the middle.  Somehow, our love making between the three of us was never forced.  It seemed like we just did what was natural for us. We gave and shared equally.  No one was left out or got more than the other.  Sidney lay there for the longest time in our embrace not wanting to move to break the spell of our bonding.  Dwayne and I had to admit later, it was a powerful moment for us as well.

“Dwayne?” Sidney asked innocently. “What’s anal sex like?”  

“Yeah, brother,— I wanna’ know, too.  I ain't never asked you because I didn’t know if you might not wanna’ talk about it.” I added.

“I don’t mind. I’ve told you and Sidney how addicted I’ve become to the Colonel’s forcing oral and anal sex on me.  I can understand why both your dads don’t want you doing it until your eighteen.  If we put a stop to the Colonel raping me, I don’t think I’ll do it again until I’m eighteen.  Mostly because you guys won’t be able to, and I don’t think I really need to.  I think it should be something you do only when your old enough to understand it has a more powerful psychological impact on a person than what we been doing.  Now that don’t mean I don’t think what we do ain’t great.  It’s just different somehow.  As to how it feels,— it’s hard to describe.  It hurts at first, but after someone’s loosens you up and then starts fucking you good, it’s the best damn feeling in the world.  I keep wondering, if’n it feels so good with a man I hate to be doing it with, what’s it gonna’ feel like with someone I love and care about.  I can only jack-off and dream about having either one of you up my butt.”  Sidney and I giggled and tickled our brother.  

 “Who’s gonna’ be your first, Case.”  Sidney asked.  I grinned real big at him.

“For a genius, that weren’t the smartest damn question in the world, little brother.” Dwayne howled in laugher at Sidney.

“Oh,— ” blushed Sidney.  “It was pretty damn stupid, wud'n it, big brother? Of course,— how dumb can I be?  With a dad like yours, Case,— I can fully understand!  Don’t blame you a bit!”  He laughed with Dwayne.

“Who you want for your first time, little brother?”  I asked him.

“I know who the Hell I’d want if’n I live in his household.”  Dwayne laughed, and I joined him.

“You know,— maybe I’m dumber than you guys think. I just never considered it; especially, now that Mr. Wiggins and my dad have bonded. I don’t know if it would be proper for me to even think about it.  I can’t say I haven’t thought about it in the past, though. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve jacked off dreaming about that big cowboy fuck’n me.  I’m sure it would be a fuck to remember the rest of my life.”

“Amen to that, little brother.”  I laughed and Dwayne agreed.

“Do you think you guys will get married?”  Sidney asked.  I knew what he meant, but I winked at Dwayne.

“I don’t knew if we can.  Maybe we could in New Hampshire, but Dwayne ain't even asked me yet.”  I laughed.  Sidney poked me in the stomach. He knew I was joking with him.

“You know what I mean.”  He grinned.

“I ain’t ruling it out, little brother.  Look at chur' dad.  He had you and loved your mother.  Now, he’s decided to love a man who has loved him for years.  It only seems right somehow.  We all feel like it’s the right thing for them to do.  Look at Dwayne’s dad.  He loved your uncle for years, yet he fell in love with Dwayne’s mom.  He never fully gave up your uncle.  Look at my dad.  He and his brother shared love.  They shared love with another big man in their town, named Bubba Swansey. Dad fell in love with my mom, married her but never went with another man after Vietnam until he started sharing some love with me after she died.  Once in a great while, dad and Spencer Winchester share a bed for an afternoon.  Spencer Winchester’s one of the most happily married men I’ve ever known.”

“I feel like my brother, here.” picked up Dwayne. “I’ve had sexual fantasies about both sexes before my step-dad started raping me. After that, they became pretty much one way on the male side; however, that may change after Operation Sideshow Bob. I know Casey’s dad would rather know we three were playing around, experimenting with sex among ourselves rather than out getting girls knocked up.  Bet chore’ dad feels the same way, little brother.”

“Yeah, he’s mentioned as much.  I don’t know about myself. I just been so starved for physical affection from anyone I haven’t stopped to even consider the other side of the coin.  I ain’t gonna’ say it couldn’t happen.  I don’t know.  However, for now, I’m comfortable being with my brothers.”

Dwayne and I agreed with him. We got cleaned up, and dad drove us over to the Wainright mansion to take Sidney home.  We said our goodbyes before we left our place and Sidney just jumped out of the Bronco, waved and went into his home. On the way back we were quite.  Dwayne and I were coming down to the wire realizing he would have to go home to his place tomorrow.  We were a bit saddened.  Dad knew it and didn’t try to pull us out of it. He left us alone with our thoughts.  We held hands all the way home.

* * * * * * *

Dad picked us up at school the next afternoon and we started driving to Dwayne’s place.

“Yore’ momma called, Son.” he addressed Dwayne. “Said she got home around noon today.  I told her not to worry about picking you up, I’d take you home.  When we git there, you and Casey run do your chores so’s I can talk to yore’ mom.”

“Yes, Sir, Mr. Longhorn, and Mr. Longhorn,— ?”

“Yes, Son?”

“Thanks for everything, Sir.  Even with all the shit what went down, I can’t remember when I had me no better time since my daddy left.  I love you and my brother, Mr. Longhorn, and my little brother, too.”

I could see my old man was getting choked up.  He didn’t answer right away.

“Dwayne,--- if’n the choice was mine, Son, I wouldn’t be taking you back this afternoon.  Don’t chu’ never think for a minute I don’t love you as much as your two brothers.”

I thought Dwayne was going to lose it for a minute, but he didn’t.  He looked at me, grabbed my hand and held it all the way to his place.  We pulled up and Sadie Dunbar was there to welcome us.  She looked old and tired; like someone had hit her head-on with a diesel truck and then rolled back over her to make sure they did it right.  She managed a warm smile for us, though.  She gave both Dwayne and I a big hug and a kiss.  She even had a hug for my dad as she thanked him for taking care of Dwayne.

“You men run do Dwayne’s chores.”  Dad told us.  Dwayne and I turned and left.

“Can’t thank you enough, Vince.  Hated like Hell to impose on you like I did.”

“Sadie, you know better’n that.  Weren’t no imposition.  I think of Dwayne as Casey’s brother.  Them boys adopted themselves another little brother this weekend; the Wainright boy.  He spent a couple of days with ‘em helping ‘em build their bird pen. That kid is bright, Sadie.  That pen turned out to look like a work of art.”  Dad laughed trying to make things lighter.

“Well, that’s good!  Dwayne needs friends his own age.  I think he’s afraid to invite any of his friends over here but Casey.  Casey’s a good boy.  He just sort of overlooks Brad, but he’s polite to him.  Brad talks to Casey more’n he does Dwayne.  I’m gonna’ sit him down tonight and try'n work this out.  Then I’ll talk to Dwayne.  I can’t talk to them together, ‘cause all Brad wants to do is pace back and forth and yell at him. He tries to yell at me until I just tell him to shut up, I ain’t gonna’ listen to it no more.”

“How’s your sister, Sadie?”

“Ah,— she’s still hanging on, Vince.  I don’t know how.  She’s down to skin and bones.”

“You gonna’ have to go back?”

“Yeah, as soon as I git this worked out between Dwayne and Brad.  If I reach an understanding with Brad, I just may try leaving Dwayne with him this weekend.  While I’m gone, could I count on you bringing Dwayne home from school.  Brad can take him by in the mornings on his way to the base.  Only thing is,  Dwayne gets there at six and has to sit there until classes start.”

“That’s not necessary. I’ll run by and pick him up.  It’s right on the way, Sadie.”

“I’d shore’ appreciate that, Vince.  It ‘ud be a little easier on him.”

“No problem.”

Dwayne and I walked back to where dad and Mrs. Dunbar were talking.

“All done, Son?” Dad asked Dwayne.

“Yes, Sir.  We done everything.  Double checked it twice.”  He replied.

“Good!  You ready to take off, honcho?”

“Yeah, Dad.”

I turned to my brother, gave him a big hug and a kiss on his cheek.

“Love you, brother.”  I spoke softly.

“Love you, too, Case.”  He replied.

He went to my dad’s arms, hugged and kissed him goodbye.  Dwayne didn’t say anything. He all ready told my dad how he felt in the truck.

“Love you, boy.”  Dad told him.

“Love you, too, Mr. Longhorn.”

We turned, got into the Bronco and were off down the road.  I think dad and I both felt like we left a big piece of our hearts behind.
* * * * * * *

Dwayne followed his mother into the house, and took his small bag of clothes and personal toiletry items to his room.  He quietly closed his door and took his books out to start his homework.  He sat at his desk and opened his Algebra book to start working on the assignment due tomorrow.  There came a knock on his door.

“Come in.”  He said softly.

His mother came into the room and sat on his bed.

“Son, I wanna' talk with you before your step-dad gets home.”

“What about mom?”

“Dwayne, you’ve been pulling away from me more and more in the last several months.  Well,— for the last six months to be more exact.  You don’t talk to me anymore.  You just come in here to your room, and you’re quiet like you don’t want anyone to know you’re here.  You don’t even come in to watch television with Brad and I anymore.  You haven’t for several months.”

“I have a lot of homework, Mom.  They’ve really been piling it on us; like tonight, I have six pages of Algebra problems to do. I’ve got two chapters of history to read and several other classes I have homework assignments for.”

“Dwayne, I’m your mother.  I know when something ain’t right with my boy. You don’t watch television even on weekends when you don’t have schoolwork.  Is Brad really getting to you so bad you don’t wanna’ be around him anymore?  I know he can be a pain in the butt sometimes, but I think he means well by you.”

Dwayne didn’t say anything.  He just sat there staring off into space.  He wouldn’t look at his mother.


“Oh,— I’m sorry, Mom.  I was jes’ thinking about something else.  I got a lot on my mind right now with school and all.  No,— the Colonel’s okay.  He just yells a lot.  I really don’t do things to piss him off, Mom,— honest,— at least not consciously.  I try to do everything like he wants.  I just think he wants everything done exactly the way he would do it, and that ain’t possible for me.  I ain’t him, Ma, and I ain’t never gonna’ be him.  Truth is, I don’t wanna’ be like him, Ma; therefore, I ain’t never gonna’ be able to please him.  I’ve just come to accept it; so, I just stay in here out of your and his way.  I only have two more years to go, and I’ll be out of your and the Colonel’s way for good.”

“Oh, God, Dwayne!  Is that what you think?  You’re in my way?  You think you’re in our way?”

“Pretty much.  Look, Mom, I really don’t wanna’ talk about it no more.  Talk to the Colonel when he gets home, and I’ll accept any punishment he feels I should have.  Don’t worry yourself none, Mom.  I’m use to it by now.  I appreciate the break I had over the holidays by staying with Mr. Longhorn and my brother, but I’m home now.  You got too much to worry about taking care of Aunt Janeen.  I don’t want chu’ worring ‘bout me none.”

“Well, I do worry about you, Dwayne.  What kind of mother would I be if I didn’t worry about you?  You’re not in our way, Son.  If Brad’s got you thinking that way, I’m gonna’ have a serious talk with him.”

“No, Mom,— please don’t say anything, or I won’t tell you anything else. Just let it be, Mom.  I’ll get through it.”

“Get though what, Dwayne?  Talk to me, Dwayne!  What are you talking about?”

“Nothing, Mom.  I just used the wrong word is all.  Mom, I really have to get back to work if I’m gonna’ finish my homework tonight.  Besides, no matter how many times Casey and I double check our work down to the barn, he’s gonna’ find something wrong with it. I have to go down there and correct it.  Even then, it ain't never good enough for him.  I have to stand there and listen to him for thirty minutes to an hour tell me what an irresponsible, bad boy I am, but I’m used to it, Mom.  I’m polite to him, I don’t never argue with him.  I just tell him I’ll try to do better next time, and I do try; cept’n, it won’t never be good enough for him. Its gotten to be a routine.  Mostly, I just tune him out, but he’s gonna’ cut into my study time tonight; so, I really need to get this done, Mom.”

Dwayne turned back to his books and ignored his mother.  Sadie Dunbar was almost in tears.  She knew her boy too well.  She knew, in some ways, he was just like his dad.  He just slammed the door in her face.  She wouldn’t get another word out of him. She could take a cold chisel and a hammer to him, but she wouldn’t get a thing out of him.  When Dwayne shut down, that was it.  As a mother she knew something was deeply troubling her boy, but he wouldn’t talk to her.

It was almost like he was afraid of something.  Was it her husband?  Had Brad threatened Dwayne?  Was all of Brad’s constant barrage of ranting and raving having a really bad effect on her boy? Dwayne seemed resigned to his hopeless situation.  The boy shouldn’t have to be living like that.  She didn’t know what to do.  She knew Dwayne was bitterly opposed to her divorcing her husband Rance.  God, how she loved Rance.  He was everything she ever wanted in a husband and more.  She still loved him in her heart.  Why did he have to throw it all away by letting Frank suck his penis?  It wasn’t the sex act that was the problem for her, it was his unfaithfulness, even if it was with another man; however, Lord knows, she would never consider something as vile as sucking her husband’s penis.  The mere thought of putting into her mouth a part of her husband’s body he urinated from made her more than a bit queasy.  It was down right disgusting to her.

Dwayne told her he would never forgive her if she didn’t find it in her heart to forgive his dad and let things be. He just couldn’t understand she was trying to protect him from his dad’s perversion.  Lord knows, if Rance let Frank do that to him, maybe he’d expect Dwayne to do it, too.  She quickly erased that thought from her mind as too awful to think about.  At least she knew she was safe with Brad in that department.  He was all man!  Weren’t nothing queer about Brad!  He was a gung-ho Marine who would bristle every time an obviously gay man came on television.  He would make fun of them and call them derogatory names.  Her husband hated gays.   

Was this Dwayne’s way of getting back at her for divorcing his dad? Was Dwayne punishing her for marrying Brad?  He begged her not to marry the Colonel.  He told her he would never accept him as his dad.  He never liked Brad from the first.  He told her he thought Brad was a phony and a liar.  She knew Dwayne still worshiped his dad.  She just couldn’t understand why.  She explained to him over and over how his dad was a homosexual and that’s why she had to divorce him.  He liked to have sex with other men.  She was afraid he might try to have sex with Dwayne. How could Dwayne tell her he could only hope and pray one day his dad would share love with him?
Sadie made damn sure Dwayne didn’t get to read any of the many letters Rance sent him over the years.  Except, over the last two years, Rance only sent a letter about twice a years.  Nevertheless, she destroyed it before Dwayne got a chance to read it.  She wasn't doing it to be mean.  She was doing it to protect her boy.  She didn’t want him being perverted by his dad’s love.  She made it clear she didn’t want Dwayne to love Rance at all.  What’s that going to do to a child?  Exactly the opposite.  Why do kids put beans in their ears?  Because you told them not to.  Dwayne certainly knew he could never tell her about the several times he saved up his money, took a bus to a nearby town to see his dad ride in a rodeo and got to spend a little time with him. Those few, brief moments with his dad, Dwayne treasured.  He could tell how much his dad loved him and wanted to tell him things, but he wouldn’t.  He was too much of a cowboy to say anything against his mother.  That only made Dwayne love his dad more.

If Dwayne still feels bad about her marrying Brad, then he probably does feel like he’s in their way, but that wasn’t her fault.  According to Brad, Dwayne fought him from the very beginning.  He wouldn’t even try to cooperate with his step-dad. Yet, every time Brad barked at him, Dwayne never argued with him, he jumped right up and ran to try to correct anything Brad complained about.  She was so confused, and she wasn’t looking forward to talking with Brad.  She never knew where he was coming from most of the time.  He had a way of twisting everything to make himself look blameless.  She was beginning to wonder if maybe Brad wasn’t right.  Maybe she couldn’t see the greater picture of Dwayne’s hatred towards his step-dad and in turn maybe he really did hate her.  

* * * * * * *

Brad Dunbar came home in his usual manner of stomping into the house letting everyone know the Colonel had arrived.  He unlocked the door to the front hall closet, took off his uniform jacket, his shoulder holster containing his army regulation service revolver, hung it on a hook, closed the door and locked it back like he’d done hundreds of times before when he came home.  Sadie met him in the hallway.  They greeted each other,  hugged and Sadie gave Brad a quick kiss.

“How’s your sister?”  he asked.

“She’s getting worse all the time, Brad.  I don’t know how she’s held on this long, she’s so thin and weak.  You can almost see through her skin.”

“When ju’ get home?”  He asked her.

“Shortly before noon.”  She answered.  “I’m cooking your favorite for dinner.”

“Great!  I could use a good meal this evening.”  He said flatly.

Sadie knew it was a small jab at her not being home lately to prepare his evening meal, and with Dwayne not around to fix it meant he had to fend for himself.  That was something the Colonel did not like to do.  He had men catering to his every whim at the base.  He felt his home life shouldn’t be lot different.  Sadie instinctively knew that and tried her best to be a good military wife; although, she knew when to draw the line with his over demanding bullshit.

“The boy home?”  He asked her.

“Yeah, Vince and Casey brought him home after school and he and Casey did his chores while I talked to Vince for a while.”

“I guess Longhorn told ju’ a bunch of crap about me, huh?”

“No, Brad, he didn’t say nothing about you.  Vince wouldn’t, I know him too damn well.  He wouldn’t say nothing about nobody less’n it was good.”

Brad snorted at Sadie’s comment about Vince Longhorn,  got himself a beer from the fridge and sat down at the kitchen table.  He popped the top and took a long slow pull from the can.

“You gonna’ go down to the barn to see if the boys did the chores right?”

“Naw, what’s the use?  They never do ‘em like I want ‘em done no how. The last couple of days Longhorn’s brought ‘em by, they done ‘em pretty good.  I always have to go back and do something they forgot.  I guess Longhorn got a guilty conscience, and’s think’n he’ll suck up to me by bringing them to do the chores.”

“I don’t think that, Brad.  I think he just brought them by to be neighborly. Vince ain’t the kind a’ man to suck up to nobody.   Anyway,  Casey knows how you want the chores done.  He’s a responsible kid.  He told me he made sure he and Dwayne did them just the way you told ‘em to.”

“Yeah, Casey’s a pretty responsible boy most of the time.  The trouble is, them two gits to bullshit’n, forgets what they’re doing and don’t do it right.  I’m sick and tired of it, Sadie.  I just ain’t gonna’ try no more.  I’ll just go down there after I finish this beer and take care of it myself.  I get on Dwayne’s case and he rushes down there pretending he’s gonna’ take care of it.  Sometimes, it’s even worse than before.  I still have to do it over anyways.  I just ain’t gonna’ put myself through it no more.  Ain’t never seen nothing like it.  It’s like that damn kid’s trying to test me; like he’s try’n to see just how far he can push me.”

“Maybe if you tried being a little nicer to Dwayne, Brad, he’d come around to your way a’ seeing things.”

“Nice to him?  Hell, Sadie, can’t the damn kid see I’m try’n to make a man out of him?  If’n I didn’t care about him, woman,— I sure as Hell wouldn’t put myself though the frustration of try’n to shape his ass up!  He’s just got it set in his head, he ain’t gonna’ listen to a damn thing I say and that’s it! He’s still got his head stuck so far up his queer daddy’s butt he can’t see the light of day.”  

“Brad, don’t say that sort of crap in my house.  Whether it’s true or not,  what his dad done ain’t none a’ your business.”

“Okay, you win, Sadie!  Dwayne wins, too!  I just ain’t a' gonna’ bother no more.  I still expect him to make an attempt at doing his chores.  He needs to learn some responsibility whether he takes it seriously or not.  I can see, by you getting Longhorn to take care of him for the last week, you think I’m being too tough on him.  It’s a slap in my face, Sadie.  You basically cut my balls off!”

“Don’t say that, Brad!  That’s horrible!  That just ain’t so, and it ain’t fair! I didn’t mean it that way, Brad, and you know it!  I was just worried you two didn’t seem to be git’n along too well and thought it might be best if you spent some time apart; give each other a little rest for a few days.”

“Well, I can promise you one thing, I ain’t gonna’ get on his ass no more about his chores; however, to make up for your slap in my face and him refusing to do what I tell him, I expect you to tell him he has to stay home this weekend.  If you don’t give me say in his comings and goings, Sadie, then make arrangements for Longhorn to take care of him from now on.  I won’t be responsible for him no more.”

“Brad, you don’t mean that.”

“I do mean it, Sadie.  What am I around here?  I bring my damn paycheck  home and sign it over to you every two weeks.  I take just enough for gas and money for a few personal things.  I eat on the base most of the time unless one of my fellow officers takes pity on me and invites me out for lunch.”

“I know, Brad, and I appreciate it. I try to do my best by you.  You know I love you, Brad.”

“Sometimes, that ain’t enough, Sadie.  A man’s gotta’ feel like he’s got some importance in his own home.  I keep getting my legs shot out from under me around here, ever’ damn time I turn around.”

“Okay, Brad, you win.  I’ll tell Dwayne he has to stay home this weekend. I’m gonna’ be leaving here to go back to my sister's Friday around noon.  She needs me, Brad.  She ain’t got no one else to take care of her.  There’s a kindly neighbor lady who takes care of her long enough for me to come home for a couple of days.  It won’t be forever, Brad.  She can’t last too much longer.”

* * * * * * *

It was quite around the Dunbar table for dinner that evening.  Sadie told Dwayne he had to stay home the next weekend and mind his step-dad.  Dwayne agreed without any emotion.  Out of the corner of his eye, he could see the Colonel giving him a sneer.  Dwayne ignored him and kept eating his dessert.  They finished dinner and Dwayne helped his mother clean up the kitchen.  She thanked him, gave him a hug and a kiss and sent him back to his room to finish his homework.  

Dwayne sat down at his desk and started doodling.  He picked up his cell phone and dialed his brother’s cell phone number. Casey answered.

“Hey, bro.” Dwayne said.

“Hey, bubba, what’s up?” Casey responded.

“Give our little bro a call.  Tell him Operation Sideshow Bob is a go for this weekend.”

End Chapter 13 ~ Texas Longhorns
Copyright 2005 ~ Waddie Greywolf
All rights reserved ~
Mail to: waddiebear@yahoo.com