By Waddie Greywolf

Chapter 19

Rance and Dwayne were laying across the huge four poster bed.  The bed was made of a hand rubbed, dark stained walnut and while it was oldest bed in the house, it boasted a fairly new mattress.  The two men decided to retire to their room early.  Rance figured he was going to have to do a lot of talking about things he probably knew nothing about. Sticker told him he didn’t have to know a lot about things, he just needed to listen to his boy, let him know he understood, assure him he loves him and won’t judge him for what he’s been through; and, for his boy’s sake, learn to control his damn temper.

“You’ll scare the crap out a’ that boy, Rance, and he’s a damn good boy.  He needs a dad right now, not some Gotdamn firebrand hot head!” said his old friend Frank. Rance didn’t know much about kids. Sadie effectively cut him off from that.  He could only go on what he knew as a cowboy and the code he lived his life by. He figured he better listen to his friend Frank.

The men got back to the room, and Rance decided to hell with fears or worrying about any protocol.  He was the adult here and had a lot more experience in life than his boy, he was going to take charge.

“Git chore’ clothes off, Son.  I plan to git comfortable.  When I’m by myself or my second is room’n with me, we don’t never wear no clothes.  And, before you ask, ‘no,’ I ain’t bunk’n it in with my second.  It just saves the company money when two men room together. Ever’ man what works for me has to share a room with a buddy or whatever.  Saves a lot of money when we’re on the road.  Curt Atkins has been with me almost from the time Mr. Wiggins hired me.  I hired Curt, and he learned from me.  He can run the company his-self if he has to.  I ain’t worried about my job, because I know my place is tight with Mr. Wiggins.  Anyway, when we’re there, together for evening, we’re both naked most of the time.”

Rance was taking his boots and clothes off while he was talking, and he was now standing nude before his son.  Dwayne stood there not believing what he was looking at.  His dad, a mature cowboy, whom he worshiped more than any person in his life, save his giant, was really standing there before him.  Rance went to his boy, put his arms around him and gently kissed him. Dwayne wasn’t shy anymore and kissed his dad back. Of course, both of them got roaring hard.  Rance broke it off, took Dwayne by his hand and lead him to the big bed.  

“C’mon, boy, let’s git up here and relax.  Grab that big ole comforter at the bottom of the bed, throw it over us, let’s us git ourselves comfortable and git to know one another.  We may spend many nights like this with no TV, just you’n me, git’n to know one another.  We got almost ten years to catch up on, but I promise if things work out where I’m allowed to see you regularly that won’t never happen again.”

Dwayne spread out the comforter and pulled it up over them. Rance motioned for Dwayne to lay in his arms and he did. His dad gently kissed him on the forehead and spoke quietly to him.

“I love you, Son.”

“Oh, God, Dad, if you only knew how much I love you.”

“While I’m hold’n you, why don’t chu’ tell me about what happened or as much as you can.  If you get tired or don’t wanna’ talk about it no more, then don’t.  We ain’t here to do no psychoanalyzing.  We’re try’n to git to know one another.  To do that, I need to know what chu’ been through.  Now,— your old man has been known to have a bit of a temper, but Frank done told me, it’s high time I started learning to control it; so, I’m gonna’ do my best, Son.  I better do my best, that cowboy done threatened me with my life. I know Frank Mayhew and I’m afraid of that old cowboy!” Rance laughed. “If’n you hear my teeth grinding you know your old man’s trying to hold it back.”  Rance laughed, but he was serious.  He knew to help his boy he couldn’t afford to lose his temper.

Dwayne started in and told Rance everything from the start.  How Dunbar raped him the first time, how devastating it was for him, and after Dunbar was through with him, he walked away laughing at Dwayne calling him a queer and a sissy fag. A couple of times Dwayne heard his dad’s teeth grinding together, but Rance managed to hold his temper.

Dwayne went all the way through his story. He told his dad about him and Casey sharing love that first night, how the wonder and goodness of Casey’s love as opposed to his step-dad made him realize what a fool he’d been for not telling someone sooner. If it weren’t for Casey, Mr. Longhorn, Mr. Winchester and his little brother, he didn’t know what he would’ve done. He was just on the edge of giving into the son of a bitch and letting him do as he wanted.  

Rance listened and only asked a few questions when he didn’t understand something. When Dwayne started describing in lurid details the sex acts Dunbar forced on him, Rance had to call a halt to that portion of Dwayne’s story. The most amazing part of what Dwayne was telling Rance he couldn’t quite understand.  He couldn’t understand how Dwayne could come to not only like what Dunbar was doing to him but also began to crave it.  He knew he could talk to Spencer about that, and he would explain it to him.

“Dad, Mr. Longhorn told me today Mr. and Mrs. Winchester wanna’ become foster parents for me. What do you think about that?”

“It certainly would be all right with me.  Have you considered any other possibilities?”

“Yeah, I thought about asking Mr. Longhorn to let me stay here with him and Casey, but he ain’t said nothing.  He ain’t offered, and I don’t think I wanna’ ask ‘em. I git the feeling he wants me to stay with the Winchesters.  I love Mr. and Mrs. Winchester, and I know they’d be good to me, but— ”  Dwayne trailed off.

“You’d rather stay here instead.”

“Yes, Sir, but it might be better if I stay with the Winchesters.  When I bunk it in over here, Casey always feels obligated to bunk it in with me, and I take him away from his dad.  Mr. Longhorn is gracious enough to share his boy with his brothers, but he ain’t slept without Casey by his side in over three years. I can understand he might be a bit attached to his boy.”

“You mean Vince and Casey are,— ?”

“Yes, Sir,--- since Casey’s mom passed away, but it’s oral and jacking each other off,— nothing anal.  Mr. Longhorn don’t want Casey fucking anybody or anybody fuck’n him until he’s eighteen.  I thought it was strange when I first heard about it. I thought sex was sex. What difference did it make, but after I got to thinking about it, it wasn’t the blow jobs I was forced to give Dunbar what made such a big psychological impact on me, it was him fuck’n me what became such a powerful influence.

Look what it did to me at this age. I found myself craving him fuck’n me. If I was a bit older, he might not a’ had that much influence on me.  Ah, Hell,— who’a my kidding, he was doing the same damn thing to Lamar and he’s twenty-two.  All I know is, anal sex seems to fuck with your mind more than oral sex or just jacking off with someone. Mr. Longhorn’s right to not want Casey to do it until he’s eighteen; Mr. Wainright, too, for Sidney.  Lamar’s right, too.  He refuses to have any kind of sex with me until I’m eighteen. After what we went through, I can’t blame him none. I don’t want him to either. I don’t want him get’n into trouble. If we love each other enough, we can wait.  Besides I’m gonna’ be seventeen next month.  It’s only a year to go.”

“Well, we don’t know what Vince’s finances are.  Maybe he can’t afford to ask you to stay here.  I could pay him to take care of you. I’d be more than happy to pay for your keep.  I’ve had to pay Sadie child support all these years anyway.  I’d just as soon give it to Vince instead. In fact, I’d rather give it to Vince.  At least I could be sure it was spent on you.”

“Look, Dad, don’t say nothing to him.  Let me think about staying with Winchesters.  That may not be a bad idea after all, and they said my brothers could visit, you can visit, and Lamar can visit, too.”

“I’ll do what you ask, Son.  In the meantime, how do you feel now about sharing love with another man?”

“I ain’t never shared love with another man. The closest I’ve come is with my brothers, and I love them very much, Dad.  I think I shared love with Lamar, but I don’t think of what we shared as sexual.  It was, and yet, it wasn’t. I don’t know how to tell you, but it was different.”

“I can tell when you’re around your brothers you love them, and that’s good.  I can even feel the love you have for Lamar. I’m convinced you love each other. Do you think Dunbar spoiled you for women, Son?”

“Yes, Sir, pretty much.  That may change now that I’m out from under that monster, but I jes’ don’t know.  I just don’t think about girls very much any more. I used to before he started raping me. About the only men I’d have fantasies about was you and Casey.”

Rance didn’t say anything right away. Dwayne didn’t either. It was a pregnant silence.

“Do you still have fantasies about me, Son?” Rance asked quietly.

“Yes, Sir, all the time.”

“Humm,— well,— I told ju’ I’d always be honest with you and tell you the truth. I won’t lie to you, Dwayne, I’ve had thoughts about it myself, but I put it out of my mind thinking I was the worst kind of pervert to think about bed’n my own boy. I got to think’n when you grow’d up if we got together then that would be different. If you were grown and could make your own decision then I wouldn’t feel so bad about it. I thought if two adults make that decision then it would be all right.

I talked to Vince about it, and he agreed; however, his situation with Francis dying when Casey was only fourteen is a bit different, and I can understand them drawing close to each other for support.  Hell, they ain’t hurt’n nobody. Casey’s a fine boy.  I just never thought I’d git to see you before you were an adult and could make your own decision about seeing me.  Then I thought if you wanted to, and if I wanted to,— what’s to stop us?  

Since that time, I talked with a lot of men who seem to think, because of the circumstances, what Dunbar done to ya’ and all,  that’s exactly what you need right now to get you away from his influence. Even Spencer Winchester, whose opinion I highly value told me the same thing the other men did. When they told me my boy needed his daddy, I jes’ thought they was talk’n about being with you and talk’n things out.  Come to find out, that ain’t what they had in mind at all, Son.”  Rance chuckled.

“Yes, Sir,— I know, Casey and little bit told me what Sheriff Bard told the men after they arrested the Colonel. H’it was his idea to send Mr. Wiggins and Frank to get chu.’”  

“How do you feel about it, Son?”

“I don’t know, Dad, I thought I’d know if it came down to it, but I can’t make a choice. I don’t want it to make you not want to be with me.  I’ll do anything you say, Dad, one way or the other to keep you in my life. I jes’ don’t wanna’ feel like I’m alone in the world no more, and I’ve felt that way ever’ since mom married that son of a bitch. It was sort a’ like she cut me out, she left me to fend for myself while she saw to his needs.  I’m just so confused about it all, but I’m so damn glad you’re here.

When I saw you git out of Mr. Wiggins’ truck this afternoon my heart went to my throat, because I knew if you cared enough to come to me, I wasn’t gonna’ be alone in the world. I jes’ don’t wanna’ lose you, Dad, no matter what you decide. I know I’m only sixteen and should probably wait ‘til I’m eighteen to fuck or get fucked, but with me, Dad, the damn cows are all ready out of the barn, and there ain’t no gettin’ ‘em back in. You jes’ can’t undo six months of being savagely fucked in the butt and being forced to suck somebody’s dick until they come almost daily.”

“Ever’ damn day?” Rance asked his son in disbelief.

“Damn near, Dad. He’d make excuses about checking out the way I did my chores. He’d make up shit I done wrong, and I’d hurry down to the old barn to correct it; at least, that’s what mom thought. There weren’t nothing wrong with the way Casey or I did the damn chores, he just wanted to git me down to the old barn to have me suck him off ever’ evening.

I kept praying mom would come down and find out like she done with you and Frank, but she didn’t. She never once come to check on me. I began to wonder if she didn’t suspect what was going on, but jes’ didn’t wanna’ find out about it; she jes’ didn’t wanna’ know. I thought she turned her back on me. She let it happen, ‘cause it weren’t jes’ once in a while, Dad, it was ever’ Goddamn night for well over six months! You know mom,— don’t chu’ think she’d get curious about something like that happening ever’ damn night and wanna’ know why? It jes’ ain’t like mom not to investigate some’um like that.

He jes’ ranted and raved to her I was irresponsible, and I wudden do’n what he told me to jes’ to spite him. I told her I wudden do’n it wrong.  Casey told her we wudden do’n it wrong. She jes’ took his word over mine ever’ time. I even got to think’n she really knew about it all along, but she was just turning her head the other way so she wouldn’t lose another husband. I thought maybe she was allowing it to happen because she didn’t wanna’ have to admit she’d made a big mistake divorcing you. It went on so long because I kept think’n she’d come to her senses,— but she never did.

I’d have to spend thirty minutes to an hour suck’n him off, and listen to him rant and rave about what an irresponsible, stupid, and worthless little cocksucker I was. I’d barely have enough time for my homework before going to bed. Mom asked me recently why I never came in to watch televison with them no more. Hell, I didn’t have time doing all the chores and taking care of his damn sexual apatite. I wondered if he ever did anything with mom past the first couple of months they were married. The bed in mom’s room squeaks.  When they first were married I heard them squeak’n up a storm several nights a week. I ain’t hear’dit squeak in over a year and a half. ”

“Son, we could go back and forth about this all night. You tell me you can’t make a decision. It sounds like you want me to make the decisions for us, is that right?”

“Ain’t that what a dad’s suppose to do, Sir?”’

“I guess you’re right, Son. I haven’t had to make no decision for nobody but myself since your mom sent me pack’n.  I dreamed of taking care of you, having responsibility for you, and now when I might have the opportunity, I never considered I might have to be making decisions for us. If I’m gonna’ be yore’ daddy, and probably your only parent, at least for a while, I guess I gotta’ start making some decisions for us.  Okay,— if’n my boy needs a good butt fuck’n from his old man to straighten him out,— by God, that’s what he’s gonna’ get.  Do what chu’ need to do to git ready, boy.”

Dwayne excused himself. He told his dad he would return in a few minutes. If he learned nothing else from the Colonel he learned to clean himself before he engaged in anal sex. The Colonel had a fetish about not getting his dick dirty. Dwayne came to think it was not only cleaner for his partner, it was probably a lot safer for himself.  

Dwayne found the clean out bag and hose in the box of stuff to take to the sheriff as evidence. Dwayne thought it was silly to take him the enema bag if the recordings of him and Lamar in the bathroom were gonna’ be discarded as evidence. As far as the sheriff knew he had the only DVD, and it would be kept in his safe. Dwayne asked Sidney to save one for him, keep it in a safe place where it wouldn’t be found, and give it to him on his eighteenth birthday. It didn’t take Dwayne long, and he was satisfied he was clean enough.

He returned to the room to find his dad reading a Western Horseman magazine. He marveled at his dad’s hairy chest and the way the hair below his pectoral muscles seem to grow only in a straight line all the way down to his pubic hair.  Dwayne found it one of the most attractive things about his dad, and there were many.  He got into bed next to Rance and lay there for a few minutes until his dad put the magazine down to give him his attention.

Rance made love to his boy until Dwayne thought he was going to holler ‘calf rope.’ He wanted to feel his cowboy dad, his hero, inside of him with all his being. He dreamed of this moment, never having any idea one night it just might happen.  Rance took his son quicky and surely. He marveled at how easily his boy acclimated to his more than ample cowboy dick. He never took a man this swiftly or easily before. It wasn’t like Dwayne was loose. He was tight and certainly the best feeling Rance’s dick felt in a long while.  It seemed like his boy, for like of a better term,— was broken in; Dwayne’s ass fit Rance’s big cowboy dick like a favorite pair of old, well worn, comfortable boots.

The feeling reminded Rance of a favorite little roan gelding he liked to choose from the remuda when he was punching cattle. The little pony always seemed to take to the saddle easier than most of the other ponies; at least, it did for him. When Rance chose him from the remuda, he could swear the little roan was glad to feel him on his back again.  Rance noticed the pony wouldn’t perform for the other hands the way he would for him. The little rone wasn’t the first choice out of the remuda for most of the other hands.

Rance wouldn’t work him every day. He’d give him a rest for a couple of days and only choose him when Rance was feeling down or a bit blue. Yes, it’s true, even cowboys get the blues. The little pony always seemed to cheer him up and make him snap out of his funk. Sometimes Rance would toss his rope around another pony for the day, only to feel the little roan gently nudge him in the back to let him know he wanted Rance to pick him to work with him that day. The hands weren’t suppose to bring the ponies treats, but Rance couldn’t help spoil his favorite.  He never had to rope him to take the saddle. He seemed to know when Rance needed him, and he would come right to him.

So it was with his boy. Rance felt comfortable and at home in his saddle.  Maybe he was just wishing it so, but he felt more comfortable and more  welcome in his boy’s butt than he had with anyone since he last fucked Dwayne’s momma almost ten years ago.  Rance had very little sex with anyone over those years.  Once in a while, he’d let some young man who had a hanker’n for a real cowboy to suck his dick, but Rance would tell him before he went with him and let him suck him off, he wouldn’t respond in kind. Sex was offered to him many times by different cowboys on the circuit or a barmaid now and then, but he was so bitter from his divorce from Sadie he couldn’t even think of sharing love with anyone, male or female.

Rance thought sex, like his temper, was something that should be done with the greatest emotional, and physical exuberance he could bring to it. At first Rance was afraid of hurting his boy. He just assumed he’d have to be extremely gentle with Dwayne,  and while he was trying to help his boy it was something he’d jes’ have to get through; however, the more he fucked Dwayne the more he could feel his boy began to work his body to maintain a constant presence for his shaft.
Rance found himself slowly responding more and more to his boy’s same exuberance in feeding his hole up to his dad’s engorged penis. Rance could fuck him anyway he pleased and Dwayne stayed right with him for every stroke like a good cutting pony stays with a cow. It really seemed to Rance his boy was begging him for more, to ride him harder. Rance thought his boy was like riding a well trained pony.

Rance was beginning to get into fucking his boy, but still he was hesitant about opening up and taking from his son what he needed. If he shot his load that was fine, if not he could fake it for the sake of his boy’s needs. He would continue to ride him to a point and then fall back. He’d build him up again, then fall back and repeat it again and again.  He was about to drive Dwayne up a fuzzy tree.

Dwayne didn’t think his dad would fuck him nearly as good as he was doing.  So far he thought his dad was doing a damn good job. He expected Rance to hold back for fear of hurting him, but here he was working him up to the point Dwayne needed for him to ride him, but he would back off every time.  Dwayne thought, if he did it one more time, he was going to have a conniption fit. He decided he had to let his dad know what he wanted, what he needed, and Dwayne knew instinctively his dad wanted and needed the same damn thing. He would let him know in a language his dad would understand. Dwayne spoke softly but demandingly.

“You gonna’ ride ‘dis damn bronc, cowboy, or you gonna’ carry it on yore’ back!”

It hit Rance right between the eyes like a sucker punch in a barroom brawl.  He got a big grin on his face, but didn’t need a second invitation from his boy to cowboy up. Like any good pony Rance rode, he decided to open him up, give him the reigns, and let him run free to see what he could do. If his boy was asking for him to open up, to let himself go, to run free, if he needed Rance to ride him harder, he was damn well going to see to it his boy got what he needed.

Rance started fucking Dwayne like he’d done several times to build him up; only this time Rance didn’t back off and let his fucking ride free and hard.  Rance remembered how it felt when his pony could see home and the barn in the distance after a hard day in the saddle, and wanted Rance to let him take the reign to get them there faster.  Dwayne was meeting every hard, stimulating thrust of his dad’s penis deep into his hole, and he was urging his dad to crawl further into him.

Rance opened him up and let him have the reign. When he did, Rance passed into a new state of sexual bliss he’d rarely experienced with anyone. It was as if he became a well oiled machine, plunging its shaft mounted on a huge flywheel into and out his boy’s hole time after relentless time. Then, he heard his boy yell to him quietly.

“‘Atta’ way to ride ‘dat damn pony, cowboy, spur it hard in the flank and take us home!”

Rance didn’t need the metaphor explained to him.  He was riding Dwayne harder than he ever had any man or woman, and the boy was staying right up with him stroke for stroke.

“Son, I can’t hold back no more,— !”

“Git it! Git it! Git it good, cowboy,— take your prize!”  Dwayne urged his dad on.

When Rance felt Dwayne’s penis began to erupt between them and felt his boy’s hole clamp down on his dick it was like he’d passed through a gate into another world.  The feeling was so incredible he felt himself shooting wave after wave of his cowboy come deep into his boy’s butt.  He began to slow down but still felt his boy putting it up for him, begging him for more.  Rance couldn’t give him any more, he was spent. He collapsed into a sexually induced petit mort to kiss his boy deeply and whisper words of love to him. Dwayne held Rance in his arms, tears began to run down his face, but he wasn’t crying.

“Am I hurt’n you, Son?”  Rance asked concerned.

“Oh God, no, Dad,— it’s jes’— that was so damn wonderful. It was incredible. I knew you had it in you, Dad. I was so happy when you finally decided to let go.  That’s what I needed, cowboy, and you done delivered the goods.  Thank you, Dad.  Thank you for giving your boy what he needed.  I love you, Dad.”

“Oh God, Dwayne, you can’t know how much I love you, Son. Thank you for that good ride. Ain’t never rode me no cayuse what could a’ beat that ride, boy.”  Rance chuckled, “I promise you, Dwayne, I ain’t never had no feeling like that with anyone before. I can only hope it wasn’t a once in a lifetime thing, because I need me some more a’ that, boy.”

“Y’ain’t alone, cowboy.  I could use a big ole help’n of that fine cowboy dick of yours from time to time when my dad feels a little frisky. It’s damn near the feeling Lamar and I shared the other night. He told me we exchanged a little bit of each other’s souls, but I didn’t know whether I believed him or not, until now.  That’s what jes’ happened to us, Dad.  We gave each other a small bit of our souls.”

“That man sounds like he’s got his head screwed on right, Son. I like him more ever’ time you tell me something about him.  I agree with the rest of the men who’ve told me about him, he’s been a victim of circumstance, and that jes’ ain’t right. Thank God, we got ourselves a sheriff what’s got his-self some horse sense.”

“I think that good fuck’n  jes’ helped me make up my mind where I wanna’ stay, Dad.”

“Really,— where?”

“With the Winchesters, I really love them, Dad,— they’re good and caring folks. If I had to choose a dad other than you or Mr. Longhorn, it would be Mr. Winchester.  I think I’d be honored and proud to stay with them, Sir.  If I stayed here, I’d be sort of a third wheel with Casey and Mr. Longhorn, and I don’t want that for them or me.  I liked it like it was when I could come over and stay with my brother for a night or two, but then go home to my own room and things.”

“You know, Son, that sounds like a pretty damn good idea to me. I think it’s a mature decision and one we both can live with.  I love them, too, and I know Spence will have no problem with me bunk’n it in with my boy.  Above all men, Spence knows what chu’ been through and what chu’ need.  You sure what we jes’ done is what you need, Son?”

“Yes, Dad,— yes! If you can git home ever’ now and then to give your boy some more of that raging cowboy dick of yours, I’d be mighty pleased, Sir.”

“I don’t think it’s gonna’ be a problem, Son.”    

Dwayne went to the head, wiped his butt and got a clean, warm, damp wash cloth to cleaned his dad.  He gently cleaned his dad, carefully moving his foreskin back to clean underneath.  He could smell his dad’s signature cowboy smell.  It was intoxicating to him, it made him want more, but he restrained himself.  They lay there together, holding each other and stealing a kiss from time to time.  It was like they’d done this for years together, and it was comfortable for them; it was meet and right so to do.

“Were you gonna’ tell me something you wanted me to know, Dad?” asked Dwayne.

“Yeah, I was, and I will.”

“Mr. Wainright told me several things about chu’ and Frank, how you met on the rodeo circuit, and how Frank paid for a lawyer to get you out of prison.”
Rance chuckled, pulled his boy closer and held him tighter.

“Bet there was one thing he didn’t tell you.”

“What’s that, Dad?”

“Frank couldn’t afford no lawyer on one cowboy’s pay. He shared my story with a young inexperienced cowboy he’d taken under his wing to teach him to be a cowboy and learn the cowboy way.  He told him he couldn’t afford a lawyer on jes’ his pay, and the kid asked him if’n he could on two cowboy’s pay. Frank did some quick figuring, and he told the boy he thought he might. The kid didn’t know me more than what Frank told him about me; yet, he offered Frank almost all his pay, except a small amount for personal needs, every month for almost three years to help Frank get me out of prison,— and they did. Guess who that young cowboy was, Son?”

“Mr. Wainright, my little brother’s dad?”

“The very same, Son, and I wouldn’t a’ gotten out if’n he hadn’t told his granddaddy about me. The old man checked with my lawyer, found out ever’ thing Frank told the boy was true, made one phone call, and I walked out of prison that afternoon a free man.”

“Son of a bitch! That’s amazing!”

“Ain’t it? After I got out I had an inheritance held in trust for me from my great aunt. I paid him and Frank with interest ever’ penny they spent on me for the lawyer.  Ole Frank kept accurate records.”  he laughed. “With the rest of the money, I bought me the ranch your mother got in our divorce settlement, plus she bled me dry every month for your child support.  I never minded sending her money to take care of you when I had it; however, at the time, all I could do was go back on the rodeo circuit, but Son, a cowboy don’t win all the time.

It was tough until a little over two years ago. I met a big, fine look’n cowboy at a rodeo who jes’ happened to own the stock company what supplied the critters for the rodeo.  He recently bought it, but couldn’t understand why it weren’t make’n him no money.  I didn’t know it at the time, he didn’t tell me until later, but he heard about me from Frank, Curley, Vince and Mr. Wainright.  He watched me ride, and by shear luck I won that day. He seemed impressed. He asked me if’n I wasn’t git’n a little too old to be riding the rough stock?  I told him I sure shore’ as hell was. I felt it in ever’ damn bone in my body, but I couldn’t get no other job than being a cowboy. I had a prison record, and cowboying was all I knew.

It didn’t seem to matter none to him. He offered me a job as number two man in his rodeo stock company. I had no education or no idea how to run a company.  He put me in as second to the ramrod of the outfit, and he told me to learn quick. Hell, there wudden that much to the damn job. Any cowboy worth his salt could a’ learned it in a week and do what he was doing. He just sat on his fat ass and let me run the company while he stole the money.

After about three months of watching the son of a bitch siphon off most of the profits from the company into his own pocket, I was ready to quit. I went to Mr. Wiggins and told him, I loved the job, but I didn’t like what was going on. I never told him the man was stealing from him, but Mr. Wiggins weren’t no fool. I thanked him for giving me a chance, but I done told him it would be better if’n I left before I killed the son of a bitch.

Mr. Wiggins knew all along what was going on, but he couldn’t catch the son of a bitch at it. Here he was, robbing Mr. Wiggins blind, and Mr. Wiggins thought enough of me to gimme’ a chance. I didn’t wanna’ quit ‘cause I really loved my job. It made me feel rotten. He asked me one question: Did I think I knew enough about the ramrod’s job to take over?

I told him, hell yes, I did! He fired the man that day, and I’ve been the ramrod of his company for a little over two years now. He pays me very well, Son, and I love my job. After he hired me, paying Sadie child support for you weren’t no problem.  I’ve made a lot of money for Mr. Wiggins, but he rewards me handsomely. He ain’t the kind a’ man what forgits an employee who saved his ass and makes him money. I can well afford to see you’re looked after and comfortable. At least I’ll know my money’s going for your care and not some’um else.”

“All this is jes’ amazing, Dad.  I asked Mr. Longhorn if there was anything else I didn’t know about chu,’ and he told me there was a couple, but they was good things.”

“He’s right,— they all be good things. Remember when you was jes’ a little tyke, me pointing out Casey to you in the park one day and telling you to be good him, make him your friend, and he’ll be your brother.”

“Yes, Sir, I remember it,— I done told Casey about it. Sure enough, he made me his brother.  I feel like Casey, and little bit, are my brothers. Any two men who would go to bat for me like them two done, I gotta’ make ‘em my brothers.”

“Damn straight!  You be think’n like a cowboy, Son.”  Rance smiled proudly at Dwayne. “However, there’s a little more to this story. Longhorn ain’t Vince’s original name.  He changed his name to ‘Longhorn.”  He’s never told Casey or many people he changed his name.”

“Casey let me read a letter his brother wrote him while Mr. Longhorn was in Vietnam. There weren’t no name on it, jes’ the town it came from.  It was a sad but wonderful letter about Vince’s dad and how he treated him and his brother, Seth Quee, I think was his name.  I don’t know if Casey knows Longhorn ain’t his dad’s original name. I always jes’ thought it was their name. Gary Peacock said something to Casey trying to be mean, asking him if Longhorn really was Casey’s last name.  Casey never said nothing about it.  He jes’ let it pass.  Maybe he don’t know. ”

“Casey don’t know, but he will tonight. Vince told me it was time to tell  both of you, and he was gonna’ tell Casey before they went to bed.”

“Gees, Dad, look!  I got goose bumps on my arms.  What’s this all about?”

“Before Vince went to Nam, he came out here to California to spend his leave from boot camp with his wife, Francis. While he was here he had his name officially change to Longhorn.  I gave his brother that name when we used to mess around together on my parent’s ranch.  His daddy would let ‘em stay over sometimes, we’d sleep in the barn and play hide the little green snake all night. We done had us some great times together.  Vince and I are very close. We grow’d up together. I don’t’ git to see near as much of him, as I’d like to.

Anyway, his little brother had the biggest damn dick on ‘em you ever did see, and I started calling him ‘little longhorn.’  Well,— Vince and Seth, they thought that was real funny and kinda neat. Vince picked it up and started call’n his little brother ‘little longhorn’ when his dad weren’t around. Vince loved his little brother and spoiled him rotten. If Vince had something and Seth Quee wanted it, Vince would never argue with him, he’d jes’ give it to him. In turn, Seth Quee adored his big cowboy brother. Vince was his hero and his God. I never saw two brothers like them in my life; probably never will again. So when Vince went to change his name, he named his-self after his little brother’s nickname I give ‘em. For a longest while, it’ud bring tears to my eyes ever’ time I thought about it.”

“That’s what everyone in school calls Casey, Dad, because he’s got the biggest damn dick in town.  They call him the ‘longhorn.’  Of course that’s his last name, but they mean it to refer to his dick.  He bigger’n our coaches.  All the kids think it’s great fun to cut out pictures of Texas longhorns and glue them onto Casey’s locker at school.  They’d, also, glue pictures of football players on the University of Texas team.  They was Texas Longhorns, too. He never got upset about it. Casey’s s’damn laid back he jes’ thought it was fun. He saw it as kind of a complement in a way. Whoever stuck one on his locker, he’d find out, and make ‘um sign it. You can’t see the metal on the front of his locker. He loves it and took several pictures of it. He didn’t have to, it’s always in the year book ever’ year.” Dwayne laughed.

“Sounds like he got his granddaddy’s dick. His granddad was like Vince’s brother, he was enormous. I could barely get the head of Seth’s cock in my mouth.”

“Casey’s the same damn way, Dad. Thought I was gonna’ dislocate my damn jaw the first time we were together. Funny thing is, our little brother’s half the size I am, and he has no problem taking Casey at all.  Little bit’s a real piggy. I grunt at him like a pig sometimes, and he jes’ dies laughing.”  They shared a laugh. “Does this have anything to do with you and Casey’s eyes being the same rare color?”

“Damn, you’re sharp, kid!  When I got out of prison, we lived with Vince and Francis for a while until I bought the ranch. Yore’ momma and I were married the first year I was in prison. Sadie thought it might work in my favor, if’n I came up for parole, to show I planned to settle down and raise a family. Vince and Francis came to the prison with Sadie and stood up for us. Vince was my best man and Francis was Sadie’s maid of honor. They allowed us to sleep together the night of our wedding in a trailer they used for wives to visit their husbands so they could get a piece now and then.  You were conceived in a prison, Son.”

“Damn, that’s something not a lot of kids can claim. That makes me special.”

“Glad ju’ feel that way, Son.” Rance laughed. “Yore’ momma and Francis gave birth within about six weeks of each other; however, I didn’t get out of prison for another two years. You were all ready walking by that time. We moved onto the ranch about six months after I got out.

Vince was all ready back from Nam learning to use his new legs courtesy of the VA.  He ask me not to tell anyone about our past ‘cause he didn’t want it getting out Longhorn wasn’t his real name. When Vince came back from Nam he didn’t want anything to do with his dad, and he didn’t want him finding him if he looked for him. He never would talk to me about his dad, but I knew the old man well.  I remember he was pretty rough on them boys and showed them no love whatsoever.  He was cold, demanding, and strict beyond reason with his boys. The only love Seth got was from his big brother, and the only love Vince got was from me’n my mom and dad.

While Vince was home on leave from boot camp, he found out I was in prison and came to visit me in Lompoc. When the prison guards told me to report to the visitor center, I had a visitor by the name of Longhorn, I damn near shit my pants. I jes’ knew it couldn’t be Seth, so I knew it had to be Vince. Boy was I glad to see him. He gave me his phone number and address. Vince was a big help and support while I was in prison.  He wrote me letters from Nam and I wrote him.  He sent me a letter telling me his little brother was killed and it like ta’ ripped my damn heart out.  I was in a funk for months.

Vince and Francis was good to look after you and yore’ momma for me while I was in prison. Sadie’s family kicked’er out when they found out she’d married a man in prison, and got herself pregnant by him.  Vince and his wife took her in and gave you and her a home ‘til I got out a’ prison.  That’s why Vince Longhorn is number one in yore’ momma’s book. She and Vince have been close friends for years, and I mean, only, close friends. Vince would send money to me in his letters and Frances would send Christmas goodies. They were really good to me and your momma, Son.  I owe Vince Longhorn a lot.

He swore me to secrecy and asked me not to tell you until your eighteenth birthday; however, because of all that’s happened, he wanted me to tell you about this now and he’s gonna’ tell Casey tonight.  Vince thought it might make you feel less alone in the world to know.  Son,— Vince’s daddy and my momma were brother and sister.  Casey’s your second cousin.”

“No!  You’re shit’n me, Dad!  Ain’t no way!”

“Easy, big fellow.” Rance laughed at his boy’s surprise. “No, I’m not, Son. I’m serious.  Cowboy’s don’t never lie, you know that.” he laughed again. “You must never tell anyone for Vince’s sake, but do you remember the name of the town on the letter Casey let you read?”

“Yeah, it was from Langtry, Texas, down near the border somewhere. Casey told me it was named after a famous actress named Lillie Langtry.”

“That’s right,— that was Vince’s last name.”

“Langtry?  Like in Lillie Langtry?”

“The very same, Son. She was your great-great aunt. She was the one who left the money in trust for me. My mother’s maiden name was Langtry and she married Oslo Harding, your granddad. Did jur’ mom ever tell you, you was named after yore’ granddaddy?  He middle name was Dwayne; Oslo Dwayne Harding.  My dad was a fine man and a better cowboy. You would’ve loved him, Son.”

“Damn, Casey and I are kin?  How neat can that be?  It’s fuck’n wonderful. Humm,— no wonder we been so close all these years.  This is too much. Little bit’s gonna’ eat his heart out.” Dwayne laughed.  “How come you didn’t gimme’ no violet eyes, Dad?”  Dwayne ask laughing.

“I didn’t have much to say about that, Son.  Yore’ pretty blue eyes come from you maternal granddad. Vince’s brother had ‘um jes’ like Casey’s and sometimes the way Casey looks at me, I told Vince I could swear his little brother, Seth Quee, was inside Casey’s body look’n out at me. Vince laughed and told me he felt the same damn way sometimes.  He told me Casey is almost a physical duplicate of Seth Quee including the way he thinks, the way he acts, and the way he loves him. He told me sometimes, he wonders when Seth Quee was killed in Nam if’n his spirit didn’t somehow get into Francis to make Casey.”
“Dad, I know you love your job, and I would never ask you to give it up to come back here.  I realize, there’s jes’ too many bad memories for you, but lemme’ tell you there’s a bunch of men in this town who admire, respect and love you.  They think my momma done wrong by you to throw you out. I’m jes’ a’ hoping you’ll come to visit me regularly, and maybe during the summer I can make it to several of the rodeos where you’re gonna’ be working. I don’t need what we done all the time, but ain’t gonna’ lie to ya,’ I know I’m gonna’ need it from time to time. I sure as hell would rather be git’n from my cowboy dad than some stranger.”

“I’d rather you git it from me, Son, at least ‘til you’re a little older. After what we jes’ done, I understand that now, boy.  We’ll work things out, you’ll see. We’re gonna’ be family again, you’n me.  There’s a passel of folks out there who love us. They’re gonna’ see to it we find time to be with one another.  Who knows, I may even get to see my boy play some ball games and graduate from high school.”

“Thanks again, Dad, for tonight. I really needed that, and to get it from the man I love most in the world was unbelievably great.  I love you, Dad.”

“I love you to, Son.”

They kissed another passionate kiss and went to sleep in each other arms. Their hearts were content and at peace. They’d made a path through the forest and were well on their way to a new and wonderful relationship that only grew stronger and more solid throughout the years. Rance was good to his word, he never let his boy go during the night.  He never let his boy go again.

* * * * * * *

Sticker gave Rance a week off with pay to be with his boy. Rance promised to take another week off he had coming at the beginning of the summer sometime, and he did. Sticker saw to it. It was a wonderful time for him and Dwayne.  They made up for a lot of lost time, in and out of the bedroom.  They both kept a level head about their sex not becoming a clinging or needy, dependant thing, but they definitely bonded. Their times in bed were too hot and much too powerful not to. His dad’s love managed to slowly wean Dwayne away from his craving for the kind of sex his step-dad forced on him. I guess I never saw Dwayne happier than in those two weeks his dad visited.

Dwayne talked to the social worker, a child protective services worker and he asked to be placed in foster care.  Dwayne requested to live with the Winchesters.  He and his dad sat down with Donna and Spencer and had a long talk about what they might expect of Dwayne and what he could expect from them.  It sounded ideal for him, and it truly was. Rance, my dad and me helped him move into the Winchesters that first week his dad visited.
Donna and Spencer were delighted to have Dwayne live with them, but they didn’t smother him.  They set rules he had to abide by, and he agreed.  There wasn’t a lot of rules, just simple things like calling if he was going to stay with dad and I. Dwayne never just called to tell them.  He treated them with the respect they deserved, and they treated him in kind. He didn’t just tell Spencer he was going to stay with us, he would respectfully asked Spencer’s permission to stay. It made Mr. Winchester feel needed and important for Dwayne to show him that respect. If something happened, and he was going to be late getting home he would always call to let them know. They respected his privacy, and they would never enter his room unless invited.  Dwayne did more for them than just follow the rules.  He became a great joy to Spencer and Donna, and they only grew to love Dwayne all the more.

* * * * * * *
We were pleasantly surprised when they didn’t take Lamar back to Pendleton right away. Actually, we found out later the doctor wouldn’t sign a release until Lamar was able to travel. The government picked up the tab for his hospital stay.  Officially, he was ordered by the Colonel to his place, he was considered on duty while in boot camp,  and not on leave when the Colonel shot him. Dad thought they were trying to bend over backward to cover their butts to avoid a sordid scandal. The sheriff told dad and Spencer he thought it was also to keep Lamar from filing a massive lawsuit against the Marines. With his hero status he might have be awarded large sums of money by a judge and jury.

They interviewed Lamar and he told them exactly what he’d been carefully coached to tell them. He didn’t volunteer any further information, and he was never asked any more.  Once again the sheriff was sure it was because they knew Lamar could potentially take them to the cleaners. They told Lamar to report back to Pendleton the day after the hospital released him. The hospital had him up and walking the same evening after the operation and he was recovered enough to travel after fourteen days; however, Sticker talked to the doctor and convinced him to put the release to show fifteen days so Lamar could spend Friday afternoon and evening, all day Saturday, with us  and we could take him back to Pendleton Sunday afternoon.

Dwayne had two evenings to spend with his love. He asked Spencer, if this one time, he might stay with Lamar at our place because we were going to drive him to Pendleton on Sunday. Spencer didn’t have any problem with it.  Lamar and Dwayne were not as frustrated as I thought they might be.  They couldn’t do a lot because Lamar was still recovering, but that was all right, they were together. They made hot, passionate love, but with no sex. Well,— they made as much love as they could with Lamar still recovering.  He was taking pain medication which make him sleepy most of the time. They did a lot of feeling, fondling, stroking, petting, dirty talk and dry humping, but absolutely no sex. Somehow, though, it didn’t really get to them. A couple of times they both ejaculated while making love, but technically, they didn’t have sex; however, they did get in a good bit of loving. It only strengthened their bond and resolve to be together one day. They were a joy to see together and Lamar stole everyone’s heart.
Lamar was to let Dwayne know when his graduation from boot camp was.  We planned to go up for it, if it was on a weekend, and it was. He didn’t go back into a company right away. They held him in their infirmary for a couple of weeks for observation until they were satisfied he was fully recovered. Then, they put him in a company which was graduating that week, and a lot of folks from our community who knew him went to see him graduate and wish him well. He stayed one night with Dwayne at our place and we took him to the airport to fly home. He had two weeks leave after boot camp. He was going home to see what little family he had for a week and would spend the last week with Dwayne.  As it turned out, he had enough of his family after three days and called us to see if we could meet him at the airport in San Diego.

He felt so comfortable on our ranch he personally asked Spencer and Donna if Dwayne could spend that week and a half with him there.  Spencer was easy.  He knew Vince would take just as good care of Dwayne.  They didn’t have any problem with it. They knew they were not engaging in sex. They trusted Dwayne and Lamar without question. After what they went through, Lamar was scared to death to even think about it. Our place was so far from any neighbors or the prying eyes of the community he felt more comfortable. The Winchester’s place was a little more suburban and closer to tow.  Lord, that didn’t stop the community from dropping by to say ‘hello’  and wish him well. Sheriff Bard stopped by and had lunch with us one day over the weekend.  Between him and my dad we laughed our ass’s off.

Like everyone who got to know him, Lamar came to love my dad. We were off to school during the day and Lamar was home alone with dad. Dad had him on horseback riding fences with him the second day he stayed with us. He loved it and told us it wasn’t like work, it was more like he was playing cowboy on a virtual dude ranch.  He kept my dad laughing most of the time. Lamar was his usual uninhibited self and had my dad rolling on the floor at his blatant honesty. He told dad the same thing about the Colonel he did the Sheriff Bard and had him laughing his ass off.

The Marines came to check out the Colonel and tried to have him transferred to a military facility for a military trial.  Leland Bard had been sheriff too damn long to let them get away with trying to buffalo him and sent them packing. He nipped that in the bud ‘pert-damn quick’ as he was wont to say. They fussed, fumed and threatened, but he just threw them out of his office.  When Leland Bard was right he didn’t suffer fools readily. The Marines were hoping to avoid a lot of publicity and scandal.  As it turned out, the sheriff agreed to a closed trial due to the sensitivity of the case, but the military would not be present. Sheriff Bard appealed to their decency to let them have a closed trial to protect the innocent.

Sidney did, indeed, find a web site that belonged to the Colonel, and it was unbelievable.  There were nude photos of Dwayne and offers to sell him to the highest bidder. Date of delivery for a well broken and well trained sex slave was moved up to approximately a year from the date posted.  All was copied and entered as evidence. The government intervened on the Internet and caused enough pressure the site was shut down immediately.

The disk and manila envelopes I found in the secret drawer of his desk were equally amazing.  The disk contained detailed information about the six Marine recruits who vanished from Pendleton, and who they were sold to. The envelopes contained eight by eleven glossy prints of each recruit, nude, tied up in a barn someplace,  but it wasn’t Dwayne’s ranch. It suggested the Colonel had a confederate, or as it turned out confederates,  and hound dog Sidney didn’t rest until he found the two men who were working with him.

Guess who they were?  You’re right, the other two officers who fucked Lamar after the Colonel got through with him.  While they didn’t actually participate in the selling of the men, they allowed the Colonel to use their properties in exchange for sizable sums of money. That information was entered as evidence and Sheriff Bard made sure that information got back to the top brass at Pendleton.  The two officers were arrested immediately by the military. They were drummed out of the Corps with dishonorable discharges, but they were a little better at covering their tracks than the Colonel.  A military tribunal could only convict them from the Colonel’s evidence. They got charged with accessory and conspiracy to traffic in white slavery.  They were sentenced fifteen to thirty years at hard labor in Levenworth.

Somehow, Sergeant O’Malley never got caught up in the maelstrom of the Colonel’s crimes. He was scared shitless by the whole thing, but he kept his mouth shut and claimed to know nothing about it. They watched his every move for a year afterward. He did approach Lamar, after he returned, with his hat in his hand. He didn’t ask any questions, he just quietly apologized to Lamar.  Lamar told him he forgave him, and that was that.  

As it turned out, the prosecution really didn’t need Lamar’s testimony; because, the jury saw Lamar get shot on the video; however,  they wanted to hear from him.  We all thought they just wanted to meet the hero who saved the boy’s life.  He repeated exactly what he’d been coached as the Colonel glared at him with hatred, but Dunbar didn’t try to contradict Lamar’s testimony. Lamar laughed later and told Sheriff Bard it was all he could do to keep from jumping down from the witness box, dropping his pants, turning his ass to the Colonel and begging him for one last time,— one for the road.   The sheriff is still laughing today over that and breaks up every time he runs into Lamar and Dwayne.

The Colonel got life without chance of parole. We wondered how long he would live in prison. Child molesters don’t do too well behind bars. They seem to be more accident prone that inmates who are sent up for other crimes; however, the Colonel lived for thirty-one years. Dwayne and Lamar sent him money at Christmas and his birthday every year with a cheery little card thanking him once more for bringing them together and their continued happiness. Dwayne went several times to visit him. He hadn’t changed a bit. He was still rude, arrogant and abusive, but he could still give Dwayne and Lamar an erection. He continued to take good care of his body all his life.

Dwayne and Lamar were satisfied they’d done the right thing; just like the Colonel told Dwayne he was going to make sure the boy would be where he should be.  Dwayne and Lamar felt pleased with themselves they helped make sure the Colonel was where he should be. One of the last times Dwayne went to visit him, Lamar went with him.  The Colonel just couldn’t believe they were a couple living together after all this time.  That one time, Lamar thinks he was so moved by Dwayne and Lamar’s bonding, he asked their forgiveness, and they forgave him.

Sadie was found guilty of all charges against her, and she was sentenced to one month community service and three years probation. They considered the  month she spent in jail awaiting trial was enough jail time. Dwayne went by to see her every day after school, and took her magazines and books to read.  She tried to talk with him about what happened, but he refused.  She insisted and tried to demand he talk with her about it a couple of times, but Dwayne just got up and walked out.

She accused him of trying to punish her. He told her it wasn’t true, she was wrong, and he wouldn’t accept that from her. He told her she was wrong about a lot of things, and while he forgave her he didn’t see how any good would come from discussing it. He explained he was once again trying to protect her against the anger he felt for her. He felt talking about it would only end in her denying everything or him getting hurt again, and he felt he’d been hurt enough.

She asked if he would return to the ranch with her, and he emphatically told her ‘no,’ absolutely not!  It was completely hers now, he wasn’t going to have anything to do with it, and she could do with as she pleased.  He planned to finish high school living with the Winchesters.  He felt safe, secure, happy and loved there.

Sadie found out from Leland Bard, Rance was seeing Dwayne on a regular basis.  She seethed in anger upon hearing the information and ordered Leland to arrest him immediately. The sheriff laughed at her, told her she had no more say or control over Dwayne and very probably wouldn’t have before he became of legal age. To her further dismay, the court gave official custody to his dad, but Rance wasn’t spiteful and agreed to visitation rights for Sadie.

At the end of her month of community service she said goodbye to Frank and Curley.  Sadie told them Vince Longhorn would be running the ranch for a while, and she would tell him to get in touch with them. Her sister left Sadie her home, and she was going to live in Chino.  She called Vince and asked him if she could stop by for coffee. He told her he’d be there all morning.  Vince met Sadie as she got out of her van.  He could see it was loaded with stuff, but he didn’t say anything.

“Come in, Sadie, I jes’ made a fresh pot of coffee.”

“That’s fine, Vince, I’ll have a cup with you.”

“Sit down, Sadie,— it’s good to see you again.  I been meaning to get over, but I just ain’t had the time lately. I apologize.”

“No need, Vince.  No one in this community has time for me anymore. My sister left me her place, so I’m going to Chino to live.  There’s nothing for me here anymore, and I don’t wanna’ run the ranch alone.  I know Dwayne ain’t never coming back to the ranch.  Can’t say’s I blame him none. He comes to see me and stays a while.  He tells me he loves me and cares about me, but the minute I ask him to come home or start to say anything about what happened he gets up and walks out.  He’s jes’ like his daddy.  Says he don’t wanna’ talk about it, that’s that, and he won’t!”

Sadie reached into her bag, pulled out some papers and threw them on the table.  

“Here’s the deed to the ranch. I never had it changed over into my name. I jes’ never got around to it. It’s still under both our names. It’s one of those things you’re gonna’ get around to tomorrow but tomorrow never comes.  I knew Rance would never check. I just know him too well. In that white envelope there’s a notarized quitclaim deed with a notarized letter relinquishing all claim I have to the ranch.  It’s now Rance and Dwayne’s ranch. I don’t want anymore to do with it. Maybe this will make up for some of the pain I’ve cause.  I ain’t looking for instant forgiveness, but maybe this is a step in the right direction.”

“Have you told Dwayne about this?”  Dad asked her.

“No, I didn’t want to.  I don’t know why.  I just couldn’t.  Maybe it’s because the ranch meant so much to Rance and Dwayne, but without his dad, Dwayne always saw it as an unhappy place he had to grow up in. Certainly the last six months he lived there was horrible.  Everyone’s right, I suspected something was going on, but Dwayne wouldn’t talk to me. I turned my head the other way rather than stand up to that monster’s constant bickering and never ending ranting and raving. I think I got off easy with a month working at the hospital. I actually enjoyed it. I think it was mostly because Dwayne told them he didn’t want me in jail no matter what they think I done to him. I know he’s seeing Rance a lot now, and I think maybe that’s good.  Maybe he needs his dad.  I failed him miserably.  I want you to tell him goodbye for me, Vince, and that I’ll always love him.”

Sadie broke down and started crying.  Dad didn’t know what to do but just sat there. She got herself together and continued.

“I told Frank and Curley you’d be in charge of the ranch for a while. I didn’t tell them I planned to give the ranch to Rance and Dwayne. I just thanked them for being good hands, and more than that, friends and role models for Dwayne. There’s also a letter there to Dwayne from me and one for Rance. I know you’ll make sure they get ‘em.”

“I will, Sadie, you know I will. I’m not happy you’re leaving without telling Dwayne goodbye, or you’re going to live in Chino; but, I’ll do as you ask. If my two cents worth mean anything to you, Sadie, I think you’re doing the right thing.”

“I hope so, Vince.  I’m praying so.  Thank you for all you’ve done for me and for being a good friend who always shot straight with me. I knew I could always count on you to be a good neighbor and to tell me the truth.  It couldn’t have been easy for you to call me and tell me what happened, but I love you for it.  I also love you for putting it in perspective for me. I know it’s a little late, but I’ve been forced to change my way a’ think’n about some things.  Thanks for everything, Vince.”

“Well,— thank you, Sadie. You’ve been a good neighbor, too, and I’ll miss you. You know I love you, Sadie.”

Dad started to cry and they cried in each other’s arms for a minute until Sadie recovered. Dad kissed her on the cheek, and she kissed him back.  He walked her to her big cargo van and opened the door for her.  He waved to her as she headed out the gravel road to the blacktop of Ball road.  Dad later told me he didn’t know how to react to her or what she was planning to do. It was so out of character for the hard, brassy Sadie he knew and loved. She was like a defeated woman who didn’t have much left to live for. The only trouble was,— it was all of her own making.

End Chapter 19 ~ Texas Longhorns
Copyright 2005 ~ Waddie Greywolf
All rights reserved ~
Mail to: waddiebear@yahoo.com