By John Yager
This is a work of gay erotic fiction. If such stories are not to your liking or if you are not allowed access to such stories under the laws under which you live, please exit now.
Last spring I posted a story titled Cowboy Blues. Many of you have written asking if I'd continue the story. Until now, I've not been inclined to add to it, but with Christmas upon us, I decided to add another chapter to the saga of Jake and Tom. I hope it brings some cheer to your holiday season.
I want to express very special thanks to Andrew, who has again done proofing and editing for me.
All stories which I have posted on NIFTY can be found by looking under my name in their Prolific Authors lists.
This work is copyright by the author and may not be copied or distributed in any form without the expressed written permission of the author.
I can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org
"I put you in the back bedroom," Jake said as he carried Tom's big duffle bag up the stairs. "It's at the opposite end of the house from the rooms Susan and the kids always use."
"Where will you be?" Tom asked before he thought, then mentally kicked himself for being too anxious.
"Next door," Jake grinned.
"Do we share a bath like we did in the bunkhouse?"
"Yes, but it's off the hall, not connecting between our rooms."
The Big House, as everyone on the ranch usually called it, was a large, T-shaped red brick structure with a huge living room, dining room and kitchen on the ground floor and a maze of bedrooms upstairs. On the ground floor there were also several smaller spaces; a sitting room, more or less furnished as an office, a room known as the library, although it was not the repository for any great collection of books. There was also a half bath off the front hall and a full bath off the sprawling kitchen. Rather grand stairs mounted from the entry hall to the upper floor and more modest stairs rose from the rear hall to the back bedroom wing.
Upstairs there were four bedrooms and two bathrooms in the front section of the house, and then, through a door and down the hall which served the back wing, there were three more bedrooms and a large bath. Jake had always assumed that the back bedrooms had been built to accommodate the household staff when the huge ranch had been run by its original owners. In any case, the physical plan of the old house provided privacy for him and Tom.
In the room he'd assigned Tom, Jake put the duffle bag down on a chair as Tom placed a bulging backpack and a big paper shopping bag on the big bed.
"Now what," the younger man said.
"Well, for starters, are you hungry?"
"Yeah," Tom grinned, "I stopped for a burger in Marlin, but that was about three hours ago."
"I made a pot of potato soup. Would you like a bowl?"
"That sounds great, Jake, but I think what I'd really like first is a shower."
"Help yourself," Jake said. I'll heat up the soup, just come down when you're ready."
Alone, Tom quickly surveyed his new accommodations and hung a few clothes up in the old walnut wardrobe. He put his socks and underwear in the top drawer of the matching dresser and then pulled a small bag from his tack kit and put it in the top drawer of the bed stand, smiling to himself as he did so. Wishful thinking, he said to himself.
He'd not taken time to shower or shave all day so the next step was to pull off his clothes and make his way across the hall to the bathroom, razor and shampoo in hand. He was only wearing boxer shorts but with just him and Jake in the house, he figured he didn't need to be too modest. He'd seen Jake naked and Jake had seen him while he was working on the Lazy Pitcher the previous summer, so again there wasn't much to hide.
The bathroom was big, probably dating from before the days of indoor plumbing. In the right corner stood an old fashioned commode with its white porcelain reservoir hung on the wall of the high-ceilinged room. Opposite it on the left wall were a pair of matching pedestal washbasins, each with tall, gooseneck facets. Against the back wall of the room, between two tall windows, stood a huge old claw foot tub.
Above the tub, suspended from the ceiling by four metal rods, was an oval ring and from it was hung an almost transparent plastic shower curtain.
Tom turned on the hot water and the room was quickly filled with warmth. A bank of fog formed near the ceiling and the mirrors were quickly clouded. He adjusted the water temperature, pulled off his shorts, and stepped into the big tub. After closing the curtain, he turned the knob which diverted the water flow from the main faucet to a big, disk like shower head. The water sputtered, gave a few gurgles and then began to rain down on him in a fine, warm spray.
Oh, yeah, Tom thought as he let the warm water pour over him. His shoulders and back, tight from the drive, soon loosened up. He found a big new bar of soap which Jake had clearly put out with his visit in mind, and lathered up his chest and arms. He worked the rich suds down over his groin and carefully washed his rear. Standing on first one foot and then the other, he scrubbed his feet. Finally, moving forward just a bit so the shower didn't hit his face, he worked a rich lather into the stubble of his beard, rinsed it, and lathered it up again.
Tom had mastered the art of shaving himself without a mirror, a trick which had proved very useful in college dorms where the number of wash basins was often minimal. He'd shaved in the shower for years and could even get the little whiskers just below his ears with ease and skill.
He'd just finished shaving when the door opened and Jake stuck his head in the door.
"Are you decent," Jake called.
"No, but come on in."
Jake stepped into the foggy bathroom and went immediately to the window just to left of the tub.
"There's no exhaust fan in here, but if you open one of these windows an inch or two at the top you can let the fog out without freezing your balls off."
"Thanks," Tom called over the noise of the shower. "I'll remember that next time."
"I was beginning to think you'd flushed yourself or something," Jake said, also speaking loudly to be heard over the sound of running water. "What's taking you so long?"
"I hadn't shaved since yesterday morning," Tom called as he gave his thick hair a quick shampooing.
Jake was standing in the center of the room watching the younger man through the steamy shower curtain. He realized that he was watching Tom without shame, letting his eyes roam boldly over the magnificent body.
"You can do that?" Jake asked.
"Shave in the shower, without a mirror?"
"Yeah, no problem."
"Handy trick," Jake responded.
"Well, the soup's hot, come on down when you're ready."
"Give me five minutes and I'll be there."
"Okay," Jake called, starting to leave, then turning again to face Tom and ask, "want a beer?"
"Sounds good," Tom said as he turned off the water and pulled aside the shower curtain. Standing there, still in the tub, which elevated him a few inches, he slowly dried himself.
Jake was transfixed. He stood watching as Tom ran the towel over his chest and arms. For once, Jake was completely at ease watching Tom, and Tom, for his part, was clearly enjoying putting on a little show for Jake.
"What's the dress code around here?" Tom asked as he stepped naked from the tub.
"There isn't one. I guess once Susan and the kids get here we'll need to be modestly dressed when we go into the rest of the house but back here we'll still be on our own."
"Can't they come down the hall from the front of the house?"
"Not if we keep the door locked."
"Sounds good," Tom said, giving Jake one of his winning smiles. "But can I come down now in just a pair of shorts."
"Come naked if you like," Jake grinned. "You may want to pull on some clothes later. When I go out to shut the horses up for the night I want you to come along and see the colt."
"The one you named for me?"
"Yeah, I'd like that."
Five minutes later Tom came down to join Jake in the kitchen. Despite kidding about eating in the buff, he'd pulled on jeans and boots and a heavy flannel shirt.
Dressed or naked, Jake decided, Tom
looked good enough to eat.
"He's beautiful, Jake," Tom said softly as the two men looked over the rail into the big stall later that night. The mare and colt lay together in a warm bed of fresh straw.
"Has Gal been a good mother?" Tom asked.
"Yeah, the best. But how could a mare not love a colt as cute as that?"
Across the stables Jake's big stallion, who'd fathered the colt, gave a loud whinny and stomped the floor of his stall. "He's my son," too, the stallion seemed to be saying.
The chores done, Jake and Tom headed back toward the house. It was a clear night and the stars hung so brilliantly in the sky that it really did look as if you could reach up and pluck them. A little wind came up, rattling the corrugated metal roof of the stables.
"It's going to get cold," Jake said. "We may have snow by Christmas."
"That would be nice," Tom said, stopping to look up at the gleaming winter stars.
"Yeah," Jake said softly, but he wasn't looking up at the dark sky. In the subdued light, he was looking at Tom.
They stood there for a few moments enjoying the crisp air. After a few silent moments Jake cleared his throat and spoke. "I'm glad you came, Tom."
"Yeah, me too," Tom replied, lowering his gaze from the stars above to the man who stood beside him.
"There's something I need to tell you."
"Well, it took me a long time to admit it to myself, but I finally had to face the fact that I made a real mistake last summer."
"What was that?"
"Well . . ." He stopped, not knowing how to proceed, then finally just said what he'd been thinking for the last three months. "You made an offer, Tom, and I turned you down."
Tom was silent, letting Jake find the right words.
"It was a big mistake."
"Do you mean you might be willing now for something to happen between us, Jake?"
"Yeah, if you're still interested."
"If I'm still interested? I haven't stopped thinking about you for a single day, Jake, since I left here in September."
They stood for a moment longer, just staring at each other.
It was Tom who finally made a move. He took the two steps which brought him face to face with Jake, then reached out his arms and placed them on Jake's shoulders. They again stood very still, not speaking, not moving.
"I'd kiss you, Jake," Tom said softly, "but I'm afraid you'd bolt and run."
"Maybe you could just hold me, then."
Tom moved forward and gently put
his arms around Jake, drawing him into a tender hug, not holding him too
tight, but just tight enough to press their bodies together.
Jake stood stiffly at first but after a moment or so he lifted his arms and responded to Tom's hug. As Tom slowly stroked Jake's back through the layered fabric of his parka, Jake sighed and let his head rest softly on Tom's broad shoulder.
"Maybe we'd better go in," Tom finally whispered.
"Yeah," Jake sighed. "It'll be warm
To be continued.