Attention Nifty Readers: If you enjoy this story or others on Nifty, please send a generous donation to -- -- to help support and maintain this free service so it may continue to remain available to everyone. Also, if you enjoy a particular story, it costs you nothing to send an e-mail to the author to let them know you appreciate their hard work creating these stories for you to read. A compliment or a couple of words of encouragement goes a long way to stimulate creativity... or anything else you might have in mind. ~ Thanks. Waddie Greywolf

Him Who Made The Seven Stars

By Waddie Greywolf

Chapter 56

"The countries around the world with the highest percentage of atheists and agnostics are among the most stable, peaceful, free, wealthy, and healthy societies, while the most religious societies with high rates of belief in a God or gods are among the most unstable, violent, oppressive, poor and destitute societies." ~ Phil Zuckerman 2006, Professor of Sociology and secular studies, Pitzer College in Claremont, California.

Oh joy! Happy dance! Wiggle from your front all the way to your tail! The leader of our pack has returned! Daddy's back! The two huge mated pair of Estrella Mountain Dogs, Daffy and Chloe, cattle dogs from the mountains of Portugal, were beside themselves with excitement. Their master was home. They were getting older and didn't get around as well as they used to, but they could still make Harlen feel like a Knight in shining armor returning from the Crusades when he came home. Daffy's hindquarters would sometimes go out on him and cause him to walk using only his front legs until Harlen or his social secretary, Jessie Jones, could get him to a vet for a hormone shot.

Harlen grinned from ear to ear and handed Jones his cell phone, then turned his attention to his pets. "Did you miss me? I don't think so. I'm not convinced. That was a short happy dance, and I only got a couple of kisses," Harlen sounded disappointed. They acted like they knew exactly what he was saying and poured on another big helping of doggie love. They sniffed him up one side and down the other. They smelled Miranda and the pups on him, but they didn't smell like regular dogs. They were a bit different. Harlen laughed. "Have you walked them this evening?" he asked Jones.

"No, sir. I was about to when I got your call," Jones said.

"Good. Come, we'll walk them together," Harlen said.

"That would be nice. We ain't shared a walk in a while, Boss," Jones replied.

"It's a nice night outside. There's a full moon and lots of fluffy clouds in the sky. I'm back earlier than I thought I might be. A goodly walk around swan lake before a soak in the hot tub, a shower, and and early start to bed should round out my day nicely," Harlen said to his man Jessie Jones. He opened the door and the dogs were away. They walked the same trail twice a day for years and knew exactly where they were going. The men walked out by the parking lot and Jones saw Harlen's Harley sitting next to the garage.

"I didn't hear the Harley, Master Johnson, and I can hear its deep throaty rumble for a mile before you turn into the front gate. You sit at the gate gunning the engine like an automatic weapon, waiting impatiently for the gate opener to finally swing open enough for you to ride through. The roar of the engine as it bounces from the garages to the stables and back again sounds like the opening of Mahler's Second Symphony. Yet, here it sits, and I never heard a sound. Did you carry it on your back, sir?" Jones asked wickedly and grinned.

"I thought you agreed to my – how did you put it? A test of loyalty?" Harlen asked and grinned.

"Oh, I'm sorry, sir, I thought it only applied to the immediate instructions. I had no idea I shouldn't question you about your silent hog," Jones replied stoically, then laughed.

"Wiseacre!" Harlen said and grinned.

"To say nothing of the incredibly cute little cowboy and his equally handsome big cowboy brother helping you push your bike through a strange gate what popped up out of nowhere, which looked like something out of a popular science fiction TV series," Jones said.  

"You watched? I told you to go back into the house!" Harlen jumped him.

"I followed your orders to the letter. I was standing in the kitchen loading the dishwasher and the window looks right down onto the area where you came through the gate. Your instructions didn't include not watching from the kitchen window, Boss," Jones said with humor in his voice. "I don't give a damn about the mystery of the gate or how you got from the hill country to The Woodlands in a matter of seconds, I wanna' know about the little cowboy and his big brother," Jones added and laughed. He got Harlen laughing, and the big man good naturedly slapped Jones on his back.  

"How many years you been with me, Jones?" Harlen asked.

"A quarter of a century the first of June, sir," Jones replied, "You were twenty-two and I just tuned twenty-four," he added.

"I don't know why I told you to go back to the house. No! That ain't right neither. I do know why. I done it because it's what the young boy, Bossman Randy Rutherford told me to tell you. By the way, does that name ring a bell? I guess they didn't want anyone else to know about their advanced transporting device. I should a' told them you were my trusted man and proved your loyalty to me so many times I lost count," Harlen said, "but then, that's why I pay you them big bucks, ain't it?" Harlen added and chuckled.

"Ah, yes! I'm just a bought man, with no marrow in my spine to stand up for what I believe is right. Now, about them big bucks, Boss – " Jones started.

"I know! I know! You're overdue for a raise and cost of living increase. I'll have my secretary take care of it tomorrow," Harlen said.

"Does Randy Rutherford jog my memory? Who told you about the the Rutherford name and his connection with the Daniels?" Jones asked grinning from ear to ear.

"You did. You showed me them videos on YouTube, and I recognized him almost immediately. The big cowboy just happened to be Billy Daniels, the cowboy what healed my little Bossman buddy in the parking lot of the Walmart store in Fredericksburg," Harlen explained, "Will a goodly raise buy your loyalty for another year?" Harlen asked and laughed.

"Money can't by loyalty, Master, as you well know. How many business partners have you taken on over the years, what...?" Jones started.

"You're right! You're right! Let's don't go there. I'm in an excellent mood, and that's a sordid bag of snakes I don't want to think about right now. Damn, Jones, you can be like a fish-wife sometimes, but fortunately for me, it's one of your better traits. You saved my ass a number of times with your keen instincts. You know just how to work me and insert the knife into the most tender places," Harlen continued to rag his paid servant.

"Be honest, Boss. Admit it! It's really why you pay me them big bucks," Jones said and slapped Harlen on the back.

"I'll gladly admit it. Ya' ain't never let me down. You was always there for me over the years. You done kept me from step'n in some mighty big piles of horse shit. You gave up a lot in life to be my man, and for that, I'm truly grateful. Just don't let them words go to your head," Harlen said.

"Never, sir. And what news about young Harley-Buck Johnson?" Jones asked.

"He's my son, Jones. Ain't no doubt about it. The DNA is a perfect match. Hell, he looks just like me when you first met me and interviewed to be my man all them years ago," Harlen whipped out his cell phone, punched up the picture app, and showed Jones several photos of Harley-Buck.

"Odds Bodkins, you're right! He looks just like you did when I met you," Jones said in awe.

Harlen paged through several other photos and came to one he took of Bubba and Orville standing with their arms around each other.

"Holy shit! Both them men are hot, but what's with the one in the harness, rings, with a body like a Mack truck?" Jones asked.

"He's a punishment slave. He's being trained to become a personal slave by the big buck standing by him. His name is Orville Higginbothem. He tried to kill Enoch Redbone," Harlen said.

"Not 'the' Enoch Redbone – one of two heirs to the Redbone fortune?" Jones asked.

Harlen paged through again and stopped on a picture of Tom McMartin, his wife, and Zelma Redbone standing together and showed his man.

"That can't be Zelma Redbone. From the rumors around Houston, the last I heard she was dying from an incurable form of cancer," Jones said, "If that's her, she spent a fortune on plastic surgery. On second thought, she don't look sick at all. In fact, she looks damn good," Jones added.

"She remembered me. She remembered your name from the time she and her husband visited this place. She even remembered Daffy and Chloe's names. She asked about you. She told me to tell you 'hello,' and she sends her love," Harlen said.

Jones was quiet for a minute. "I always admired that woman. She could make the lowest of men feel like a prince with a smile, a good word, and an admiring pat on his butt," Jones said reverently.

Harlen laughed. "You ain't no low-man," Harlen said, "At least not on my totem pole," he added.

"You're right. I ain't. I'm privileged and proud to be your man, Boss," Jones said, "But don't let that go to your already big head, neither," Jones gigged him. They shared a laugh. "After the massive soul searching and agony you put yourself through, do you think you did the right thing by going to the hill country?" Jones asked.

"Ya' ain't gonna' believe this, but I really don't think I had much of a choice. I was told by Billy Daniels' little brother I was chosen," Harlen said.

"Chosen? Chosen for what and by whom?" Jones exclaimed.

"To become a part of something bigger than you and me – something bigger than either one of us can imagine – to become a part of an enhanced family being sponsored and supported by two Ancient races of aliens out there in the universe what want to see mankind make the final step in evolution and evolve into a more humanistic, a more compassionate species. I don't know the details of their goals or how far along they've come, but whatever they got in mind, I got me a strong feeling they just might be able to pull it off," Harlen said quietly shaking his head in disbelief.

"Harlen Buckley Johnson, don't do this to me!" Jones exclaimed, "You promised me when I became your personal valet or 'man,' as you like to call my position, you would always shoot straight with me 'cause you demanded the same from your employees. Aside from some gentle humor, I kept my end of the bargain. You know how crazy I am about science fiction. I watch every series on the tube – even the bad ones. You borrowed books from me I suggested you might like to read. Why would you make-up something like 'at and taunt me with it?" Jones demanded.

"I swear to you, Jones, in the name of some unknown god, I ain't making it up. I cain't even think of a reason I might. Weren't the damn transport gate enough to whet your appetite and grab you by the balls? I made a three hundred mile, six hour trip from the hill country to here in a matter of seconds? Smoky-rag-headed-weed-toke'n-Jesus, they got technology at their disposal what's a thousand years ahead of us. Even if they share it with us, my little buddy told me we wouldn't have a clue how it works," Harlen said strongly. "They didn't need my DNA printout to confirm I was Harley-Buck's dad. While I watched, three of them men changed into cowboy-angels with huge beautiful wings. They pricked ma' fanger, tasted a drop of my blood, and instantly confirmed I's Harley-Buck's dad. They got my boy's and my DNA on file in their body. To prove it, Billy Daniels changed into an exact copy of me, and the veterinarian-slave doctor changed into Harley-Buck Junior, right before my eyes. They shore' 'nuff made a believer out of this old cowboy," Harlen said firmly.

"I've longed for something along those lines to happen. Did you find out anything about their plans or how well established they've become?" Jones asked.

"Bits and pieces, from the answers to a couple of pointed questions I put to Master Billy. It just seems so incongruous, a cowboy as young as Billy Daniels could have gathered so much and so many people together for a common purpose in such a short period of time, but I get the idea they ain't through yet. I get the feeling they's like a magnet drawing folks like us to them and their cause. Their idea is to build a city and have it function like a humanistic benevolent autocracy until a more stable form of government can be formed. Oh, yes, and one important point you'll be interested in is, they got a strong fine arts program in its infancy. They feel society and the arts are important to the advancement of any civilization. I was treated to several songs sung by six flying pups while Bossman Randy and his big cowboy-angel buddy, Clyde, played the banjo and guitar respectively," Harlen said.

"Don't even check me about the flying talking dogs. Them cowboys got a mother Blue Healer and six pups they altered their DNA," he added from the look of disbelief on Jone's face. "I was told they give a concert every Saturday afternoon out behind one of their barns consisting of two parts; classical music and then down-home country or Cajun music. I know how much you like classical music. You even taught me to appreciate some of it," Harlen said, "They got a Steinway concert grand and an old Skinner organ in the big house. Billy just bought a new Yamaha concert grand for the stage they built on the back of the old barn. They ain't just small time musicians, neither. Two of Master Billy's halfling slaves play matched Stradivarius fiddles and the surrogate mother carrying his son plays an old rare Amati viola," Harlen rattled on.

"Wait a minute, do you realize how many cans of worms you opened with one statement?" Jones demanded.

"I know. I'm just telling you what I witnessed. I'll try to answer your questions, but I ain't sure I understand it myself. They wouldn't let me take pictures of their Bigfoot protectors," Harlen lamented. "If you like, I'll see if they'll let me bring you along; maybe not this coming weekend, but sometime after," he added.

"Didn't I tell you I was sure Bigfoot existed, and they were special to our world?" Jones asked.

"Yeah, I thought about you when I got my first look at them. I knew you'd shit your Wranglers to see them big monsters. A couple were downright attractive beasts. I certainly wouldn't mind having one for a protector and pet," Harlen said. He went on to tell Jones about the talking guard cattle and Bossman Randy explaining they weren't really cattle, they were members of one of the ancient races what looked like us who were morphed to look like cows until Billy and his family could accommodate them. They got fine looking cowboys and cowgirl slaves all over the damn place living together in harmony like one of them old RFD hippy communes from the sixties, except these folks are neatly dressed and well turned-out when you see them. It's part of their pride in becoming a part of something bigger than themselves," Harlen explained.

"I certainly would appreciate an invitation as soon as possible, Boss," Jones said.

"I ain't heard you having intercourse with that expensive German bitch I bought you for your thirtieth burf-day lately. I swear on the name of some unknown got-a-damned-meringue, Bosendorfer means a drunken beer hall Valkyrie slut in heat. The Devil his'self knows I paid out the ass for that big-assed whore to keep my main man happy and content at home," Harlen said and laughed, "Besides, I'm convinced you's the only man on the planet what can tame her and make her beg for your caress," he added.

"Since when did you discover cowboy hyperbole, Boss? You spend one day in the heart of puncher country, and you come back speaking another language. I always suspected you had it in you, but tried to stifle it 'cause you's ashamed of your heritage. You should use it more often. I always said you got a talent for bullshit," Jones shot back. Jessie continued, "I play when you ain't here. I been working up some new stuff I know would send you up the tallest tree to have to listen to," Jones said, "It's modern and poly-tonal," he added.

"Now that ain't fair, Friendly. You know damn well I come to like a lot of stuff you play. I don't know the name of the piece or the 'poser but they's several I find myself humming when I'm alone and need a tune to whistle; especially, the one what goes, dum-dee-dotty-dum-daaa-dum-tot-tee-dee," Harlen sang and hit every note.

Jones grinned, "Yeah, that's the eighteenth variation from Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini by Rachmaninoff," he said.

"I done listened to you play it time after time, and I never get tired of it. I still think you should play it with an orchestra. How many times I done told you, let me know when you's ready, and I'll pull some strings to get you a debut?" Harlen asked.

"You mean you'll buy an orchestral to play with me, don't you?" Jones asked and grinned.

"Whatever it takes, Jones. Ain't nothing too good for my faithful man, but I think you're good enough. With one audition and greasing some wheels with a nice donation to the Houston Philharmonic, I think I could convince Zelma Jane Redbone to give you a chance," Harlen offered.  

"You don't have to buy my friendship, Boss. You won it many years ago, and I ain't likely to forget it none too soon, neither," Jones said.

"For all your formal European valet training, you ain't too far from cowboy speak yore'self, Hoss," Harlen zinged him.

"It's your damn fault," Jones said, and they shared a laugh. "Are you hungry, Boss?" Jones asked.

"Naw, I et supper wiff' the Daniels' family only a while ago, but thanks for asking. Cookie's probably already done gone to bed by now, anyhow," Harlen replied.

"I could make you a sandwich or warm up left overs from our supper," Jones offered.

"No, no, I ain't a bit hungry. Well, that ain't totally true, neither. I'm hungry all right, but it ain't for food. I got me a great empty feel'n in ma' gut I want more of what I experienced for a brief while this afternoon and e'nin. I'm happy and grateful for what I got and my life as a whole, but I got a glimpse of something I ain't never had before and money can't buy, Jones, a sense of wanting to belong to something bigger than myself. I won't say nothing more until you get a chance to experience it for yourself, then we'll talk," Harlen said.

Jessie Jones didn't press his boss for more. They walked in silence enjoying the view and the black swans on the small lake on Harlen's property. It was a full moon, and the large black birds were magnificent, sailing silently together with their small family of cygnets swimming in formation behind them. Jones kept scraps of bread from the cook's trimmings and would bring them along in a bag when he walked the dogs. He would feed the swans every evening as a treat. They were so used to Jones and Harlen, they had no fear and swam up to them to accept the treats from their hands. Jones made sure the cygnets got a couple. It was a picture perfect evening as they headed back to the house talking quietly. The great cattle dogs were on their best behavior. The leader of their pack was home.

* * * * * * *
Stan and his husband, Cletus, were lying in bed together that same night, still hooked together like a big steam-engine and a coal car enjoying the afterglow of one of the best fucks they ever shared. It was a wonderful moment. They were physically and emotionally sated and content, complimenting each other on what each brought to their sexual feast. Since his boss at the restaurant kept his word and hired a dishwasher and another busboy trainee, Stan was able to get off a little early, and wasn't so tired when he got home. It just happened to be their sixth anniversary together. Stan mentioned their anniversary in passing to his favorite waitress confidant, and she told the cook, who was a straight Italian man with six kids. Luigi Carobelle was a humanist of the first magnitude and worked as a chef for years. He couldn't avoid the fact every other person in the food prep and service game was a gay man or woman. He wasn't worried in the least and embraced their lifestyle as natural and healthy. He claimed the best, most conscientious, and caring workers were his gay children as he referred to them.

It was a slow night at the restaurant. Luigi called young Stan into the kitchen. "Stanley, my son, your day is over. Take your apron off, and go home to your husband. Your family will finish up here, and we wish you men a very happy anniversary. The box on the counter was made for you to take home. It is for you, your good husband, and extended family. Don't you dare open it until you get home!" Luigi exclaimed, threw his big arms around Stan, and kissed him on each cheek twice. "One kiss for you, and one for you to give your husband for us when you get home. You tell him it's from Luigi and your family at the restaurant. We wish him the best, and for him to take you to bed and tear off a big piece of your pretty little ass for us, and we won't be convinced unless you come back to work on Monday with your ass in a sling," he said with a big grin.

Stan almost fell on the floor laughing, "I promise. I will certainly pass on your generous affections, Luigi. Thanks to you, and our family here at the restaurant, I'm sure we will have a fine anniversary," Stan said.

Stan couldn't remove his apron fast enough. He was surprised but touched when the other employees gathered to give him a quick hug and a kiss. They wanted to wish him well. They each slipped a generous portion of their tips into his pocket to take home with him. Stan carried the huge cardboard box out to the truck and carefully set it on the seat next to him for the drive home. It completely filled the seat to the ceiling of the cab. When he drove up the long dirt road, which was so far from the main road, you could neither hear nor see lights from the occasional auto or truck on the highway. He saw the lights from the cabin and the door was open with Cletus sitting on the front steps surrounded by Erasmus and his family. The little female was sitting in Cletus's lap. She didn't seem to be in in hurry to vacate her comfortable seat just because Master Stan was coming in the truck, but her mother took her by the hand to free Master Cletus. Cletus gently patted her on her arm as she went to her mother's arms.

Stan went to Cletus's arms and gave him a big hug and a kiss on each cheek. He explained the ritual passing of kisses Luigi told him about, and explained he was just following orders. Stan greeted the rest of his family and asked Cletus to give him a hand with the large box. It was so big and heavy, Stan struggled to get it into the truck, but it was nothing for Cletus to carry. They went into the house and Erasmus and his family went off to their nests in the old dilapidated barn on the back of the property to give the men their privacy. Cletus and Stan opened the enormous box and inside were huge to-go cartons with their names carefully printed on each box. They got them out and set them on their old picnic table they used for eating. Cletus discovered another layer and there were four huge to-go cartons labeled 'other family members.' Stan shared the secret of the Bigfoot family they were feeding as well as themselves and obviously they passed the info on to Luigi. The four boxes were stuffed with wonderful leftover scraps, but so much of it, each one would make a good meal for Erasmus and his family. They removed them, but there was one more layer. Beneath the cardboard covering, was a plastic cake box with a small cake fully decorated with Happy Anniversary Stan and Cletus. Stan was so moved he broke into tears.

Cletus took his mate into his arms to comfort him. "They love you, Stan, and they want the best for us. I would like to meet them," Cletus said.

"You will Sunday after next. We're gonna' throw a party for the folks I work for and some of the regulars in the town, remember?" Stan said, "And I done rounded up another couple of musicians to play with us. One old lady, Ms. Gimble, bought a set of drums. She played when she was younger. She's been playing a lot, but she wants to play with a band. One older man plays a bass fiddle. He wants to play with us and Ms. Gimble. I think he's got the hots for Gladys Gimble," Stan said and laughed.  

They carried the four large boxes out to the old barn and Cletus gave his secret whistle to alert Erasmus and his family it was just him and Stan approaching. They met the men at the door. Cletus and Stan handed each member of the small family one of the cartons, and they gratefully accepted them. The men explained the occasion, and they seemed happy for their human friends who cared about them and included them in their lives. Stan later remarked, if only his real family could have been as loving and gracious as their adopted family, he might have grown up different.

"Yes, and I thank some unknown god they weren't!" Cletus exclaimed.
"Why?" Stan demanded, laughing at his husband's strong retort.

"'Cause if you grow'd up to be different, you might not have fallen in love with somebody as ugly as me, mon cher," Cletus replied sincerely.

"Good point, mon ami. I never thought about it that way, but you're right. I wouldn't trade a perfect family for my love for you, Cleet," Stan said, and they shared a tender kiss.

"We come too far together, Stan, to worry about what might have been," Cletus whispered as he held his husband tight in a bear hug.

"Come, love, let's go see what they made for us for our anniversary dinner," Stan said, took Cletus by the hand, and led him into the cabin.    

The cartons were filled with wonderful food prepared just for them. The food wasn't leftovers. There were choice cuts of meat and side dishes with a salad and a bottle of a fine Merlot which they drank from their coffee mugs. When they finished, they were stuffed, and decided to have the cake later when they would share it with their family. Cletus and Stan lost no time between the last taste of wine and throwing off their clothes with wild abandon to finish off the evening with a grand fuck. They were laying there still hooked together talking quietly, swapping deep gentle kisses, and whispering wonderful dirty things to each other.

"I know we talked about getting out of here as soon as possible, but there's things we need to get done. We got four weeks until the weekend of the wedding back in Texas. Even though George got a dishwasher and he's doing good, I don't know if he'll be able to find two more busboys in two weeks. He said he's putting ads in the papers around the area and in Portland, but not everyone wants to live way up here in the middle of nowhere. When we came up here, we took what we could get. What would you say if I told George I'll stay another two weeks? That way, we won't have to impose on Bubba Kirkendall more'n a couple of days. You know what they say about company and fish," Stan said.

"I don't mind. As long as I got you in my arms and my health restored to be your husband, I'm a happy camper, but I thought you's fed up working for George," Cletus said.

"He's changed his attitude since he knows I don't have to work for him no more if I don't want to. He knew I didn't have no choice before, and he held it over me when he asked ridiculous things of me. Besides, he ain't around that much. It's an unwritten law, if you want a restaurant to be successful and run smoothly you only let the owner in the back door to hand out the pay checks. I'm mostly worried about Luigi, my work-mates, and friends who come to the restaurant. They become like a second family to me, and some of the locals seemed really hurt to hear I was leaving.

Sheriff Andreeson and his family come in ever' Friday night, and he tips everybody real good. I don't think he's just buying votes neither. I think he's a genuinely good man. The town drunk is so well trained, when he gets loaded he just staggers to the jail, goes to a cell, and passes out. They don't have to worry about him. I feel so sorry for his boy, Bobby. He's got them two club feet, and he suffers from some degenerating disease which makes it almost impossible for him to communicate. I'm one of the few who knows what he's trying to say and can translate what he wants or needs. He tells me what he wants to eat, and I make sure he gets it. Most of the time his parents can't understand him. He get's so angry and frustrated sometimes he makes me cry with empathy for him. He's eighteen years old and a burden on everyone in their family. They don't look at it that way, but he's a lot of work," Stan said.

Cletus smiled and shook his head, "I can read you like a book, Veed. I know what you's think'n, Mon Ami, but you shouldn't presume on Master Billy's goodness. I thank them Ancients ever hour, on the hour, he's been gracious enough to embrace you and me because of his connection with your family. We ain't know'd him long enough or proved ourselves to ask such a great boon of him," Cletus said.

"I also know you's a gamble'n man, Cleet. I'm bet'n when he sees Bobby in his wheelchair at the party we's gonna' throw Sunday after next, he won't be able to resist setting him right. I got me a plan I'm sure will work. All you gotta' do is invite him and Bossman Randy to our party. I just know them men well enough they'll bring Cousin Tin-Tin, them other fine musicians, and we can rock the place. As a matter of fact, I's thinking on having a small intimate musical evening next Sunday for the folks to come and enjoy – sort of get them primed for the big Sunday," Stan said.

"I done told you, you's the husband in charge of our lives, as long as you let me be your husband in the bedroom. I trust your instincts, Mon Cher. You ain't never let me down," Cletus said.

"Good, then lets get cleaned up, sit on the front porch with our instruments, play for a while to get back into the groove, share some music and cake with our family, and go back to bed so's I can take care of my husband one more time before the magic of our anniversary runs out," Stan said.

"I'm so glad I put you in charge, Mon Cher," Cletus said and laughed.

They took out their instruments, sat on the front porch, and began to play. They no sooner finished one piece when Cletus would shout out the name of the next one, stomp his big foot, and they would go to it like two hounds chasing a coon. It didn't take long for their family to respond to the wonderful racket they were making. They came and sat on some logs in the front. As they were playing, Cletus sent mental images of people doing Cajun dances to Casper and his little sister. They got the idea they could dance to the music and began to do big stomping dances in time to the music. They were so cute and funny, it almost made Cletus and Stan forget their playing. Their parents couldn't let the kids have all the fun and more awkwardly began to learn. Soon they were dancing about like bears in a forest of camphor trees.* It was unique and spontaneous to say the least, but they seemed to be enjoying themselves to the max. They had big smiles on their faces.   
They played for a couple of hours and were getting better and better. They played their instruments like they made love, with passion, strength, and gusto creating one great climax after another until they were physically and emotionally exhausted. Then they sat quietly and complimented each other on their performances. Stan got up and went into the cabin. He carefully cut the small cake in to six equal pieces and put them on the paper plates from the box. He called to Cletus to carry two and he carried two out to their family and told them to enjoy. It was in celebration of Cletus and Stan being together for six years. The family was honored the men included them and ate their cake like it was manna from the gods. Cletus and Stan ate theirs with the last of the wine and enjoyed the moment.

"You surprised me, my handsome husband. You ain't forgot nothing, mon ami?" Cletus complimented Stan on his fiddle playing.

"Since Master Billy gimme' that booster shot of his life-force, it come back to me so easy, Cleet. I find myself wanting to build on it and let myself go. We need to practice some more. I want us to be really good if we decide to play this coming Sunday evening," Stan said.

"We's good enough now, but I agree, more practice couldn't hurt none. I need to practice a little more on being your husband tonight, mon cher," Cletus declared.

"Hell, I don't know how you could get much better, Cleet. You's about as perfect as a body could hope for. You's dynamite a little earlier; howsomever, I agree, a little more practice will hone our cutting edge with each other. I think you might pay a little more attention to them long deep strokes you take, and perhaps build the tempo just a mite more before you reach the climax in your favorite piece," Stan said and grinned wickedly.

"Oh, you do, huh?" Cletus asked, "I'll take that into consideration, my love. I think Master Billy done went and made yore' little man-cunt just a bit tighter. Before the accident, I had you opened up just the way I liked it. I need to do some serious love making to make it welcome Daddy Cleet home and make him feel comfortable like it used to. Let's, kick off our boots, throw 'um on the floor, rosin up the bow, and get down to it," he added. They said goodnight to their family and retired to their bed for one final duet. They made beautiful music together. It was a star-maker. Even without a bell to ring, they created two giant twin stars in a nearby galaxy which became known as Coozone Cleet and Coozone 'Veed in the constellation Pleiades, the great bear. They gave off a lovely light.

* * * * * * *
Harlen decided to wait until Friday morning to transport to the Daniels' ranch, and he decided not to take the Harley. He would some other time or use the hill country for a goodly ride when he was in the mood to clear his mind and let the bike lull him into a comfortable nether world of well-being – at least for a while. Since he was born and raised in cow country, he decided it was time to reclaim his heritage. Something Jones said the night before about being ashamed of his upbringing struck him like a poisoned arrow of truth which found its mark in the conscience of his heart. Once he started to climb the ladder of financial success, he rarely visited his closet where he stored his Western clothes unless he planned to ride his stallion. Harlen had a closet filled with fine, expensive Western gear. Harlen was lying in bed contemplating the day at five A.M. He set aside any plans for the weekend to spend it in the hill country. He could hear Jones downstairs in the kitchen making coffee. The dogs woke him when they heard Jones moving about. They were like two water buffaloes trying to get out the door, down the hall, bounding downstairs for their morning treats, only to be let outside for their morning run. Harlen felt a tickle in the back of his brain like a comfortable electrical shock, and he smiled to himself.

<< 'Zat chu, Bossman? >> Harlen asked.

<< It's me, sir. Are you up? >> Randy asked.

<< I'm awake. My man, Jones, always wakes me every morning about this time, and the dogs leave my room like a stampeding herd of buffaloes. There ain't no sleeping after that. Are you men ready to open the gate? >> he asked.

<< Anytime you like, sir. Me and my big brother are sitting here wait'n for you. You gonna' bring the Harley, >> Randy asked.

<< Not this time, Bossman. I'll wear my cowboy clothes to fit-in a little better. I'll save the Harley for what I call sanity-adjustment therapy – that is, when I need to get away and not think about things for a while. A motorcycle can be the greatest escape machine known to modern man – much better than drugs," Harlen explained. "Why don't you men come through the gate, walk up to the back door, knock, and introduce yourselves to my man, Jessie Jones, and I'll be down in a few minutes. He's been with me for twenty-five years and won't say nothing about the gate. He watched us from the kitchen window when you men saw me home, and he'd very much like to meet you and Master Billy," Harlen sent.

<< What about them big dogs? >> Randy asked.

<< I don't think they's capable of loving anyone to death, Son. Call them by their names – Daffy and Chloe. Besides, they'll probably be back in the house by the time you come through the gate. If you're unsure, wait ten minutes. It will give me enough time to jump in the shower, and dress, >> Harlen replied.

<< Okay, I love dogs. I looked up the breed on my computer yesterday, and they's big dogs. I ain't afraid. I got a way with animals, >> Randy sent, << See you in a few minutes, Master Harlen, >> he added and broke their connection.

Harlen smiled to himself, threw back the covers, and stumbled into the bathroom to do his morning ritual. It was Jones's habit to give the big dogs a treat before they went out for their morning relief and one when they returned. They never took more than five to ten minutes. They wanted their second treat as soon as possible. Harlen just got out of the shower when he heard the dogs barking in the kitchen. They were alerting their second in charge when their pack leader was unavailable, there was someone at the back door. Jones leaned over the kitchen window to see the two cowboys who came through the gate with Harlen Wednesday night. He went to the door and opened it while yelling at the dogs to calm down and behave.

"Ah, Master Daniels and Bossman Randy Rutherford, welcome! Come in, come in!" Jones exclaimed, "I'm Jessie Jones, Master Harlen's main man. I'm a glorified butler, valet, domestic secretary, and social arranger. I make sure he's where he's suppose to be, dressed properly, and on time. I been with him twenty-five years the first of June. Don't mind the four-footed monsters. They's good watch dogs, but once you're accepted into the house, they'll try to suck every ounce of love out of you. Their names are Daphnis and Chloe. The male can be a bit goofy at times, so Master Harlen started calling him 'Daffy' and it stuck," Jones explained.   
<< You don't look goofy to me, big guy, >> Randy sent to the male holding out the flat of his hand for him to get his scent.

<< I ain't. I just go crazy sometimes when my mate goes into heat. I can't think of nothing else but nature's call – not unlike a lot of men I see what can't talk and stumble around a good looking woman of their species, >> Daffy replied. Randy laughed. Daffy came to Randy and gave him a big, wet, sloppy, dog kiss.

"You just been accepted as one of the pack, Son. Daffy's usually the last to accept anyone new," Jones said.

"My little brother got into Daffy's head, and they exchanged greetings," Billy explained, shaking Jones's hand.

"Oh, look, Brother! Look at that huge piano in there. I ain't never seen me one that big!" Randy exclaimed.

"Neither have I little brother. Is that one of them Imperial Bosendorfers with ninety-seven keys?" Billy asked.

"It is, indeed. It was a gift from Master Harlen for my thirtieth birthday," Jones replied, delightfully surprised, "Do you men play?" he asked.

"I mess around with it, but my little brother's the real talent in our family," Billy said and smiled.

"He's also so full of bullshit you have to walk upwind of him most of the time, Mr. Jones," Randy said, and the young boy's cowboy-candor made Jessie Jones laugh.    

"You must be mighty important to your boss. This monster must have cost a King's ransom," Billy said, "Low-end, a hun'nert and fifty thou," he added.

"You know your pianos, sir. Would you like to play it, Randy?" Jones asked.

"Could I?" he asked his big brother in awe of the monster.

"The man offered. Play him something. How 'bout the Bach you surprised us with at the last barnyard concert?" Billy asked.

Randy sat down, adjusted the bench, and launched into the first movement of Bach's Partita Number One. Billy watched Jessie's face respond in surprise like he was expecting chop-sticks or a two-part invention at most. Jones's mouth dropped open in awe, and he just shook his head. Billy looked at him, winked, and grinned real big at the stunned look on his face. Billy put the back of his hand to his mouth to hide his laughter. He watched Jones mouth the word 'fuck' and held up six fingers to Billy with a questioning look. Billy shook his head negative and held up seven fingers. They shared a laugh. Randy was about halfway through the piece when Harlen walked into the room in his Western clothes including a large handsome straw hat. He couldn't believe it was his little buddy sitting at the piano ripping off a difficult Bach piece which few seasoned musicians attempt. When he finally got to the last movement, the Gigue, Randy played it at break-neck speed with flawless intonation. Billy was impressed his little brother was actually playing better with more maturity than he did the previous weekend. He was more than a little impressed himself.

The great dogs came and sat attentively on either side of Randy like they knew this was something unusual for a human his age. Of course, Randy left his mental-phone off-the-hook when he was really concentrating on something, and the beasts got to experience the full pleasure of his intellect and the workings of his gifted, enhanced young mind in the execution of the music. It was something they never experienced before, but it was much to their liking. The great cattle dogs not only listened, they joined him and added to his strength and commitment. Toward the last they started humming along and groaning in tune to the last half of the Gigue. They sounded like a canine Glenn Gould descant, only more in tune. When Randy finished, he grabbed their big heads with both arms and kissed each one. He realized they were surfing along with him and giving him extra strength to draw upon. Randy had tears in his eyes he was in such ecstasy. The great dogs licked his tears away as Harlen, Jessie, and Billy applauded for him.

"You didn't tell me you could play piano as well as the banjo, Bossman," Harlen said.

"It never came up, Master Harlen. We didn't have much time together to get to know each other. I'm sure there's more about you we'll discover – like your wonderful main man who has been so gracious to us, and your two wonderful companions," Randy replied. "Now, my big brother will play for you," Randy said like a monarch making a decree.

"And what would you have me play for them, little Brother?" Billy asked.

"The Stravinsky Etudes I like so well. I want Daffy and Chloe to hear them, and if they want to sing along on the slow movement don't anyone try to quiet them," Randy replied vacating the piano bench. Randy laughed and lovingly petted each big dog again. Then, he ran to Harlen's big arms for a hug and an early morning cowboy kiss. "Oh, and big Brother, leave your door open for Daffy and Chloe to come unto you and give you a boost. I had no idea dogs love music," Randy said like a sacred epiphany.

Billy did as his little brother told him and began to play the first Stravinsky Etude. The great dogs sat on either side of him and watched his hands like they were mesmerized. Billy could feel them tapping into his brain and not just coming along for the ride but helping him row the boat. It was a wonderful feeling of mutual cooperation. It was certainly stimulating and boarder-line erotic. When Billy played the third movement, as Randy predicted, the great dogs began to actually anticipate the notes and moaned and groaned along with Billy's playing but were holding back for fear of overwhelming his performance. << Nonsense! Don't hold back, my Children! >> Billy sent to the great beasts. << Let yourselves go! Sing out Daffy! Sing out Chloe! >> he mentally yelled to them. The dogs cast off any inhibitions, threw back their handsome heads, cut loose, and sang along in perfect harmony.

Harlen started to say something, but Randy sent him and Jessie a message. << No! Don't correct them! Master Billy insisted they join in, >>  Jessie looked at Randy and Harlen. He never experienced anyone speaking mind to mind with him, and he looked flummoxed. Harlen grinned, pointed to Randy's head, and grinned. Jessie just shook his head like he was unprepared.

Billy played the last movement at a good clip but didn't blur the lines of the music by playing it too fast as most pianist try to do. It was a well mannered performance and a more mature reading of it than one might expect from someone so young. It was well played and stunningly executed. When Billy finished he had hugs and kisses for the great cow dogs as well. He was as much in love with them as Randy. The other three men applauded for him. Harlen was more impressed with Randy and Billy than ever, but Jessie Jones was more than just a little impressed. He understood what Harlen was trying to tell him the night before. There was something about these men Jessie Jones admired, and he wanted to know more.

"Now, you must play for us, brother Jones," Billy said.

"My boss asked me last evening as we walked Daffy and Chloe why he ain't heard me playing much lately, and I told him I was working up some new stuff I knew he couldn't tolerate more than one hearing. To listen to me practice it over and over again would be like standing him before a firing squad. So now would be as good a time as any to premier the latest work I learned; Bela Bartok's Three Etudes Opus 18," Jessie said.

"Yikes and goblins! Rough pieces, Brother! I'd love to hear them. I ain't introduced my little Brother to the joys of Bartok yet, but as you say, now would be as good a time as any. Once bitten by the Bartok bug, a body is terminally infected, and there ain't no cure," Billy said.

"Agreed, Brother," Jessie said firmly.

Jessie sat down and began to play. Harlen was sitting in a chair holding Randy in his lap shamelessly stealing a kiss from time to time. Randy loved the attention. The great dogs were sitting on either side of Harlen and Randy. They didn't want to be more than a few feet away from Randy. They idolized the young human. He could speak to their minds. He could feel what they feel and allowed them to share his feelings with them. Randy sat enraptured with Jessie's playing. The music was rhythmic, raw, and strident, but somehow it had a super intelligence behind it that transcended the dissonance and clashing chords. It was the work of a musical genius of the first order. Billy was right. It didn't take Randy long to be bitten by the Bartok bug. Jessie played the three Etudes flawlessly. Billy never heard them played better. When Jessie finished, the three men applauded for him and the dogs howled their approval. While Harlen was proud and pleased with his friend, he had to admit he didn't think he could take a steady diet or listen to someone learn the pieces. The word 'Hosanna' came to his mind, but he remained silent.

"Gees, Mr. Jones, that was terrific!" Billy exclaimed, "We're always looking for new talent, and I'd love to have you play for us. My slaves and cows would love it. They love anything new and different from what they're used to hearing, but they also love our ethnic music part of the program as well. We just installed a new Yamaha concert grand on the stage behind our old barn. Other than me and Randy playing Chop-sticks and Heart and Soul, it ain't been properly played. It's a virgin instruments waiting for a fine musician like you to lovingly break her in. Do you think there's anyway your employer might find it in his big heart to allow you to come to our Saturday afternoon barbecue and Barnyard Concert tomorrow?" Billy asked.

"And play for cows?" Jessie asked and grinned.

"Yes, highly intelligent cows with IQ's well over 150. You should see them dance the Virginia Reel," Billy replied and got a laugh out of Harlen and Randy.

"My only audience for the last several years has been Daffy and Chloe, and Master Harlen when he's in the mood. I never really thought about whether the dogs might be enjoying my playing, but the offer is tempting," Jessie said and smiled at Harlen.

"We could come collect you about eleven tomorrow morning," Billy said.

"What do you think, Boss?" Jones asked Harlen.

"Don't see why not. Cook and Handy can look after the place while you're gone," Harlen said, "I think it would do you good to get away from this place for a while and socialize with some interesting folks," Harlen said and grinned. Jessie picked up his subtle reference and smiled.

"Good. Then it's settled. We'll be here at eleven sharp," Billy said.

"I'll look forward to it," Jessie said.

Billy and Randy said their goodbyes and had a hug and an extra pat for Daffy and Chloe. The big dogs didn't want them to leave. They never met humans before who could talk to them in their mind. It was so freeing for them, and they idolized Billy and Randy. They herded the men to the gate. They wanted to go with them when they went through, but Jessie held them back. He consoled them, by assuring Daffy and Chloe they would see them tomorrow when they came for him. They wanted to ask why they couldn't go, but alas, their number two pack leader couldn't communicate mind to mind with them. They resolved to ask Randy and Master Billy about it the next day.

* * * * * * *
"What kept you men?" Kate asked somewhat perturbed, "We almost started serving without you," she added.

"Bossman Randy and me got into a big fight with a giant Bosendorfer Imperial!" Billy exclaimed, "H'it dang near chewed me up and spit me out, Grandma! If'n it hadn't a' been for my little brother, here, coming to my rescue and taming the humongous critter, I'd a been a goner fer sure!" Billy said using his best cowboy hyperbole. When Billy got silly it would level Randy, and he would turn into a bag of giggles.
"A Bosendorfer Imperial? I thought they were extinct. I'm sure we don't have any roaming the hill country looking for wannabe musicians to gobble up. If there are, it's slim pickings around these parts. Good thing you took the Bossman with you, Son," Kate replied and smiled.

"I'm familiar with the beast you speak of, Master Billy. I understand Master Johnson's head-of-household, Mr. Jones, plays quite well," Zelma Jane said and winked at Harlen.

"Better'n quite-well, ma'am. He's phenomenal. He brought that dang beast to its knees and made it beg for mercy with them three Bartok Etudes he played for us. He's coming tomorrow for our barbecue and Barnyard Concert to inaugurate our new stage grand. It will be nice to have some new talent play for us," Billy said.

"I'll look forward to meeting him again. Mr. Jones is a gentleman's gentleman. He is well thought of and highly admired in Texas social circles," Zelma said firmly, "I've seen him back down an arrogant new-money loud mouthed swine who had a little too much to drink and was ranting about something he knew absolutely nothing about. With nothing more than his sterling tongue and compassionate wit more lethal than the late Molly Ivins, Mr. Jones would have the man laughing at his own ignorance. In his next breath, with a little ego stroking and few well placed compliments as social wound dressing, Mr. Jones would have the bully eating from his hand in a matter of minutes following him around like a stoned hippy who just found his personal guru," Zelma said, "He was a strong supporter and worked hard for Texas last real governor, Ann Richards," she added.  

Harlen beamed at her compliment. "Thank you, Mrs. Redbone. Coming from you, that's quite a compliment. Hiring Jessie Jones was one of the smartest decisions I ever made in my life. As long as he agrees to remain in my employ, he will be well taken care of, and, god forbid, should he choose to leave, I have made sure he will never want for the rest of his life," Harlen said like a sacred oath.

"It's only as it should be, good sir," Zelma said in agreement.

"Let's eat!" Kate exclaimed, like she heard enough, and it was time to feed the body. No one objected.

Billy and Randy talked about Harlen's place and meeting Jessie Jones and the two dogs Daffy and Chloe. Kate almost spit her coffee across the table upon hearing the names but managed to choke it down amid laughter. Zelma carefully explained the slight name change from the mythological couple as related to her by Jessie Jones. She thought it was delightful and Kate agreed. The were mature dogs when my husband was still alive when we visited your place for a lovely outdoor barbecue," Zelma observed.

"Yes, ma'am, they were about six years old. That's been five years ago, and Daffy is beginning to have difficulties with his hip. Sometimes it goes out altogether and he has to drag himself along until Jessie can call the vet to give him a hormone shot and some oral pain killers. Then he'll be all right for a while, but they keep coming more often. I hate to put him down. I know it sounds a bit silly and perhaps maudlin but them two dogs bind us together as family," Harlen said and blushed at his moment of weakness.

"Nonsense and fiddle-faddle!" exclaimed Zelma, "Ain't anyone sitting at this table what can't claim the same relationship with some beloved animal with whom they have shared a close relationship," she said firmly, "It's obvious you haven't met Master Billy's owner, yet," she added.

"Hear! Hear!" exclaimed Nathan and echoed by Tron Garrett.

"You have a master?" Harlen asked Billy.

"Yes, sir, he's a fine Morgan Palomino pony I hand-raised from a young colt. His name is Samson. He's my owner and master. When I need advice he's always ready to listen and help me understand the right way. Like you done said about your 'man' Jessie, I will see to his well-being for life," Billy said.

"I'll look forward to meeting him," Harlen said and smiled.    

Harlen inquired about Harley-Buck and Billy told him they processed their new slaves yesterday, but he wouldn't be able to see or spend time with his son until after noon. Billy explained he only worked his slaves four and a half days per week and their weekend officially began when they were told to quit work at eleven on Fridays to clean up and get ready for lunch. The rest of the day and weekend they were free to do as they pleased. "After lunch, Bossman and I will take you out to see where Harley-Buck and Earl are bunking and you can spend some one-on-one time with him if you like," Billy said.   

"Did you get to watch the new slaves being processed, Bossman?" Harlen asked Randy.

"I sure did. I held Harley-Buck's hand while he got his piercings. You won't believe how good they look. They'll look a lot better after a couple of months work and daily workouts with their handlers. They's a little pale, but it won't take long, and they'll be as tan and healthy looking as Orville Higginbothem," Randy replied.

Billy and Randy took Harlen everywhere they went that morning. Billy didn't see any reason to hold anything back from the big cowboy. Harlen was becoming more use to the group of men who followed Billy around everywhere they went. He was particularly impressed by the large cowboy Billy introduced as he surrogate dad, Nick Samuels, but he made no connection to any biblical connotation. He heard others refer to him as Captain Nick and wondered, but didn't ask any questions. Being a cowboy himself, Harlen figured he would begin to put the pieces together and who played what role with whom. He was most impressed by the huge cowboys Clyde and Balthazar in particular. He couldn't ever remember seeing such a fine looking black man. The big black man seemed to be most attentive to Zelma Redbone and Harlen would see them exchanging words and then laughing between them like two close friends. It never crossed Harlen's mind there was anything more than a mutual admiration between them, and he was right.

It seemed each of Master Billy's inner circle were ringed and Harlen found the look most arousing. He asked one of the other two cowboys, Garth and Mack, why they weren't ringed and they replied Master Billy didn't require it of them. He never required it of his other protectors. Balthazar was his only ringed slave for a while, and the others chose to be ringed in deference to the big black man; however, they both assured him it probably would only be a matter of time and convenience before they petitioned Master Billy to ring them. While they understood it was a mark of slavery, they came to look upon it as an honor to be known as one of Master Billy's slaves. "You will come to understand, in time, Master Johnson," they assured him, "we have no secrets and we won't try to hide anything from someone new. You only have to ask about something you don't understand, and someone will explain, sir," Garth added.

"Thanks, I'll keep that in mind. Would it be inappropriate to inquire about Master Billy and Captain Nick's relationship?" he asked.

"No, sir, not at all. While Master Billy's official bonded mate and husband is his big protector, Boomer, Captain Nick acts as Master Billy's dad, and they share the same bed. Is that enough without going into further detail?" Mack asked and grinned.

"I'd say you answered my question fully to my satisfaction, sir. Thank you," Harlen replied.
Since Randy learned to use his transporting gate app so successfully, Billy came to rely on him for transportation here and there. Randy opened a gate and everyone passed through to the village square on Captain Nick's ship. They told Harlen they were taking him to meet the more unusual members of Master Billy's tribe and for him to just take everything in stride. He would come to understand in time. Harlen was amazed there was a complete village with small people busy going about their lives – until, the gate sprang up and Master Billy and their Captain came walking through. Harlen couldn't believe the love the village folks showered on the men. They dropped everything they were doing to come greet them. Billy introduced Harlen as Harley-Buck's long lost dad who was recently reunited each other. Everyone seemed to know who Harley-Buck was and smiled at Harlen like he was welcome. There were many small, medium size people, and several giants milling about. He couldn't get over the Sun Bears and especially the winged ones who were flying about having a wonderful time greeting the men. They would land in someone's arms and smother them with hugs and kisses with lots of squeals and giggles when the men would tickle them. It was like something out of a Disney movie. What gripped Harlen to the bottom of his gut was the unbridled love these creatures shared with Master Billy and his entourage. This was not staged. They were genuinely happy to be reunited with their master again.

The men spent the morning touring Captain Nick's ship. Harlen couldn't believe it was a space ship, especially after visiting the castle and being introduced to the great Shedus. He remembered seeing statues of the great beasts in the ruins of Persia when he visited several years before. He was told they were mythological beasts. Harlen never considered they might be real. Billy made a point of taking Harlen to the dungeon in the castle.

"Welcome to 'Hell', Mr. Johnson," Billy said and grinned at Harlen.

"Is this where you brought Womack and my boy?" he asked.

"We figured if we heated it up, and decorated it with lots of red lights and special effects it would make a convincing Hades. Would you like to meet big daddy Satan?" Billy asked and smiled.

"He's one of your men?" Harlen asked in awe.

"Gog! Do us a favor and let us see you in your Daddy Satan form," Billy asked.

"Right away, Master Billy. You mind if I strip first so's I don't ruin my clothes, sir?" Gog asked.

"Not at all. We's family here, and you know I personally enjoy seeing your fine body in the raw. I'm sure our guest will find you as comely as the rest of us," Billy replied.

It only took a minute for Gog to strip. When he turned around, the giant man stood before them in his naked glory. Gog was stunning, and his time with the Daniels' family showed. Billy Gog Groats was an awesome giant, but he was even more impressive in the raw. Billy heard Harlen suck in a deep breath of air like he was surprised and stunned at the same time. "Impressive," he said firmly, "Very impressive!" he exclaimed.

"Now, Master Billy?" Gog asked.

"Now would be fine, my friend," Billy replied respectfully.

Gog morphed into the even larger and more impressive red demon with his magnificent horns and other, even more impressive, attributes. Billy heard Harlen laugh. "My god! What a magnificent creature. I can understand why my boy would be so impressed. He told me the whole story, but I just couldn't imagine. I thought he was either recalling a vivid dream, or he might have been hypnotized. What about you? I know you must be the demon he fell in love with," Harlen said.

Billy took off his clothes and stood naked before everyone. He morphed to his Kagoli demon form. He walked up to Gog, and the giant demon opened his arms for his master. Gog sat Billy upon his lap with his arms around him shamelessly stealing kisses and licking him with his huge black tongue. "Are you Daddy Satan's favorite little demon-son?" Gog asked teasing Billy, and everyone in the room broke up laughing.

"I am, indeed, your faithful and loving demon son, Daddy Satan. You can be my daddy anytime you want," Billy replied and kissed Gog on the mouth to seal their troth. Everyone was laughing and applauding. "Where are my flying demons?" Billy called out and clapped his hands. Instantly his enhanced Sun Bear family morphed into their demon forms and began flying about with their bat-like wings. Everyone went crazy applauding and stomping their boots for the cute little critters. They landed on the large dais. Several landed on Gog and Billy's laps. Although it looked totally convincing, Harlen was blown away by the inventiveness and fun everyone seemed to be having. No one was uptight or frowning. They were having a ball celebrating their abilities to be creative and capture the moment.

Harlen's mind coupled the experience with Randy and Billy's playing Jessie's piano earlier in the morning. It was the same sense of love and an overwhelming joy of life. It was play, and they were having a ball. It suddenly struck Harlen, while they could be unquestioningly serious and determined in their lust for life, it was their sense of freedom and joy through 'play' that united them into a single large family tribe. No one was left out, not even an innocent bystander like himself. Each had a part to play which brought them together as a whole. It was what he was trying to describe to Jones the evening he returned but couldn't find the words.

<< Exactly! >> Harlen heard in his mind and looked down at Randy who was smiling up at him.

<< I think I'm beginning to understand. I should just let go, let it overwhelm and consume me, then wallow in the bounty, >> Harlen sent back.

<< You do understand. Freude, schöner Götterfunken, Tochter aus Elysium! Pace yourself, Brother, there's much more to come, Master Harlen, >> Randy returned.

<< I think I'm ready, Bossman, >> Harlen said and pulled Randy to his side.

Billy introduced Harlen to Gog and the giant took him into his arms, gave him a big hug, and a kiss on his cheek. "Forgive me Master Johnson, I should have seen the resemblance, but the facial hair hid your features, sir," Gog said humbly.

"No apology necessary. My boy told me he very much admired the Devil who passed judgment on him and even went so far as to call him his son. He was so taken with you, it was with considerable guilt he expressed his admiration for you and your treatment of him. I wondered how the devil of the Old Testament could be thought of as a nice guy, but now I know and share my son's feelings. I will gladly share him with you, Gog," Harlen said and bowed slightly.

"I'm afraid we were all pulling for him and consequently fell in love with him. It is our hope we gave him a sense of self-worth and importance. We tried to imprint on him we care and would be following his progress closely. We had a good time at his expense, but have no fear, when the time comes, after his basic training as a slave is completed, we plan to invite him back to Hell to expose our deception and initiate him into our greater tribe," Gog boomed back in his best demon voice.  

"I can only hope to be a part of it. It would bring me great joy," Harlen said.

"Of course you will be included. You agreed before the court and your fellow men you would become Harley-Buck's mentor as Bubba became Orville's mentor," Billy said walking over to his clothes. He morphed back into Billy Daniels, and reached into the pocket of his Wranglers. He produced a small key, walked naked over to Harlen, and handed it to him. "Here, keep this with your personal keys. It's the key to Harley-Buck's cock cage and harness he's required to wear until the end of his training period. There are only two keys. One key is for his handlers. As his recognized mentor, the other is for you. If I need to inspect him for anything, I will use the handler's key. During his break-in period, his body will not be his own. It will become mine and the property of the ranch. He will not be allowed to touch his private parts. We are not trying to torture him. We plan to teach him he can be controlled, and for release he must depend on either his handlers or his mentor. I am not only giving you this key trusting you will follow our plan for him, but also to spare you the embarrassment of having to ask me for it after you see him this afternoon," Billy said and grinned. Everyone laughed. They knew how hot Harley-Buck looked in his new state as a punishment slave. Earl Hickson was a close second. In fact, the men looked like bookends they were so close in size and physical development.

"You will meet with his handlers. They will tell you what is expected of you and what your options are. They are a fund of information. They will work closely with you to keep you informed of his progress and his mental state. I suggest you spend some quality time with Bubba Kirkendall and get his input, his attitude, and philosophy he learned training our slave, Orville. I'm sure he will be a great help to you. There are other rules we expect you to adhere to, but they ain't difficult. There is reason behind each one," Billy said.
"It's a great trust. I hope I can rise to the occasion," Harlen said sincerely.

"Don't worry none. You will rise to the occasion many times, Mr. Johnson, trust me," Billy said and grinned wickedly, "With our transportation gates, this job should not become a burden for you. We will show you how to operate them. You are to enjoy yourself and make sure your boy is cared for at the same time. Unless you instruct his handlers otherwise, only you can offer him release. He will grow to depend on you for his sexual reward and make no mistake, it is one of the the greatest bonding devices known to humans," Billy said firmly. "It is a unique chance for you men to span the gap of time, years spent apart, and get to know each other intimately. Psychologically, Harley-Buck will, in essence, be almost reduced to an infant, and it will be your job to guide him through his rebirth, childhood, and young adolescence at an accelerated rate to become a cooperative, caring, and compassionate adult slave. I know it sounds like a daunting task, but as the Marine Corps likes to brag, they build men in a short period of time; it is doable. Furthermore, the personal rewards you will share together, will create a solid foundation for you to build upon for many years to come. The best part I saved for last. You will never have to suffer your son going through rebellious teenage years. You have the tools and the ability to make him into the man you would like him to become – as a slave or a freeman – a man you will be proud to introduce to anyone as your son," Billy added.

"Gosh! I feel like I just been asked to join the Masons," Harlen said.

"No, something more far reaching than the Masons, sir. You been asked to join a new family who will, one day, travel to the stars together," Billy replied and smiled.

"Hosanna!" shouted Gog, still in his big Daddy Satan persona.

"Hosanna, in the highest!" replied everyone in the room.

* * * * * * *
After touring most of the castle, Billy and his crew took Harlen to the work area for his new city. The command center was busy getting last minute things done for the installment of the cornerstone for the project. From there, everything else would be built around the huge one hundred and seventy ton solid granite block. Harlen couldn't believe his eyes. The main critter in charge was a large red demon with a ring through his nose, his teats, and his large cock. He was completely naked because that's the way his workers liked to see him Billy explained to Harlen.

Billy went to Jethro and they exchanged hugs and a kiss. "When you knock off work at eleven, morph cowboy, and come to the big house for lunch. The rest of the Breedlove contingency will be there, and I would very much appreciate your company as well," Billy said.

"By your command, Master Billy. It will be an honor, sir," Jethro replied.

"Command, my ass! It's a plea, Jethro! You and Oatie been watch'n too damn many of them Battlestar Galactica re-runs," Billy said, and they shared a laugh. They were laughing when Harlen, and the rest of Billy's family walked up to them. "Mr. Johnson, this is my main work planning development coordinator for our new city, Jethro Quince. He's human but morphed to look like a Kagoli demon like I demonstrated for you a while ago; however, as you can see, I can't hold a candle to the stunning beauty of Jethro in his demon form. It started out as a bet and a joke between us and his workers. His workers love to see and work with him in his current form and Jethro seems to get twice as much cooperation and work out of them this way, it's become a comfortable tradition. Jethro is the slave and future husband of our veterinarian, Doctor Oatie Breedlove. I know you met Oatie in the judge's chamber with me, and I think you met his granddad after court last Wednesday. Jethro became my slave for a couple of weeks to help get our building project underway and begged me and my surrogate dad to teach him how to morph into this demon form for his master's pleasure. Since that time, he taught his master, and they were two of the demons in the courtroom that day to rescue Womack and Harley-Buck and take them to Hell," Billy explained. Harlen got the biggest grin on his face.

"This is our new slave's dad?" Jethro asked.

"Jethro, meet Mister Harlen Buckley Johnson, Senior," Billy introduced them.

Jethro didn't offer his hand. He threw his huge, massively muscular red arms around Harlen and pulled him into a bear hug. Harlen didn't resist and smiled as Jethro shamelessly stole a couple of kisses from him. Harlen returned the large demon's affections in kind. "I was so impressed with your son, Harley-Buck, and I still am, Master Johnson. He's in the right place to become more than he ever imagined. I'm so glad to meet you, and I know you will enjoy becoming a part of our family and help Harley-Buck grow to become an important asset for us. Once we got him to our version of Hell, he became a changed man, and not just because of the fine horns Master Billy gave him. He captured our hearts," Jethro gushed.

Harlen was duly impressed. "Thank you, Mr. Quince, for your kind words. I'm looking forward to becoming a part of your family and getting to know my son," Harlen said.

"Call me 'Jethro' Master Johnson. I'm just a slave, sir," Jethro said humbly.

"A very important slave, I might add," Billy said, "The several weeks Jethro spent with us, he made himself invaluable. When the time came to return him to his master, I knew we couldn't let go of him completely. I made an agreement with his master to pay him for his slave's work if he would allow Jethro to continue as my building coordinator. It's become a win-win situation for everyone," Billy explained.

"Your timing couldn't be better, Master Johnson," Jethro said, "We're about to set the massive cornerstone for our new city, right after we give you the grand tour," Jethro said, "Master Billy, if you will," Jethro made a sweeping gesture with his arm to indicate Billy should take over the narrative.
"You will join us?" Billy asked Jethro like it was a rhetorical question.

"Certainly, Master. We done stopped work and we're just cleaning up details waiting for you. We will be proud to accompany you and answer any questions you or your guest might have. Right this way, sir," Jethro said and directed Billy and his posse to the great balcony to look down on the scale model of Sapphire City.

"Oh, my God!" Harlen exclaimed quietly, but loud enough everyone in Billy's group heard him.

Randy was holding Harlen's hand and gently squeezed it. "What did I tell you?" Randy asked and smiled.

"I know, Bossman, but when I hear city in this area, I think of a small town. This is beyond my wildest imaginings. It's – it's breath taking – it's beautiful. What is that down there? A monorail?" Harlen asked.

"Yes, and we're going to take you for a ride on it. See, it just pulled into the station below us. We'll go down there and get on it," Randy explained.

"But it's just a model," Harlen said.

"Don't let the size fool you, Master J., it's only relative to our size. Watch as them men go through the gate right there," Randy pointed to a gate similar to the ones he created to move from place to place, "Now, look down to the monorail station," he instructed Harlen. The big man looked and saw tiny people the size of insects walking toward the monorail and boarding.

"Sweet Jesus! Billy wasn't kidding about advanced technology. I never imagined anything like this," he exclaimed.

"Come," Randy said tugging on Harlen's hand, "Let's go ride the monorail. You're gonna' love it, big Brother," the young boy assured him.

Harlen was stunned. If Billy Daniels could manage to create a model so sophisticated you could tour it like it was a finished city, he had no doubt he had the wherewithal to build it. The monorail ride and subsequent rides on several trams driven by several of the small people from the village was an eyeopener themselves. Each was wearing a fine looking sapphire blue uniform and took over conducting the tour like professionals at a large amusement center. Harlen began to wonder if Billy needed more backing and if it might be a reason he was being shown their plans. He heard Randy laugh next to him.

"Did you hear that?" Harlen asked.

"Yes, sir, but I weren't eavesdropping none. You sometimes think loud, and being close to you, it's easier for me to hear you. They didn't hear you," Randy said gesturing to the other men in the car with them. "Let me assure you, Master Billy don't need your money. That ain't why you're here. You're here because of your son, and you just happen to be a good man yourself who needs something more in life than business and making money. You need family and to belong to something greater than yourself," Randy explained like it was a lesson every school boy should know and understand.

"You really know how to humble this old man, Son," Harlen said, slipped his arm around Randy, and pulled him close.

After touring the city, Billy and Jethro took the men thought another gate to watch the installment of the great cornerstone to the city.

* * * * * * *
At thirty thousand feet, on board American Airlines flight 376 from Houston to San Francisco, a pretty flight attendant opened the door to the pilot's cabin to take their food orders for lunch to serve on the flight. When she finished and turned to leave, she turned back again and spoke like she suddenly had an inconsequential afterthought, "Oh, yes, and by the way, Captain Stewart, you might want to look out your left side and slightly behind us, sir. We're being followed and our speed matched by a UFO what looks like a huge block of stone. The passengers on the left side brought it to our attention. I would have said something sooner, but they seem to be having such a great time taking photos, I didn't want to alarm anyone. Ya'll have a nice day, now, ya' hear?" she said in her best Kilgore College Rangerette voice with a happy-face, turned, and closed the door. Gussie Nell would have been so proud of her.
The pilot and co-pilot leaned over to get a good look at the object and couldn't believe their eyes. The stewardess was right. On their left side, about a mile away, was a long, huge rectangular block of some kind flying through the air and exactly matching their speed. If they slowed a bit, it would slow. If they went faster, the thing matched their increase in speed. It was as if it was intelligently guided, but they had no idea for what purpose. It didn't seem hostile. They talked among themselves, the pilot, co-pilot, and navigator, trying to decide whether they should report it, but it didn't look like any UFO they ever heard about before. About the time they decided they should probably report it, somewhere over the hill country of West Central Texas, the block broke off following the huge plane and began it's descent to its intended destination.

When the plane landed in San Francisco, TSA was right there to confiscate everyone's cell phones and cameras to gather the pictures of the UFO then erase the memory chips; however, they didn't get all of them. Several enterprising gay men anticipated their actions, slipped their memory chips inside a condom, visited the restroom, and shoved them up their asses. The only lubricant they had between them was a tube of industrial strength Bengay which they gladly shared equally and passed from one insertee to the next. Fortunately, TSA didn't search departing passengers, but one sharp young lady-inspector said she noticed a strong odor of menthol wafting though the air from a rather large group of single men, but she passed it off as being a result of the cold season.

The young men, themselves, stepped rather sprightly and several passengers were heard to comment they thought they might be part of the troupe traveling from the popular revival of Riverdance from the nineteen-seventies, closing after a highly successful run at the new Ima Hogg Memorial Theater for the Performing Arts in Houston, to be opening soon at a theater in the bay area. They were so quick of step they would have made Michael Flatley swoon with envy, as they made a bee-line for the nearest restroom. That evening, pictures of the flying block of stone, posted by eight male passengers on flight 376 from Houston to San Francisco, went viral on the Internet. The heroic young men literally pulled the pictures from of their ass and did what they considered their sacred duty to alert the skeptical public, we are not alone.

Randy was the first to spot the large block of stone coming down from the sky. It suddenly dropped about a hundred and fifty feet above their heads and slowly lowered itself into place over the chalk markings. The final measurements were taken and slight adjustments made. A single man could move it with one finger. When Jethro and his team were satisfied it was where it should be, they called for it to be set down. As lightly as a feather, the huge block of stone settled into place. It was so heavy, it shook the surrounding ground as it settled and began to bear the weight. It was done. The cornerstone of the Sapphire City was in place. There went up a great cheer from Jethro and his workers. Billy and his posse joined them. Everyone was patting Jethro on the back congratulating him and his team. It was a great moment which they planned to formally celebrate the following Sunday afternoon with a dedication. Billy decided it would become known as the 'Jethro' stone and he would declare, "Upon this rock, we will build our city!"

"How, in the name of some unknown god, did you do that?" Harlen asked Billy.

"Shedu power, Master Johnson! Who do you think build the Persian empire? Who do you think built the pyramids? Who do you think built the pre-Mayan/Aztec foundations the natives built on top? We'll show you our new greenhouses in which we plan to grow some exotic herbs to use and sell. The plans were drawn up and submitted to our great beasts and their staff. They were completed overnight," Billy said, "Is it any wonder the ancients worshiped them?" he asked and smiled.

"What I just witnessed was beyond incredible. It was damn near miraculous!" Harlen exclaimed.

"Yes, and that's the way religions are born, and the great beasts were worshiped at one time," Billy said and grinned.

"Touché!" Harlen replied firmly.

The cornerstone was put into place at 10:45 A.M. Billy called a halt to work for everyone. He declared their weekend officially began. Another cheer went up, and everyone came around to congratulate Jethro and Billy. They were in their cups. Jethro morphed and they waited for him to dress to escort him to the big house. Harlen was as impressed with Jethro in his cowboy persona as he was his Kagoli demon form. He was a stunningly handsome, well-built man. Everyone left the Captain's ship through a Bossman Gate, as the portals were coming to be known, and exited in the compound of the big house. Their timing was perfect. Kate walked out on the porch to ring the triangle du vittles. Harlen began to put two and two together with the Breedlove family and the huge cowboy they called the bull of the hill country, Elmer Breedlove. Harlen and Elmer got along fine. Harlen was fascinated by Elmer's ring through his nose, complimented him, and quietly asked the big cowboy if he only wore a septum ring or did he have the full compliment?

"The works, Son," Elmer replied and winked, "I was with the group of men who worked on Orville. I watched Master Billy ring him and seeing him running around here half-naked liked to ripped me a new asshole. I always admired Master Billy's black slave and his piercings. After we done took care of Orville, the big Clyde's-dale slave fell on his knees and begged his master to ring him. After that Billy's adopted dad, Captain Nick, felt left out and requested the same. I got to where I couldn't look at them men without git'n a big old hard-on and ma' dick wouldn't stop drip'n, so I talked it over with my husband-and-wife-to-be and asked them what they thought. Here I am, ringed and proud to be one of Master Billy's men.

Harlen asked how he could be marrying a man and a woman, and Elmer laughed. He explained about Vox and Rox, but Harlen found his explanation difficult to understand. He never heard of a chimera before; however, he knew better than to challenge the big man about it, because what he witnessed the last several days challenged his own sense of what was real and what was possible. He was determined he would learn and try to understand. If they could change the preacher into a woman and restructure his or her memories, there was no telling what they might be capable of doing.

* * * * * * *
After lunch Billy and his men took Harlen out to be with his son for a while. Randy wanted to go, but Kate put her foot down. She told the Bossman he needed to lie down for a while and take a nap. The days were beginning to get warmer, and she was concerned about him. She began to notice if Randy didn't take an hour and rest, he had a tendency to get out-of-sorts later in the day. The Bossman held great respect for Ms. Kate and conceded to her wishes without grumbling. Clyde was in the kitchen and saw Randy's face fall after Kate made her pronouncement. "I'll take him up to our room, Mistress Kate, and turn on the fan. I'll stay with him. I could use a bit of a lay-me-down myself," Clyde allowed. Randy perked right up. It didn't seem like punishment when your big buddy was with you.

Billy didn't take everyone in his usual posse with him and Harlen to visit Harley-Buck and Earl Hickson. He didn't want a crowd of cowboys around the newly processed slaves. He didn't want them to become more self-conscious than their new adjustments might cause them to be. Billy and Harlen found them in their bunk area, straightening their cubicles and chatting with their buddy Erin Mascaro. Erin's cubical, he shared with his new Irin cowboy slave-buddy, was just across the isle from the two new slaves. Earl Hickson didn't have anyone assigned to become his mentor yet, but Billy asked for a volunteer from his posse.

Harlen was a bit taken aback at the first sight of his boy, but he soon adjusted to the severity of his appearance. Both men were denuded of all body hair, which is a common practice in the armed forces for new recruits in almost every military the world over. It came down to a matter of cleanliness and ridding the body of any potential parasites. Harlen gave Harley-Buck a hug and peck on his cheek and shook Earl's hand. Billy was right. The men's appearance stirred something deep within Harlen which made him become sexually aroused. Their harnesses were new and looked exactly like Orville's. It was very erotic for the big man. Billy assured him before they arrived, it was the same for everyone. They came to look upon their new punishment slaves as eye-candy from their usual day to day quotidian lives.

Earl remained in his bunk to begin learning how to use his new computer. Erin was helping him. Billy and Harlen took Harley-Buck to the patio off the bunkhouse, grabbed a cup of coffee, sat, and talked with the big cowboy for a while. Other cowboy slaves, male and female, would come by from time to time, gently place a hand on their new bunkhouse-mate, introduce themselves, and welcome him to their quarters. Harlen was impressed by everything he saw. There was no condescension or pecking order being established. They seemed to accept the fact Harley-Buck was a new inductee, and he would need as much support as they might be able to provide him. Harley-Buck and Earl's four keepers came by and Billy introduced them to Harlen. Billy explained Harlen would have some time alone with them to help him better understand his job as his son's mentor. They didn't expect him to wade into his position as his son's mentor without  guidance and a solid understanding of the goals they hoped to achieve. Harlen was once again thoroughly impressed. These men were serious and nothing was left to chance.

Harlen was not a man to be shy around people. He had the self-confidence of a bull and didn't rise as far as he did in the business world being a shrinking violet; however, around Harley-Buck, he found himself tongue-tied like a young school boy introduced to a pretty little school girl. The more he looked at Harley-Buck and the longer he was around him, the more he wanted to be alone with him to touch and hold him in his arms. 'How sick was that?' he wondered. A man feeling a sexual attraction for his own son? How could he ever hope to help this man with his progress as a punishment slave, when Harlen felt an overwhelming sexual urge for him? He knew he had to talk with someone about it, and it popped into his mind who might be the perfect man with whom to bear his naked soul – Elmer Breedlove. Harlen didn't consider someone as young as Billy might understand his conundrum. He would come to realize, he couldn't have been more wrong.

The afternoon passed quickly. Billy left Harlen with Harley-Buck and his keepers. Harley-Buck's keepers only took up a small amount of Harlen's time. They gave him a folder with a one page description of expectations and two video's to give him some sense of the scope of their cooperative training of his son. The rest of the afternoon the two men strolled around the compound and talked quietly. It was getting warmer and Harlen suggested they find someplace private out of the sun to talk. After consulting with Harley-Buck's keepers, they suggested Bubba and Orville liked to use the loft in the old barn to share some intimate time. The men went to the barn and before they could climb the ladder, they heard voices, and saw the large cowboy Bubba Kirkendall looking down at them wearing only his hat and boots with his big cock and balls swinging free.

"We're sorry, Mr. Kirkendall, we didn't mean to invade your privacy. We'll leave and come back later," Harlen said.

"Nonsense, come on up. I'm just putting my 'dad' through his paces. We only have one more day to get our act together before Orville's grand opening on Sunday afternoon. I want to make damn sure he's ready. He's just about there, but I plan to fine-tune him the next couple of days like a fine race car or a prize quarter-horse," Bubba said, "I ain't shy none, and h'it wouldn't make no difference if my dad is or not. He does what I tell him. It would be nice to have a small audience to perform for and you might learn something. I done already talked with Master Billy, Mr. Johnson, and agreed to talk with you in private later, after I take care of ma' dad on Sunday. No reason you can't get some idea what your role is gonna' be training your boy," Bubba invited.

Harlen and Harley-Buck decide to join them and climbed the ladder to the loft. They sat on a bale of hay together and looked at the two men. Orville was in great shape and Bubba wasn't too shabby himself. For the last two weeks he joined Orville in his weight training exercises, and it was really beginning to show. Harlen and Harley-Buck were instantly aroused.

"They's old towels and some retired, but clean, horse blankets if you feel like getting comfortable or have an unexpected accident and need to clean yourself," Bubba said motioning to the pile of supplies, "It's part of the keeper's job to gather the soiled blankets and towels to have them cleaned and replace them," Bubba added.

Harlen wasn't naïve, but he had no idea how he was suppose to react. He decided to watch and learn. Bubba went on with his training of Orville. Harlen was impressed at how firm and demanding of the older man Bubba was but rationalized it in his mind as Bubba was the master and Orville his slave. He was even more impressed Bubba wasn't brutal nor did he ask anything unreasonable of his slave. His approach was more one of a fine athletic coach who knew how to best stroke and encourage his athletes to gain their maximum potential on the playing field. Bubba never yelled at his surrogate dad nor belittled him. He kept focused on the goal he was working to achieve for themselves and not just for him alone. The big cowboy kept stressing theirs was a team effort and Bubba couldn't perform his best if he couldn't depend on his partner to provide his best for him at all times during their coupling. The more intense they became, the more clothes Harlen and Harley-Buck loosened or removed. They didn't do anything together but held each other and fondled one another until they reached a climax. Bubba explained it was Harlen's job to clean his boy and vice versa. They spent the afternoon quietly observing Bubba and Orville. Later, Harlen equated the experience to jumping feet first into the heat of a volcano, but it was the most stimulating afternoon either one of them experienced. Harlen even went so far as to call it educational. He felt like he learned a lot from watching Bubba and Orville in action. His descriptions only added to the other men's anticipation for Sunday afternoon.

* * * * * * *
It became a custom on the ranch, every Friday evening, after a light supper, the men would transport to the dungeon baths on Captain Nick's ship and everyone, including the major players on the ship, would gather to share the huge stone baths and hot water. Bossman Randy was happy to be going with the men this time, but he wasn't alone. Tom McMartin decided his boys should learn early there is no shame in being naked before others in a private setting. Harlen wondered about boys so young being exposed to so many naked mature males, and asked Elmer about it.

"Master Billy discussed it with Randy's mom and grandma. They decided in a household of women, the boy needed the exposure to other men so he wouldn't be introverted or shy around other boys. Tom and Abigale McMartin feel the same, and I don't think you could find three, more well adjusted boys, if you looked. Public nudity such as swimming or bathing together is a great social event which levels everyone to their basic skin. It's a great bonding experience for men of all ages," Elmer said. Vox was with Elmer, and after they removed their clothes, Elmer asked Vox to morph into Roxanne for Harlen. Once again the big cowboy was dumbfounded. He finally understood what Elmer was trying to describe to him earlier. It was true. There were two separate entities dwelling in the same body.

Randy and the McMartin boys were equal opportunity buddies for the men. They were welcome in any lap or to sit by one of their favorite cowboys and talk with them. Billy's stable grooms brewed up a huge pot of tea laced with one of the milder euphoric herbs and everyone drank a mug. Billy carefully explained to Harlen it was unlike anything he ever tried, but it was not disorienting nor hallucinogenic. At best, it could be described as a mood elevator. Harlen tried a mug and then another. Billy was right, the effect was like nothing he ever experience before. He never felt so included and appreciated in his life as he did soaking in the hot water of the stone bath. He began to talk about his conundrum of his apparent lust for his own son with Elmer Breedlove.

Elmer took the ball and ran with it, "You got a unique situation, Harlen," Elmer started, "H'it ain't like you were there to welcome him into the world. You didn't get to watch him grow up. You didn't get to have any say in his development or education. You woke up one morning and found out you got a son you never knew anything about. You and me got similar situations. My grandson Oatie you met earlier, sitting over their next to his slave and future husband, turned out to be gay," Elmer said.

"Oatie Breedlove? Wait a minute. The Oatie Breedlove of U.T. football fame?" he asked.

"The very same. When he was a junior in high school his daddy caught him and that silver-haired, good looking cowboy on the other side of him, in the barn making the beast wiff' two backs. His name is Perry Reed and he was butt-fucking Oatie 'til Hell won't have it, slap'n leather, git'n ready to head for the barn to hang up his spurs. Well, sir, his daddy done got jacked out of shape and threw him out of the house that very day. Oatie was embarrassed and disgusted. He was gonna' turn his back on his past. My beautiful grandson was headed for California, and asked a truck driver buddy of mine I went through Nam with – that other silver-haired cowboy with his arm around Perry Reed – to give him a ride. His name is Mick Flynn. He got in touch with me immediately, and I told him to bring Oatie to me. I was angry with the boy, not because he was gay or got caught, but because he didn't come to me sooner.

"I realized if I took him in, I would have to become more than just a dad. If I wanted him to grow and develop into the fine man he is today, I would have to provide relief for him. I would have to give him what he needed to keep him satisfied and focused. In a small town, there just ain't no other options. We slowly formed a master/slave relationship what worked well for bowfus; and, yes, I butt-fucked my own grandson anytime he got that look on his face what said he was quart low on his grandaddy's love juice. I demanded him to suck me off at least once't a day; more if he thought he needed it. Even when he went to U.T., he would drive home on the weekends and there would be a trail of his clothes from the truck into the house, up the stairs to my room and bed, where he would throw his legs in the air and groan, 'Please, Granddad, hurry!' he would say with tears forming," Elmer said and laughed at the look on Harlen's face. "He would be so tight, I swear to you, cowboy to cowboy, I would have to fuck the poor kid three times before I got him loosened up enough to pull off my cock," Elmer added more hyperbole and got Harlen laughing with him. "Once't in a great while, we still slip off to my room together and give each other some love'n we can't get from nobody else," Elmer said more seriously. "They's more to the Breedlove saga you'll find out about soon enough, but I won't overload you this e'nin," Elmer said.

"Thanks for sharing with me, Mr. Breedlove. I'm glad I got to see your other piercings. Of all the men, I think you wear them best," Harlen complimented the Bull.

"Why, thank you, Son. I got me a feeling you'd look right nice wear'n a set," Elmer replied.

"Believe me, sir, the thought has crossed my mind," Harlen confessed.
Harlen looked around him at the men he met and marveled. He was most impressed by Judge LaFleur, his son, Wesley, the two attorneys, Grover Parsnip and Jack McCormack, the sheriff of the county, Will Tate and his dad, Buster, and the sheriff's brother, Everett. He knew Tom McMartin well and felt comfortable in his company. He always thought, of the vast numbers of scum in the business world, he never heard a bad word said against Tom McMartin. Harlen admired Tom's honesty and good business skills. He admired him and his family even more after seeing how well they fit in with the rest of the Daniels' tribe.

The evening came to an end and the men were getting sleepy. It was one of the better side effects of the herbs. After a nice euphoric high, it would slowly cause you to relax to a point you needed to find a bed to continue the ecstasy into the dream world. Billy gave Harlen a choice. He could either stay in the giants apartments on the ship in one of their extra rooms or bunk it in the big house. He met Thor and Zeus. Harlen admired them and the giants very much, but he was hesitant. He didn't feel like he knew them well enough and accepted a room in the big house. It was a comfortable room with down-home touches which made it even more comfortable. It reminded him of his grandmother's home from many years ago. Before Harlen dropped off to sleep, he reviewed his day and decided it was probably the most interesting and exciting day of his life. For all the amazing and wonderful things he was introduced to and observed, he never once felt threatened or unwelcome by anyone in the Daniels' greater family, nor did he ever feel more comfortable and accepted by any group of people including his own family. Harlen decided it was about the most perfect day he ever spent in his life. The only thing he could compare it with was the sense of freedom he felt on a beautiful day riding his Harley on a rarely traveled back-road in Texas with beautiful clouds in the sky, and the road seemed to stretch out forever.    

End of Chapter 56 ~ Him Who Made The Seven Stars
Copyright ~ © ~ 2013 ~ 2014 ~ Waddie Greywolf
All Rights Reserved~
Mail to:
WC = 17894