Him Who Made The Seven Stars
By Waddie Greywolf

Chapter 62

"I shall write a book some day about the appropriateness of names. Geoffrey Chaucer has a ribald ring, as is proper and correct, and Alexander Pope was inevitably Alexander Pope. Colley Cibber was a silly little man without much elegance and Shelley was very Percy and very Bysshe." ~ James Joyce (1882–1941), Irish author very much taken with himself whose work, a reader must struggle through seemingly endless pages of inane gibberish, rarely re-joyces.

The air was heavy with moisture, but it wasn't raining. It was like a cloud was sitting on the ground, and while it didn't encourage the flames, it wasn't enough to extinguish them completely. The big trucker, Little Willie Whistlepie, tried to use his extinguisher, but only got a couple of good blasts out of it. He didn't bother to service it or remember to replaced it in quite a while, and it quickly lost pressure. It became worthless. Willie cursed and threw it aside. The cloud bank was holding the smoke and fumes from the gas fire near the ground. He knew the life of the man inside the burning vehicle depended on Willie getting him out of the patrol car and dragged to safety.

Little Willie Whistlepie was a big man; almost the same size as Bubba Kirkendall. He looked like a refugee from the Duck Dynasty T.V. show but he was cast out because he was just too damn good looking to be a convincing part of their family. He was living proof masculinity didn't necessarily have to be ugly. While he had the necessary facial hair with a long full beard his stunning good looks couldn't be hidden behind the bush. He was huge, and projected the hyper-masculine image of a working class male, but behind the solid fortress of hyper-masculine pulchritude, Little Willie Whistlepie held a secret – when he could find it.    

The patrol car was lying on its trunk and back portion of the roof. The hood was propped against a big redwood tree and resting at a forty-five degree angle. It made it difficult to get the door open and hold it so he could get the man's seat belt undone. He wrestled with the door, but it was jammed. He didn't have time to run back to his truck to get his tire tool to use as a wedge to force it open and the flames were beginning to take hold again. He looked around for something to use – anything solid and strong – when through the mixed cloud of mist and smoke came an enormous Bigfoot who gently moved Little Willie aside, grabbed hold of the door, in one swift movement ripped it open, held it high, and with a sweeping gesture with his enormous paw, motioned for Willie to get the man out. The big trucker didn't hesitate. He figured if the Bigfoot was trying to help, he meant him no harm. He dived in front of the beast to get to the man. He fumbled around trying to find the seat-belt button. The moment he found the release button and pressed it, a great blast of exploding gas shot over the patrol car as the sheriff's body fell into his arms.

Willie thought he was doomed. The Bigfoot, still holding the door, wrapped his body around Willie's to protect him and the sheriff inside. It was like he was producing an impenetrable wall to protect the three of them from the searing heat of the blast. Willie could actually see the flames hitting what seemed like a barrier, but the fire couldn't get through to him or the man in his arms. He could feel the heat, but it wasn't as intense as it would have been without the giant beast's shield. The next thing Willie knew, there was a second and third Bigfoot who came to help their friend. While the biggest held the door, the one who looked like a saber-tooth creature gently grabbed Willie up into his huge arms, turned, and ran from the heart of the fire.

He, too, was surrounded by an invisible bubble of some kind. Willie could actually see the smoke and cloud mixture move out of the way of the invisible shell of the protective bubble. Willie could see the other Bigfoot running with the sheriff in his arms, followed by the largest Bigfoot. He could more clearly see their protective bubbles surrounding them. They didn't stop until they were well clear of the potential blast area. Willie looked around to see there were cowboys swarming over the area with fire extinguishers who moved in like a well-trained fire-battalion and made quick work of putting out the fire. A tall, handsome, young, buffed-out cowboy came walking up to him with a smile on his face. "You think you can stand on your own, Trucker?" Billy Daniels asked.

"I think I so, sir," he replied.

"Set him down, Brute," Billy told the Bigfoot.

"Aww, do I have to, Master Billy? He's purdy," Brute whined, and Billy laughed.

"He ain't a bad lookin cuss, but I don't think you'd want him for a pet, Brother. I doubt you could ever train him. While he makes a right-fine looking trucker, he can't follow instructions worth a shit," Billy said, "I done told him not to try to be no gotdamned hero," he added.

Willie couldn't help grin. It was such a bizarre situation anyway. A little cowboy hyperbolic humor couldn't hurt. It eased the thought he damn near lost his life, and would have, had it not been for the stomping of Bigfoot coming to his and the sheriff's rescue. "My name's Little Willie Whistlepie, sir, are you the cowboy-angel I spoke to on my CB?" he asked.

"Yes, it was me. Good to meet you, Mr. Whistlepie, I'm Billy Daniels," Billy said and offered his hand. They shook hands, and Billy continued, "Right now I'm just a cowboy, but I can see from the second degree burns on your face, hands, and that nasty cut on your left arm, it's gonna' start to hurt like a mother-humper in about a minute or two; you're running on adrenalin right now which can act like a temporary pain blocker, but as soon as the rush passes, you'll hit a brick-wall of pain; I'll have to turn into my angel form to set you right again," Billy said as a matter of fact. "Set him down, Brute. You done good, Sweet Potato," Billy said affectionately to the big beast and patted him on his back as Brute gently stood the man on his feet. The trucker was a little wobbly. Brute put his giant paw to Willie's back to steady him.

"Thanks, Brute," Willie said quietly and tried to smile.

"He's got manners, Brute. That's a good sign. Who knows, maybe he could be trained to fetch," Billy said and winked at the big beast, "You all right, Sweet Spud," he asked putting his hand on Brute's giant shoulder.

"I think so, Master Billy," Brute replied.

"Gimme' your bandanna in yore' back pocket, Trucker," Billy said.

Willie automatically handed it to the cowboy. Billy ripped the shoulder off Willie's shirt to reveal the sizable gash in his arm. It was bleeding at a steady rate. Billy took the ends of the bandanna and twirled it to make a tourniquet to wrap around the man's arm and slow the flow of blood. After he tied it off, he dipped his finger in some of the wasted blood and tasted it; then, he took his own bandanna and wiped the rest away.

"You ain't no vampire are you?" Willie asked.

"No, Mr. Whistlepie, a man can't be a cowboy-angel and a vampire, too. They got different unions. I needed to taste your blood to get your DNA on file in my body to heal you when we get back to our base camp. Your blood contains the information I need, and tells me everything about what's going on in your body," Billy explained.

"Everything?" Willie asked quietly like he was a bit rattled by Billy's revelation.

"Yes, everything – including your peculiar anomaly," Billy replied and smiled.

"Don't you mean abnormality?" Willie asked with a soupηon of snark in his voice.

"No, I think I used the correct term. Ain't nothing abnormal about you, Son. Granted, you're different, but you're normal for you. For the general population? Not so much. You ain't so unusual for me, neither, Trucker. I got family what can equal or trump you. I can also tell from your blood if you have any mental anomalies, and you ain't got a one. Ever' thing's in the right place, work'n properly, and screwed-down tight. I think you got a pretty good grip on your situation. I'd be willing to bet the ranch you ain't never let it bother you much or get the best of you," Billy replied.

"Naw, you play cards with the hand you're dealt, but I don't go 'round brag'n about it none, neither. Fortunately, I was born into an American Indian tribe who don't afix the bow of shame to a child what's born different and throw them into a pit of wolves. Then, if you can tell about that part of me, you weren't kidding? You mean you really can heal people?" he asked.

"He ain't kidding, Mr. Whistlepie," Brute said.

"You men just call me, Little Willie or just plain Willie," he said.
Willie watched the other cowboys and stomping of Bigfoot carrying the sheriff on a stretcher which looked like it was floating in the air. They moved off toward a dirt road where there seemed to be a great wall of water, and they were walking through it. They just disappeared.

"Brute and I will walk you back to your truck to locked it up. You come with us, and we'll take care of you. We'll make sure you're healed properly, and don't have nothing else wrong with you," Billy said.  

Willie took off for his truck with the cowboy and the Bigfoot following. 'What did he get himself into?' he wondered. Willie pulled far enough over on the shoulder he didn't worry about his truck. He took the back route for that reason. If he got tired of driving he could pull over, climb in the sleeper, and rest for a while. There were few highway patrol on that long lonely stretch of road. Most were local cops. They knew the truckers and didn't bother them unless the cops were rookies or ass-wipes.

Billy took a look at Willie's truck where the sheriff's car caved in the side a bit and messed up the bed. When it comes to a car and a big-rig encounter, the car will always lose the match. Billy stood before the collision section and waved his hand up and over the damaged area. It immediately returned to its original condition. Little Willie stood looking at the tall cowboy in awe. He quickly locked his truck, and like a little boy, followed the cowboy and the great beast toward the wall of blue electrons. He figured if the man repaired his truck in an instant, he had to be pretty damn powerful, and any objections Willie might have would be moot.

"How the Hell did you do that, Mister Daniels? How did you repair my truck so quick?" he asked.

"Call me Billy, Willie. It's easy if you know how. Lucky for you, I learned my repair apps pert-damn good," Billy replied, "And I only learned them this past week due to the badgering and insistence of ma' little buckaroo brother," he added.

"Is you a spaceman? I heard truckers tell stories about seeing Bigfoot dropped from fly'n saucers. Do you plan to disable me, take advantage of me, and shove probes up my ass?" he asked.

"No, silly, we wouldn't do that to no hero. Actually, we don't do it to nobody. Do I look like what you might imagine a space alien to look?" Billy asked.

"Naw, sir, but you said you could change into an angel. How do I know you can't change into some alien what might eat my face off?" he asked.

"Good point, Plain Willie, but 'no,' I ain't no alien, Brother. Neither am I into eat'n face, but I seen me a couple in my life I wouldn't mind sit'n on. I was born and raised in the hill country of West-central Texas and lived there most of my life. Somehow – I don't know why yet – I got chosen to be enhanced by a couple of races of ancient aliens what want to help us live better lives. We're just gonna' use the powers they give us to fix you up better than new. The most we're gonna do when we's through with you, is pat you on your fine looking trucker-butt, give you a big-ole hug for being a hero, maybe steal a sloppy brotherly buckaroo kiss, shake yore' hand, and send you on your way.

"You must be think'n about them god-awful little gray critters. Disgusting little buggers they is. We ain't never really thought about doing shit like 'at to somebody, but I gotta' admit, you got me interested. If'n yore' prostate is itching real bad and needs a good scratching, we got a us a right-handsome collection of rubber-husbands. We'll let you try on several for size until we find one what's just right within the parameters of your Goldilock comfort zone to accommodate your needs. I'm sure I could find a couple of my more randy cowboys what would be more'n happy to scratch your deepest itch if'n you's to bend over, flash a big vertical smile from yore' backside, blow 'um a kiss, and ask 'um right nicely," Billy said and laughed. He even got Brute laughing.

"Is he telling me the truth, Brute?" Willie asked the giant beast like they established a beachhead of trust.

"What do you expect? He's from Texas. He's a cowboy first and an angel second. Texas ain't heaven, but you'd have a hard time convincing him otherwise. If you was holding a bullshit detector in your hand, it would have blow'd-up by now," Brute said and grinned.

Billy laughed at Brute's retort, "Good one, Sweet Potato. I'm gonna' tell Bubba to give you extra rations tonight," he said and patted the big beast again.
"Is that a gate to another time and place?" Little Willie asked.

"Another place but same time," Billy said.

"Where?" Willie asked.

"Yonder, on down the road apiece, about two miles, so's we c'ain't be seen from the highway," Billy replied, "Don't worry none. We'll bring you back to your truck, and you can be on your way. Where you headed, Willie?" Billy asked.

"Portland, then down to Eugene, and back to Seattle. What's gonna' happen to the sheriff's car?" he asked.

"We'll float it through the gate, repair it, and leave it for him at a hunt'n cabin where we're taking you to fix you up," Billy replied.

"Will he be all right?" Willie asked.

"Yeah, he'll be fine after we get through with him," Billy said.

"I didn't get a good look at him before Brute carried me away. He was burned pretty bad. I recognized his patrol car, though. Is he Sheriff Bob Andreeson from Tall Pine?" Willie asked.

"Yeah, it's him," Billy replied.

"Damn! I stopped at Nellie's Cantina last week and drank coffee with him. He's a good man. He leaves us truckers alone, but he's always there if we need him. I heard stories from truckers who say he's gone out of his way for them and even put them up in his jail while they're having their truck fixed. They don't come no better'n Bob Andreeson. I heard tell they had a big-ass feed and shindig at Nellie's this afternoon. I wanted to stop by on my way through, but I had me some problems with my air-brakes and needed to get them fixed," Willie said.

"You missed a good time. We were there," Billy said.

"Brute, too?" he asked.

"Yeah, Bigfoot or watchers can morph to took like big humans. We dressed 'um up like cowboys and nobody knew no different," Billy said.

For some reason it struck Willie funny, and he laughed. "I'd loved to seen that!" he exclaimed.

They came to the wall of free electrons. "Don't be afraid, Trucker. We use 'um all the time. Close your eyes and walk-on through. It tickles a little. Hell, our dogs run through them," Billy said.

Brute walked through the gate and left Billy and Willie on the other side. "You want me to hold your hand, Brother?" Billy asked sincerely.

"Naw, I can do it by myself," he said, turned, and walked through.

Billy followed close behind. They walked over to the front porch of the cabin. There was a commotion going on. Willie saw two young boys about the same age on either side of the sheriff with an older, fine looking lady standing behind them. The sheriff looked really bad. One of the young boys standing beside him was crying his heart out. He saw Billy coming and ran to him. Billy grabbed him up into his big arms, hugged, and kissed the boy's tears away trying to comfort him.

"Oh, Master Billy, it's all my fault. I shouldn't have left him. He can't do without me to keep him going, but he kept getting worse. It was getting harder for me to take away his pain," Bobby cried in Billy's arms.

"No! Now don't you think that, Bobby. H'it ain't chore' fault, Son. He was getting worse, and it was only a matter of time before your strong young mind couldn't keep the pain away no more. You know as well as I do, it was taking more and more of your power to keep him up and on the road. You done what you could for him for as long as possible, but I could tell it wouldn't be long before he collapsed from hip and joint deterioration. Them Hosanna Cakes and food we brought gave him enough to get along on his own for a while and feel pretty good about himself; long enough for us to fix you up and give him the care he needs. Yore' great-grandma and I fully expected him to come out here where we could heal and refurbish him. I was about to send the Bossman and his protector out to the highway with a lantern to show him where the turn off is. He never would have found it with that big tree branch hiding the entrance," Billy said softly trying to ease Bobby's conscience and alleviate his guilt.  

"Can you save him, Master Billy?" Bobby asked.

"I'd say his chances in our hands are better than pretty good, Son. I'm just sorry the timing weren't better, and he had to suffer the accident; howsomever, I think me and my men can correct any damage the accident caused. Now let's go see what we can do," Billy replied and walked over to where the gurney was hanging in the air not supported by anything Willie could see. Aliens, angels, or cowboys, these men were far more advanced than anything he ever witnessed before.

"He's pretty bad, Kemosabe," Nick said, "I don't think we're gonna' be able to do much for him here. We can take care of his burns, but you're gonna' need the fluoroscope to take a look at his lungs and bone deterioration. I think we need to get him back to the ranch and our processing room, muy pronto. We got ever' thing we need there in case of a greater emergency," he added.

"Good point! Makes sense, Tonto. I's planning on fixing up our trucker here before we go, but I tasted his blood and found some other problems he needs taken care of immediately, or he won't be truck'n long," Billy said. "Send some men down there to lift the patrol car and float it back to the cabin. Make sure we get pitchers of it to show the sheriff so's he won't think we's lying to him about the accident. I'll fix it before we leave, and it will be ready for the sheriff when we bring him back. In the meantime, I'll put him in a deep sleep, so's he won't feel no pain. Bossman, open one a them super-duper gates to the ranch and have these vehicles and good folks pass through," Billy ordered and his group of cowboys sprang into action. Six of them went down to the other large gate and went through to retrieve the sheriff's patrol car.

"Where you taking me, sir?" Little Willie asked.

"To our ranch in Texas where we got better facilities. You gotta' go wiff' us if'n you wanna' live. You recently started wear'n a kidney belt because of pain in your lower back. You's having trouble pissing. My best guess is you're taking heart medications for high blood pressure; your urine is foamy like you's pissing soap bubbles; your legs, feet, and ankles swell so bad sometimes you can't get chore' boots off. You switched from wearing your beloved cowboy boots to wearing lace up boots so's you can leave them loose and have more room for your feet to swell. Your face and hands get puffy and you get rashes on your face what look like little butterflies. You're having more and more muscle pain and run a low-grade fever most of the time what gives you chills and headaches. However, you ain't been to a doctor for a thorough examination except for a visit to your company's clinical practitioner for your blood pressure," Billy said.

Little Willie stood looking at Billy like he was stunned. "You're right about all them things. Do you know what's wrong with me, Master Billy?" he asked.

"Yeah, your blood told me you got Systemic Lupus Erythematosus or SLE. It's an autoimmune disease – a disorder in which the body's immune system attacks the body's own cells and organs. Over sixty percent of people with SLE done got Lupus Nephritis, which can lead to significant illness and eventually death. The worst part is, modern medicine ain't got no known cure for it," Billy replied. "Fortunately for you, I can correct it. 'Er's-zonely one catch. You gotta' come back to me once't ever' six months for three years to make sure it don't take hold again, but we can make arrangements to gate you to the ranch and back from Tall Pine. We're going into business with Nellie Peterson, and her boy Wilbur has asked to become a part of our family. He's right over there with my little brother, Randy, the sheriff's boy, Bobby, and the sheriff's grandmother," Billy said pointing to the two boys.

"How long will I be away from my truck, sir?" Willie asked.

"Four to six hours max," Billy guesstimated.

"Hell, I was planning on stopping in Tall Pine to sleep for that long anyway. You'll bring me back when you're through with me?" he asked.

"No problem. We gotta' get the sheriff back. We don't want them coming looking for him," Billy said and smiled, "We need to square things with him anyway. I won't explain right now, 'cause it's complicated. If you got questions, see my little brother over there – the smaller of them two boys – his name is Randy Rutherford," Billy added.

"Randy Rutherford," Willie mused to himself, "Where do I know that name from?" he asked.

"It'll come to you in a bit," Billy said, smiled, turned on his boot heel, and ran over to where the men were getting ready to drive the vehicles through.

"Do you know, Brute?" Little Willie asked the giant beast standing next to him.

"Think Fredericksburg, Texas – Walmart Cowboy Jesus," Brute replied and watched Willie's eyes spin like the readout on a one-arm bandit until they registered jackpot.

"Holy crap! It is him! I thought I recognized his face. It was plastered on every TV at ever' truck stop for a week, and that boy, Randy Rutherford, was the kid he healed. I even watched that dumb woman newscaster make an ass of herself when she interviewed him and the boy's family at a Whataburger in Austin," Willie said in awe.

"You're sharp, Mr. Whistlepie, I think I'll ask my master if I can keep you for a toy," Brute said and smiled.

"You saved my life, Brute. Some societies feel it's an unforgivable sin of ingratitude unless the saved man don't offer his'self to his savior as his bond for life. Becoming your toy don't sound like such a bad gig to me, but I thought Master Billy was your master," Willie said.

"Naw, we's all part of Master Billy's family. You see that huge cowboy what come through the gate we just walked through leading them men float'n the sheriff's patrol car over their heads?" he asked pointing to the big gate. "That's Bubba Kirkendall. He's my master, and I been his protector since he was born. Once he gimme' a name, I became his bonded slave. I's just kidding about you becoming my toy. A slave what's a protector can't have a human for a toy," Brute said.

"Damn, he's one fine looking cowpoke, Brute," Willie said.

"I keep telling him that, but I don't think he believes me," Brute said and sighed.

Willie smiled at Brute's reply and marveled at the six men, three on each side, floating the sheriff's car three of four feet over their heads in air. They walked it over to the side of the small cabin and gently set it down. It looked like a burnt sandwich left in the toaster too long, and it was still smoking. The interior was almost gutted from the blast when the fuel tank exploded. It made Willie ponder all the more how lucky he was to have escaped sure death, and he owed his life to the great beast standing before him. Little Willie didn't know what possessed him, but he suddenly threw his arms around Brute's neck, gave him a big hug, and a kiss on his cheek.

Bubba watched and grinned. "Hear! I'll have none of that!" he shouted, "The very idea trying to steal my beloved protector, watcher, and devoted slave away from me with your affections," Bubba roared and grinned.

"Brute saved my life, Mr. Kirkendall. I's just show'n my appreciation, sir," Willie said.

Bubba laughed, "Likely story!" he exclaimed as he grabbed Brute, gave him a hug, and planted a big kiss on his cheek, "I can't leave you alone for a second, can I?" Bubba chastised his great beast and Brute smiled, "He is a bit of a looker, ain't he, Son?" Bubba asked Willie.

"I never imagined Bigfoot could be so attractive, Mr. Kirkendall, but I gotta' agree with you, sir," Willie said.

"Just call me Bubba, Son. Mr. Kirkendall was my uncle, but he's dead," Bubba replied.

"Sorry for your loss, sir," Willie said.

"He had a good run. He raised me from a young boy. He only passed away a couple of months ago, but I still think about him a lot. So you's our new hero," Bubba said and smiled.

"I was raised by an aunt and uncle, too, sir. Your protector is the hero, sir. I just done what I could to help," Willie replied.

"That ain't the way I hear'd it, and from the looks of you, you weren't standing on the sideline cheering for the home team; you was right in the thick of it," Bubba said, "Come! Go through the gate with us to Texas, and us cowboy-angels will fix you up like new," he added.

* * * * * * *
Stan and Cletus walked up to Billy as he approached the others. "What shall we do with my old truck, Master Billy," he asked.

"Keep it for a while. I'm gonna' ask Wilbur to go back with the sheriff to drive him home. We can gate Wilbur back from Nellie's place. The sheriff's gonna' need some time to recover from the trauma of having his life changed so dramatically. Drive it through the gate, and we'll hide it in Bubba's old barn for the week. If you men should need to return it to the cabin for Wilbur or whatever, we can just gate it back from Bubba's ranch. We need to get you and Coo-zone Cleet over there as soon as we get back anyway. We won't have time for long goodbyes so you men gimme' a quick hug and a big sloppy buckaroo kiss now," Billy said, and they showered their affection on one another.

* * * * * * *    
Little Willie hung around with Billy and his main posse. It was getting late, and he wanted to get the young buckaroos and Ms. Evangeline to the ranch so they might get some rest. Willie watched as Billy walked over to the sheriff's patrol car. He heard him say something to his men. They disappeared for a second and returned fully fledged with their beautiful wings. Brute watched the stunned look cross the trucker's face, smiled, and winked. "Son of a bitch!" Willie exclaimed softly, "Master Billy weren't kidding. Neither was your master, Brute," he said in awe.
"No, he wasn't kidding, and he can do for you what he said. I've seen them men do things you would never believe possible," Brute said, "But they're not to be feared. They ain't a mean spirited one among them," he added.
Willie watched as the cowboy-angels stood around the burned out shell of the patrol car and watched as they spread their wings until they were almost touching the other angel's wing on either side of them and began to gather power from the ether. It was an eerie sight to see the static electricity and the magnetic waves of energy flowing into their wings and being passed like a conduit to their main man, their master, Billy Daniel. Willie watched in awe as the automobile began to glow and shimmer in the mist of the low clouds. It looked like a video what would have first one image only to be replaced by another and another until the vehicle began to look like it never suffered an accident. It took them about fifteen minutes, but when they were finished and powered down, the sheriff's patrol car looked like it did the day it rolled off the assembly line.

"You know you can't tell anyone about what you saw here or later at the ranch, don't you?" Brute asked.

"Who would believe me anyway? That's the way you get a reputation with the other truckers, and they won't have nothing to do with you. I got me too many good buddies; I can walk into a truck-stop, be hailed to join them, sit down at their table, enjoy a good meal, with some casual conversation. It means a lot when you been on the road by yourself for six to eight hours at a stretch and you're tired. You need food, but you also need a little human companionship. You can talk about strange phenomenon another trucker told you about, but if I tried to tell somebody I witnessed something like this first hand would be like committing social suicide," Little Willie replied.  

The angels de-winged and walked over to Brute and Little Willie. "You ready to go, Trucker?" Billy asked.

"You mean if I walk though that gate we'll be in the center of Texas, over two thousand miles from here?" Willie asked.

"What's two thousand miles when it's like walking from one room to another?" Billy asked in reply.

The trucker looked at Billy and nodded his head in agreement,"Lead the way, Master Billy," he said bravely.

* * * * * * *
The vehicles were already on the other side of the gate parked in the compound at the ranch when the last of Billy's posse, Little Willie, Stan, Cletus, and their Bigfoot family stepped through.

"Is everyone accounted for?" Billy asked his men, and they assured him everyone and everything made it through the gate. "Good work, everyone. We still got two men who need our attention. Bossman, you and Clyde take our guests, Ms. Evangeline and our newest young pup up to the big house and help get them situated. Clyde, see to it our Bossman git's his little ass to bed and goes to sleep even if you gotta' rope, hog tie him, and put him out wiff' an angel's kiss. Maybe Ms. Eve can give you a hand with them boys. It's way past their bedtime and with the time lag, unless he gets some sleep, our ramrod's gonna' be one grumpy camper in the morning which ain't none too far from now. After you get them settled in, we'll need you back out to the processing room for added support. Bubba, you, Jack, Brute, take Stan and Cletus over to your place. Stow their truck in your barn and cover it. If they want to get to bed, let them. I know they must be exhausted. However, once't you get them settled in, I need you men to transport back over here for your extra added support. The more power we gather, the easier and quicker my job's gonna' be.

"I don't remember where your ranch is, Bubba?" Stan said.

"We drive out the gate, hang a left, and it's the first gate on the right about half a mile. T'ain't very far," Bubba said and grinned. "Bring your family. We got lots of room," he added and motioned with his arm to gather them.

"What about me, Master Billy? I can add to your sum total for support," Cletus asked.

"Well, we could damn shore' use your help, Cleet, so if'n you and Stan feel up to it as soon as you get your family settled in and your truck stowed in the barn, transport back with Bubba and Jack. We'll feed you men a good breakfast," Billy offered.

"We'll be fine, Master Billy," Stan said, "We got all week to catch-up on rest and sleep," he added.

"Good! See you in a bit, then," Billy said, "How you feeling, Plain Willie?" Billy asked the trucker and grinned.

"A little woozy. I think you were right about the pain coming on. I need to find a place to sit or lie down, sir," Willie replied.

"Come with me. My men are waiting for us in a room off the barn. They's a nice bed out there, and I'll let you sleep while we repair and restore the sheriff. It won't take long– then, we'll see to your needs. I'll have my grooms help you with your clothes and prepare you properly. Now, don't get scared none, we only need them to clean your body like they would in any hospital so's we can fix you up," Billy said and placed his hand on Willie's neck gently like a form of comfort from one buddy to another. Willie felt something warm and inviting coming from Billy's hand and moved his head like an old dog trying to milk his master for more attention. He felt his pain and anxiety ease away. Billy massaged him only a short while and took his hand away. "Did that help?" he asked.

"Considerably, Master Billy. I think I could rest for a while," he said and let Mace and Picard lead him into the side room off the main processing room to help him undress and take him to the showers.

Billy and his men got busy and repaired the sheriff's outward appearance, burned skin, and flesh with what several referred to as a new body and fender job. If he were conscious, Sheriff Robert Andreeson would have been in agony from second and third degree burns. Billy made sure the cameras were rolling and many still-shots were taken to show him later should he think they kidnapped him without cause. Sometimes victims of accidents have little or no memory of the time leading up to or much about the incident itself. Billy planned to make certain the sheriff wouldn't try to bring charges against him or his family. He knew he had staunch allies in Evangeline and young Bobby Andreeson.

They worked on the sheriff for over an hour just to get him 'out-of-the-woods' so his body wouldn't start shutting down from shock and stress. Billy used their advanced equipment to look at his lungs and found enough damage he needed to heal that portion of his body to provide oxygen to the rest for healing and refurbishing. The more they worked on the sheriff, the more easily and quickly his body seemed to be responding. Finally they got him together enough from the accident they started work on his legs and hip joints. His joints were almost completely gone and if Billy and his posse didn't have the power to correct the disorder, the sheriff would have needed his son's wheelchair for the rest of his life. He would never recover enough to walk on his own again unless he had major joint replacement surgery. With no health insurance and trying to support a family of four, with an invalid child, on approximately two thousand a month salary didn't leave much room for major health problems. At the moment, under Billy Daniels and his family's care, the sheriff was getting the finest medical treatment money couldn't buy at any price.

When they finally finished with him he was in no pain, breathing normally, and his body was perfectly repaired and refurbished, including erasing several battle scars from his time in the service in the corporate oil wars in the Middle East. He was also regressed to a man about thirty years of age, and he looked quite handsome. He no longer had his middle age spread, and his body was toned to perfection. Billy took a break as his men took the sheriff to the big house to recuperate and sleep. He wouldn't wake up until Billy brought him out of his deep induced sleep.

Mace and Picard returned from sitting with Little Willie Whistlepie. He was emotionally exhausted and fell asleep. Billy's two fine grooms walked naked into the room where the men were sitting and talking quietly. Billy opened his arms for them to come unto him and the handsome halflings responded with hugs and kisses for their master, "Is he resting?" Billy asked.

"Yes, sir. We took him to the bath and pampered him. He's clean as a dinner plate after our giant mate gets through eating. I thought we never would get his underwear off him," Mace said.

"Shy?" Billy asked.

"He has a right to be, Master Billy," Picard said in Willie's defense.

"Small?" Billy asked.

"Little Willie ain't no misnomer, sir, nor do we mean any disrespect. He don't even have that much, Master Billy," Mace said showing the tip of his little finger with his thumb well above the first joint to indicate the small size of the trucker's penis. We felt embarrassed to be naked in front of him like we's two giants shamelessly flaunting ourselves before him," he added and got a serious look on his face. Billy was proud of his grooms. Neither was making fun of the man. They were seriously concerned for him, "Go ahead-on, Picard, tell Master Billy what you think. You just might be right," Mace urged his partner.

"We didn't ask him, sir, but I think he's got both; however, we don't know whether either one of them is developed enough for him to have relations with either sex, but I could be wrong. I certainly hope so. We both find him attractive," Picard lamented and his voice broke like he was about to cry in empathy for the poor man. "Can you help him, Master Billy?" he asked in a pleading manner. Billy pulled his halflings to him and embraced them as they shed a couple of tears, "He's an awful nice person, Master Billy. I think we done fell in love with him. He ain't ashamed he's different, but he's understandably shy and reserved about it. He's worried what you men might think. He's sure you and your posse's got huge cocks," Mace said.

"And, he would be right!" Billy threw back his head and laughed, trying to lighten Mace and Picard's sincere concerns, "There! There! Ain't no need for tears. I detected his anomaly when I tasted his blood earlier. I promise, we'll do what we can for him, but I want to do what's right," Billy said, "I won't do anything until I talk it over wiff' him," he added.

"We know," Picard continued, "We been working for you long enough we know your approach to unusual situations. We told him to neither be ashamed nor be afraid with you or any of us. We tried to assure him there ain't much we ain't seen or experienced. We mentioned Master Vox and Mistress Roxanne, Thor and his wife Zeus, and our good Master Buck who sometimes enjoys morphing himself for his husband's pleasure. We told him dual sexuality within one person ain't as uncommon as he might think, and under your leadership as head of our family, no one need be afraid to express their honest desires as long as they are polite and considerate of others. We further assured him you would be nothing but understanding and compassionate," Picard finished.

"You men are welcome to stay to offer your support and keep him company if you like," Billy said.

"We'd like that. We were gonna' ask if we could. We's hope'n you might let us be with him. We think he's formed a comfortable attachment to us. We also loaded him up on some extra strong tea so's he wouldn't be nervous or self-conscious. I imagine he's pretty mellow right about now," Mace said and grinned.

"Good thinking on your part, Brothers," Billy complimented them, "Why don't you men go get him for us?" Billy asked their favor.  

"Right away, Master Billy, and thank you for understanding, sir. We don't come to feel the same empathy about every client we groom. We're polite and considerate of everyone, but Mr. Willie has become sort of special to us," Picard said, and they went off to wake their trucker buddy.

"You got two good men in them boys," Tron said sincerely.

"Hear! Hear!" agreed Nathan firmly.

"All my boys, from the smallest to them giants, is good boys, but I gotta' admit, them boys is special," Billy said.

The rest of the men agreed. Billy could tell they were getting tired, but he had a couple more things he wanted to get out of the way before they rested. They would have all day Monday to catch up on lost sleep and rest. He sent Harley-Buck and Earl Hickson back to their keepers with orders to resume their standard living routine after having Monday to rest and relax. Tuesday they would be back in their training mode with a few modifications Billy discussed with them and their keepers earlier.

Mace and Picard returned in a few minutes with their new friend, Little Willie. They gave him a half robe to wear into the processing room, but helped him remove it. The big trucker stood before the cowboy angels with his arms to his side. Billy walked to him put his arms around him and held him close. Willie responded automatically and threw his arms around Billy. Billy pulled away, looked the man in his eyes, and gently kissed him on his forehead. "You ready, Trucker?" Billy asked quietly.

"I ain't afraid no more, Master Billy. If the rest of your family is as loving and compassionate as your grooms, Mace and Picard, there ain't no room for anxiety here," Willie said.

"Good point, Master Willie. We're quite proud of them. You do know they ain't young boys, don't you?" Billy asked.

"I didn't at first, but they explained they're another race what only grows to half human size. Nevertheless, they are exceptionally handsome, masculine young men who have been kind and considerate to me. They're dedication to their work and compassion for me as one of their more unusual clients was particularly remarkable. I'd be proud to think on them as my friends and brothers," Willie said.

"I think your feelings are mutual, sir. They have nothing but good things to say about you and strongly but earnestly implored me and my angel-posse to be equally gentle and understanding with you. I assured them, for all our bullshit, cowboy-angels can be compassionate and genteel. Now, come lie on this padded table for me on your back, and we'll get started; not to worry about anything else as we work on your exterior and interior body. I will be asking you questions from time to time. Please answer as honestly as you can," Billy said.

Willie sat on the soft leather table, swung his legs around, and lay back upon it. Billy went to work to diagnose what damage the trucker suffered from the accident and his role while rescuing the sheriff. As he worked he asked Willie questions, "Tell us about your background, Willie, from the time you were a baby and how you managed to survive as well as you did?" Billy asked.

"I was born on the Yavapai Indian Reservation at Prescott, Arizona. My mother was full blood Apache-Yavapai and a daughter of a great chief at the time. My dad was a half-breed between a white woman and my granddad who was a prince of another Yavapai tribe. My father was a wild cowboy and a successful rodeo rider. He was well known in his day, but he lived a short life and died young from alcohol poisoning. He was suppose to marry my mom, but he never did. Since she got pregnant outside of accepted Yavapai customs, they wouldn't take her to a doctor or hospital when she began to have problems with her pregnancy during the last trimester. As a result of time honored traditions and superstition, she died giving birth to me. Because of my indefinite gender, my dad didn't want nothing to do with me. He looked upon me as a creation of evil forces at work against him. Nobody wanted me except my dad's father, my granddad. He took me to his brother and his wife, my grand-uncle and aunt, who couldn't have no children and according to my granddad they were thrilled to take me in and give me a home," Willie said.

"Then, you're three-quarters Yavapai. No wonder you're so handsome," Billy said and smiled.

"I been told the Yavapai are among the finest looking American Indian tribes," Willie replied.

"Tell us more," Billy urged.

"I was never lied to. They raised me as their nephew, but even though I called them Uncle Tuck and Aunt Tabby, I thought on them as my parents. They were good to me and loved me like I was their own son. My ambiguity became an asset rather than a detriment for me. I became the son my Uncle Tuck was never gonna' have, and in some ways, a daughter to my Aunt Tabby. My Uncle Tuck and my granddad were determined I was going to grow up to be a fine young brave while Aunt Tabby dreamed I might become a princess of their tribe. I come to adore my Uncle Tuck and worshiped my granddad. I wanted to be just like them. As time went on, it seemed more natural for me to grow in my Uncle Tuck's image, and I became more man than princess until puberty hit me like a ton of bricks, and I started menstruating. I don't know how many times I thanked God for my Aunt Tabby after that."

Willie stopped for a moment as if he was musing to himself about where to go next, "You talk about a confused kid. I got both hormonal changes dumped into my body about the same time and sometimes I was sure I was going crazy. I didn't just have feelings for one sex. I wanted both equally bad, but I was practical. I knew my small penis would probably never be able to satisfy a woman. If it hadn't been for the three main people in my life telling me it would get better, I would have killed myself long before I learned to adjust my mind to the confusion from the conflict going on inside me. I read about trans-gendered kids today and my heart goes out to them. Just like they got them ads for gay kids, the word must get out to them, too – it does get easier, and life does get better," Willie said. It may never be what you want it to be, but it can be equally wonderful in other ways what will make up for the frustration and loneliness.

"Are you aware you have both sets of plumbing – external and internal – male and female?" Billy asked.

"Yes, I was examined by a government nurse practitioner early-on who told my family," Willie replied, "I'm legally listed as a male, but when I got my draft notice and went for a physical, I dropped my pants, they took one look, and stamped my papers unacceptable for military duty," he added.

"You're fully capable of impregnating a woman with your sperm, and there ain't no doubt you could become pregnant by another man. It's not beyond the realm of possibility you might be capable of impregnating yourself," Billy said quietly like a scientist who just discovered a great truth, "I would venture you ain't no accident a' tall. I think you quite possibly may be the next step in man's evolution or at the very least, a new branch," Billy said in awe, "But there's a downside to your anomaly as well. I ain't sure yet, but the preliminary indications are, your condition was triggered in one of your parents by genetically modified food," Billy said, "If so, the ramifications against the corporate structure of the chemical companies is staggering; unless, there's others, and they already know about them. If so, they probably would be mysteriously disappeared and never heard from again. A class action suit is a much greater threat to a big corporation than one individual. An individual is too easy to pass-off as a fluke; an odd occurrence which happened but is unlikely to reoccur. Be careful who you tell about this, Willie," Billy warned.

"There's one other small fact what's got me suspicious. According to your blood you're thirty-four years old. SLE usually occurs in women before the age of forty. I think, due to your grand-uncle and granddad's influence you made a conscious choice to make your male part dominant over your female. I certainly mean nothing sexiest about that observation. It was your choice, you made it, and your body responded to your druthers. As a result, you have a much stronger male gender identification than female which should have protected you and her against the disease. Your case of SLE didn't occur naturally in you. It was introduced into your system in a flu shot. Where do you get chore' flu shots?" Billy asked.

"Our company practitioner," Willie replied, "Jesus, that little bastard knows about me, too, but swore he would keep my secret. You think he might be trying to kill me?" he asked.

"I'm not sure. It's too soon to tell, but it's certainly worth looking into," Billy said.

"Hell, yes! I agree, but what can I do? I'm just a two-bit private contract hauler," Little Willie lamented.   

"Let's get you healed and go from there. We'll talk options later. In the meantime, don't let him inject you with anything else," Billy admonished him.

"Of course I won't. Will I still need the blood pressure medications?" Willie asked.

"No. I'm restoring you to your previously healthy condition. Your heart will not require additional chemicals to keep it working properly, provided you learn to eat a healthy diet. You will be provided a list of foods you may eat, but stay away from fast foods and highly processed meats and foods. You must cut back on red meat and eventually phase it out of your diet altogether. In today's corporate controlled world, even chicken; franken-fish, bio-engineered salmon, and other fish are major suspects for several causes of cancer and other related biological diseases. Eat more fresh organically grown fruits and vegetables. Stay as far away from genetically modified foods as possible. They will make you sick and eventually kill you. Now – I want to know how you came by your name and how you got through your childhood being a person with two spirits," Billy asked as he continued to work on the huge native American.

"From what I been told, I suspected you might know about people with two-spirits. That's interesting. Many of our tribe have given up the insanity of  the white man's religions and gone back to what our forefathers taught us; however, let me make it clear, there are several types of two spirited people. There are those who truly have two spirits living within them; two separate entities, and those like myself who are two spirits combined into one," Willie explained.

"Yes, we understand. We're aware. We have two people in our family who share two different people within the same body, and one who chooses to share his body and spirit with his husband in almost the same manner as you describe yourself, but there are varying degrees. Buck wasn't born with both genitals. I'm not even suggesting he has a feminine side by wanting to share his passive nature with his mate. When he found out I could provide him with a vagina he opted for the change to share with his husband, Hank. I enhanced him to be able to change and taught him how to morph back and forth at his and his mate's pleasure," Billy explained.

"That sounds like an ideal solution for them, but I don't think it would work for me," Willie lamented.

"I understand. I suspected you made peace with both over the years," Billy said quietly, "Tell us about your youth, Willie," Billy urged.

"I grew up with the same group of kids in our small area of the reservation. There was about twenty of us. From our earliest days, we were taught the Yavapai way and that there were others who were different from the norm. We never wore much clothes when we were little kids and everyone got used to seeing each other naked. Boys and girls under the age of six played together naked without any shame or teasing. We never thought much about it. The other kids knew I was different but no one said anything. They knew better. It just wasn't polite, and it wasn't the Yavapai way to belittle or embarrass another because he or she was different. My anomaly, as you call it, was accepted as normal for me – until we got to school age.

"When we were mixed with other Yavapai kids, the others never saw someone like me, and at first, gave me a hard time. I would run away by myself, hide, and cry my heart out; but, there was one large, fine looking boy who was bigger than the rest of us. He was a couple of years older than our group, and he was the undisputed leader of the school yard. One day when the kids were being particularly mean spirited and ruthless, I ran away to hide, and he came to find me. He sat beside me, took me into his big arms, kissed my tears away and told me how sorry he was for the cruelty of the other kids. He asked me if I would do him the great honor of becoming his bonded blood brother. I was stunned and terribly flattered. Naturally I accepted. For some reason – I never learned until years later – he took a shine to me, and before all the kids on the playground, he made me his blood brother that day. He cut his arm and my arm with a beer can pull-tab, mingled our blood for all to see and swore an oath anyone who was mean to me was being mean to him, and they would have to answer to both of us. I never had a problem after that, and I still bear the scar from his cut – the sweetest cut I ever got," Willie said showing Billy the scar on his wrist, "The young brave's name was William Rupert Cougar-claw. They called him 'Willie,'" Little Willie said.

"That's fascinating. We've got more to do to finish with you. I think I speak for every cowboy-angel around this table – we would like to hear more, Mr. Whistlepie," Billy said, and the others agreed with him.

Little Willie smiled. He never met a group of men who seemed more genuinely interested in him. "My grandpa, uncle, and aunt called me 'wa-gene' which was a shortened masculine form of our spirit guide for people with two spirits 'Wan-jean-na.' They told me when I was a little older, I could pick a name for myself or a name would come to me which would resonate with my soul by which I wanted to be known. I would know when a name felt right. It didn't take me long to fall hopelessly in love with my bonded blood brother, and I wanted to be known as 'Willie', too. So contrary to popular belief, I didn't take on the name of 'Little Willie' because of my genital size. My brother was known as Big Willie and I was called Little Willie even when I began to outgrow him in high school. It didn't matter to me. He love me, and I loved him."

Willie paused for a minute then continued, "I wanted a last name to set me apart from my family what rejected me and my granddad, uncle, and aunt agreed. Us kids used to stand around the small store in the town area of the reservation in hopes somebody would buy us a soda, and if we were real lucky a Moon-pie. I learned to whistle pretty good and learned a variety of tunes. I could whistle almost any tune they wanted to hear for a big RC Cola and a Moon pie. That's how I come to be known as Willie Whistlepie. I liked it, and I took it for my last name," he said and several of the cowboys grinned their approval.

"Have you attempted sex with another?" Billy asked.

"Oh, yeah. Once we reached puberty, it became pretty apparent why my hero wanted me for his blood brother," Willie said and several of the men chuckled.

"Friends with benefits sort of arrangement?" Billy asked and grinned.

"Exactly," Willie replied.

"Was it successful?" Billy asked.

"Yeah! At first it was awkward, but what sex ain't? You don't pick up a fiddle and play it sweetly the first time," Willie said and grinned. The cowboy-angels laughed knowing it was exactly what Billy did the first time he picked up a violin. "It was a cakewalk for me. All I had to do was lie back and enjoy the ride. It was harder for my blood brother than it was for me," Willie said and smiled remembering.

"How's z'at, Trucker?" Billy asked.

"Willie's daddy beat manners into him, and the proper way to do things. He believed in the old ways and was strict with his kids. Willie weren't afraid of his old man, but he respected him without measure. His daddy told his sons he would castrate them his'self if he ever learned one of his boys forced himself on another person, man or woman, without their consent, and if it was with someone local, they were required to get the other parent's consent. Willie asked if it applied to his blood brother, and his daddy told him it certainly did – times ten. He even made it harder on Willie. I don't think he really wanted us coupling, but he told him if he got my granddad and my uncle's approval, Willie would then have to lie down with him one evening – his own pa – and give his ass up to him like he was his squaw so he could teach Willie how to fuck and what it feels like to be on the receiving end," Little Willie said. There was a silence in the processing room you could have reached out and grabbed by the throat. Everyman was hanging on each word of Willie's story.

"That's the most amazing thing I think I've heard in a while," Billy said and urged Willie to go on with his story.

"Willie never questioned his dad whether other men required it of their sons. I imagined it was because it wouldn't matter anyway in their situation. Willie's dad, Red Wolf, made the rules for his son's and daughters and there was no discussion or bargaining. While he could be a loving, generous man to a fault, he also could be as strong-willed and stubborn as an old mule. He did tell Willie he didn't have to comply with his rules, but he did as long as he lived in his hogan. Willie talked about it for a couple of weeks and finally came to the conclusion it was just another crazy Indian ritual he had to suffer through to move to the next level to become a full-fledged warrior-brave of the tribe. He finally agreed to give himself to his pa and his dad made arrangements for a couple of braves to clean him and chant prayers for their evening together; much like your grooms, Master Billy, without the prayers," Willie observed.

"They got him high on grass and made a great ritual of it including taking him and giving Willie to his dad. Willie never told me the details, but I got enough from him, it wasn't as bad an evening as he thought it might be. It must not have been too bad for him, Willie came to love and respect his old man all the more for the experience. Red Wolf's teaching certainly came through in Willie's love making. He was strong and sure of himself, but he was gentle and compassionate. He made sure it was as good for me as the pleasure he was taking for himself," Willie said, "Long story short, we fell in love with each other. We became an accepted couple within our tribe. Willie became my defacto husband, and I became his squaw-man," he said.

"Did you take precautions to keep from getting pregnant?" Billy asked.

"Oh, yeah. I used to pop them pills like they was Lifesaver mints. The nurse practitioner at the government-run health center for our tribe always had an abundance of them. The government didn't want our tribe to grow so they pushed birth control. Very few but the youngest members of our tribe used them, and she had boxes stacked on boxes in her store room; each with four huge jars full of birth control pills she couldn't get rid of. She was an older lady and watched me grow up. She knew my condition and was happy for me and Willie. She handed me a gallon jar filled with them and gave me a sheet of paper explaining how and when to take them. Later she just gimme' a full box," Little Willie said and laughed.

"I'm almost afraid to ask what happened to Willie Cougar-claw," Billy said quietly.
There was a great pause from Willie. The big man let out a deep sigh like it was his last breath; one of great pain and sorrow.

"You don't have to go on if you're uncomfortable talking about it, Son," Tron said, like the men could feel what was coming next wouldn't be easy for the big man.    

"Naw, you men done a lot for me. You should know. Willie got drafted. They raised the number of years a man had to serve from two to three, and they could automatically extend them in case of national emergency. Well, there was always an emergency, and he got extended another six months past his three years. He was home for three weeks visiting with his family and me. We were happy and looking forward to spending our lives together. It's not uncommon for a brave to take on several squaws or a squaw-man if he can afford them, but we were going to have a different relationship. We planned to have a large family together much like you have, Master Billy.

"I knew the day I drove him to the airport in Phoenix I would never see him again. I didn't want him to go back. I cried and begged him not to go. I was learning to drive trucks, and I told him we could haul our ashes together until the government forgot about us; then, we could return to the reservation, buy us some land and ranch for a living. Unfortunately, one of the things his daddy drilled into him was a deep sense of honor, and pride in himself and his country. Willie knew he couldn't live with himself if he didn't go back. He looked upon a deserter as a coward, and he couldn't live with the thought. Three months later they shipped him home in a box. There was only bits and pieces of him they found after the explosion, along with his head, hands, and feet. They only returned the larger parts. The rest they loaded onto a sea-barge with other human flesh and fed them to the fishes. They wouldn't let us open the casket to say goodbye. I irrationally blamed his dad for his death, but I later went to him and begged his forgiveness," Little Willie said as one tear ran down his cheek. Billy quickly wiped it away.

"I was driving the truck I got now as a running buddy of an older trucker. He owned the truck and took me on as a greenhorn driver. He taught me everything I know about driving a truck. I drove with him as his second for a year for food and just enough money to keep me clean and clothed. He was good to me, helped me get my license, and after a year he started paying me a regular salary. You can't live in such close proximity with someone without them discovering everything about you. It's hard to hide tampons from your running buddy. Eventually he found out about my anomaly and talked with me at length about it. I was pleasantly surprised, it didn't seem to disturb him much. After a while, he opened up to me and laid his cards on the table. He told me he was a gay man, he had never been with a woman, but thought he might like to try with me if I was willing and found him to my liking.

"I found him very sexy and often masturbated thinking about him. He had a fine, big ole German cock just going to waste. We done it a few times, then a few more. He got better each time. Once he relaxed and took his time, he seemed to really get great pleasure and relief from our sex together. I got back on my pills, and we made love and fucked our brains out across America, until one night, at a truck stop outside of Houston, Texas, we climbed into the sleeper for some rack time; only, he didn't wake up the next morning. He died of a heart attack lying next to me, and I never knew. I left him with the coroner and finished the run. I found an envelope with my name on it and inside was a formal notarized letter telling me what he wanted done should anything happen to him. He had no relatives, and he left his truck and his bank account to me. He wanted to be cremated and his ashes left to blow in the wind on a high rock ledge at Cathedral Rock above Squaw Tank in Joshua Tree National Park. I took the letter to Texas DMV and had the truck put into my name and drove to Joshua Tree. I done as he asked, and I hope his spirit is happy with me. His name was Delbert Miller, a fine man of German descent from your part of Texas, Master Billy. That's why I recognized the town of Fredericksburg when Brute told me about the Walmart Cowboy Jesus incident," he said.

Billy laughed. "That's a moving story, Trucker. Thanks for sharing it with us. I'll admit to the cowboy part, but I ain't no Walmart Jesus. We completed your healing and restoration, Willie. You may sit up now," Billy said, "Clyde, please outfit our guest in some sharp looking cowboy duds and give him a new pair of boots. He won't need to worry none about his feet swelling no more," Billy added. Billy went on to tell Willie what he could do for him to make his sex life a bit easier for him. He went through the various options which were in his power to adjust or change, but he didn't want to rush into anything until Willie had a chance to be alone and think about the possibilities and what he most wanted. "Do you have a busy schedule after your trip to Eugene and back to Seattle?" Billy asked.

"No, I'm free for the next couple of weeks. I don't plan to do nothing except maybe some hunting or fishing," Willie replied.

"You got another vehicle other than your big-rig?" Billy asked.

"Yes, sir, I got a nice Dodge pickup I use around town," he replied.

"Why don't you join us next Friday for the weekend. Drive to Tall Pine and park your truck behind Nellie's Cantina, and I'll have her boy, Wilbur, come through a gate to bring you back here to the ranch. You can get a better picture of our family, and we can get to know you better. We can talk more about what you might like to happen in your life, and I'll have time to think about what actions we should take regarding your SLE. We'll see what we can do to help each other," Billy suggested.

"I'd really like that, Master Billy. I can't thank you enough for what you done for me already and your understanding concern. Ain't many men what would take the time to get to know a freak like me," Willie said sincerely.

"Ain't no such thing as a 'freak,' Trucker. If something is alive and breathing, it's here for a purpose. You have just as much right to be on this planet as the rest of us. We're luckier than most. We have options, and if we choose them carefully, we can find our place in this world meant for us and be comfortable with our differences. I didn't ask for the enhancement or these powers I been given, but I plan to make the most of them to alleviate as much pain and suffering as I can; and, in some cases give people, no matter their differences, a new beginning or a hand-up on the road to help them realize their full potential. We'll work together to find your bliss, Willie," Billy said.  
"Thank you, Master Billy. I'll look forward to getting to know you and your family better," Willie replied.
"Get dressed in your new cowboy duds, and hang around for a few minutes with us. We got us some new initiates to our family what we need to attend to, then we'll go up to the big house together, wake Sheriff Andreeson, and have a big ranch breakfast together. Then we'll gate you men back to Oregon and see you safely on your way," Billy said, "Stan, you and Wilbur shuck your clothes," Billy said and the men didn't hesitate to remove their clothes.

Billy took Stan first and enhanced him and when he was finished, Stan got dressed as Billy and his posse enhanced Wilbur and explained to him why he must return after driving the sheriff back to Tall Pine. Billy gave him explicit instructions to return to the Cantina, notify him when he was ready, and he would send Randy and Stan for him. Wilbur was in awe of Billy and his cowboy angels and eagerly submitted to his enhancement. When they finished with everything Billy wanted to accomplish, the men walked back to the big house together. The sky was becoming light, but the sun hadn't yet reached the horizon. They lost two hours going through the gate back to Texas and the household was up going about their usual business. Billy was pleased and smiled to himself. Nick was walking by his side and saw him smile. "You wanna' share that thought, Kemosabe?" he asked.

"I was just wondering, with the difference in time between here and the West Coast, if there might be such a thing as 'gate-lag,'" Billy replied.  

"I think the whole idea of jet lag has a lot to do with just sitting in a flying cattle car for hours at a time without much movement allowed. If you transport cattle over long distances bunched together without their natural moving about, they will appear lethargic like they were hungover once you release them into holding pens. Our bodies don't suffer that kind of trauma when we merely go though gates," Nick allowed, "You don't seem overly tired to me right now, but you probably will experience some tiredness once breakfast hits your stomach," he added.

"So we should probably confront and explain to the sheriff everything before we go into breakfast?" Billy asked.

"That would be my advice. Let's make sure his boy and his grandmother are awake and ready to accompany us into the lion's den," Nick said and grinned.

Billy asked Clyde and Cowboy Andy to awaken and gather Ms. Evangeline and young Bobby to come to the guest room where they placed the sheriff to sleep and recover. Billy asked Willie to accompany them since he knew the sheriff, and he could confirm what Billy and his men would be telling him. They proceeded to the room and found the sheriff sleeping peacefully. Billy put his hand gently to Bob Andreeson's forehead and woke him from his deep sleep. He slowly came around, sat up in bed with his eyes wide, and looked around him like a frightened animal.

"Where am I? How did I get here? What is this place? Billy Daniels? Willie? What are you doing here?" he asked in rapid succession.

"Easy, Sheriff," Billy tried to calm him, "You're all right. You're at the Daniel's ranch in the center of the state of Texas. Willie Whistlepie is here because it was his truck your patrol car hit last night. This big man heroically risked his life to pull you from your burning car and with the help of several of my family members carried you away from the flames and the ultimate explosion. We put the fire out and brought you here along with your grandmother, your son Bobby, and Mr. Whistlepie. We healed your burns, your hip and leg joints, and even fixed a few scars from your days in the Middle East. We regressed your body age almost twenty years and you should feel much better this morning. We repaired your patrol car, and it's waiting for you back at the Fennel's hunting cabin. We have clean Western clothes and a new pair of boots for you to put on to eat breakfast with us," Billy said.

Sheriff Andreeson shook his head like he couldn't believe what he was hearing. "How could you bring me to Texas so quickly?" he asked.

"Put your clothes on, sir, and we'll explain everything to you. We ain't rested all night. We been up repairing Mr. Whistlepie as well as you and your boy, Bobby," Billy replied.

"Bobby is here? Where is he?" he asked.

"He'll be down in a minute with his great-grandma. We put them to bed shortly after we arrived. Now, put your clothes on, sir," Billy said and handed him a handsome Western shirt exactly his size. Billy was amused the sheriff didn't ask about underwear, he just pulled on the new Wranglers, put on the socks they left for him, and pulled on the handsome pair of boots. He stood and stomped around in them getting the feel, zipped up his fly, and fastened the nice belt in the pants. He stopped for a moment, looked into the full-length mirror, and put his hand to his face like he couldn't believe the man he saw looking back at him. He stood in awe for a moment looking at a much younger man.

The door opened and a young buckaroo in cowboy clothes wearing a big hat came running through the door, "Daddy? Daddy! Oh my god, you look so handsome in your cowboy clothes. Your uniform was burned so bad they couldn't save it. We just threw it away," Bobby said as he ran to his dad and threw his arms around him.

"Bobby? Is it really you?" he asked in awe.

"Yes, Robert, it's really your son, Bobby," Evangeline Andreeson replied, "These men have powers and gifts we have only heard stories about in legends and myths, but they are the real thing. They healed me and regressed my age some thirty years. They have given your son a new lease on life and corrected his genetic flaws," she confirmed.

"What is to become of us?" the sheriff asked, looking at his perfect son. "You look so young – like you're only a boy," he added.

"That's because I agreed to another childhood, Dad. Great-grandma and Master Billy decided I should have another go at growing up, but this time as a normal boy. I can't go back with you, Dad. I must stay here with the Daniels' family; Grandma Andreeson as my adult parent; Stan and Cletus as my godfathers, and Master Billy as head of our combined families. I agreed to Master Billy's conditions before coming to live with his family. I was an adult when I agreed, but as he has regressed Grandma, and you, so he regressed me to a seven year old boy. I had my new birthday yesterday," Bobby explained.

"I dont know if I can give you up, Bobby?" the sheriff said.

"You don't need me anymore to make your pain go away, Dad. You were getting too bad for me to continue much longer providing you with support," Bobby said, "Besides, you almost forgot my little brother and sister. They still need you as much as ever. The opportunities for me here to learn and grow are limitless. Now my condition has been corrected, I could never fit-in back there again. How would you explain my miraculous rejuvenation? Better you tell them you placed me in a good home in Texas which Master Billy recommended, and your grandmother is here to watch over me," Bobby made a good, solid argument for his new life.

"Will I ever get to see you again?" the sheriff asked.

"Of course. Master Billy is forming a partnership with Nellie Peterson, and I'll be coming with them to Tall Pine from time to time. You can plan a hunting trip to the Fennel's place, and we'll open a gate to bring you to the ranch for a weekend – just like one of them gates in that TV program you and I used to watch together," Bobby said.

"Is that how we come to be in Texas?" he asked.

"Exactly, Dad. These men didn't drive to Oregon from Texas. They opened a huge gate and drove through to the Fennel's property. We knew you were coming to check on me. I could hear you in my mind, but I wasn't strong enough to protect you when your hip gave out," Bobby said and shed a couple of tears.

"There, there, Son. It ain't your fault," the sheriff consoled his boy, "To be honest, I suspected you had something to do with making me feel better, but I just passed it off as our love for each other acting like a calming tranquilizer for my body and soul," he added, "Did you know about this, Grandma?" the sheriff asked Evangeline.

"I did, from the very moment Billy Daniels walked into my bedroom; however, I'd rather you not think upon me as a co-conspirator, but a facilitator of what needed to be done to provide the best life for my talented great-grandson, myself, and you. You were on the verge of physical and emotional collapse. We were counting on you to come to Fennel's place where we would share our plans, and for Master Billy and his cowboy-angel's to heal and refurbish you without much trauma. He made arrangements to send young Randy Rutherford and his watcher-protector with a flashlight to show you the turnoff to the road to the cabin, when Bobby felt your hip go out and you lost control of your patrol car. You owe your life to your son, this handsome truck driver, Mr. Whistlepie, Master Billy Daniels, and his posse of cowboy-angels," Evangeline said.

"Why do you call them cowboy-angels, Grandma?" the sheriff asked.

Mrs. Andreeson looked at Billy and nodded. Billy disappeared and returned in a flash fully fledged in his beautiful wings and leather harness framing his imposing physique.

"Jesus Christ!" the sheriff exclaimed.

"No, Sheriff, I'm just an enhanced human who was given special powers by a couple of advanced races of aliens. Neither am I the Walmart Cowboy Jesus, but I got stuck wiff' the label when I healed my little brother, Randy Rutherford, in their parking lot," Billy said.

"We watched that video on TV for weeks afterward," the sheriff said in awe, "It was you. I remember now," he said quietly, "Where do we go from here?" he asked almost as a lament.

"We go on with our lives. We go to the kitchen, sit down, have a big ranch breakfast together, show you around a bit, we open a gate to take you, Wilbur Peterson, and Trucker Willie Whistlepie back to the Fennel's cabin. Wilbur will drive you back to Tall Pine, and you men can let Mr. Whistlepie out at his truck still parked on the side of the road near the exit from the Fennel property," Billy said.

"Is this what you really want, Son?" the sheriff asked his boy.

"Yes, Dad, I want this chance to become somebody; to become a normal kid; to grow into a young man, and eventually become a mature man you will be proud of. Don't walk away thinking I deserted you, or I don't love you. I love you with all my heart. That's why I need for you to let me go with your blessing and your love," Bobby said with moving conviction.

"It won't be easy, Son. I love you so damn much, but if it's truly what you want, I won't try to stand in your way," the sheriff said, took his boy into his arms, and they cried together.

Kate Daniels came to the door and announced breakfast was ready and for everyone to join them in the kitchen. It was like walking into a new world for the sheriff. The Daniels' family watchers were sitting on stools at a counter built for them to eat their morning slave chow and nutrient biscuits. He didn't seemed to be overly bothered by them, but he was amazed. "I've seen them many times in the forest around Tall Pine, but they never bothered me," he said quietly like he held great reverence for them.

"They are the watchers of our race, Sheriff. They have protected and kept us from killing each other for centuries. Only recently they have begun to bond with us. We have a stomping of about thirty and almost as many human daddy long-legs who live and run with them," Billy explained.

"The big one sitting on the end is my husband and father of my son, Billy Daniels Junior, whom our lovely sister Roz Cumber sitting across from you is carrying for us," Billy said like it was common knowledge. Evangeline laughed at the look on her grandson's face. "It's a long story we will share with you as you get to know us, but trust me, it ain't as strange as you might think," Billy explained.

They introduced everyone at breakfast to the sheriff, took him for a brief tour around the compound and the main part of the ranch. Billy's slaves were up and going about their daily routines. The sheriff was in awe there were so many, and they were each more handsome or prettier than the next. They didn't look like mistreated prisoners or slaves he heard tales about. Finally, the time came for the three men to transport back to Oregon through a gate. Randy opened a smaller gate, and they walked through. The sheriff was a bit hesitant, but his boy took his hand and led him through the wall of free electrons. Robert Andreeson was stunned when he saw his patrol car. It was in perfect condition. It looked like it just rolled of the showroom floor.

Last minute thanks, followed by hugs and kisses, the three men got into the patrol car. The sheriff agreed Wilbur should probably drive them back to Tall Pine. Billy and his family, including Bobby, watched them drive down the long dirt road to the highway. Bobby waved and cried at the same time. Billy picked him up and kissed away his tears. "You'll see him again, soon, Buckaroo. I promise. I don't intend to let you men grow too far part. You will grow separately but together. Being apart from each other will give you something new to talk about when you get together. Come now! We have to get back to the ranch and get you settled in," Billy said.

"I'm ready, Master Billy," Bobby said and gave Billy a big hug.

* * * * * * *
On the way back to the road the men talked a little. "I'm sorry I lost control of my patrol car, Willie, but my hip went out, and I couldn't control my legs. Thanks for saving my life, Brother," the sheriff said.

"Glad to do it. I couldn't a done it without the help of them big watchers you saw. When the gas tank exploded, they projected some kind of shell around us the flames and heat couldn't penetrate. They was the ones what really saved both our butts, sir," Willie said.

"Nevertheless, you risked your life to save mine, and I will never forget it, Son," the sheriff said.

"Thanks, Sheriff, I appreciate your kind words," Willie replied.

"If you ever need a place to stay and are in the area, don't hesitate to stop by. We got an extra room in our house, or I can always slap your butt in jail and give you a key to come and go as you please," Bob said to him.

Willie laughed. "Your hospitality with your open jail cells is legendary, Sheriff," Willie replied and grinned.

They came to the branch covering the road. Willie got out, pulled it back for them to pass, and they drove over in front of his truck and parked. The men stood and chatted for a minute, said their goodbyes, shook hands, and went their way. Willie followed them down the mountain into Tall Pine and blew his air-horn as he passed them to travel on his way. He wasn't sleepy. He never fell better in his life; certainly better than he felt in a long time. He leaned back in his comfortable seat and day-dreamed of his departed partner and imagined he was riding by his side again. He carried on an imaginary conversation with his partner. Willie told him how much he missed him, but he thought things were looking up for him. Willie just wanted him to know he would be all right. He could swear he heard a deep, grateful sigh come from the other seat like his buddy was pleased and happy with the news.

* * * * * * *
"As I understand it, you plan to become a part of Master Billy's family, Son," the sheriff said to Wilbur as they drove along.

"Yes, sir, after they got through with you and Mr. Whistlepie, they enhanced Stan and me. They already healed and enhanced Cletus, Stan's husband. He was one one of Master Billy's cowboy-angels what winged-up and provided the power to heal you and Mr. Whistlepie," Wilbur said enthusiastically.

"Was I badly injured, Son?" he asked.

"I ain't kidding none, Sheriff, you looked like a well-done side of beef and so did parts of Mr. Willie. They took videos they would probably show you if you asked them. After they took care of your outside, they healed your hip and legs and took care of some other minor repairs. You look great in them cowboy clothes. You should wear them more often, Sheriff," Wilbur said.

"So you'll be around my boy a lot?" Bob asked.

"When I'm at the ranch. I have to get back within the next twelve hours or so because my wings will start growing in and they have to cut me on my back to allow them to grow through the muscles and skin," Wilbur said like he was really excited.

"Will you do me a favor, Son?" the sheriff asked.

"Sure. Anything, Sheriff. You been good to me and my mom over the years," Wilbur replied.

"Keep and eye out for my boy and make sure he's happy," he said.

"You know I'd do it without you asking, Sheriff. Bobby's a part of my world, too, sir. That's the thing I love about Master Billy and his family. Everyone, including you and your family, will ultimately become a part of his greater family. I like that, and I like the freedom of knowing I got somebody who cares about me watching my back. For too many years, I been a loner and pretty much hung onto my mother's skirts. I want more out of life than growing old in Tall Pine serving beer and pretzels to old folks and truckers," Wilbur said.

"I think you found your ship to take you where you want to go, Wilbur, and I wish you the best of luck, Son," the sheriff said.

"Thanks, Sheriff. Well, here we are..." Wilbur said as he pulled up out front of the Cantina. "You all right to drive on home?" Wilbur asked.

"I'm fine, Son, and thanks for coming back with me to make sure I get home safely. I won't forget your kindness or your understanding. I know you're gonna' make Billy Daniels one hell of a fine cowboy-angel, Wilbur. Bless you, Son," the sheriff said.

Wilbur waved, watched the sheriff disappear down the road, turned, and walked into the Cantina. His mother came to give him a hug. She had a worried look on her face. Wilbur was back way sooner than she expected. Wilbur could sense her anxiety and sat down on a stool across the bar from her. Mr. Flint waved and hailed him, but he was eating his breakfast. Nellie got Wilbur a cup of coffee, added cream and sugar the way he liked it and set it before him. He thanked her and took a sip. It was really hot. "If you don't start talking soon, I'm gonna' get that old razor strap your old man used and turn you across my knee, Wilbur Peterson. You ain't too big for me to red'n up your cute little butt a mite," Nellie said and laughed. She got Wilbur laughing.

"You know how you used to tell me I's your angel when I done something good, Ma?" Wilbur asked.

"Yeah, so?" she pushed.

"As of last night – " Wilbur looked up and down the bar like he was seeing if anyone was listening.

"Yes, yes! Go on!" Nellie was about to come across the bar at him.

"I am an angel, Ma. My wings will start to grow in about eighteen hours. I can only stay for a while, and I have go back to Texas for minor surgery to allow them to grow through the muscles and skin on my back," Wilbur said.

Nellie stood on the other side of the bar and Wilbur watched her big brown eyes get larger and water began to fill them. "Please don't joke with me like that, Wilbur. You're my only joy in life, Son. I lived my life for you, Son," she pleaded.

"No, no, Ma! I ain't kidding ya' none. Master Billy enhanced me, and I'm going to become a member of his cowboy-angel posse," Wilbur assured her.

"If that's so, why are you here?" she asked.
Wilbur went on to tell his mother the wonders he observed and all about the sheriff, Willie Whistlepie, Mrs. Andreeson, and Bobby. He went on and on describing in detail what happened to him, the other men, the accident, and the miracles he watched Billy and his men perform. Mr. Flint moved down closer and Wilbur encouraged him to listen to his story. The old man was in as much awe as Nellie, but he kept a big grin on his face like his suspicions about Billy Daniels and his family turned out to be true. They were, indeed, special men. "I knew there was something special about them men. This weary old world is ripe – just ready for men like him and his cowboy brothers to come along and bring some light and joy back to life. You're one lucky kid, Wilbur, to be asked to join a group like that. You should be very proud of your boy, Nellie. I know I'm proud of him," the old man said sincerely.

"Thanks, Mr. Flint. I'm still walking on a cloud," Wilbur said.

"Which reminds me," Nellie said and turned to the cash register, took out a small envelope with Wilbur's name on it, and handed it to him. "Mr. Daniels handed me this before you men left and told me to give it to you when I next saw you. I didn't think I'd see you this soon, so I almost forgot about it," she allowed.

Wilbur carefully opened it and the note inside read: Go down to the double garage where we stowed the old VW and where you and I took Mr. Carobelle. I left something on the driver's seat for you in that poor old excuse for a vehicle. Welcome to the family, Wilbur. Hope you like my present. Love, your brother, Billy. Wilbur read it out loud, and he broke into tears.

"What do you think he left me, Ma? You got any idea, Mr. Flint?" Wilbur asked.

Both shook their heads and shrugged their shoulders like they didn't have a clue.

"'Er's zonely one way to find out, Son. Walk down there and have a look," Mr. Flint said.

"You wanna' go with me, Mr. Flint?" Wilbur asked.

"Naw, not because I'm old or lazy. I just think you ought a' go by yourself for it to be magic. You know what I done told you about magic. Let it happen, Son," the old man insisted.

"Don't look at me!" Nellie exclaimed, "Gower's right. You're walking the way of magic. Let it happen," she encouraged.

Wilbur turned and walked toward the back door, stopped, and turned to look back. "Go on! You went out on your own, and I'm proud of you. Go, before I throw something at you," Nellie hollered. She and old Flint shared a laugh.

It seemed like the path down to the garage was much longer than Wilbur remembered, and it seemed the closer he got, the further away the building moved like it was teasing him. By the time he got to the door he was sure Einstein was wrong. He opened the door and walked inside into the dim light from the dirty windows on the far side. He disturbed the dust soldiers floating in the air on the beams of light as he walked around to the front of the covered vehicle. He reached up and threw back the canvas tarp covering the front, and pulled it back about half-way to the middle of the bus. He gasped at what he saw. The VW looked brand new. It was completely restored like the sheriff's patrol car. It looked like it just rolled off the showroom floor. It was in perfect, pristine condition from the white sidewall tires to the shining paint job. Tears started running down Wilbur's face as he opened the door to the driver's side and saw an envelope with a set of keys lying on top. He knew the keys were for the bus. He sat in the dim light and opened the envelope. Inside was another note with ten one-hundred dollar bills. The note read: Surprise! You and your mom will need some decent dependable wheels to get your business underway. The money is yours to spend as you see fit, and remember you have a family in Texas what loves you. All our love, your brother, Billy.

Wilbur sat in the driver's seat and cried his heart out until his mother and old man Flint came to see what was taking him so long. They were as much in awe as Wilbur, but neither doubted their young man was telling them the truth about becoming a cowboy-angel.

End of Chapter 62 ~ Seek Him Who Made The Seven Stars (and Orion)
Copyright ~ © ~ 2013 ~ 2014 ~ 2015 ~ Waddie Greywolf
All Rights Reserved ~
Mail to: waddiebear@yahoo.com
WC = 16480

Attention Nifty Readers: If you enjoy this story or others on Nifty, please send a generous donation to Nifty.org -- http://donate.nifty.org/donate.html -- 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