By Waddie Greywolf

Chapter 12

Lucas slept.  He was vaguely aware of the trip to the ranch.  He remembered being held by a huge giant and being cradled in his arms.  Lucas remembered the haunting, soothing song the beast sang to him.  It took his hurt away, it took his anguish away, it gave him comfort, but best of all it gave him unconditional love.  He thought those things only came from angels.  What does a beast know of love?  For that matter, what did he know of love? When did anyone love him?  Lucas felt comfortable in Ox’s arms, his soul was at peace for the first time in a very long while.  He couldn’t remember a time his soul felt so at ease. 

Lucas started to awaken and saw a couple of people around him, but he had a difficult time focusing.  Someone said he was awake.  He was immediately given another shot, and he was instantly adrift in a comfortable nether region.  Once in a while, he was conscious of people doing things to him, but he wasn’t really sure they were people.  Every time he tried to communicate or see, he couldn’t.  His mouth felt funny, and he could no longer see; however, before he could panic, he was given another shot, and he was once again asleep.  Drifting.  There was no current to the stream.  He was barely afloat.  Comfortable.  Suspended in time and space.  No pain.  No panic.  Nothing to do but drift.

He didn’t think whoever was attending him was evil.  They did things for him like exercise his limbs.  Some wonderfully soft, big, masculine hands would exercise his arms and legs three times a day for about an hour each time; one on his right and the other on his left.  Sometimes he could hear them talk and they called each other David and Jonathan.  Another male voice, the one who seemed to be in charge, they called Cable.  They were thorough and exact in their therapy, but they were also gentle and caring.  They spoke of empathy for him.  They spoke of belonging.  Surely they weren't talking about him.

Once he woke up without anyone around him, but he wasn’t frightened.  His face had the bandages removed.  He attempted to open his eyes.  Surprisingly, he could see perfectly out of both eyes.  He looked upon the most beautiful crystals that were radiating brilliant light of all colors.  He could feel their rays penetrating his skin and body, but it wasn’t like the rays from the sun.  He wasn’t getting hot from them, but he could feel them doing things to his body.

Where was he?  This wasn’t a regular slave veterinarian hospital.  He was getting much better care and treatment than any slave-vet hospital would provide.  Then he began to hear them,— faintly at first, but then their voices became stronger and louder in his mind.  The crystals were alive, and they were singing to him.   He quickly learned their words and knew what they were singing. 
They were singing of harmony, peace, healing, repair, strength, courage and love.  They sang to him personally and called him 'Lucas.'  He tried to tell them his name was Caleb, but they insisted on calling him Lucas.  Oh, well,— he was enjoying the feeling too much to argue with them.  It was even effecting his penis, but he couldn’t touch himself because his hands were strapped to his sides.

Lucas was embarrassed because his member was misbehaving and growing erect.  He couldn’t see it, but it felt different.  It felt heavier,— like his dick had gained weight.  He could feel something tight but soft wrapped snugly around the head of his dick.  It was almost sensual.  No, he decided it was very sensual.  The crystals told him not to worry about it.  It was a natural function of his new body.  His new body?  What happened to his old body?  ‘New and improved older body’ the crystals sang to him.  He lay unattended for what seemed hours.  All his pain and hurt seemed to melt away.  Finally three beautiful, naked men came into the room to surround his Gurney.

“Ah, good, he’s awake.” said the one called Cable.  The other two looked down on him and smiled.  They were so perfect, they looked like angels, but very attractive, masculine, angels.  Lucas was amazed.  “Don’t try to speak, little brother,” Cable spoke to him, “Your mouth is wired shut.  You won’t be able to use it for a couple more days, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have visitors.  I’ll notify Father immediately you’re awake.”

Father?  What was he talking about?  Whose father?  Theirs?  His?  His new Master?  He accepted he couldn’t ask questions and decided to relax and see what unfolded.  The crystals told him he would have some wonderful new experiences and was in good hands.  They also told him he was healing more rapidly than anyone expected.  They told him something else that seemed strange to him.  They said for a male of his species he was now most comely.  What did comely mean?  Had he lost control and ejaculated on himself?

The beautiful naked men fed him for the first time.  They put a drinking straw into his mouth and told him to suck gently.  Suddenly his mouth was filled with the best tasting warm soup broth.  It was delicious.  He downed the whole cup.  They asked if he wanted more, and he nodded his head.  They brought him more.  They told him they had diapers on him.  If he had to urinate or void to let it go.  They would check him often to take care of him.  Not to worry, it was only temporary until they could get him up and walking.

He was now in a room by himself in a hospital bed that was very comfortable.  Later, he heard men talking and laughter.  Then, his room was filled with men and the giant who held him all the way to the ranch.  The big, tall man who seemed to be in charge was dressed in cowboy clothes with a large, wide brimmed cowboy hat on.  He walked over to the bed and looked at him.

<< Can you hear me, Lucas? >> he heard in his mind, but why was he calling him ‘Lucas?’  << I heard that question, young man.  ‘Lucas’ is your new name.  Caleb Stamper is no more.  You are now my slave, and your name is officially Lucas Long. >>

<< Ain’t ‘Long’ yore’ name, Sir? >>

<< You remembered.  Yes, it is, Son.  I've had you rebuilt.  You no longer look like Caleb Stamper.  The sheriff and slave dealer, Mr. Tennent, told Caleb's daddy they couldn’t find a buyer for him, and he was sent to the dog food plant for rendering.  Caleb's family didn't want him no more.  For all they know, Caleb is dead to them.  Since I recreated you from Caleb, gave you a new chance in life and since you're now my slave and I own you, I thought it was only fair I be the one to rename you and give you my last name for your own.  These men around you are part of my family.  Your new family wants you, Lucas, but more than that, we need you.  Caleb Stamper is dead, Son.  You are now my slave and a member of my family.  You will live your new life as Lucas Long.  >> Lazarus took his hand, << You have some thinking to do,— some things to sort out in your mind, but you’ll have plenty of time and help to come to grips with your new situation and feelings. >> Lazarus smiled at him. <<  Let me introduced you to these good men who will help you and be a part of your new family.  Then Lazarus spoke out loud to him.

“This find looking gentleman is owner of the ranch where you'll be living.  His name is Mr. Charlie Goodnight, but you will call him ‘Master Goodnight’ or ‘Master Charlie.’”

Charlie took Lucas’ hand and smiled at him.

“Welcome to the Goodnight ranch, Lucas.  I hope you become a good and faithful slave to my ramrod, here.  He needs a good slave to take care of him and his house.”  Lucas nodded he understood.

“I’m Master Goodnight’s foreman on his ranch, Son.” Lazarus added,  “You already know my Godson, Ox.”

Ox walked over to Lucas in his fine looking outfit and took his other hand.  Lucas heard in his head,

<< It’s good to meet you under better circumstances, little one.  You look better,— you will be fine.  My father is a firm but good man.  You will come to love, respect and honor him as much as we do.  You will be his slave, but you will, also, be part of his family. >>

<< Thank you, Sir, for holding me in the truck and singing to me.  I heard everything, but I couldn’t respond. >> Lucas told him.

Ox smiled at him and nodded.  Waco came and stood by Ox and took Lucas’ hand.

<< Howdy, brother! >> he exclaimed, << You’re look’n good.  How are you feeling? >>

<< I’m feeling fine, and who are you? >>

<< My name is Waco Goodnight.  I’m the son of the other big cowboy you just met, Master Charlie Goodnight.  I’m a freeman, too, so you must call me ‘Master Waco.’ >>

<< I understand, Master Waco.  Do all you men speak with your minds? >>

<< My dad ain’t learned yet, but we’re trying to teach him.  My three slaves and my little brother over there by our dad all can hear our conversation. >>  The three boys waved to him they could hear.

<< That’s amazing.  I don’t need my mouth to speak to you.  I was so worried I’d go crazy by myself. >>

<< No, we wouldn’t let that happen to you.  We’re here to see you through.  My little brother’s name is ‘JR,’ but you must refer to him as ‘Master JR.’  The fine looking young man next to our Ox is named ‘Travis,’ and he’s one of my slaves. >> Travis waved to him, << The other fine looking young man is my other slave, ‘Rabbit’ or as my dad likes to call him ‘Chief.’  I’ll let you figure out why. >>  Waco laughed.

The men stayed quite a while with Lucas and promised to visit him again the following afternoon.  The boys said they might see him in the morning to spend some time with him if he wanted them to.  Lucas assured them he did.

Waco and his posse got Lazarus permission to visit Lucas the next morning after they got their work done for the day, but they could only stay with him for an hour.  Lucas was glad to see them, and he got to know Travis, Rabbit and Master JR better.  They didn’t seem at all like his brothers who most times wouldn’t even look at his face.  These boys looked right at him.  They didn’t seem to be bothered he was an ugly, misshapen monster.  Lazarus made sure there were no mirrors in the sickbay after Lucas’ operations.  He wanted to be the first to show Lucas his new appearance.

Waco and his posse were in awe of the transformation of Lucas.  Lazarus showed them the composite work-up of the picture he and Charlie created of what he wanted Lucas to look like, and he turned out to look exactly like the photograph,— only they all allowed he was better looking in person.  He was almost as good looking as Cable, David and Jonathan.  His body and skin were perfect, without blemish.  They even took a peak at his penis and they were impressed.  He looked like his new father.  Now the boys understood why the androids would want to refer to Lazarus as ‘father.’

Lazarus would come every evening, but most times he would come alone to sit with Lucas.  Lucas was growing more and more fond of Lazarus and began to open up to him.

<< Thank you for saving my life, Master Long.  I know I’m fearful ugly, but I meant what I promised you.  I will be a good slave for you.  I’ll work hard and try to make you proud of me, Sir. >>

<< I know you will, Son.  I trust you.  I told you when I first met you looks weren’t important to me.  I’ve sort of become accustom to yore’ face, and h’it don’t bother me none.  As long as you’re a good slave and keep yore’ Master happy then you’ll be happy.  How far along in school did you git, Son? >>

<< Ain’t never had me no school’n, Master Long.  Ma’ daddy said I’s too ugly to go to school and too dumb to learn anything.  Said I never would amount to nothing no how.  I learned my letters and teached myself to read and write on my own.  I ain’t real good at writin,’ but I can read purdy good. >>

<< That ain’t no problem.  I ain’t so good at write’n myself.  We’ll have you up and learning in no time.  I got a group of men and critters who will be happy to help a young man like you.  Then, when you git caught up, maybe we’ll see about sending you to school with Waco and his slaves. >>

<< I couldn’t do that, Master Long.  The kids would make fun a’ me and throw rocks at me.  I’d be too afraid to go to school.  Please, Sir, I jes’ wanna’ be yore’ slave.  Don’t make me go to school. >>

<< Okay, I won’t if you feel that way about it, but you will learn if I have to teach you myself.  You might come to feel different about going to school after you git comfortable at the ranch. >>

<< Is this hospital part of the ranch, Master Long? >>

<< It is, and it isn’t, Son.  It’s hard to explain, but you don’t need to know about that right now.  All your questions will be answered in time.  After all, you’re part of my family now. >>

Lazarus hoped to have Lucas up and around and going to school with Waco and his slaves in September; however, it took the med-bots all of August and most of September to get everything right.  Lazarus guessed about three months, and it took almost to the end of October to complete everything.  For all that time, they kept his face wrapped in bandages.  They didn’t want him feeling his face or seeing it before Lazarus showed it to him.

He knew his mouth and cleft palate was surgically corrected.  He could feel it with his tongue.  He came to love his time with the Kryscellians and knew them each by name.  There was close to a thousand of them, but he had a phenomenal memory and managed to remember all their names.  He would call to them by name as he sang their songs with them.  He became quite expert at their songs, and they told Ox he had a wonderful voice.  They were pleased to have him sing with them.  They were exposed to two full weeks in the hot West Texas Sun to revitalize them.  The more they fed from the energy of our Sun the stronger they became, and the quicker they were able to heal Lucas.

Finally, the day came when Lazarus planned to let Lucas see himself.  It was October thirty-first, Halloween eve.  The boys got their heads together and told Lazarus they would like to be there; however, Lazarus chose to err on the side of caution.  He told the boys they would have to wait for another time to be with Lucas.  Lazarus was afraid his new appearance might cause a shock to him.  Something as dramatic as a complete change of appearance might be traumatic for the boy.  Lazarus didn’t want an audience to embarrass him.

They asked if they could have a Halloween party and have Lazarus and Lucas come to their party after he was shown his new persona by his Master?  Lazarus told them he would ask Lucas if he felt up to it.  If not, he would just take him to his new foreman’s house and get him settled.  It was planned for him to be going to Hoot and Cotton’s ranch the first of the following week.  The boys began to plan a party anyway.

That evening after work, Lazarus cleaned up and shaved.  He put on his best cowboy clothes and went to the old barn to use the portal.  He arrived at sickbay a few minutes later and saw Lucas sitting up in bed playing a game with David and Jonathan.  He saw Lazarus walk in and a big smile crossed his bandaged face.

“Master Long, I’m glad you’re here.  These men are beating the crap out of me.  I’m losing right and left.  I’m going down for the third time.  I need help.”

“Don’t look at me for help, young’un.  I ain’t never beat them boys at games.  They’s jes’ too damn fast and good for me.”  he laughed and winked at Lucas. “Besides, ya’ll are gonna’ have to quit the game.  You’re not a patient anymore.  All the staff agree you’re properly corrected and healed.  It’s time you came with me into your new world.  We’ve been invited to a Halloween party in Master Waco and Master Goodnight’s barn.  Would you like to go?”  

“I’d love to go, but I don’t want to spoil their party having to look on me.”

“Do you think them boys would’ve come here day after day to keep you company if’n they’s bothered by yore’ looks, Son?”

“But my face has been bandaged most of the time.  They couldn’t really see me, Master Long.”

“I tell you what,— it’s time you took a look at who you are as Lucas Long.  Come with me, Son.”  

Lazarus took him by the hand and led him down a narrow hallway into a large examination room.  At the far end was a self-standing mirror that was turned toward the wall.  In the room was Cable, David and Jonathan and a couple of the cowboy androids Lucas became fond of.  Lazarus patted a small bench for Lucas to sit on.  He hopped upon it and sat there.  Cable came to him and started removing his bandages.  When he was done, the men seemed to back away from him,— they were so stunned by his beauty it was a natural reaction.  Lucas took it as a response to his ugliness.  He hid his face in his hands and wept.

“There, there,--- ain't no need for tears.  You have to face yourself sooner or later, Son.  Be brave.  Walk over there to the mirror and take a look.”

“I don’t think I can by myself, Sir.  Will you hold my hand, Master?”

“I’d be proud to, Son. 
Just remember, you're my slave, I own you, I am yore' Master.  H'it don't make me no never mind what chu' look like 'cause you're mine, boy.  I love you jes' the way you are.”  Lazarus put out his hand for Lucas to take.  “Come!  David, will you and Jonathan please turn the mirror around.”

“Certainly, Father.”  the androids rushed to the full length mirror and slowly turned it around.

Lazarus and Lucas stood in front of it as Lucas took the first look at his new, improved body and face.  The boy took a look and then another.  He couldn’t believe what he was seeing.  He raised his hand to his face and felt it gently.  He started to take a step toward the mirror.

“Go ahead on, Son.  Get closer.  You deserve a closer look at your new self.”  Lazarus urged him gently.

Lucas walked closer and stared into the mirror.  Lazarus sat on the bench and motioned for Cable to help him with his boots.  When they were off, he took off his shirt and removed his wranglers.  He walked up beside Lucas and stood nude next to him.  He put his arm around him.

“My, God!” said Lucas quietly in awe, “we look enough alike to be related.”

“Master Goodnight told me he thought you might like that.  What’da ya’ think, boy?”

Lucas placed his face in his hands and turned into Lazarus sobbing his heart out.

“Thank you, Master.  I will always be your good slave, Sir.  No one has ever done anything so wonderful for me.  Waco and his slaves told me I must learn to pay homage to your boots, and at first, it sounded like something I never wanted to do.  Now, it don’t seem too great a price to pay, to show a man I’ve come to love, how much I appreciate him being my Master.  I will gladly pay homage to your boots any time or any place, Master Long.”

“Well, said, young slave.” allowed Cable, and the other androids started applauding for him. "We ain't slaves, but we've all paid homage to our Father's boots from time to time.  When we do, it ain't because we're required by protocol, but because we love and honor him.  You will come to look upon it the same way."

“That’s what I like to hear.  When a slave decides to give himself to his Master.  It was all worth it, Son.  Now, do you think we should reconsider that invitation to Master Waco’s Halloween party?”

“I’d be honored and proud to attend his party with you, Master Long.”

“Fine, then you may start by helping your Master dress, and I brought some clothes for you to wear.”

The androids wished Lucas well and had a hug and a kiss for him.  Cable left the room and returned in a minute with a pair of new Wranglers, a fine looking Western shirt, an undershirt, socks, a nice Western belt with a handsome buckle and a brand new pair of cowboy boots.  They fit Lucas like they were made for him.  He stood in front of the mirror again and admired himself.  Lastly, Cable handed him a big felt cowboy hat just like the one Lazarus was wearing.  He tried it on and had to admit, the young man looking back at him was a drop dead, good looking cowboy.  His heart leapt to his throat.

“I understand, now, why you gimme' a new name, Master Long.  I am a new person.  I ain't Caleb no more.  I thank you for that, and I’ll try my best to bring honor to the name ‘Long,' Sir.’”
“You take good care of your Master, and that will be honorable enough for me, Son.”

“Will I ever get to call you ‘father,’ Master Long?”  Lucas asked quietly.
Lazarus hesitated only for a moment.

“Do you wish to call me ‘father’?”

“Your other servants call you ‘father’ and you had them made to take care of you.  You said yourself you remade me, and you done a wonderful job of it.  I would only call you ‘father’ in private, Sir.  In public, you will still be my Master.  I owe you that consideration, Sir.”

Lazarus took the boy in his arms and gently kissed him on his forehead.

“That was the sweetest thing a slave has ever said to me, Son.  You make a good point.  I think I would like for you to call me ‘father’ in private, but you must never call me ‘dad’ or ‘daddy.’  If you accept me as your creator, then you may call me ‘father.’”

“That’s all I ask for, Sir.  It would mean a lot to me.  Would you teach me to pay homage to your boots, Sir, so I won’t embarrass you before Master Waco and Master Goodnight?  If you teach me, I’ll know how to pay homage to their boots.”

“Humm, I don’t know how much training you’re really gonna’ need, boy.  That remains to be seen, but I’ll be happy to teach you how to pay homage to a Master’s boots.”

Lazarus went though the ritual a couple of times with Lucas until he was sure the boy was comfortable.  Lucas wondered where his apprehension about paying homage to a Master’s boots came from.  His new dick never got soft the whole time he was making love to his Master’s boots.  He not only thought it was hot,— he was hooked.

* * * * * * *  

The Halloween party wasn't called a Halloween party.  The extreme right wing religious loonies had the holiday all but outlawed in the New Theocratic Republic.  It was not yet a law on the books and thus it was not considered a crime for those who thought it was harmless for their children to participate in;  however, those who did were subject to persecution by the rabid fundamentalist.  Waco and his crew decided to call it a ‘Fall Harvest Barn Dance.’  They thought that was an innocuous enough title to invite their neighbors and family.  It was private and intended only for a select group of people.  Waco decided there would be no pictures of witches, black cats, ghosts or jack-o-lanterns; however, the boys thought they would keep the traditional colors of orange and black for decorations around the new barn.

They made up a guest list and had it approved by Charlie.  He was pleased with it as the boys wanted to invite the sheriff and his family.  Others invited were Angus and his family including his foreman and his slave.  Waco invited his other two uncles from the city, but they graciously declined.  Hoot Austin and Cotton Daniels were invited and accepted immediately.  The boys wanted to invite the Tennents, but Charlie expressed some doubts; however, after talking with Lazarus, they decided it would be good P.R. for them.  Of course, Waco invited Ranger Gibbons, his much improved wife, Mary, and the Jessups.  There were two other families, neighbors of Charlie’s who had children the same age as the boys who went to school with them, the Hubbards and the Bairds.  Ida Mae, Hank, Curley and the Goodnight ranch slaves were all invited.

Lazarus was a bit paranoid and talked it over with Charlie to have two slaves with walkie-talkies act as lookouts at the front gate for any uninvited guest.  The Jesus Patrol was well known to try to break into private community Halloween parties and cause much disruption and embarrassment, yelling and screaming about Devil worshipers, Satan lovers and worse.  They would actually try to haul people off to jail for some trumped up charge that was usually thrown out.  The real horror was, sometimes the charges weren’t thrown out.  More than one family had been burned by their vicious and insane tactics.

The boys hired an old time country band and square-dance caller for the evening and since there were going to be a number of kids under drinking age, Charlie decided not to serve alcohol.  All the men knew to bring their own hip flask if a group of them wanted to get off too themselves for a ‘private’ conversation.  Several were Episcopalians who practiced everything in moderation.  Their standing joke was wherever you find four Episcopals gathered you will always find a ‘fifth.’  It was just as well, most of the folks were used to attending dry functions since the Theocratic Republic was founded.

It was early evening and the boys were still putting up decorations when Lazarus led Lucas though the portal.  Lazarus placed the portal down in the old barn away from everything and had Ping and Pong arrange bails of extra hay in front of it so no one, who just happened to walk into the barn, could see the open gate.  It was well hidden from plain view.  After they walked though the portal, Lazarus turned and closed the gate with his remote.  Lucas turned to Lazarus and smiled.

“All of these wonders I've seen in the last few months, the Kryscellains, Cable, David and Jonathan, the work done on me,--- ain't technology from Earth, Father.”  he stated as fact.

Lazarus smiled at Lucas, grabbed him and kissed him again on his forehead.  “No, Son, h’it ain’t, but you’re my slave, my possession, my family, you will accept it as part of your new role in our greater family.  I don’t think you’re gonna’ have no problem with it.  Furthermore, Caleb's daddy was so wrong about him.  Y’ain’t dumb or retarded a’ tall.  You’re highly intelligent, but chu’ ain’t never been given a chance to bloom.”

“I won’t have no problem with it, Father.  Whatever the explanation, I trust you completely.  It only makes my life more interesting and exciting.  I know you’ll explain things to me, but first I must find my path to become the best servant for you I can be.  I love you, Father, and I want to make you proud of me.”

“I love you too, Son.  You will make me proud of you, Lucas,— I have no doubt.  Your name is written in the book.  It will blaze across the stars.”  Lazarus tenderly kissed Lucas again.  “Now, come, take my hand and walk by your Master’s side.”

Lucas slipped his hand in Lazarus’ and they walked down the way to the new barn.  Waco had a portable radio playing CDs of country music and saw Lazarus and Lucas approach.  He motioned for Rabbit to cut the music.  All the men in the barn watched in stunned silence as hand in hand the ramrod of the Goodnight Ranch let his new slave to meet his family.  They looked like father and son.  They looked as much alike as Waco and Charlie.  They walked up in front of Charlie whose mouth was open.  Lazarus smiled and winked at him.

“Mr. Goodnight, may I present my new slave and houseboy, Lucas Long.  Son,— .”  Lucas handed his hat to Lazarus and hit his knees.

“Permission to pay homage to your boots, Master Goodnight.”

“Permission granted, handsome young slave.”  Charlie said with sincerity.

Lucas went throught the ritual perfectly with Charlie and ended up in a goodly kiss with the boss of the Goodnight Ranch.

“You are so welcome here, Lucas.  May your heart be at peace and may you find love and fulfilment serving your new Master.”

“Thank you, Master Goodnight.  I only hope I can live up to his expectations, Sir.”

“Don’t chu’ worry none about that.  Take it one day at a time, Son.  You’ll do fine.”

Lucas moved to Waco next and went through the ritual with him.  Lazarus was proud of the boy.  He seemed like a natural slave.  He needed another opinion.  Waco could feel the handsome young man growing strong in his Wranglers as they pressed their bodies together.  Waco couldn’t help popping a boner either.

“Welcome, brother Lucas, to our family.  Fate couldn’t have brought you a finer Master.  That is, if’n it was fate.  I’m beginning to believe things are being planned and worked out somewhere other than in our realm of consciousness.  If I ever lost my freedom, I would ask Master Long to become his slave.”

“Thank you, Master Waco.  Thank you for offering me support and encouraging me during my stay in the hospital.  I will never forget you and your slave’s kindness to me.”

Next Lucas was mobbed by Travis and Rabbit each trying to get to him first.  Travis won and hugged Lucas and gave him a big kiss right on the mouth.  Lucas returned it in kind.

“So glad to see you healthy and out of that darn hospital.  Whatever comes next for you has to be better than laying around in there no matter how well they treated you.”

“Thanks for all your help, Travis.  They were very good to me in the hospital.  I have no complaints.  Look at me.  Master Long did a wonderful job putting me back together again.  I think he should’ve named me Humpty-Dumpty.”   The boys shared a laugh.

Rabbit was next and took his good time even though Ox was breathing down his neck for his turn.  He gave Lucas a good kiss and a big hug.

“Damn, you be a fine looking paleface, brother.  I’d volunteer to sit on yore’ totem pole if’n Master Long will let me.”  everyone roared at Rabbit.

“Thank you, Chief.  I’ll keep that in mind and take it up with my Master later.  Thank you so much for your encouragement and funny things you had to talk about when you came to visit me.  You always cheered me up.  I looked forward to everyone of your, Travis and Master Waco’s visits.”

Ox finally got his turn and Lucas broke down in his arms.  He swore to himself he wasn’t going to, but sometimes a man’s heart doesn’t listen to his brain.  Ox held him and sang to him again.  They didn’t want to let each other go, until Waco commented they had to finish the decorations and Ox was their ladder.
Lazarus told Lucas to join the boys and see if he could lend a hand getting things done for the party.  Lucas joined right in.

“Lord, Master Long, can I book myself into your clinic for a few improvements.  What chu’ done for that boy goes far beyond what chore’ average body and fender shop can do.”  Charlie laughed.

“You don’t need nothing done to you, Boss.  You’re unique and fine the way you is.  You’re welcome to bunk it in with yore’ ramrod anytime.”

“That’s a comfort to know.”  Charlie laughed, “Do you think the boy has any idea how good looking he is now?”

“I don’t think the full impact’s hit him yet.  It will soon enough.  I just hope he stays as untouched and simple as his is now.  I mean no puns by that.”

“I know what you mean.  He’s basic and honest.”

“I think he’s far more intelligent than I first thought.  I jes’ have a feeling he’s gonna’ surprise a number of folks, but first I want to git him trained.  I’ll be curious to see what Cotton and Hoot have to say about him.”

“You jes’ may not git him back from them two.”  Charlie laughed.

“I don’t think so.  I’m impressed them men are thorough professionals.  I think they’ll be the perfect trainers for him.  I doubt he’ll need much training at all.  He told me his brothers kept him as their personal slave for years.  They locked him up in a chainlink cage ever’ night and would only let him out to clean for them or suck their dicks.  He said he never got fucked, ‘cause they thought he was too ugly.”

“Poor kid, being your slave should be like heaven to him.”

“You don’t think I’d be that easy on him, do you?”

“No, not necessarily easy.  You’ll treat him the way you treat all your servants, like a benevolent monarch.  You’ll rule over him with an iron fist in a velvet glove.  I’ll bet chu’ a new pair of boots he’s already calling you ‘father.’”  Charlie laughed.

“I won’t take that bet, Boss.  You know me too damn well.”  Lazarus winked at him and laughed.  Charlie slapped his knee and laughed harder.

The band arrived and Waco showed them where to set up.  He had the slaves put down the dais they used for the slave ceremony.  The place was coming together and looking great.  There were uncarved pumpkins placed all around and corn strung up to most of the main post.  The slaves brought in several picnic tables, and they put them end to end for food and drink.  It was beginning to look like a party.

Folks began to arrive, and the party got underway.  First to arrive was Angus, his family, his foreman and his body slave, Shane.  Angus hadn’t met Lucas, but he was following his progress through Charlie.  He knew it would be Lucas’ first introduction to his new circle of friends and family.  Lucas finished working and helping Waco and his crew.  He took his place beside his Master.

Angus came directly to Lazarus followed closely by his ramrod, Bill Birdsall.  The men had the biggest grins on their faces.  They shook hands, hugged and kissed.  Angus stepped back to get a good look at Lucas as did Bill.

“Dayamn, Lazarus couldn’t chu’ made him jes’ a little better look’n?”  Angus asked and roared with laugher.  Bill just shook his head in wonder.  Angus continued, “I want the name of yore’ slave-vet, Son.  He does damn good work.  Fuck me in the butt if’n he ain’t about the purdiest damn slave-boy I ever did seen.”

“Mr. Goodnight, may I present my new slave and housekeeper, Lucas Long.  Son,— ” Lazarus softly snapped his fingers and pointed to Angus’ big cowboy boots.  Lucas handed Lazarus his hat and fell to his knees.

“Permission to pay homage to your boots, Master Goodnight?”

“Permission granted, good slave.”  Angus said with sincerity.

They completed the ritual and Lucas was no more immune to Angus’ bullshit charms than Waco, Travis or Rabbit.  He was as impressed as they were with the big man.  

“Welcome to the family, Lucas.  I know you’ll make a fine slave for my brother’s ramrod.”

“Thank you, Master Goodnight.  I’ll work hard to be a good slave for my Master, Sir.”

“I’m sure you will.  You lucked out, Son.  You got chore’self one a’ the best,— the pick a’ the litter.”

Lucas completed the ritual with Bill Birdsall and was impressed by his body and that of his slave.  Shane hugged and kissed the boy and told him he was jes’ a wee bit jealous of Lucas getting to serve such a fine man and cowboy as Master Long.  

Lucas even attracted Angus’ two son’s attention who usually never much cared what their dad was interested in, let alone slaves; however Lucas caught their eye, and he had to go through the ritual with each of them.  They were as impressed as the other men with his gentility and sincerity.

The first thing guests wanted to know from Charlie was where was his ramrod and his new slave?  Ranger Gibbons was no exception.  He was twitching like a five year old in church who had to go to the bathroom.  He had Mary on his arm, and she looked radiant.  They were followed by Bobby and Elsie Jessup.  Ranger came over and pumped Lazarus’ hand like a pump handle on a well that was almost dry, grabbed him in a bear hug, kissed him and exclaimed,

“I can’t believe this, ramrod.  You outdone yourself, Sir.  I don’t wonder you give him yore’ name.”

Lazarus introduced Lucas to Ranger and Mrs. Gibbons.  Lucas went through the ritual with Ranger and found him as appealing as Angus.  Mary gave Lazarus a hug and a kiss on his cheek.  She whispered another word of thanks.  Then she turned to Lucas, gave him a hug and a peck on his cheek.  Lucas blushed and everyone laughed.

“You are a fortunate young man, Lucas Long.  Your Master is much loved in this community.  Serve him well.  You will never serve a better man, Son.”

“Thank you, ma’am.  I appreciate your kind words.”  Lucas bowed slightly to Mary Gibbons.

Bobby Jessup dropped to his knees in front of Lazarus and paid homage to his boots.  Lazarus completed the ritual with Bobby and laughed.

“You’re too damn old to be doing that ritual, Son.”  Lazarus chastised him.

“Not in yore’ case, Master Long.  I done what I done out of respect and to show your handsome, young slave us older slaves got us a high regard and love for his Master.”  Bobby hugged and kissed Lucas.  Lucas almost lost it in Bobby’s arms.  Bobby Jessup was the ultimate, fine looking older male slave in Lucas’ opinion.  Elsie hugged and kissed Lazarus and did the same for Lucas.  They each told Lucas he had a wonderful new Master.  It wasn’t until later Lucas made the connection, Bobby and Elsie were Travis’ parents.  

The sheriff arrived and sought out Lazarus.  No one told him about the transformation of Caleb Stamper into Lucas Long.  He shook Lazarus’ hand but couldn’t take his eyes off Lucas.  Lucas was a bit nervous.  Lazarus sensed his nervousness and put his big arm around his shoulder and pulled him close.

“Sheriff Lassiter may I present to you my new slave, Lucas Long.”  Lazarus snapped his fingers and Lucas, once again, fell to his knees.  He went through the ritual with the sheriff, but the sheriff was confused.  Lucas could see it in his face.

“He’s a fine looking slave, Master Long, but what happened to the Stamper boy?”

“He ain’t here tonight, Sheriff.”  Lazarus didn’t elaborate.  Lucas knew what his Master was doing, but said nothing.  He was right, Caleb Stamper wasn’t there.

The sheriff was more confused than ever.  He didn’t want to be rude by asking what happened to the Stamper boy, but he knew Lazarus called the boy ‘Lucas Long.’  ‘Could this boy be Lazarus’ son?  He looked a lot like him.  Did he decide to make a slave of his own son instead?  Wow, that’s hot!’  he thought to himself.  Then, he chastised himself for being a perverted old man.

If Sheriff Lassiter was confused, George Tennent was flabbergasted.  He couldn’t get over Lucas and kept trying to get Lazarus to tell him how much he paid for his new slave.  He even asked Lazarus if Lucas was a relation of his.  Lazarus didn’t lie to him when he put his arm around Lucas and told him he was, indeed, a relation of his; but, much to George Tennent’s dismay, Lazarus didn’t elaborate further.  They could see the wheels spinning in Tennent’s eyes.  

“Did you buy him from out of state?” Tennent pried.

“Naw, Sir,— local.”  

Lazarus’ reply was even worse for Tennent.  He thought he had his finger in every pie and his ear to the ground.  Lucas almost laughed out loud, but he wasn’t about to give his Master away.  Tennent finally moved on muttering to himself.  Lucas heard his Master laughing under his breath.

“You’re wicked, Master.  I like that in a man.”  Lucas looked up and grinned at Lazarus.  Lazarus really did laugh then. “Do you think they’ll figure it out, Sir?”

“I’m bet’n they don’t.  I got me a ten spot ride’n with my boss they don’t put two and two together, but we agreed he can tell ‘em after a while.  Maybe they’ll overhear something.  Either way, I wasn’t trying to deceive ‘em.  I’d a’ told ‘em myself,— eventually.  I jes’ wanted to have a little fun.”  Lazarus smiled and winked at Lucas.  “Now do you believe me, you’re a fine looking young man?”

“Yes, Sir, Master.  I’ve never been the center of attention before, ‘cep’n when ma’ brothers stood in line for a blow job.  Ain’t never had no one kiss me until you kissed me earlier this evening in the hospital.  I’m wondering if I didn’t get ground up for dog food and this is heaven.”

Lazarus didn’t comment, but he pulled the boy closer with his arm.   

Cotton Daniels and Hoot Austin were the next to arrive.  They, too, had been keeping close tabs on the progress of Lazarus’ new slave.  They weren’t told the extent of his medical care or how it was accomplished, but Lazarus told Charlie it was only a matter of time before he would reveal all to them as well.  Charlie was pleased two of the men he was fond of were to be chosen.  It made him feel like he picked some winners in life to befriend.  He already knew it in his heart, but it was nice to have it confirmed.

Lazarus briefly mentioned to Lucas about training and told him about Cotton and Hoot when they walked though the barn doors to be welcomed by Charlie, Waco and his posse.

“They’re attractive men, Master.”  Lucas said quietly.

“I’m glad you think so.  I think they’re rather fine looking men myself.  I could imagine myself laying between them for an evening.”  Lazarus said as if it were the most natural thing in the world.  Lucas put his hand to his mouth and coughed instead of laughing.

“We must be related, Sir.  I was having the same thought.” Lucas allowed.

“We are related, Son.  Don’t chu’ never forgit it, neither.”

Charlie pointed out where Lazarus and Lucas were standing, and the men headed directly for them.  Of course they went to Lazarus first and exchanged greetings.  They were cowboys and would only settle for full body contact and a kiss on the cheek, but neither man could take his eyes off Lucas.  Lucas took his hat off and threw it on a nearby bail of hay.  He waited for his Master to present him.

“So this is your new slave, Master Lazarus?  Fine looking piece of slave flesh, Sir, if’n I do say so myself.” allowed Hoot Austin.

“Thank you, Master Austin, coming from you that’s quite a compliment.  Gentlemen, may I present my new slave and houseboy, Lucas Long.  Son,—.”  Lazarus spoke gently to Lucas.  He responded immediately and lavished great attention and much love on Hoot Austin’s boots.  Lucas was not wrong in his assumption his new potential trainers would be watching closely and judging his willingness and sincerity to become a good slave.  He completed the ritual and when Hoot wanted to kiss him full on the mouth he responded in kind and returned the cowboy’s kiss with good intent.

“Welcome to the fold, young slave.  I don’t often compliment a new slave I might have some interest in training, but I’ll make an exception with you.  I know of your background, and think you probably need all the encouragement you can git right now.  This is all so new and maybe a bit frightening to you.  Never fear, young one.  You’re in the best of hands.  All you have to do is accept your position and learn to love it.  The rest will come easy for you.”

“Thank you, Master Austin, I’m flattered and pleased you care enough to express yourself to me.  I’ll remember your words and take them to heart, Sir.  I’ve been given a second chance in life, and I feel as if I’ve been reborn to a new and wonderful family.  What little you or my Master might require of me will be pleasure compared to my last life.”

“Well said, slave.” commented Cotton Daniels.

Lucas did the same with Cotton Daniels he did with Hoot Austin.  He was as open and giving with him.  Cotton didn’t have much to say, but Lucas could tell he was as impressed as his partner.  Lucas didn’t have to ask his Master, he instinctively knew Cotton and Hoot were bonded mates.  He also realized they were ex-slaves.  It made sense to him, if he must be trained, his Master couldn’t have picked two finer men who themselves had been slaves.  Who better to know the heart of a slave and get out of him the finest for his Master than he who was himself once a slave.  Lucas wasn’t threatened by them in the least.  In fact, he kept a roaring hard-on the entire time the men were talking with him and Lazarus.  Of course, it wasn't missed by Cotton or Hoot.

“I think that’s all the Masters and guest what you need to be introduced to, Lucas.  If you’d like to join Master Waco and the other boys, that will be fine.  I need to speak with Masters Hoot and Cotton for a few minutes.  Don’t wander too far without letting me know where you’re going, Son.”

“I won’t, Master.” Lucas grabbed his hat and spoke to Cotton and Hoot. “It’s been a pleasure to meet you gentlemen, Master Hoot and Master Cotton.  I’ll look forward to talking with you again later this evening.”

“Count on it, Son.” said Cotton with affection in his voice.

Lucas walked away to join Waco.  Once a slave made obeisance to a Master during a period of time together he didn’t have to keep repeating the ritual every time he returned to his presence.  Many times one slave from a group would be chosen to represent them all to pay obeisance to their Master.  It may sound silly in our scheme of things, but in their world it kept a balance between the separation of their positions.  It was a constant and powerful reminder of their place.

“We knew that boy before, Master Lazarus.” Hoot told him. “We visited out to the Stamper farm many times.  We saw what was going on with the boy, but we couldn’t do nothing about it.  His brothers treated him worse than a hated farm animal.  His daddy didn’t care nothing about him.  The old man would git drunk and threaten to sell ever’ damn one a them boys.  Of course, you know our ears would perk up ever’ time he mentioned so we kept purdy close contact with him.  You know the old saying, ‘Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.’  We wanted to be the first slavers what popped in his mind if and when he decided to sell ‘em.  He didn’t call Tennent for the sale of this boy.  The sheriff did.  We ain’t ‘in’ as tight with the sheriff as Tennent.  They go back a long ways. and we suspect Lassiter might have some’um stuck in his craw about ex-slaves being slavers.  We’ll eventually win him over.  H’it’s only and matter of time.” Hoot smiled.

“We would a’ never sold the boy for dog food no matter how bad he was.  There’s always some’um you can find for a young slave to do what’s not gonna’ require him to be good looking.” added Cotton.  “I don’t know how you done it, Master, but he don’t look nothing like he did before.”

“You gentlemen will learn my secrets soon enough,— trust me.  You’re part of Master Goodnight’s extended family, and I consider you part of mine as well.”

“We’re pleased and flattered you feel that way, Master Lazarus, we feel the same about you.  We feel like you's kind of a brother being an ex-slave and all. We know Master Charlie couldn’t be happier with his new ramrod.”

“We are brothers, Hoot.  We know the secrets of a slave's heart most men don't have no clue about.  You can't ever fully know a man until you done walked a mile in his boots.  Knowing that, I'm wondering what you men think of Lucas?  Am I doing the right thing by sending him immediately to you for training?  He just got out of the hospital this afternoon.  He ain’t had no time to adjust to his new body and face.”

“My honest opinion,” said Hoot, “is to git a new slave into training with a third party trainer as soon as possible.  Don’t never try to train him yore’self.  A lot a’ new Masters what think they’re gonna’ save a few bucks make that mistake and eventually end up sending the slave to us for ‘retraining.’  Then we train him the proper way, and they won’t have no more problems with ‘em; however, there are exceptions to every rule.  I think Lucas is one of ‘em.”  Hoot stopped for a moment, rubbed his chin and smiled at his partner.  Cotton nodded for him to go on.

“What we jes’ done seen is a natural born slave.  Even if’n he weren’t born a slave, his brothers made pert-damn sure they made him one.  The kid ain’t never had no chance at being nothing else.  We saw him cater to their every whim and never give him so much as a crumb of reward or encouragement.  There was no love on that farm or in their house, only a dog eat dog environment and a never ending contest to see who could wolf down the most the fastest.  To see what them boys was doing to that kid was unbelievable.  Cinderella had it easy compared to that boy.  The kid was overwhelmed with jes’ trying to stay alive let alone satisfy them five assholes with raging hormones.  He was like one a’ them little baby birds you see on them nature programs on T.V. where the biggest baby birds get all the parent’s attention and the most food, only to leave the little one to grow weaker and finally die.  I think that’s where the kid was when Sheriff Lassiter called you and Master Charlie.”

“No doubt about it, he was laying across the threshold of death’s door.”  Lazarus said grimly.   

“Didn’t I tell you I didn’t think the kid would survive another year, brother?”  Hoot ask Cotton.

“You shore’ did, partner.” Cotton shook his head.

“The boy said it all when he told me what little we might require of him will be a cakewalk from what he already had to put up with.  I don’t know the boy is gonna’ need that much training.  My suggestion would be to keep him through the holidays.  We can’t do much with him until after the first of the year no ways.  We got enough on our plate right now, and we don’t take on a heavy load this time of year ‘cause we enjoy the holidays with friends and neighbors.  We have folks to our place and go to a lot of Christmas functions in the community so we’d jes’ be neglecting him at a happy time of year.  We was gonna' take him jes' as a favor to you.  Keep him and enjoy him through the first of the year, then let’s talk.  Besides ‘at, you ain’t ready to let go of him jes’ yet, and even when you are, I don’t see us keep’n him three full months.  I’d rather have him come to us for a couple of weeks at first and then a couple of weekends per month for three months.  I think that’s all he’s gonna’ require.  A lot depends on how intelligent he is, and from what we jes’ witnessed, he’s got plenty smarts.”

“I think you’re right, Hoot.  He’s even smarter than I thought.  He’s surprised me a couple of times with his observations and once he’s got a concept in his head, he don’t never forgit it.”

“There you go.  That’s your answer, ramrod.  This is the season for folks to grow close to one another where family means the most.  Don’t send the kid away when you can form a stronger bond by showing him a little love right now.  He’s still got raw areas.  He’s sit’n on top of ‘em hold’n ‘em down, but h'it won’t be long before they’ll come spill’n over.  You’re just beginning to form a bond.  Being there for him when it gits bad is only gonna’ strengthen yore’ bond.  Sending him away right now is sort of like abandoning him jes’ after he left his mother’s womb.  You need to take him to your breast and suckle him.”  Hoot laughed at his analogy, but the meaning wasn’t lost on Lazarus.

“Jes’ leave room between the two of you for separation.  Make sure he understands he will eventually be sent for training.  You don’t have to tell him how much or how little, jes’ it’s some’um he will have to go through,— like a kid facing kindergarten.  Be honest with him, h’it’s always best for a slave to be trained by a third party than by his Master.  Don’t build it up to be some’um that will be hard for him to git though.  We wouldn’t put a kid though the same thing we would an adult.  We all might be surprised by this boy.  He might not need much training at all.  It’s hard to say, but go slow and take it one day at a time with him.”

“I couldn’t ask for better advice, Master Hoot.  Send me your bill.” Lazarus smiled at him.

“Are you kidding?  Ain’t no charge for a family member’s advice, Master Long.”  Hoot said sincerely sticking out his hand to shake Lazarus.’  The men shook and Lucas’ fate was sealed.  The boy couldn’t have had better men watching over him and planning for his future.

* * * * * * *

Sheriff Lassiter was talking with Charlie, Waco and his men.  

“Rabbit you know I done told you the last time I saw you your granddad told me to tell you he was so ashamed and disheartened your dad sold you into slavery.  He sent him away from him in a ceremony which, in effect, told the world he had no more son.  He only had a grandson.  Remember you told me to tell him you wanted him to forgive your dad and accept him as his son again.  I told him you were happy and doing fine with your new family.  He said he knows of the Goodnight family, and he agreed you would be well taken care of here.  I saw him again not long ago, and he told me to tell you he would like to see you if your Master could arrange a visit some time soon.  He wants you to know, you are ten times the man your father is and he's sorry but compassion and goodness sometimes skips a generation.  He said you should not be called ‘Rabbit’ no more.  He said that was the name yore daddy give you, but since he's Chief of your tribe, he declared you should be known as ‘Little Bear’ because you have the courage of your convictions, great compassion and the heart of a bear.”

“Chief Little Bear.  I like that, Chief!”  said Charlie.  Angus heard it and raised his glass of spiced cider.

“To Chief Little Bear!” Exclaimed Agnus, and all the other men standing around echoed his sentiment.

“To Chief Little Bear!”

Rabbit blushed and thanked the men.  Waco gave him a hug and a kiss.

“From this day forth you will be known as ‘Little Bear.’”   

There went up a cheer from everyone.

“We can make a trip to see his granddad sometime soon, Sheriff.  I think all the men would enjoy that.”

“That would be great, Dad.” added Waco.

Little Bear went to Charlie and knelt at his feet.  He asked permission to pay homage to Charlie’s boots.  Charlie was somewhat bemused but granted him permission.  They went though the ritual and Little Bear broke up in Charlie’s arms.   Everyone was touched.

“There, there, Little Bear,— a man with a name like ‘Littler Bear’ don’t need to cry in his Master’s arms.”

“Beg’n yore’ pardon, Sir,— he does if’n his Master’s as good a man as you and Master Waco.”

Charlie blushed a deep red color and all the men laughed.  George Tennent and his son heard it all and were impressed.  Little Bear all but ignored the Tennent boy after he went through the ritual with him.

“He’s got you there, brother!”  Angus bellowed, “Good one, Chief!”  he took Little Bear away from Charlie and gave him a hug.

* * * * * * *

The sheriff and Mr. Tennent were gathered around Charlie and his boys.

“Did Mr. Long enslave his own son, Mr. Goodnight?” the sheriff asked seriously.  All the men standing around broke up.  Angus spit his cider halfway across the room.  Waco and his boys were laughing their ass’s off.  The sheriff didn’t know what could be so funny.  Neither could Mr. Tennent.”

“I can see how you might think so.” Charlie said smiling. “After all, the boy looks jes’ like a younger version of him and has his last name.”

“That’s what we thought.” chimed in Tennent. “He wouldn’t tell me nothing about what he paid for him or where he bought him.  Said he bought him local, but unless he bought him from Hoot Austin I don’t know nothing about it.”

Charlie laughed.  “He did buy him locally, Mr. Tennent,— he bought him from you for little more than the price per pound for dog food.  You’re looking at the ex-Stamper boy.”

“My, God, in heaven!” exclaimed the sheriff softly.  “Then Mr. Long didn’t lie to me.  The Stamper boy didn’t make it to the party.  He ain’t the Stamper boy no more.  Ain’t no doubt in my mind he’s Lucas Long.”

“Damnation!  How’d that man do it?  Talk about silk purses from sow’s ears!  Holy crap!  He must have one hell of a vet staff.”

“The very best, Sir.  We ain’t never seen nothing like it.  We couldn’t believe what they did for that boy.  Lazarus and I made a bet.  I bet you would recognize the boy, and he bet me you wouldn't.  I lost the bet.  Thanks for costing me an extra ten spot, gentlemen.”  Charlie laughed.

Lazarus knew the minute Charlie told the sheriff and Mr. Tennent.  He laughed and told Lucas to prepare himself.  The sheriff made a beeline back over to them with Tennent hot on his heels.  Sheriff Lassiter stopped and looked Lucas up and down.  He threw his arms around him and held him tight.  His eyes got glassy as he looked the boy in his eyes.

“God bless your soul, Lucas.  I’m so sorry to hear about the death of Caleb Stamper, but praise God he has been reborn as the slave of one of the finest men in our community.  All them bible thumpers talk about miracles, but I’ve lived to see one today.  Welcome to our family, Son.”

Lucas broke down in the sheriff’s arms as George Tennent could only look on with wonder and curiosity.  

“Thank you sheriff.  Master Long told me you called him about me.  I have you to thank for my life, Sir.  I will forever be in your debt.”

“Seeing you look so good is payment enough, Son.  All debts are paid between us.”

* * * * * * *

The party was in full swing and everyone was having a great time enjoying themselves and square dancing.  They weren’t good at it, but they put their all into it.  There was a slave square where some of the slaves danced the female part.  No one thought anything about it.  They were all just having fun and acting silly.  Charlie came walking over with his walkie-talkie in his hand.  He had a frown on his face.  Lazarus knew before he got there what was up.

“Sheriff, a van of Jesus Patrol members have pulled into the drive to the ranch.  Several of my slaves have stopped them by standing in the road to block their access, but they’re threatening to run over them if they don’t clear the way.  They already done told 'em they weren’t invited and we’re told by their Master to turn away anyone not invited.”

“Okay, Mr. Goodnight,— you, Mr. Long and you, Mr. Goodnight,— the sheriff motioned to Angus, come with me.  The rest of you men stay behind and try to keep the party going without any trouble.  Let me take care of them.”

The men quickly walked out to the road and heard the loud voices of the angry men from the Jesus Patrol yelling at the slaves.

“Either you dumb slaves move out of the road or we’re gonna’ run over you.  Don’t you know who we are?  We’re the Jesus Patrol.  We’re here in the name of Jesus and the Lord God Almighty to see if Devil worship and Satanism is going on at this ranch in the guise of a Halloween party.  It’s our right to check things out.”

“No it ain’t!” shouted the sheriff.  “This ain’t no Halloween party, it’s a ‘Fall Harvest Barn Dance’ you idiots.  Now, turn your van around and get the hell out of here.”

“Sheriff Lassiter?  What the hell you doing here?  You must be one of them sinners!”

“I was invited to this party, and there ain’t nothing going on here you got any business stick’n yore’ noses into.  Now, do what I tell you or I’m gonna’ call a couple of patrol cars to take you men to jail for trespassing and disturbing the peace.”

“You wouldn’t dare.” said one of the men boldly, turned to his buddy still in the middle seat of the van and called his name.

“Luther, we go us some non-believers here.”
Luther got out of the truck carrying a thirty-thirty rifle and joined the other two men in the middle.  He aimed it right at the sheriff.  The sheriff saw a blur out of the corner of his right eye of a huge form moving swiftly in the dark.  He recognized it as Ox circling around behind the van.

“You better drop that rifle right now, Luther, or you may find yourself looking at a lifetime as a hard labor slave.”

“Don’t listen to him, Luther.  He’s of the Devil.  We should a’ done away with him a long time ago.  We’s fight’n a holy war against the evils of Satan, and Sheriff Lassiter’s long been a prime suspect!” said the short, fat squat man.

“I don’t know, Smitty,— I don’t wanna’ be no slave for life.” complained Luther,  “Maybe we better do what he says.  We can take the sheriff’s word h’it ain’t no Halloween party.”

“Like hell it ain’t.  I ain't take'n his word.  He's one of 'em.  I can see the orange and black decorations from here.”

The sheriff smiled as he watched the huge form of Ox slowly walk up behind the three men.  He was so quiet they didn’t have a clue.

“You men are surrounded.  You better turn around and look behind you.”

“Aww, that’s the oldest damn trick in the book, Sheriff.   Luther, if’n you ain’t got the balls to stand up for the Lord and rid the world of Devil worshipers, I shore’ as hell do!”  Shouted the fat little man as he reached inside his jacket and whipped out a thirty-eight special.  He aimed it at the sheriff and fired.

There was a blur and someone yelled, “Nooooo!” as he jumped in front of Sheriff Lassiter and took the bullet meant to kill the sheriff.  It all happened so fast no one could do anything.  The sheriff caught the small man on his way down and held him in his arms.  They all heard a scream that would have curdled any man’s blood as Ox took the fat man who shot the gun, picked him up and threw him as far as he could away from the others to land in a patch of prickly pear and choya cactus.  The other two men, he simply knocked their heads together, and they were out cold.

The sheriff turned the young cowboy over only to see Lucas Long bleeding from his shoulder.

“Lucas!  Oh, no!  Oh, God, Son!  No!” cried the sheriff.

“I couldn’t let him kill you, Sheriff.” Lucas whispered, “You’re important to our family.”  Then Lucas passed out.  Ox was at the sheriff’s side to take Lucas from him.

“Let Ox have him, Sheriff.  There’s time to save him.  You know what to do, Son.” Lazarus spoke to Ox.

Ox was away to the old barn faster than any man could and carried Lucas.  There he hit his fist against the post next to the portal button three times, and the portal sprang up.  He carried Lucas directly to sickbay and was met by Cable and the med-bots.  They started work on Lucas immediately.  The boy lost a lot of blood and needed a transfusion.  Ox knew his blood was interchangeable with humans.  He gave blood to Lazarus and Arlen several times, and they had given him theirs.  He motioned for the med-bots to use his blood.  

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the sheriff handcuffed the three men and left them sitting up against the van waiting for his men to arrive to take them to jail.  The fat one was yelling about how much he hurt from the cactus in him.  The sheriff sneered at him and kicked him in the nuts with his big cowboy boot.  It shut him up pretty quick.  

“I have to be with Lucas, Sheriff.” said Lazarus, “Can you leave them men with Charlie and Angus to turn over to your men.”

“Sure, I wanna’ go to the boy.  He saved my life, Mr. Long.”

“Cotton,— you and Hoot come with us.  We may need you.  Time some of your questions were answered anyway.  Waco, you and the boys go back to the party and tell everyone everything is okay.  Make sure the party continues.  We can’t let them bastards get the better of us or they win.”

“Yes, Sir, Cap,— I mean Master Long.”  Waco cringed.

“Come with me, gentlemen.”  Lazarus spoke to the sheriff, Cotton and Hoot.

As the men passed the new barn, Ranger came out and ask where they were going.  Lazarus told him to join them if he wanted, they were going to sickbay.  Lucas was shot, but he’ll be okay.  Ranger fell in with the men and knew they were going to the portal in the old barn.

They reached the barn and walked behind the stacked hay.  Lazarus pulled his remote from his pocket and hit a button.  The portal sprang up instantly.  The three men gasped, but Ranger chuckled at their reaction.

“Just walk through, gentlemen.”  Lazarus instructed, but they hesitated.  Ranger pushed them aside and walked through.  They watched as Ranger’s arm reappeared and motioned them to come.  Lazarus laughed as the men follow him through.  They arrived at sickbay, and the three naked androids, Cable, David and Jonathan were assisting the med-bots give Lucas a transfusion of Ox’s blood.  They had tears in their eyes.

“Oh, Father,—.”  David went to Lazarus and put his arms around him.

“There, there, Son,— not to worry.  He’s gonna’ be jes’ fine.”

“We know, but the poor kid just left here today.  It must be a violent world out there.”

“It is, Son.  It ain’t a place for one as beautiful as you.”

“Welcome to Captain Long’s star-ship, gentlemen.” said Ranger smiling at the sheriff, Cotton and Hoot.

“Woah, dogies!” exclaimed Cotton.  “Brother, we done landed smack dab in the middle of a Star Trek episode.”

“No, you ain’t!” said Lazarus, “Hell, they were centuries behind the technology on this ship.  Don’t insult the Bandersnatch, cowboy.” Lazarus chuckled as he walked around to hold Ox’s hand.  How’s Lucas doing, Son?” he spoke to Cable who was obviously in charge and very busy.

“His vitals are stable and his blood pressure is getting back to normal.  We removed the bullet.  There wasn’t much internal damage.  It’s all been sealed.  With a couple of days rest, he’ll be good as he was when he left the ship a little earlier.”

“Can he be moved tonight?” Lazarus ask.  

“As soon as he comes to, we can give him some pain killers, a mild stimulant, and he should be able to walk back with you.”

“That’s what I like to hear.  I knew there was a reason I put you in charge, Son.”  Lazarus patted the beautiful android on his back.  He smiled and thanked Lazarus.

“Thank you for your confidence in me, Father.  I will always do my best for you.”

“I know you will, Son, you always do.”

The sheriff had been quiet just observing what was going on.

“Why me?” he ask Lazarus quietly.

“Why not you?” Lazarus answered.

“Why have you chosen me to share this with?”

“I didn’t.  You were chosen thousands of years ago before you were even created.  You’re a part of the greater whole.  All you men have a part to play in the great escape in the final days.  It’s better you know up front than try to deceive you for several years.  You can handle it; otherwise, your names wouldn’t be on my list of those to be saved.”

“My God, is there really something to end time prophecy?”

“Yes and no.  It’s gonna’ happen, Sheriff, but it ain’t gonna’ be like them bible thumpers preach it.  You’re gonna’ know the truth, because you’re gonna’ live it.  Them folks don’t have no clue, and they will perish.  You and your families will survive and populate a new world and a new Earth.”

“Is this the ship we saw pass over the Goodnight ranch in early June at Waco’s birthday party?”

“The same.” said Lazarus.

“Where could you hide a ship that large?”

“In the blue granite mountains on the Northern part of Mr. Goodnight’s property.”

“And that door, goes from the barn,— .”

“Directly to any place I want it to go.  In this case, to sickbay.”

“By the way, Captain Long.  Since this is sickbay, can I git my shot while I’m here?” asked Ranger.

“Sure, Son,— drop yore’ Wranglers.  David give Mr. Gibbons the longevity serum.”

“What’s that, Captain Long?” asked Hoot.

You wanna’ take this one, Mr. Gibbons.

“It’s a shot to rearrange or add some genetic information to your DNA what will allow you to live for several thousand years,— right, Captain?”  Ranger asked.

“Right, Son.  If you’re gonna’ have to populate another planet and a new Earth you have to live longer than a normal life span.”

“Can we git one, Captain Long?” asked Hoot.

“Shore, Son, drop yore' pants.”  Ranger already got his shot, and David moved behind Cotton and Hoot to give them theirs.

“You got one more, Captain Long?” asked the sheriff.

“Thought you’d never ask.” Lazarus winked at him and smiled, “Drop your pants, Son.”  The sheriff follow suit and dropped his pants.  David gave him the shot.

“Can I tell them how old you are, Captain Long?” asked Ranger.

“I don’t mind, but it makes me feel s’damn old when I hear it.”

“Captain Long is two-thousand, two-hundred and nineteen years old, gentlemen.”

There was a stunned silence in the room.

“You’re one hell of a buckaroo to be that old, Captain Long.” allowed Hoot.

“Thank you, Son.  I been told I don't look a day over two thousand.”  Lazarus grinned and winked at him.

Lucas was coming around.  Everything was repaired and bandaged.  Lazarus leaned over and kissed Lucas gently on his lips.

“That’s for being a hero, but when you’re better I’m turning you over my knee and giving that little ass of yore’n a good spank’n with my hand, boy.  You liked to have stopped this old man’s heart,— to say nothing of your own.” Lazarus grinned at him.

“I’m sorry,— .”  

“You can call me ‘father’ here.  These men understand.”

“Thank you, Father.  I’m sorry I made you worry, Sir, but it wasn’t all my fault.  The Kryscellians called to me.  They told me there was a ninety-six point eight percent chance Sheriff Lassiter would be killed by an assassin’s bullet.  They gave me a sixty-three point six percent chance of not being killed if I took the bullet.  My odds were better than his, Father.  What would you have done?”

“The same damn thing you did, Son.  I’m proud of you, Lucas.  Ain’t no doubt in my mind you saved the sheriff’s life.”

“I knew it before that, Son.” added the sheriff. “Thank you, Lucas.  Now, I’m in your debt.”

“Let’s call it even, Sheriff.” Lucas offered him his hand and the sheriff took it.

“Agreed, Son.”
“So this is where you performed the miracle of creating Lucas Long?” Hoot asked.

“I didn’t do it.  I just told them what I wanted, and they did the magic.  Cable is my main man, here.  He saw to every detail.”

“Are these men like us, Captain Long?” asked the sheriff.  “They look so perfect and handsome.”

“They are bio-mechanical men, Sheriff.  They’re sentient beings like you and me, but they don’t require food.  They’re fully anatomically correct, as you can see, and capable of any sexual function you might imagine.  They have emotions and they can reason.  They understand anger and are capable of great love.  They feel pain and can be hurt just like us.  I had them created several hundred years ago to take care of me and my partner.  They look upon me as their progenitor.  That’s why I allow them to call me ‘father.’  Lucas pointed out to me, since I recreated him, he should be allowed to call me ‘father.’  I agree with him, but he may only call me that in private and never ‘dad’ or ‘daddy.’  That wouldn’t be appropriate.
“Amazing.” said the sheriff.

Cable assisted Lucas and had him sitting up.  He helped him put on his cleaned and repaired Western shirt and put his arm in a sling.  He looked every bit the hero.

“Nice repair job, brothers.”  Lucas said to David and Jonathan.

“Thank you, little brother.  Glad to be of service.” said Jonathan.

“Do you think God would look upon it as a sin to lust after a bio-mechanical man?” Sheriff Lassiter asked Lazarus with a big grin.

“If’n he does, I done already got me a foot and a leg in the door!” Laughed Ranger Gibbons.

“Move over!  Make room for two more, brother.” Laughed Cotton and Hoot. “Damnation!  I ain’t never seen me no purdier men than them in my life!” allowed Hoot.

“I hear ya,’ brother.” agreed the sheriff. “By the way, will our families be able to git the shot we done jes’ got, Captain?”

“Anytime you want ‘em to have it.  You can tell ‘em it’s a vaccination against aging.  You won’t be lying.  Men in the butt, but ladies in the arm.”

“Any reason for that?” asked Ranger.

“Naw,— I jes' like to see men’s butts.” Laughed Lazarus.  They all broke up laughing.

“I should a’ know’d better’n to ask.”  Ranger shook his head.

“You think you can walk with us men back to the party for a while, Son?”

“I think so, Father.”  Lucas hugged and kissed Ox.  “Thank you again, my beautiful beast.  I love you, Ox.”

<< I love you, too, little brother.  Make our father happy. >>

Lucas smiled and nodded.

“We won’t stay long, Son.  We’ll just make an appearance to let everyone know you’re okay.  Then I’ll walk you home and put you to bed.”

The men walked back through the portal and to the party.  They walked in and the music stopped.  The sheriff held up his hand to speak.

“Friends and neighbors, this young man, Master Lazarus’ new slave, Lucas, saved my life this evening.  He took a bullet in his shoulder meant for me.  Thank God he’s all right and will be fine.  I can’t forget to mention our friend and Master Waco’s right hand man, Ox, saved the day by disarming the religious extremist terrorists.  Remember Ox, Lucas and me in your prayers this evening.  The culprits are on their way to jail and are looking at lifetime enslavement at hard labor.  Let’s give the young man and Ox a round of applause for their bravery.”

Everyone applauded for Lucas and Ox.  Lucas stood next to Lazarus as close as he could get and blushed.  Lazarus put his arm around him and held him close.

“If you’ll excuse us, ladies and gentlemen, we’ve had a full day.” spoke Lazarus, “I’m taking the boy home and putting him to bed.  Please, go on with your party.”  

The music started again and Lazarus escorted Lucas to the door.  Waco and his men were there with Charlie.  They wanted to hug and touch Lucas, but Lazarus insisted he was still sore.  They could see him tomorrow.  He would be spending some time back in sickbay tomorrow, and they could visit him there.

Lazarus walked Lucas slowly across the compound.  He held his arm around the boy for support and never let him go.

“Home.” Lucas said quietly.  “Ain’t never had me no home before, Father.  I won’t know how to act.”

“I have a feeling you’ll take to it like a duck to water, Lucas.  You surprised the shit out of me tonight.  I didn’t know whether it was too soon to expose you to a lot of people, but you handled yourself like a gentleman-slave.  I was impressed and proud of you, boy.”

“I was scared to death, Sir.  The only thing what got me though it was your strength and knowing I didn’t wanna’ embarrass you.  I wanted to make you proud of me, Father.  After a while it got easier ‘cause I didn’t have to worry about people looking at me or making fun of me.  I felt like I was as good looking as anyone else.”

“Better looking than most.” Lazarus allowed.

They reached the foreman’s house and Lazarus held the door for Lucas to walk in.  It was his first glimpse of the big house, and he was in awe of it.  He took his hat off, walked a few steps and stood looking around at everything.

“What’da’ ya’ think, Son?”

“It’s like something out of a dream, Father.  A dream I’ve had for so long.  It’s like I’ve been here before, and I’m comfortable here.  It’s like this house calls to me,— like it needs me.  It wants me to take care of it.”

“That’s a good sign.  That’s what I bought you for.  There were other reasons, but that was the main one.”

“I’ll show you the downstairs tomorrow.  Let’s go upstairs, I’ll get you undressed, and we’ll go to bed.  I’m tired, and I know you must be.”

“I am kinda tired.  I’m glad we didn’t stay at the party.  I wanted a chance to be alone with you.”

“You’re gonna’ get chore’ wish.  I’m gonna’ have you sleep with me, tonight.  I’m worried you might wake up in a strange place and be frightened.  Having someone next to you might make you feel safer.  I know having you next to me will make me feel a hell of a lot safer.”  Lazarus chuckled.

“I was hoping I might get to sleep with you.  I understand it’s just temporary.  After tonight I probably will be okay on my own, Sir.”

Lazarus had him sit on the bed while he removed his boots and socks.

“I should be doing that for you, Father.”

“You’ll have plenty of time for that.  Tonight, you’re the hero who needs tending to.  I ain’t too proud a man to take care of my slave and nurse him back to health.”

Lazarus gently removed his shirt and hung it over the back of a chair.  Cable had to cut his undershirt off, so he had no undergarments on.  Lazarus undid his belt buckle, opened his Wranglers, had Lucas lay back on the bed and pulled them off of him.  The boy was completely naked.  

Lazarus couldn’t help admiring the beauty of Lucas’ youthful body.  He was proud of his med staff’s handiwork.  They created a masterpiece.  

Lazarus pulled down the covers and had Lucas scoot up into the bed and covered him up.  He stood, yawned and stretched.  He slowly undressed as Lucas watched his every move.  It was like the boy’s eyes were worshiping him.  He got his clothes off and stood so Lucas could get a good look at him.

“Are you really as old as Mr. Gibbons told those men, Father?”

“Every year, Son.  Does it make a difference?”

“Lord, no, Master.  You’re in much better shape than Caleb Stamper’s dad.”

Lazarus thought it was healthy the way Lucas referred to himself in the past as ‘Caleb Stamper.’

“Will I get the longevity shot, too, Father.”

“You already did, Son.  When I bought you,— you became my slave and my property.  A Master has a right to have any medical treatment done to his slave he wants.  I wanted you to have the longevity gene.  I plan on keeping you around for,— oh, at least a couple of thousand years.  I may not keep you as my slave for all that time.  I may give you your freedom after serving me faithfully for several hundred years,— that is, if you want your freedom.  You may be very happy as my slave and wish to continue on a year to year basis.”  Lazarus came to the other side of the bed, pulled down the covers and got in.

“Would you like for me to hold you for a while, Son?”

“Yes, Sir, I’d like that very much.”

Lucas rolled into Lazarus’ big cowboy arms and let out a deep sigh.

“What was that for?” he asked curiously.

“Contentment.  Like an old cow what’s jes’ been milked and fed.”

“That good, huh?”

“The best feeling I ever had, Father.”

“You feel pert-damn good to me, too, Son.”

“Thanks for my foreskin, Father.  I been want’n to tell you that all evening, but I was afraid it might embarrass you.”

“As old as I am, Son, I doubt anything you could ever tell me would embarrass me.  I’m glad you like it.  I wanted my slave boy to have a penis similar to mine.  I wanted you to have a foreskin.  It’s far more enjoyable than having a bald penis.  It’s barbaric what parents do to their children in the name of religion.  Have you tried it out yet?”

“Naw, Sir.  I got hard a number of times, but I ain’t never played with it.  It’s bigger than Caleb’s was.  I didn’t wanna’ play with myself until I asked you about it.”

“Well, don’t then.  Wait for a couple of nights, and I’ll take you for your first time.  By that, I mean I’ll take your come and swallow it.”
“You’d do that for me?”

“Shore,’ if'n I had my way I’d make it a law every father has to take his son’s first load.  It should be a right of passage for the boy and his father.  Then, on his eighteenth birthday the son should pay homage to the man what made him and take his load to complete the cycle.”

“Will I be required to take care of you, Father?”

“Not until you're older.  While it would be my right as a Master to take a male slave sexually after his twelfth birthday, I don’t believe in that.  I think you should be older,— at least sixteen or maybe eighteen.  It would depend on how fast a slave matures.”

“In the meantime, at least for a while, I want you to come to me and ask my permission before you jack-off.  I may want to be a dirty old man and watch or maybe jack-off with you.  I may just wanna’ keep track of how much you’re playing with yourself.  There ain’t nothing wrong with it and most times I’ll probably jes’ tell you to go on ahead, but until I tell you different, I want you to show me that respect by asking permission.”

“I will, Father.  I won’t have no problem with it, Sir.  Caleb was never allowed to jack-off.  He was punished badly if’n one of his brothers caught him.  As good as it feels, it jes’ weren’t worth it.”

“Tomorrow’s Saturday.  I’m taking you back to the ship in the morning for another healing session with the Kryscellians.  Then, we’ll have some time to spend together getting to know each other better.  Now, give your father a kiss and let’s us git some sleep.”

Lucas turned and kissed Lazarus gently on the lips, and Lazuras returned it with the gentleness of a saint.  

“Goodnight, Father,— I love you.”

“I love you, too, Son.”

Lucas drifted off to an exhausted sleep held in the arms of his savior.  He felt safer than he ever felt before.  It was as relaxing as it was exhilarating.  He slept the peaceful dreams of a man-child, who was on the brink of discovery.  He dreamed he was standing on the top of a mountain looking down into a wonderfully lush green valley where everything was natural and perfect.  He turned to look behind him to a scene of chaos.  He saw  Caleb's family living in a garbage dump rummaging through refuse, shoving it into their mouths as fast as they could pick through the piles of waste.  There was no end to it, and for them there was no escape.  He didn’t feel sad or sympathetic for them.  He didn’t feel anything.  He didn’t even feel any guilt for having left them to their squalor.  He heard his new family in the valley below calling his name, “Lucas,— come, join us.  Come live, work, learn, love and grow with us.  We want you to be with us, brother.  We need you.  Your father needs you.”  Lucas smiled and waved to them as he turned away from his past and began his journey down into the peaceful, green valley.  Lucas slept.

End Chapter 12 ~ Waco’s Lummox
Copyright 2006 ~ Waddie Greywolf
All Rights Reserved ~
Mail to: waddiebear@yahoo.com