Head West Young Man
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Previously in chapter five:
That evening as they got ready for bed, Kris took Jon in his arms.
"Not right now Kris," Jon said as he pulled away from Kris. "I don't think dinner sat well with me and I just want to go to sleep," and he got into bed and turned his back to Kris.
This was the first time that he ever said no to him and Kris was not sure of how he felt about it.
"Then I'm going downstairs to read the paper and smoke my pipe," he said to Jon.
Kris went downstairs with just a robe on, and there in the parlor sat Joshua reading.
"Can't sleep either," he asked as he came into the parlor.
"No not really Kris, I had some things on my mind so I thought I would read awhile."
They were talking together when Jon came down and saw them and he gave Kris a hurt but dirty look and left. Kris quickly followed him back upstairs and once in their room, Jon turned and slugged him hard in the face.
"You fucker, you couldn't wait to run downstairs to your new lover could you," Jon shouted as Kris looked up at from the floor.
"What the fuck are you talking about Jon," and Jon grabbed his carpetbag from the closet as Kris rubbed his jaw.
Now chapter six:
"I'm out of here mister and to think we could be lovers forever," Jon said as he threw his clothes in the bag.
"Jon what brought this on, I love you and don't want to lose you babe."
Jon refused to listen but kept on packing his bag, and when he was finished," he said.
"I'm taking one of the horses and I'll have it returned as soon as I decide where I am going," and he walked out of their bedroom.
Once downstairs he no longer saw Joshua in the parlor, so he continued out to the carriage house. He was saddling the horse when Kris came in, and he turned him around and kissed him.
"Does that feel like a kiss from a man that is cheating," he asked as Jon stood there crying. "I don't know where you got the idea I wanted Josh over you bud, but you're all the man that this cowboy can handle," and he kissed him again.
"Earlier today when you were looking out the window, I had asked you what you were looking at and you told me nothing. When I looked out after I saw Josh standing there working with his pants hanging half way off his ass. Then later as I was talking to you I turned and you were gone, but there you were outside talking to Josh."
"Damn it bud, if you must know I was telling him that I wanted a private garden area where we could sit and not be seen. I wanted it as a surprise for your birthday next month," Kris told him as he turned in despair.
"Oh Kris I'm so sorry bud for doubting your love," he said as he lay his head on the top of his back. "Can you forgive me," and Kris turned and took him in his arms.
"Of course I can sweetheart," and he kissed him.
"I won't ever doubt your intentions again Kris, you are the only man that I have ever had these feelings for."
"Can we now go to bed and forget that this ever happened?" Kris asked him as he still held him close.
"Yes cowboy let's go," and the two of them walked hand and hand back to the house as a pair of eyes were watching them.
"Isn't that sweet, two love birds in the night," the person said to himself. "You'll pay for what you did to me and my family Kristoffer Johansson."
The next day Kris, Jon and Joshua rode down to the General Store, and Jon was excited about the grand opening.
"Are you sure Josh you don't mind giving me a hand," Jon asked Joshua.
"Not at all Jon, it's the least I can do after all the kindness you both have shown me."
Kris rode out to Jeremiah's ranch after he helped Jon the best he could, because this kind of work did not suit him. He was surprised at how far the house had progressed and Jeremiah was happy to see him.
"Pa it's great to see you again," he said as he hugged his dad.
"Damn son your house is almost finished," Kris noted.
"Come on pa and I'll show you around inside."
The house was very different from what the old one was like; it now had two stories and a front porch. Jeremiah was so proud of his house and he loved showing it off to his dad.
"I like the changes son that you made and to tell you the truth I like the idea of having the sleeping quarters upstairs."
"Brad and I do also and I like how the hall is a balcony over looking the great room below," he said with enthusiasm.
"So when do you move in or have you started already," as he remembered the bedroom that was already set up.
"Well in another week we should be in completely pa, but we have moved our bedroom in already."
"I noticed son and how are you and Brad doing?"
"Pa he is so sweet and loving, and I could not have asked for a better man," he said and Kris could see the love in his son's eyes.
"I am happy for you son and just where is your man?"
"Oh he's off getting fence over in Pecos getting fence for us. It seems that we had a large section missing and he wanted something stronger than what we had."
"I forget that we don't have a place around town where we can get that kind of material without having to order it or as you said go to Pecos for it," he said and it gave him an idea. "Now that Jon and I own the store, I think we just might add on a buildings material area."
"That would make life a lot easier pa for a lot of us ranchers around here," Jeremiah told him. "So how is Jon, is he all excited about the store?" he asked.
"Yes he is and to be honest he needed the store to keep him busy. He's a man that has to be doing something all the time."
"Don't you mean pa to keep him out of your hair?" Jeremiah asked and he laughed at how it really hit home.
"Yes son that too and he is so wrapped up in me that I can't move without bumping into him. Now I will have my time to do as I wish and be together in the evenings with him."
"I hear that you have a handsome boarder now also pa," he stated in a very suggestive tone.
"Jeremiah how dare you think I would ever cast my attentions on another man," he said in a very disciplinary voice.
"I didn't mean you would cheat on Jon pa, I'm sorry if you took it that way," Jeremiah said.
"It's just that Jon accused me of the same thing last night and now you make a suggestion, well it hurt me son."
"I'm really sorry pa and I know how much you love him. So how come or isn't it any of my business why he accused you?"
"You're right son; it's not any of your business. Now can we just drop this subject please?"
Kris spent most of the day working around the ranch, he really missed being out in fresh air. When it got to be around dinnertime, he decided to head back to town.
"Well son I had better be going, I want to stop by the store before it closes," he told his son. "I had hoped to see Brad before I left, but I guess he got caught up in town there."
"I'll tell him that you said hello pa and pa, I love you," Jeremiah said as he hugged his father.
"I love you too son," and he left for home.
He was riding along as a leisurely pace when a shot just missed him. He leaned forward on his horse and took off for town as fast as he could. When he got to town, he stopped at the store. Jon was just closing up the place.
"What's wrong Kris," Jon asked noticing how upset he was.
"Someone took a shot at me when I was coming home," he said upset over it.
"Are you alright Kris, did they hit you at all," Jon asked as he looked him over.
"No they missed but I felt the bullet go by my face," he said. "Had I been going any faster they would have got me."
"Who would have wanted to do that to you," he asked as Joshua came in all out of breath. "What's wrong with you Josh," he asked looking at him all sweaty and covered with dust.
"Some fucking dog chased me down the street and almost got me in the ass," he said as he fought to regain normal breathing.
"Where were you Josh?" Kris asked noticing that he had on his riding boots.
"I had something to do and needed to go over to Pecos," he told him looking down at his boots then back up at Kris.
"What," Kris simply asked as his suspicions began to peak.
"Do you really want to know here," he asked quietly to him. "It's for that project you asked me about yesterday Kris," he said looking at Jon.
"What's all the whispering about," Jon asked.
"Ah nothing Jon, are you ready now to close up," he asked changing the subject but Jon just gave him that look of his.
"Yes I am but this isn't over by a long shot mister," he told him as he blew out the last of the lamps.
"Josh would you mind taking my horse home, I want to walk with Jon for a spell?"
"No problem Kris," and he took the reins from Kris and left on his own horse leading Kris's along side.
"We were whispering because he doesn't know that you know about that surprise for your birthday," he told Jon.
"I forgot Kris but I'm still leery of things since last night," he told him.
"Damn it Jon, how many times do I have to tell you about my love for you?" Kris said hurt that he was still suspicious and doubting him.
"I'm sorry bud but you know how bad I felt last night and then you both start whispering around me.
"This isn't like you Jon, you have never doubted me even when were friends on the plantation. I love you and you alone Jon so get it in your head that I am not cheating on you."
"Ok cowboy I'm sorry," Jon said nudging his lover softly.
"How long was Josh gone today Jon," he asked.
"For quite some time why?"
"Just wondering babe because I don't want you alone in the store," he said.
"I can handle myself quite well Kris, now why all of a sudden are you so worried?"
"It's the shot someone took at me and I keep having this feeling about you being taken away from me," he said.
"I have my gun with me as well as Josh if I need him," Jon told him as they finally came in to view of their house. "I'm not going anywhere cowboy so stop worrying about me."
"I just don't want to lose you bud, we go back a long ways together," and they kiss once they are in the back of their house, and those eyes are watching their every move.
"Isn't that sweet cowboy, kissing your sweetheart. You may have gotten lucky you think today but I intended to miss you, I want you to suffer loss like I did," the man thought to himself.
They broke their kiss and Kris looked up and saw Joshua walking by his window.
"Fuck I hope Josh didn't see us kissing," Kris said as they walked into the house.
Joshua was just coming downstairs when they came into the kitchen and he smiled at them as they came through the door.
"How about I rustle us up a nice New England dinner," he asked and got the most bewildered looks from them both.
"A what," Jon asked as he looked from Kris to Joshua.
"A New England style dinner," he said. "I bought nice steaks over in Pecos today, and I thought I would make baked potatoes with it. I have fresh green beans with a slab of salt pork to cook with them and man what a flavor it gives them."
"What is a baked potato?" Kris asked now suspicious of this kid's ability.
"Go do your thing guys and let me be here in the kitchen," he told them as he pushed them out of the room.
Kris and Jon left and went upstairs to clean up from their day. Jon boiled the water for the bath and got the tub ready, as Kris sat in their room thinking.
"Someone is out to hurt me and hurt me big time," he thought to himself. "I need to start watching those around me more carefully.
"Kris, hello cowboy where are you," Jon said bringing him back from his thoughts.
"Excuse me what did you say," he asked.
"I was talking to you but you seemed a hundred miles away," Jon said.
"I was thinking about that shot today is all," he told him. "Jon I am serious bud, I do not want you alone at that store. Look at what happened to old man Martin. He could handle a gun and all but what good did it do him?"
"I'll be fine Kris, really I will. I am aware of everyone that comes into my store," he told him. "I have my gun just under the cash register so if I need it it's there."
"Well I love you bud and I worry about your safety."
"Don't Kris, I'll be just fine. Now come on your bath is ready and whatever Josh is cooking sure smells good," he said to Kris as they walked out of their room.
"That's another thing Jon, I want our doors locked at all times ok," he said as he paused in the hallway. "Mmmm it does smell good doesn't it," he added as he sniffed the air.
"I think that you are getting a little to paranoid for your own good babe," he said as he washed his back.
"Paranoid or not Jon, I can't shake this feeling of losing you," he told him again.
"Ok I'll tell you if must know. I am running off with Clem and we are getting married," he said laughing.
Kris teared up because what he felt was strong and real to him, and he had felt it just before he lost his wife.
"You're crying Kris," he said as Jon noticed the tears running down his face. "I am so sorry for mocking your feelings bud," he said as he kissed the top of his head. "You really do feel this way don't you," and he just nodded yes because he was crying on Jon's leg.
When they had both finished their bathing, Josh yelled up that dinner was ready, and they both came down anxious to see what he had made. The dining room table was set complete with candlelights and they sat as he served them their meals.
"This looks delicious Josh," Jon said as the three of them dug in, and they all said it together at first taste of the steak.
"Mmmm," in unison they said.
He had done it just right and the baked potatoes were a hit as they dug into the baked spud topped with butter and some green stuff they did not recognize.
"Ah Josh my potato has this grass on it," Kris said as he moved it away with his fork.
"That's chives Kris, a spice that adds flavor," he told them. "It won't hurt you and I think you'll like it."
Kris and Jon took a bite and moved it around in their mouths, and then nodded in agreement it was good.
"This is great Josh, where on earth did you find this...chives stuff," Kris asked.
"It was growing in an herb garden on the side of the house. There is fresh thyme and oregano also. Whoever planted the garden certainly knew their herbs," he said as he took a bite of his own potato.
"You are quite the surprise Josh," Kris said looking at him. "I would have never guessed that you could cook like this."
"My grandmother taught me as a young child, when I would stay with here at her home on Cape Cod," he told him.
"And that is also in Massachusetts Josh?" Jon asked.
"Yes Jon it is," he said looking at them. "Cape Cod is a beautiful peninsula that is part of Massachusetts and my grandparents and parents have a home out there."
"It being a peninsula then I take it that there was an abundance of water there," Kris said.
"Yes Kris salt water, all part of the Atlantic Ocean. However, cold water compared to the southern water of the Atlantic."
"Do you miss it Josh, that life you had and Massachusetts?" Jon asked as Kris devoured his dinner and watched Josh.
"I miss the Cape in the summer Jon, and I miss my grandmother. I was her favorite grandchild and she made no bones about it letting my parents know."
"I remember my grandmother, she would cook all day for my grandpa," Jon said as if he was seeing her in his mind's eye.
"Grandma's are the best because they love you unconditionally," Josh said as a tear formed in his eye. "Would you excuse me I'll be right back," he said as he got up and hurried into the kitchen.
"That boy is homesick Kris," Jon noted as he looked at Kris.
"I don't know, maybe. But there is something about Josh I just can't put my finger on," he said as he pushed his plate away from in front of him.
"Will you stop with your suspicions and paranoia," Jon said as Josh re-entered the room.
He had a fresh pot of tea made and poured a cup for them all. Kris was use to drinking his coffee black and when he took a sip he nearly choked.
"What the fuck is this," he said, as he smelled the liquid.
"Its English tea Kris and I should have told you first," he said feeling hurt.
"That's fine Josh really it is but I was expecting coffee," he told him as he took another sip of the liquid.
"We drink it all the time in Boston sir," he said as he reverted to a more formal addressing of Kris. "May I ask you something sir, have I done something to offend you?" he asked looking at him. "Because, ever since the store earlier, you give me the impression that I have done something wrong or something to offend you sir," he said.
"No Josh you haven't done a thing to offend me or wrong," he told the boy, although he had his doubts about him. "I do apologize if I came off like that to you, so please forgive my friend," he asked still doubting. "With the shooting at me today I have just been out of sorts," he told him.
"And you thought I may have done it," he asked getting up crying now as he left the room.
"Joshua wait please," Kris said but the boy kept going and up to his room.
"Now see where your paranoia has gotten you Kris, go after him and apologize," Jon told him.
"You go apologize Jon, I have said it enough and if he can't accept it then he needs to leave," Kris said as Jon got up and went upstairs to see Joshua.
When he got to his room he could hear him crying, and he walked in, sat on the bed beside him, and rubbed his back.
"He wasn't accusing you Josh of shooting at him, he has been under a lot of pressure these last few days, and the shooting was just the last straw. He likes you very much and so do I," Jon said and Josh rolled over and looked up Jon.
Jon looked at the tears in his eyes and wiped them away with his hand and then he bent down and kissed Joshua on the lips.
"Sir please remember yourself," Josh said as he pushed him away.
"I'm so sorry Joshua for doing that," Jon said. "I don't know what came over me," and he got up and turned and there stood Kris starring at the two of them.
Kris turned and left as Jon ran to catch him, and he finally caught up with him downstairs.
"Kris what you saw isn't what you think it is," Jon said as he leaned against the door to prevent him from leaving.
"No Jon, then why don't you tell me just what I saw upstairs in Josh's bedroom," he shouted. "Tell me that kiss was not what it looked like."
"Yes Kris I did kiss him but not because I wanted him, but because he was hurting because of you," Jon said and Kris pushed him away from the door and left without looking back.
He went out to the carriage house and saddled up his horse, and Jon tried to stop him from leaving.
"Please Kris talk to me bud," Jon said as Kris mounted his horse.
"You accused me of cheating on you with Josh, but now I can see that it was to cover up your own affair with him," and he rode out of the stable as fast as lightning leaving Jon standing there in tears.
"Kris please wait," he shouted but he rode off into the night.
Kris rode away into the darkness of the night, and his tears were flowing fast down his face. He decided to ride out to Jonah's to spend the night, and he pushed his horse as fast as he could. When he got there the house was dark so he knocked on the door. It took them a minute but Jonah finally opened the door, and was shocked to she his father standing there.
"Pa, what are you doing here," he asked as he let him in.
"Jon and I have broken up," he told him and Jonah could see the tears in his eyes.
"No pa why," he asked shocked by the news.
"Babe where did you go," Seth asked as he came into the room naked and froze when he saw Kris sitting there. "Excuse pa," he said and ran to get something on.
He returned shortly with a robe on, and he sat beside Jonah as Kris explained his situation. He told them about Jon kissing Joshua, and how Jon had accused him of cheating with Joshua first. By the time he had finished his story, he was in tears again.
"And to think I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him," he said as bitterness started to seep in.
"Pa there has to be a logical explanation for this," Jonah said as he tried to comfort his dad. "Jon is so in love with you pa, he came to love a man that he admired more than any other man alive. When he looks at you pa, I can see the love he has for you in his eyes. You are his air that he breathes and the one that makes his heart beat.
"Then why was he kissing Joshua," he asked.
"I don't know why, but I'm sure it wasn't because he loved him. Go home pa and talk to him, get this behind the two of you before it gets to where you might regret it."
"Do you really think so son, that there may be a reason I'm not seeing here?" he asked with a glimmer of hope now in his heart.
"Yes pa I do, now you are welcome to stay but I really think that you should go home and talk with him."
"Ok son, and thank you for putting up with me," he said.
Kris hugged his two boy's goodbye and rode back home to see Jon. He knew Jonah was right and he did still love Jon. As he rode up to the house, just a single light was on in the parlor. He put his horse in the stable, went into the house and found it eerily quiet.
"Jon," he called out as he walked through the kitchen and dining room and into the foyer. "Jon are you here," he called out once again and then that feeling of doom came over him.
He ran upstairs still calling his name, and he opened the door to his bedroom and there on the bed lay Jon covered in blood.
"Oh God no, what have I done," he cried out as he dropped on the bed.
To be continued...
Sorry guys but this was just too good a place to end it.
Shoot me your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org or just shoot me guys.