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|-- ERIK --|
Spring moved through the hills of southwestern Virginia and the area was alive. As summer approached, the wild rhododendron spread color throughout the hills. This was the busy tourist season and a few well-placed magazine ads had brought a large increase in the number of rentals going through the woods to see the beauty -- up close and personal.
In late May we got word that David Pittston had a heart attack. Two weeks later, the entire community turned out to grieve and console his widow. David was only sixty-two, but a heavy smoker and significantly overweight. A few weeks later, June Pittston stopped by the farm. I greeted her and offered iced tea or lemonade. We sat in the kitchen to chat; from her manner I knew she had something significant to discuss.
She explained that she had discussed things with her two grown sons. Her boys were both older than I, and had careers in the `big cities'. She was going to put the farm up for sale as it was too much for her to handle alone. She offered me right of first refusal.
"Erik, I don't expect you to decide today. I'm going to wait till next Monday to contact a real estate agent. If you are interested let me know by Sunday."
"June, I really appreciate the offer. Let me think it over and I'll get back to you shortly," I responded.
We chatted about her plans for the future. She wanted to move to be near one of her sons. She left a short while later.
As soon as she left, I called my bookkeeper/accountant, Janet Hansen. I explained the opportunity. "Janet, based on the sale price can you lay out some options for me about how I can manage this. I really think I want to do this, but I don't want to bankrupt myself."
"I'm sure you can do it," Janet replied. "You've got a lot of liquid assets that can be used as a down payment and you're not carrying any real debt load at the moment so monthly payments shouldn't be a worry. I'll tell you what; I'll run a few scenarios and come out tomorrow to review them with you."
"Sounds good, Janet. Thank you very much," I replied.
At dinner that night I brought up the offer. "Guys, June Pittston was here this afternoon. She is going to sell the farm and offered me the right of first refusal."
"Wow, Dad, are you going to buy it?"
"Well, that's what I want to discuss with both of you now and probably again tomorrow night. I talked to Janet earlier and she is going to run the numbers and present a few scenarios. So tonight I want to know what you two think about expanding the farm. Tomorrow night we'll talk money."
"I don't really know a lot about the Pittston farm, other than it's up the road that way." Tracer pointed in the farm's general direction.
"It's one-hundred and twenty-seven acres so it is just a bit smaller than our farm. They have one barn and of course an old farm house on the land. Hank did some vegetable farming on about thirty acres of the land, but otherwise he was winding down operations before his death. There are probably eighty or ninety acres of woodlands that continue on off our woods and run up to the state highway."
"We could really extend our trails a lot if we added the land," Ryan added. "What about the house and the barn?"
"How good a shape are they in?" Tracer asked.
"I've never been in the house," I responded. "On the outside it looks OK, but not great. The barn isn't in too bad shape, but I'm sure it needs some help."
"If we add all that land, we could use the barn up there to store some supplies and equipment," Ryan suggested.
"I'd be concerned about putting anything of value that far away from the house." The city boy in Tracer was showing.
"Actually, I agree with you. I'm concerned about vandals up there. But we could keep some older stuff there," I replied.
The conversation continued for about an hour. Never once did either Ryan or Tracer mention not buying the farm. Finally, I wrapped up the conversation indicating that we'd wait till Janet brought us the numbers.
The next morning, I got a call from Janet about nine a.m. "I've got the numbers ready for you Erik. What time is good for me to come over?"
"How about four p.m. Janet?" I replied.
"Not in a hurry are you?" she seemed confused.
"Actually, I really am, but I want Ryan to be home from school so you can go over this with all three of us at once. It's going to be a family decision and I want it to be unanimous -- three yes or we don't do it."
"OK, four p.m. it is. See you then."
I heard a cough behind me and turned to see Tracer standing in the doorway. "What?" I asked.
"Three yes votes?"
"Yes, three. You get a vote. Tracer, I know you keep wondering why I'm going as far as I am, and it's because I want too. I love you; you say you love me. What more could I want?"
He smiled. "Thanks."
Janet stopped by at four and Ryan was happy he got to hear things first hand. The numbers were actually a lot better than I'd thought they would be. We could purchase the farm and make the payments easily. I thanked Janet for all her help. She just told me it would be on the bill and laughed.
After Janet left, I opened up the floor to discussion. Neither Tracer nor Ryan had any objections so I called June and let her know we had a deal. She was happy knowing the farm would be in good hands.
That Saturday, I called Shirley to let her know that Patrick and Will were welcome to visit during the summer. While we chatted the topic of summer jobs came up. Shirley indicated that there wasn't much opportunity for the boys in their area. I asked her if they would like to work on the farm for a couple months. While they would be of limited help on horseback, two strong bodies would be of help in clearing trails and helping us get the new property ready for use. She told me she'd talk to the boys and get back to me.
I mentioned it to Tracer later in the day. He seemed excited and worried at the same time. I told him I wasn't expecting them to do more than be strong backs to help with the land prep. That relaxed him a lot. Tracer was learning the horse end of the business rapidly and was already aware of how much work it took. Since Patrick was now seventeen and Will sixteen it would be legal for both of them to work the farm. Shirley called back a short while later and said it was a deal -- that is, if I thought I could manage all four boys at once. I told her I'd be happy too.
I promised her that Tracer and I would drive out the Saturday after the boys finished school to pick them up. She told me she'd deal with her husband and make it clear that this was going to happen. Tracer was very surprised at the backbone his mother had developed.
About a week later, Tracer and I departed early Saturday morning to pick up the boys. I could tell that Tracer was very apprehensive and I assumed it was about the possibility of seeing his Dad. "Relax or you're going to make yourself sick before we get to the house. Your stomach is going to be tied into knots," I scolded.
"I know, I know, but I'm nervous as all get out," he replied.
"Worried about seeing your Dad?" I asked.
"Actually, that's part of it. I'm also worried about seeing my Mom."
"Why, she seems to be very supportive now. She's let Patrick and Will visit once and now she's letting them come for two and a half months. What's wrong?"
"Erik it's complicated. Mom didn't support me two years ago and I've still got a lot of hurt over that. I know it was a shock for her; however, I expected more. Also, I'm concerned how she's going to judge me and the choices I've made since I left."
"Look, I know there's a lot of hurt. We can talk and try to help you work all of that out. Just remember that she's changed, forgive her the mistakes she made in the past and be grateful for the support she's providing now. On the second issue, I think you did damn well supporting yourself for two years without them and now you're a successful guy with a good job and a happy home. What more could she ask?"
We spent the next several hours talking mostly about his feelings relating to his mother. Wounds that deep can't heal over night but you could see his shoulders relax a bit.
We stopped for gas and a snack. When we climbed back in and drove off, I asked him about his Dad.
"Well, I assume either Mom's got him tied down or he's not going to be home. Otherwise, Mom's going to be dealing with a battle."
I must have looked startled.
"Not fists or anything physical, but if he's there he'll be yelling and trust me - with him I have more than enough hurt to yell right back."
"I'll support you; however, I'll try to stay out of it as much as you want."
"Just be there beside me; let me fight the battle."
"Hopefully, there will be no battle."
As we pulled up to the house, Tracer let out a big sigh. "His car's not here! What a relief."
"Ready?" I asked as I grasped the door handle of the truck.
He nodded his head `yes', and then we walked up to the house. Tracer hesitated at the door and looked like he was about to go in. Instead, he knocked on the door and waited with me right behind him.
I'd seen a couple of pictures of Shirley so the woman who answered the door was already familiar.
"Come in, come in," she urged. "Tracer, this is still your home. You don't need to knock."
"Mom, until Dad changes his mind, I will continue to knock and be invited in. My home is in Virginia now." A huge grin spread across his face.
"Well, you're always welcome no matter what Frank says."
"Erik, it is nice to finally meet you. The boys brought back pictures, but they don't do you justice. Is your son, Ryan, with you?" She looked past me and out at the truck.
"No, he's at home working the farm. It's hard for all of us to be gone at once. We're planning for him to come out with Tracer and the boys at the end of August."
"Oh, that's good. Patrick and Will spoke so much about him."
"Yeah, they were the four amigos over spring break. I'm sure they will bond a lot more over the next few months."
The boys appeared down a hallway dragging duffle bags of stuff.
"Got enough there, Boys?" I teased.
"We wanted to bring our PlayStation, but Mom won't let us," Will huffed.
"Y'all can share Ryan's; just bring any games that he doesn't have," Tracer responded.
I turned to Shirley. "It's lunchtime. Is there a good place around here for all of us to go for lunch?"
"There are a few," she replied.
We headed down to a local diner for lunch. As we sat and ate, I kept wanting to ask how she'd managed to get Frank out of the house. I kept silent.
After lunch we dropped Shirley off at the house and everyone hugged. I reminded her that she was always welcome at the farm.
Patrick enthused, "You'd love riding a horse Mom; you should come!"
"I haven't been on a horse since I was a young girl," she replied.
Tracer looked surprised, "I didn't know you rode horses Mom."
"There are probably a lot of things you don't know about your dear old Mom."
"Shirley, you aren't that old. If you can come visit; you are most welcome anytime."
We left shortly afterwards. The discussions ranged the gambit from how the boys had done in school to what jobs we had for the boys to do. Neither Patrick nor Will seemed worried about the list of hard jobs we had lined up.
Summer moved rapidly. We closed on the Pittston farm in early July. The ink was barely dry on the paperwork when Randy and I went over to the new land to start planning. We agreed on specific repairs required on the barn. I mentioned that I might put the farm house up for rental since it wasn't immediately adjacent to the barn. Randy and I discussed the pros and cons of that. Finally we surveyed the rest of the structures -- all of which we decided to tear down.
I assigned Patrick and Will to Marty and Hank to start marking trails through the Pittston woods. Once marked, the guys started cutting scrub and brush, making sure that branches wouldn't strike riders. Trails have to be wide enough not only for the horse, but for the horse and rider.
The boys really seemed to like the work. Of course, they didn't have to work every day of the week. But like Ryan, Tracer and me, they did help out with some of the basics every day of the week.
As August started, I pulled Tracer aside one Wednesday afternoon to run an errand with me. "I sure do hope you can keep a secret," I said to him as we turned onto the road in front of the farm.
"Sure Erik, but who am I keeping it from."
"Ryan -- we're going to buy his birthday present."
"What are you getting him for his birthday?"
"Let that be a surprise when we get there," I laughed.
We drove in silence for a short time. When I turned onto the Dodge dealership lot, Tracer let out a gasp. "You're getting him a car?"
"Well, I'm getting another truck, and it will be assigned to him," I replied. At this point we had three trucks for the farm, the Ram dualie was used by any and everyone. I tended to drive the Ram with the cap while Tracer drove the extended-cab Ram truck.
Tracer and I surveyed the trucks on the lot. I told the salesperson to give us a little bit alone and we'd call her when we were really ready to talk vehicles. We debated each of the trucks we saw until we rounded the building. There sat a "Tonka" yellow Dodge Ram 2500 with an extended cab. The interior was done in black leather. We both saw the truck and said "That one." I felt I negotiated a good price from the dealer and had Tracer drive the truck down to Janet's office. She was going to hide the truck in her garage for me. I called a buddy of mine to order a fiberglass tonneau cover for the truck. It should be ready for Ryan's birthday he told me.
As Tracer and I drove home he asked me for suggestions of what to get Ryan for his birthday.
"How much do you want to spend?"
"Erik," he sounded serious, "I've got more money saved up now than I think I've ever had available to me in my life. So money's not a real concern for me. I know that Patrick and Will are going to get him something or go in on something with me."
"One idea would be games for that PlayStation. I had been thinking about getting him a computer for his room, but the truck seemed to be more practical so he can deal with after-school activities. He can use the computer in the office at night."
"Hey, I could get him the computer. That would be great!"
"Tracer, that's a lot of money for you to be spending."
"No, it's not; end-of-discussion."
"OK, I won't fight you."
I worked with Jacob to line up about a dozen of Ryan's friends for a surprise party the Saturday before his birthday. I put a fake reservation down on the rental board for that Saturday afternoon -- marking out all time slots from one p.m. to closing.
Saturday morning, as Ryan was checking the day's schedule he commented on the group and how much it was costing them. I just said it must be a rich group of people. The first group was out for a ride from ten to noon. I made sure Megan, one of my summer help, knew to keep them on the old farm trails as I didn't want them getting anywhere near the old Pittston place. Ryan was going out with them as the trailer to make sure the riders at the back of the line didn't have any problems.
Tracer, Patrick and Will drove up to the old Pittston place as soon as the group departed. They took all the food for the party and put it in the farmhouse kitchen. Tracer was going to take care of getting the grill set up. I called Janet and had her meet them there with Ryan's truck. Tracer was going to hide it in the barn.
Around noon the early group came back in and I helped Megan and Ryan water and feed the horses so they could rest before the next group. I kept Ryan busy in the back of the stables knowing that his friends were all gathering outside the barn. At one, Megan announced that the next group had arrived. As the three of us each started leading horses out of the stables, a loud "surprise" rang out as Ryan came through the doors.
After everyone saddled up, we followed the trails up onto the new land and swung around to the Pittston farm house. Janet, Tracer and the boys had the food going well and soon everyone was munching down on a hamburger, hot dog or chicken burger. Watching how much fun everyone was having put an idea in my head; but I pushed it away, and enjoyed the party.
Patrick and Will carried the cake out to the food service table near the picnic blankets we'd spread out for everyone. The `Happy Birthday' song rang clear, and then as quickly as it appeared, the cake was gone.
Everyone had dropped off presents at the other house before meeting at the stables, so Ryan started tearing through the boxes. I kept a list so he could write thank you notes. The gifts from the guests were all gone when Tracer and Will set two large boxes down in front of Ryan. Whoops of joy filled the area as he saw the new computer and monitor. He looked up at me and started to say, "Thank you," but I pointed over at Tracer and the boys. Ryan ran over and hugged all three.
Ryan had finished opening his presents and the party was getting noisy with discussions starting among groups, when I motioned for Tracer and Will to head to the barn. Ryan was definitely distracted when Will and Tracer opened the barn doors. He heard the truck start and turned to look. The look on his face when that yellow truck pulled through the doors made all the planning worthwhile. He jumped up and ran over to the truck. Tracer got out of the driver's seat and handed Ryan the keys. I had walked up behind him and said, "Happy Birthday."
"Dad, you've got to be kidding. Please tell me this isn't a joke. This is my truck?" He could hardly get the words out.
"Well, technically it's in my name. But yes, this is `your' truck. Just remember, you have to have a licensed adult in the passenger seat until Wednesday."
"Oh, yeah, sure, no problem; I'll be good."
"I'm sure you will. Want to take a first solo drive? Farm roads don't require your license!"
He soloed up and down the driveway for a few minutes and then returned and parked the truck. I could tell he'd shed a few tears of joy down his cheeks while driving. I mentioned something to him about his guests and he put the truck out of his mind for a while. Everyone spent the rest of the afternoon riding for a while and coming back to the house for snacks.
Ryan's actual birthday was a quiet affair. The five of us had another small cake to celebrate. Tracer decorated the top of the cake with a pretty good rendition of a driver's license to celebrate Ryan's success in passing his test earlier in the day.
The end of August showed up faster than you would have thought. Since Tracer and Ryan were driving the boys home, I suggested they take Ryan's truck. They were gone all day doing the round trip. When they returned I noticed that Tracer's mood was a bit down in the dumps. I asked Ryan if anything had happened. He let me know it was simply that the boys wouldn't be around now.
Ryan started school the next Tuesday and life settled back to normal, or at least what pretends to be normal in our household. We celebrated Tracer's birthday twice -- once at lunch time with all the staff and once at dinner with just the three of us.
As Tracer's and my one-year anniversary rolled around, Jake invited us to his Halloween party. I talked it over with Tracer and Ryan and then accepted. I booked a room at the Opryland Hotel and joked with Tracer that this time I'd want to spend the night there instead of in a diner. He laughed and said, "It turned out pretty good didn't it?" I couldn't agree more.
We left for Nashville early that Halloween morning and checked in to the hotel. We quickly unpacked and ordered room service. Tracer grabbed a shower before the food arrived. After eating, I took a shower and came out into the room to get dressed. We both had `cowboy' costumes this year.
As I walked out, Tracer was bent over picking up his boots. His brown chaps framed a bubble butt packed nicely into a pair of dark Wrangler jeans. The old ad slogan "Wrangler Butts Drives Me Nuts" rang through my head.
I walked over and ran my hand across his ass. "That looks awfully good," I told him. "Feels mighty nice too!"
"I'm glad you appreciate it!" Tracer responded. He dropped his boot back to the floor and turned to face me.
I bent slightly and kissed him. Our goatees rubbing against each other. Over the last year, Tracer's goatee had gotten bushier; much like mine. The only difference now was color -- straw blonde for him, chestnut brown for me.
"So, you like my ass in chaps?" Tracer asked.
"Yeah, I never realized how sexy it was till now," I replied.
"Well, let me see for myself. Pull your chaps on."
I grabbed my jockeys.
"I didn't say, get dressed! I said, pull your chaps on! I wanna see ass in those chaps!" Tracer giggled.
I grabbed my chaps off a hanger and slipped one leg in. I was careful not to zip up skin. I got both legs in and turned to show him what he wanted.
"Fucking gorgeous, Handsome. I could feast on those globes."
"I'm glad you approve. How about I get to see you with only the chaps on?" I requested.
"Sure thing, Partner!" Tracer made the partner come out with a faux western twang.
He pulled off his chaps, jeans and underwear and then slipped his chaps back on. I have to admit it was a fucking hot sight to see; this handsome stud of a man standing in front of me, wearing only chaps. It made him more naked than if he hadn't been wearing the chaps. His ass was framed perfectly.
I walked over to him, placed my hands on his butt and pulled him to me by his ass cheeks. I kissed him passionately while rubbing my hands over his ass.
The kiss ended and I spun Tracer around and pushed -- bending him so his elbows rested on the desk in front of him. I spread his cheeks apart and pushed my tongue into his crack. My goatee scratched and tickled his ass trench while my tongue kept digging deeper and deeper into his hole. Tracer squirmed -- half trying to get away from the ticklish feeling and half trying to push his hole deeper onto my tongue.
Over the past year, sex for us had been a constant exploration. Learning what the other liked, didn't like and what we could do with each other. Mostly, our sex had been slow, passion-filled and loving. This was more animalistic.
I spread his ass cheeks further apart to give my tongue the greatest access. Tracer's hole was fragrant; the Opryland's soap had a fruit smell to it that scented his ass. My efforts opened his hole up -- ready for a fuck.
I stood up behind Tracer and rubbed my dick up and down his crack. He let loose a deep moan. I reached over onto the dresser beside me and picked up a condom and lube. I quickly dressed for the occasion and again teased Tracer's hole with my dick head.
As I slipped the head in, with little resistance, Tracer moaned again. I kept pushing until my pubic hair was scratching his ass cheeks. Buried all the way in his ass, I paused a moment. Then I pulled nearly out of his hole.
The pace was harder -- fast, deep strokes in and out of his clenching hole. I grabbed hold of his sides, clutching onto the leather of his chaps. As I pounded, I heard his hard dick slapping up against his stomach as it swung between his legs.
"Damn, Erik, you haven't fucked me like this in a while," he moaned.
"That ass in those chaps inspired me!" I replied.
"I'll have to find inspiration for you more often!"
"Liking it hard and rough?"
"Yeah, variety is a good thing. Now fuck me harder, Baby!"
I picked up the pace in his hole; this wasn't going to be a long fuck.
"Oh fuck, Erik. That feels good!" he grunted.
"Damn right; your ass is doing a number on my dick - squeezing and releasing. You'd think it wants me to shoot!"
"I want to milk the cum out of that dick!" he nearly yelled.
I put my hands on his sides and pulled him back harder on my dick. My thrusts were shortening and my pace quickening.
"Gonna, shoot. Gonna, fuckin shoot!"
"On my back, Erik. Cream all over my back!" Tracer begged.
I pulled out just as the first cum surged up my shaft. I stripped off the condom in time to shoot most of my load up Tracer's spine.
"Oh, damn," he groaned. "Cumming! Fucking cumming, everywhere!"
I finished shooting and moved back to look between his legs as his dick let loose a flood of cum over the floor and bed's comforter . There would be a great splatter pattern for anyone using a black light in this hotel room!
I moved closer and ran my tongue up his spine. I licked at my cum. Tracer shivered from the feel.
"Happy Anniversary, Tracer," I whispered into his ear. "I love you."
He tilted his head a bit. "I love you too, Erik."
We cleaned up and dressed for the party. We were later than we had planned, but still early in the overall scheme of things.
At the party, I got to spend a good bit of time with Scott and Tracer's other two friends Kaleb and Brad. All three were really nice and it showed they really cared about Tracer. I think the positive comments made by Tracer really smoothed the way for our friendship. I reiterated the invitation for them to come to the farm.
Jake and Gavin teased me a bit about `jail-bait', but congratulated us on making it through the first year. Jake and I talked a while regarding Ryan and how he was handling things. Jake seemed impressed with Ryan's ability to adapt to the situation. I guess I'd never thought about it. Ryan just took it all in stride.
We got back to the hotel about two a.m. We stripped down and climbed into bed. Tracer snuggled up against me, laying his head on my shoulder. I reached down and rubbed his chest fur.
He pushed his head up and kissed me deeply. We spent the next hour showing how we felt about each other.
Finally, Tracer whispered, "I do love you, Erik."
"I know, Baby, and I love you very much," I whispered back. "Happy Anniversary!"