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|-- TRACER --|
"Tracer?" Ezra startled me.
I hadn't noticed him standing at the door to the office and I hadn't heard him approach since the stereo was blaring out Chely Wright's Single White Female.
"Sorry. I didn't see you come in," I admitted.
"No problem. Looked like you were enjoying the song so I figured I'd let you finish it."
"Is Janet going to be out here any time soon?" he asked.
"Probably not. With the new computer system in place, we do almost everything through e-mail or file transfer. Something wrong with your paycheck?"
"No. No. No problems," he stuttered in response.
"Out with it," I pushed.
"Well, I wanted to talk to her about retirement options. I'm not getting any younger and wanted to make sure my plans were sound."
"You're going to retire soon?" I asked a bit worried.
"Well, depends on what you mean by soon. I'm not a spring chicken with seventy only four years away. The farm's a good place to work, but it is a bit hard on the body."
"True, that. I'm twenty-one and I ache a lot of nights."
"Add forty-five years and imagine what some nights feel like. But truth be said, I like working and don't plan on stopping just yet. I think I'd drive the Missus crazy if I was home all day puttering around with no plans. The less time I have to do that, the better."
"But I guess it is important to prepare. Janet helped me start saving a bit last spring. Hopefully when I retire, money won't be a worry," I said.
"My wife and I have been careful over the years. We got a good bit saved, and we live modestly. But I wanted to talk to Janet to see if there were things I should do to be better prepared."
"I'll call her and see when she can come out to talk to you."
"Don't inconvenience her," Ezra replied.
"I'll make it at her convenience."
"Thanks, Tracer. I appreciate it."
With that Ezra turned and went back out to the stable. I made a note to call Janet and returned to the boarding invoices. I turned the radio back up as Amazed by Lonestar came on.
That evening at dinner, I mentioned to Erik that Ezra was starting to think about retiring.
"Damn, I guess I knew it would be coming. This is a physical job and he's getting up there in age," Erik replied.
"I guess I never thought about it. I didn't realize he's sixty-six years old."
"Ezra started working on the farm right out of high school. He's been here through three owners."
"Wow, forty-eight years. That's a long time to work one job."
"You'll match him if you hang around," Erik said with a sly grin on his face. "Did he say when he was planning to retire?"
"Well, I guess I will match him. He mentioned something about four years to seventy, but he didn't say he was going to wait till then. Just that he wanted to talk to Janet to make sure he had things in order. I never did call her though; need to do that in the morning."
"Don't," Erik replied. "I'll give you the card for my financial advisor. He'd be better at helping Ezra. Janet's a good accountant, but she's told me in the past that retirement planning isn't her forte."
"OK. What are you going to do when he retires?" I asked.
"That I really don't know. I think I'll talk with him tomorrow and see exactly what his plans are. If he's planning to hang around until Will and Ryan graduate – no issues. If he doesn't, we'll either have to hire someone else or see if he's willing to work part-time till the boys do graduate. Either way it's going to be a huge loss when he does retire."
"He did mention that he wasn't really ready to retire quite yet, so maybe you can convince him to do some part time stuff."
"I don't want to push him to work beyond when he wants to, but I want him to stay around as long as he's willing."
"What about Hank, Randy and Marty," I asked, suddenly concerned.
"Well, Randy and Hank worked for Uncle Phil. Marty started about three years after I inherited the farm. Randy and Hank are around my age. Marty's a bit younger."
"So Ezra knew the guy your Uncle bought the farm from?"
"Yup, but I've never asked him about that."
"You were never curious about who owned it before Uncle Phil?"
"Not really, never thought to ask. I was just stunned when Phil left the place to me. Now, I've got two topics for a conversation with Ezra. Changing topics - have you set up the work schedule for the next two weeks?"
"Yup. No one asked for anything special so it was easy," I answered.
"Did you give us the weekend of the thirtieth off?"
"That's the Halloween Party at Jake's and Gavin's. Don't you want to go?"
"I just assumed we couldn't – not with Ryan and Will at school."
"Give everyone the weekend of the twenty-second off. There are no groups scheduled and we'll keep it that way. Then put us off that next Friday, Saturday and Sunday," Erik explained.
"Cool. It will be fun to go."
"I had a thought, but it's up to you…"
"Why don't we have Ryan and Will join us for the weekend? We haven't seen them since your birthday."
"Isn't that a bit much for them?" I asked.
"Depends on their school work. It's only twenty minutes further from Blacksburg to Nashville than it is from here to Nashville. They can drive down after classes on Friday and back Sunday."
"That would be great. I've been missing both my brothers. But having Mom and Dad here last month helped."
Erik just grinned at me. The grin progressed to a half-stifled chuckle.
"What's on your mind now?" I asked.
"Just thinking about your parents. Remember when we finally got your Dad on a horse!"
"Oh, God! That was a riot. Mom so confident and Dad so awkward. I about fell off my horse laughing, watching him."
"I know the feeling. He wasn't too good at it, was he?"
The conversation drifted to plans for the Halloween Party.
"You going to wear your usual costume?" I asked.
"Probably. I don't go much for doing 'real' costumes," Erik answered.
"That's fine. I was just checkin'."
"Did you want to do something else?"
"Not really. I wouldn't know where to get a costume around here anyway."
"Oh, we could probably get something at Wal-Mart," Erik admitted.
"Naw, that's OK. I think I can do a convincing cowboy," I laughed.
"That you can."
"I'll e-mail Ryan and Will tomorrow and see if they can meet us there."
The next day I posted the work schedule. I checked with everyone to make sure they were comfortable covering our long weekend in exchange for long weekends of their own. As expected, everyone was fine with it. I got an e-mail response from Ryan that he thought meeting us in Nashville would be fun; however he warned that Will might have an issue with one class. I replied to keep us posted.
The next evening Erik let me know that Ezra was still a few years from retiring, but that he did like the idea of slowing down his schedule gradually. Once he was ready to stop working full-time, part-time hours would give his wife a chance to be rid of him from time to time.
As the week progressed our plans came together. Will promised he would make sure his homework didn't get in the way. His last class ended before noon, so they'd arrive in Nashville and meet us at the hotel in time for dinner. Erik made reservations for all of us at the Opryland – adjoining rooms.
Wednesday night at dinner, Erik seemed much more serious than usual. His emotions had settled back to their normal levels – typical 'he-man'. I wondered if the impending hook-up with Ryan and Will was worrying him in some way.
After dinner, while I finished cleaning up the kitchen, Erik disappeared out into the office, I had just put the towel back on its hook when Erik walked back in. He had a large envelope in his hand.
"Join me in the den, please," he said, very formally.
Intrigued, I followed him.
"What's up?"I asked. I was trying to remain nonchalant, but his tone and manner worried me a bit.
"Just some paperwork I want to go over with you," he explained.
That made me even more puzzled. We never dealt with office paperwork after work hours. It was hard enough living at the job; so all paperwork waited till the next day.
"Before I start, do you remember what you said to me the day I broke down?" he asked.
"I said a lot of things to you that day."
"OK, I'll quote: 'I'll tell you who the hell! I'm your lover of nearly three years! Your partner – or so you say'. Those words dug into me deeply."
"Erik, I…" I stammered.
"Hush. Let me finish. I needed that slap. You are my lover – of three years - today. You are also my partner, and tonight I plan to prove that to you."
I kept quiet.
"First, if I could marry you – you would be co-owner of everything I have. I can't marry you, but I can make you co-owner. So… here's the deed to the farm. Sign on all the spaces marked with the post-it notes."
"Erik, what…" I began to ask.
"Sign it," he said. "You'll be co-owner of the farm and my partner in business."
"What?" I was stunned.
"You'll be my partner in the farm. I'm not sure I can prove to you that you are my partner in life in a more real way."
"What about Ryan?"
"He inherits my half of the farm when I die, but you keep your half. Later, if 'we' decide to, 'we' can change things – adding Will and Ryan to the deed. As of now, you are my partner in every manner."
"Erik, this is… this isn't necessary."
"Yes, it is."
Tears started down my face. Erik put a pen in my hand and started showing me the places to sign.
"Congratulations," he said. "You now own half of this headache."
"Thanks," I said softly. "I honestly don't know what to say."
"Nothing for you to say. Except, 'it's about time'."
"Huh? It's your farm. I'm just grateful that I live here with you."
"As my partner, you deserve it!"
"Well, thanks!" I replied. I honestly didn't know how to express the emotions that were flowing through me. Stunned, joyous,… confusion might be the best."
"Second," he continued.
"Huh? There's more?" I was too stunned to keep up with it all.
"Well, where there's a first, you have to have a second."
He stood up and then knelt down beside me. "As I said earlier – unfortunately, I can't marry you. But," he pulled out a small box, "would you be mine for life?" As he said this, he opened the box to show me a gold wedding band.
"Yes," was all I could manage. The tears now streamed down my face.
He took the ring and slipped it on my finger. He handed me a second box. I opened it to find an identical ring. I pulled it out of the box and slipped it on his finger.
"I love you... I never want to lose you. And I plan to prove that for the rest of my life," I said.
"I couldn't ask for more."
"I don't think I can survive any more shocks to my system. Any more surprises?" I asked.
"No. That's it for now."
"Sounds like you may have more on your mind."
"I do, but those plans aren't ready to hatch."
"I'll wait patiently. I'm beginning to like your surprises, though in small doses only, please!"
Erik put all the paperwork back in the envelope. He stood up and extended his hand. Taking my hand, he led me upstairs to our bedroom.
I pulled him to me and kissed him deeply. As the kiss continued, I started unbuttoning his shirt. He followed suit, undoing the buttons on mine. Shirts gone, I pulled him tightly to me and renewed the kiss. Bare chest to bare chest, the kiss was phenomenal.
I reached down and unbuckled his belt, unbuttoned his jeans and started pushing them down. Again, he followed suit.
We each stopped and removed our boots, allowing our jeans to come off. Underwear was soon gone and Erik pulled me to the bed.
Lying next to Erik, I ran my hand slowly across his chest. I pushed him until he was flat on his back. I climbed up and straddled him – then leaned forward to nibble and lick on his left tit.
"Oh, that feels good," he sighed.
I moved across his chest and started the same process with his right tit. I used my hand to flick and pinch the abandoned left tit, then I lifted off for a second.
"Why'd you stop? That felt wonderful."
"Just removing a hair that got stuck between my teeth," I laughed in reply.
I returned my focus to his tits, alternating between the two. After a few minutes of this, he pushed me off and flipped us, so he was on top of me.
"My turn," he said.
"Be my guest."
Instead of working on my tits, Erik's turn started with him licking my balls. He lathered first one, then the other. He worked back and forth between the two – at times sucking one ball into his mouth.
"Oh, fuck," I groaned. "That feels so good."
He continued playing with my balls while one of his hands slipped between my legs and a finger started rubbing my ass crack. A moment later the finger slipped fully between my cheeks and grazed my hole.
"Mmmmm…." I moaned.
The invading finger slipped back, and Erik's mouth slipped off my balls. Moments later, his tongue started licking up my shaft as a spit-lubed finger started working into my hole.
"Why don't you spin around and let me suck on that dick of yours. I'll get it slick and ready for my hole."
Erik didn't reply, but he did as suggested and started spinning around until his dick was presented to my lips. I let it slip into my mouth and started returning the attention he was giving my cock.
We sixty-nined for a while. Or maybe that's a seventy, since his finger remained plugged into my ass. He pulled the finger out and slipped it and a mate into his mouth with my dick. Both dripping digits then worked their way into my ass.
I slipped Erik's dick out of my mouth and begged, "More!"
Again the fingers slipped out, entered his mouth and returned to my hole with another mate. My ass was really feeling good with three fingers in it, to the second knuckle.
"More," I begged again. "More. More. MORE!"
He let my cock slip out of his mouth and once again swiveled his body around. Erik pushed my legs up towards my chest, lined up his spit-lubed dick with my hole and started pushing in slowly.
"More!" I teased.
"I'm giving you more!" he teased right back.
With that he pushed his dick into my ass fully. Right where it belonged.
I squeezed my ass muscles around his shaft, trying to milk it in place.
"Damn, that hole of yours knows how to treat my dick."
"That dick of yours knows how to fill my hole."
He kept his dick fully implanted in me for just a moment longer. Then he pulled back until only the head of his dick remained. He then slid all the way back in, and immediately pulled all the way back out.
"Get that dick back in me!" I commanded.
He started short-dicking my hole, popping the head in and out.
"OH, FUCK!" I screamed. "That's amazing!"
He kept up the short strokes a few moments longer and then plunged back full into my ass. With his dick buried, he started humping – never pulling back far, but definitely scratching the itch in the back of my ass.
"Still want more?" Erik asked, as a wicked grin spread across his face.
"Damn right!" I barked back.
With that, Erik started pulling his dick all the way out and then slamming it back in, to the hilt!
"FUCK! Fuck, Fuck, Fuck!" I yelled. "That's what I need! Told ya I'm one-hundred percent BOTTOM!"
I grabbed my legs behind my knees and pulled them closer to my chest. With that my ass was more exposed and Erik took full advantage and pounded my ass hard!
"More!" I begged. "MORE!"
Erik continued pulling his dick all the way out of my ass and then punching it back in.
"That's it," I moaned.
"I'm gonna shoot… such a fuckin load!" Erik panted.
I hawked up some spit and grabbed my dick. I was close enough already, just from Erik's hard fuck. A few strokes, and my dick started shooting across my chest. My ass clamped down around Erik's cock.
"FUCK!" he yelled as he shot his load deep in me.
As his dick finished filling my ass, he collapsed down on my chest. I lifted his head and gave him a kiss.
"Happy anniversary," I whispered.
"Happy anniversary to you too, Partner."
We lay there for a while, just stroking, holding and touching. Finally, I realized that Erik was snoring lightly. So I rolled us to where I could spoon behind him and drifted off.
Friday morning dawned clear and cool. I finished packing our bags while Erik dealt with a few farm issues. We took off just before lunchtime and pulled into Nashville a little before five. We checked into our room and cleaned up after the long drive.
There was a pounding on the door about an hour later. I opened the door to find Ryan and Will. I hugged them both as they walked into our room.
"Just checking in?" I asked.
"No. We checked in about thirty minutes ago and did a quick clean up," Will explained.
"Getting hungry?" Erik asked.
"Not yet," Ryan answered. "We stopped and had a snack two hours ago."
"That's fine," I replied. "We had a snack at about the same time."
"You've never seen Nashville, have you Ryan?" Will asked.
"Nope. I'm looking forward to seeing the sites!" he replied. "I drove by Nashville with Tracer when we moved him to the farm and again when we picked you up last year. That's it."
"Before we leave, I have an announcement," Erik said. "If you haven't already noticed, Tracer and I are sporting new rings."
I put my hand out.
"Wedding bands?" Ryan asked. "Cool."
"Well, we can't get married. But we've committed ourselves to each other," Erik explained.
"Congratulations," Will said. "So does that make Erik my brother-in-law, and my father-in-law?"
"And now you're officially my step-dad," Ryan added.
"Seriously, guys. I decided to make it clear to Tracer, and the world, that we are partners."
"That's really great, Dad!"
Erik had told me that he planned to discuss the deed change with Ryan during some private time over the weekend. I looked at him with a question on my face. Erik gave me a barely perceptible shake of the head.
"Any more big news?" Will asked.
"Nothing that can't wait," Erik answered.
We piled into Erik's truck and drove to the heart of Nashville. Will and I pointed out the sights to Ryan as Erik toured us around the town. After dinner we all crashed at the hotel.
"When are you going to talk to Ryan?" I asked.
"Well, how about you grab Will tomorrow morning after breakfast?"
"Deal." I couldn't hide the worry in my voice.
"No worries, Tracer. He's a big boy, and I thought this out before I did it."
"Let's get some sleep. Tomorrow's going to be a big day."