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|-- TRACER --|
I was not happy with myself. A fuckin' B minus on my mid-term, not a good thing at all. Yes, this quarter had been knocked sideways between Mom's cancer and the accident. But I wasn't allowing myself to use that as an excuse.
Now that things were settling down, I'd have to buckle down and do better. I wasn't going to let this screw up my GPA. I still had a paper and the final exam to go; between those two scores I could move this back to an A.
On my drive home from school, I swung by the grocery store to pick up a few items. We really needed to do a big shopping run – maybe this weekend. The cupboards were definitely bare. As I hurried through the aisles, I kept thinking about my score. It was putting me in a bad mood which I needed to get over before I got home. We'd been moving stuff over to the house, from the trailer, for over a week. With all that going on, I just hadn't had time to go shopping. It was easier to grab a few things quickly when I was in town.
Arriving home, I quickly put the stuff that needed to be kept cold in the refrigerator and left the rest of the stuff on the counter. I didn't want to disturb Ryan and Will by opening and closing cupboard doors. They were using the study, on the other side of the wall from the kitchen cabinets, as a bedroom until Ryan could get up the stairs.
I crept into our bedroom and saw that Erik was sound asleep. I went into the master bath and stripped down, then cleaned up. I didn't want to wake Erik as he had to leave early the next day. He and Will were going to the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington, Virginia, to donate two of our older rental horses to the Hoofbeats Therapeutic Riding Center. We'd decided to make the donation when we heard about the program. The horses weren't ready for the pasture but were getting too old for the heavy duty strain of rental riding. Hoofbeats would use the horses in its program for providing therapeutic horseback riding to people with disabilities.
Although Will's arm was still in a sling, he'd be company for Erik on the three and a half hour drive. For Will, it would be his first visit to the center. I remembered my first visit back when I drove two of our boarders' horses to a show being hosted at the Horse Center.
After cleaning up, I slipped into bed and curled up next to Erik. It was nice to be in the house again. The new bedroom furniture was so much more comfortable than the stuff we'd be in before. I drifted off to sleep quickly.
The next morning I woke up about five-thirty a.m.; Erik was already gone. He'd planned on loading up the trailer about five a.m. and heading out. He wanted to be at Hoofbeats about nine a.m., unload, let Will look around, and head back home by lunch-time.
I got out to the barn about six a.m., after quietly checking to make sure Ryan was still asleep. After completing a few chores in there, I walked over to the stables and started feeding all the horses. As I finished filling the water troughs, I heard Hank's and Randy's voices.
"Morning guys", I called out.
"Morning," they echoed back.
"Quiet day ahead?" Randy asked.
"Yeah, there's the beginning riding class at four. Otherwise, things should be quiet all day."
I spent the day on horse maintenance – cleaning stalls, grooming, and checking shoes. It kept me busy, which I like.
Erik and Will got home about four. Will found me in the back of the stables and went on at great lengths about both the Virginia Horse Center and the Hoofbeats Center housed there. Finally, he went into the house to tell Ryan about his day.
About five p.m., I went into the office to close things out for the day. Erik was sitting at his desk as I walked in.
"I hear you had a great trip."
"Yeah. It was a nice drive. Will really liked the Center."
"I heard - and heard - and heard…"
"Well, the Center is quite the place."
"True. What are you up to now?" I asked.
"Well, I was looking at some web sites."
"Oh?" I was a bit puzzled. Erik wasn't the Internet type.
"Well, Will and I had a long conversation," Erik explained. "You know, today was the most time I've ever spent with Will alone. It was really nice to get to know my son-in-law so much better."
I just grinned at Erik in response.
"Anyway, he was talking about getting the farm on the Internet."
"He'd mentioned that to me before," I replied.
"He was talking about how having our own web site would help business… set things up so that folks could go online to schedule rides and rentals, know what events we have planned, etc. Plus, we could set up e-mail addresses that have our company name in them instead of just using the Hotmail accounts we have now."
"What did you think of his idea?"
"Well, I thought it was good. But, I've got a few ideas myself now that I've thought more about it."
"Well, should the web address be 'TazewellHorseFarm.com'?"
"That's what the farm is called." I replied.
"Well, true. I never changed the name when I took over from Uncle Phil. But…"
"Spill it, Erik."
"Why don't we change the name of the farm? None of us are Tazewells, that's my mother's maiden name."
"Yeah. Let's go ahead and reincorporate the farm as a limited liability corporation with the four of us as co-owners. Get things set up the way we want them to be forever, and then set up the new site and e-mail addresses as part of the name change."
"Whoa, that's a lot of change."
"Yeah, but I think it's the right time to do it."
"So, what are you thinking of changing it to?" I asked.
"I'm not. Why don't we let everyone propose new names? Then we'll all decide."
"That sounds fair. Who do you mean by everyone?"
"The four of us."
"What all is this going to take?"
"Why don't we go into the house, and the four of us can discuss it over dinner."
We locked up the file cabinets, turned off the lights and locked the office doors as we left.
Erik helped me fix a light dinner that night and Will showed up in time to set the table. Ryan wheeled himself out in his wheelchair and pulled up to the table. Once we were all at the table, Erik started the conversation.
"So, I was talking to Tracer about Will's idea of getting the farm on the web before dinner. But I was thinking that we should take it a step further."
"What's a step further than the web?" Ryan asked.
"Well, if we're going to launch a web site, why not launch a new identity for the farm." Erik responded.
"Huh?" Will grunted.
"He's talking about making all the changes we discussed a year ago," I explained. "You know, reincorporate the farm and make us all equal owners."
"Cool," Ryan said.
"I'd like to take it one step further," Erik continued. "How about renaming the farm? None of us are Tazewells; we're not located in or on Tazewell anything. It just doesn't relate to us. It represented Uncle Phil."
"What would the new name be?" Ryan asked. His voice sounded guarded.
"I thought each of us could propose new names over the next few days. Once we think we have all the possible names; we can discuss them and decide as a group."
"That sounds like a great idea," Will chimed in.
"Once we have a new name, I can get the ball rolling on the new paperwork for the farm. Then we can find someone to do the web site."
"What about getting some students from Tech to do it?" Ryan asked.
"I'm willing, if you think they can do a quality job. I don't want something that any of us have to maintain, or keep updating all the time," Erik replied.
The four of us continued to discuss many of the different details related to the web site and the reincorporation of the farm well into the time that Erik and I were cleaning up the dinner dishes.
"TV?" Erik asked me as I hung the dish towel on its hook.
"Yeah, that would be nice."
We went into the den and joined Will and Ryan watching TV.
During a commercial break, Ryan asked. "Tracer, are you going to be able to take me to the doctor tomorrow?"
"Yup. Tomorrow is the big day, isn't it?" I replied.
"Yeah. Finally get to go upstairs on my on power."
"I expect you to ask for help for a while," Erik said, being paternal.
"It will still be under your power; just make sure someone is around to assist. You're not getting the cast off your wrist for a few more weeks so you won't be able to catch yourself," Erik warned him.
"OK," Ryan relented.
The show came back on and conversation stopped.
I was snuggled up against Erik and fell asleep pretty quickly.
"Wake up, Tracer," I heard Erik's voice say quietly. "Let's go upstairs and go to bed. The show's over."
"OK," I said groggily. "Night guys," I said to Will and Ryan as we left the room.
I stripped down as we entered the bedroom and I was sound asleep before my head fully sank into the pillow.
The next day was still pretty hectic between work and doctors' visits; but, as expected, Ryan was now allowed to walk under his own power. The bad news was that his leg was weak and he'd be joining Will in having regular physical therapy sessions. I called the PT center and asked if we could schedule Ryan's appointments for the same time as Will's.
With Ryan mobile, life in the house started to move towards normal. Erik and I moved all their bedroom furniture into their suite and helped them get things arranged. While they enjoyed their first time in their new room; Erik and I started talking about furniture for the now empty study.
Early November came and business continued its downward spiral. Ride volumes had been off since early September and we were starting to feel that crunch. Erik rearranged the work schedules, putting the full-time staff on a strictly Monday through Friday schedule. This let him give more of the part-time staff hours on the weekends. But with ridership so low, I was starting to think we'd have to cut hours. Erik and I were talking about it as we walked into the office one Friday evening.
"We can survive until the beginning of December," Erik told me. "After that, we would be cutting hours for the winter anyway. I really don't want to do any cut-backs if we don't have to. I want them all coming back in the spring, if at all possible."
"Agreed. I don't want to cut anyone, but I don't want to put us in a financial bind either."
"I think we're OK for now; we'll just have to keep watching the numbers. What's all that?" Erik asked me pointing at one of the white-boards.
"Will mentioned he was going to put all the proposed names for the farm on the white-board. I guess he got in here earlier and did it."
"I guess we do need to make a decision."
"Yeah. Having them all up there might help." Erik got quiet as he started reading all the names on the board. "Any of them stand out to you?" Erik asked.
"I don't think I like any of the ones that use our names in combination. I'm not sure anyone would figure out what TREW meant or how to pronounce it correctly."
"I'll agree with that. I like the ones that capture your imagination or describe the farm."
We were discussing the names when Ryan and Will walked into the office.
"Sorry the writing's so bad," Ryan said. "Will was going to put them up, but I beat him to it."
"Yeah, this chicken scratching is a bit rough to read. But I can make it out," Erik teased. "Only a few more weeks and you'll get that cast off your wrist."
"So, what names do you like?" I asked.
"I don't know. The list is kinda long," Will replied.
"Here. Each of you take a marker. Put a check beside a name you like and an 'X' beside the ones you don't," Erik directed.
"What if I like more than one?" Ryan asked.
"That's what I mean. Mark all the ones you like with a check. Those that get lots of 'X's', we'll eliminate now."
We each started marking the board in turn. I finished making my choices and started watching everyone else. I noticed a trend quickly – the selections with the most checks were ones that described the farm.
After Erik finished putting the last marks on the board; he stepped back and said, "I think that winnows the list down significantly."
"Yeah, only three names got four check marks," Ryan agreed.
Will grabbed the eraser and cleaned the board off. In bigger letters, he put the three names that remained back on the board.
"One vote each?" Will asked.
"Any discussion first?" I asked.
"I kinda like "Lonesome Pine Trails," Ryan said. "But should we check to see if there's another farm around the uses the name. I mean, Route 19 is the Trail of the Lonesome Pines and someone might have that name already."
"Good point," Erik agreed. "Clinch River Stables is nice, but it's really Sugar Run that cuts back through the property. The Clinch River is a couple miles that way."
"I think the third option is kinda symbolic," I said.
"Huh?" Ryan grunted.
"Well, it describes the farm, but it also describes our family," I replied.
"I'm ready to vote," Will said.
"Me, too," I seconded.
"Secret ballot?" Ryan asked.
"Not necessary for me," I replied. I walked over and put a check mark by the name I liked most.
Erik walked to the board and put his mark beside mine.
Ryan and Will both walked over. Ryan whispered something in Will's ear and they both burst into laughter. I watched them both reach to put a mark near a different name from Erik and me, then suddenly move their arms to mark beside ours.
"I guess that settles it; we have a new name for the farm. Now the hard part - getting that new name out to the world," Erik stated.
"Why don't we plan things so we launch the new name with the New Year?" Will asked.
"That's a great idea," Erik replied. "We'll get all the business papers done, new signs and such, and put them up while we're closed for Christmas. When we reopen, we'll be 'Double Trails'."
We discussed the name change for a short while when suddenly the sound of Erik's stomach rumbling interrupted.
"I think that announces it's time for dinner," I laughed.
"Yeah. I'm getting hungry too," Ryan agreed.
We locked up the office and then walked over to the house. Working as a team, we had a big chef's salad on the table in no time.
That night, I snuggled up to Erik.
"You OK with all the changes?" I asked.
"I'm the one that got the ball rolling, remember?"
"Well, as I recall, Will suggested some changes, then you took the ball and ran."
I cut him off, "Look, you've made a lot of changes since I came around, and I just wanted to make sure you're OK with all of them."
"Tracer, I know I don't say I love you every moment of the day. But I do. This is our farm, our life together, and most importantly, our home."
"Got it, Boss!" I leaned over and kissed him deeply.
He wrapped his arms around me and pulled me close. The kiss went on and on as we ground our bodies together. I felt Erik's hard dick pushing against my body, just as mine pushed against his.
I pulled apart from Erik and flipped around on the bed, moving into a sixty-nine position. I took his hard dick in my hand and starting working it over. I let his shaft work its way in deep; working my tongue around it. Erik started to moan, but then the sound got muffled as he started taking my dick into his mouth. I started moving up and down his cock as my hand played with his balls.
Erik started teasing my ass with his finger while his mouth kept playing with my dick. I felt a finger join my dick in his mouth and then moments later, the finger slipped into my hole.
I kept up my efforts, sucking his dick, and getting it wet for my ass. I let my saliva build up to provide good lube for the impending fuck.
"Fuck me," I said, a sense of urgency filling my voice.
Erik lay on his back, his dick pointing towards the ceiling. I climbed on top of him and rubbed my ass over his crotch.
"Quit teasing," Erik said.
I positioned my ass against the head of his dick and started feeding it into my hole.
"Push it in deep, Baby," I groaned.
Erik started thrusting his dick upwards as I pushed down.
"That feels so good," I moaned.
After a few minutes of him fucking me, I pulled off his dick.
Erik positioned a few pillows against the headboard and I moved to face him. I positioned my ass over his dick and slipped back down on him.
"Aw, fuck yeah!" Erik exclaimed.
I started bouncing up and down on his dick. My ass was getting a real work-out! I leaned forward and started kissing Erik as I bounced harder and harder.
Erik started thrusting up to meet my downward bounces. He broke the kiss and ordered. "Time I put this fuck into overdrive, climb off and get on all fours!"
I slipped my ass off his dick and got onto my hands and knees. Erik got behind me and slipped his dick back into my ass.
"Ride'em cowboy!" I hollered.
"Damn right," Erik yelled back.
He pulled nearly out of my ass, then slammed right back in. Erik grabbed my hips and started driving his dick in and out, hard.
"That's it, Baby," I groaned. "Fuck me! Harder! Harder!"
"I'll give you harder," Erik growled as he grabbed me by the shoulders and pulled me back as he thrust in deeper and deeper.
"That's it, Fucker!" I growled back.
"I'm gonna shoot."
"Give it to me, Stud!"
Erik grabbed my hips and pulled me back on his dick. He let out a deep growl as he shot deep in my hole.
He collapsed down on my back, out-of-breath.
With his cock buried up my ass, I grabbed my dick and stroked it a few times.
"Fuck!" I moaned, as I shot onto the sheets below.
"I needed that," Erik whispered into my ear.
"Me, too," I whispered back.
We lay there a few minutes, cum sticking to my chest from the sheets. Finally, Erik lifted off me and I rolled over.
"Quick shower?" Erik asked.
"Just a wet rag and some new sheets. A shower will wake me up."
We each cleaned up and put a new fitted sheet on the bed. Shortly thereafter, I was sound asleep.
Early Saturday morning, Erik and I loaded Diablo and Clinchco's Revenge into the CM trailer. We drove over to Dickenson County and up on to Forest Service Road 616 near Mullins Pond. Once there, we mounted up and headed along the Cumberland Trail towards the Breaks Interstate Park.
It was well after fall foliage and with all the hardwood trees bare, the views were spectacular. We followed the trail up Pinnacle Rock and down into the Park.
"You've never been here before, have you?" Erik asked.
"No. I hadn't heard about it before you suggested we come over here."
"The park is the home of the deepest gorge this side of the Mississippi. During the right season you can find golden eagles in some of the peaks around the gorge."
Once at the main lodge, we tied up the horses and had a light lunch at the Rhododendron Restaurant. I was stunned at the view from the restaurant. It seemed like the facility hung out over the gorge.
After lunch we mounted up and headed back down the trail towards the Pond. Once back at the Pond we reloaded the horses.
"That was amazing, Erik. Every mile was incredible."
"Agreed. Next time, we'll head toward the town of Pound instead of up to the Park and see the other half of the trails."
"That sounds like a great plan."
I pulled the truck out of the trailhead parking and pointed us home.