Clayton rode along the old mountain trail careful to let his horse move at his own pace. The trail was narrow, rocky in most places with steps up and down that made it difficult for the horse, one section so rough Clayton had dismounted and led him through instead of trying to ride him. He had not been on a decent road in three days as he made his way through the mountains heading north in search of a decent job, one his brother had written to him about last month. He had tried to hold on to the small farm his father and his grandfather before him had worked with a modest amount of success, but ever since the war and the way things were afterward it was a struggle he just could not to continue to do it.  Why he had stayed on the old place as long as he had he didn’t know, could not right say to anyone who asked. His older brother died in the war and his younger brother had left as soon as the war was over and headed up north. Jake had been fifteen to his own eighteen and that had been eight years ago. Jake had ended up in Pittsburgh doing some job with a rail road.

Clayton finally reached the ridgeline and looked out over the valley below. He’d never seen any place like this before and he sat for a long time looking over it all. The sun has starting its downward descent, the shadows growing long across the mountain. Down in the valley he saw a small cluster of buildings, nearly every one of them having a trail of smoke from a fireplace rising above their roofs. He wondered if there was a place to stay for he had been sleeping outdoors for over a week now and the idea of a bath and a real bed seemed almost like a fantasy.

The trail wound down the side of the mountain till it came out on a narrow road. The surface rutted, washed out in places but the horse still made better time. As the sun dropped below the horizon Clayton rode into the small settlement. The first building, out a ways from the others was a blacksmith, the sound of hammering nearly constant as he rode by. As he entered the main cluster of buildings he saw it was mostly houses but there was a general store and a small tavern in the center. Riding up to the front of the tavern Clayton dismounted and went into the dimly lit interior.

It was rough, the floor boards gapped in areas and the furniture had been used hard over the years. There were two men talking among themselves at the far end of the bar and a man and woman seated at one of the three tables having something to eat. As he moved to the bar a man came from a back room, a dirty towel that might have been white at one time draped over one shoulder, came over to him.

“What will it be?”

“Whiskey…straight, and can I get some food?”

“Yeah, we’ve got beef stew and potatoes” the bartender replied in a gruff manner.

“That works for me.”

A few minutes later, drink half finished, and a bowl of stew with a slice of stale bread with a couple of boiled potatoes on a plate Clayton called the bartender over.

“Any place to get a room for the night here or someplace nearby?”

The bartender wiped his hands as he stared at Clayton as if to figure out something about him, then he flipped the dirty towel over his shoulder and turned to a sink to wash some glasses. “Yeah, up the street to the house painted red, the one with a small barn in its right side yard.”

“Thanks.”

A few minutes later Clayton led his horse up the street till he came to the red house. He tied his horse up and went up to the front door. He heard the footsteps approaching after his knock and soon the door opened. Clayton looked at the middle aged woman standing there, at first a serious look then a smile he knew she probably used for all potential customers.

“Can I help you?”

“Yes mam; I was told you had rooms to rent. I’m traveling through and was looking for a place to rest.”

“Yes, come on in” she replied leading him into the front parlor where a small counter had been positioned to one side. She moved behind in and placed a book on top. Clayton saw it was for signing in and he wrote his name as he was taught by his mother, slowly, carefully making it letter.

“The room will be sixty cents and if you want breakfast in the morning it’ll be another thirty cents.”

Clayton laid a dollar on top of the book where he had just signed in. “Keep the change. So where would my room for the night be exactly?”

“Henry!  Henry! Come show Mr. McGuin to his room; it’ll be room 2.”

Footsteps came down the hall and as they came to the doorway Clayton looked over to see a young man enter the room. He was average height, lean build that made his clothes look far too large, the shirt hanging off his shoulders and his pants tied tight around the waist. He had long unkempt hair that hung down over his face concealing his eyes.

“Mister…follow me this way” said Henry as he stared at Clayton then turned walking back to the main hall.

Clayton didn’t know what to make of the boy, assumed he might be younger than he originally thought as he followed Henry up the stairs and to a room at the front of the house, one that overlooked the lane out front.

“Mister…” Henry began to speak but Clayton interrupted him.

“Call me Clayton.”

Henry looked at him and smiled, nodding his head, “Clayton…well this here is ya room. The privy is out back, ya can’t miss it and ma will have breakfast ready at six in the morning so don’t be late” said Henry as he glanced up at Clayton several times and upon seeing him stare back he would cut his eyes away quickly.

Clayton smiled at the way Henry kept glancing at him, sly in the way he would look from the corner of his eyes, head bowed slightly so they were concealed by his long hair. Clayton tossed his saddle bags down in a chair and turned back to Henry who was heading for the door. “Henry?”

“Yes sir.”

“You have a bath? I could sure use a good scrubbing. It’s been a few days.”

Henry tried to suppress a smile as he replied, “Yes sir, we got one, downstairs in a back room. You want me to get it filled for ya? Ma charges a quarter for it.”

Clayton took out the small bag he carried change in and took out two quarters tossing them to Henry. “Here, one for each of you. How long do you need to get it filled with some very warm water?”

“Just give me about twenty minutes” Henry replied smiling broadly, “then come down the hall to the back room on the left. The kitchen is on the right.”

“Thanks Henry” Clayton replied as he watched Henry disappear from the doorway, his footsteps echoing in the hall then down the stairs.

About twenty minutes later Clayton opened the door on the left and saw an old tub sitting in the middle of a small room, a curtain hung along a line that could give one some privacy in case either door, the one Clayton stood in or the one he assumed led to the kitchen, were opened. Henry was pouring a large pot of steaming water into the tub.

“It’s full enough now so you can go ahead and get in” Henry said as he stepped over and pulled the curtain as he remained on the tub side. Clayton wasn’t surprised for there was something in Henry’s demeanor that told him the boy wasn’t naïve. “If you want…I mean…If…well, I can scrub your back for ya…if you like” Henry stammered.

‘That is his angle’ Clayton thought trying not to smile as he began to undress knowing Henry really wanted to watch, and he wanted him too. He pulled his shirt off then began to undo his pants as he saw Henry looking at his upper body. He knew the hard labor of farming had given him a good build, one that was strong, for he had women back home throw themselves at him on numerous occasions until finally most gave up and went with someone else. He knew what he liked, what he lay at night fantasizing about till he had grown frustrated with it. At first it was Lucas, a boy one year older than himself who’s family farmed the plot just over the hill from his own family’s farm. They had been best friends till Clayton screwed up and tried to get Lucas to do something. After that Clayton had only tried to meet up with guys traveling through, finding most of them down in Carvers, the small town that was the closest with a tavern and a small hotel. It had not happened as often as he wanted but on a few occasions he had found a guy who would invite him up to their room where he would be the next morning when the sun came up. But it had been damn near two years since he had even gone into Carver what with money so tight and all.

Now here he was heading north and the first really nice place he found to stay looked to offer more than he could hope. “I sure could use a good scrubbing” he said looking over to Henry as he pushed his pants down slipping each leg free. He stood up and stretched making Henry wait a moment longer before he took down his underwear. He already felt his cock flex with the anticipation of what might happen and with Henry watching him, every move of his hands as they took his underwear and worked them down till his cock pushed out free of its confinement aroused him even more. Henry’s eye grew wide and stared openly at his cock. Stepping out of the underwear Clayton moved to the tub and eased down in the hot water. It was immediately soothing as every muscle seemed to relax.

“Henry? You going to wash my back for me?” Clayton whispered and he heard soft footsteps approach him from behind. Henry’s hand dipped a wash cloth into the water, then run a bar of soap though it till white suds dripped from the cloth and down his arm. Henry moved behind Clayton and began to run the cloth over his shoulders, down his back to the top of his ass, up and down, slowly, working the cloth firmly over Clayton’s skin. When Henry finished, Clayton leaned back, eyes closed waiting for Henry to continue. He didn’t have to wait long and the cloth began to run over his chest, down his stomach and back up. Then Henry lifted up one leg and washed it, running the cloth along its length then working it thoroughly around the toes and foot. Henry lifted the other leg repeating the same process then let is sink back into the tub.

“Keep your eyes closed” Henry whispered and Clayton felt his hands work the bar of soap through his hair, fingers combing through it over and over. Then the cloth came to his face gently rubbing around each cheek, around each ear then around his neck. Clayton felt the warm breath on his ear, Henry leaning down close.

“Raise up so I can finish” Henry whispered and Clayton knew what he meant hooking his legs over the side of the tub and raising his hips upward till the front of his whole body was above the surface. The cloth moved to one hip then up between his thighs, around his sac, over to the other thigh and finally over his cock. Henry ran the cloth over his cock over and over till it was fully erect. Clayton kept his eyes closed, his body raised up, waiting, even after the cloth was removed. Henry’s hands touched him, tentatively at first, then more and more intensely, one stroking his cock while the other rubbed his thighs, his sac, then moved down further touching his opening. It surprised Clayton at first for he assumed he would be the one touching Henry there first but he kept his body raised up and spread his legs a little more. The other hand held his cock up while the other rubbed his opening. When Henry’s lips slipped over the head of his cock he felt a finger penetrate his opening, sinking all the way in as his cock was engulfed by Henry’s mouth.

“Fuck” Clayton uttered gritting his teeth to suppress his cry. The hot slick mouth on his cock moved faster and faster, a desperation to its pace. Clayton fought the urge as long as he could then he begun to pump his hips up and down, water splashing out of the tub and Henry’s lips noisily letting his cock piston through them. Two fingers penetrated his hole, sank in deeply then began to work inward, fucking his hole, stretching it open, making him so aroused he couldn’t hold back much longer. Henry took every thrust upward as he slipped a third finger into Clayton, stretched him open more.

“Oh fuck…take it…take it” Clayton uttered through cinched teeth as he felt cum surge through his cock. The first ejaculation rocked him, caused him to thrust upward hard and he felt Henry shove fingers hard into his hole. He came over and over, wad after wad pumped into the suctioning mouth as his hole was battered with every ejaculation.

Spent and the fatigue of riding for days hitting him hard Clayton collapsed back into the tub splashing water onto the floor. He lay there, eyes closed for only a moment fighting the urge to fall asleep, but the water had cooled and he wanted a bed. He opened his eyes and saw Henry standing at the foot of the tub, a bucket of water, steaming from its heat, in one hand.

“Stand up and I’ll rinse ya off” Henry whispered.

Clayton eased up and stood in the middle of the tub as Henry poured the warm water over his head and shoulders washing the soap suds off that clung to his skin. He watched Henry move around him, the way Henry looked at his body, a desire he had never seen before. Nothing like the guys he had messed around with back home. He wondered what it was like for Henry in this faraway place, something he had a pretty good idea about. The loneliness, the sense of isolation, of being different, never like the others.

“There, ya can dry off” said Henry breaking Clayton out of his internal thoughts. As he put on a clean pair of underwear, pants and began to button up a clean shirt Henry stood off to the side of the room watching.

“You don’t have many customers do you?”

“Some months are better than others. This is a slow one. It gets…boring.”

“I know what that is like.”

“Do you?”

“Yeah.”

“Clayton…can I come up to your room later tonight, after ma-ma has gone to bed?”

Clayton looked over at Henry, the way he appeared so dejected even before any kind of reply. “I’m pretty tired but if you want to come to my room later that will be alright.”

Henry smiled and Clayton thought the guy was going to jump up and down or something the way he looked. Henry said he would come up later and left Clayton to gather up his things and head upstairs to his room. He didn’t bother lighting the large lantern on a side table, instead he slipped his shirt and pants back off and climbed into bed. Lying on his back, arms crossed over his chest, he drifted off to sleep.

“Clayton” he heard whispered and he opened his eyes to find Henry standing by his bed. Stripped down to his underwear and carrying one small candle Henry seemed like an apparition the way his fair skin appeared to glow in the dim light of the candle. He had no idea of the time but knew it was late by the near total silence of the house. Only the sound of the night wind outside disturbed it. He threw back the cover and moved over letting Henry ease in next to him, the lean frame nestled up to his own body. He had not realized how much larger his own body was compared to Henry’s till they lay side by side. Henry blew out the candle and the room fell back into a darkness only broken by the moonlight coming in through the window. Henry snuggled up next to him, a hand on his chest and a leg slipped over between his own. He felt Henry’s knee move up pressing against his sac arousing him with its every touch. He put an arm around Henry’s shoulder’s hugging him tightly.

“You rested up some?” Henry whispered.

“Yeah” Clayton replied knowing what Henry meant. He hadn’t lied for he felt his arousal, the way Henry lying next to him made him grow erect, his cock shifting within its confines as it stretched out, growing longer and longer. Henry moved his hand down Clayton’s chest, stomach and finally over his crotch. The delicate fingers manipulated him, toyed with his growing erection till he couldn’t hold back, the need to react urgent. He shifted to his side and leaned down kissing Henry on the mouth. Something most guys wouldn’t do, those he had hooked up with in the past, but Henry kissed back passionately. He pushed Henry onto his back and moved over him pressing the weight of body down on him. Henry ran hands down his back till they were cupping each ass cheek pulling their bodies tight together.

“I’ll do what you want” Henry whispered as he pushed upward pressing their growing erections together. Clayton shifted over as he reached underneath Henry grabbing the waistband of his underwear at the back and roughly, with great urgency, tugged them down till Henry was kicking his legs free of them. He ran a hand up Henry’s leg feeling the smooth skin till he came to Henry’s crotch where he ran his fingers over the loose sac then up along the elongated cock feeling the firm smooth shaft and soft spongy head. Henry moaned as he manipulated the flared head till his fingers grew slick. Henry pushed upward with his hips pumping cock through his fingers. “Please” Henry pleaded as he pulled Clayton on top of his body.

Clayton shifted down between Henry’s legs till he was pushing against the tight opening. Henry hugged him tightly, pleading in soft whispers for him to do it. Clayton pressed against Henry, pushed gently with his hips feeling his cock breach the tight opening. He eased into Henry, feeling every inch push inward, squeezed till he ached in his arousal. He felt the heat of Henry’s body envelop his cock as he pushed inward as far as he could. Henry’s hot breath hit his neck, then the soft touch of lips as he pulled upward then pushed back in. Over and over and over, Clayton worked his cock through the tight ring of Henry’s opening till the felt it loosen its tight grip on his cock and Henry no longer shivered beneath him. Instead Henry grew animated, undulating beneath him as hands moved over his back.

“Fuck…fuck me” Henry moaned and Clayton fucked him, fucked with great urgency. No longer concerned about the noise they made, the bed squeaking beneath them, Henry moaning and crying out, begging Clayton to fuck him harder as Clayton thrust inward grunting with his exertion.

It drove Clayton over the edge, pushed him to the point of release and he cried out as he shoved inward as hard as he could and came. Every ejaculation caused him to shove inward, roughly, hammering Henry’s hole. He kept fucking, his spent cock still hard, aroused by the way Henry kept urging him to continue, hands on his ass pulling him downward as Henry worked his own body beneath him, pushing upward with his ass taking every inch, hands clinging to his body with such urgency, such need, Clayton couldn’t stop. He kept fucking.

Clayton felt the slickness, the way his cock glided in and out of Henry as he rose up and began to fuck with a renewed arousal. He slowed his pace, moved with Henry’s movements as they undulated gently on the old bed, the squeak softer, in rhythm with their movements.

Clayton felt the exhaustion of his exertions and he pulled out, flipped Henry on his side as he moved down next to him. He snuggled up to Henry’s back raising one leg as he nestled his cock back to Henry’s entrance. He rubbed his cock over the wet slick hole, nudged up to it till Henry was slapping his thigh begging him to put it back in him. He pushed forward and slipped easily back in and began to work his hips, to drive his cock into Henry’s depths. Reaching over Henry’s waist knocking his hand from his cock he took it, felt the hard thick girth of it fill his hand. He stroked the slick shaft and wet head making Henry pump his hips. Henry pushed back sinking Clayton’s cock all the way in then pushed forward thrusting his own cock through Clayton’s tight fist. Over and over Henry moved against Clayton, working his body, fucking himself on Clayton’s cock as he worked his own through the fist.

Clayton felt Henry’s pace change, his rhythm became ragged as he thrust his hips back and forth roughly. Henry’s cock swelled in his fist then flexed with release. He felt every ejaculation as Henry’s cock flexed in his hand. He felt Henry’s hole spasm around his cock and he shoved inward hard as he felt his own cum surge through his cock once again.

***

Clayton woke early, the early morning light of the sun that had not yet broken the horizon illuminated his room. He eased up finding Henry had left his bed already. He ached all over, every muscle seemed to burn with too much exertion, the long ride then last night with Henry. He dressed slowly, packed up his things and made his way downstairs. He was surprised to find Henry’s mother in the front parlor reading. She greeted him pleasantly as if she had heard nothing from the night before, although Clayton could not imagine how that was possible. He noticed she held a handkerchief and wiped at her nose quickly as he entered the room.

“Good morning’ she uttered in a low tired voice.

“Morning…you okay?” Clayton replied.

“Oh, just a summer cold I suppose. It kept me up all night” she replied, and as she eased up out of her chair added, “you hitting the road early. You want me prepare you breakfast before you leave?”

“An egg and a couple pieces of break would be nice” Clayton replied wanting to hit the road for if he stayed any longer he didn’t know how he would respond to Henry when he saw him.

Sitting at the small table in the kitchen wiping the plate clean with the final piece of bread Clayton watched her move about the kitchen avoiding any eye contact. ‘She heard us’ Clayton thought and he wondered how often she had to pretend otherwise, how often Henry went to bed with other men.

They heard footsteps on the back porch and she went to the door. “Henry get Mr. McGuin’s horse ready.”

“Yes mam” came the reply and Clayton could hear a sadness in the voice, some longing he recognized and he became the one who couldn’t look the other in the eye when she turned.

Clayton found Henry outside the barn holding his horse, it all saddled up and ready for another day’s ride. Henry looked down at the ground as he approached.

“I fed your horse again this morning and made sure he got plenty to drink.”

Clayton moved up to Henry not sure what to say for a moment.

“Henry, I…”

“It’s okay Clayton; just get on your horse and go” Henry replied looking up with a determined look, his features hardened to this reality. Clayton held out a small square of folded paper.

“This is my brother’s address up in Pittsburgh. Write me and let me know how you are getting along.”

Henry slipped the paper into his pocket and looked up at Clayton smiling that did nothing to conceal his sadness.

“I’ll write you all the time” Henry replied as Clayton climbed on his horse. “Take care” he added as he slapped the horse on the hind quarters and turned to the barn. Clayton watched Henry walk into the barn, head down and hands buried into his pockets. He watched till Henry disappeared into the darkness of the barn’s interior then he turned the horse toward the road and rode off.

Staying on the main and only road that led toward the north Clayton made good time, working his way through the mountains. He passed a family in a wagon easing along slowly, so slow he knew they couldn’t be going far. When it began to grow dark he sought a place to camp for the night. He was dropping down toward a valley floor and after a short ride began to hear the rushing waters of a creek flowing along the valley floor. When he rounded a final switchback the road began to follow along the creek and a short distance later he found two other riders camped out on the bank of the creek. Dismounting he led his horse off the road and down to the small clearing.

“Hello, do you mind sharing your fire for the night?” Clayton asked.

“No come on down. You can tie your horse up over there” one of the men said pointing off to the side at a small grassy area right along the creek. Clayton led his horse over and tied him off in a place allowing grazing on the grass and close enough to the water to drink. Back at the camp site the two men were sitting up watching him approach.

“I’m Clayton. I’m riding north to Pittsburgh where my brother lives.”

“I’m John and this here is Samuel. We’re heading down to Greenville. How’s the road’s back there?”

For about an hour Clayton told of his journey, the condition of the roads and how long it had taken him to get this point. John told Clayton of their ride down from Blacksburg and the sections of slow going having encountered heavy rains a couple of days ago. Clayton pulled out some of his dried meat and some bread Henry’s mother had given him eating slowly as he listened to John talk, Samuel saying very little.

For Clayton is was natural to look at the other two men and give consideration as to whether or not he found them attractive, and after last night, he was more wound up than usual. John was too rough, haggard in a way that gave him pause. He couldn’t imagine it. But Samuel, younger, with his long lean body stretched out on the other side of the fire, was enticing. Even the way he lay quiet, not saying much added to his mystique. But as attractive as Clayton found Samuel, he wasn’t Henry and he knew tonight he would keep to himself and at first light he would continue north parting from these two men never to see them again.

He woke first the next morning, John and Samuel having emptied two bottles of whiskey the night before. He eased out of bed roll, ate something, packed up and was soon heading up the road. For two days he road till he came to a small village that consisted of five cabins, a blacksmith and a small store. He stocked up with what provisions he could get and inquired about a place to get a room for the night, whether or not something might be close by or up the road. The man working the small store laughed, one he had probably done many of times before until he finally leaned on the small counter.

“There ain’t shit for a day’s ride in any direction, but partner I’ll tell ya, old James in the cabin across the road will take in someone and if you go back to the first cabin the Bryson boy will take people in. In fact, you may want to check in with him first; old James over there snores something awful” the store owner said before laughing again.

Clayton took the store keep’s advice and walked back to the first cabin and knocked on the wood door. A few seconds later a guy answered, about his own age wearing work pants filthy from a long day’s work and no shirt, the sweat and dirt streaked down this chest.

“Yeah, can I help ya?”

“I was told you might take someone in for the night?” Clayton replied.

“Yeah…fifty cents, seventy-five if you want a bath.”

Clayton was once again exhausted from a long day’s ride and the poor sleep he got the night before made it worse. He reached into his money pouch pulling out a fifty cent piece, two dimes and a nickel. “A hot bath and a place to sleep is what I really need right now

The guy looked at the coins, a smile coming to his lips then he looked up at Clayton. “I’m Jerry…Jerry Bryson. Come on in and make yourself at home” Jerry said as he stepped back from the doorway.

Clayton passed by Jerry and quickly saw the small cabin was only one room. A fireplace anchored one side and a bed the other. A small table sat in the middle and along the back wall some shelving, a large metal tub and a rocking chair. A fire burned in the fireplace with a large pot hanging over it.

“I was heating some water for a bath when you knocked.”

“Is there somewhere I can put my horse?” Clayton asked wondering how he could make himself busy while Jerry took his bath.

“I have a small barn out back. My old horse is out there and might like the company of your horse. There’s some feed in a bag just inside the door.”

“That would be perfect. You get your bath and I’ll take care of my horse.”

As Clayton went back out he saw from the corner of his eye Jerry start to strip down. He looked away and got out quickly afraid to watch Jerry prepare for his bath. He took his time, easing his horse around the cabin and to the small barn. Inside he removed the saddle and wiped it down then he brushed his horse, led him to the stall with the other horse and put some feed in the trough. By the time he finished he knew Jerry would have to be finished with his bath.

When Clayton entered the cabin he found Jerry at the fireplace placing the large pot over the fire. Wearing only a pair of pants that were too large at the waist, so loose they looked as if they could fall to Jerry’s ankles at any moment Clayton struggled not to stare at the bare skin along the waistband and the bare back that showed Jerry was clean, the skin shiny in the dim light of the candles burning on the table.

“I’m getting your bath ready; one more pot of hot water should do it” Henry said without turning around.

“Thanks Jerry” Clayton replied as he carried his things over to back wall setting everything down in the rocking chair.

“Go ahead and get out of those clothes” said Henry as he moved the pot to get it over the larger flames.

Clayton striped out of his clothes while keeping an eye on Jerry, afraid of being watched and reacting to it. The idea of sex with another man kept returning to him, especially his night with Henry and now he looked at Jerry, the way he reminded him of Henry in some ways. Jerry didn’t turn until he was bringing the heated water to the tub and to Clayton’s relief did not appear to be effected by him standing naked in the small room. Pouring the water in the tub Jerry told him to get in.

Clayton sank down as much as his tall frame would allow feeling the hot water ease the tension, every muscle relaxing. Jerry brought him soap then went to the door heading out.

“I just need to hit the outhouse.”

Rushing to finish before Henry came back in Clayton quickly soaped up, sank down in the tub again rinsing the soap off, dried off then put on clean underwear, pants and a shirt. The more clothes he put on the more secure he felt. Henry returned and began making preparations to turn in, pushing the coals in the fireplace to the back, getting Clayton to help him take the tub outside to dump the water and finally telling Clayton to get into bed and he’d blow out the candles. Clayton was surprised and relieved at the same time how Jerry was so willing to share his bed.

For a few minutes Clayton laid still, eyes wide open staring into the pitch black darkness and listening to every sound Jerry made. When Jerry seemed to be settled down for the night, the rhythmic breathing of someone asleep, Clayton felt his fatigue catch up with him and he drifted off to sleep as well. He slept fitfully with wild vivid dreams. Dreams of someone fondling him, of working fingers into his underwear and touching his growing erection then taking it out, the feel of fingers on his bare cock. He dreamed of the sensation of sucking, his cock buried in a warm wet mouth. He squirmed in his sleep, the sensation of someone manipulating him made him twist and turn till he woke from the dreams and realized it was real, the sensations he was feeling. He felt Jerry’s hair brush over his abdomen as he felt his cock being sucked. He opened his eyes seeing nothing in the pitch black darkness as he felt his erection sink into Jerry’s mouth then those lips pull upward till only his cock head remained within their grasp. The tongue swirled over the head and he couldn’t hold back, shoving upward forcing his cock back in.

‘Fuck it’ Clayton thought as he reached down and held Jerry’s head as he began to pump his hips, thrusting upward hard over and over forcing Jerry to take his cock, a rough fast pace, till he felt this cock grow thicker, more sensitive with Jerry sucking harder eager to capture everything he was going to give him. He held Jerry’s head down and shoved upward till he heard him gag and he came, hard, his cock flexing with each ejaculation feeding the suctioning mouth engulfing his cock.

Jerry sucked his cock till he was spent then he felt fingers milk the shaft pushing the last drop to the head where he felt a tongue wipe it clean. He was breathing hard and still aroused, all the imagery of sex, the penetrations, the feel of a good suck keep him erect and he rose up feeling a new sense of urgency, his strength renewed and he grabbed Jerry positioning him on his stomach as he pulled at his underwear, roughly pulling them down, so rough he heard a rip, but he didn’t care and he tugged them down Jerry’s legs and out of his way. He climbed on top of Jerry straddling his thighs as he pushed his wet erection down between the ass cheeks, pushing over and over searching for Jerry’s opening in the dark. Jerry moaned beneath him, pushed up against his cock and he felt the give as his cock sank into Jerry’s tight hole. He breached it roughly, pushing inward penetrating all the way till his abdomen pressed tightly to Jerry’s ass.

“OH FUCK” Jerry cried out and Clayton felt the undulating body beneath him, the way it pushed upward trying to get more of him into its hole, desperate for his cock, Jerry now pleading for him to fuck, to fuck hard. He obliged him, rising up on his hands and knees and moved his body, worked his hips driving cock into the tight hole. He felt the tight ring milk his cock as he thrust roughly inward, over and over and over. The old bed squeaked and rocked beneath them as he hammered his cock in Jerry’s hole. Every thrust inward seemed to make Jerry grunt and the sound of it filled the small room, echoed around it, driving him to fuck harder, for the sound of their fuck aroused him, urging him onward.

Clayton had never fucked someone like this, so roughly, with every ounce of strength, till his muscles ached with their exertion, burned with his every move and he pushed himself harder aroused by the sound of their bodies smacking together till he felt his eminent release, the surge of cum through his cock and he shoved inward and cried out. Each ejaculation caused him to jamb his cock inward trying to push further into Jerry till he was once again spent, his cock merely pumping slickly through its load.

He collapsed down on the bed next to Jerry breathing hard and suddenly aware he was sweating profusely, his skin hot to the touch. He lay there breathing hard, so exhausted he couldn’t move. He didn’t know if Jerry had gotten off and didn’t care. He felt Jerry shift next to him, an arm bumping into his own and a foot touching him on the calf then Jerry grew still.

“Thanks” Jerry whispered and Clayton didn’t respond, wasn’t sure what to say at this point. He just wanted sleep and he rolled over facing away from Jerry and drifted off to sleep.

Clayton woke to the dim light of early morning coming through the dirty window and he rolled over to find the other side of the bed empty. Looking across the room he saw Jerry stirring around at the fireplace. Then he smelled it, coffee brewing, and suddenly he was wide awake. Jerry cooked a few eggs and toasted some bread in an iron skillet and when Clayton sat at the small table the smell of the food rose up to him making him realize he was very hungry.

Jerry said nothing about last night, no hint in any way of what they had done and Clayton was glad for it, for Jerry was attractive even with his roughness but he didn’t attract him the way some in the past had done, especially Henry. As soon as he finished eating breakfast he went out to the barn and saddled up his horse, told Jerry thanks for everything and rode off, not looking back for he was ready to go, eager to get to his destination for he was suddenly tired of the ride.

Clayton rode for days, but as he got closer and closer to his destination he went through more and more towns and villages. He got a room on occasion but as the days stretched on he began to have to be cautious with his money, and set up camp most nights. He found himself avoiding others as he neared Pittsburgh, having heard of men getting robbed with greater frequency.

It was winter when he finally arrived, several inches of snow on the ground and he made his way to his Jake’s house arriving late in the day, the sun already low on the western horizon. His brother’s family greeting him warmly, bringing him into their home. When he had gotten settled in a back bedroom, one that had been one of the children’s, he went down for dinner. On the table was a letter from Henry waiting on him.

“That came two weeks ago for you” said Jake as he poured each of them a shot of whiskey. “Here, I think you could use this.”

“Thanks” Clayton replied as he tore open the letter. He read it impatiently, struggling with some of the words and with Henry’s handwriting. There were the usual opening statements about the weather, how the winter had started wet and cold, how they had few travelers during winter and his mother had been sick ever since Clayton had left, running fevers and staying in bed for days at the time. Then Henry told Clayton things he had been unable to say, subtle in his descriptions but obvious to Clayton, how he was lonely, how Clayton seemed to be one of the few he had met that understood him. And how he hoped Clayton came back one day for a visit.

“Pour me another will ya?” Clayton asked Jake as he folded the letter and slipped it into his shirt pocket trying not to think about it, telling himself to consider it later, back up in his room when he was alone.

Clayton rested only a day before going out to search for work. He found a job at a stable and soon was working six days a week, long days, ten, eleven, twelve hours a day and it left him exhausted and on Sunday he slept most of the day too tired to do otherwise. Spring arrived, the snow melting away leaving the streets muddy, the foul stench of horse shit and stagnant water seemed to be everywhere and Clayton found he hated life in the city, even considered going back south even though nothing was there for him.

It was a Friday, one more day of work to end another week, when he stumbled home late, barely able to lift his feet as he slowly climbed the steps up the front porch. Inside the house was quiet as usual with the children in bed and Jake and Mary in the kitchen talking among themselves. When he entered the kitchen Mary jumped up.

“Clayton, you look beat, let me prepare you something to eat while you go get cleaned up” Mary said as she began rummaging around the kitchen.

“Wait” Jake said as Clayton began to head out to the back porch where the large tub for bathing sat. Holding up a letter Clayton felt himself catch his breath, holding it as he reached out with a trembling hand to take the envelope from Jake. It was from Henry. He had responded to the first letter back in winter, getting Mary to help him write it. He knew it took time to get delivered to such a remote place so he was surprised to hear from Henry so soon.

Sitting at the table Clayton tore it open and began to read. Henry began with the news his mother passed, her illness having grew worse till it took her. He kept running the place, taking in renters for a night here and there but he told of his loneliness, now pronounced with him being alone in the house. Henry rambled on about the trivial matters of running the place, having to learn to cook and trying to prepare the garden for this year’s crop. Clayton read the letter slowly, feeling the emotion behind each sentence but it was the last sentence that got to him, made his hands tremble till he had to put the letter back in the envelope.

***

Henry had gotten up early, as he always did when he had paying customers, and prepared breakfast. Fried eggs, bacon, sausage and grits he salted heavily and served with a large pat of butter. The guests were a young man and his wife heading down to Atlanta to make a new life for themselves. Henry sensed they had eloped, maybe a wedding disapproved by each family for the way they had talked the night before. He didn’t pry for he didn’t really care, especially about some young couple making a life for themselves. After breakfast and packed up he helped them get the horse hooked up to their old wagon, one Henry didn’t think would make it to Atlanta. As the daylight grew brighter, the rays of light shining over the mountain ridge he watched them ride off heading south.

In his mind Henry had a list of things to do, the usual chores that had to be done each day but also other things such as repairing the front steps, one having gotten too loose, and there was firewood to split, having gone through the last pile already. He worked tirelessly, anything to occupy his mind, keeping the thoughts at bay. He hummed tunes to himself as he worked and for lunch he ate cheese on slices of bread and drank the last of the coffee, warming it up over the fire in the fireplace. It was mid-afternoon before he got to the firewood. He removed his shirt tossing it over a low limb and began to split the wood. It took a few pieces but he soon found his rhythm, the ax hitting the same mark again and again, splitting one log after the next.

Henry swung the ax and the sound of it hitting the wood echoed around the house. He pulled the ax free and swung it up for another strike sure the next one would split the log.

“That looks like hard work” came a familiar voice and Henry looked around to see Clayton standing not ten feet away, his horse behind him.

“Clayton?”

“Henry” Clayton replied smiling, “I was wondering if you needed some help. I’m a good worker and a decent cook when I need to be and…”

Henry didn’t give Clayton time to finish as he raced to him, bear hugging him so hard he nearly knocked him down. Hugging tight Henry didn’t say anything for a long time and Clayton just held him, feeling the trembling of his body.

“You really…come back to help?”

“Yes, if you’ll have me.”

They were out in the open, the cabin next door visible, but Henry didn’t care as he pulled back and kissed Clayton, all of his emotions rising to the surface at once. When he finally released Clayton he took his hand and led him into the house.

For Clayton the interior felt familiar in a way that was comforting, a place that didn’t seem threatening instead felt safe. He followed Henry into the side room where the tub still sat.

“Get out of your clothes and I’ll get some water heated up for you a bath.

When the tub was finally filled Clayton relaxed in the hot water feeling the tension of his long ride ease from his body. Henry moved up behind him, a cloth in hand. He didn’t say anything as he wet the cloth, soaped it up then began to rub it over Clayton’s body, over the shoulders, around his neck and down his chest.

There was no sense of urgency, nothing pressing that made Henry rush, instead he bathed Clayton with an intimacy neither had allowed in the time before. Gently, he ran the soapy cloth over Clayton, then rinsed the suds away. Then they repeated the whole process, warming water, refilling the tub then Henry striping off his clothes and Clayton bathing him. The same slow gently movements, the same intimacy, unhurried in every move till Henry stood in the tub rinsed cleaned. Even the air smelled clean from the scent of soap.

Clayton leaned to Henry and kissed him then took his hand and led him upstairs, their bare feet leaving wet prints for the first few steps. They went to Henry’s bed not bothering to close the door for they had the entire house to themselves. Henry lay back pulling Clayton down on top. The feel of the other aroused them both, their erections pressing against each other.

“Will you really stay?” Henry whispered as he ran a hand down between their bodies taking Clayton, manipulating him, stroking him to greater arousal.

“Yes” Clayton replied as he pumped his erection through Henry’s fist.

They moved rhythmically with each other, every touch a caress, every kiss soft, warm to the skin. Clayton shifted down slipping his arms under each of Henry’s legs then moved back up folding Henry, bringing his ass upward, its entry turned to his cock that soon pressed against its tightness. Henry pushed upward, pushed up urging Clayton to breach his tight opening. Pushing down with his body weight Clayton penetrated Henry, felt the tight opening milk his cock as he eased inch after inch in till his abdomen pressed tightly against Henry’s ass.

“Oh fuck…fuck…” Henry whispered as he grabbed handfuls of the quilt tugging on it as he pushed up against Clayton savoring the sense of fullness the thick cock gave him. Clayton began to work this hips, to drive his cock into Henry with a steady rhythm, the pace of which grew with his arousal. Faster and faster Clayton fucked till Henry loosened to his penetration and took every thrust easily, begged him for it, pleaded for him to fuck harder.

Clayton pulled out and moved to the side of Henry helping him up onto his knees. He faced Henry to the window where the sun filtered in illuminating him as he moved behind him, body to body, putting his cock back to Henry’s opening and pushing in. He bear hugged Henry with one arm and with the other he took him, gripped him tightly and stroked in rhythm with his fuck. Faster and faster till Henry rocked with him, roughly, the bed squeaking beneath them as he thrust inward deeply, sunk all the way. Every push inward drove Henry’s cock through his fist and he felt it grow wet in his grasp till it slickly moved through his fingers. Henry threw his head back and he felt the way it rested on his shoulder. He felt Henry grab each of his thighs, fingers digging into the firm flesh.

“Oh…oh…fuck” Henry cried out and Clayton felt it, Henry’s release with the flex of cock in his hand and the spasm of the tight opening around his thrusting cock. He felt the way Henry’s whole body quivered and shook against his body and it was too much, the very notion he had gotten Henry to the point of release and he jabbed his cock deeply into him, roughly, his abdomen smacking against Henry’s ass, his release was total, everything he had ejaculated into Henry till he was spent and he realized it was Henry holding him up, Henry’s shoulder he was resting his chin on breathing so hard as if desperate for breath.

They collapsed on the bed, their bodies intertwined as sleep overtook them. The setting sun moved over their bodies till it fell below the ridgeline and the room grew darker and darker till the black of night concealed their sleeping forms and they continued to sleep, peacefully, stirring very little, till the illusion of the sun circling back around breaking the darkness woke them to a new day.

***

The village grew with the passing of the years, gained some significance with the telegraph, then banking and trading. People moved in, built houses, stores, and eventually a theater. Side streets were built and the main road became Main Street and the village became a town with a name. And on the corner of one side street and Main Street there was the inn, the old house torn down and a new, bigger building built with more rooms and more amenities including its own restaurant. The residents knew the two men who ran it and the way they lived together, just the two up on the top floor. They gossiped about them sleeping together, whispered amongst themselves their disapproval but they tolerated it, this arrangement, for the inn brought more people to their town, gave them a place to stay and an opportunity to spend their money.

 

Grant

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