It had been only two days and nights but it seemed like a lifetime. Hassan's stay at the shack in the dunes, with Zack and then Darius, had been tumultuous. But the tempo had slowed and the last 24-hours had been magical, especially for Darius who loved playing the role of respectful boy, subservient to the whims and desires of these glorious men.

But finally it was time for Hassan to leave. "Listen buddy," Zack said to him, "I know you're anxious to get back and spend time with Mark. But I was thinking of spending another night here with my boy ..... have some time alone with him, get re-acquainted with the cocky, loud-mouthed young buck I used to know. That OK with you, kiddo?"

"You know the answer to that, sir," Darius beamed.

Hassan would be driving back alone in his jeep anyway, and it was true that he was longing to see Mark again. He said, "I called Mark and he'll be out late with Jamie, but there'll be somebody to let me into the house until they get back, won't there?"

"Sure," said Zack. "Randy said something about doing a night job with Pablo on one of the sites, but Bob will be at home and there'll be the twins to take care of you both. You haven't spent much time alone with Bob I know, but this'll give you a chance to get to know him. You'll like him ...... he's a terrific guy, not to mention insanely beautiful."

He detected a slight hesitation in Hassan. "Don't worry, man. Alone with Bob is no hardship believe me." He laughed. "As long as you don't fuck him. Don't think Randy would be too thrilled about that."

Darius was watching carefully and saw Hassan take a sharp intake of breath. As always the boy projected into the future, and what he saw there was actually not too wide of the mark.

Hassan quickly stuffed his few clothes into his kit-bag and threw his arm round Zack in a long heartfelt embrace. His voice choked as he said, "I don't have to thank you, buddy ..... you know what I'm feeling. We did things here that I'll remember always."

"And jack off to a lot, sir, I hope." That was Darius.

"See," Zack laughed. "What did I tell you? ..... the mouth is back!" He clipped Darius round the head. "About time I took you in hand again, boy."

Darius grinned and saluted. "Whenever you're ready, sir."


Hassan was still chuckling as he drove the jeep over the sandy track back to the highway. Zack and Darius were a perfect couple and he promised himself he would see more of them.

He had been right about the memories too, which still crowded in on him as he sped down the coast highway. He remembered his first sight of Zack, roped to a doorframe being whipped by a couple of local thugs. Hassan had beaten the thugs off but then could not stop himself from fucking the ass of the bound, naked black stud.

He had enjoyed the time he spent with Zack, getting to know him, and he felt his cock stiffen as he recalled how their friendly macho rivalry had ended in a karate fight that Zack won. Then there flashed into his mind the erotic image of himself, the naked Marine, staked to the ground, struggling to free his hands so he could jack off. That fantasy faded into a picture of Zack and Darius standing over him, with streams of cum splashing down on him from their huge cocks.

He sighed deeply. Cheeky as Darius had been, the boy had been dead right. Hassan knew he would jack off many times fantasizing about this extraordinary trip.

And now what? "Mark and Jamie," he said out loud to himself. "Can't wait," and he instinctively pressed harder on the gas pedal. He was totally in love with the gorgeous blond cop with the body of a Greek God, and he had come to love his boy Jamie too. Pity they wouldn't be home yet to greet him.

Still, Bob would be there. Bob. Suddenly the business executive's handsome Superman features flashed into his mind and his cock got hard. "Shit," he said out loud, willing his hard-on to go down. He knew Darius had noticed his double-take when Zack had said, 'Alone with Bob is no hardship ..... he's a terrific guy, not to mention insanely beautiful. Just as long as you don't fuck him.' Damn right, Hassan thought. He had no wish to tangle again with Randy.

He remembered looking up into that gorgeous face as Bob had tended to him after he had been viciously beaten by Randy. Then the patient way Bob had brokered a peace between him and Mark and arranged his return to the house. And suddenly, that's what he needed ...... Bob's quiet wisdom, his patience, his smile ..... and his beauty. After the rugged physical action of the last few days Hassan needed to relax for a few hours, unwind, and Bob was the ideal companion.

And this time, as he pressed his foot on the gas, the face that flashed before him was Bob's.


Finally he exited the Golden State Freeway and took Figueroa to the Mt. Washington area. As he drove up the narrow winding roads, lined with dense trees, he was aware that his heart was pounding. The tough, fearless soldier was nervous! 'Of what?' he asked himself. 'For God's sake get a grip, man.'

He heard the crunch of gravel under the tires as he pulled up at the gate. He switched off the engine and sat for a minute in the silence to calm himself. He jumped down, pressed the bell at the gate, and braced himself, waiting for Bob to open it.

In the kitchen, the twins were making a start on dinner. Kevin had finished work in Bob's office upstairs and Kyle had just got home from the construction site, leaving Pablo and Randy who would be working late there. Bob had told them Hassan was coming by to see Mark and would be staying to dinner. When they heard the bell ring the twins both ran out to the gate and flung it open.

They had met Hassan before, of course, but they gulped, wide-eyed, as they saw the tall, muscular Marine in his khaki fatigues and tank top. Hassan had been expecting Bob and he flashed a smile at the twins, relieved in a way that it was them. "Hi, guys. Hassan. Remember me?"

"Of course, sir," said Kevin. "As if we could ever forget," grinned Kyle, bolder than his brother. "You know that Mark and Jamie won't be home for a few hours but Bob's here, upstairs in his office. I'll tell him you're here. If you care to sit by the pool we'll bring a beer out to you."

Hassan was intrigued by the change that had come over the twins, self-assertive now, much different from the shy kids he had first met. Bob had mentioned that he was going to teach them a few things and it had obviously worked. Bob. Again the thought of him made Hassan's pulse race despite his effort to relax. Kevin brought him a beer and then went back into the house. There was a long wait until finally Hassan heard a door close upstairs.

Bob came striding out of the house, smiling, and Hassan stood up. God the man was gorgeous, the kind of beauty that always takes you by surprise no matter how well you know the guy. He was dressed simply in jeans, loafers, and a white V-neck T-shirt that stretched over his chiseled torso, doing little to conceal the muscles rippling underneath.

Bob, too, felt a tremor run through him as he saw again the dark, exotic face and sinewy body of the Marine. He came up to him ..... and they fumbled the handshake. Bob held out his hand in the traditional way and Hassan went to bump fists. The resulting muddle ended up with an embarrassed half-hug. They were both blushing as they separated and smiled nervously.

"Sorry it took me so long to join you," said Bob, recovering himself. "Chatty client .... couldn't get him off the phone."

"No sweat," said Hassan and he held up his beer. "The twins have been taking care of me."

As if on cue the twins came out with a beer for Bob and a tray of warm appetizers. "Thanks, guys," Bob smiled. "You've met Hassan, right?" He blushed again at his clumsiness. "Of course you have ...... you let him in."

The two men smiled at each other, tacitly acknowledging their shared nervousness. After that they relaxed and it didn't take long for them to swing into an easy, comfortable conversation. Hassan commented on the change in the boys and Bob described some of the unconventional sex lessons he had given them. Hassan was full of his trip to the dunes, though he omitted some of the wilder details of the things he had done with Zack and Darius.

"Hey," Bob said suddenly. "Where are my manners? You must be hot and sticky after your long drive. Come on, man, into the pool."

And it was then, as they watched each other strip, that their sexual arousal really began. Almost naked, a cautious modesty made both men keep their shorts on. They dived into the pool and, as their bodies touched under water, what had thus far been a mounting desire now became a physical ache. They shot to the surface and flashed excited smiles at each other. They began rough-housing, their bodies sliding together as they wrestled in the water.

Hassan broke free and swam away, but Bob caught up with him and threw himself on him, dragging them both underwater. They were locked together now, their faces inches apart and the inevitable happened. Their mouths clamped together and they began a passionate embrace that began underwater and continued as they broke though the surface. They treaded water and kept their mouths locked, tongues searching hungrily inside.

Finally they broke free, and embarrassment brought a return to modesty. Feeling himself in dangerous territory Hassan pulled himself out of the pool and threw himself face down on a chaise. There was a thump next to him as Bob dropped onto the adjoining chaise. Resting their chins on the cushion they stared straight ahead, trying not to think ..... or to feel. They made no mention of the kiss, but the subject could not entirely be avoided and Hassan tried an oblique approach.

"So, you and Randy. You two are so close, so into each other, that I guess ...... well, I don't quite get your relationship."

Bob grinned. "You think we do? We have feelings for each other that defy explanation."

"He pretty much ...... keeps you exclusively for himself, eh? Almost like he owns you."

Bob grinned. "Huh .... 'owns' has become a dirty word. Randy used to say it a lot but we went through hell and high water to sort all that out, including some pretty serious beatings by him."

Hassan stiffened. "Jesus Christ," he breathed. "If you were my man I'd make damn sure no one ever hurt you." There was a long silence as the phrase 'if you were my man' hung in the air. Then Hassan hit the subject they had both been circling. "So, is Randy OK if you ... well ..... see another guy?"

"Sure," Bob said. Then more tentatively, "Well, yeah ...... I guess so. I mean, like I said, we kinda worked all that out. After all he fucks other guys so ....."

"What's good for the goose ....." Hassan grinned. "But you said 'kinda worked it out'. Doesn't sound too 'worked out' to me. Still a bit of a minefield, I reckon."

"Listen," Bob said defensively. "I'm my own man, buddy. Hell, look at me! Do I strike you as a guy who lives under the heel of another guy?" Hassan smiled and Bob became more assertive. He needed to demonstrate his independence.

"Tell you what. This weekend I have to go down to San Diego to visit my firm's regional office there. As senior vice president I go down there about once a month just to crack the whip a little ....." he grinned ..... "if you'll pardon the expression. I'll be staying in the Westgate Hotel so why don't you come down and we can have drinks, or dinner? I could use your company after those stuffed-shirt old corporate types droning on all day."

"The Westgate! Wow, you really live it up, don't you? Well, sure. It's not much more than half an hour from Pendleton so I could do that easy. Be great." He smiled as the prospect grew on him. "It's a date then .... provided I can dig out an outfit that's smart enough for the Westgate."

In his enthusiasm he turned over onto his back, then realized that his cock was standing up straight like a tent-pole in his shorts. He blushed, but Bob turned over too and looked down at his own tent-pole. "See, we think alike, buddy," Bob laughed.

The twins came out of the house with trays but stopped at the door and hesitated as they instinctively sized up the situation. "You think they need anything else?" asked Kevin.

"Nah," said Kyle. "Only thing those guys need right now is each other." So they went back inside.


Bob and Hassan were still embarrassed by their obstinate erections, but just then they heard Jamie's excited voice. The gate opened and he came in with Mark, back from the movies.

Bob grinned at Hassan. "Saved by the bell!"

As they walked toward them Mark and Jamie could hardly be unaware of the stiff dicks under the men's shorts. Hassan leapt to his feet and was relieved that Jamie ran to him and hugged him, masking his erection. Hassan shook hands with Mark and there was an almost visible flash of sensual desire that shot between them. It was certainly not lost on Jamie.

He thought fast. "Sir, why don't I go and see if the twins need any help in the kitchen? Then I'll come and tell Bob all about the movie we just saw."

As he ran off Bob grinned as he hugged Mark. "Perceptive kid you've got there, Mark. OK, you two get out of here and get re-acquainted." There was a special bond between Bob and Mark and he watched with mixed emotions as Mark and Hassan disappeared into the house. He sat down again and nursed his beer.

Jamie reappeared and sat next to him, chattering excitedly about the movie they had been to ...... "but see, it was so cool how this dude that everyone thought was the crook turned out to be an undercover cop and......." But all Bob heard was the hazy sound of Jamie's voice in the distance. His mind was fixated on the reunion upstairs of Mark and Hassan.


Hassan was lying on his back on the bed when Mark came out of the bathroom and looked down at him. "Sorry I wasn't here to meet you, buddy, but I'd promised Jamie a trip to the movies. Still, I couldn't help noticing that you and Bob were getting on well in my absence."

Hassan thought he detected a slight edge to Mark's voice and deflected the comment. "Yeah, but it was you I came to see, Mark, you know that." As he watched Mark slowly undress Hassan became mesmerized as always. Instinctively Mark was putting on a show. Aware of the physical attraction between Hassan and Bob, his impulse was to show Hassan who the real prize was. He pulled off his T-shirt, over his washboard abs, over the chest, up off the shoulders ..... and stood stripped to the waist.

Hassan gasped. "Man, I spend a lot of time imagining your body, beating off to it, but the reality is always finer than anything I can imagine. You're fucking spectacular, Mark."

Mark just smiled, gratified that his show was working. He kicked off his sneakers and dropped his jeans and shorts. Naked now he stood at the foot of the bed and held his arms out to the side like a Greek statue. Hassan gazed up at the superb physique, the stunning face with its square jaw, high cheek bones and shock of blond hair. "God, that's beautiful," he moaned He didn't care that once again his cock was standing up rigid in his shorts.

Mark looked down at the ten-pole and again there was an edge to his voice as he said, "There you go again, buddy ...... just like you did with Bob."

He leaned forward and his eyes glinted as he grabbed the shorts and ripped them clean off Hassan's body. Without missing a beat he knelt on the bed, thrust Hassan's legs in the air and speared the ass with his cock, driving it deep inside with all his strength. Hassan's eyes opened wide with shock and he howled with pain.

This was a new Mark. Usually he fucked gently, tenderly, his eyes smiling. Not this time. Something inside him made him act more like the authoritarian cop asserting himself as the boss, the law. Usually he acted rationally, but now he was impulsive, driven by the image of Hassan and Bob sitting close together with huge erections. If he had thought more he would have controlled his reflexes. But Mark wasn't thinking ....... Mark was fucking.

Hassan's howl died down to a plea. "Hey man, easy, go easy. Shit that hurts." But it was as if Mark hadn't heard and he pounded the soldier's ass like a stallion. Something had snapped in Mark and he was being driven by totally irrational fantasies. Bizarre images flooded his mind of Hassan with Bob. Would Hassan chain Bob to the wall, torture and fuck him as he had Mark himself so long ago? Would he whip that gorgeous body, make him beg for release? Bob was Mark's friend, a man he worshipped, could easily have taken as a lover. And the mere possibility of him being seduced by Hassan drove him wild.

He leaned forward and twisted Hassan's nipples hard, never letting up on the savage pace of his rod plundering the captive ass. Hassan was scared now. "Man, please, I can't take this. Your cock is ripping me open man. Please, I ..... aaah!"

Somehow his scream pierced Mark's consciousness, and the exaggerated images all dissolved. He looked down at Hassan and saw only the handsome face he had come to love and respect. His mind jolted back to what was real, reasonable, and instinctively his brutal fucking slowed to the gentle massaging action familiar to both men. They gazed into each other's eyes as if welcoming the return of a friend.

Now that the pain had stopped Hassan felt the thrill of having seen and felt the handsome police officer as a man of ferocious action, dominating, steely-eyed. "God, man, that was spectacular," Hassan breathed.

Hearing Hassan's exhilaration made Mark's cock pulse and he gazed into the slanted dark eyes. "I'm gonna cum inside you, man," Mark breathed. "Your so fucking gorgeous you're gonna make me cum." He felt the heat rising from his balls, surge through his cock and blast into the shattered depths of the soldier's ass. At the same time the sight of Mark's stunning face made Hassan release his own flood of semen that poured over his sweat-soaked chest.

When their juices were spent they gazed at each other in wonder, not sure what had just happened. Hassan's eyes were shining. "Man, I haven't seen you like that since .... well, since that night all those years ago when you fucked me and left me chained in that prison cell. You were awesome, man. I love you, Mark."

Mark fell forward onto him and they embraced each other passionately, grinding their bodies together to prove to each other the depth of their feeling. But then they were interrupted. There was a soft knock on the door and Jamie's hesitant voice said, "Sir, it's me. Is it ..... I mean, is this a good time to....."

"Hell, yes," Mark barked, leaping to his feet. Jamie! Just what they both needed right now. He yanked open the door and took his boy into his arms. "Perfect timing kiddo." Jamie held out a six-pack of beer he had been carrying. "I brought this too, sir."

"That's my boy!" Mark laughed. "Now come and get re-acquainted with your soldier friend here."


It was not only in that room that Hassan was the center of attention. In the adjoining house Bob was lying alone on his bed obsessed with the same object of desire. As he and Jamie had sat by the pool the boy had eventually run out of words and gone back to the kitchen to help the twins. Left alone Bob had looked up at Mark's bedroom window and his imagination took off. Still wearing just his shorts he went up to his own room and threw himself on the bed.

And now, even though he sensed a vague undercurrent of danger, he could not rid his mind of the erotic image of the near-naked soldier ..... the muscular physique and above all the striking face with the lantern jaw, the hypnotic slanting eyes and the full-lipped mouth. He again felt those lips pressed against his in the pool, and his cock grew harder than ever.

What was happening only a few yards away in the house next door? Was the big Marine fucking the cop? What would that feel like? What would his ass feel like with Hassan inside it? Bob's hand ran over his shorts, then pulled his cock free and stroked it as he fantasized. He recalled Hassan's description of his time with Zack in the dunes, his body spread-eagled, staked to the sand, writhing under the streams of cum pouring down on him.

But again he came back to the feel of Hassan's velvet skin when they embraced. As he lay on the bed it was almost as if he saw Hassan walking into the room, slowly pulling off his khaki tank and fatigues. The fantasy was agonizingly real. Naked the soldier dropped forward onto him. Bob smelled again his sweat, heard his voice. He closed his eyes and imagined that huge cock pushing inside his ass and he moaned quietly.

"Oh yeah, man, fuck my ass. God, you're so beautiful, make love to me, man." He was pounding his meat faster now. "Oh, man, your cock feels so good inside me. Come on man, give it to me. I've wanted this for so long. You're so fucking gorgeous you're gonna make me cum. I can't take any more, you're so fucking hot. Here it comes, man. It's all for you ....... Aaah!" His whole body shuddered and cum blasted from his cock and streamed all over his gleaming chest. The image of Hassan was so vivid, so erotic, that his orgasm seemed endless.

He closed his eyes and tried to catch his breath, waiting for his heart to stop pounding. "That was beautiful, man," he moaned. Finally his body came to rest, his chest flooded with pools of his own semen. He lay perfectly still, his eyes closed.

And it was at that moment that Randy walked in.


Bob didn't move, made no attempt to conceal what he had been doing. Even if he had been able to he wouldn't have. He never hid anything from Randy. And anyway, he had nothing to hide. He had just jerked off ...... and that was it. Nevertheless the low growl made him tremble.

"Hassan's here."

"Yeah," Bob said, keeping calm. "He's with Mark right now."

"Did he fuck you?"

"Man, what kind of a question is that? Don't you ever give it a rest? The answer is no, he didn't, but I got a hard-on sitting next to him and we went for a swim. And yeah, I kissed him in the pool. Right about then Mark and Jamie came home. I came upstairs alone and jerked off thinking how gorgeous the man is, and it made me shoot my load."

"Fuck you, man!" The shout reverberated round the room as Randy banged his fist against the wall.

Bob propped himself on his elbows. "Randy, don't let's go down that road again. Get over yourself. I thought we sorted all that out before. The deal was you would curb your jealousy and I could be my own man, even if it means being turned on by another guy. Shit, you fuck whoever you want ...... your brother Steve, for example .... so what's wrong with me jerking off to a great-looking stud like Hassan? And while we're at it ..... just so you know ..... when I'm in San Diego this weekend Hassan's coming to my hotel for a drink, maybe dinner. I'm not hiding anything from you, man."

He stopped talking as he saw the familiar look in Randy's eyes of rising anger. He knew that anger turned Randy into a man of action, not thought ..... not rational thought, anyway. Bob was always a bit scared of that look but the other side of that coin was that it always made his dick hard ..... as it did now.

Randy had just come off a day of hard physical work. His dark, gypsy face was streaked with oil and dirt, his old grey tank top was filthy and soaked with sweat, and he was still wearing his laborer's cargo pants and boots. The man was an iconic image of a macho construction worker and Bob was so turned on he welcomed what came next. Without another word Randy walked forward, knelt on the bed and hooked Bob's legs over his shoulders.

He gazed down at Bob with blazing eyes. Contemptuously he swiped his hand across Bob's chest, wiping away the pools of cum. Then he pushed his thick cock between the cheeks of his lover's ass and plunged inside as viciously as only Randy could. Bob howled with pain. He knew what he was in for, knew that this time it would be brutal ..... and it was.

The massive body rose and fell over him, the piston in his ass going deeper each time. The pain was excruciating, the sensation ecstatic. This was Randy at his worst ..... and his best .... and it drove Bob wild. He reached up and dug his fingers into Randy's bulging chest, pushing against it as it crashed down on him. As Randy pulled back for the next blow Bob clawed at the thin tank and it ripped. In seconds it was hanging in shreds from his shoulders.

But still the savage fuck continued. In a strange symmetry, Randy was punishing Bob's ass just as Mark had punished Hassan's. And all they had done was kissed!

Bob's eyes were wide with fear and exhilaration, and then his focus narrowed, from the rippling torso to the dark demon face, stubbled chin and wild black hair, and finally to the steel blue eyes. That was all he could see now, the eyes that always ruled him, the hypnotic eyes that drew him into a world beyond feeling, a world of the spirit where pain did not exist. He was still aware of the huge tool hammering his ass, but it was the eyes that transfixed him. Then he heard the voice.

"Now, mother-fucker, I'm gonna cum inside your perfect ass and I'm gonna make you shoot another load. Is that clear, asshole?"

"Yes, sir," Bob said loudly. And so they both came, Randy deep inside his lover's bruised ass and Bob shooting high up so high his juice splashed on Randy's heaving chest. Their gaze held steady, eyes locked, in a mystical union of two captive souls.

Bob gasped with one last spasm of pain as Randy suddenly jerked his cock out of his ass and stood up. He looked down at his lover, torso heaving, gleaming with sweat, hung with the shreds of his ripped shirt. "Now you know, asshole. When you cum you do it for me! I'm the man who makes you shoot your load, not ......" He couldn't bring himself to say Hassan's name, and as the soldier's face flashed before him he yelled, "Fuck him! And fuck you, man!"

He wheeled round and left the room, slamming the door behind him. He stormed downstairs and into the kitchen where Pablo was sitting with the twins. They all shot to their feet at the sight of this wild man. "Follow me, boy," he barked at Pablo. "We're going back to work."

"But, sir we just came from work. Dinner's almost ......" But his protest died away. Nobody defied Randy in that mood. But as Pablo started to leave Kyle whipped open the fridge, grabbed a packet of sandwiches and pushed them into his hand. "Here, sir, you're gonna need these. Good luck, sir."


"Mark, what is it about Hassan that makes guys go crazy and all irrational?" Bob was sitting with Mark by the pool, waiting for dinner. Hassan was still upstairs in the shower and Mark had just described how savagely he had fucked Hassan after he had seen the intensity of his attraction to Bob.

"I mean it's all of us," Bob continued, "..... Pablo trekking down to see him at Pendleton, Jamie's behavior in the desert, Zack in the dunes, you just now when you fucked him, and of course Randy fucking me like a raging bull. I mean, Hassan's gorgeous of course, but maybe it's because he's so different, so exotic, with that mixed Asian/Arab look. Is that why guys get so riled up?"

"Maybe so, buddy. But it's not Hassan's fault. He knows how beautiful he is but he has never done anything here to stir up bad blood. He behaves well, always checks to make sure what he's doing is OK, just like he did with you when he asked you about Randy. But you're right. I mean look at me, Mister Cool Cop, getting madder than hell thinking of you and him together. By the way, you still gonna meet with Hassan in San Diego?"

"Sure I am," Bob said firmly. "I can't renege on that just because Randy's got a bug up his ass. We went through all that the last time he beat me up ..... and he swore that would be the last time. I mean, it's a question of pride now. I'm my own man and in future when Randy says 'jump' I'm damn well not gonna say 'how high?' anymore."

"Damn right," Mark smiled. I hear you, man. Where's Randy gone, anyway?"

"Back to work. Whenever he's angry he takes refuge in work ..... takes out his aggression on the bricks and concrete at the construction site. He's taken Pablo with him. That kid's his rock. Just hope he'll be OK."


Pablo had seen Randy in this mood before, of course, though never quite this bad. He knew better than to say anything and sat quietly beside him in the truck as it sped back to the site. It was deserted when they got there as the crew had finished for the day. Pablo followed the boss a bit nervously as he strode to the far side of the site.

"OK, work!" Randy said. "I'm gonna tear down all this wood scaffolding. It's become unstable 'cause the ground is wet. Problem is this trench underneath is not draining properly. The pump's fucked. So you jump down in the trench and fix it while I pull down all this shit."

Pablo sensed this was a bad idea. He'd worked in construction long enough now to know that safety came first. Sure the scaffolding was weak, but you had to me real careful dismantling it. Took more than one man. But Pablo had some idea what was going on. He knew Randy was mad at Bob and in this mood he was probably trying to prove something to himself. Like he's the boss of everyone and he can do anything.

So Pablo took a deep breath. "Er, sir. Don't you think we should work together on the scaffolding? Needs two men. I can do the pump afterwards."

Randy whirled round, his eyes shooting sparks. "Fuck you, boy. You too, uh .... daring to disobey me like the asshole back home. You fucking telling me how to do my job?"

"No, sir, definitely not," Pablo stammered, backpedaling frantically. "No, sir, you're the boss. Look, see? I'm in the trench."

He jumped down and landed heavily, surprised how deep it was. Good thing the ground was soft and wet. His head barely reached the top of the trench. He crouched down and started to examine the broken pump.

Up above Randy was venting all his anger on the nest of scaffolding. He pulled a few upper poles lose, but there was an obstinate upright that wouldn't budge. He put all his strength into it but it resisted ....... just like everyone else today, he thought, especially his asshole lover. He made the elementary mistake of losing his concentration on the job, as his mind flew back to Bob and Hassan, how they must have looked together, making out in the pool.

"Fuck it," he yelled to the pole. "And fuck you, man," to Bob. Maybe he couldn't control Bob but he could sure demolish this fucking pole. He picked up a long-handled axe and began pounding at it, venting his fury, oblivious that each blow of the axe was making the whole structure shudder. Finally the pole cracked. But what Randy had overlooked was that it was a main structural pole. As it finally broke in two the scaffolding creaked, leaned and then crashed down in a deafening roar of splintering wood.

Randy's reflexes were quick and he leapt clear just in time, barely escaping the falling debris. The shock brought him to his senses and he stood looking at the dense pile of wood. Then suddenly a jolt of panic shot through him like a lightning bolt. Pablo! The scaffold had collapsed right over the trench where Pablo had been working. After the sickening crash there was now no sound, except for occasional creaks from the unstable pile.

"NO!" Randy screamed and became like a wild animal protecting its young. He leapt on the wood and began clawing at it, pulling off a plank, a pole, two poles, with a frenzy fueled by fear, adrenaline ..... and guilt. As he poured all his strength into the effort, in the back of his mind he knew that this was entirely his fault, him and his damned anger. Bob was blameless and so, God knows, was Pablo who right now was lying down there ..... injured or even........

The thought drove him to a Herculean effort. Never had he pushed his body as hard as this, pulling, heaving, clawing at the pile. Through his heaving breaths his voice rasped, "It's OK, kid, I'm here. Hang on, I'll get you. Your old man's here, son. We're almost there."

And he was almost there. His hands were bleeding, his body screaming with pain as he completed in minutes a task it would have taken five men to finish. Finally he glimpsed the body lying in the mud at the bottom of the trench. His heart missed a beat as he saw the pale, lifeless face. He yanked the last of the planks free and was finally able to jump down into the trench.

The savage male was now transformed into the tender parent as he slid his hands under his boy and carefully lifted his body up, then laid it gently on the ground by the trench. He pulled himself out of the trench and dropped to his knees, running his hands smoothly over Pablo's face, his neck, rib-cage, waist and legs. Randy's heartbeat subsided as he detected no serious damage. Hell, there was only one mark on him, a small gash on his forehead.

That must be it. He had suffered one blow to the head but being in the trench had saved him. The big planks and poles had fallen across the trench but not gone down into it.

"Hey, kiddo," he said softly, tapping Pablo's cheeks. "Hey, it's your old man. Come on, kiddo. Speak to me."

A wave of relief swept over him as he saw the face move. The crooked smile came to the face even before the eyes opened. Then came the voice. "I know what's wrong with the pump, sir. I can fix it easy."

Randy scooped the boy up in his arms, held him tight and started to sob ..... with overwhelming relief and smothering shame. He picked him up bodily and carried him into the trailer office.


Half an hour later Pablo was his old self. It had been a momentary concussion, and Randy had cleaned and bathed the small wound. Pablo had drunk lots of water and was now munching on the sandwiches Kyle had given him. Now that the danger was gone the resilience of youth took over and Pablo began to imagine how the whole adventure would sound to Darius and the guys.

But suddenly the exuberance drained out of him as he looked over at Randy, slumped over the drafting table his head in his hands. And Pablo knew what he was feeling. Pablo had been right about the job, he knew that ..... how it would take more than one guy. He also knew that, like so many times in the past, Randy had been so consumed by anger that his judgment had gone out the window ...... and he had put Pablo in danger. Randy could have killed him.

What's more, Pablo knew that Randy knew all this as he heard him groan. The devastated man raised his head and looked deeply into Pablo's wide eyes. And at that moment Pablo realized how deep his misery went ..... the accident had completely unnerved him. He heard the despair in his voice.

"This is the last time, kiddo, the last time I'm gonna hurt you, or Bob or anyone else. It's happened so often before, but this time I could've killed you, Pablo. If I had, I would've killed myself. I'm no good for any of you. Shit, I'm a danger to you. So I can't be your master anymore, nor your dad. I can't be Bob's lover, or boss of this outfit. Everything's too complicated here. I gotta get back to Texas. I was good there ..... alone, rootless, roaming like a gypsy. All I needed there was my fists. I gotta go back..... live on my own."

Pablo stood up and went to touch him, but Randy stopped him. With infinite sadness in his eyes Randy said, "Leave me alone now, boy. Go where you're safe."

Pablo went through the door and closed it quietly behind him. He sat on the wooden steps of the trailer and gazed into the distance. He was lost ..... had no idea what to do. Randy was his hero, his dad, his master ....... he was his life. And that life was unraveling. He couldn't imagine a world without the man he worshipped. And what would happen to Bob, Darius, Jamie and all the guys? Everything was totally fucked.

Tears began to flow down his cheeks. He needed help, but where from? His first thought was Bob, but right now that would be a red rag to a bull. Mark, maybe ..... Zack? No, what he needed was a wise, level head, someone who wouldn't lose his cool and would know what to do. He needed someone who was used to this kind of thing, a professional, someone who could handle Randy, talk him through his despair.

Of course! Suddenly he knew. He pulled out his cell phone, scrolled through his contacts and hit one of them. He heard the ring ...... and then ...... thank god it was him. "Hello, is that you, Steve? Hi, sir, I wondered .... I mean .... I hope I'm not ..... it's just that ......" Steve told him to take a deep breath. "Yes, sir, OK. ..... I'm OK now sir, thank you. Sir, would you come over to the construction site? Randy needs you big time too." He paused. "You will, right away? Oh thank you, sir. Thank you. Yes, I'll wait here for you."

Pablo snapped the phone shut with a smile of relief mixed with pride. He was pleased with himself .... the 'kiddo' was back. Steve, of course. He was not only Randy's therapist ...... he was his brother, for god's sake. He'd know what to do!


TO BE CONTINUED in "A Trial Of Strength .... Part 119."


Rob Williams

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