Sergeant Able had been one of the last of the Union soldiers off the North River Bridge over the south fork of the Shenandoah River, where it was formed by the meeting of Broad Run and the South River. The Union troops under Brigadier General Erastus Tyler had made a stab across the middle of Virginia to try to trap the legendary Confederate general Stonewall Jackson and had only managed to back themselves to the in-flood south fork of the Shenandoah. Tyler had counted on being joined by Fremont's army, which never appeared. Now Tyler's forces had to get across the one bridge on the Shenandoah at Port Republic to escape a pincher movement of southern troops coming up from the south and down from the north on the river's western bank.

Once across the river, Tyler's forces had to quickstep back to Harrisonburg to avoid being enveloped by Jackson's army. The pursued had become the pursuer.

Sergeant Able's problem was that he couldn't quickstep. He'd barely made it over the North River Bridge when the Southerners had reached the eastern end of the bridge. They had snipers set up on the eastern bank who were shooting anything that moved. A bullet had gone through another soldier running away from behind him and had grazed Able high on his thigh. The other soldier had been shot through and through, and had landed on top of Able, dead before they hit the ground.

Able heard the Southern troops running across the bridge and deploying themselves along the western bank. Then he heard the bridge blow. There'd be no regrouping by Tyler's troops for another go at Jackson in Port Republic.

Able wasn't dumb. He knew the blowing of the bridge would signal Tyler just not to stop his retreat to Harrisonburg. And Able couldn't walk that far in front of a Confederate advance, even if he dared rise from the scant cover he'd gained when he'd hit the ground. The wound in his leg wasn't fatal, but it would slow him down too much to make a run for it. And it might, indeed, be fatal if he didn't get the bleeding stanched soon.

The first wave of Confederate soldiers fanned out parallel to the river bank and moved toward where Able lay, prodding Union soldiers who had been felled by snipers and helping along those mortally wounded but not yet gone. Able played dead, his body pretty well covered by that of his dead compatriot, as a battle-worn Reb passed him by.

Able waited for as long as he felt he dared after the Rebs had passed and then he pulled himself along the ground to the only cover he could see, an old mill house not far to the south of the blown bridge. As he reached safety there, he could hear the second wave of the Confederate troops fanning out from the river bank across the fields to the west. Able pulled himself into the dark building and burrowed into some burlap sacking behind a stack of barrels.

Able's wound was bleeding badly, and he couldn't suppress a moan when the young Union private, Josh, crept into the building in search for exactly what he found - a wounded Union soldier.

A very dangerous moment punctuated the scene when Josh first saw Able. He instinctive lifted his rifle and he could have shot the enemy soldier right there and then and no one would be the wiser, in fact no one other than Able would care or, probably, ever know the circumstances of his death. It would be less of a hassle all around for the Southern forces. And Josh did raise his rifle, and Able did lift his hands in defense and supplication. But then Josh saw the sergeant's stripes on the arm of Able's blue Union jacket. Josh had been told that they wanted to capture anyone with any rank if they could in case they could find out more about Tyler's troop strengths and plans.

Josh lowered the barrel of the rifle, and at that point Able nearly swooned into a faint, both in shock for what had been narrowly avoided, at least for the moment, and from the loss of blood from the wound on his inner thigh.

Now focused on providing a captive for the revered General Jackson, Josh bustled into a preservation rather than a destruction mode. He propped his rifle against a nearby post and grabbed for his canteen and the pack on his back.

Josh stripped Able of his britches and tore strips of cloth off this to use as a tourniquet. He poured water from his canteen on Able's inner thigh wound and then doused it with the whiskey he kept in another small flask in his pack. The wound didn't look so bad now.

Able snorted back to full consciousness when the liquor hit his wound. And he was fully conscious as he watched Josh wind the strips of material around his inner thigh and tie them off snugly. While Josh did so, he couldn't help but brush the backs of his hands across Able's quite able cock, which had been exposed when he'd been stripped of his britches.

Able knew instantaneously from Josh's response what the young soldier's inclinations were and that he'd had some experience. Able also knew quite a bit about the strength and Shenandoah Valley Campaign plans of Tyler's forces, so he had a good idea what he faced if he was sent back to Jackson's camp. And he knew that there was little or no chance he could get out of this predicament, but that he had to try to do so anyway

Josh was young and not that experienced as a soldier, Able could see, whereas he himself was not so young and was battle tested and resilient. He gauged the distance from where Josh was tending his thigh and where he had propped up the rifle.

Able had never fucked a man before, but if this Reb could be distract by that and if it required that to get at the rifle, it was something he'd try doing. There wasn't much other choice that he could see of getting out of here. In all likelihood getting to the rifle and killing this Reb would be the easiest part of his attempt to reach the Union lines.

The pursued turning into the pursuer.

The opening was right there beside Able, where it had fallen out of the Reb's pack when Josh had fished around for the flask of liquor.

'He's handsome,' Able murmured, pretending now to be weaker than he really was, as he beckoned to the worn daguerreotype of the young man that had fallen out of the Reb's pack.

Josh's head snapped up in embarrassment and surprise. The Union soldier was conscious. Josh wondered, blushing at the thought, whether the Yankee had seen him dreamily eyeing that nice plump cock of his.

'Umm, yes. Ya'all shouldn't try to speak now. I'se afraid I'll have to find something to bind you with. But at least I stopped the bleeding now, so that's to the good.'

'Kin of yours, is he?'

'Umm, no.'

'A special friend then?'

Josh blushed in embarrassment and lowered his eyes, unfortunately focusing on Able's cock, which was harder now, Able having stroked on it while he was getting Josh's attention moved to the daguerreotype.

'Uh, yes, you could say that.'

'A lover then?'

Josh melted in shock and confusion and in how easily and openly the Yankee had called him out. He tensed right up.

'Of course not,' he declared indignantly, too loud, and without a pinch of conviction as he sat up straight from where he had been hovering over the Yankee's reclining figure.

'You needn't be embarrassed at all,' Able countered, lifting an arm and wrapping a hand around the Reb's neck. 'I find you quite arousing myself. And I'm ever so grateful that you have bandaged my wound, and ever so ready to show my gratitude.'

Able could feel the young Confederate soldier trembling in indecision and disbelief at the forwardness of it all as well as the lack of breathing time and space to work out what was happening. Able brought the young private's mouth down to his and took the soldier's hand in his and placed it on his cock, Josh's hand now wrapping Able's engorging cock and Able holding it there with his own until Josh was lost to him and stroking the hard tool on his own.

When Able knew he'd won the battle with Josh's defenses, when Josh had opened his lips to Able's and was hungrily drinking him in, and when Josh's hand on Able's cock was moving on its own, Able moved his hands to unbuttoning the Reb's shirt and started rubbing the young soldier's nipples with his fingers.

Josh shuddered under the attention, and when Able broke away from the kiss and moved his lips down to Josh's nipples and his hands down to Josh's belt and buttoned fly, Josh, still crouching on his knees, sighed in resignation and need and arched his back toward the floor behind him. As he bent backward, Able's lips followed down the young Reb's sternum and across his belly and down, through his now-revealed bush, and opened up on and then closed over the young man's cock head.

Josh was moaning and staring up into the shadows of the eaves of the old mill and moving his pelvis ever so slowly as Able sucked away on his dick, taking more and more of it in with his stroking movement. All the time Able was playing Josh's tool, though, he himself was staring at the pole across the floor that the Reb's rifle was propped against. He was gauging distances, and time, and likelihood. Still too risky, he decided.

Able lifted his lips off Josh's cock, but he continued slowly stroking the base of the hard tool with his fist.

'Do you fuck him or does he fuck you?' It was a mere whisper, but the Reb heard him.

A rather long pause. 'He does me.'

At least there's that, Able thought to himself with a bit of relief - although he'd been prepared to do whatever it took. Able spit on his free hand and moved it under the Reb's ball sac and started working his moistened fingers around Josh's pulsating rim and into his hole. His lips opened up over the bulbous head of Josh's cock and he ran his tongue into the young man's piss slit before swallowing the cock almost down the to root, closing closely over the throbbing member, and moving his mouth up and down on the rod.

Josh groaned and moaned. He was panting and breathing heavily and making little mewing sounds. His hips were moving slowly, helping Able with the rhythm of the suck. There was a little lurch and groan each time Able pushed a finger, and then two, and then three, into his ass channel.

Able took his fingers out of Josh's ass and spit on it again a couple of times and moistened up his own cock. Then he lifted the young Reb, who was completely his now, bending readily to any position he moved him to, up to him, chest to chest.

Josh sighed and moaned and gulped as Able brought him into his lap, positioning the head of his cock on Josh's prepared hole and just pulling Josh's channel down the full length of his ramrod-straight cock.

Josh writhed and rolled against Able's chest in waves of passion as Able fucked up into him. Josh had his head buried in Able's shoulder and was whimpering at the deep taking. Able was looking over Josh's shoulder at the rifle propped up against the post across the room. A position change was required.

Able slowly turned his body over on his side, taking Josh with him. Josh looked into his eyes with an unspoken question. Able took the young man by the shoulders and showed that he was to go down on his belly and raise his hips to Able's mastering cock, which he did without objection.

Able crouched over Josh's haunches, slowly glided back into him, and stroked him in long, slow, deep thrusts. He reached around Josh's belly and fisted his cock and began working it.

Josh threw back his head and howled again and again and again in ecstasy and Able picked up the rhythm and fucked with faster and faster and deeper and deeper thrusts.

And then it was over. Josh shot his load on the worn, uneven planks of mill room floor in response to Able's stroking fist and Able came inside the young Reb.

They collapsed on the floor, Able stretched out on top Josh, his cock still buried deep.

Josh was murmuring and sighing. Able was lost in the moment too.

'Incredible,' Able whispered. 'I never knew.'

'What?' Josh murmured dreamily.

'Nothing. Never mind.'

Able rolled off Josh and lay on his back next to the young man. He was breathing heavily, trying to regain his strength and regather his reflexes. Josh was lying there half asleep, well fucked.

Able sat up on his haunches. Josh sighed again, but didn't move.

Able was up on his knees, down near Josh's knees. Pretty much out of the young Reb's line of sight even if he lifted his head, which he didn't.

Slowly, softly, Able was up on the pads of his feet.

Josh felt the hard toeing of the calf of one of his legs, and, still groggy from the fucking, he rolled over on his back and looked up . . . into the barrel of his own rifle.

'What?' was all he could manage.

'Shut the fuck up,' Able growled. He reached over and took up Josh's britches and pulled them on clumsily, needing to keep the rifle trained on the young Reb, now aghast at what had happened and fully returned to reality.

'You just wanted - ' The voice sounded wounded, betrayed.

'Shut the fuck up,' Able repeated. He was trying to close the britches around his waist, but he was just bigger, more muscled there than the young man he'd just fucked. He managed to get a few of the lower buttons of the fly cinched up, though. That would just have to do for now. There might be time to pull an exchange with one of the bodies out in the fields between here and Harrisonburg. His own britches were too cut up for bandages to be of use now . . . for the bandage the young Reb had tied around his own bleeding thigh.

Dressed now, Able lifted the rifle and aimed down its barrel at the now-crying Reb, his arms thrust out in defense and supplication.

A long, dangerous moment.

'Fuck it,' Able burst out, with a disgust at something or other. He wasn't sure himself. The rifle went to ready rest. It was up to the Reb now whether he wanted to live or die at this moment.

Able leaned down over Josh and lifted his chin and gave him a long, lingering kiss on the mouth.

At the door, he turned, and said, 'I'll drop your shirt outside here. I wouldn't suggest raising an alarm or coming after me, or you'll have more trouble than explaining where your britches and rifle ran off to.' Then he was gone, leaving the door swinging back and forth on its hinges.

Josh sat there in shock and surprise and gratitude for several minutes before he stirred. He picked up the picture of his lover, took a look at it, and stuffed it back into the pack. Somehow it had lost its luster for him. He sighed as the feeling of double loss swept over him. The regret would always be there now. The Yankee had kissed and fucked better than his lover did.



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