'Imagine what we could be doing if we moved up to Washington. Think of the commissions up there, Hal.'

Hal turned from the window and looked over to his younger, half brother, Jimmy, as he sat at his workbench in the studio, glazing a frame to go perfectly with the landscape acrylic Hal had completed not more than two hours earlier.

A lump rose in Hal's throat. He'd been gazing out of the window, down toward the tenant cottage along the river bank because he couldn't bear to look at Jimmy in the late afternoon light beaming down on his unruly, curly blond head from the skylight - giving him a halo by bounding off the dust particles floating in the air and bringing out flecks of gold in the young man's hair. Jimmy was an angel. And he made Hal feel like something else altogether.

He was Hal's half brother, dammit. Hal couldn't be having these thoughts. One of them perhaps should be moving to the larger art scene up in Washington, D.C. But only one of them, or Hal didn't know what might happen. He didn't know how much longer he could go on with just the two of them in the house, working symbiotically in the same studio, Hal painting the landscapes and Jimmy preparing the perfect frame to go with them. Hal had sold very little before Jimmy decided that college wasn't for him and moved in and began framing Hal's work. The custom frames had made all of the difference in sales - and in the attention Hal was receiving from art critics and gallery owners. Hal had to admit that Jimmy was right that they might be ready for a big city now - but Hal could not trust himself with Jimmy very much longer. Certainly not in the proximity required for them to work together.

'Perhaps. It's something to think about,' Hal answered, trying not reveal that he was speaking with great difficulty, through heavy breathing, and not turning full face toward the younger man, not wanting to reveal the effect Jimmy in that light had on his body.

Hal switched his gaze back toward the tenant shack and then, because he heard the cough and roar of a power mower, across the road toward Hampton Grove, the B&B. Hal's own house, the central core of which was built in the eighteenth century by the owner of the mill now in ruins down at the edge of the river, was one of a pocket of antebellum houses on the two streets remaining of a town that had almost been wiped off the map by hand-to-hand fighting in a Civil War battle and that now was preserved for posterity and the tourist trade. The young college guy who did the Grove's yard work during the summer had started up with the mower.

The youth was a long and lanky red head, with freckles covering a well-worked chest, bare now. To fight the heat, the yardboy had stripped down to skimpy gray cotton athletic shorts. Hal, already thinking arousing thoughts because of the nearness of Jimmy, found his eyes riveted on the youth, to his chest and washboard abs and down to his crotch, and a hand furtively moving to his own basket.

'Can you come over here and see if you like this frame coloring with your landscape?' Jimmy called over to Hal.

'Just a minute. I'm thirsty. I'll go get something from the fridge and be with you in a minute.'

Hal wasn't that thirsty, but he had to cool off somehow before going anywhere near his brother. He moved quickly to the door to the breezeway connecting the older section of the house to the studio, which had been converted from a double garage, and then on into the kitchen, where he threw cubes of ice in a glass and filled it with water. He then applied it to the back of his neck, working to bring his breathing and hardness under control.

He raised his head and looked through the window over the kitchen sink.

It took him a few minutes to notice that he couldn't hear the mower from across the street anymore, and he looked closer at Hampton Grove. The mower was still there, but the yardboy wasn't pushing it. It stood there near the street, in mid swath across the road.

Hal moved through the dining room and into the study at the back of the house, to a window overlooking the river, where he turned his eyes toward the tenant shack. The tenant's muscular jet-black truck was there now, parked outside the house.

Hal's imagination went into high gear, putting the signs together. Hal knew what his tenant was. He was a construction worker over in Harrisonburg. A large, burly man, hard muscle on muscle - large in the sense of a powerful physique, not in any sense of fat. Dark and hairy and rough looking, with a menacing demeanor and full-coverage tattoos and battle scars.

And Hal knew what the man liked and went after. There were cars and trucks over there at all hours of the day and night, whenever the man wasn't working in town. And Hal had seen the men get out of their vehicles and slowly walk up to the door of the shack. And later, he'd seen them stumble out, bowlegged and barely able to walk, but looking oh so satisfied.

The tenant had approached Hal directly, not saying it, but making the offer, letting Hal know he was transparent, that there wasn't an iota of difference between the two of them in what they liked and what they wanted. But Hal had backed away. Afraid. Something about the man scared him. The devil incarnate. Hal lusted after his younger brother, true. But it wasn't the same at all. Hal wanted to take Jimmy, and Hal knew that wasn't how it would proceed if he went with the tenant. Hal knew that going with the tenant would be opening up another door altogether. That man was a dominator and would bottom for no other man. In that way there wasn't any difference between the two of them. And Hal was afraid of the man, afraid that if he gave into him, there would be no turning back.

Thoughts of the long, lanky red-headed yardboy and the dark, menacing tenant flamed in Hal's mind, and he found himself leaving the house and floating across the expanse of grass toward the copse of trees nestling the tenant shack by the ruins of the mill trace at the edge of the river.

He could hear them long before he reached the scrubby flower bed beneath the window that was his goal. Loud cries, approaching screaming, the intent of which Hal could not determine. Pain, yes certainly pain, and fear, at least a touch of that too. But also something else, something more, something dominating. Insistence, and pleasure, and wanting. A want scratched; a dream fulfilled. A total taking and a total giving.

Hal reached the window, which was dusty and streaked with grime. But the light was on in the room, and the view was clear enough. The yardboy reclined in a sling suspended from the ceiling, his arms and legs rising up the four chains at the corners and secured by black strappings. The red head's skull was flopping down from the sling at the near side, his eyes wild, staring at Hal, and his mouth stretched open in a perpetual scream. The hairy beast of a man standing crouched over the freckled torso of the yardboy at the other end of the sling, moving fast and hard in a staccato rhythm that sent the sling swaying toward Hal with each thrust, each attack met with a pain-pleasure cry from the mouth of the yardboy and each backward retreat answered with a gurgling groan.

Tight muscles gleaming and undulating, tattoos dancing. A thick, long-fingered hand wrapped around the engorged cock of the youth, beating it at a determined, relentless pace. The other hand digging into the quarry's nipples and slapping at the yardboy's bare buttocks and hard-muscled chest. The slap, slap of the hand. The slapslapslap of the fucking cock. Tan-dark, tattoo-laced muscle exploding into freckled and creamy yielding young flesh. The impassioned screams and long moans of the youth. Begging for mercy. Answered with a throaty laugh and a double-time rhythm. Crying out for deeper penetration, fuller possessing. Gasping and groaning when pleas were answered - and surpassed.

The beast looked up from his prey straight at the window. Surely he could see Hal standing there, on the other side of the murky glass. The upturning of the tenant's full-lipped mouth showing recognition. And pleasure. And taunting.

Hal knew he should withdraw; the danger and the enticement were thick in the hot, heavy, humid air near the edge of the river. But he was riveted to the spot, his mouth dry and slack, a hand forcing itself below the waistband of his shorts and encasing and squeezing his cock.

His imagination was making the tenant into more of a monster than he was. It surely was running away with itself, as he viewed the nub of horns at the tenant's temples and the pointedness of his ears - and of his teeth as he opened his maw and smiled cruelly across the writhing body of the yardboy, reaching out beyond the room. To Hal.

Hal no longer saw the red-headed yardboy or even the hairy monster tenant. What he saw now was the golden curly head of Jimmy on the body bound in the sling and he, himself, holding Jimmy's legs up and out with his hands and deviling his own brother's channel with his thrusting cock.

The yardboy's body was lurching, and he was gasping and groaning and crying out of his impending coming, and the tenant beast kept pumping. Pumping with his hand and pumping with his cock. The youth cried out, and globular white cum shoot out between the long, thick, pumping fingers of the tenant and fell like molten snow across the youth's heaving chest. The monster's cock pumped on, his hands cupping the slim hips of the youth and raising and pulling the yardboy's pelvis back hard onto his thrusting cock with each brutal stroke.

The youth went limp, no longer writhing, no longer even there, his head flopped back with each thrust, his face turned toward Hal, but his eyes unseeing, only the whites showing now.

The monster tenant bellowed his own impending release and reared back. Hal glimpsed a gigantic, rosy-red bulb as it jerked and spouted one, two, three, fountains of snow-white cum in an arc across the youth's chest, reaching out for Hal, goblets of thick, white cum splattering against the window panes with an audible thump.

Then the hairy beast was moving around the sling and toward the window, gliding on what Hal's mind visioned were cloven hooves. The long, thick fingers of one of his hands holding the largest, thickest cock Hal had ever seen, lovingly, accusingly erect. Hairy black balls - shockingly four of them - each as big as tennis balls swung as he strutted, slapping against his gigantic, muscle-bound, tattooed hams.

Hal watched, his mouth opening in an unvoiced scream, as the window glass began to dissolve before his eyes.

With the last vestige of control, he pulled his eyes away from the tenant and turned and soared back to the house - not to the studio, which held its own dangers and forbidden temptation, but up the stairs to his bedroom and the bath beyond. He threw himself into his shower stall; turned the water on full blast, pulling the face and naked, writhing body of his half brother into his mind; masturbated himself to a groaning ejaculation; and collapsed into the corner of the stall.

* * * *

Early in the morning, Hal struggled out of bed, weary and unsatisfied in sleep. He felt hung over, the aroma of coffee set on automatic perk the night before, and the urge of going to the door of Jimmy's bedroom fighting for control. He was groggy, only half aware of what he was doing in the murky light of the hour past dawn. Cold in his nakedness now that he wasn't under the sheet, he reached for his silken bathrobe and draped it over his shoulders.

He was on the threshold of Jimmy's door, looking at Jimmy, naked and tangled in the sheets. White sheets, marbled body. Golden, tussled curls and just the dew of light hair on his limbs and tufting on the V down to his delicate, boy's cock. Hal began by wondering how large it could grow, what his channel smelled like. Whether he would moan in pleasure as Hal filled that channel. He could almost feel his hand on Jimmy's knee, moving slowly up his thigh over the downy blond hair. Jimmy's eyes on his, his lips opening as Hal bent over him, letting the edges of his open silken robe brush along his brother's sides. Seeing Jimmy's cock fill out and his hands reach down and encircle both cocks together as Hal's lips met Jimmy's. Jimmy trembling and his back arching as Hal's tongue slipped between his opening lips and his cock slid into his opening channel. Jimmy's legs hooking around Hal's waist and above his buttocks. A shared gasp as . . .

Hal stubbed his toe as it dragged across the threshold of the door, enticing his body to follow it into the room. More awake now, Hal groaned at the frustration of what he was struggling against. And he turned and stumbled down the stairs and into the kitchen, where the automatically perked coffee awaited him, inviting him back into the world of sanity and controlled imagination.

Hal poured a cup and pattered out into the breezeway. Peering out into the haze of the misty morning, his eye was caught by the yellow of the Corvette parked outside the tenant's shack, next to the tenant's black truck. There was only one person who drove a yellow Corvette around here - the young lawyer from the end house on the other street of the small hamlet. A perky wife and three small children.

Hal fought the urge to walk out onto the grass and toward the tenant shack. With difficulty he forced his feet to turn toward the studio. The light was on inside the studio. It should not have been. And when Hal entered the room, he stood there, gawking in horror.

There were three of them. Just sketches. Charcoal on art paper, clipped to three standing easels. Despite being sketches, they were finely detailed and expertly done, with strong, assured strokes. His work no doubt, but when had he done these? Jimmy couldn't see these. No one could see these.

One was of Jimmy, in nearly the same pose he was in even now upstairs in his bedroom. The other two were unmistakably of both of them. The two half brothers, draped together in the silken robe around Hal's shoulders, open, enveloping the nakedness of both of them. With Hal fucking Jimmy - and Jimmy, angelic Jimmy, loving it.

Hal moved quickly, tearing the sheets of paper from the easels, starting to ball them up, but discovering he could not do it. He smoothed the sheets out and stumbled back into the breezeway.

He felt that he was going completely out of control. He now knew why he had risen so tired. He'd been up most of the night trying to exorcise his demons. He could clearly remember now. But he'd risen and come all the way down to the studio without remembering.

What if Jimmy had been the first to rise? How much longer could Hal hold himself off? This couldn't continue.

Reaching the breezeway, Hal looked out of the glass wall toward the tenant's house once more. They were both outside. The young golden-curled lawyer belly down on the hood of his Corvette, and the tenant standing between his legs, fucking him hard. As Hal watched, the tenant shrugged a silken robe off his shoulders and let it slip down to cascade around his feet, revealing that he was bulbous butted and hairy-pelted from the hips down, his legs goatlike, standing on cloven feet. Hal could hear the moans from here. Each drawn-out moan matched with the contraction of the tenant's buttocks muscles, straining under the forward thrust, the moan filtering off into a sigh as the butt cheeks relaxed and filled out again, readying for the next contraction/thrust.

Could Jimmy hear the moans? Something had to be done, something soon, something fast. This could not go on. Hal looked down at his erect cock - and beyond to hairy-pelted legs and cloven feet. And he heard the coffee cup hit the clay-tiled floor of the breezeway and shatter. He looked down again. What had he imagined? No pelt or cloven feet. And looking out toward the tenant's shack. No tenant or young, golden-curled lawyer - or even yellow Corvette. They had vanished.

Hal fled up the stairs, as quietly as he could, and entered his bedroom. Looking for somewhere to stash his drawings from the previous night. Jimmy could not see them. Neither, though, could Hal part with them now. Drawings hidden, he shrugged off the silken robe on the carpeted floor next to his bed and lay on his back, Jimmy's face and body floating before his eyes, as he slowly masturbated himself to a sighing ejaculation.

* * * *

Working from photographs of the fields of the valley set against the backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Hal willfully was deep into painting, moving quickly now with his brush to finish with this color before the dappled light filtering through the overarching oaks and through the skylight of the studio had waned.

The house was quiet. Jimmy had gone into Staunton. He had been in a jubilant mood, telling Hal before he left that he hoped he'd have some important news when he returned home. Hal had only half heard him. Hal had taken to drink - drink to dull his senses and combat his imagination, as he could no longer look at Jimmy and not see him naked - the golden orb of Jimmy's head at Hal's pelvis as Jimmy took his cock in his throat. The marble skin of Jimmy's thighs as they parted for Hal and his thrusting cock.

Jimmy, Hal's half brother. Hal had to keep muttering 'He's my brother' to himself, almost as a mantra as he remained half drunk, half buried in his work.

He was mercifully alone now, in the silence, deftly stroking at the canvas with the purple underlay of the coloring he was building up at the base of the Blue Ridge, between field and mountain.

But it wasn't really silence. Hal was listening for the sound for several minutes before he identified it as moaning. The moan of sex.

He put his paint brush down on the ledge below the canvas on the easel and he was right there, at the window of the tenant shack, one hand on his cock, the other at the nipple of his bare chest, watching. Surprisingly not in shock, knowing what he'd see as soon as he became cognizant of the moaning.

Jimmy was naked, his marbled beauty stretched out, the toes of his feet barely reaching the dusty wooden floor, suspended from the ceiling by chains and bindings around his wrists.

The tenant was crouched in front of him, blocking the view of Jimmy's midsection from Hal. Sucking sounds of the hairy tenant's mouth on Jimmy's cock and the moans of pleasure from Jimmy melding in an arousing melody.

Jimmy shuddered his ejaculation, and the tenant stood and moved around him. Hal's eyes went to Jimmy's cock, seeing that it did fill out quite respectably. But Hal's gasp was dedicated to the view of the tenant's cock, thick as Jimmy's wrist.

Deep moaning filling the air, with Hal realizing with a start that much of the moaning was his own. Wanting to do something. Wanting to warn Jimmy. Knowing that Jimmy couldn't take a cock like that, that it would tear him asunder. His little brother. Jimmy, his half brother. The brother that Hal himself wanted to fuck.

The tenant was crouched behind Jimmy now, his long, heavy-fingered hands grasping Jimmy's legs above the back of the knees and lifting his legs up and out. The monster's mouth going to Jimmy's hole, and Jimmy groaning and writhing under the attentions there.

Rising, the tenant's face sharpened into a leering malevolence, and once again Hal had the sensation that nubs of horns rose from his temples and the hair of his legs that weren't human legs thickened and dropped down into feet that weren't human feet. He was lifting Jimmy higher and spreading his legs wider, and the club of a gigantic cock was at Jimmy's hole. The long, thick fingers were encasing Jimmy's butt cheeks and spreading them wide, revealing the rose bud of his gate. The bulb the tenant presented at the hole was monstrously huge. But it was slowly sucking itself into Jimmy's hole, which was blossomng out, opening to the invasion, as Jimmy's body heaved and shuddered and his rosebud unfolded. The impossible began to become possible as more and more of that killing tool moved up into Jimmy, who screamed and writhed and burbled his pain-pleasure, moving ever so slowly to pleasure-pain as more and more of the thick pole moved up into him.

Fully sheathed, Jimmy's body took on a shimmering luster, and he laid his golden-curled head back into the cleft of the tenant's shoulder, opened his eyes to Hal, and let him know in no certain terms that it was Hal who was taking him. The monster began to pump slowly and then ever quicker. Hal felt one with the movement, his gasps and groans meeting the rhythm and tenor of the fucking machine. He didn't realize just how much he was melding into the scene, though, until he looked up and watched the monster's face slowly morph into his own features.

'How can you paint in this gloom?'

Hal lifted his head, groggy from so much he was leaving unsaid, undone.

'No, I'm done for now. I was just sitting here . . . thinking . . . or something.'

Hal looked up at Jimmy, who was nearly dancing around the room, overflowing with exuberance, and beauty . . . aching beauty. Hal stood and moved to the window and looked out toward the river, in too much pain to look at Jimmy.

'Guess what,' Jimmy bubbled. 'I've been to Staunton. Seen Gretchen. You remember Gretchen, don't 'ya? We were at school together?'

'Oh, yes, Gretchen. The Gretchen of your first-semester college crush, would that be?'

'Yeah, that Gretchen. Well, guess what. She's got an art teaching job at a high school down in Winston Salem. And . . . and she wants me to go down with her. I don't know. What we're doing here . . .'

'I think that's a great idea,' Hal said, and he turned and gave the best smile he could muster to his little half brother. And then his smile broadened. Because he realized that this was lifting a burden off his shoulders. He should be miserable, he knew, but that's not what he felt. This was best for all. His urge would recede, he knew it. It didn't have to be Jimmy. It couldn't be Jimmy. It was tearing him apart that it might be Jimmy.

'Oh, that's great then. I didn't know . . .'

Hall looked hard at Jimmy. Jimmy really did think it was great, he could see. There was nothing in Jimmy's mind that had been in his. This was best. Yes, the very best thing that could happen. He turned his face back to the window.

'What are you looking at so intently?' Jimmy asked, coming over to stand close beside his older brother.

Hal's spirits soared. Jimmy was standing right next to him. For weeks Hal had trembled and fought his urges just to have Jimmy in the same room with him. The cloud was lifted. Now he was sure of it.

'I'm just looking at that shack of mine over by the river edge.'

'Thinking of fixing it up? Putting a tenant in it or something?' Jimmy asked. 'I think you did say something about doing that.'

'No. I think it's beyond repair. See, the roof has caved in over that bedroom area already. Hasn't been anyone living in there for decades. No, I think the best thing to do is just to have it torn down and the trash hauled off. All it's good for now is to get someone hurt. And we wouldn't want that, would we?'

'I thought you once said that, with a little imagination, it could be quite a desirable place,' Jimmy said.

'I said that?' Hal answered. 'I don't know what I was thinking if I said imagination could bring any good out of that pile of festering wood. No. No. I think it comes down and disappears.'



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