Range was trying to figure how the fuck a simple trailer hitch just broke off, not cracked, broke right at the stem where it met the truck. It was an easy fix, it just annoyed him that it happened. No one told him but he knew that Evan, one of the sweetest guys around, wouldn't run over a bug, but was gun shy about every loud noise, had been in the process of moving the truck when a horse kicked a metal stock tank that caused Evan to miss D and find R on the shifting knob which mashed the hitch against the only steel pole in the whole fucking fence. When Evan explained it he stood first on one boot, then the other and almost tore the brim from his hat. He was so apologetic, wouldn't let it happen again, hoped he wasn't in too much trouble....Range just stared at him.

While Bill took his own sweet fucking time to decide to come from Chicago to Montana and move in, Range had been using Evan as his mare when he felt like he needed more than his hand as a partner for the evening and that was fine by Evan. He liked to come up to the big house, always showered and shaved up real good (Jesse, one of the senior ranch hands, knew how to use a cut throat razor and got his face baby's ass smooth.), put on his one white fancy shirt, the one with pearl snaps, left unsnapped to below his sternum, and black dragons on the shoulders, shined his  good boots, washed, starched and pressed his jeans, left his skivvies in the drawer, and presented himself at the front door. Range was always both touched and amused at the work he'd put in just to please and, he had to admit, whatever he'd done to fancy himself up had worked; Just the sight of Evan standing there, holding his hat, that soft smile with the big brown eyes was hard to resist. He'd reach out, take Evan by the elbow, welcome him, draw him through the door and into his library where he offered the young cowboy a drink, which was accepted, and then he began the pleasant game of talking him out of his clothes and into his bed.

Years earlier Evan had been at loose ends and had taken a course in massage therapy-someone told him on his looks alone he had a promising career; (although in just what they didn't specify...) he couldn't have picked a better craft as far as everyone on the ranch was concerned. He was in such demand from guys coming in from a hard ride or a fall or just exhaustion that he really didn't have time to do much else in the way of ranch work. They'd all chipped in and got him a proper massage table, took an unused tack room and converted it into his massage studio. Even in deep winter, that room was warm, just the thing to relax tired muscles; One table became three then five. Guys came in, showered, climbed up on a table, some times two to a table, or just relaxed.And what would a spa be without a hot tub which came after the sauna and before the steam room. None of this was cheap but ranches work on the premise that those who work there have many talents, among them were always, carpentry, electrical work, construction....Range gave them the hot tub and paid for the tile in the gym sized shower as well as the lockers with the professional style wood benches.Couldn't have made a better investment; In no time, specially winter, that warm, humid place smelling of soap, water, oil, after shave and testosterone was the most popular place on the ranch, even Range dropped in now and again. And, of course, it gave him and a few others he happened to know, access to Evan. There was one rule on the ranch and it was adhered to; Range knew that there was all sorts of sex going on so every couple of months Doc came by and gave everyone, no matter what they claimed they hadn't done, tests for every disease that needed to be checked. So when Evan showed up, he was not only looking forward to his evening with his boss but his boss knew that everyone was medically safe-a perk few cowboys wanting to get laid could hope for.

There had been long, long absent pauses when Bill kept in touch, flew in often enough, spent some time there and then....he went back to the city, to his office, to his somewhat mysterious business and their relationship, while red hot, was confined to emails, text messages and phone calls. Not to mention photographs that, clearly, were not made to increase tourism in either place but were meant to provide stroke material. Range was surprized to find that Bill was a genius at phone sex and many nights left Range naked, almost all the sheets from his bed torn away, practically a pool of semen on his belly, at least briefly; Bill insisted that all cum needed to be eaten-why let good protein go to waste? But for all that intimacy, it did not replace his being there and, as time wandered on, Range wondered....

One day when he was feeling lonely for Bill, and beating the shit out of Steve, the man they'd caught stealing from them the day they met and who had been sent to the ranch as punishment, didn't offer any release, he wandered to the barn looking for Bangles, the oldest cowhand on the place, He didn't ride much anymore but there wasn't a better man at leather work than him. He'd made Chaps for everyone, leather vests, belts, wide heavily tooled hat bands and, for those who wanted, more personal leather wear. Jocks, harnesses, cod pieces, he could look at a man and know what would suit them best. Fact was, he'd made Range a whole leather business suit, from the jock to the leather shirt to the leather tie, the suit that fitted him like a coat of grey flannel wash and reminded you what a fine looking man Range was. Add a pair of well shined boots, he was a man to be desired. At least that's what Bill had thought when he saw it on him and, predictably, he was the only one who had. To reverse things, Bangles made Bill the relaxed cowboy uniform, very low rise leather blue jeans complete with buried buttons to shut the flap in front, a white sueded leather shirt dyed to look like gingham, a white leather tank top, great looking belt and his own style of leather ten gallon hat. It, too, had been worn once. Bill and Range had sat down to dinner in their cowhide finery, Steve served, his body not too badly damaged from the recent whippings and beatings he'd endured. Course, the first thing you noticed since he was nude was the lack of balls.Range had cut 'em clean off then, stuffed and mounted, they hung, framed,on a wall in his library, sort of a trophy.

Range was probably the only one who knew that the true sadist was really Bill, he'd seen him, pick up a whip, chain Steve to a ring in the floor and beat him into bloody unconsciousness. Range would watch knowing that when he finished he'd rip his clothes off and come for him. It wasn't rape but it was the sort of fucking one associated with lions when they bred six, eight, ten times to make sure of pregnancy. Range loved it, Bills big cock, with the mushroom head inflamed with desire, plunging into him. Never did he feel closer to his big man then when he was being plowed. When he was completely spent, he'd fall on him, panting, sweating, his muscles unable to go any further but satisfied that he's used up all his demand for pain and sex. He could lay there, staring at Range and slowly, evenly, Range would roll him on his face, put his hands behind his back, palms out, reach into the drawer in the table and retrieve the heavy steel handcuffs and click them on. It was his turn. He'd wipe the sweat from Bill's body, made it puddle in his ass, slowly pull the two sides apart so that it ran in and then, one last thing, he'd pivot around so his cock was pointing at Bill's mouth. Hungrily Bill took it, made it go down his throat, held it with his gums-he'd made a promise to Range to have his teeth removed to suck him better and kept it. In his toothless mouth he'd put in Range's cock-making sure it was dripping with spittle as it was slowly removed until just as the corona would have slipped out, Bill would hold it with his lips, run his tongue around the head, press it into the piss slit demanding and Range would relax his abdomen so that a stream of urine slid into his partner's mouth. Bill drank it up and as the stream slowed, tried to suck it, hoping for another reservoir but that was it and seconds later it made the slow, determined entry up his ass. He knew exactly how far to go until he was at the prostate and there he'd stopped, using his meatus to massage the site of all men's sex and desire. The cuffs would clank, Bill would moan but Range kept a steady pace, only at the end when he was ready to shoot would he speed up. His body would go rigid, all of it focusing on the ultimate in male satisfaction, the discharge of mans milk deep inside another man. And then he would fall on top of his partner, his buddy, his lover, the keeper of his very soul. Their sweat mingled as it coursed down their bodies heaving with the effort to breath. It might be an hour until they'd crawl out of their self made cocoon and head for the showers to be there an hour or more. The good hot shower, lots of towels, taking turns shaving each other then back to bed where a thoughtful person had changed everything, so there were fresh sheets, windows open to the chill, Hudson Bay Blankets, ten pillows but the only thing they wanted was each other. Some soft kisses, scooting around until Range fit right in the arc of Bill's body and then, sometime later, when they'd whispered their affections, their pleasures...sleep.

He thought about those days as special as a just found alluvial diamonds and told Bangles what he had in mind; A saddle for his friend. A saddle that said you're a cowboy just like all of us, You're my cowboy, the only man I will ever want but to do that, to be that....I want you here. And he turned away as he gave Bangles the instructions to build the saddle. For Bill. And without turning back walked outside and kept on going for two miles to a place he never visited.But this day...he had to, had to ask something. Ten years earlier when Ted had died, Range had tied his body over a pack horse and brought it to this place he'd prepared. No special place, just a place on the prairie that, briefly, had been disturbed by one man digging a hole, a deep hole. Most days, he'd worked naked, as a tribute to a man who was soon to be also naked and in this place of rest. When Ted finally died, the hands had a service for him, he was genuinely loved and respected, and then went back to the bunkhouse, closed the doors and the windows knowing that what would happen next was private.

That's when Range came out, naked, carefully carrying the nude body and placed it over the patient horse, secured it and began the long walk to the place on the prairie. With him in his space in the ground he put the two buckles he won rodeoing, shot his own sperm on him and then filled in the hole. In two months it would be hard to find, by this time next season, the place was lost. So when Range headed out, Bangles, and some of the other hands knew boss man was in a world of hurt. Some thought they'd better send Evan but Evan knew that what his friend needed was silence and the peace that comes with one's own thoughts when they're completed. Finding a place that may have been where Ted was, he knelt down, abjectly, and told his old love that another man was coming, at least he hoped he would, that it changed nothing with them, here was prove that only in death is love eternal.When he got back to the house it was quiet. Almost dark so a light here and there was turned on. There was a plate covered with foil sitting on the table in the kitchen and, when he got to it, a bed turned down. He knew who'd baked the pie, cooked the meat loaf, got it all arranged and mentally he sent them thanks. This wasn't the sort of deed that required direct thanks, just a casual acknowledgment. But it was the finale to one life and the hoped for beginning of another. The saddle would be finished soon, sent off with Bill's boots and hat....the clearest invitation he could think of.

Three weeks later the saddle was done; UPS picked up the heavily boxed item addressed to Bill; a week after that Range got a picture of Bill in the hat, his boots, stark naked,  mounted on the saddle which was tossed over a large couch in his office. Range was crushed, riding a fucking point in calling. He'd just be pissed and, really, more at himself.

A week after that Bill sent him a thank you note that was funny and grateful and personal but did not say or suggest that he and his saddle would be back at the ranch any time soon, if ever. In his office reading it, his eyes puddled then he threw the expensive engraved paper into the trash.

The days went on, a season came, another one and then it was finally winter. Cold wind blew through the notch in the hills, snow was no longer melting, just pushed aside to form paths for people to get around. In the corrals the horses had stomped most of the snow down but everyone kept an eye on the water in the outdoor troughs; They'd freeze up in ten minutes if you didn't mind them. The barn and the bunk house were built together; Both were warm, welcoming for the men and their horses as well as the young that got born in the middle of a blizzard. More than one cowboy returned from one errand but came in with something small and barely alive, its mother following. There were big, warm straw and hay filled stalls that just fitted this situation. Of course, going in to bottle feed one or another didn't seem all that manly to some but in fact it displays one of the best characteristics of a man, compassion.

In the bunk house some few men preferred private cubicles but most of the hands slept out in a big room they called  The Lodge where you had your choice of sleeping alone or sleeping with your buddy , The center piece of which was a pot bellied stove that radiated enough heat for the whole room. On the edge of it was a 24 cup coffee pot, always full, and there was an eight burner stove, big reefer, deep freeze plus a double steel sink, more than adequate work space and a pantry that looked more like the smallest Kroger in the chain. Range knew that men who had access to what they wanted and knew it was provided for them because the man who provided it wanted them to have it made it better. Some nights they'd all go up to the big house and Range and the guys would cook steaks or a roast, more pork chops than all could eat...always good eats, big clay plates that held one and half servings. Good desserts, lots of salads, home made dressing, all the beer you wanted. For those nights sometimes they'd watch a game on the television courtesy of a satellite, go out on in the yard and play ball or touch football, some times they played poker and, sometimes, Range displayed his truly excellent selections of porn. Of any kind. You wanted it, he had it. And after you got steamed up, one thought less of you if you stepped away to stroke it down or....took one of the cowhands, someone special to you, and wandered back to the bunkhouse for some sex. Only one who never got chosen was Evan because everyone woulda chose him and, out of respect for Range, he was permanently on reserve for the big boss.

Range didn't hate the winter or the snow. It was an inconvenience, one that kept you watching every detail for if you didn't disaster was always waiting. But some of the hands did, riding the fence line, looking for buckled wire or toppled posts was cold, hard work. Slow going too. Working with barbed wire when it was ten below and that just made your leather work gloves worn over wool gloves so frozen hard they were easily pierced by the spikes on the wire. Swearing steadily they'd get it done and fast so they could get back into the warmth of the bunk house, maybe catch a sauna or a steam, take a long hot shower, then get in bed and remember how good a warm bed felt-maybe take a buddy with you to see how that felt, two strong, good men, friends, just looking for a little pleasure and who better than a buddy?

It was out working on a fence line that Jesse and Kyle first saw the car working its way through the snow drifts, sometimes having to do a snow plow, then back up and go forward again. Whoever was driving it knew what he was doing and it must have been important as it was headed for the ranch. One thing they thought, looked fucking warmer in the car than it did sitting on a horse even with five layers of clothes.

Further along the guys in the corral heard a car, not a pickup, a car and wondered. Someone went in and called up to the big house and told Range that company was about to arrive, they thought he ought to know. Bundling up in a sheepskin coat, wrapping his neck and head in a wool scarf and putting on his heavy gloves and hat he stood on the porch. Hoping.

One of the most iconic emblems in the world belongs to Mercedes Benz and that's what Range saw on the front of the car as it pulled up in front of the house and stopped. Range felt his body shake, had to be Bill, just had to be. He watched a man get out and go back to the trunk. Through the car windows he could see him take out a saddle, a boot bag, a duffel bag and a gas can, finished by putting a hat on his head. Throwing the saddle over his shoulder, he came on around the car carrying the red can and stopped. Carefully opening the can, he doused the car, inside and out, with five gallons of gas then stripped naked, threw his city clothes on the roof, pulled out a match, lit a cheroot and tossed the match into the car. It caught on fire immediately. Bill picked up the saddle, put it over his shoulder, picked up the boot bag and the duffel bag and walked up the steps to Range.

"You better ask me in before my hardon fucking cracks off."

Bill almost dragged him through the door and from the bunk house there were cheers.

"You sonabitch, whn't you tell me? Gosh a mighty, you cocksucker, I'd a met the plane...."

"Didn't want that, I drove. I wanted you to see me change from there to here. Only one way I knew to do and that's what I did. And turn loose so I can pull on some long handles and some clothes. I'll get naked for you later but now I'm freezing my nuts off."

About that time the gas tank in the Benz blew....

They went into what would now be their room, always had been that, but now it was official.

Came to stay didn't ya.

Looks like it, my cars burning down, my city clothes are a mess so I guess I'm here to be a ranch hand and.... he looked straight at Range,  Your partner if you still want me.

I want you....always did.

Range just looked at him, watched him pull on the old waffle underwear, some heavy socks, the Wranglers, a plaid wool shirt, pulled on his boots and turned to him.  "Got a bar open at this hour?"

Range didn't so much hug him as fell on him. He was tearing up so badly he couldn't have seen where he was going but that was alright as Bill had him and together they made it to his study where Bill hauled out a bottle of Bourbon, pulled out the cork with his teeth, spat it across the room, took a swig and handed it to Range.

You're not going back? Ever?

Nope, Can't. Sold everything, house, stocks, business....nothing left but the clothes I was wearing and now they're gone so I guess that means I'm here to be a cowboy, your partner, your lover and whatever else I can think up to do. If you wanta get hitched well, that too I spose but I'd rather know I have your heart than have some paper tellin' me that. Now take a pull, it'll settle you a might .

Seeing the lights in the office, some of the guys came up to the house to welcome Bill and, as these things, happen, several bottles came out and everyone had several drinks and continued to tell Bill how the fuck glad they were he was here. That ol' Sumbitch bout gone crazy waiting for him and, well, they wanted him to know they thought a lot of him themselves. Before it got too messy, Range shooed them out, making sure they took the booze with them and made a mental note not to expect much in the way of work tomorrow. He turned but Bill wasn't there. For once Range didn't worry, he knew he'd be around so he sat down, put his boots up, poured himself a glass and drank to his own good fortune.

In the kitchen, Range had Evan seated and was talking to him about his future and telling him how much he appreciated the care and love he'd given Range. He said he knew he loved him and that, well, there was no reason why they couldn't share Bill at times. He probably knew that he had a little hobby and he wanted Evan to be around in case he forgot himself and turned on Range. Evan tried to insist that it could never happen but Bill knew better and when the need to hurt some one was on him, he wouldn't see Range as who he was but a body to be damaged, swung on, hit, whipped.....Evan's eyes looked down. He was quiet. Bill reached down and took his chin in his hand and raised his face....

Evan, what is it? There's something....

Evan swallowed and tried but couldn't get it all out.  I want....I mean, like you and Mr. Range I want... and he couldn't finish it, it was so personal so important and confronted with the only man from which it would mean anything, he was overcome with fear of not being accepted and fear of saying the words from which there was no turning back.

Bill looked at him, quietly, calmly, waiting for complete understanding to come to him. He knew, he thought, but for something like this, consideration and time hurt no one.  Boy, you want us to take you don't you. Not just sex, course we'll do that but make you our boy and what comes with it. Evan looked up at him, too afraid to seem to agree but too afraid to lose what he wanted.

You want stripes don't you....

Yessir, and he stumbled not knowing how to finish that.  When I seen Steve and knew he didn't appreciate the pain, I wanted to grab you and tell you to whip me, flog me, beat me.....but I wanted the stripes, I seen yours and well....

Bill lifted him to his feet. Evan wasn't tall but he was taut with saddle muscles and all the massaging he had done.  I day I'll let you walk to the cross, put your arms over the bar and you'll get your stripes and become more of a man than almost anyone here 'cept me and Range. Instinctively Evan fell to his knees and held onto Bills legs.  Will you take me, will you be my Sir?

Again Bill lifted him up by his chin to his feet.  No, but you'll have two go back and, Evan, thanks for all the other things you did for Bill. It wasn't just sex but I know you took care of him. You'll get something for that, not just stripes. He kissed the young man, turned him around, swatted his tail and that said it all to Evan.

Bill wandered back to the pool of light where Range was comfortable having his third drink, his boots up on a table, the picture of a happy man. Bill reached into the wooden box, took out a cheroot, grabbed a match, struck it on his boot and lit up.

When'd you take up smoking?

Oh, bout the time I realized I didn't have to worry about getting nicotine on my teeth. They both laughed.  Shit, I couldn't believe you did that...

It was part of the change, had to be something and I'm just starting.I'll get the hang of it and I guessed Winter was the best time to start, cuz it was the time when most everything was close to the house, the barn, the corrals. Give me a chance to work up to riding long distances with you on that fine saddle. Get tired, go to bed early, need my ass massaged... I'm guessing Bangles made he made our outfits... and there was a salacious look that passed between them.

Yep, he did...we need to get out our fancy duds and have another dinner, you can be the visiting cowboy and I'll be the city slicker...whaddaya say?

Bill smiled at him, that villainous smile that said and after we've eaten then..... Sure, good idea. Get Evan some sort of outfit, he'd look better than Steve-by the way, I made him our boy, hope you don't mind but...Range, he loves you like a calf loves his mother, he'd follow you anywhere and I can't thank him for services rendered and we can't turn him out just cuz I'm here. There are uses for him... Range looked at Bill who looked sufficiently innocent that you'd have let him lead a Sunday School class. But the smile suggested you might like to think twice. He'd teach some lessons alright but nothing that would further the little tykes higher religious education.

Range smiled back at him.  Too early to go to bed....

Is it? You never take naps? Sun is just going down so that makes it, what?, 4:30? quarter to five? Nothing builds up an appetite like a little siesta before eating. Makes a man hungry...Sides, I want to show you my new gums now that they're all healed. Also, got two or three sets of choppers, one of them for special occasions.

The two of them slowly crossed the floor to the big bedroom. One on either side of the bed they stripped never taking their eyes off the other.  Lights on?

Nah, lights off. More fun looking for you in the dark. They slid into bed and didn't have any trouble at all finding each other, of course, they knew right where to look.




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