It was agonizing how this place never changed. Nothing was different. Quinton turned on Landis Bridge Road, a narrow unmarked road that cut through the most remote section of the county, undulating through the rolling hills of pine and farms, one of which belonged to his family. He had been gone for a month traveling in Oregon, Washington and then driving all the way up to Alaska. The trip was a graduation present from his parents and after what happened the day before his departure he had found it a relief, an opportunity to put what had happened behind him. Now that he was returning home he found the old pain was still there, just below the surface, waiting.
His Grand Cherokee, over ten years old, had held up well with its aftermarket suspension and tires and it was still caked from the mud and grime of his travels. He eased down the road, letting his speed slow, no longer in a hurry to complete his journey as he drove by the familiar scenery along the road. He rounded the curve just past the bridge in which the road was named and made his way past the Jones' farm and he slowed as he looked around their place trying to see if a red pickup was parked behind the house. He only saw the silver truck Mr. Jones drove.
His family's farm was less than a mile further down the road and as he drove by he saw dust rising up in the Jones' last field. As he got closer he saw the red pickup sitting on the side of the road just across the open ditch parked at one of the old oak trees. The truck made him think of Jacob and he gripped the steering wheel hard as he eased along the road looking at the truck, the dented rear fender, the tool box just behind the cab and the fuel tank between the wheel wells and the large rearview mirror of the passenger side still broken.
Quinton eased along, his foot not even on the gas, as he looked across the field at the tractor moving over the open ground with the dust rising up behind it concealing it partially from view he knew Jacob would be the one operating the tractor. His stomach knotted and he felt his heart beat painfully fast. He wanted to stop, to wait for Jacob to make his round. He wanted to know if he had really fucked things up with the way he had left. But he lost his courage and speed up.
The tractor parked back into its place in the barn Jacob decided not to bother anyone and just walked back down along the shoulder of the road to get his truck. He walked along in the late afternoon sun and felt its heat make him sweat as he made his way down the shoulder. He could see the two grain silos at the Ross farm and each time he saw them he felt a stab of pain in his stomach. It had been over a month and it still hurt, the way things fell apart with the way Quinton had reacted and ultimately the things they had said to each other. He had made excuses for it so many times since, telling himself it was bound to happen, they had to know it wouldn't work and it was for the best.
But it still hurt.
He tried to make himself move on, forget how it was, and then he fantasized how it could have been. How they could have ignored what others had said, acted against their parent's wishes and maybe got their own place, just the two of them...Quinton and him. But the reality of the situation rose up to crush these fantasies for each time he let his mind think of what could have been he remembered what had been: Quinton and him standing out in the pasture between their family's farms yelling, saying hurtful things, those things others had said about them and it ended with him storming off telling Quinton to 'go fuck yourself'.
He drove his truck back and parked in his usual spot and went inside to the smell of dinner cooking. His mother was at the sink washing lettuce and when he came into the kitchen she turned to him and gave him a weak smile and told him to get cleaned up. He could see it in her eyes, the way she looked at him. She knew he was still thinking about Quinton and had been for the last month. He wasn't sure when Quinton was returning from his road trip, one they had planned to do together, but ended up being one Quinton used to get away. He wondered what he would say to Quinton when they did see each other next and he feared what Quinton would say to him.
The ground was covered in mud from where Quinton had washed it from his Grand Cherokee and he was scrubbing the wheels trying to get the dirt, brake dust and grime off. The morning sun soon got hot and he tossed his shirt into a chair on the screen porch letting what breeze there was cool his skin. He had laid awake most of the night and was now keeping himself busy with one task after the next. He had mowed the lawn early that morning, feed the chickens and gathered eggs and now he was cleaning up his Jeep.
His mother came out and sat in a chair on the lawn and for a long time she didn't say anything, just watched her youngest son at his task. Quinton wanted to talk, wished he could ask her what he should do, how he could fix this, but he knew she wouldn't, or couldn't help him, for his parents had been glad to find out Jacob wasn't going on the trip and as his father had stated it, "whatever was going on between them he was glad it was over", as if he didn't know. He'd walked in on them two different times; once in the barn and once in his room.
"You still think about him...in that way, don't you?" his mother finally asked in a low voice, so unobtrusive he didn't register the question at first.
"Yes" he replied softly as he kept scrubbing at the wheel, not looking back at her.
"I really don't understand..." his mother said, her voice trailing off and there was a long silence as Quinton didn't reply for he wasn't ready for another argument, then he heard his mother sigh. "But then again I sometimes have to admit I do understand. You know your grandparents didn't want me to marry your father...called him a dirt farmer and I could do better" and she laughed at the memory of it. "Quinton...Quinton?" she asked, her voice soft with its southern dialect softening the 'q' in his name.
Quinton turned and eased down on his knees from his squatting position as he looked over at his mother. He saw her smile at him as she put her hands on the arms of the chair and leaned forward getting into the position she liked when about to make a point.
"This past month while you were gone your father and I have talked about what happened, and we have talked to some people who understand...this situation... Quinton, this isn't the life we wanted for you. We envisioned you with a family, children, a life like our own, but..." and she looked out across the field as Quinton stay kneeled down looking at her, waiting on her to go on. She kept her eyes on the field as she spoke, "this life is hard enough without sacrificing who you'd like to share it with" and she got up and headed toward the screen porch not waiting for Quinton to reply, having said what she needed to say.
Quinton watched her go through the screen door as he suddenly felt some weight lifted from him.
"Thanks mom" he replied as she crossed the screen porch and went back inside the house.
The cows were following him as he drove his truck alone the two ruts that ran across the pasture. He had one of the trailers hooked up and was bringing hay to the cows to supplement the grass of the pasture. He stopped near the small pond the cows used to cool off and typically congregated during the hottest part of the day. Jacob climbed out of the truck and pulled up his loose jeans, a pair so worn his mother threatened to throw them out. He climbed up on the trailer and began to cut open the small bales and toss them onto the ground for the cows.
When the trailer was empty Jacob stood up and pulled his cap off as he wiped his brow with the tail of his t-shirt. He watched the cows nudge in by each other as they ate the hay. He saw a hawk glide overhead and he watched it float down toward one of the trees out by the road and as his eyes followed the bird to the tree he soon found himself following the Jeep going down the road, moving more slowly than typical and he just knew Quinton was looking out across the pasture at him and he felt his stomach knot up and the hurt rise up quickly turning to anger.
'Son of a bitch' he grunted as he climbed down and got back into his truck to head back to the barn.
He drove back to the barn across the pasture and along the lane around the perimeter of his family's property. The ride was rough, his truck bouncing and rocking and yet it was comforting, this jostling around for it made his stomach not feel so knotted up. He kept trying to fuel his rage with his recollection of what happened a month ago but as he drove along his anger dissipated and he soon found himself missing Quinton, daydreaming of some way to break this barrier between them.
The rest of the day Jacob worked at his chores and near the end of the day as the sun was setting he backed his truck to the side of the barn to drop the trailer and call it a day. Inside he found the familiar scene of his mother in the kitchen telling him to go get cleaned up.
Jacob showered and stood in front of the mirror where he looked at himself wondering about his own identity. He ran his hand through his light brown hair, streaks of blonde where the sun bleached it out, letting his fingers comb through its wet mane that he wore a little longer than most of the other guys, longer than Quinton's hair who kept his cut close to the scalp with its thick jet black hair covering his head. Jacob stood up straight looking at his reflection and still couldn't see anything about himself that spoke of his attraction to Quinton; some physical mark that said 'I'm gay'.
What his mother had said had given him a sense of relief but he still had not a clue how to approach Jacob. He had been home over a day, lived right next door to Jacob and had seen him out working the last two days and he still hadn't approached him. The problem was he didn't know if Jacob would want to talk to him and he was afraid of the possibility Jacob would reject him.
After lunch his mother sent him into town for a few things from the grocery store therefore mid-afternoon he found himself driving home. He drove up the grade from the bridge and came to the Jones' farm and he couldn't stop himself from slowing, letting his Jeep coast by the home place. As he approached their pasture he saw the familiar red pickup parked in the drive facing the gate. As he got closer he saw Jacob was working on the on the hinges. Quinton didn't think as he hit the brakes for seeing Jacob right there by the road he had to do something, anything, and he pulled down into the ditch adjacent to the drive. Jacob had his shirt off and his jeans rode so low over an inch of his white boxers were showing. His skin glistened in the hot sun as he sweated at his task. It made Quinton suck in a deep breath and acknowledge to himself what he couldn't a month ago. He really did love the guy and he was gay.
Quinton shut the engine off and sat still for a moment as he watched Jacob stand up and stare at him, his expression appearing angry. He opened the door and stepped out glancing up at Jacob seeing how he just stood in place with his hands hanging at his sides, a screwdriver in one hand and a hinge in the other.
"What the fuck do you want?" Jacob asked as Quinton walked up out of the ditch and onto the drive a few feet away.
"Look...I want to talk..." Quinton began but Jacob interrupted him.
"I think you talked enough right before you went on your little trip" Jacob said, the anger in his voice cutting Quinton to the quick. Jacob just dropped everything and turned, climbed over the gate and began to walk away. "Go home...we have nothing to talk about."
"Goddamn it Jacob, wait" and Quinton climbed over the gate and took off after him. Quinton walked in pace with Jacob thinking he would let him wind down, walk off his anger and then he would try to talk to him. So they walked at a fast pace across the pasture and Quinton watched how Jacob was sliding his steps kicking at the ground with every step and his arms swung only slightly for he was holding his body rigid, making his exertion greater and Quinton easily kept pace. He knew this walk of Jacob's, one he did every time he was angry about something and how he kicked at everything along the ground.
Jacob walked all the way to the back of the pasture and to a back gate that connected it to the adjacent field. Quinton watched Jacob climb over the gate and keep on walking, now each step in the disked field kicking up a little dust. Quinton didn't know how far Jacob would go before he would finally stop but he kept pace following him across the field.
'Fuck him' was all he could think as he stormed across the field, the sweat pouring from his hair and getting into his eyes burning them, making them water up more and he wiped his dirty forearm across his face to wipe them clear. He tried to hold this anger, let it simmer within him for he not only was upset with what Quinton had said a month ago but he was equally upset how easy it had seemed that Quinton could just leave the next day and take off leaving him behind.
Where he was going he had no idea, but he kept walking, his pace recklessly fast, every step kicking up dust and he knew Quinton was behind him, keeping pace, letting him just walk as far as he wanted to go. The words Quinton had said came back to him over and over. They had been standing out by the barn in the small pasture and it was late at night. How the argument started he wasn't sure but he knew when it turned ugly. He had wanted Quinton to admit their relationship, to tell him they would live together and Quinton had looked shocked, gave him a stare he couldn't shake from his mind.
'Are you crazy' Quinton had replied then he told Jacob he wasn't gay and what they did was just messing around and in the end, after a few minutes of arguing Quinton had called him a 'faggot' and Jacob, shocked at the slur, had told him to 'fuck off' and walked off. Jacob had laid awake all night and didn't know what to do next, but the next morning after sitting around for a while thinking it over he had gone to Quinton's house to talk and found he had gone through with their plans to leave on the road trip, only Quinton had left without him.
Jacob was coming to the back of the field, down the slope toward the woods and he stumbled, nearly fell, but he got his footing and turned to face Quinton.
"What?! You coming to tell me how you're not a faggot but I am" Jacob nearly yelled, the anger and sadness nearly strangling his voice.
Quinton stopped a few feet away from him and he watched the sweat run down his face, into his eyes, over his cheeks and across his lips and Quinton made no attempt to wipe it away. Quinton's shirt was soaked around the neck and armpits and the dust covered his clothes. Jacob waited, wanted Quinton to say something stupid, to tell him how he wasn't gay and make him feel worse; make him feel even more different than he already felt.
Then he saw Quinton look away, across the field and he couldn't tell if it was sweat or tears running down his cheeks. Quinton kicked at a clod of dirt making a little dust cloud that slowly settled back to the ground in the hot still air.
Jacob stood still, his stomach heaving in and out as he was still breathing hard. Quinton looked at his body, the exposed chest and stomach, the way the sweat ran in streams down his skin leaving trails through the dirt that covered him and he felt the separation between them, this barrier he himself had created.
"Jacob..." and Quinton looked up into Jacob's eyes, "...I'm sorry. What I said was wrong and mean...I panicked, acted foolish and then I ran away from the problem...I ran away from you and it was the dumbest thing I have ever done" and Quinton looked down at the ground where he was using the toe of his boot to kick at the ground, "...I know you're angry. Angry about what I said and probably more angry that I left. I shouldn't have done it and I'm sorry. Okay..." and he looked across the field afraid to look at Jacob, "...will you think about forgiving me? And I want you to know mom and I have discussed it and its okay...really...I think...no...I know I can deal with it. I don't care what anyone else around here thinks anymore. Just think about forgiving me, okay?"Quinton said as he turned and began to walk back to his truck. He knew the walk would be a long painful one for he kept wondering if Jacob would forgive him, or even speak to him again.
'Goddamn it' Jacob thought as he watched Quinton walk away and he threw a punch through the air in front of him lashing out. He wanted to remain mad, foolishly selfishly angry with Quinton, wanted to use it to mask the hurt but he couldn't do it and he felt his anger dissipate as Quinton walked across the field. He began to pace in circles wanting to end this now and then he wondered if he should wait, maybe wait till the next day and then see how he felt, but he turned and began to walk toward Quinton for he knew how he felt.
Quinton was nearly fifty yards away and Jacob increased his pace into a jog until he was closing fast. Quinton didn't hear him as he came upon him fast, bear hugging his body and bringing them down onto the ground.
"Please Jacob...I'm sorry...don't" Quinton had begun to protest and Jacob knew Quinton was afraid he was going to beat him up. He forced Quinton onto his back as he laid on top of him face to face, the sweat dripping from his nose and chin into Quinton's face.
"Jacob..." Quinton said before Jacob interrupted him.
"Shut up...for once just shut the fuck up" Jacob replied as he stared down into Quinton's eyes. He stared at Quinton for a long time as he held him down on the ground then he leaned up a little and released his hold on Quinton's arms. "Say it" Jacob asked Quinton for he wanted to hear him say it, to admit what he couldn't a month ago and Quinton looked up at him and smiled; the first between them in a long time.
"I'm gay" he whispered, then he smiled and as loud as he could he yelled "I'm gay." And the two of them laughed softly.
"Jacob, I'm really sorry."
Quinton reached up and wrapped his arms around Jacob and rolled him over on the ground getting on top of him. He sat on Jacob's crotch and sat up looking down on him, the two of them dusty with sweat cutting wet trails through it. Smiling he began to unbutton his shirt, one button at a time, deliberately working the buttons through their holes until his shirt opened up revealing his chest and stomach, his skin wet and shiny in the sun light.
"What are you doing?" Jacob whispered.
"Taking off my clothes" Quinton replied as he began to undo his jeans, sliding the zipper down and spreading them open. He stood up clumsily and worked his boots off, pulled each sock from his feet and started working his jeans down his legs.
"Quinton...you can't...not in broad daylight!" Jacob said incredulous of Quinton as he pulled his jeans free of his legs tossing them on the ground. Quinton only smiled as he lowered his boxers, his partially erect cock swinging freely over his sac and Jacob looked at the familiar body, the lean frame, the smooth skin lighter than his own with his dark hair always cut short now wet with the sweat pouring from it, and he let his eyes roam down Quinton's body, the thick underarm hair dark with its wetness and downward seeing how rivulets of sweat ran down his torso and he looked at Quinton's narrow waist down over his cock which Quinton was manipulating bringing it to full erection.
"Quinton..." Jacob uttered letting his voice trail off. Quinton eased down on his knees in the dirt and ran his hand over Jacob's crotch feeling his cock as it began to harden. Quinton undid the button, pulled the zipper down and opened up Jacob's jeans, the white boxers, wet along the waist band such Jacob's cock was visible where it was pressing upward against the front. Quinton ran his hand over Jacob's crotch, feeling his cock get hard through the fabric. Quinton shifted and took Jacob's jeans and boxers in his hands.
"Raise your ass up" Quinton asked Jacob and Jacob didn't say anything as he raised his hips up and let Quinton pull them down to his knees. The warm bare earth, loose from tilling was soft underneath him and he watched Quinton straddle his hips, take his cock, holding it up as he rubbed his ass back and forth over it.
"Yeah...sit on it..." Jacob whispered as if in a trance, no longer thinking about where they were, no longer concerned with the heat or the dirt. He watched as Quinton rubbed his ass over the leaking cock head, rubbing back and forth, his hole centered over it. Jacob couldn't hold back and he pushed up slightly and Quinton felt the move and he eased down bringing their bodies together letting Jacob's cock penetrate his hole. Jacob felt how Quinton's tight hole slide down his cock till it was buried completely in him.
Quinton felt the familiar stretch of his hole, one he had felt many times before but this time it was different. They weren't hidden in the barn or off in the woods or the rare occasion one of them had their homes to free, instead they were out in the open lying on the tilled soil, his legs working his body up and down as he rode Jacob's cock. He put his dirty hands down on Jacob's chest feeling the slickness of his sweaty skin and as he pushed upward, leaving trails through the dirt, he moved over Jacob's nipples and squeezed them. Jacob moaned and pushed up with his hips as much as he could as Quinton came down once again. Quinton rode Jacob's cock with his body straining with the exertion while sweat ran in streams down his body.
"Fuck" Quinton uttered as he moved faster and faster.
Jacob reached up and pulled Quinton down and hugged him tightly. He rolled them over putting Quinton on bottom. Quinton wrapped his legs around Jacob and urged him on, urged him to fuck and to fuck hard. Jacob kicked his legs back and forth till his jeans and boxers were around his ankles and he began to fuck. Quinton laid back stretching out his body as he took it, felt Jacob's cock bore into him, sinking deeply into his tunnel.
Jacob took Quinton by the wrists and held them down as he shifted over his body for a different angle. He fucked fast, thrusting his cock into Quinton hard, slamming his hips against Quinton's ass rocking him in the dirt.
"Fuck..." Jacob grunted.
"Come on Jacob...fuck me...fuck me...hard..." Quinton stammered as he was being rocked on the ground.
Quinton felt the way Jacob was slamming his cock into his hole, banging around inside him making him see stars and his own cock so hard it ached as it bobbed over his stomach and drooled down to his navel filling it. Jacob's rhythm became ragged, his thrust rough, and Quinton felt the cum surge through his cock and spatter across his chest.
"Fuck...fuck..." Quinton grunted as he pumped out his cum with only stimulation Jacob hammering his hole roughly and Jacob rose up, his body tensed tight and he slammed hard and deep into Quinton and jabbed his cock in short hard thrusts filling Quinton's hole with his load.
Later Quinton and Jacob were walking back through the pasture, Jacob's arm wrapped over Quinton's shoulders as the two of them talked. They came to the gate and Quinton kissed Jacob telling him he'd see him later. Quinton then turned to leave and saw his mother drive by waving at the two of them. It was a simple moment but it made Quinton smile, knowing things would be fine.