Owen made his way down the path that wound its way around the pasture and into the woods. The woods lay at the back of the property where the grade falls away. Even in the shade it was hot and he swatted at the gnats as he felt sweat trickle down his face and down his sides. The sun was high in the sky, an occasional cloud breaking its intense heat. He wondered if the guys had made it for he was running a bit late having gotten held up in town. His dad had sent on an errand and it had taken longer than expected.

He neared the woods and looked back scanning the pasture and adjacent field wondering if Mr. Holland was around but he only saw the small herd of cattle moving slowly across the pasture, heads down grazing on the grass. Quinn’s father still farmed the old place and had several other fields scattered around the community.  He was one of the few still farming, along with Joshua’s father. His own father worked at the paper mill, had for years finally getting a manager position just a couple of years ago even as the mill was cutting back and reducing production.

The temperature dropped a few degrees in the shade of the woods giving some relief. Owen followed the narrow path down the grade till he could see the opening ahead where the fish pond lay. It was a manmade pond built back in the fifties, a long oval shape nestled at the bottom of the hill. As he approached he saw the old weathered pier stretching out over the pond and near the end sat Joshua and Quinn. They had their shirts off and their backs glistened wetly in the hot sun.

Joshua was broad shouldered and muscular with naturally dark skin. He looked the oldest of the three of them, with long sideburns and a five o’clock shadow that lined his jaw and chin. His chest had a mat of hair and a trail of hair from his navel downward disappearing into the cutoff jeans he was wearing, a pair of jeans he had worn till frayed and ripped before taking scissors to the legs.

Quinn was very different from Joshua, a narrow lean frame, a skin tone lighter that would acquire some color over time in the sun. He looked boyish, even in the way he wore his blonde hair, slightly long and always tousled with no hint of facial hair.  Even his underarm hair was sparse. And where Joshua was outgoing, always going to some party or other event, Quinn was quiet, shy, never one to seek attention.

Owen slowed his pace as he approached the pier looking at his friends, two guys he had known all his life. He looked at them feeling a closeness he didn’t feel with anyone else. For the last few years Owen knew he felt something more toward them, an attraction he was afraid to say aloud, even to his two friends. During high school when he realized what he was feeling toward Quinn and Joshua he became distant for a while afraid to reveal to them what he felt. They lived in this small farming community, went to a small school where everyone knew each other and where there was still a belligerence toward gays, a demonizing of them that caused Owen to remain quiet afraid to admit how he felt. Joshua and Quinn had not allowed him to isolate himself, unbeknownst to them the reason for it in the first place. He thought going away to college would make everything easier but the first year had been tough, struggling with a course load much tougher than anything from high school and being in a dorm where he felt like an outsider, some country bumpkin who was ignorant of so much. Near the end of Spring semester, he began to make real friends and to find his way but he had looked forward to the summer break, of getting home and being with his two closest friends. The three of them had ended up at different universities, each selection based on the curriculum they chose to pursue so they had not seen each other much over the last nine months but they kept in touch, constantly texting or sending some message via social media.

Stepping onto the gray weathered boards of the pier Quinn and Joshua looked over to see Owen making his way toward them.

“What took you so long” Quinn asked as he kicked his legs back and forth lazily, his toes grazing the surface of the pond.

“Held up but I’m here now” Owen replied coming down next to Quinn and sitting on the edge of the pier. “Damn it is hot today.”

“Yeah, we were talking about how nice it would be if we could jump in” said Joshua.

“Well…you remember what happened when we did that a few years ago” Owen replied.

“Oh yeah, don’t remind me” Joshua said laughing. They had been fourteen, daring to a fault and on a day similar to this one they dared each other to jump into the pond. Joshua had gone first followed by Owen then Quinn. They had horsed around for a while and once settled to just swimming around they found themselves facing two water moccasins swimming toward them attracted by the noise they were making. They had scrambled out of the pond, slipping on the muddy bank as they fought for purchase.

Owen glanced over at Quinn and Joshua, watched the flex of muscle in their thighs as they rocked their feet back and forth. Joshua’s hairy legs, thick and muscular then over to Quinn’s long lean legs, so smooth looking Owen fought the urge to reach over and touch them. He kept his hands by his own legs holding to the edge of the boards of the pier. He was self-conscious of the fact he kept his t-shirt on but he burned so easily in the sun, especially on a hot blistering day such as this. He wore baggy cargo shorts that went below the knee protecting his thighs as he sat. He looked over at the gym shorts Quinn wore, the legs so short that they rode up to his crotch when sitting then over to those cutoff jeans Joshua wore, the legs stretched tight and heavily frayed. Owen knew without being able to see that there was a hole in the crotch where Joshua’s underwear would be pushing through.

Owen felt the closeness to Quinn and Joshua, their bodies nearly touching as they sat side by side. Their arms bumped each other and when Joshua pointed out a heron on the far bank he had put his arm around Quinn and poked Owen on the shoulder as he pointed with his other hand. There was a casual intimacy among the three of them that had been pleasant but now troubled Owen, made him have thoughts of the possibilities. Ever touch had become something to relish, the brush of skin against skin. Fantasies played out in his mind, images so erotic his face flushed red when he considered them, having to turn away from Quinn and Joshua for a moment.

“Let’s go up to the house and play some games” Quinn stated as he climbed onto his feet, “it’s too fucking hot to just sit out here.”

“Hey guys I’m going to head on. I’ve got a date tonight and I might as well go chill out for a while before getting ready” Joshua said as he stood up.

“Of course you have a date” Quinn jokingly replied, then looking down at Owen, “you don’t have a hot date do you?”

“No” Owen replied laughing nervously. He followed Quinn and Joshua down the pier and up the path. He looked at his friends the way he had so often in the last few years. Compared their bodies, Quinn so tall and lean and Joshua his own height but so much more muscular. He watched the way their bodies moved, the way muscle flexed beneath the skin. He watched the movement of their asses within their shorts, Joshua’s so prominent in the tight cutoff jeans.

When they arrived back at the house they were sweating profusely, Owen’s shirt soaked till it was transparent. Joshua climbed into his old Jeep, tossed his shirt in back, waved goodbye and eased down the drive toward the highway.

“Fuck its hot; come on let’s get inside” said Quinn and Owen followed him up the familiar steps, across the porch and into the cool interior. Owen followed Quinn through the house till they were in the small bedroom that was Quinn’s. A twin bed along one wall, a nightstand, a chest of drawers and a desk were crowded in the room. The small television was mounted to the wall at the foot of the bed. As Quinn pulled out the controllers and loaded up a game Owen slipped off his t-shirt and tossed it over a chair. The cool air felt good to his exposed skin and he glanced in the mirror mounted on the back of the door seeing his own lean body, his fair skin with arms and neck darker than his torso. His cargo shorts hung low on his waist till the waistband of his boxers were visible and he felt himself within his own body, the sense of his sex and the desire of his sexuality. He glanced over to Quinn, the way his long lean body went from one corner of the bed to the opposite with feet hanging off. They always piled up on the bed together to play games and Owen liked the way they lay side by side, bodies touching, their every movement felt by the other. It scared him at times the way he responded to this, the way his cock would grow erect, painfully confined in his clothes.

“Okay the game is loaded; get your ass down here so I can kick it” Quinn taunted and Owen eased down next to his friend, their bodies lying side by side, arms touching, legs rubbing each other. They played for nearly two hours without stopping, one then the other winning. They joked with each other, their banter going back and forth as they played. Quinn eventually grew quiet, slow to reload the game to start again.

“You doing anything tonight?” Quinn asked?

“Nah…no plans.”

“Yeah me neither. This place sucks. There is shit to do around here.”

“You want to ride over to town and see a movie? That space flick is out.”

“Is it…yeah; it’ll be something to do.”

Then it happened, a moment where they just looked at each other, neither saying anything. Owen didn’t know how to read it, wasn’t sure how to read Quinn, the way he gave him such a serious expression. He wanted to ask Quinn what he was thinking. Wanted to ask him if he was thinking the same things he himself thought, but he blinked and looked away breaking the spell of the moment.

“I should get going if we’re going to the movie. You want to grab dinner beforehand?”

“Yes…we can grab a burger at that new place in downtown.”

“I’ll come by around six and pick you up” Owen replied as he stood picking up his shirt. He had a ten-year old truck but it was nicer than Quinn’s old Cherokee which showed the off-roading abuse of the previous owner then that of Quinn’s use.

They arrived at the restaurant a little before seven to find it busy, even recognizing several old high school classmates among the patrons. Part of Owen was glad to find everything so seemingly normal, Quinn and he just hanging out, stopping at one table or another talking to old friends and then finally the two of them in a booth talking about their freshman year at college. It was the same at the cinema, several of their friends showing up with them and all taking one row within the theater. Everything felt safe, normal, and Owen relaxed in his seat next to Quinn. They leaned forward time and time again as they talked to the others either side of them while waiting on the previews to start. Owen wanted more, much more but he was afraid to make the first move even though he wondered about Quinn. He knew Joshua would never be someone who would ever have a relationship with another guy, but Quinn he wasn’t so sure.

There were moments when the possibility seemed real but some occurrence would happen to break the moment, to bring things back to their plutonic relationship as friends. Owen felt this as he drove back to Quinn’s home to drop him off, some barrier between them.

“The movie wasn’t as good as I hoped” Quinn suddenly stated breaking the silence.

“Nah, it wasn’t” Owen replied as he drove down the dark two lane highway his high beams illuminating the road directly in front of them.

“We’re going to my Aunt’s for lunch but why don’t you come over in the afternoon. We can find something to do” Quinn stated as he watched Owen turn on Highway 258 heading toward his home.

“When will you get home?”

“Probably around one. They like to eat early so we should be back by then. I think dad and his sister just tolerate each sometimes. We never stay long at their house.”

When Owen got home he eased into his room not wanting to wake his parents. Stripping out of his clothes down to his boxers and fell across the bed on his back. He folded his hands and rested his head on them, the cool air feeling soft to his bare skin. He thought of earlier that day, Quinn and Joshua on the pier, shirtless, their legs dangling off the side. Sitting next to Quinn with their arms or legs touching aroused him even now. He let his hand slide down his stomach and over the bulging boxers feeling his own arousal. He started to masturbate, began to push his boxers down but stopped, the desire to get off not as great as his feeling this aroused state gave him, relishing how it made him feel. Playing out his fantasies in a way that seemed able to be real.

Sunday began cloudy, a threat of rain possible at any moment. Owen hung around his home till nearly one then drove over to the Holland’s place. The car was not in the carport and Owen knew they had not returned. He sat for a few minutes in his truck then got out to walk around the property. He saw the new barn, its metal panels still shiny and to its left the old original barn. Owen thought of all the times they had played in the hay loft. He ambled toward the old barn seeing the side door was not shut all the way. He moved to it and eased the door open looking inside. Some light filtered inside the barn through the few windows along the side walls and Owen could see the barn was nearly empty of equipment and tools, the walls bare and the bays empty. He moved inside and to the ladder that led up to the hayloft climbing cautiously up the old wood rungs knowing some had been loose in the past.

The hayloft was nearly empty, only a few hay bales stacked in one corner. Owen went over to the door that opened off the back side of the loft overlooking the pasture.  Light filtered into the hayloft allowing him to survey the space realizing it was much smaller than he remembered. Quinn, Joshua and he had played in the loft often when they were twelve to fourteen years old, the last year sneaking beer up. Then they grew older and playing in the loft no longer interested them.

Owen moved around the loft, looked around the hay bales looking for some sign of their past presence. He found the place Joshua had carved his love to Katie, then to Lisa and finally the last time they were in the loft one to Rachel. He moved by the hay bales and saw an old bird nest lying against the wall, He bent down to pick it up and felt the floor move under his foot. Stepping back, he pressed on the board and found it was a short section not nailed down. Easily lifting it up he saw magazines lying in the space below. It was too dark to see them clearly so he grabbed them all up and walked over to the open door sitting on the edge, legs dangling over the side. He looked at the first magazine and was shocked to see it was one of naked guys. He flipped the others over and saw they were the same, each one filled with naked guys, most with erections, holding them up, stroking them till cum puddled on their chests and stomachs.

Owen thumbed through the first one feeling his cock stir in the confines of his shorts. He tugged on it, worked it around till it lay sideways as he turned page after page looking at one naked guy till the next. He wondered how often Quinn came up here and looked at these images, wondered how he masturbated; did he just take it out through the fly of his jeans or did he get naked. He tried to picture Quinn, cock in hand. He had seen Quinn naked several times but always in a nonsexual manner, cock flaccid and usually among other guys like in the locker room in school. He knew he missed something, some signal, an indication Quinn was gay. He tried to think of the times it was just the two of them. He thought of the times they played video games lying on Quinn’s bed, their bodies touching in so many ways. He thought of the wrestling around up in this hayloft till they were sweaty, their slick bodies sliding over each other. He tugged on his cock again, suddenly realizing the sexual nature of much of their play. He remembered lying on Quinn’s bed the day before, that moment between them.

The floor squeaked behind Owen and he froze then slowly turned around. Quinn was standing behind him.

“What are you doing?” Quinn asked, panic in his voice.

“I…uh…didn’t hear you get back.”

“Obviously. You found…those” Quinn replied unable to admit to the gay porn Owen was holding.

“Yeah, I found them and…” Owen stammered, then looked back out the door across the pasture, “did you always know?”

He heard Quinn move closer, the floor squeak right behind him then silence for a long time. “Yes, I think so.”

“Have you…been with a guy?”

“No” Quinn replied and saw Owen turned around and he saw how scared Owen looked.

Quinn watched as Owen slowly, tentatively reached out and touched him on the bare leg. He felt the touch, soft at first, then more insistent, the hand moving up and down his calf. Quinn eased down on his knees and he felt Owen touch him on the waist. Owen twisted around to face him.

“Do you like…” Owen began but Quinn stopped him leaning down quickly kissing him on the mouth.

Quinn pulled back till their lips were grazing each other, noses pressed side by side. “Yes.”

Quinn stood up and helped Owen to his feet leading him back to the hay bales moving a couple till he had made a low stack. He sat down and guided Owen to sit next to him. They sat side by side looking straight ahead.

“Owen, I’m nervous” said Quinn breaking the silence.

“I am too. Afraid I’ll want to do something you…don’t want to do.”

Quinn smiled and shook his head then looked over at Owen. “I’ll do whatever you want” He stood up and move in front of Owen. Slowly he lifted his t-shirt upward, worked his arms out of each sleeve and then pulled it over his head. Owen watched every move, the revealing of more and more of his body. He unfastened his jeans, pulled the zipper down watching Owen’s face, the change of expression, the way Owen’s eyes watched his hands work his jeans open and pushed them down his long lean legs. Kicking off his shoes he stepped out of each leg. His boxers were tented showing his arousal. He took them by the waistband and slide them down till the fell freely to his ankles. He stepped out of one opening and kicked them off to the side. His cock rose up half hard, the long lean shaft a reflection of his body.

“Am I okay?” Quinn asked.

“Yes” Owen replied reaching out and pulling Quinn up close between his legs. He ran his hands up Quinn’s sides then over Quinn’s chest and downward till he was holding it. He let it fill his hand as it grew harder, longer, thicker and he stroked it till Quinn was breathing hard.

Owen leaned down to Quinn’s cock, put his lips to the head kissing it. He repeated his kisses, till he let the head slip through them. He pushed forward letting inch by inch sink into his mouth. Quinn’s hands came down on his shoulders, the fingers digging in as Owen’s mouth moved along the hard shaft. Owen manipulated Quinn, worked on him till his cock flexed with its hardness and Quinn pushed him off of it.

“Too close” Quinn uttered as he got Owen to stand. He lifted Owen’s t-shirt up, helped him get each arm free then slipped it over his head. Quinn leaned to him kissing him on the mouth, then along the jaw till he could tug on an earlobe. Owen pressed his torso against Quinn feeling the heat trapped between their bodies. “Fuck” Quinn uttered as he pulled back and reached for the button of Owen’s cargo shorts. He quickly undid the button, pulled the zipper down and let them drop to the floor. Quinn eased down on his knees and looked at the way Owen’s cock pushed outward. He saw the outline of it, the thick shaft and flared head pressing tightly to the soft fabric. He had always wanted Owen, wanted to give him pleasure and he put his mouth to the outline of the flared head. He mouthed it, ran his lips down along the shaft and back to the head where he manipulated it through the fabric till it was wet, nearly transparent and he pulled back and looked at it, the way Owen’s cock was darker toned than the rest of him. He reached for the waistband and tugged them down freeing it at last, watched it bob up and down in his face before he put his lips to the head and pushed forward letting it sink into his mouth.

Quinn held Owen in his mouth savoring the way it felt. The shaft lying on his tongue sliding back and forth slowly as he moved to stimulate Owen. He felt the shaft thicken and the head flare out wider as he moved his mouth on it. He pulled back and held it seeing it glisten with his spit then he held it to his cheek, rubbed it over his face. It left a trail in its path and he raked it across his lips slicking them with its drool. Owen heaved inward deeply.

“Will you put it in me?” Quinn asked in a low hesitant tone.

Owen looked down at him and nodded his head while reaching down to lift him to his feet. Owen guided Quinn to the hay bales and eased him down on his back. When Owen moved up between Quinn’s legs he raised them up letting Owen hold them to his chest, one on each shoulder. Owen kept moving forward, slowly easing over Quinn’s body folding him in half. Quinn’s ass rose up and spread open letting Owen rub his cock over it. The slick head rubbed over Quinn’s opening, pressed against it till he was pushing back trying to capture it with his hole.

“Owen…please” Quinn begged.

Owen put his cock to Quinn’s opening and pushed against its tightness. He pressed downward till the head of his cock squeezed through the tight ring of the opening stretching Quinn open. Quinn cried out while reaching out to Owen’s thighs just to feel Owen’s movement as he was penetrated, inch by inch slowly sinking into his depths. Owen kept pushing till their bodies were pressed together and Quinn had all of him. Owen held still leaning down kissing Quinn roughly on the mouth then he began to move his hips, slowly at first, up a few inches then back down, working his thick shaft through the tight opening till he felt it loosen to his penetration, felt it relax to his movements and he began to move faster urged on by Quinn’s cries and undulations beneath him. The long lean body moved beneath him pushing upward when he pushed down then hips rotated on his cock pleasuring him even more. Quinn held their bodies together, hands roaming over Owen’s back and down to his ass urging him to fuck, to drive his cock inward over and over.

Owen rose up and began to fuck with a rapid pace, pulling his cock nearly out then driving it back in sinking all the way inward till his abdomen smacked against Quinn’s ass. He hammered it, fucked with intensity that rocked Quinn roughly on the hay bales. Owen couldn’t think straight lost to the pleasure Quinn was giving him, the way his cock felt as it piston in and out of Quinn being milked by the tight opening till he felt it, his need for release, the surge of feeling that tightened every muscle, made him grow rigid and slam into Quinn’s hole. He jabbed his cock into Quinn hard till he couldn’t hold back, cum surging through his cock and he buried it deeply within Quinn and came, his hips jerking forward with every ejaculation, pushing his load deep, wad after wad, till he was spent.

Owen collapsed on top of Quinn feeling their bodies heaving of breath from their exertions and between them he felt Quinn’s own erection as it pressed into his stomach. He moved over to an adjacent bale, his torso lying across bale, legs down to the floor as he lay on his stomach.

“Quinn…come on...do me” Owen whispered and he saw Quinn stir as if awakening from sleep and move up onto his feet. Owen looked down at the rough plank floor waiting, scared it would hurt, more scared Quinn wouldn’t do it but he felt Quinn move between his legs, the shifting around till Quinn got down on his knees and moved up to Owen’s ass pushing his legs further apart. His legs splayed out till all of his weight rested on the bale. He felt Quinn spread his cheeks, felt the probing along his ass, the rub of cock up and down the cleft then the pressure to his hole, felt the push against it. Quinn’s cock wasn’t as thick as his own but it was longer, much longer and he wondered if he could take all it as Quinn had taken him. He was anxious, nervous as Quinn pressed against his tightness. Then he took a deep breath and relaxed and he felt it, the head of Quinn’s cock stretched him open and penetrate his hole. He felt it sink slowly inward, fill him in a way he couldn’t imagine. Quinn kept pushing in, going deeper and deeper, impossibly so till Owen wondered how he could take it all. When Quinn’s body pressed against his ass then lay over him he held his head down and breathed as he savored the feel of the penetration, the way Quinn felt inside of his body, the fullness of it.

Quinn kissed the back of his neck then rubbed over his hair till he felt lips touch his ear, tracing its outline then mouthing the lobe, tugging on it, nipping it lightly with teeth and he moaned aloud and pushed back on Quinn’s cock.

“Fuck me…fuck me Quinn…please” Owen pleaded wanting to feel it, Quinn’s cock move inside of him, to feel it work through his tight opening and sink into his depths. Quinn wrapped his long lean arms around Owen’s neck bear hugging their bodies together as he began to fuck, to raise his hips upward then push back down, slowly, gently and Owen knew Quinn was taking pleasure in the way it felt on his cock, the movement through a tight opening that milked every inch as he worked it in and out. Quinn kept moving within Owen, his pace increasing slowly till he shifted positions and began to move with greater range, pulling his cock nearly free then pushing it all the way back in. Only Quinn with his long lean body could move so much cock with ease in and out and Owen took it, every inch, took the way it stretched him open and bore into him.

Owen reached over his head and ran his fingers through Quinn’s hair as he urged him on, pleaded with him to fuck harder.

“Oh…Quinn…fuck…fuck…” Owen cried out as he felt Quinn drive cock into him faster and faster. Quinn’s abdomen smacked off his ass and once again the hay loft was filled with the sound of their fuck, the cries, moans and the sound of bodies coming together.

Quinn lightly bit Owen on the back of the neck and moaned as he drove his hips at a brutal pace till he couldn’t take any more stimulation. He pushed into Owen all the way and suddenly slowed to a slow penetrating rhythm, pushing is cock inward as he felt the surge of cum race through his cock, he pushed his cock inward when he felt the first ejaculation and he kept pushing inward with each ejaculation, his body in perfect rhythm with his release pushing deeply with every ejaculation. Quinn shot over and over till he was spent and he kept working his cock in Owen till he felt his cock slid through the slickness of his load.

Quinn finally stopped and eased slowly out of Owen, his cock just started to deflate. He saw his load leak from Owen’s hole as it slowly closed back up. He eased down onto the floor realizing how exhausted he was, his skin slick with sweat and glowing red from his exertions. Owen eased up and moved down next to him, straw stuck to his chest and stomach. Quinn reached over and brushed it off then leaned to Owen kissing him on the mouth.


Owen moved down the path around the pasture and into the woods. His t-shirt was already sticking to his skin, the heat of the midday August sun was intense and the humidity was so high the horizon blurred with the rising wet heat. The summer had passed too quickly, his time with Quinn coming to an end too quick for both were leaving the next day to return to college. They were going to stay in touch of course and even had weekend dates set up to meet in Birmingham which was as central between them as they could get.  Then they would be home for Thanksgiving then Christmas and they could be together once again on a regular basis.

It was a strange time for the two of them, both still too nervous to admit to anyone of their relationship. They had even kept it from Joshua, although that had been too easy what with Joshua going out with someone nearly every weekend. Joshua was to leave this morning for college, going back a day earlier for some frat party so Quinn and he were going to get together one more time before they too left.

Owen moved through the shade of the trees till he could see the pond and its old pier protruding out over its calm surface. Everything around the old pond was reflected in its surface, so slick and calm it was like glass. Owen suddenly realized Quinn wasn’t alone for Joshua was sitting next to him. A rush of disappointment coursed through Owen at the site of Joshua but he took a deep breath and moved onward till he came up on the pier and down its weather beaten old boards.

“Hey man, I was wondering where the hell you were at” Joshua called out as Owen eased down next to Quinn.

“Well I’m here now” Owen replied as he gave Quinn a questioningly look. Quinn shook his head ever so slightly as he winked backed. “Joshua, I thought you were leaving this morning?”

“I was but my car wouldn’t start this morning. Damn battery was dead so by the time we got a new one installed it was lunch time so I decided to leave this afternoon. In fact, I’m all packed up ready to go. Just came over to say goodbye and see if you guys wanted to try to get together this term.”

“Oh…I don’t know if I’ll be able to swing it…but we can see how the term goes” Owen replied bumping Quinn’s leg quickly.

“That is what I told him…you know money is tight for me” said Quinn toward Owen smiling mischievously.

“Well, I better get going or I’ll be late getting to campus” Joshua said as he stood up. “You guys have fun and I’ll touch base in the next few days.”

“Okay” Owen and Quinn replied in unison and they watched Joshua move down the pier and disappear into the woods.

“I thought our afternoon was ruined” Owen said after a time.

“I know…you should have seen your expression. I’m surprised Joshua didn’t pick up on it” Quinn replied laughing.

They looked out across the pond as they swung their legs back and forth, Quinn’s toes grazing the surface of the pond. A heron flew in a slow graceful arc around the far side landing in the shallow waters along the bank. Quinn reached over and put his hand on top of Owen’s lacing their fingers together.

“I’m going to miss this” Quinn said in a barely audible voice.

“Me too…but it is only for a short time.”

“It’ll seem longer” Quinn replied as he let go of Owen’s hand and stood up. “Come on…there’s a hayloft that needs inspection” he added jokingly.

Owen smiled as he held up a hand for Quinn to help him up.



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