Riding Lessons II: Lessons Learned
by Andrew Todd
Interlude: Danny & CJ
Daniel Aaron James had been born twenty-one years ago to Alison James. As long as he could remember it had been just him and his mom. His mom had told him that his father had deserted her when he learned she was pregnant and she would not terminate the pregnancy.
Danny had had a happy childhood. He and his mom did not have a lot. Alison worked full-time and went to college at night. By the time Danny was eight she had graduated and was able to get a teaching job at a local private high school. Not only did the position pay better than the jobs she had been working, but the hours and vacations coincided with Danny's school breaks so she could be with him as much as possible.
Danny was a shy boy. He had a few close friends in school, but he mainly stayed to himself.
When he was nine, his mom decided he needed a hobby and gave him a choice of activities he could participate in after school and on weekends. On top of the list were team sports, like baseball, football, lacrosse and soccer, none of which appealed to Danny. He was small in stature and not very coordinated or athletic.
As Danny continued to scan the list, he finally saw an activity that appealed to him--horseback riding. He had always admired horses and had longed to learn to ride. This was a perfect activity for him. Something he could do by himself and one where there shouldn't be a lot of older boys and jocks who liked to pick on him.
Once he told his mom his choice of activity, she wasted no time in setting him up for lessons at a local stable.
Danny fell in love with riding immediately. He loved the horses, the quiet and the solitude of the barn. He loved trail rides by himself and with some of the friends he made there. Most of all he loved jumping.
In spite of his small stature, he was most comfortable on the biggest horses. He was soon one of the best riders at the stables and began to compete in local shows.
Most of the kids he rode with had their own horses. A part of him longed for a horse of his own, but he also loved being able to ride a number of different horses. He knew his mother was in better shape financially, but owning a horse was a major investment of time and money on both their parts.
As Danny continued to show and win, he gained a reputation, first in his county and then the state. He would win competition after competition. By the time he was thirteen, the walls of his bedroom were covered with hundreds of ribbons--most of them blue; and shelf after shelf of trophies.
Danny's reputation as a rider and competitor was getting him noticed around the tri-state area. Soon he had barn managers and stable owners tracking him down offering him jobs at their stables. He would be paid to ride horses in training and competition. By this time, Danny knew he wanted a future with horses and this would give him a great head start.
His mother, being a teacher, was very concerned about his education. After much discussion, it was decided that he would begin an apprenticeship at a world-class stable in the next town over. He would take his high school classes online. As long as he continued to maintain his 'A' average, his mom would let him take this job.
Over the next four years, Danny's star continued to rise. He was up before dawn every morning to train horses. He would ride four or five horses in the morning, take three hours midday for classes and then ride four or five more horses in the afternoon and evening. The owners of the stable were amazed at the young man's work ethic. He was always the first one to the barn in morning and the last one there at night.
Danny had a rapport with the horses that made most of his fellow riders envious. He had a quiet strength and determination. As timid as he was when he was in the public school system, he was that much more confident and strong in this environment.
Danny continued to excel at competitions, bringing blue ribbons and trophies to the stables every weekend. He had many offers from bigger operations to join them, but he liked staying close to home. Although he more or less lived at the stables, he liked the fact that his mom was less than a half hour away.
Once he had his driver's license, Danny would drive to his mom's house at least 4 or 5 times a week for dinner. In the off-seasons, he would spend a night or two a week in his old bedroom.
No one was more excited than his mom at his growth--physically, mentally and academically--in the last four years.
By the time he turned 18, Danny was a confident and outgoing young man. He was very popular with the young ladies who rode at the stables. His height had topped out at about 5' 8". He had blond, almost white hair, and startling blue eyes. The time he spent outdoors gave him a deep, dark tan that offset his hair and eyes. The hard work he did at the stables gave him a trim, muscular build.
Many of the mothers at the stables saw Danny as a prize catch for their daughters. The only real problem was that Danny was gay. He had long ago come to terms with this fact. One of the things he loved about the stables was that there were not a lot of boys around to distract him and it made it easier for him to keep his secret.
As his high school graduation approached, Danny had a decision to make. The stable he had made his home for the past four years was offering him a permanent position as a trainer with the promise that it would lead to management down the road. He also had solid offers from other larger stables all over the country. But, after working so hard the last four years, Danny decided he wanted to take time off and be a student.
He applied to several colleges that specialized in equine programs and chose to attend Byers College.
The college was in Ocala, Florida in the middle of horse country. He liked the idea of being a student and stepping away from competing for a while. He was planning to get his degree in Equine Management and then work towards his goal of owning and operating his own stable.
Danny left the stable's employment right after graduation and moved back in with his mom for the summer. He wanted to spend as much time with her as possible.
As a combination graduation present and 'bonus', the owners of the stables presented him with a horse of his own. Silent Angel was a black Arabian mare that Danny had been riding for the last three years. She was purchased by the stable as a 2-year-old. She had been purchased cheap, because her former owners felt that she was too wild to be of any use in the show ring.
She was turned over to Danny for training and he immediately worked his magic on her. Overnight she changed from skittish, wild-eyed and panicked into a calm, easygoing and loving horse. With Danny as her rider and trainer, Angel won many competitions and had a whole wall in the barn devoted to her awards.
Since his training of Angel had brought so much prestige and recognition to the little stable, the owners felt it was only right to make a gift of the horse to Danny. They also knew that no other rider at the stables wanted to try the mare in competition since they knew she performed above and beyond for Danny whom she loved.
Danny was beside himself when the owners of the stables presented him with Silent Angel. They told him that he would be able to board her at the stables for the summer and that they had made arrangements for him to board her at a friend's farm that was near the college.
Danny enjoyed his summer off. Even though he was just eighteen this was the first significant time off he had taken in over four years. He spent his days training Silent Angel or just taking her on long trail rides. Occasionally, one of the girls who took lessons at the stables would accompany him, but more often than not, he would ride by himself.
He spent his evenings with his mother. They would cook elaborate meals together or go out to see movies and concerts or just spend quiet evenings at home watching movies. They both knew this would be Danny's last summer at home and they were going to make the most of it.
Sooner than either of them was ready for, the day came that Danny had to leave for Florida. He had purchased a used Ford F150 and had loaded up Silent Angel into the horse trailer for the two-day journey to their new home.
Danny had planned ahead to find a couple of places that had stabling facilities for Angel. Since he had had such success on their show circuit, many stables were willing to host him if only for the night.
Danny arrived in Ocala, Florida a week before classes were to begin. He had rented a small garage apartment that was between the stables and the campus. His mom had wanted him to room in the dormitory, but he didn't think he could live in the chaos campus living created.
Since he had been working at the stables since he was fourteen and had very little to spend his money on, he had built enough of a nest egg to be able to take care of himself through college.
When he dropped off Angel at her new home, he had started talking to Abigail Richards, the farm owner. She had been taken with Danny's knowledge and abilities and had followed him for years on the show circuit. She immediately offered Danny a part-time job giving lessons at the farm. Danny had hesitated at first, but Abigail assured him that he could set his own schedule so as not to interfere with school. She would be happy just having Danny as a member of her farm. Danny agreed to consider taking on a few classes.
Danny was very impressed with the farm. He quickly got Angel settled into her stall. He unloaded her tack from the truck and put it all away in the section of the tack room that had been assigned to him.
Abigail gave him directions to her preferred feed store and he left to go there. While the board could be provided by the farm, he preferred to pick out Angel's food himself as he had her on a very precise diet to keep her in the best shape. He knew he spoiled her and tended to purchase the more expensive feeds for her, but she was his baby and he would only provide her with the best.
When he returned to the farm, he put away the feed he had purchased and let Abigail know that the hay he had ordered would be arriving the next day.
Since it had been a few days since Angel had had any exercise and he was curious to get a look at his surroundings, Danny decided to take her on a nice long trail ride.
He went to the truck and grabbed the duffel bag that he always kept with him. He went into the bathroom to change into his riding clothes. He emerged a few minutes later wearing his breeches, barn shoes, half chaps and a polo shirt. He had his helmet tucked under his arm and his gloves tossed in the helmet.
Several of the young girls who were there for lessons stopped to stare at the beautiful blond newcomer. Danny was oblivious to their stares. He was so used to being glared at and stared at by the females when he rode that he didn't even notice it anymore. He joked to himself that had been interested he could have slept his way through entire Southeast circuit. But, in reality, he was not interested in the girls and he hadn't yet met a guy who made him reconsider his choice to stay closeted. He was still a virgin and likely to remain so for a while.
He walked to the tack room and grabbed Angel's saddle, saddle pads and bridle. He also grabbed his grooming bag. He brought all the tack and grooming supplies to the grooming area and left them while he went to get Angel.
By now, an even bigger crowd of young girls (and a few mothers) had gathered around to observe the young man. Many of them knew him by reputation and were curious to see him in action. Others were just taken by Danny's beauty.
At this point, Danny could not help but be aware of all the eyes that were on him. He smiled inwardly; if they wanted to watch then he would give them something to watch. Danny was not normally a show-off. Everything he had received in the last few years he had earned through hard work and determination. But, he was not overly fond of being ogled by so many people.
He walked over to Angel's stall. The big black Arabian met him at the door to the stall. She moved her head down to receive Danny's pets and kisses. Rather than grab her halter as he normally would have, Danny decided to show the gathered crowd what his horse could and would do for him.
He opened the stall door wide and Angel moved forward. She stopped at Danny's shoulder and walked with him to the crossties. She stopped dead center and Danny never bothered to tie her down while he groomed and tacked her. He could feel the eyes on him from all over the barnyard. He laughed with delight when Angel lowered her head and took the bit from him like it was the last carrot he had to offer her.
He turned and grabbed his helmet and gloves. He quickly put them on and led Angel to a nearby ring. He was planning to hit the trails, but his ego was getting the best of him and he couldn't resist letting Angel continue her show.
He led Angel into the ring. He checked the girth on the saddle and pulled down his stirrups. Even though Angel was a big horse and he was not a tall person, he was light and agile enough to get into the saddle without assistance from the mounting block. He pulled the reins over Angel's head and went to her side. He held the reins in one hand and placed the other on the saddle. He bounced on the balls of his feet a couple times and leapt up and into the saddle.
He took Angel around the arena at a slow walk to give her a chance to warm up. After a couple of laps he moved her into a trot and then a canter. He and Angel had been together so long, she could read his body movements and knew exactly what Danny wanted from her.
Some jumps had been set up in the ring. Danny noticed people were now gathering around the fence, not even trying to hide their interest. Figuring they were entitled to a show, Danny had Angel maintain her canter and took her over the jumps never coming close to touching a rail.
Danny would have Angel slow to a walk after each circuit and mentally review what he and she had done right and what they needed to work on. Then they would run the jumps again. To the untrained eye, Danny and Angel were perfection, but to Danny who micromanaged everything, there were millions of mistakes. Of course, to Danny the mistakes and miscues were never Angel's they were his.
After he ran the circuit a third time, he decided that it was time to end the show and hit the trails.
He saw Abigail standing near the gate. He rode over to her and she opened the gate for him. He nodded to her and several of the ladies who had gathered around as he passed and rode towards the trails.
Abigail smiled as she watched the handsome boy ride past. She saw the looks on the mothers' and daughters' faces; she knew that even if Danny only taught a few lessons for her, his very presence would increase lessons dramatically.
Danny and Angel spent most of the afternoon exploring the trails.
The trails were extensive and ran by many lakes. Danny would occasionally stop at one of the lake shores so that Angel could rest and take a drink. He had been warned by several people to keep a close eye on the water, since this was alligator country.
Danny was walking Angel through an old orange grove when he heard another horse close by. After another minute, he saw a beautiful tall Appaloosa standing by a tree. He didn't see anyone else near the horse.
As he rode Angel towards where the horse stood he saw movement to his side. He looked over and saw a young man about his age leaning against a tree with his eyes shut. Danny almost choked; the boy was naked as the day he was born and he was busily fisting his large hard cock. The boy appeared to be Hispanic; he was about six feet tall, maybe 175 pounds. He had dark skin and shoulder-length black hair. He had an amazing body.
Danny just sat there on Angel and stared at the young man. He felt all the blood in his body rush to his nether regions. He was about to turn Angel and go when the young man's breathing increased and his penis erupted. Danny watched mesmerized as pulse after pulse of white cream shot out of the boy's beautiful cock.
When his orgasm subsided the boy took his cum-covered fingers and lifted them to his lips. He sucked the jism off his fingers.
Danny was mesmerized by the sight.
Suddenly, his mystery boy opened his eyes and looked right at Danny. Danny was frozen for a moment looking into the boy's startling hazel eyes. The boy looked at Danny and grinned.
Danny pulled Angel's reins hard and kicked her to move her out and he cantered all the way back to the farm.
On the first day of classes, Danny was nervous. He had spent his high school years attending classes online, so physically going to class was a novel experience.
He made it through his first two classes, Economics and Biology, rather easily.
He was looking forward to his last class of the day, Intro to Equine Management. He walked into the room and found a seat in the back. As he looked around he realized that he was the only man in the room; this was fine by him as he wouldn't be distracted by a roomful of girls.
The professor started the class by handing out the syllabus.
The classroom door opened and everyone turned to watch one last student enter.
Danny looked up and found himself staring into the smiling face of the boy from the woods.
Danny turned various shades of red as the boy met his eyes.
The boy looked around; in spite of the half-full classroom the boy chose the desk right next to Danny.
As the professor passed around the syllabus, the boy turned to Danny and smiled brightly.
"Hey," he whispered. "I'm CJ."
"D-Danny," Danny answered nervously.
CJ offered his hand and Danny tentatively shook it. CJ's hand was warm and dry while Danny's was damp from his nervousness.
Both boys turned their attention to the professor as she started to review the syllabus.
Over the next hour, Danny kept his head down and furiously took notes. Occasionally, he would glance to the side and see CJ just looking at him. Whenever his eyes would meet CJ's the dark-skinned boy would just smile at him; one time he even winked.
Danny was sweating furiously and started to feel nauseous. He had not been this nervous since he was in junior high. Everything he had done in the past four years to become less shy and more confident had flown out the window upon meeting this beautiful boy.
Class could not end soon enough. Danny just kept his head down and avoided looking in CJ's direction.
As soon as class was over, Danny grabbed his stuff and made a beeline for the door. As he was rushing into the hallway, he was sideswiped by a cheerleader and the contents of his book bag were strewn all over the hallway.
He stopped and bent down to collect everything that had spilled. He reached for a book and a very tanned hand landed on top of his on the book.
Danny looked up and into CJ's almond-shaped, hazel-colored eyes.
CJ smiled at him. He leaned closer to Danny. "It's ok," he whispered to Danny. "I don't bite. Unless you want me to." He laughed as Danny felt himself start to hyperventilate.
CJ noticed the panicked look on Danny's face. Danny was just frozen to the spot. CJ grabbed the items that had scattered on the floor and shoved them into Danny's book bag. He slung Danny's book bag over his arm and grabbed his backpack and Danny's arm. He lifted Danny to his feet and guided him out of the building.
Danny was on autopilot going wherever CJ directed him. Since CJ couldn't get a verbal response from Danny and didn't know if he was headed to a class or his car, he decided to walk Danny over to his car.
CJ guided Danny to his black Jeep Wrangler that he parked in a secluded corner of the lot. He unlocked the passenger door and guided Danny into the seat and then ran around to the driver's side and got in.
CJ hit the automatic door lock, popped the key in the ignition and turned the engine over. He turned on the a/c full blast to try to snap Danny out of it.
CJ reached over and took Danny's hand. Danny's hand was like ice. CJ rubbed it between his hands and moved his hands up and down Danny's forearms as well.
After a few minutes, Danny's eye's fluttered. He looked up at CJ, huge tears forming in his crystal-blue eyes.
Danny tried to speak. CJ reached up and stroked Danny's cheek. He used his thumb to wipe away Danny's tears.
"Shh," CJ whispered. "You're ok."
"What happened?" a confused Danny asked.
"You had a panic attack," CJ answered. "I think you just got a little overwhelmed." He kept holding Danny's hand in his. "Do you remember me?" he asked.
Danny nodded and without clearing permission from his brain, his mouth blurted out, "I saw you in the woods." He immediately realized what he had said and looked down into his lap.
CJ laughed. He took Danny's chin in his hand and lifted Danny's head up. "I was wondering if you remembered," he said. "You bolted so fast, I wasn't sure what you had seen."
Danny turned several shades of scarlet.
CJ laughed harder. "That much, huh?" He shook his head. "I'm sorry, I'm not usually an exhibitionist, but it was such a beautiful day and sometimes the heat, the day and the rhythm of riding gets to me, you know what I mean?"
Danny nodded absently. "Yes," he said in a very low whisper.
"Are you done with classes for the day?" CJ asked Danny.
"Yes. I have all my classes Monday, Wednesday and Friday. So, I'm done until Wednesday," Danny answered.
"Good, me too," grinned CJ. "C'mon. Let's go and get some lunch."
Danny started to get that panicked look in his eyes again. CJ placed his hand on Danny's shoulder. "It's cool, Danny. I'm not going to hurt you. I just want to be your friend. Let's go grab some lunch and just talk? Ok?"
Danny nodded silently.
CJ backed the Jeep out of the parking space and headed out of the lot.
"What about my truck?" Danny asked, suddenly realizing they were actually leaving.
"I'll bring you back to get it when we are done," CJ told him.
CJ drove about ten minutes from the main campus and stopped at a small bistro.
"Wait right here," CJ said as he hopped out of the Jeep. He reached over and placed his hand over Danny's one last time. "And relax," he laughed.
Danny sat in the Jeep just staring into space. He felt that he had just wiped away four long years of work in half an hour. He felt like a fool. He hadn't had a panic attack since he was twelve and Martin Conners had thrown him against a locker-room wall. Now he was having them at the thought of being alone with a very attractive and very friendly guy.
"Get a grip," he ordered himself.
CJ came running out of the bistro and hopped back into the Jeep. He handed Danny a bag.
"Hope you like roast beef," he said. "Their sandwiches are amazing here."
"Where are we heading?" Danny asked feeling some of his confidence come back.
"I thought we'd head out to the one place I bet we both feel comfortable," CJ answered. "The farm."
It took CJ all of ten minutes to get them to the farm.
"So, I don't know what your plans were for this afternoon," CJ said. "But I was planning on a nice long trail ride to clear the cobwebs from the first day of classes. Or we could just walk over to the picnic table and eat lunch and talk."
Something about being on the farm immediately comforted Danny. He felt his strength and resolve retuning. "Let's go for a ride," he said, returning CJ's dazzling smile with one of his own. "I could definitely use it."
CJ grabbed the bag with their lunch and the boys disembarked from the Jeep.
"I just need to change," Danny called to CJ.
"Why?" CJ asked. "You're in jeans and a t-shirt. Just grab your boots and chaps if you have to."
"I guess I could, I've just always ridden in my riding clothes."
"Even on trail rides?"
"Yes," Danny answered shyly, like he had been doing it wrong his whole life.
CJ laughed, "Man, we have to loosen you up. Breeches and tall boots and that stuff are a necessary evil in the show ring, but on the trails, jeans and boots are fine. Hell, a few weeks in this heat and you may opt for shorts and flip-flops."
"I don't think so," Danny laughed back.
"Well, let me go check with Abigail and see which horse she wants me to use this afternoon," CJ said.
"You mean the Appaloosa you had the other day isn't yours?"
You mean, Chief? Nope, he belongs to the farm. I don't have my own horse yet. My parents think my riding is a frivolous remnant from my childhood and will not pour any more money into it."
"But you are in my Equine Management class."
CJ grinned. "Yes, but my parents think I am a business major not an equine business major. If they knew they would disown me."
"Wow, I think my mom would disown me if I quit riding."
"Well, your reputation is a little more stellar than mine. I've dabbled here and there, but I mainly ride for fun not work. When I got to Ocala, I found this farm and Abigail, and she's been kind enough to let me function as an exercise boy."
"What year are you?"
"I'm a freshman, like you. I just came down a few months early to get settled in and take a few courses in summer school and to get away from my parents."
"Wow are they that bad?"
"My mom is from old-money Spanish aristocracy. She inherited a lot of money from my grandfather when he passed last year. My dad likes to think he is of the same background as my mom, but if Mom's family had come over on the Mayflower, my dad's family was bailing it out. The problem in old-school thinking is that the man controls everything even if the money is the woman's. If it were up to my mom, I'm sure she would let me keep on riding and make it my career, but Dad thinks that a man needs to be in a 'real' business."
"Man that sucks," Danny said. "I couldn't survive if my mom tried to make me give up riding. It's been the one thing that has gotten me through. Even after my little attack this morning, just being here has made me feel 100% better and getting out on the trails is just the medicine I need."
"Well, let me check with Abigail and you grab your boots and tack and I'll meet you at the crossties."
CJ walked off in one direction and Danny turned towards the barn. He went and grabbed his tack and his grooming kit and left them out at the grooming station. He went to his locker and grabbed his yard boots and half chaps. He might not wear all his gear, but he knew that his legs would be rubbed raw if he didn't at least wear his chaps.
Once he had his boots and chaps on, Danny went to get Angel.
Angel stood at the door to her stall neighing loudly and shaking her head as she anxiously waited for Danny.
"Hey, Baby Girl," Danny cooed as he reached up to stroke Angel's cheek. Angel pressed her face into Danny's hand; she craved the attention from her boy.
Danny decided that since it was just him and CJ around that he wouldn't bother with the halter and lead. It was just for show anyways. Angel would never leave his side and did exactly as Danny told her.
Danny unbolted the stall door and opened it wide. Angel stepped out of the stall and stood right at Danny's left shoulder. Danny reached up and stroked her neck and ran his fingers under her long mane.
"C'mon, baby," he whispered. "Let's go for a ride."
Hearing the magic words, Angel almost pranced in place as she walked alongside Danny.
Danny and Angel came out of the barn just in time to see CJ walking up with a large brown horse on a lead.
CJ's eyes bugged out and he grinned at the sight of Danny and Angel.
"Holy, shit!!" CJ exclaimed. "In all my years of riding, I've never seen a horse just follow someone that calmly before. That's amazing."
Danny blushed at the compliment.
"CJ, this is my horse, Silent Angel," Danny announced. "Angel, baby, this is our new friend, CJ."
CJ clipped the horse he had into the crossties and walked over to Danny and Angel. He tentatively reached his hand out to the big Arabian mare.
Danny felt the power shift; now he was the confident one and CJ was cautious and shy. The fact that CJ was not running up to Angel and being aggressive like so many of the people they encountered signaled to Danny that CJ most definitely did know what he was doing with horses.
Angel must have sensed it too, because she lowered her head to CJ and lipped at his shoulder has he reached up and stroked her cheek and scratched her ears.
Danny smiled warmly. "She likes you," he stated. "She usually is very standoffish with new people. I think she senses that you know what you are doing and she's safe with you."
CJ grinned. "Danny, she is absolutely gorgeous. I've ridden a lot of horses, especially when visiting my grandfather in Spain, but she is so special. I'd love to ride her sometime, but only, of course, with your permission."
Danny nodded. "I think she'd let you. She seems to like you. Let's get out on the trail and see what happens."
CJ smiled and nodded, the thought of riding this magnificent horse was exciting him.
Danny led Angel to the crossties and she just stood there patiently as he groomed and tacked her.
Danny looked over at the brown horse that CJ was busy grooming.
"CJ, he's beautiful; Paso Fino, right?"
CJ nodded. "Wow, you do know your horses, "he said. "This is Macho. He's one of Abigail's Pasos. She has a couple. They're one of the reasons she lets me ride here; given my Spanish riding background, I'm used to them and their gaits and personalities. Most of the folks here want hunter/jumpers or show horses. These guys are beyond them."
"I rode one once back home--their gait is so smooth," Danny said, walking over to let Macho sniff at his hand. When the big horse lowered his head, Danny scratched his neck and ears. "He's great. Maybe once we get them out on the trails, we can switch for a bit. I've always wanted to retry that gait."
CJ nodded and smiled excitedly. "Sure, sounds good."
Danny watched as CJ grabbed a huge Spanish saddle and gently placed it on Macho's back. As CJ quickly cinched the saddle and fixed his tack, Danny was mesmerized by the beautiful boy. He watched the muscles in CJ's back flex and move under his tight t-shirt as he moved around the big horse.
Danny had to turn away and finish with Angel or he would have a very uncomfortable ride ahead of him.
When they had the horses all saddled and ready, Danny and CJ led them into the barnyard.
CJ looked over at Danny. "Do you need a leg up?" he asked.
Danny grinned. "Nope," he answered. CJ watched mesmerized and Danny grabbed a handful of Angel's mane and just swung himself up onto the tall horse."
"Wow," said CJ. "I'm impressed. I know guys who are a lot taller than you who couldn't manage that."
"Well, I got sick of being the small 'helpless' guy at the stables that I first rode at. Since I'm relatively nimble I worked on it until I could pretty much get up on any of the horses, no matter how tall."
CJ hopped up on Macho and the two boys rode off down the trail. They spent about an hour riding before CJ recommended they take a break by the lake and have their lunch.
After they ate, they decided to switch horses for a bit. Danny was amazed at the way that Angel took to CJ. She had been very much a one-man horse, which is one of the reasons the owners of the stables he used to ride at had no reservations giving her to him. But with CJ she was almost as well-behaved as she was for Danny.
Danny watched CJ and Angel canter and prance around the lake shore. It wasn't often that he was able to observe Angel from this angle; usually he either had to watch video of himself riding or deal with the view from atop the horse.
Confident that CJ and Angel were getting along great, Danny turned to Macho. He jumped up and caught his foot in the stirrup and pulled himself up into the saddle.
He kissed at Macho to move him forward. He loved the smooth walk of the big horse.
CJ rode over next to Danny. "Wanna try something really fun?" he asked Danny.
Danny grinned at CJ. "Sure."
CJ gave Danny instructions on how to hold the reins and how to move the horse into the gaits the Paso Fino were known for.
First he had Danny tighten up on his reins and move Macho into a 'classic fino' or 'paso fino' gait. This was a collected gait during which the horse barely moved forward or back, it was a four-beat gait that made the horse look like he was marching in place. It was mainly used for show, but CJ wanted Danny to fully experience everything Macho could do.
Next CJ backed Angel up to give Danny a little room and Danny moved the Paso into a 'paso corto' gait. This was also a four-beat gait, but it was more extended. The speed of the horse was comparable to a trot, but much smoother, something Danny and his balls appreciated.
The third gait was a 'paso largo', a fast lateral four-beat gait that had a speed close to a canter or slow gallop. Of course, this gait proved to be very smooth to ride as well.
Since Danny was having such a good time riding Macho, and CJ and Angel were getting along like gangbusters, the boys decided to stay with the horses they were riding and finish their ride.
When they returned to the barnyard, they walked the horses in one of the outdoor arenas and spent almost an hour showing each other what the horses could do in the ring.
CJ showed Danny Macho's gaits and how they would be demonstrated in a show. He showed Danny how to get the horse to 'dance' in place and some of the moves he would use if he were to be in a bullfight. After each demonstration, Danny would hop on Macho and try the move himself.
When they finished with Macho, Danny gave CJ the same type of master class with Angel. He showed her prowess at jumping and dressage. CJ loved jumping the mare, but would need to brush up on his dressage. CJ marveled at Danny's prowess, especially at dressage, which was a more difficult discipline. He had never seen anyone so smooth and confident. He knew that Angel was an amazing horse, but Danny's riding skills were beyond anything CJ had ever seen.
The two boys were so involved in their training/riding session that they had failed to notice the sizable crowd that had gathered around the arena. There were about twenty students and their moms standing around observing the two handsome young men.
When they realized they were being watched, both boys became rather self-conscious and they decided that they had done enough for the day.
As they were walking back to the crossties, Abigail came running up between them.
"Hey, guys," she greeted them. "That was quite the demonstration back there. I think I have an offer to make you two."
CJ and Danny both stopped.
"What kind of offer?" asked CJ.
"Well, I'd like both of you to come on board as part-time instructors," Abigail offered. "The students love you two and so do the moms. Danny, I'd like you to do some hunter/jumper and dressage lessons and CJ you could teach western and trail riding and maybe give a class or two on Spanish-style riding."
"But what about our college classes?" Danny asked.
"I'm only looking for you guys to do maybe two or three classes a week here," Abigail stated. "Danny, you can maybe do a beginner and intermediate dressage class and a hunter/jumper. CJ maybe one or two Spanish riding and a beginner's trail class. I'm not looking to overload you boys, but since you are both so obviously skilled and right here, it doesn't make much sense to me to not at least make the pitch."
Danny wasn't sure. He had taught a few lessons before and he was not sure what kind of instructor he would make. "Can we think about it for a day or two?' he asked.
Abigail nodded. "Sure, no problem. Our next set of classes won't start until after Labor Day when the school-age kids head back. Why don't you take a few days to think on it and then let me know? If you have any questions or concerns, just let me know."
"Ok, sounds good, Abigail. Thanks for the offer," CJ replied for both boys.
Abigail walked off to take care of some farm business and the boys went to take care of their horses.
After thinking it over for a few days, Danny and CJ both agreed to take on three classes apiece for Abigail. They would each teach their riding classes on Tuesdays, so they would have Thursdays to themselves for studying and relaxation. They both tended to spend all weekend at the farm and Abigail suspected that once they caught the teaching 'bug' they might be willing to take on some weekend classes as well.
Over the course of the first semester, CJ and Danny became fast friends. They would teach their riding classes as a team. Danny would lead his dressage and horsemanship classes and CJ would assist and then CJ would teach classes on western and trail riding and Spanish-style riding and Danny would be his assistant. This worked out well, since they were very in tune with each other and the person assisting could work one-on-one with any student who was falling more behind or needed more help.
The boys had decided to limit class size to five riders. Each session would be four classes, so approximately every month, students had to re-register for the next class; this gave more students a chance to get into their classes.
After the first round of classes, Abigail talked the boys into doing a series of demonstrations on weekends. Once a month, the farm would host an 'open house' and the main attraction would be Danny and CJ doing riding and training demonstrations. The boys would run through their demonstrations and then make themselves available for questions and conversations with people interested in taking riding classes.
The boys collected quite the 'fan club'; they were personable, knowledgeable and it didn't hurt that both were stunning in appearance. The sight of Danny--slender, with blond, almost white hair and startling blue eyes in his proper English riding attire, standing side by side with CJ--tall, muscular, dark-skinned with fine black hair and deep hazel eyes, in his jeans, t-shirt and western boots and hat, were enough to make even the most virtuous of women swoon.
Everyone started to think of CJ and Danny as a single entity. They were always together. Despite being opposites in looks and personalities, they meshed in a way that Danny never had with another person. Even when they disagreed, which was not often, they never actually argued and always found a joint solution to any conflicts they had.
There was a spark between the boys that neither of them was noticing, but Abigail and others at the farm saw blazing like a neon sign.
The open houses were wildly successful and Abigail asked Danny and CJ if they could take on more classes. They were hesitant to take on more, until they knew how things would work out with school, but they were able to find a couple of classmates who had a strong enough background to teach some beginner and intermediate classes.
By the end of October, the farm had a part-time staff of six riding instructors and a full slate of classes.
In addition to the classes they were teaching, both boys were carrying a full class load at school. They were taking all the same classes, so they immediately began their own two-man study group. They would occasionally include other classmates, but only those who were serious about studying. Many of their classmates knew that CJ and Danny were two of the few freshmen who lived off campus. Most of them asked to join the study group because they saw it as a way to get off campus and party.
Knowing the reason their study group was being targeted for admission, Danny and CJ became very selective in who they invited to join them.
At the mid-way point of the semester, CJ realized that he and Danny were spending so much time together that it made no sense for them to maintain their separate apartments. Since CJ had a nice-sized two-bedroom apartment and Danny had a relatively small studio apartment, CJ suggested that before the next semester Danny move in with him.
Danny gave the offer a lot of consideration. Never having had any siblings, he had never had to share living space with anyone other than his mom. When he had lived at the farm at home, he had been given his own small apartment. There were other trainers and hands in the building but his space was his own.
Danny knew he was developing feelings for CJ and he was nervous that living together would create problems. He was sure that CJ saw him only as a friend. CJ often spoke of his little brother and how much he missed him and he was sure that in spite of their being the same age, CJ looked at him as a 'substitute' brother and nothing more.
Eventually, CJ was able to convince Danny to move in with him. Since CJ's parents were paying his rent and utilities the move would save Danny money and CJ was adamant that they would make great roommates and have a blast together.
Once Danny had decided to move in with CJ, CJ was too excited to wait for the next semester. He went to Danny's landlord and went into full-on schmooze mode. Within ten minutes, CJ had Danny out of his lease and got him his full security deposit back.
Danny just shook his head as CJ told him what he had done. He knew CJ had a strong personality and could usually get people to see his way.
The next weekend, the last Saturday in October, CJ and Danny rented a small U-Haul truck. With the assistance of several members of their study group they were able to get Danny and all his belongings moved into CJ's apartment in just a few hours.
CJ and Danny celebrated their first night as roommates by ordering pizza and watching movies. Neither of the boys was big on the party scene and the quiet night at home was perfect for each of them.
Over the rest of their freshman year, CJ and Danny's friendship grew. They studied together, taught riding lessons together and spent most of their free time at the farm riding.
As their freshman year was drawing to a close, Abigail approached the boys one day and offered them jobs as full-time instructors over the summer.
Both were interested but wanted to spend some time with their families. It was finally agreed that they would both leave for home after finals and spend two weeks on mini-vacations and then return to Ocala to teach lessons for the summer.
Since their classes ended in early May, the boys would be back the first of June and have a few slow weeks before the influx of kids out of school started.
The night they finished the last of their final exams found CJ and Danny relaxing in their apartment. They were planning to hang around and do nothing for a few days and then each head home for two weeks.
Danny stood at the kitchen sink, washing vegetables for a salad. He didn't know CJ was behind him until he felt someone grab him around the waist. CJ spun him around and sat him on the kitchen counter.
"What the h---," Danny was silenced by CJ's lips pressed against his.
Caught totally by surprise, Danny responded to the stimuli he had been dreaming about all year and hungrily kissed CJ back.
After a few seconds, Danny snapped to his senses. He pulled back and pushed CJ away.
"What the hell are you doing?" Danny yelled, his blue eyes flashing.
CJ stared at Danny with a look in his eyes Danny had never seen before. "I'm doing what I've wanted to do since the first day I saw you in the woods," CJ answered and he leaned back into Danny and kissed him again.
This time the kiss had more heat and Danny could not resist. Danny felt CJ's tongue pressing against his lips and he opened his mouth to allow CJ entrance.
CJ's hands roamed over Danny's slight body as they kissed. Danny felt like every feeling and desire he had spent nineteen years suppressing was going to come exploding out.
CJ reached around Danny and grabbed his ass. CJ lifted Danny off the counter and carried him into CJ's bedroom.
CJ deposited Danny on the bed and sat down beside him. They continued kissing and caressing.
Danny's hand slipped under CJ's shirt and began to roam freely over his hard muscles and soft skin. Danny pulled CJ's t-shirt over his head and pushed the taller boy back onto the bed.
Danny attacked CJ's neck and torso with a vengeance, licking and sucking at every inch of skin he could get to. He sucked on CJ's neck while his nimble fingers caressed CJ's pecs and nipples. He was driving CJ straight over the edge.
CJ sat up suddenly and grabbed Danny's t-shirt. He pulled Danny's shirt over his head and leaned into kiss Danny's light-pink nipples and licked a trail down his chest. CJ grabbed the waistband of Danny's shorts and pulled them down. Danny instinctively lifted his butt off the bed to allow his shorts and underwear to be completely pulled off.
CJ inhaled sharply; while Danny had seen him in all his glory the first time they laid eyes on each other, CJ had never so much as seen the shy Danny without his shirt. So, to have the boy he had lusted after for the better part of the last year lying in front him completely naked, was a dream come true for CJ.
Danny lay back on the bed with his eyes closed. He was enjoying the caresses and kisses that CJ was covering his body with. His dick was harder than it had ever been. He didn't think he could take much more of the stimulation.
Then, Danny felt something he had never felt before. His eyes flew open and he looked down to confirm that CJ had indeed engulfed his rock-hard boner in his mouth. CJ was going to town like Danny's rigid dick was the last meal he would ever have.
Seeing this incredibly masculine man that he had fantasized about servicing him pushed Danny right over the edge.
"CJ!!" Danny cried. "CJ!! Look out!! I'm gonna cum!!"
CJ greedily drank every drop of molten hot cum that shot out of Danny's cock. He kept sucking until he was sure that Danny had shot every drop possible.
Then, CJ crawled up into Danny's arms and the two resumed their kissing. Danny tasted the remnants of his seed on CJ's intruding tongue.
Danny licked his way down CJ's torso and quickly divested CJ of his shorts and underwear.
Danny was mesmerized by the beauty in front of him. He took CJ's large uncut cock in his hand and gently stroked it. He tentatively put his lips over the head and gently licked and sucked.
CJ writhed and moaned on the bed. His blond angel was bringing him to the edge and then stopping to let him gain his composure. For a complete virgin, Danny was exceptionally good at the art of the tease.
Suddenly, Danny stopped and ran into the bathroom.
CJ pushed himself up on his elbows.
"Where are you going?" CJ groaned as he swore he could see his balls turning bluer and bluer.
Danny came back into the room, grinning and waving a bottle in his hands.
CJ saw that it was a bottle of lube.
"Danny, we don't have to…" he started to offer, but Danny covered CJ's mouth with his own.
While Danny ravaged CJ's mouth, he popped the top on the bottle of lube and poured some onto his fingers. He worked two fingers into his ass and moved the lube around. Virgin he might be, but he had 'practiced' with a number of implements over the years and was dying to try the real thing.
Danny turned to CJ's hard cock and rubbed a handful of lube over it.
CJ groaned his approval.
Danny crawled on to the bed and straddled CJ's body. He held CJ's straining cock straight up and aimed it at his waiting hole.
Before he lowered himself, Danny looked CJ in the eyes. "Do I need a condom?" Danny asked seriously.
"It's up to you," CJ answered. "I am clean. I was tested a few months ago and I have not been with anyone in the last year."
Satisfied with CJ's answer, Danny began to lower himself onto CJ's rock-hard cock.
As his cock was enveloped in Danny's tight and lava-hot ass, CJ began to moan and squirm on the bed.
Danny took his time, taking CJ's monster cock inch by inch until after a few minutes CJ was fully seated in Danny's ass.
Danny began to slowly gyrate and bounce on CJ's pogo stick. Every few strokes, CJ's cock would graze a spot in Danny's ass that would cause him to see stars and his rock-hard cock would spurt pre-cum all over CJ's groin.
After several minutes in this position, CJ couldn't take it anymore. He sat up and wrapped his arms around Danny and gently lowered him onto his back.
While CJ rammed his cock in and out of Danny's ass, he ravaged the smaller boy's neck and torso with kisses and licks.
CJ kneeled back on his heels, still embedded in Danny's ass. He was close, but he wanted Danny to come with him. He grabbed Danny's steel rod and stroked this as he continued to ram his own into Danny's ass.
Both boys were lost in the moment. They each felt their orgasms beginning and together they exploded. CJ shot load after load of hot cum up Danny's tight ass, as Danny shot his load all over his chest and abdomen.
CJ collapsed next to Danny, his cock popping free of Danny's ass as he went down. The two lay in each other's arms not saying a word. Each was just reliving a moment they had been hoping for all year.
After a few minutes of lying there in silence, CJ rolled off the bed. He walked over to Danny's side of the bed and carefully lifted his smaller lover into his arms.
CJ carried Danny into the bathroom and gently placed him on the toilet, while he started the shower and adjusted the water.
Danny hadn't realized how 'full' he was until CJ sat him on the toilet seat. He groaned as CJ's seed spilled out of him.
When Danny was finished, CJ leaned over and kissed him as he flushed the toilet. Then he took Danny's hand and led him into the shower.
CJ turned Danny so he was under the steady stream of hot water. He took a loofah and a bottle of Bath and Body Works Warm Vanilla Sugar body wash and squirted some of the body wash onto the loofah.
He lovingly scrubbed every inch of Danny's body. He paid special attention to Danny's lovely bubble butt, making sure it was squeaky clean.
When CJ had finished washing him, Danny took the loofah and squirted a fresh dollop of body wash on it and washed all of CJ. Danny paid special attention to CJ's now soft, but still huge cock. Danny would occasionally tilt his head up and he and CJ would kiss.
When they had finished washing each other, the boys exited the shower and dried each other off. CJ then took Danny's hand and led Danny into his, now their, bedroom. The two boys lay together on the bed and drifted off to sleep.
Over the next few years, Danny and CJ fell more in love with each other. Their relationship was never a secret from those they had befriended in Ocala.
A lot of young hearts were broken at the farm, when the boys' relationship became public knowledge.
The only time they were apart in this time was when they would each go home several times a year.
Danny's mother was well aware of CJ and had spoken to him many times on the phone when she called for Danny. She was thrilled that Danny had found someone to love and she looked forward to meeting CJ on their graduation day.
CJ's parents, on the other hand, did not know anything about Danny other than he was CJ's roommate. CJ lived in constant fear of his parents finding out about his sexual orientation. He told Danny that he would come out to them only after he had his trust fund, which he would receive on his twenty-first birthday.
The trust fund was irrevocably CJ's and once he had it, they would be financially independent and it would not matter if his father disowned him or not.
Since they had decided to stay in Ocala year round, the boys took classes all the time, so they would graduate in three years instead of four.
During the winter break of their last year in school, Danny received a phone call which would change the direction of both their lives.
The boys had each spent Christmas with their families and had returned to Ocala to ring in the new year together. This would be their last year in school; they would graduate in August and then CJ would turn twenty-one in September and they would start their life together.
They began their celebration New Year's Eve with a small dinner with some friends and then they returned home and sequestered themselves in their room for the next twelve hours. They made love off and on all night and well into New Year's Day.
Both boys were exhausted and lying in bed in each other's arms when there was an abrupt knock at the front door.
Both boys jumped out of bed and grabbed their robes. CJ reached the door first. He was surprised when he opened it to see two Florida Highway Patrol officers at the door.
"Good afternoon, officers," CJ greeted them. "How can we help you?"
"Good afternoon, sir," the male officer answered. "Are you Daniel James?"
Danny stepped forward. "No, sir. I'm Daniel."
The officer looked at Danny and removed his hat. "Son, can we come in, we have some news for you."
Danny was suddenly panicked and he grabbed CJ's hand.
CJ answered, "Yes, officers, please come in."
CJ led them into the living room. "Now, what is this all about?" he asked.
"I'm afraid we were asked to come here to let Mr. James know that there has been an accident."
Danny couldn't move or speak; he only gripped CJ's hand tighter.
"What kind of accident?" CJ asked for Danny.
"I'm afraid Mr. James's mother was involved in a head-on collision on New Year's Eve. It took the police there some time to locate Daniel and contact us."
Danny began to sob. CJ hugged his lover to his chest.
"Is she…?" CJ asked.
Both officers lowered their eyes and nodded.
"We're so sorry for your loss," the female officer finally spoke.
"Thank you for coming, officers," CJ said, trying to will them to leave so he could take care of Danny.
Both officers nodded to CJ and quickly departed.
Once the officers were gone, Danny screamed in agony and dropped to the floor. CJ knelt down and held Danny as he sobbed and wailed.
CJ's heart broke for Danny. The only family he had had just been taken from him. CJ could not imagine how he would feel if he lost his family. While he was not very close to his older brother and his younger sister, he was very close to his younger brother and could not imagine life without him.
Eventually, CJ was able to get Danny calmed down enough to move him to their bed. He gave Danny a mild sedative and let him drift off to a restless sleep.
While Danny slept, CJ went through his address book and phone trying to see who he could contact for Danny. Eventually, he was able to reach the superintendent of the school district that Danny's mother taught in. She was able to tell CJ who to contact about a funeral service and the details of the accident.
Over the next few days, CJ took care of Danny's every need and kept him cocooned in the apartment.
Eventually, it was time for Danny to return home to say goodbye to his mother. CJ offered to come with him, but Danny felt it would be easier for him to return home and take care of everything. He thought he would only be gone a few days, a week at the most.
CJ wanted to drive him to the airport, but Danny thought it would be better for him to leave his car there, so CJ would not have to drop everything to come pick him up.
CJ last heard from Danny on the night he left. Danny called to tell CJ that he had arrived in one piece and that the funeral was set for the next day and he would meet with his mom's lawyer later that same day. He had to take care of the house, but planned to be home within a week.
CJ didn't hear from Danny again. He became increasingly concerned about Danny when he called his cellphone and was told by a mechanical voice that the number had been disconnected.
It was a couple weeks later when CJ arrived home to find that someone had been in the apartment. He entered excitedly calling for Danny. What he saw made his blood go cold. Every item of Danny's had been removed from the apartment, as if Danny had never existed.
He ran into the bedroom and saw that all of Danny's clothes were missing as well. He collapsed on the bed and rested his head in his hands.
It was then he noticed the light on the answering machine was flashing.
He reached over and pressed the play button; Danny's voice filled the still room.
"CJ, it's me. I only came home long enough to get my stuff. There are some things that have come up and I need to take care of. I'm sorry to do this to you, but I need to resolve this alone. I've got my stuff and my truck, but I can't take Angel with me. Please take care of her. I don't know when or if I'll be back. Right now, I'm dealing with too much stuff to think clearly. Please know I love you and thank you for loving me."
The beep signaling the end of the message made CJ jump.
He looked around the room searching for any evidence that Danny had even been in his life.
He lay back on the bed and cried himself to sleep.
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