Kaiser's Rodeo

by Bensiamin

Chapter 5

They picked up the wheels with new tires on the way out of town. It was mid-afternoon and Michael's dad said he'd drop them off at grandpa's so they could remount the wheels before dinner. Grandpa came down to the barn while they were unloading, and he also admired Nate's new hat. "Did you get the boots and Wrangler's, too?"

"Sure did. They're in the truck. Michael says you're supposed to wash them before you wear them, so we'll do that tonight after dinner."

"Good plan," grandpa said. "They'll fit better that way." He looked at Michael, "I guess I should stay down here and supervise while your dad goes and feeds the cattle."

"That'd be cool. We can show you the new air filter set up, too."

They rolled the wheels into the barn and grandpa said, "Since it took some work to get those lug nuts off yesterday, I'd suggest that before you put the wheels on you spray some more WD-40 on the bolts and then take this small wire brush and give each one a good brushing. That'll clean the threads and make them go on easier." He pulled a chair out from next to the workbench and sat down.

They had the bolts cleaned up and were about to start putting on the wheels when Ruby wandered into the barn. She had to go to each boy and grandpa to say hello and get her ears rubbed, then she laid down next to his chair.

Nate watched the routine between the dog and the old man and then said, "Grandpa, how come you don't have a dog? You sure seemed to get along with Kaiser, and when we were in town, Ruby was up at the house alone and you were down here alone."

"I had a dog right up to a couple of months ago, but she was pretty old and took a turn for the worse. Most dogs that don't die of accidents die of cancer, and that's what happened. I figure I'm too old to get a puppy and start training all over again. Although, I must say, after playing with Chloe the other day, I was second guessing myself. Anyway, Ruby comes down to visit every day, and I'm up at the house for dinner most every night, so I get plenty of good dog time."

He paused, clearly thinking about what he's said, and then continued, "And, I may have been alone, but I was busy. I'm the one taking care of the vegetable garden and feeding the chickens and stuff like that. Maybe while you're here we can team up and teach Michael how to weed. I could use a hand in the garden. Those damn weeds grow faster than the vegetables!"

He stopped to watch what the boys were doing, and then said, "Now, have you done this before, do you know the routine for mounting wheels?"

Michael looked surprised and said, "There's a routine? I mean beyond put the wheels on and then tighten up the nuts?"

"There sure enough is. In the owner's manual there would have been a spec for tightening the lug nuts with a torque wrench, but the manual is long gone. It's not that critical for lug nuts, though. First, like you said, you put the wheel on the bolts and then use the nuts to center the wheel on the hub. That means you snug up the nuts by hand so the wheel isn't moving at all on the bolts, then you tighten each nut a little with the lug wrench. You do that on all four wheels while the rig's up in the air. Then you lower it to the ground before you tighten the lug nuts. You know why?"

Michael looked at Nate who shrugged. "I can't think of the answer, and I don't want to say something stupid." He smiled at his grandpa.

"No stupid questions, Michael, you know that. The main reason is that on two-wheel drive vehicles as soon as you go to really tighten the front wheels, they'll rotate on the axle unless the tire is on the ground. And this Scout, it's not in four-wheel drive now, so that'd happen with the front wheels. Then there's the safety angle. When you tighten 'em down you're applying quite a bit of force and you don't want that happening when the rig is up on the stands. That is, unless you've got a compressor and a pneumatic wrench like in a tire shop."

When they'd lowered the Scout back to the ground, grandpa said, "Now tighten 'em down properly, but do it in a star pattern. Meaning, turn the lug wrench to get 'em tight but start with the top lug nut first, then the lower right, then the lower left and then the last two in the middle. That way you're spreading the force around in a balanced way. Then when you get that done, give each nut a final tighten where you put some body weight into it, and they should be set. Then put the hubcaps back on and you've got it done."

The boys followed the instructions and realized that this was among some of the basic knowledge about operating a vehicle that isn't taught in Driver's Ed class. They showed him the new air filter assembly, and his comment was "That'll look darn good on top of the engine once the carb is back on."

"What about us changing the oil filter while we're here and already dirty."

"Makes sense to me. Have you got an oil filter wrench?"

Michael looked at Nate again and shrugged. "What's that?"

"Well, just like it sounds, it's a large wrench for removing and placing the oil filter without crushing the canister. On newer cars and trucks the filter is threaded and screws right onto a fitting on the engine. On these older ones, though the filter sits in a housing. You're in luck there, because you don't need an oil filter wrench. All you need is a wrench to remove the bolt at the bottom and then pull the housing and the filter."

"Aren't we going to spill oil?"

"Maybe a little, but remember, even though you guys and Jerry changed the oil on Sunday, and ran the engine, by now almost all the oil has drained down into the pan. So, you only have to deal with the oil in the filter housing. You'll spill some, but not a lot. Just put some newspapers down. Do you know where the housing is?"

Michael shook his head and grandpa said, "Here, let me show you. Nate, you bring that big flashlight over here. You hold it and we'll make Michael get down in the dirt." He turned back to his grandson, "You'll need a three-quarter inch wrench, and don't be underneath the housing when you remove the bolt. When the housing comes loose, that's when the oil comes out."

They followed grandpa's directions and found it was pretty straight forward, though Michael did get a stream of oil across both wrists. When they were done grandpa said, "There's some rags on the bench to wipe that oil off with. We'll have to top the oil up to replace what was spilled and lost in the old filter. Let's go down to my place and you boys can wash that oil off before we go up to the house for dinner."

The boys dusted off their clothes and together they walked to grandpa's house. He pointed them in the direction of the kitchen and said, "I recommend you use the dish soap to cut the grease. I'll be on the front porch." Nate mainly had to wash the dirt off his hands and arms, so he was done quickly and came out to join grandpa.

"Is Michael finding out it takes a little more work to get all that dirty oil off?" He chuckled as he said it, and Nate grinned at him and nodded as he sat down beside him. "Where'd you learn all the mechanical stuff, grandpa?"

"Well, Nate. I'm no mechanic. What I know is a whole bunch of stuff I've learned over the years. You grow up on a ranch and you just learn a lot of things you had to know. Back when I was younger, no one was taking their rig into town to some oil change place. You did it yourself. You needed winter tires, you had a second set of wheels with the tires on them and changed them when you had to. You got stuck somewhere, you figured out how to get out or you walked home to get a team of horses. There wasn't calling any tow truck! And on, and on. Same thing goes for farm equipment. All that said, you know what the most important thing is?"

He paused and when Nate looked at him, he saw the twinkle in his eyes. "What?"

"The most important thing is knowing where the line is between what you know and what you don't know. It's just too easy to cross that line 'cause you think you know what you're doing and you end up getting into trouble or doing some real damage. As the saying goes, 'adventure is the product of mismanagement!' That's one of the most important things I learned in the Army. There was all that stuff about doing your duty and following orders, all that, but everyone got trained to do specific things, and you got good at it."

He looked at Nate, who was watching him closely. "You ever heard the saying about staying in your lane?""

Nate shook his head. "Well, it's kind of a military saying, meaning you're in a specific lane doing a specific thing, kind of like driving on the freeway, and you stay in that lane doing what you're supposed to do, doing what you've been trained to do."

Nate was quiet, and then said, "That's all so cool to hear. I didn't get a lot of that growing up 'cause my dad died when I was like ten. There was no one around to teach me about things like auto mechanics. I didn't have grandpas, so I didn't get it from them."

Grandpa put his arm around Nate's shoulders and said, "Well, son, you've got a grandpa now. Just like Roger and Jerrod do. I'm pleased to be able to share with you some of the things I've learned along the way."

Just then the screen door opened, and Michael came out. "You two look as thick as thieves."

Nate smiled at him and said, "Nope, but guess what? I now have a grandpa, just like Roger and Jerrod."

Michael beamed. "That is very cool. You've got to be careful though, because I'm told that in addition to all the good stuff grandpa knows, there's a few lines of bull shit in there, too." He looked at his grandpa then and said, "Isn't that right?"

"You know what they say, Michael, you can only believe half of what you see, and none of what you hear!"

"Really? I see you and Nate getting close, and I think I can believe that!"

"Well, my boy, there are exceptions to every rule!" With that he stood up and said, "We should amble up to the house or your mother's going to be yelling at us about being late for dinner."

The Wranglers went in the wash while the boys were cleaning up for dinner. Nate hung his new hat next to Michael's on the rack by the back door, and set his new boots out there, too. He was happily feeling more and more a part of the family. Over dinner they talked about fitting the boots the next day, progress on the Scout and the fact that Michael's mom was teaching summer school! Both parents agreed that a part time job at the rodeo grounds would be a good thing if it was only two days a week, and there was some assurance that the work wouldn't be too physical and risk an injury to Nate's hip. Nate was directed to talk to his mom about it the next time he called home.

They helped clean up after dinner, put the Wranglers in the dryer, and then sat with the adults till the bell on the dryer went off. Then they begged off to go listen to music in their room.

Michael asked what Nate liked and wanted to listen to. He shrugged his shoulders. "I'm not a huge music fan, but know what I like. Have you got anything by Backstreet Boys or the Spice Girls?"

"Sorry, I don't have a huge music collection. Do you know or like The Cranberries, the Irish Band?"

Nate nodded and Michael put on their latest CD, as he folded the Wranglers, planning on putting them in his drawer. He heard Michael flop onto the bed, and when he looked he saw that he was lying against the headboard with his hands behind his head, and a wild grin on a face that had a devilish expression.

"What? I'm just putting these away. Do you want to do something besides listen to music?"

A variety of thoughts flashed through Michael's mind, but he decided to be cool… kind of.

"I don't think it's fair," he said with a distinct whine.

"What's not fair?"

"I introduce you to my friend Stew, he gets you outfitted, and I convince him to give us the employee discount… and you're just going to put those Wranglers in the drawer?"

"What have you got in mind… oh! Let me guess, you perv!"

"You know me, I'll perv on you all day long… and all night, too."


"So, will you model them for me now that they're washed and are warm and soft and ought to fit really well?"

"Wait. You want to see me in my new jeans? Like dump the Levi's and put on the Wranglers?"

"Yeah, that's the idea. But not like you're thinking. I'm kind of imagining what it'll look like if you dump the Levi's and the T-shirt and the briefs and then put on the Wranglers."

"You are a perv!"

"I never denied it. I do have an appreciation for beauty, though. Especially certain kinds of beauty that involved beautiful asses like Stew was telling you that you have."

Nate climbed up on the bed and lay next to Michael, his head on Michael's chest. "Stew said a lot of stuff. I thought most of it was over the top."

"Why? Because you're not used to having people compliment how you look. Meaning tell you what a great body you have?"

Nate was quiet, and Michael felt his head nod against his chest. Then he said, "Can I ask you something? Something kind of personal?"

Nate looked up and smiled, then nodded his head.

"Do you think you internalized some of that stuff about the little league coach and what Matt went through? I mean that somehow because of that your self-worth or self-image took a little hit because that coach was starting to go after you, too?"

"I don't know. I've never thought about it."

"Well, do, because I'm here to tell you that you have nothing to second guess yourself about. You're smart and funny and good looking and my family thinks you're the best thing since sliced bread."

"Really? What's with the sliced bread?"

"It's a saying. I guess the newer one would be the best thing since canned beer. You are, you know."

"Give me a break!"

"You're also basically humble, and I think that's an added bonus. All of those things are why I lov… why I care so much for you."

"Michael, you can say it. I'm still sorting out my stuff, but you're not. In fact, I really like it when you say it."

"You really like it when I say I love you?"

"Yeah, because before I met you no one ever said that to me except my mom… well, and Jerrod and Roger, but you know what I mean. When you say it, it's something different. It makes my heart swell. It makes me feel wonderful."

"You mean it? I can tell you how I feel, really tell you, and it won't freak you out?"

"Yeah, I mean it."

"Okay. I love you totally. I dreamed about a boyfriend, and then Jerrod and Roger came into my life and helped me figure out what that really meant. And then that day I met you, something inside me said 'that's him.' It took a while to kind of come together, but the beach weekend did it. I knew I was in love with you then."

Nate reached up and stroked Michael's cheek, then let his fingers trace down his jaw line, under his chin and down his neck, and then circle around both nipples. "No one's ever said anything close to that about me before. I mean I hear all this stuff about being a baseball star and stuff, but I never thought I was that hot."

"Oh, trust me, you're hot. Just not in the way you think."

Nate tweaked one of Michael's nipples. "You really want me to try on the Wranglers for you?"

"No, I want you to model them. I want you to show me how you look in them. I want you to walk slowly and turn and show off your Wrangler butt, just like Stew said."

"You don't think he was just blowing smoke at me to impress you or make you jealous?"

"No. We've sorted out our relationship. He was being totally honest. He didn't say anything I hadn't thought, just that he could say it so well and so directly. But there's one other requirement?"


"Yeah. No underwear. I know they're going to show your body off. I also want to see your package in them. I know you'll mainly wear them with briefs, and that's cool. But tonight, for the first time, I want to see you… all of you in them."

Nate smiled wryly. "I'd only do this for you, you know?"

"No doubt."

Nate stood up off the bed and walked over to the dresser and picked up a pair of the Wranglers and then walked to the closet. He opened the door and hung the pair on the handle. Then he faced into the closet and pulled off his T-shirt, removed his socks, then before he dropped his Levi's he glanced over his shoulder at Michael and said, "You've got to close your eyes."

Michael grinned like it was Christmas and did so.

Nate pushed down the Levi's and his briefs in one movement and then stepped out of them and into the Wranglers. He pulled them up to his waist, wiggled his hips and shimmied to get the curves to fit comfortably, already aware of the difference in the feel over his butt. Maybe there was something to what Stew was saying. He thought Michael looked good in his Wranglers, but while he liked everything about Michael's body, he wasn't muscled and wouldn't say that he had a mind-blowing butt. To learn that Stew thought he did was new information. He reached back and ran his hands over both buttocks, delighting in the feel. He could feel the curve… in fact he could almost see it based on the way it felt in his hands as they moved down over his butt and onto his thighs.

Then he realized he was plumping. Shit! That wasn't part of his plan. Of course, he didn't know what his plan was, beyond modeling for Michael. Better get on with it. He turned back to face the room, and Michael was still laying on the bed with his eyes closed and his hands behind his head, a happy smile on his face. He looked so content and peaceful, so attractive, so lov… No, stop. Can't go there. There were these Wranglers to show.

"Okay, Michael. You can look now."

Michael opened his eyes, and within a second his smile widened. Nate didn't have an all over tan, just his arms really, but his torso was lightly tanned. There was, though, a thin band of white that ran around his waist above the Wranglers, a sign of hours in the sun with only shorts on. It didn't matter to Michael that Nate wasn't as buff as he'd normally be in baseball season. He had a great physique even if he'd lost some definition. He could still see the basics of a six pack, nice definition in his pecs, and great shape in his thighs.

"You're beautiful."

"Get out!"

"You are. You told me I could tell you how I feel. I've been wanting to say that since I first saw you in your swimsuit at the beach. You're beautiful. To me, at least."

Nate smiled, accepting the compliment, and walked closer to the bed. "What do you want me to do? I've never modeled or anything."

"Just turn slowly, yeah, like that. Nice butt, Nate. Stew's going to want pictures!"

"Get out. I am not letting him perv on my ass. Just you."

"Okay, now flex your knees and butt at the same time."

"Like that?"

"Yeah, baby! That fills the curve out. Stew was right, you have a terrific bubble butt. And, by the way, that's a compliment. It doesn't mean you've got a girly ass or anything like that. It means your butt has great definition. Will you bend over for me?"

Nate did, and the fabric in the Wrangler's tightened over his butt and Michael softly said, "Wow! I'm going to have to work hard to keep my hands off of that!"

"Can I straighten up and turn around now?"

"Absolutely, I want to see your beautiful face."

Nate stood up straight and turned to face Michael. Only to find he had his hand down in his own Wranglers. "Some necessary adjustment. See what you do to me? Just watching you stand there like that, and I'm getting hard."

Nate could see Michael's hard on, now lying on his abdomen under his own Wranglers. "You're out of control."

"If I am, it's because of you. And, speaking of you, it looks to me like you're getting hard, too! One more request?"

Nate raised his eyebrows.

"Come lay down next to me."

Michael pulled off his T-shirt and Nate laid down with his head on Michael's shoulder.

"I love the feel of your skin against mine. So cool, and so hot at the same time," Nate said softly.

"That's how I feel too," Michael replied. "Having you next to me like this, is the sexiest thing ever." He moved his free hand over and softly placed it on Nate's stomach, then teased his fingertips through his treasure trail, and finally slid them across the newly washed denim fabric until they rested on the head of Nate's nearly hard cock.

"I knew you'd be hard, too."

"Hard not to be, you know. You say the nicest things about me, and have very sexy fingers."

'You know what? If we keep this up, we're both going to shoot in our Wranglers and then you're going to have to wash that pair again because you're commando underneath."

They dialed it back and enjoyed the intimacy of simple physical contact and then decided to read some more in The Joy of Gay Sex . As it turned out, the next section was on Bisexuality. Suddenly Nate was a little more serious. "Did you know this was in here?"

"Of course. I read it months ago when I bought the book at Powell's and I read it again a few days ago to make sure I understood as much as I could. I want to be as knowledgeable as I can be."

"Does that mean understanding?"

"Yeah. That's not a bad thing is it. I love you, so why wouldn't I want to be as knowledgeable as I can be so that I can be understanding."

Nate smiled, feeling just a little silly. He shouldn't have gotten defensive and should have known that Michael meant well. "It's just me and where I am. Don't let it get in the way, okay?"

They read the section together and Nate was first struck by the opening statement: "Perhaps no other word in the area of human behavior is used with such imprecision." Then the discussion went on to what bisexuality doesn't mean, including the classical Greek model of adult married men having adolescent boys as lovers, or sex between men with no other choices like in prison, or men who use it as a label to grant themselves a level of respectability for having gay sex. The definition was surprisingly simple: someone who has sexual relationships with both sexes.

They stopped and talked for a minute, joking about some of the descriptions that weren't bisexual, and then Nate said. "I wonder if this really means I'm bisexual?"

Michael looked at him with furrowed brows. "What?"

"Well, it says 'has sexual relationships with both sexes.' I haven't had sex with a girl. I just know I still like them… well some of them. I mean a few kisses on a couple of dates doesn't count as sex, does it?"

Michael smiled at him. "Not in my book. But maybe actual, physical sex isn't required, maybe it's the orientation or desire. Maybe that's enough."


They kept reading, and after a bit Michael said, "What do you think about that?"

"About playing different emotional and sexual roles?"

"Yeah. They're saying that one of the advantages is being able to be fatherly and assertive with a woman, or childlike and passive with a man."

"I guess it changes with the situation," Nate said softly.

"I'm not sure I want you childlike and passive with me. I like how aggressive you can get, like the other night when we were grinding on each other. There was nothing passive about you doing that. It was really assertive and totally hot."

"I was just going with how I was feeling. Was that good? Was it good for you?"

"It was the best. Totally the best." Michael felt Nate hug him close. A minute later he said, "I'm not so sure about this part, where they're talking about it just being a transitional stage between being hetero and homo. That sounds weird, like not even being yourself."

"Maybe it's that way for some people. You told me you're bi. That's good enough for me."


"For sure, because the most important part of it isn't the 'bi' part, it's the 'sexual' part. You're the sexiest guy I've ever been around. And when we make love, you are totally into it. "You're totally sexy, Nate. Have you looked at yourself in the mirror wearing those Wranglers?"

Nate blushed, and then said softly, "Is that what we've been doing? Making love. Not just having sex."

"That's what I've been doing, and the way it feels on my end, on the receiving end, that's what you've been doing, too. No pressure, though. I love you too much to pressure you."

Nate leaned in and kissed his cheek. No words were needed. A couple of minutes later, he said, "I don't like this part."


"This, about 'truly bisexual men and women belong to one of the most persecuted groups in society. Both gays and straights find them confusing, and their very existence threatens widely held preconceptions.' How can that be?"

"I don't know, Nate. You probably need to ask David about that. I'd guess, though, that a lot of it is different now from when the book was written. Back then in the '70s, there was just homo, you know, gay and lesbian. No one was talking about 'LGB,' meaning now there's more understanding of bi and more acceptance, too." He paused and pulled Nate close to him, "In case you're worried, I'm totally accepting."

Nate grinned. "Yeah, but you're a perv! We established that just an hour ago when you had to have me model the Wranglers."

"Are you saying you didn't enjoy it?"

"No, I'm not saying that. It was hot. You saw me get hard when I saw you getting hard." He paused, then said, "Look! The next section is about Blow Jobs. Maybe we can learn something new!"

"Can we wait on that? Right now, I'm really liking the idea of forgetting the 'bi' part and just focusing on the sexual part. Remember what we read last night about being clean and using an enema bulb? I'm thinking that the way I'm feeling right now there's nothing I'd rather do than put my mouth on your cock and show you what your prostate is and how much more intense it'll feel when you cum?"

Nate grinned, not saying anything, but looking into Michael's eyes with a mix of affection and lust, and then he said, "You are a perv, you know! But, guess what? I'm discovering I like pervs. I'll go get clean. What do I need to know?"

"Just slowly squirt the warm water in, a few seconds later out it comes, and it's like taking a little wet shit. No big deal. Wipe you ass and then we'll turn out the lights and get naked and I'll see if I can't show you something you've never seen before."

"You mean see stars?"

"I'm going to do my best to make sure you see stars!"

Nate woke up the next morning feeling the same type of warmth, safety and acceptance that he'd become accustomed to over the last few days. He could see the morning light coming through the curtains, and thought to himself it had to be about 6:30. The clock was on the night stand at Michael's side of the bed, but he thought to himself that he was getting better at estimating the time based on the light. Then he thought he was getting better at a few other things. He was learning some auto mechanics, even if it was really basic. He was learning what he'd missed in his life by not having a father or a grandfather. Happily, that was being remedied by Michael's grandpa. He was also learning what it was like to be loved. To be really loved.

The enema had been weird to start with. It sounded easy when he'd read about it, but pushing what felt like a pencil into his ass had felt weird, and the feeling of the warm water getting squeezed in was different, and then there was that little wet shit Michael told him about… and then it was over. It dawned on him that he was clean, and that was something completely new to him. Not just that he had a clean rectum and anus for the first time, but that he'd done something to prepare for something else… something that this boy who said he loved him had told him he wanted to do to make him feel good.

Was that what love was about? Doing something to make the other person feel good. That's what Michael had said the day before. He was beginning to realize that for some reason Michael was able to express how he felt, how he really felt in his heart, like in saying he loved Nate. Nate was starting to be able to talk about what he was feeling, but he somehow understood that it was limited to what he was physically feeling. Like, how the sex felt. What Michael was telling him was much more than just the physical. But, the physical was awesome.

He smiled to himself as he remembered Michael telling him what he was going to do, how he'd joked that he was becoming Michael's wrangler, and right then he'd licked the length of his cock and the circled the head with his tongue and Nate had shuddered on the bed. Then Michael slowly took his cock into his mouth, working his tongue on the underside as he went down. Nate had felt himself flex along the length of his spine at the intensity. Then to his amazement Michael had lifted his legs by his knees, spreading them apart. Somewhere in his brain an alarm went off, but it was immediately quashed by the reality that the motivation was Michael wanting him to feel good. Michael squirted some lube onto his fingertips and Nate thought he knew what was coming, but he completely underestimated the pure sensuality when Michael softly rubbed against his pucker and stroked in small circles.

He enjoyed the frictionless feeling of slow circling and then he felt one finger press for entrance… and to his surprise he felt himself open up, and the finger slide inside. Michael was gentle and sensuous, softly probing with his finger as his mouth went back to work on Nate's cock. Then he slid the finger in further and began massaging his prostate, this thing he'd only learned about two days before, and then his body was on sensory overload. The feeling of Michael's mouth on his cock was amazing, but also something he was becoming familiar with. Now, added to it was this completely different stimulus that was totally new to him. He remembered that he'd moaned, writhed on the bed as it got more and more intense, and then let out a deep groan… and he'd cum. All he could remember now was the intensity and the pure pleasure, but he was sure he'd seen stars!

Nate was recalling the pure pleasure of those feelings when he felt Michael's arm tighten on his stomach and pull him back against his warm torso. Michael's lips were against his ear, kissing and softly licking, and he heard the words, "I love you so much."

Nate smiled to himself. It felt so good. To have climaxed so strongly before falling asleep in this boy's arms, and then to wake up to such a declaration. He turned over under Michael's arm to face him. He watched the eyelids open, the smile form on the lips, then he kissed the lips and said, "You say the most wonderful things."

"I only say wonderful things to wonderful people, you know," Michael replied, and pulled him into a tight hug. They stayed like that for thirty seconds before he added, "We'd better get up before we get gotten up. I'd like for us to go take a pee and then come back to bed so I can wrangle you some more… but I don't think that's going to happen!" He kissed the tip of Nate's nose and said, "But, I can tell this is going to be a wonderful day because of the way it's starting!"

When they got to the kitchen, Michael's mom already had breakfast underway, and she first admired how Nate looked in his new Wranglers. "My, my, you look so handsome. You could pass for a cowboy now, you know?"

"Get out! Don't embarrass me about these new jeans the first time I wear them."

"Trust me, you won't be embarrassed in an hour or two when the bottoms have a layer of mud and cow shit on them." She laughed, and they all giggled together.

"So," she continued, "are you going to do the cowboy routine to fit those new boots?"

"That's the plan."

"Okay. I'll put the tub on the back porch after breakfast, and then put the kettle on to boil. The water from the tap isn't hot enough, so once you stand in the tub I'll pour in the kettle water, and that'll get it hot enough to do the job. Don't worry, you won't feel it inside the boots. Most of the heat is dissipated in the tub."

They finished breakfast, and Nate pulled on his new boots as Michael filled the tub with hot water from the tap. Then after he'd stepped in, Michael's mom poured in the boiling water and Michael said, "It won't take long. No more than five minutes and you'll feel the moisture inside the boots. Then we'll head out."

Sure enough, that was the case, and then Michael put on his black cowboy hat, handed Nate his new ivory one and they walked off the back porch and down to the truck to water the cows.

Michael kidded Nate on the drive out to the water tanks about squeaky boots, but by the time they arrived it was getting warm, and the humidity was low, and it wasn't long before he no longer noticed he was wearing wet boots. After turning over the water in the tanks, they drove the fence line to check on the herd, saw all was well and headed back to the house. On the way back Michael said, "I'm betting dad will want us to muck the cow shit by the end of the week."

"What does that mean?"

"That we drive out in the tractor with the manure spreader on it. We've got an older tractor with a front-end loader on it, but I think it's easier overall to just shovel the shit into the spreader with a couple of pitch forks than use them to load the bucket on the tractor."

"I thought the idea with a front-end loader was you didn't have to do that."

"Well, yeah," Michael said, "that's the idea. But unless you're picking up heavy stuff in a pile, or have a solid wall to push up against, the bucket just ends pushing the stuff around. Anyway, we only have to do it every couple of weeks, and it'll be a good work out."

Nate grinned at him, and Michael reached for his left had that was on the seat. "You look just as sexy in those Wranglers this morning as you did last night."

"Even with dirt and shit on them?"

"Maybe more so. You know, looking like a real working man. Probably look even better with just the Wranglers and the boots and no shirt… you know, sweat glistening on your chest!" He grinned and wiggled his eyebrows.

Nate smiled back and squeezed his hand. "I'm still getting used to the fact that you think I'm sexy and all." He paused, then went on, "What you did to me last night was amazing. I've never felt that… or felt that way."

Michael kept grinning and then said, "I told you my goal was to make you see stars."

"Yeah, well, you did. The sensation was overwhelming. I know it wasn't as good for you, but I've been thinking about that. I mean what you said about making the other person feel good. I want to do that for you, too."

"You do make me feel good. Just being in this truck and holding my hand makes me feel good."

"You know what I mean. Don't make light of it. I want you to feel as good as you make me feel. Is that wrong?"

"No way! Nothing wrong with that. I'm already looking forward to it."

"I don't know… it's weird, but I'm learning new stuff about myself."


"Yeah. I mean last night, about getting clean for you. I'd never done it before, but it wasn't that big a deal, but I realized I wanted to do it for you, because you were so clear about wanting to make me feel good. Is that weird?"

"I don't think so. You're thoughtful, and I think it's just part of what I was telling you about why I feel the way I do about you." Michael squeezed Nate's hand and smiled at him. "It's not that much different than a girl cleaning herself or douching… or whatever they call it, before a date with a hot guy, right?"

Nate had to think about that.

They pulled up beside the barn and went inside to check with Michael's dad. "Jerry called a while ago, and he rebuilt the carb last night. He's going to come by after dinner."

"Far out. That's so nice of him," Michael said. "Somehow I figured he'd get busy with other stuff and maybe not get to it until the weekend."

"I think he likes you two and your project. If you're going to mow the lawns this afternoon, why don't you go wash the Scout and clean the inside before lunch? If all goes well this evening, you'll be able to drive that rig tomorrow." He grinned at them, and they grinned back, then head down to grandpa's barn.

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