The Apple Orchard

by Jobe

Chapter 11

"Take your guitar over to Anna's and I'll explain to Mr. Thomas."

As Jim enters the store, "Where's Tony? He isn't sick is he?"

"No sir he had to go to the bank. I'll fill in till he's back." Mr. Thomas shook his head as if to say ok.

About 9 Tony came back to the store. "Jim I need you to sign this card and drop it off at the bank."

"What is it that I'm signing?"

"I put the bank account in both of our names. If something happens to me I want you to have the money."

"Nothing is going to happen."

"I know but I feel better knowing your name is on the account. We're partners, 50- 50."

"Ok, I'll see you at 4. I unloaded one of the trucks, you can do the other."

Jim signed the card and dropped it off at the bank. He took a look at the account and realized that the amount was greater than the check. When he asked the man at the desk, he told him that Tony has the interest from his trust deposited to this same account.

Jim stopped at his grandparents looking for his grandfather. "Where is grandfather, Grandmother?"

"I believe he's at the orchard."

Saying thanks, Jim went to find his grandfather. Seeing him in the orchard, "Grandfather, what are you doing?"

"I was checking out the electrical system. Tony asked about the lights and picking apples at night. I told him I'd check them out. This is the main control box and also the fuse box for the shack. So if your lights go out, this is where you'll need to check." Grandfather continued to show Jim how to set the breakers.

"Do they look ok or do we need to replace them?"

"No they're fine. This case is weather proof. Since they are copper wires, there's no corrosion. I'm not as sure about the lights. We may have to replace a few bulbs. We can try them out tonight. If you boys are up to it, we might start the farm up again. But you'll have to manage it, I'm too old, but I'll consult."

"Tony deposited the check in the bank this morning and put my name on the account. I'm not sure why. It's his money."

"It seems to me he trusts you a lot. He really loves you; you can see it in his eyes whenever he looks at you. Reminds me of your grandmother and me when we were your age."

Jim just looked at his grandfather but his mind was on last night, yes, grandfather was right Tony does love me as much as I love him. Jim smiled.

"I don't know what you're thinking, but it must be good judging by the smile on your face."

Jim just hugged his grandfather and said one word, "Love"

Jim started to get ready for work. He had some shopping to do and wanted to get it done before work. Stopping at the farm house, he asked his grandparents i f they needed anything from town. His grandmother gave him a grocery list plus some yarn she needed. She was ready to give him some money but Jim refused saying they ate there most of the time anyway.

In town, Jim stopped and picked up the yarn and then went to a clothing store. He picked out two light blue jackets and asked if they could stitch their names on them. They could but they wouldn't be ready until tomorrow evening. Jim paid for the jackets. He took his grocery list and went to the store and checked on Tony.

Taking a cart, he began to shop. I was in the aisle where Tony was working. He didn't see me, I sneaked up behind him, "Hey sexy, how about a date?" He jumped as I scared him. I started to laugh as he turned around. He got even; he grabbed me and kissed me. There were other customers in the aisle.

"That'll teach you to scare me." The other customers laughed, one young girl, probably 10 or 11, said 'boo' to Tony. He turned around, grabbed the girl and kissed her on the cheek. She blushed and her mother laughed.

"I'm shopping for grandmother. I know some things we need, do you need anything? I was thinking of getting a beef roast for Sunday and maybe a ham steak. Grandmother can make ham and bean soup during the week. That's always good."

"I wish we had some evenings off. We could cook ourselves or just go to a movie, like a real date."

"That would be nice. If you're playing tonight you could bring me dinner and serenade me while I eat."

Smiling I went to finish my shopping, checking out, then driving home. I stopped and gave grandmother her yarn and groceries plus the beef roast and the ham and beans. "Grandfather will love you for the roast. It's one of his favorite. There generally too big for just the two of us but now there are the 6 of us this'll be just right."

"Six of us, who are the other two?"

"You and Tony"

Laughing, I took the remaining groceries to the shack. I grabbed a protein bar and headed back to work.

When I got to work, Mr. Thomas asked me what I thought about him hiring another cashier. It didn't take me long to think about it. "I think that's a good idea. I could have more time off that'll let me get grandfather's apple orchard working again."

"Are you planning on starting that up again?"

"Yes but on a smaller scale. Some of the trees are pretty old and I'm not sure what is harvestable from them. Who did you have in mind?"

"Before you started, Jane Miller was a cashier here. She left to start a family. I think her youngest is probably 10 or 11. Anyway, she stopped by asking if I was hiring. I told her I was thinking about another cashier. Since you don't have any problems with it I'll let her know. But I still need you for Friday and Saturday nights. I'll work out a schedule and let you see it."

"Thanks, Mr. Thomas."

Now if only we could get another stock boy.

I opened my cash register and began to work. I filled my shelf with shopping bags, and took a look at what Tony had left to stock. Tony already figured out that if stock need to be refilled and he didn't have time, he'd fill the shelves at the back end of the store and if I had time I'd fill those in front. That way I could keep an eye on the register.

It was quiet till about 5:30. A lot of people stopped on the way home to pick up last minute items. Generally Monday and Tuesday nights are slow. One cashier can easily handle those nights. Wednesday and Thursday got busy particularly after 5, Thursday more than Wednesday. Friday afternoon and all day Saturday made up for the whole week as far as being busy.

I guess Tony's guitar playing and singing were attracting a large crowd. He came in the store with my dinner all smiling. I told Mr. Thomas I was going to the back of the store to page me if he needed me. "How was the strumming and singing tonight?"

"It must have been pretty good. Anna didn't charge me for the food and when I went to put my guitar away, there was a bunch of money in the case that added up to 51 bucks."

"What did Anna say?"

"She was pleased. Monday nights are the best after Friday and Saturday. She asked me to play Friday and Saturday nights; I couldn't as those were the two busiest nights at the store."

"While I'm eating, why don't you play and sing something for me."

"What would you like for me to play and sing for you?"

"How about a love song, but not too mushy? Wait till I turn down the volume on the pager." Actually I turned the pager on and the volume in stock room down.

As I started to eat, Tony started to play and sing. Mr. Thomas came running back with a big smile on his face. "There are a bunch of people out there who want to know who's playing and singing."

"Tell them it's a radio station or your stock boy practicing. See which one they believe."

I finished eating and headed back to the front to my cash register. Tony followed me, with his guitar in its case. One of the customers asked me if he was the guy singing at the Café tonight.

"Yes. He's the stock boy here in fact he's right there."

The customer left her bag of groceries at the register and went over to talk to Tony. I saw him talking then writing something on paper. The woman came over to get her groceries, "He said that you're his partner."

"Yes that's true."

She just looked at me, smiled and left.

That night on the way home, "what did that lady want?"

"She wanted to know if I could play and sing at her cocktail party on Sunday."

"What did you say?"

"I told her I had to discuss it with my partner. She asked who my partner was, and I told her it was you. Did she say something to you?"

"Yes, she asked me if I was your partner. I said yes. She just smiled and left."

"What are you going to do?"

"What do you think I should do?"

"Go for it. You might get other gigs from the cocktail party and then you wouldn't have to work as a stock boy. Who knows you might become famous."

"I don't want fame if I can't have it with you."

"I'll be your agent. How's that? Why don't you finish that song you were singing for me earlier?"

Tony started to sing. He had a beautiful tenor voice. When he was finished, I noticed he had tears in his eyes. "Why the tears?"

"I wrote that song for you. I didn't know if you'd like it or not. But when you asked me to sing it again, I thought you might like it. I watched your face and eyes, you were into that song and I was so happy. These are tears of happiness not sadness."

"Oh Tony, I loved that song and now that I know it was written for me, I love it even more. I'll definitely be your agent."

"Holy hell, Tony look the orchard is all lit up. Grandfather told me that the electric was still ok but he wasn't sure about the bulbs".

"They look ok to me. There's grandfather on the steps waiting for us."

"What do you think boys?"

"Wow Grandfather. I guess the bulbs were ok."

"I had to replace 4 of them. I always kept spares just in case."

"Grandfather, tell me you didn't climb up there to replace them?"

"No. I use to do that but not now. I called an electrician just in case there would be a problem. He climbed up there and changed the bulbs."

"Well it certainly lights up the orchard."

We followed grandfather to the master switch to turn off the lights. "You should only use these lights if you're going to pick apples at night. They run up the electric bill fairly fast."

With the lights off, Jim walked grandfather back home. Tony went into the shack to fix himself something to eat. Jim had eaten at the store but Tony hadn't. There was some soup left over from the other night. He heated that up and was eating when Jim returned.

"Grandmother sent up a piece of pie for you and me."

Tony just looked at the pie with a smile. It didn't take him long to finish the soup. The pie was the best he had ever eaten, "Grandmother sure knows how to cook. I'm going to ask her to teach me."

"If that's the case, then we better start exercising or we won't fit in the bed and maybe not in the shower either."

"Jim, have you ever exercised or did any sports. I'd like to start running. Maybe start slow and then build up to a 3 mile run each morning. What do you think?"

"We'd have to get up an hour earlier to do that and still make it to work on time. Let's try it tomorrow. We can start slow and build up to 3 miles. The first chance I get, we can take the cycle and mark off a course. Right now I'm going to shower and then you can sing me to sleep. Come on and join me in the shower before we get too fat."

The shower always takes longer than it should. While Tony was washing Jim's back, he slipped a finger into Jim's center of gravity. Jim just wiggled his butt on the finger. Tony soaped up his hard on and placed it where his finger was. He reached around Jim; taking his cock into his hand began to jerk him off as he slowly entered Jim. At that moment they were both lost to the sensations. Tony began to kiss Jim on the neck; Jim trembled as he reached his climax. The tightening of his anal muscles set Tony off. They leaned into each other fully spent. Tony started to sing to Jim as they got dry and raced to the bed.

They fell asleep in each other's arms. Jim drifted off with the last notes of Tony's song in his head.

Jim had set the alarm for 5 am. When the alarm went off Jim had second thoughts about running in the morning. "Tony, are you sure you want to run in the morning?"

"The first day is always the hardest. If we don't start today we'll probably never start. We'll just take it easy for now."

Jim and Tony got up and realized they didn't have any running shoes or shorts. "Ok, let's wear our canvas shoes and boxer shorts. We can run through the orchard until we get running shoes and shorts." By the time they returned to the shack, they were ready to go back to bed.

"How far do you think we ran?" "Not very far, let's take a shower."

Jim set the water temperature on the cool side. It felt good as the soap and water washed away the sweat. Tony was washing Jim's back again, "Come around and wash my feet and legs, I'm not sure I can bend over." Trading places, Tony got down washing Jim's lower legs and feet. He saw something that needed attention. Taking it into his mouth, Jim let out a small cry of surprise and then began a rocking motion feeding little Jim into Tony's mouth. "I'm going to shoot." Tony just held on to the back of Jim's leg till he had swallowed everything Jim had to offer. Jim just draped himself over Tony till he was able to stand up. Not to be out done, Jim returned the favor. Two sated lovers exited the bathroom holding hands and a big smile. It seemed to Jim life couldn't get any better. Tony was thinking the same thing.

The boys got dressed, touching each other as much as possible; they were finally ready to leave for work. When they arrived at work, Mr. Thomas introduced them to Jane Miller. "Jim I'm going to let Jane start this morning when we aren't so busy."

"That's great. I have some errands I can run and then I'll see you after lunch." Before leaving Jim gave Tony a hug and a kiss on the cheek.

Jim headed to the sport store. When he entered, he saw someone who shopped regularly at the store. Approaching him, "good morning; I wonder if you could help me. My partner and I want to start running. I know I need shoes, shorts and socks."

"For shorts we recommend these. They are loose in the legs which allow a full run without binding on the leg. It allows the leg to move freely. For the shoes, you need a shoe that can absorb the weight of your body when your foot hits the ground. Most people don't know it, but your instep and ankles can take a beating if you don't have the proper shoe. The other thing if your run is over 2 miles, you should replace your shoes every 6 weeks. The constant pressure, will adversely affect the shoes ability to absorb the shock. You can bring them in and we can measure the deterioration and let you know when they should be replaced. As for socks, you want pure cotton. They are the best for absorbing moisture. You'll need several pair and you should never wear the same pair twice without washing. You wouldn't want your feet to become infected by dirty socks."

"Wow that sounds like there's lot to this running. Ok let me have 4 pair of running shorts waist size 31, two pair of shoes, size 9."

"Is that the size you wear now?

"Yes why?"

"With socks I would recommend ½ sizes larger. The socks will take up the extra room."

"Ok then 9 ½ plus 28 pairs of socks. We do laundry once a week at my grandparents."

The clerk put everything in a bag and added a magazine called, 'The ABC's of Running'. Jim was a little shocked at the cost but he knew it'd pay off. He charged it to his dad's credit card. Thanked the clerk and left.

Then he went to the clothing store and picked up the light blue jackets. With all of his shopping done, he went to the café to wait for Tony. Sitting in their usual booth, Anna brought him a milk shake and sat down to chat. "How's Tony doing?"

"He's doing great. Monday nights are just as good as Friday nights. I'm afraid he's going to ask for me to pay him."

"He's not going to ask you. We consider you a friend Anna, and if we can help you, we will. We haven't forgotten that extra burger, the first day he was here; you have a good heart.

Speaking of the devil, here he is. The usual?"

"Yes please."

"Hi lover boy." Tony looked around the café to see if any one heard me. I leaned over the table as if I was going to whisper in his ear and then gave him a kiss on the cheek.

I saw the devil in his eyes and knew he was going to do something to get even. When Anna brought our lunch, he came and sat next to me. Anna asked if Tony needed anything else, he said yes. Then grabbed me and gave me a kiss right on the lips. Anna clapped; Tony went back to his seat facing me, smiling.

Then he noticed the jacket. "That's a very nice jacket. When did you get it?"

"I picked it up this morning. It has my name on it so I had to buy it. When I was in the store I saw one with your name so I bought you one also." I handed Tony the package that was next to me. He took out the jacket, stood up to put it on. "You look sharp in that jacket. It matches your eyes."

Anna saw Tony modeling the jacket, "That's a nice jacket Tony."

"Yes it matches Jims."

'Oh Jim, I'm sorry I didn't even recognized that you had a new jacket on. Oh, it's the same as Tony's."

"The name is different." Anna nodded then left to wait on a customer that just entered.

"Tony, what do you say we buy Anna one with her name on it? You can be the blue minstrel."

"Yes, I liked that. Blue minstrel, I'll tell Anna and she can make a sign and put it in the window."

"No, I think we'll make the sign. Tomorrow, I'll take care of that as your agent. And speaking as your agent, give me the phone number of that woman who wanted you to play Sunday." Tony reached into his wallet and gave me the note she gave him. "Two question, how long can you play without taking a break and how many songs do you have in your repertoire?"

"Well here I play for 30 minutes then take a break. As for the number of songs I know, I can't begin to tell you."

"While you go back to work, I'll take care of this. You do want to do this right?"

"If you want me to do it I will."

When Tony got up to leave, I stood and kissed him. He looked at me as to say,' the war is on'.

After Tony left, I went to the store where I bought the jackets; I had one printed with Anna's name. Next was the clothing store where I bought two blue shirts and two black tuxedo pants. I wasn't done; I went to a print shop and had calling cards made. I brought a picture of Tony playing his guitar. The guy at the print shop, photo shopped the picture by coloring Tony's shirt blue and replacing his jeans with black slacks. We added the name, the Blue Minstrel, and put my name as agent with my phone number. I then went to sewing center and bought 2 yards of blue cloth. Now that I had my shopping done, I was ready to call Mrs. Wilson.

When Mrs. Wilson answered the phone I explained I was Tony's agent and I wanted to formalize the gig for Sunday. She said the event was to celebrate her husband's birthday and would like Tony to be there from 7 to 9. I explain that Tony would play a 20 minute set every half hour for two hours. The fee will be 200 dollars for two hours. She agreed and said she'd have a check ready when we arrived. I told her to make the check out to me. With all the arrangements made, I packed everything into the trunk of the car.

When I arrived at the store, Jane was ready to go home. I took over her cash register and mentally prepared to work. I took the calling card and taped it to the side of my register so customers can see it. Tony came behind me at the register, tapped me on the shoulder and when I turned around, kissed me. "You know that this means war." He just laughed and walked back to the aisle where he was working. It wasn't till quitting time when he saw the calling card.

"Does this mean you finalized Sunday?" "Yes it's all set; 200 dollars for 2 hours of 4 sets, 20 minutes on and 10 minutes break after each set. It's Mr. Wilson's birthday so I hope you know the tune to Happy Birthday."

As we passed the farm house, I remember I had some clothes in the trunk. "I have to drop off some clothes that needed wash, so why don't you drive to the shack and I'll catch up to you." I took the shirts and blue cloth, waved goodbye and watch Tony drive away. "Grandmother Tony's going to play at a party on Sunday; I need a minstrel's shirt for him. This is our calling card, the Blue Minstrel."

"Leave the new shirts, I'll see that they are washed and ironed by Sunday. As for the minstrel shirt, I'll check and see if I can find a picture, I'll show you before I start cutting the material."

"Thanks Grandmother, you're the best."

With that I start jogging to the shack. When I got there all the lights were out. I knew Tony was about somewhere. I slowly open the door fully expecting something to fall on my head; nothing happened. I quietly tiptoed to our bedroom. When I switch on the light, there was Tony, nude, with his ass sticking up in the air. He had a devil smile on his face. But he was hot, and I was hard as nails in less than 5 seconds. I quickly disrobed, and when I jumped on the bed, the little shit turned over onto his back. That wasn't the problem; he had placed tape over his crotch so I couldn't see his dick. In black ink he wrote, surrender. Looking at him I knew I lost the war, for now. But I was a good captive and gladly surrendered to my punishment, if that's what you want to call it.

Making love with Tony is the ultimate in love. He's so much a part of me and when we physically connect I truly believe our souls merged. There's no way I can exist without him. And the great thing, he feels the same way. Although I surrendered, the war isn't over. This POW is planning revenge.

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