Castle Roland

Life on the Farm

by Joe Writer Man

In Progress

Chapter 13

Posted: N/A

Kevin was so happy with his frog.

Then he reached out his little arm. I thought he was going to drop it so I reached mine out toward him. It was then that he plopped the little creature in my hand… almost immediately it released water. I wondered what that was all about.

Dan took the frog, handed it back to Kevin, pulled out a handkerchief and wiped my hand, saying, "Frogs tend to give a welcoming party. Be sure to wash your hands good."

I had no idea what he was talking about… I'd not been up and close and personal to a frog. Sure, I'd heard, even seen them at the lake back home and at Adam and Tony's places… but up close and personal? Nope.

The woman introduced herself as 'Vera'. She invited us inside their home. I looked to Adam and Tony for permission, or something like that.

Their response: they started walking toward the house. Seth and I looked at each other. He was more in control of his emotions. Arm in arm we took off, following Adam and Tony, into the house.

Vera got busy making glasses of iced tea while Dan showed us to the table where we were to be seated. He explained the table had belonged to his great grandmother, and had been passed down through the ages… you know, to his grandparents, then to his parents, and after their deaths, to his family. The table was where they held all important discussions. The table, itself, was kewl. It had handmade engravings on the sides that were beautiful. Dan was quick to point out that that particular piece of furniture was made during the olden days when people took pride in and gave love to their work.

Though the house was old, it was well kept. The bare wood floors were shiny as glass… that stuck with me the most. The, I don't know what to call them, area just beneath the high ceilings was engraved. Dan, seeing me looking up toward a wall said, "Those are hand engraved. My great grandfather built this house with his own hands. Oh, he had help. The town came together and helped him and his new bride to have a house of their very own. Later, great grandpa would help countless other people in similar ways. There was a period of time when he had the only combine around these parts, so, he went around and pulled in their crops. The community gave and took. What one family didn't have, another one would pick up the slack. When the giving family didn't have a particular tool or implement… that's just how our town operates. There's never any price tag on their, our love of community. That's how we are here, James."

Vera, sitting down glasses of iced tea to everyone, added, "That's right. We help out here. I hear that you don't take handouts… well, let me tell you something, you're going to have to learn differently…"

Adam patted my back, then he, Tony and Seth made their exit, saying they would be waiting outside while I talked with my potentially new family. At first, I was a bit nervous about the whole thing, but Kevin walked over and stood beside me.

"Uhm, Ma'am, I'll earn my keep here. Just show me what I have to do. I'm a good worker."

"Don't worry about that, James. You'll be assigned chores. You'll get chores the other boys have already done and know how to do. It's hard to do something if you don't know how to do it. I'm going to add something that Mom hasn't said, yet, sorry, honey, if you'd rather tell him…"

Vera looked to her husband. She looked at him much differently than my 'old' mom and dad looked at each other. There was peace in their eyes.

When the moment between them passed, she turned to me and said, "About handouts… what you receive is not handouts… what you do is to share your moments when you can, and then pass it on. When someone else needs some help, or someone to talk to, then just be there for them. Do you see where I'm going with this?"

I nodded, suddenly realizing her point. I'd never been in a situation like that, not that I knew of, anyway. My muscles relaxed just a little bit… I was really nervous, my hip hurt, not because it was broken or anything, the doctors said it was healing just fine… no, my muscles were tight, I just needed to pee really, really bad.

I said my next few words. I felt safe, "Uhm, Ma'am, where's your bathroom? Can I use it?"

"Dan, would you show him where it is, please?"

Dan looked to me, outstretched his mammoth arm. I got up, but, instead of taking his offer, I stepped back so that he could lead the way. We walked through a large living room. It was warm and cozy appearing, not like the cheaply built houses of the current day. When we got to a stairway leading up, he said, "The bathroom is at the end of the hall on the right. Be sure to wash your hands afterward."

Patiently, slowly, but not wasting any time I ascended the stairs, saw the bathroom at the precise location he had instructed. I quickly took care of business, washed my hands then headed back down the stairs and into the kitchen area where they were seated at the table.

"Thank you." I said meekly, not wanting to draw any attention to myself. I probably wouldn't be staying there anyway, so I didn't want to get too friendly, but, then again, I didn't want to fuck things up… I was confused.

Vera, drawing a deep breath then letting it out slowly, said, "James, there is something special about you to make that little boy come to you. He's doesn't take well to strangers. He's not been here for very long…" She paused for a moment to collect her thoughts, to carefully choose words – much like I did (and do). She continued, "His history is not very good, James. He's got a lot of pain in that little body carrying around his spirit… just be yourself. Can you do that?"

"Sure, no problem. I mean, yes, Ma'am."

I had no clue what they were talking about, not really… I mean they were saying for me to just be myself… then the words came out, "Uhm, I didn't do anything special… he just came to me… I don't know."

Dan quickly said, "No, James, you didn't DO anything. We've done a lot of things to bring him around, stuff that you wouldn't understand… so, no, his reaction is something you did… as my wife said, there's something special about you… and you didn't even have to say a word. You are just being you."

"I guess…"

"You have a friend for life, James. Whether or not you stay, and it is totally up to you, that little boy will adore the ground you walk on… if you don't want to come back then please say so, now. That little boy has been through so much…" Vera said, maternally.

I nodded, and for the first time, smiled just a little bit, as I thought about how he'd came to me… not only that, but he gave me his froggie to hold and care for. I snickered, "He loves his frog."

Smiling, Vera said to Dan, "Dan, why don't you go show him around. Be sure to take his friends. I'm going to get lunch started. We'll be eating at 1pm, don't be late. I'll make a plenty, James. Your friends are invited. Please tell them so. Dan, make sure they know they're invited. Now, run along and let a woman do her work in the kitchen."

"Yes, ma'am. Come on, James, we'd better get out of here. We'll see you later, honey." Dan said then kissed his wife with his arms around her. They looked so different from each other. She wasn't much taller than I was, maybe 4 or 5 inches taller, but, he towered over her, yet, he was so gentle… quite unlike my 'old' mom and dad.

I shuddered at thinking how 'they' had sloppily kissed, pawed each other, and oftentimes took it to their bedroom and fucked their brains out, not giving one shit that I was around. On those times, I usually went outside so I didn't have to hear 'it'.

They released each other. Dan said, "Are you ready for the grand tour?"

A warmth spread over me. I didn't know what that meant, really. Oh, I'd felt it with Adam almost all the time… but, still, feeling was foreign. As he walked toward the door, once again, he extended his arm. When it made contact, I flinched away. I couldn't get too close… I didn't even know them… yet, I liked them… like I said I was all confused and shit.

I walked to Seth, looked deeply into his eyes, "Hey… we were just talking a little bit. Dan's going to give us the tour of the place. You should come with us."

Just then a mail truck drove up. Dan went to receive the delivery. Kevin looked after his dad, then he looked to me, then he looked to Seth.

Adam and Tony walked from the truck toward us.

I led Seth to the painted green concrete set of steps leading into and out of the house, and sat down, and urged him to sit next to me.

Curious, Kevin waked to us and made his way to the next lower step, between my legs.

He regarded Seth very carefully.

Meanwhile, Seth's hand was resting on my knee. Kevin turned around to see the boy next to me. I turned to Seth… his eyes, too, were fixated on the little boy.

Kevin then shocked the hell out of us when he said, innocentaly, "You're dirty. Go take a bath, neeger."

I took a deep breath, knowing Seth was very sensitive to those things, but much to my surprise, he only glanced at me before saying, "The color of my skin is naturally dark. Do you know what nigger means?"

Kevin intently grazed on Seth's sandal for a moment before saying, "No."

"I'm going to tell you what it means, okay?" Kevin nodded. Seth softly continued, "It's a bad word, Kevin. What it says to someone is that they are bad, really bad, terrible bad…"

Indignantly, Kevin huffed, "You're not bad, silly." And then he crossed his arms, looked into my eyes and said, "Seth isn't bad." Turning to Seth, he continued, "I'm sorry."

That earned Kevin a hug from Seth, a hug that was not refused.

Dan cleared his throat. Through the exchange, I hadn't noticed that he'd returned.

He said to Seth, "I'm sorry he said that to you, Seth. I've not taught him to talk that way to anybody, nor would I. You are welcome here at any time of the day or night."

"It's okay, Sir. He's a little kid. He probably doesn't know any different… I think that he, now, understands what the word means.

Kevin chimed in, "You're not bad. Would you be my friend?" The boy then handed Seth his frog.

Heh heh heh, frogs pee a lot. I snorted at seeing the wetness on his hand.

Seth must have been around and interacted with frogs a whole lot more than I ever had. He, with his other hand, gently picked it up on its sides. He's smart and intelligent – I've told you that before, right? Well he is.

Kevin took back the frog. Seth asked Dan, "Sir, may I wash my hands. I forgot that frogs like to pee a lot."

Dan chuckled, "The restroom is up the stairs and to the right. Young man, you handled the situation perfectly. Again, I apologize for his use of a hurtful word… I seriously do not feel that he was intentionally trying to hurt you…" Dan said seriously.

"It's okay, Sir. Excuse me, please."

Dan said, "Of course. We'll wait for you."

Seth nodded, then took off inside the house.

Vera stuck her head out the door, and said, "We'd like for you all to stay for lunch… there's a plenty to go around. Why don't you all sit down… I'll bring a tray right out."

With that Vera turned and went inside the house.

I turned to sit down with Kevin, however my concentration was broken at hearing several sets of hard soled shoes quickly approaching. I looked around and saw 3 guys running quickly toward us. They stopped about 3 feet away. All were huffing and puffing, and they were filthy dirty. Mud was caked throughout their clothing, their faces, even in their hair.

Dan said, parentally, "Boys, lunch will be ready soon… you know the drill… I'm sorry, James… boys, this is James. He's going to be visiting for a spell this afternoon, maybe this evening, too. James, this is Mark, then here's Eric and this is Luke, the tall one."

"Pleased to meet you." I said lamely, not knowing what else to say or do. I didn't want to shake their hands, really… I didn't know what else to do.

Without saying another word, one by one they ascended the stairs to the landing, then without any concern, started taking all their clothes off, piece by piece, until they were naked as the day they'd been born.

Nice butts. Very nice. None turned around so that I could check out their other assets. Meanwhile, my dick twitched a time or two.

No sooner had the boys disappeared than Seth came walking out of the house – and he had a big grin on his face… I could only imagine what he'd seen – and appreciated. I noticed a bit of a bulge, and then my suspicions were confirmed when he reached down and scratched the left side of his balls, which caused his pants to momentarily bunch up, thus exposing his ample quantities of maleness.

My dick definitely twitched at seeing Seth in a state of… what'ya call it? Need?


He bounded down the stairs, grabbed up a squealing, squirming Kevin, then walked to me, put his free arm around my waist, and squeezed that little bit of loose skin at my side.

He then turned, and with a radiant smile, quietly whispered, "I think you're going to like here just fine." He then turned his attentions to Kevin, and Kevin's frog.

Kevin then squirmed out of Seth's arms, saying, "Froggie's hungry. I've got get him some lunch."

He walked to Dan, lifted the frog so that Dan could see it, then he asked, "Daddy, what does a Froggie like to eat?"

I turned to Seth to see if he knew a frog's sustenance. At first a blank expression crossed his face, then it changed… I saw longing in his eyes despite the fact that he was smiling. Behind that smile I saw a hint of sadness. I also saw a Lady Bug climbing into the tightly curled hair at the edge of his forehead. I reached up, flicked it up and away, then reached around his waist and lower chest, and hugged him tightly… in front of everybody… not even thinking what they might think. I squeezed hard, just to let him know that he was loved. I felt an urge to kiss his succulent lips right there on the spot, in front of God, Adam, Dan, Tony, and the rest of the world.

But… I didn't kiss him. Instead, I whispered into his ear, "I want to kiss you more than anything in the world… but I don't know what they would think of it if I did. I don't want to embarrass you."

He kissed my cheek anyway.

In a flash, since he's a good 5 inches taller than me, he'd picked up up, squeezed me into his strong arms and chest, and held on tight, causing my back bones to crack like I was receiving a chiropractor treatment.

In the very next instant, just as I was going to kiss Seth anyway, Seth groaned in pain. I worked my way out of his arms, to find Kevin beating Seth with his fists and elbows.

We both knelt down in front of Kevin. Seth took one arm and I took the other, and I said tryingto calm Kevin down, "He's not hurting me, little one. He loves me. I love him. We're kind of like brothers. We'd never hurt each other, never in a million years." He was paying attention to each and every word I was saying to calm him down, to make him realize that Seth and I were okay. Not being one to give or receive affection, publicly, I leaned into Seth and gave him a quick kiss on his lips… not only to assure Kevin of anything, but, I also wanted Seth to know that he was still the most important person in my life. Kevin then reached his arms out to Seth, leaned in and kissed his cheek, and crawled into my lap. I, of course, put my arms around him, and squeezed until he squealed, playfully, of course. He then kissed my lips, just briefly, and then, he surprised everybody observing… he reached over and kissed Seth's lips, full on.

After that, they were fine. He just needed to know that nobody was going to hurt anybody. I related.

Kevin then made a big deal of helping us to our feet. We let him. He needed to feel needed. And he showed me how it was done, Kevin style.

We looked to the adults. Adam was smiling. Tony was grinning, and well, Dan had this totally shocked look on his face, but then, the shock gave way to, what was it? Contentment. Yeah. Definitely. Contentment.

To Kevin, Dan said, "Come on, little one, let's show our visitors around the farm."

Kevin looked up to his dad, then slowly, very carefully, raised his arms up for his dad to carry him.

Without hesitation, Dan picked up the little one, pulled him in close, and kissed Kevin's cheek.

Kevin put his hand to his cheek, looked into Dan's eyes for a moment, then turned and shrieked, "Go Daddy!"

Everybody laughed at his enthusiasm.

Seth put his arm around my shoulders and off we went following the grown-ups. Occasionally, I'd let my hand sneak down to caress Seth's cute bottom. All was fine until he snaked his hand inside my pants and underwear and began playing with my internal dimple.

I could have taken him on the spot. I needed him right there and then. Knowing that couldn't happen, reluctantly, I moved my hand up and put it around his midsection. He gave me some mercy by withdrawing his hand from the tight confines of my clothes… the damage was already done, though. I was hard as piston, and there was no way it would be going down anytime soon.

Dan, meanwhile, drew our attentions to the various outbuildings. This was a chicken coop. That was the goat pen. Here was where the sheep were kept. And then the stinky pig pen… clearly the largest fenced off area of them all.

I asked a few questions along the way. He answered them to my satisfaction, truthfully, and factually.

While he was talking about this and that, I leaned up against a fence post right next to some grazing pigs.

Dan carefully took my arm and urged me away, saying that the pig pen was absolutely off limits to all the children. I asked him why they were dangerous. He said that they weren't dangerous, by nature, but they were dangerous without even intending to be. Their sheer weight was enough to crush a human to death, in a heartbeat, without warning.

Dan then headed toward the big barn. As I took off, I pushed down and let out a butt cheek flapping fart to be proud of, in the direction of the pigs.

In any event, we caught up to the adults just as they entered the barn. Dan explained that there were no animals in the barn. None were sick or expecting young ones. He showed us the stalls, and was quick to point out that the straw had to be changed each and every day, whether or not any animal was in there. He went on to explain that when an animal gets sick, then everything has to be ready to treat them.

He explained some other things about animal life, and that we were to always treat them with respect and dignity. When we walked outside the rear barn door, we were greeted by several horses standing off in the distance. He told me that if I were to join their family then I'd be given my own horse to take care of, ride, and be with. I'd never been on a horse, or even near one, in all my life. They looked intimidating, even from a distance. I then saw a horse off by itself, at the far end of the pasture.

Dan said, "That horse, he's dangerous. You are to stay away from him. At no time are you to be up close to him, and if you are in the pasture and he starts walking toward you, then you run like hell so you can get away. That horse has thrown me a time or two. And, Thomas, my oldest son, well, he got up on him, and then the horse threw him, too. Thomas broke his arm when he went down. Do I make myself perfectly clear?"

"Absolutely clear, Sir. But, why is he like that?" I asked sincerely, looking out in the pasture toward the horse with no name, the one to be feared.

"Some animals are just angry inside. That horse was sired by mine. His mother and father are gentle beings."

Just then that horse reared up on its hind legs, then tore out, and circled the pasture, not once, but twice, and then it stopped about a hundred yards from us. He was eying me, no, he was staring at me, and I was staring at it. He then took off and ran to his corner where he began chewing grass, paying us no further mind.

We then walked into the chicken coop. Gawd, that smelled like totally horrible… it stuck in your nostrils when you left. Dan, with an amused smile on his face, said, "You'll be helping Eric with his chores." Enthusiastically, I nodded with appreciation, not knowing what that would mean.

Just then we heard what sounded like a school bell ringing off in the distance. Dan said, "That's the dinner bell. We best be headed to the house. Vera doesn't like to be kept waiting. You boys go upstairs and wash up for dinner. We'll be right there."

When we were probably half way to the house, I turned around. Dan, Adam and Tony were talking. Occasionally, they'd look at us. Sometimes, once or twice, they pointed to us… somehow, I knew they were talking about me on some level.

Vera greeted us at the door into the kitchen. She made us take our shoes off, for fear of dragging 'nature nuggets' into the house. She shooed us off upstairs to wash up.

On our way up, we were met by 3 boys I didn't know… oh… wait… they must have been the same boys I'd seen strip naked on the outside steps to the house, on their way to take showers.

One boy said, "I'm Eric. This is Luke, and this…"

"Hi, I'm Mark. Hurry up, Mom's making ham steaks."

"Okay, we'll be right down… my name is Seth, by the way, and this is James."

"Pleased to meet ya. Hurry up… don't make us wait…"

With that pronouncement, they took off down the stairs and we continued up.

In the bathroom, I headed to the sink while Seth headed for the toilet, and very noisily dumped a load. The look in his eyes showed pure relief. His shirt was draped across the area where his maleness was located, and it sure looked like a little head was pushing against the soft fabric of his underwear… I thought about kneeling down to take care of that little problem… but continued to finish washing and drying my hands. Done before him, I left the bathroom and headed down the stairs.

Vera showed me to a chair… there were two empty ones, so I sat down and waited for Seth.

A few minutes later he came straggling down the stairs on his long legs, took the only empty seat next to me.

Vera said grace… another thing I was not used to experiencing… I'd heard of a God but I didn't believe in one… no fucking God would have permitted me to be hurt like that…

While that shit was going on in my brain, it was interrupted by the massive food fest. Arms were reaching, forks were clanging, ooo's and ahhh's were being exclaimed, and general chatter kept my mind out of the gutter.

Ham steak, green beans (she made them good! Normally, green beans ain't on my top list of foods!), sweet potatoes, and corn with lots of butter. The butter tasted different than I'd ever consumed before so I asked her what it was … she replied it was "Real" butter, not some store bought stuff.

Then, to top things off, she pulled out an apple cobbler, dished it up and watched us all about pop because we were so full. As soon as dinner was finished, Dan excused himself to the living room, to his recliner… and within minutes, we heard loud snoring coming from that room. Kevin took off. Five minutes later, I got up from the table (after being excused… you have to be excused first), went to the door to the living room… Dan was sound asleep with one Kevin on his lap, both sound asleep.

Much to my surprise, Vera came up, put her arm around my waist, smiled, patted my back then returned to the kitchen… I thought she was going to have a fit… she was saying such things, which all boiled down to, "GET OUT OF MY KITCHEN!"

Sheepishly, Tony and Adam exited the house with Seth, Mark, Eric and Luke following closely on their tails. When we were outside, she came to the door, stuck her head out, looked directly into my eyes, and said, "The kitchen is my domain… you men stay out!"

Adam put his arm around my shoulders, "James, stay out of her kitchen. She's okay, what do you think?"

"I like it here. I can't put my finger on it… but… yeah… I like it here. Come on Seth let's go check things out…"

"You boys stay out of trouble. Don't get into anything, okay. We're going into town for a couple of hours."

After hugs were freely given and received, they walked toward the truck. On the spur of the moment, I ran to Adam, pulled him aside, away from Tony (I don't know why I did that… I just needed to talk to him for just a moment, alone), and said, "Adam, I really like it here. I hope I don't fuck it up."

Thoughtfully, Adam said, "Don't worry so much. You're going to be just fine, trust me."

Then him and Tony headed to the truck, fired up its powerful engine, made their way down the driveway leaving behind a massive dust storm.

Mark said, "Kewl truck, bet it cost a million dollars."

By that time the dust began engulfing us. I started sneezing like a damn fool. Without a word, they took off for the north pasture. Seth looked at me with all sorts of questions in his eyes… being able to read him like a book, I took his arm in mine, then headed us in the direction of the barn to fool around, to see what all was there… I was particularly interested in the loft… I'd never been in a barn or a loft before…

When we entered, I walked to a corner in the huge barn, looked all around, listened carefully, then hearing or seeing nothing, I fished out my nearly fully erect male gland, pointed it toward the wall and let her (or him) relieve that which needed relieving, put it back inside but left my jeans unsnapped, thus allowing my member to peek up and poke out. Seth didn't miss anything. I knew he wouldn't.

And he didn't.

Without a moment's hesitation, we ascended the rope ladder leading up to the loft. It was pretty kewl up there.

At first I wondered why Seth was looking around for something, but then, all questions were answered when he looked over the edge, then walked to the window, peered out, looking one way then the other way. Then, within a mere second or two, his clothes were draped over a hay bale, and he was kneeling down over it with his butt in clear view.

Holy shit.

In a second, maybe two, maybe three, my clothes were lying by the bale of hay he was laying over. He grabbed them and put them under his chest and belly so the hay wouldn't stick his soft skin.

In that position, I was barely able to penetrate his depths, however, I was so horny anyway, just the friction of my member rubbing against his hole was enough to set me off into outer orbit.

Finished, I stood up, wet my finger with slobber then applied it to my back door. That area was very tender. For a moment I wondered if he could enter there without splitting me in half. Seth reached for his clothes… I had other plans.

Remembering the tube of anal cream in my pocket, I grabbed my pants, reached inside a pocket, found what I was looking for, held it up high so that Seth could see it, then without a second thought I squeezed out a generous amount, applied it to a waiting and willing, although sore, hole, and then assumed my position on the bale of hay, waiting and wondering when he was going to pork me.

I looked up and saw that he was, once again, checking to make sure the coast was clear… meanwhile that gave me time to apply yet more ointment and play around with my inner sanctum to make sure it was ready and willing – it soon was. It was gaping wide open. My fingers were driving me crazy. At that point in time, we could have been on display to the whole world… I was like a bitch in heat.

Then without a word said, Seth knelt down, inspected my hole (I felt his breath blowing against my butt), and then in one fell swoop, he was deeply planted exactly where I wanted him, scratching that perpetual itch way up 'there'.

Afterward, after Seth filled me up with his rich creamy nectar, while lying side by side with our legs hanging off the bale, while we were trading and sharing gentle, post orgasmic kisses, the familiar sounds of of heavy boots on the ground, and a little boy's screaming (happily) brought us to our senses… if it would have been up to me, and if it had not been for the 'interruption' I would have again taken Seth's pleasure seeker and giver… but it was not to happen.

Quickly, on the verge of panic, we threw on clothes… I ended up wearing Seth's underwear and socks…

While dressing we heard voices coming closer and closer. Just as we snapped our jeans, but before putting on our shirts, those voices entered the barn and were getting louder.

I think I put on Seth's shirt because he was cursing and swearing that my shirt didn't fit him… properly. We quickly exchanged shirts, then just as we headed to the rope, that boy, Mark, peered up and over the floor to the loft.

Surprise was the first expression to cross his face… then he smiled mysteriously, and then said, "Come on, everybody's looking for you guys."

He then disappeared. I heard a set of boots hit the floor of the barn, hard, and then a yelp, and a well-placed "FUCK!"

We quickly made our way to the lip of the loft, looked down, but by then, Mark was up on his feet, walking toward the door, like nothing had ever happened.

"How the fuck do you get down from here?" I wondered while peering over the edge…

Seth took the lead. With his long legs, he straddled the floor, somehow, hooked his legs in the rope, got himself situated, and then reached for me… but I managed, doing it the way he'd done it.

Dan entered the barn, along with Vera, Mark, Eric, Luke, and Kevin riding shotgun on Mark's shoulders. Dan said, "There you are… we've been looking for you. Come on up to the house. Adam and Tony are waiting…"

They turned to leave. It was then that I saw what Eric, Mark and Luke were staring at… both Seth and I had hay in our hair, on our clothes, and what was even funnier… was that bunches of hay were stuck in the zippers to our jeans…

Oh my God…

Nobody said anything. Nothing needed to be said. The proof was in the pudding (pun intended!).

The guys were walking about 40 paces ahead of us. Every once in a while Mark would look back to us. He'd wave his arm signaling for us to catch up with them.

Enthralled with all that was around me, I didn't hurry up any… besides Seth was at my side with his arm around my shoulders.

Everything was good.

I didn't want it to end.

As we walked along, I pulled the hay tufts from everywhere noticeable. And damn were we itching up a storm.

Soon, the guys slowed down enough for us to catch up to them.

Together, not saying much, we headed to toward the house. All the while we were pulling strands of hay out of our clothes. Seth had fun playing with my hair, pulling hay from it. All I had to do to his hair was brush it with my hands… he had a very tight hair cut, so the hay hadn't stuck to him as bad as it had in my longish cut…. speaking of, I needed a haircut. All the boys wore short haircuts… besides, their short hair looked cooler and easier to manage.

The adults were sitting in and around the swing set in the front yard, under the shade tree.

Dan urged for us to sit down, that we needed to talk.

I needed to do other things… I was feeling, after that long walk, rather squishy in the backside, so I excused myself and made haste upstairs to the bathroom. Sure enough, I'd been making a mess… have I ever said that Seth jettisons at least a gallon of cream?

No sooner had I sat down than I blew away their sewer system with methane gas and other things that needed to be expelled. I was definitely sore.

They didn't have a shower, only a bathtub. I really wanted to clean up and get that fucking hay chaff taken care of… instead, I wiped the best way I could, inserted the applicator into my sore hole, squeezed adequately, wiped away the excess…

When I returned, Mark, Eric and Luke were walking down the driveway toward the road. There, beyond them, I saw a yellow school bus stopped, and then 2 people jumped off it and came walking down the lane.

Meanwhile, I heard Dan say, "Seth, you are welcome here anytime. I hope you'll come visit when James comes back… we hope he comes back, anyway."

"Oh yes, Sir, I'd like that. Thank you. You have a nice home here… and I really like the open spaces."

"I like it, too, Son. I've lived here all my life… anyway, you are welcome to come visit anytime."

"Thank you, Sir."

Dan then went to talk with Adam and Tony. I gave Tony a thumbs up to let him know that I liked it here… the people, too.

Seth and I wandered down the driveway to meet the new people, a monster of an older boy, and a girl with a scowl on her face. She was walking determinedly. I felt myself shrinking at the enormity of him, and the angry appearance on her face.

The boy Eric said, when we were together, "Thomas, Stacy, this is James and Seth. James, this big bruiser is Thomas, and his sidekick is Stacy."

"Fuck you, Eric." Stacy growled, then shoved her way past him. She looked at me, and said, "Nice to meet you." Then she walked away.

I said, "Nice to meet you, too." Then turned to face Thomas who'd walked up to me and held out his hand. Damn, it was huge… almost as big as his Dad's.

"Nice to meet you, James. And you, too, Seth. Glad to have you here."

Without missing a beat, Mark screamed just as Thomas tossed down his books, took a gigantic step just as Mark made ready to make a bolt… but Thomas got him, effortlessly flung him up and over his shoulder, and told him to be quiet. Obviously, their interaction was game between them… Mark didn't quieten down until we reached the 'rents, adults, at which time Thomas let him down.

Vera said, "Okay, now that we have everybody together, let's go around and formally introduce ourselves, I'm Vera, or Mom as the case may be."

"Dan Richardson."

"Adam Wright."

"Tony Cisneros."

"Seth Cisneros."

"James Talley."

"Thomas Richardson."

"Eric Richardson."

"Mark Richardson."

"Stacy Richardson… Mom I've got the cramps… I'm out of here." Stacy said, then without saying another word, broke away from the group and took off for the house, disappearing inside.

Vera put her arms around the middle boy, and said, "This is Luke Richardson. He's our quiet one, aren't you, Luke?"

Luke nodded, then smiled a toothy grin, hugged his mother, separated, walked to me, reached out his hand and offered a handshake. I shook his hand and patted his back. He smiled, then stepped back to stand next to Eric. As soon as he turned back around to face me, I noticed the distinct outline of his very extended penis through the front left hand side of his coveralls.

It was then that Seth put his arm around my waist, patted my back, turned to his Dad and asked when we were leaving.

His words brought me back to reality, away from Luke's front side, to Tony, and waited for his answer.

I saw Stacy descend the stairs. She walked to us. At the same time Tony walked to me, put his arm around my shoulder, his other around Seth's neck, took us to where were standing in front of his truck, and asked, "Is everything going okay, James, Seth?"

Seth looked into my eyes, turned to his Dad, and replied, "Dad, everything's okay… I just asked for no reason other than to have some idea of how long we get to be here… they're kewl."

I smiled, and added, "That's right. I like it here, too. They're nice. I'm all good."

Tony said, "James, this is going to work for you. The longer we're here the more I'm confident about bringing you to meet them."

Adam, looking on, walked over, put his arms around my chest from behind, and asked, "Everything okay, here?"

"Oh yeah, definitely." I replied.

Seth nodded.

Tony smiled and nodded.

We returned to the family. Dan looked at me intently, raised his eyebrows, gave a cautious inquiring expression his face, but didn't say anything. Instead, he turned to Stacy and asked, "Is everything okay, Princess?"

His daughter shrugged her shoulders, leaned into her father, looked to me, and said, "I'm glad you're here, James… I'm not feeling very well today."

She didn't look well… pale, trembling perhaps, looking to the ground a lot, blinking her eyes often. Briefly, she looked at her mother imploringly.

Vera said, "Come on, honey, let's take you inside. I'll make some green tea."

Feeling for her, I said, "Go take care of yourself, okay? We can talk another time, okay?"

"Yeah, another time." Stacy replied, then she and her mother walked to the house, went up the stairs and disappeared into the house.

Dan said, "James, Seth, why don't you go with Thomas… it's getting time to begin chores. To Eric he said, "I want you to work with James. Show him how you do your chores; he's going to be here for a while longer today."

Eric replied to his Dad, "Yes, Sir. I need to first use the can." He then turned to me, "I'll be back in a little while, duty calls." He took off running. By the time he reached the house, his overalls were down around the top of his hips, just low enough to reveal the white cloth of his underwear.

Dan chuckled, and said, "He waits too long… Mark, how's your project coming along?"

"It's good, Dad. I'm just about finished framing. Thomas is helping me with the roof. We outta get the top centerpiece up today."

Thomas said, complimenting his brother, "Mark's doing great, Dad. He's done most of the work. He's paying attention and learning as he goes along."

Dan patted Mark's back, then Mark and Thomas took off down the lane toward the barn area.

Dan, Adam and Tony took off toward the truck. There they got into a conversation.

Luke, meanwhile, shoved his hands down front into his coveralls, quickly looked at me, then tore out for behind the house. He returned shortly thereafter, snapping first one snap then the other. When he arrived back, he shrugged with a wry smile on his face… I noticed the bulge was gone. Inwardly, I snickered, wondering if he'd taken care of that little matter he'd had a problem with for a while.

Five or so minutes later, Eric came bounding out of the house, ran over to us. Recognition passed across his face, then he said, "You guys aren't dressed for work. James, you wear about the same size as me. I don't think we have any coveralls to fit you, Seth. You guys can watch this time. Come on."

We arrived at the chicken house, Eric cautiously opened the door, looked inside, turned to me and said, "Sometimes a chicken or two will get out of their roost. Those fuckers have one hell of a fucking bite to them… just ask me how I know!"

Without waiting for an answer, he continued, "Come on in… the coast is clear. This is the most fucked up job there is, but, hell, somebody's gotta do it. Don't stick your nose anywhere close to them cuz they'll get ya. Get the fuck out of there Matilda… I gots to get your eggs… you bitch; you broke one, what a fucking mess." To me he said, "She's always breaking her eggs… sometimes I think she hates being a girl… and she takes it out on me. Ya gotta get all the goo out or else they'll get sick and die, and well, that pisses Dad off. No, not really, Dad don't get pissed, but he really gets annoyed… yeah, he gets annoyed. Here, you hold the basket, okay?"

I reached for it, took hold and held it while Eric filled the basket with eggs. Once he was finished gathering them up he said, "This one's a freebie… you guys will probably want to get out of here… these fucking birds like to play shit fights… and well… you know… your clean clothes…"

Not waiting for an answer, Eric scrunched up his nose, retrieved the scoop and began scooping chicken shit from the roosts. I about gagged at the smell. It was strong enough to gag a maggot off a gut wagon. Seth didn't look any better. We quickly made our way outside and closed the door per Eric's instructions. Though the door was tightly closed, we heard him loudly cussing and raising holy hell, calling those dirty filthy creatures anything and everything else other than dinner.

I was afraid Eric was being mauled and torn apart. Seth reached for the door handle, but stopped when we heard a heavy set of boots fast approaching from behind. Quickly, I turned around to see who was coming up on us. It was Dan. He looked none too happy, in fact the expression on his face, and his rigid body language told me that he was highly pissed.

Not doing well around pissed people, my body reacted: my ass cheeks tightly together, my breathing quickened, my throat tightened, my hands balled up into a fist… immediately Seth wrapped his arm around my waist, and at the same time stepped in front of me, effectively shielding me from an apparent angry man.

Dan, though, was not angry. In fact, he slowed to a stop, put his hand on my shoulder and said, "I forgot you boys do not have work clothes… Good, I'm glad you're not actually helping…"

His concern was replaced by the sound of Eric's voice, angrily screaming, "You fucking, goddamn, filthy piece of shit fucking bird… I'm gonna wring your neck and enjoy watching you fucking die!"

Dan snorted, and loudly asked so as to be heard through the closed doors and through Eric's exclamations, "You okay in there, Boy?"

Seth belly sneezed twice in rapid succession, sending a big ole hocker against the wall.

Eric stuck his head out the door… a blob of whitish brown tinged smear of 'something' was spatteredon his forehead and tip of his nose.

Much more subdued, though anger was clearly in his eyes, he said, "Yeah, I'm JUST FINE!"

With that, he turned to go back inside, leaving us standing there wondering if he was really "JUST FINE!"

Dan, however, reached his mammoth hand to Eric's face and wiped away the smear of goop. I could only imagine what that goop was. Chicken shit? Yuck.

Seth took my attentions away from my bad feelings for what Eric was going through… he started sneezing, uncontrollably, his head off, he didn't look all that well… I supported him while he was seizing up.

Dan took over supporting Seth, then led us toward the house, saying that Seth probably was having an allergic attack. Seth fell to the ground, he was sneezing so hard.

Without hesitation, Dan pulled Seth to his feet and supported him as they continued to walk toward the house. I quickly went to Seth's other side, supporting him the best I could. Seth wrapped his arm around my neck.

Tony, seeing his son struggling, ran toward us, but by then Dan effortlessly picked Seth up in his huge and began sprinting toward the house. Arriving, Adam opened the door.

Dan lowered Seth into a kitchen chair, near the window looking out over the pasture.

Seth was wheezing and still sneezing, leaning over and trying to catch his breath.

Vera said to me, "Wet a towel with cold water." Then she turned her attention to Seth. She and Tony removed Seth's shirt, and tossed it onto the table.

I wet the towel… not knowing just how 'wet' she wanted it, I wrung the towel just enough to not drip. I took it to her. She took it and placed it against Seth's face, and wrapped the tails around his neck to keep it in place.

I sat down on the floor, wrapped my arms around his midsection… I was scared shitless, not knowing what was wrong with him… Vera said, "He's having an allergy reaction… were you down at the chicken house?"

Nodding, I said, "Yeah… I noticed his face… it was puffy as soon as we got there… is he going to be okay?"

Tony, seeing what was about to happen, grabbed the trash can, and put it in front of Seth's face as he started a severe coughing fit. Seth leaned over and promptly vomited once, twice, then three times. Adam reached in, made his way around me, then took Seth in his arms to keep him from falling over onto the floor.

I moved around the back of the chair, patted Seth's bare back, and ran my hands up and down it, hoping to help him relax.

Vera said, finally to answer my question, "I think he's got asthma… likely, he's allergic to chicken feathers. Eric's the only one of our sons who doesn't get allergic to them. Seth, honey, are you feeling better? She asked, seeing that he'd sat up and leaned against the back of his chair.

Unable to stop myself, I leaned down and kissed his cheek. I wiped his mouth free of stomach contents, then wrapped the towel back to his face, all the while whispering encouragement.

Though he was still wheezing, his breathing became easier.

Seeing that Seth was no longer in danger, Vera went to a cabinet, retrieved a bottle of medicine, dropped two pills into her hand, got a glass of water and offered them to Seth, saying to Adam, "These are antihistamines. Your son naturally panicked. This makes the allergic reaction even worse.. anyway, I think these pills will help him over the reaction so that he can breathe better."

Tony took the pills from her hand and put them into Seth's mouth, then gave him the glass of water to wash them down.

After he'd taken them, Vera said to Seth, "Honey, I want you to go upstairs and take a bath. It will wash the allergens off. I'll get you clean clothes to put on. In fact, when you take off your clothes, toss them into the hallway so that they aren't close to you. I'll wash them. You can pick them up the next time you come visit. You're going to be okay. The medicine will help you."

As the moments of fear slowly passed, I looked up and said to anyone standing around listening, "He's my best friend. I love him."

"Yes, child, your love is apparent. We can't have too many people loving us. Do you want to take him upstairs for his bath… we can do it, too."

I turned to Tony, "Can I?"

Tony's answer was to lift Seth to his feet, then he looked to me and nodded. With Adam on one side, Tony on the other, we took him upstairs. Seth sat on the toilet. I took off his jeans while he took a shit. Adam patted my back, then he and Tony left the bathroom, closing the door behind them.

Quickly, I stripped to my skin, gathered up our clothes and tossed them outside the door, closed and locked the door, walked to the tub, turned on the spigots, got the temperature just right. Meanwhile, Seth put his hands on my back and leaned over, kissed my neck, then got up, stepped into the tub. It was then that I noted he hadn't wiped. Quickly, I took his hand, led him back to the toilet, tore off tissue, handed it to him, and patted the top of his butt… he took the hint, blushed, then finished business.

The tub was about half filled. Seeing that Seth was okay, I leaned over, turned the spigots off and got in, soaped up a washcloth, ready to wash my Dude.

Seth flushed the toilet, then entered the tub. I washed his skin good, rubbing firmly, determined to wash away any of the allergens, dirt and other stuff.

Next, I had Seth get up on his knees, facing me, at which time I took loving and tender care of his wilted member and low hanging man glands. The smooth soft skin stretched out. The eye of his little guy was directly in my face. Without hesitation I leaned forward, licked the wet knob, and then without hesitation engulfed the closest half of him, put my hands on his butt, pulled him forward so that I could take as much of him as possible. Seth groaned. I took that as approval and encouragement to continue and to ramp up the pace… and ramp up I did.

While taking care of his penis, I reached to the soap dish, grabbed the bar, then took it to his butt and soaped him up good there, too. I dropped the bar, not wanting to interrupt what we were doing… Seth's breathing, though still slightly wheezing, increased, and then rapidly accelerated as my finger found his hole.

Before I could insert my finger, he jammed his penis deep inside my mouth and let loose, releasing quickly ejected torrents of warm nectars into my waiting, willing and wanton throat, causing me to choke slightly.

Knowing that he was okay and taken care of, I sat back, took my tool and quickly brought myself to a successful conclusion.

I quickly washed myself as Seth dried off.

I was still hard. Seth snickered. He dropped the towel and raised one leg to get back into the tub, however a knock interrupted his progression.

After quickly wrapping the towel around his midsection, he opened the door. The interloper was Eric.

He looked to me… I was standing in the tub, naked as the day I was born, still erect.

Seth reached for a towel, and tossed it to me. I'd already been seen so I just started drying my hair, not really giving it a second thought. Seth snickered. Eric said, "I need to pee, okay?"

Without waiting for an answer, he unsnapped both snaps, permitting his coveralls to drop to the floor. Without hesitation, he dropped his underwear, too, thus revealing his twin globes.

His hips, back and thighs were muscular but not musclebound. His crevice, deep and well clefted, rippled with exertion as Eric tried to get his stream started. The stream began. Eric's butt relaxed as his pee stream tore a hole in the water in the toilet.

Seth looked into my eyes and grinned. He had a full-on sight of Eric's pole, while I didn't.

Eric faced Seth and asked, innocently, "What?"

Eric put himself together. In the process, while raising up his leg to pull on his underwear into place, I caught a glance of the wide open spot between his cheeks and the lower portion of his nuts. Interesting.

Seth, nonchalantly replied, "Nutten. Uhm… I'm kinda not dressed…"

Eric replied, assuring Seth to put his concerns at bay, "They're in my bedroom. Come on, I'll lead the way."

Downstairs, the adults were talking around the large oak table, drinking coffee, and laughing. When we appeared, Vera appraised Seth's clothing and mentioned that they appeared to fit him just fine. Seth profusely apologized for the trouble he'd caused, and then thanked her for the clothes, and that he'd get them back to her just as soon as he could.

Vera put her ear to his chest and listened carefully, and said after a moment, "You're going to be okay, now. Just stay away from the chicken house. Your eyes are still puffy, but they are better now than they were. Eric, why don't you take our guests out and find something to do while we old people sit and talk.

Eric, standing next to me, smacked my butt with his open hand, then tore off outside, with Vera calling after him to stop running in the house.

Dan chuckled,"Eric likes you. He's an ornery cuss. If your…" Dan looked to Adam then continued, "His weak spot is his ribs… why don't you boys go out and 'play'."

"Dan, you goof… these boys have their good clothes on… would you stop instigating things? God help me!" Vera said sternly, authoritatively.

I couldn't help laughing at their antics. Vera winked so that both Seth and I would see it, but in such a way that Dan didn't.

Adam rolled up his eyes, fended shock and surprise, but it was Tony who set the ball into motion when he said, "That sounds like an open invitation, boys."

No more than 30 seconds later, the ground in the front of the house found 3 boys wrestling, each searching for supremacy. Needless to say, Eric found himself flat on his back with two dudes fully and completely exercising their strength against his weakness. Thanks, Dan. I only say that because Eric was tough. He didn't easily go down. In the end, we were all laughing and carrying on.

Once our breathing was back in order, from out of the blue, Eric said, "So… are you guys queers?"

I'd never really even thought about his question before… I hastily replied, "I don't know what a queer really is… all I know is that Seth has been my friend when nobody else was. If loving him makes me a queer, then, well, I guess I am… even though I have no idea what a queer represents."

Seth added, when I rearranged my body so that it was backed up to him, "We're really good friends. James has probably helped me more than I could ever think about helping him… I lived all alone… well, I live with my Dad, but, we don't have anybody my age around."

"But… James is much younger than you are… how old are you?" Eric asked curiously.

"I'm 15. I don't see what this has to do with anything… friends are friends."

"You have a big dick." To me he said, "Doesn't that thing hurt?"

I turned around and looked into Seth's eyes. Once I saw that he wasn't angry, I turned to Eric and said, "It's none of your business, really. I'll probably not last here very long, anyway. I've been in the foster care system for a long time… they know how I am… how I run away… and how fucking lost in this world I really am. If you want to tell them then go right ahead… it might save me the trouble of being kicked out, or having to run away."

Eric wasn't expecting that… neither was I, for that matter. The words just came out. Eric's expression changed from challenging to showing that my words could not have hurt any worse had I kicked him in the groin. I hadn't intended to hurt him. That was the last thing I wanted to do. Yet, something, deep down inside, told me that I needed to take a stand… I don't know what it was… maybe I was just tired of getting knocked around and made fun of. Maybe something that Tony, Adam and Seth had said all along caused me to utter those words…

Eric got up off the ground, brushed away the grass clippings, leaves and dust, then took off for the barn, but, before he got too far, I said, "Eric, I'm sorry." He kept walking. I looked to Seth, kissed his cheek, got up and ran after Eric.

All Eric said, when I caught up with him, was, "Get the fuck away from me. Do whatever the fuck you want to." Then he turned to me when I put my hand on his shoulder. He reared back, and before I could do anything, he punched me hard in the gut causing the breath in my lungs to go away. I fell to the ground, trying to get my breath back… he kept walking toward the barn.

Seth came running, went to the ground, pulled me into his arms, and held on while I gagged and coughed, and fought off panic. He has a way with me… soon I was able to relax 'enough' to catch my wind, but that was short lived because I turned into Seth and began crying and saying how much of a worthless fuck I really was.

A blazing rage took hold of Seth… he quickly stood, turned to Eric, and before I could say or do anything… I screamed, "STOP! DON'T. I'M FINE!"

Thomas, the oldest, came running up to us, as did Stacy the oldest girl. The girl, Stacy, with anger and rage in her eyes, demanded to know what had happened, that she was going to get to the bottom of it.

I got up, placed myself between Eric and Seth. I didn't want them fighting… not over me.

I didn't say anything, but Seth did say that I'd been sucker punched, and why. I don't know why his words pissed me off… though I didn't know all that much about dealing with people, especially kids my own age… I did know that you don't rat people out.

Eric took off for the barn. He was running fast, like a bolt of lightening would do on a dark night.

Thomas said to Stacy, "Make sure Seth is okay…" Then he tore out toward the barn.

Seth was okay, and so was I, for that matter.

Stacy said, knowingly, "Eric's nuts, right now… I need to see what they're up to. You're welcome to come, or stay, or go back to the house, or leave… it's your choice."

She turned and walked toward the barn.

Seth, ever the forgiving one, said, "Let's go. You need to see how this family interacts… so do I."

With that, we quickly walked toward the barn, entered, and then movement caught my eye, and it came from above.

Eric was standing on the edge of the barn loft, the same one where Seth and I had gone to be by ourselves. Tears were rolling from his eyes… I saw the shiny droplets running down his cheeks… that's how I knew he was crying, and trying not to. I knew the feeling.


"I'm getting Dad." Stacy said gravely concernedly, then she turned and ran… at the same time, Thomas took off toward the loft at breakneck speed just as Eric poised to jump. Thomas got to him just in the nick of time because Eric did jump – off the fucking loft. They both went down with a sickening thud, with Eric on top. I walked, no, I ran to them. Thomas had his arms around the younger boy, and was trying to talk some sense into him, because the boy was threatening to get up and do it again.

Minutes, maybe only seconds later, I wasn't keeping track of time, Dan, Vera, Tony and Adam, Stacy, and Luke arrived. Kevin was in Vera's arms, and he kept pushing away to get to his brothers who were still lying on the dirt floor.

Dan grabbed Eric from Thomas' arms and then took him outside. I turned to go with them, but Vera said for me to stay put, that this was something her husband and Eric needed to work on – alone, just the two of them, for the time being.

Adam put his arms around my midsection then urged me to follow him. Tony took Seth into his arms. Seth was very upset, and so was I.

Adam led the way to the truck and got into the backseat and urged me to sit with him. He shut the door, pulled me into his arms, and then I lost it, uncontrollably. Although suicide had passed through my mind a few times, I'd never acted on it… no, I didn't contemplate taking myself out when the car hit me… I just didn't care whether I lived or died, at that time.

A few minutes later, again, I wasn't keeping track of time, we heard a light knock on the passenger side window of the truck. I released myself from Adam's arms, reached across, and unlatched the door handle. The door opened. Vera jumped up in the seat, looked into my eyes, "Eric has some problems, James. His Dad is the only one who can get through to him."

Seemingly automatic, she reached toward my face and wiped away remnants of tears from my face. She looked to Adam, "May I speak with James, alone, please?"

"Sure. Are you going to be okay, James?" Adam said softly.

"Yeah. Is Seth okay?"

Vera spoke up, "He's pretty upset right now. We're all pretty upset right now. I'd like to talk to you… Adam can stay if you want him to. I just thought you and I could talk for a little while. We haven't had a lot of chances to do so."

Adam said, "I'll be close by, James. I'm going to go check on Tony and Seth."

I nodded, turned around, gave him a hug, then he was off.

"You love Adam a lot don't you?" Vera said softly.

"Yeah, I really do. He can't be my Dad, though. I wish he could be… but he can't. I like Dan, though. I have good vibrations about him… I know things about people…"

"Yes, Dan is a great guy. He loves his kids. James, he's got a great big heart, too. There's more than enough room in his heart for you. James, you need to know something about us…"

I looked up and into her eyes. She continued, "That goes for the both of us, Child. I know things about people, too. I'm seeing and feeling a very sensitive, caring, and good boy sitting next to me. You're kind of lost right now. I understand. I need to tell you something in confidence. Can I do that?"

"Sure… I'm not going to tell anybody anything…"

"Honey, Eric has some problems in his head… he's had some serious problems in his life with trust and being able to depend on anybody. He tends to push people away… he's making slow progress. Don't blame yourself for what he nearly did today. Honey, truth be told, I think he likes you, and he doesn't know how to deal with it. He'll be okay, in time."

"I hope so. But, I couldn't just stand there and let him hit Seth like he did. I love Seth. We're closer than you realize… Seth, his Dad, and Adam were there for me when nobody else was." I found myself saying to this kind woman, who was basically a stranger, yet she wasn't a stranger, too, or it seemed like, or it felt like… gads, talk about confusion.

"That's right. Eric will be held accountable for his actions. Ya just can't go around hitting on people who frighten you. Speaking of frightened, a one little boy has sure taken after you and Seth. That's quite unusual for him. Normally, he's distant, acts like a big man in a little body with a young child's voice. I need to tell you something about him and Mark… can you keep a confidence for me? The reason I ask for your confidence is that if word got out, then it might hurt those two boys, Mark especially."

"Uhm, whatever you tell me stays here… I don't go blabbing stuff to people. I just don't."

"I doubt that you know this… Mark is Kevin's Big Brother. Kevin's one of a set of twins. Unfortunately, Mark's little brother, Kevin's twin died. This was before the boys came here to be in our family… and, well, Mark blames himself for it."

Hastily, I replied, "That's not right. Why does, why would he…"

"Because Mark was held responsible for caring for his little brothers… that's why. It's messed up… but, he's making progress. As you might imagine, Kevin and Mark are very close…"

"Yeah, I've seen that… I'm glad for them… at least they have each other… oh… I didn't mean it to sound that way… they've got you, too, and Dan, and Eric, especially Thomas and Stacy. I, well, I thought Kevin was always the way he is… you know, happy and full of life…"

"Oh no, child. He usually cries and fusses. Add to that, he's a very strong willed boy. It's been, uhm, well, it's been difficult. But this isn't about him… not right now. Child, I've heard quite a bit about where you came from. I understand that your Mother and Father… that they treated you less than you deserve. I can't imagine any parent that hates their children. I just don't. Sometimes… I hope I say this right… sometimes we're given more than we can handle. I want you to know that none of the way they treated you was your fault… how they treated you… well that's adult stuff. Now, I can't make any promises that you won't get in some trouble along the way… you're a youngster learning his way in the world… I can promise you that you will not be beaten, and you will not be lied to. Likely, your mouth will get you into trouble… I don't know of any child that hasn't gotten into trouble with it – yet. You'll make bad decisions – this is the way we learn."

"Ma'am… I'm afraid. I kinda got used to doing things on my own…"

"And that, James, can come in handy. Right now, though, I want you to concentrate on being a 12 year old boy. Being a 12 year old boy means that you will be finding things out about yourself… some of it will be very strange and foreign… sometimes you won't know which way to go… we'll guide you, but, your decisions will always belong to you. Dan is going to talk to you, too. He may not get to it today, but, he wants to talk to you. He will help you with your fears. Just listen to him… talk with him. He won't bite, promise."

"Uhm, can I go check on Eric? He scared me. I don't want anything bad to happen to him… are you going to give him… away?" I choked. I did NOT want to start crying, not in front of her… though I was having a hard time keeping that lump from cutting my air off… nobody, and I mean nobody, no woman had ever talked to me like she did… ever.

She was seeing right through me… that scared me even worse… I unlatched my door, opened it, and then got out of the truck, "I need to see Eric. Sorry."

"Me too."

She slid out of the truck, I reached for her hand to help steady her so that she didn't fall. Once out of the vehicle, I closed the door, turned around, and there she was with her arms out open and reaching for me.

Although I didn't hug her back, I 'permitted' her to pull me into her bosom. She smelled nice… fresh and clean. And her hold on me and her bosom was soft, yet very firm, even though she was rather thin and frail… lady like… that's it… lady like.

I took her arm in mine, so she wouldn't trip and fall on the stones we were walking on, and then we headed to the barn where everyone was still gathered. Kevin was in Mark's arms, holding on tight, unsure what to think about everything that had happened in a relatively short period of time… I felt for him. I knew the feeling. And Mark, his eyes were haunted. Dan had worry lines on his forehead. As did Thomas. They were identical to each other.

Adam walked to me, put his arm around my shoulder, squeezed lightly, and waited for someone to speak, first.

Eric, sitting in midst of his brothers, stood and looked at me, then to Seth, then back to me, then to Seth.

Dan said, "Eric, take care of your business, right now. The longer you wait the harder it will become."

He walked to us. Seth's grip on my waist tightened. I patted his lower back, where my hand was resting.

The boy, Eric, stuck his hand out toward Seth, and said, "I'm sorry. I was way wrong. Please, uhm, please forgive me."

Seth replied, accepting Eric's offer of atonement, "I don't hold grudges, Eric. Try talking to me next time, though. You know… guy to guy. I think you owe James the biggest apology, you know."

They shook hands, then Seth, surprising even me, closed the distance between them, and offered Eric a 'guy' hug, you know, where one guy bumps chests with the other guy. They, then parted.

Eric turned to me, "James, we have gotten off on the wrong foot. It's all my fault. I don't know what gets into my head, sometimes. Anyway, I'm sorry. You probably hate me… and we haven't even gotten a chance to know each other…"

"Yeah… you know you scared the living fuc >ouch! Seth slapped his hand over my mouth before I could finish…<"

"James, we don't curse in front of women folk. Apologize to my wife and to Stacy, right now." Dan said, parentally. Adam's eyes bore holes into my forehead, just above my eyes… I knew, then, that the 'issue' wasn't yet resolved… there would be more said… he'd warned me.

I looked to Vera, then to Stacy… Stacy had an amused look on her face… had she spoke anything, then I would just imagine she would have snickered… that I'd been called on the carpet, so to speak. I turned to Vera, looked directly into her eyes, "I'm sorry… my mouth…" She nodded. I then turned to Stacy – I nodded. She rolled up her eyes… Vera saw it, "You, young lady, have chores to do!"

Luke, the quiet one, did, indeed, snicker. That earned him a tense look from both Vera and Dan. Dan said to him, "You, young man, also have chores, now get on with them. That goes for the rest of you… Eric, you, too."

"Yes, sir." As he passed me up, he kicked my foot with his shoe, snickered then headed to the chicken coop.

Dan spoke up, loudly, "Eric, you're cruising for another thrashing, now you get over here and apologize – again! That's no way to treat our guests!"

Eric quickly glanced up to his Dad for only a split second before turning away. He walked to me and stuck out his hand, "Sorry… my mouth gets me in trouble, too."

I took hold of his hand, then leaned into his ear and whispered so that only he could hear, "I'm gonna kick your ass."

He clamped my hand down like it was in a vice grip, smirked, and then very, very quietly whispered into my ear, "You and who's fucking army?"

Without any warning whatsoever, I yanked my hand from his massive grip, wrapped my arm around his neck, squeezed tightly, put my leg between his, and then together we went to the ground, and began wrestling for supremacy. Although my takedown was good, not having any experience, I found myself on the short end of the stick, more than once. To be perfectly honest here, he was kicking my ever loving ass, but, at the same time, I soon realized that no, we weren't angry, or anything bad like that… we were both grappling for success. Eric began laughing like crazy… I couldn't help but to start laughing myself… our laughing put ourselves in great peril… soon, we were quivering masses of protoplasm, rolling around on the ground, and not getting anywhere.

Weak and tired from our exertions, with one last effort, he smashed his full body weight onto my belly and hips… the problem was that my leg was raised, ready to lift myself to my feet. The momentum caused my leg to go back under my butt. Shards of pain went throughout my entire body, starting at my hip and ending there, too. Sensing that I was hurt, he quickly released his hold on me. Despite the pain, when he got up, I yanked on his ankle sending him to the ground with a thud.

I was then going for what I didn't know… I was just going for it… but Adam took hold of my shirt and pulled me back. At the same time, Dan grabbed hold of Eric's suspenders and yanked him up to his feet.

Adam said, quite parentally, "That's enough. Relax. It's over, now."

Both Adam and Seth grabbed hold of my wrists and lifted me to my feet. God, my hip hurt, but I wasn't going to let on about it… I took two steps toward Eric, reached out, and brushed dirt and grass clippings from the front of his hair.

He said, "You're pretty good, but I'm better. I challenge you to a rematch one of these days."

"Accepted… but…" I leaned down close to his ear, and very quietly whispered, "I shall prevail."

Eric spouted, "Oh huh… listen to him." Then he broke down in giggles, leaned toward me, we hugged quickly, then parted.

Chuckling, Thomas said, "That's pretty good, there, James. The way I see it, it was a tie between the two of you, fare and square."

Dan snickered, looked to his wife, and deadpanned, "Vera, we're going to have our hands full with these two knuckleheads. Come on, boys, we've got chores to get done."

Adam spoke up, "Dan, we really need to get on the road. Could I speak with you and your wife, alone?"

At the same time, Vera walked to Eric and I. She began fussing about our filthy clothes, sweat, gravel, sticks, and hay ground in and stuck every which way. Without waiting for any kind of answer, the best choice was to remain quiet as she brushed us both off at the same time.

I turned to Seth… he looked so all alone with his thoughts. I didn't know what to do. Thomas had mentioned that we should go to the creek for awhile… I hadn't yet seen it.

I looked to the path leading to the barn… Adam, Tony and Dan were walking toward it, obviously talking between themselves. Thomas said, "Mom, can we go to the creek for an hour, or so?"

"James, I want you to stay here. We need to get you cleaned up. Boys!"

I looked to Seth… he put his head down and headed to the truck. I said, "Seth, wait. I'm going with you. Sorry guys, maybe I can go check out the creek another time."

With that said, Seth took off running for the truck, opened the door, got in, and then slammed it shut.

What did I do? What did I say?

Eric put his hands on my shoulders and pushed me toward the truck. He said, "Go take care of business. We'll be here when you get back. Go ahead, it's okay, really it is."

I took off for the truck, limping all the way though it was not the first thing on my mind… getting to Seth was my priority, be damned anything else.

The truck wasn't locked so I got in and closed the door… it was hotter than hell in there. Seth was rolled up into a ball. He didn't even look up when I sat down beside him.

I put my hand on his side, squeezed firmly, "Seth, I'm sorry. Can we get out of here? Can we go somewhere so that we can talk alone? I don't know what's happening; seriously I don't."

Seth unfolded, sat up, put his arm around my neck and said, "I don't know what I'm feeling… I'm afraid…"

I swiveled his head so that I could look into his eyes, "I'm scared shitless, too." But, I wasn't so frightened that I didn't see what was passing through his eyes. I leaned in and touched his lips with mine.

He nodded then began pulling strands of hay from my hair. He leaned in and kissed me tenderly, then reached across, unlatched the door handle, and then urged me to exit. He followed.

My arm went around his waist. His went around my shoulders. I shuddered as a muscle spasm took hold. His grip tightened, "You hurt yourself, didn't you?"

I shrugged my shoulders, tilted my head sideways, "Sort of… but it's not the end of the world… the doctors say I'm healing up okay…"

"Yeah…" Seth contemplated for a moment then added, "James, can we talk about this later… I'm happy for you. Let me think about it… we can talk about it tonight when we get home, when we're alone and don't have to go anywhere, okay?"

"Okay… deal. Seth, are we kewl?"

To answer my question, he replied while taking the hem of his shirt to wipe my forehead, "Yeah, we're kewl… let's go get something to drink, can we?"

In no uncertain terms, Vera told me to go take a bath because I was filthy dirty, which I was, but, I was going to wait until we got 'home'… so I went upstairs, took a bath… the bathwater was like mud when I got finished. I found some Comet in the vanity cabinet, cleaned the bathtub spic and span… no clean clothes… not really feeling uncomfortable around there, I wrapped the towel around my midsection, exited the bathroom, and found Vera coming out of a bedroom with a change of clothes, which she handed to me. She grinned at seeing my predicament – the towel was small, not big and fluffy like Adam's… I was holding the towel with both hands. She found that incredibly funny… "One more bare butt around here is no big deal… but, here, I'll put these in the bathroom so you can change… give me your dirty clothes… you're coming back, right?"

"Oh yes, ma'am… if you'll have me… I mean, well, you know… if everything works out… yes, Ma'am." I said then looked to the floor with the thought I'd overstepped inviting myself to be with them.

"Oh child, you're welcome here anytime… goodness gracious. You've been hurt child… every kid needs a home to grow up in. You'll see. Okay, I'm going to set these clothes on the sink… dinner's almost ready."

"Thank you, Ma'am. I'll try to be good, but, I'll probably mess it up."

"Now, don't you go running away, Boy. That'll get you on our bad side… why, Dan'll have to tie you to a fence post…"

"Tie what to a fence post?" Dan said as he hit the top landing, looking at his wife.

"Oh, this Boy thinks he's going to mess things up… why he's already talking about it…" Vera said seriously.

"He is, is he?"

In the flash of a second, I found myself up on his shoulder, being carried like a sack of potatoes to a room down the hallway. I was squealing… and I was mortified, too, as I felt cool air fanning my naked ass, and then the towel dropped to the floor, and out of my grasp. Shit.

He then tossed me onto the lower bunk of a bunk bed, with me squealing all the way. He turned and walked out the door. In a minute he was back and began throwing clothes toward me. Then he smiled, "Get dressed, Boy. Don't keep Vera waiting." He then exited the room and closed the door behind him.

"I can get used to this." I thought before getting dressed and heading downstairs where everybody was gathered around the large oak dinner table in the center of the room.

Adam smiled and urged me to sit next to him in an empty chair. With him on one side and Seth on the other, Eric led Grace, and then food went around the table, and then we enjoyed a huge plate of pork chops, mashed potatoes and brown gravy, green beans, and iced tea. Desert was some kind of spongy bread with some kind of pudding or something dumped all over it … I'd never had anything like that… and well, it didn't look all that appetizing, but, it tasted hella good, and I even had seconds.

After dinner, Thomas asked permission to take me down to the pond and show me around. I looked to Seth, smiled, and then everybody was ready to go. I was warned about cow pies, to side step them lest I get a great big scolding from Vera for tracking shit, literally, into her house. I sidestepped successfully. So did Seth. And so did everybody else.

When we arrived, things suddenly went extremely tense… Thomas pushed Eric up against a tree, got directly into his face, and then said, with every ounce of strength in his body, "You ever do that shit again, I'll knock your head off… do you hear me? You've got just as much right to suck air around here as I do. We love you, Eric. When the fuck are you going to realize that, huh? What the hell … do you want to see people staring down at you in a coffin, crying their eyes out because you quit on us?"

Stacy looked at me, "That's the second time he's pulled that shit. Are you going to do it, too?"

Seth spoke up, angrily, "He don't quit. And I better not hear that you do that shit again, Eric. I'll come down here and kick your fucking ass…"

I'd never heard Seth say anything like that ever before, or see him as angry as he was right then.

He continued, "Give it a fucking chance, will you? James is just as afraid as you are, aren't you James?" He turned around, looked deeply into my eyes. The penetration was palpable. A shiver ran up and down my spine.

"I'm scared shitless. I'm going to fuck this up, I know I will."

Stacy took a quick step toward me. She got into my face, "You'll only fuck it up if you try to fuck it up. If it's what's on your mind, then save us the trouble. Leave and don't come back."

Without even thinking, as a surge of white hot rage boiled from deep inside me, I took a swing. Although my arm was making a perfect arch toward her face, she countered, and dragged me to the dirt. We were both screaming and cussing like sailors. I got in some good punches, but then again, so did she.

Then, just like that, the anger subsided. I mean it was totally gone. I rolled onto my back, as did she. I looked up into the heavens, worked hard on getting my breath back to some semblance of normal. She, too, was huffing and puffing to get back hers.

She got up to her feet. Her arm extended toward me.

Instead, that anger shot another jolt from my innermost being. I got up on my own power, turned toward her, "You don't know the half of it. Go fuck yourself."

With that said, I stomped off, and then went to the ground in agony, with shards of pain going all through my body as my leg began shooting pains.

Seth was at my side in a heartbeat.

Luke, the quiet one, tore off for the house, despite my protests… I'd fucked up. I didn't want any attention paid to me, not then, not ever, not now.

I whimpered into Seth's ear, "I am so fucked."

"No you aren't." I heard a girl's voice say. It was Stacy. She continued, "I fucked up. God, I don't like that word, but nothing else comes to mind. Look, I'm sorry. Thomas, let's carry him to the house. I'm sure Dad and everybody else will be on their way."

Thomas, taking command, said, "Stacy, go to the house. Stay there. This isn't done, yet. Go on. Don't argue." She took off, after once again apologizing.

I replied, "Don't worry about it… I'm just a stranger. It's no big deal."

Stacy twisted around, and said, "The hell you say… it is a big fucking deal. Other than for Thomas, nobody's whooped my ass yet. We were neck and neck all the way. I respect you, now." She took off without saying another word, or listening to a word I said about accepting her apology, and me giving her, mine.

Thomas said, "Dayummm… that girl's got a mouth on her. And she backs it up… for being a runt she's got a hell of a punch. You're in, Dude. Let's get you up to the house, but first, let's see if you can walk. James, it's going to be okay. All that stuff you're talking about is just bullshit. I'm no perfect angel. Mom and Dad haven't kicked me out of the house, yet. There's always that chance, of course."

Thomas reached his arm down, grabbed my hand, squeezed firmly, lifted me to my feet and then released it, but for only a second because I felt my legs begin to buckle.

Being fully self-sufficient, I began walking in little circles. Seth took my arm while Thomas took my other one. I started walking around in little circles to make the spasms pass. It had always worked before, and seemed to be working again.

Once I figured out that I wasn't going to fall, we took off through the pasture toward the house.

Meanwhile, as we walked along, Seth pulled hay, grass, sticks, and whatever from my hair, shirt, pants, and whathaveyou.

Finally, I could walk no further. No, I wasn't necessarily having spasms that would keep me from walking, rather my hip was simply tired… my plan was to simply rest for a moment, but then Dan, Adam and Tony were seen driving across that side of the pasture on a huge tractor pulling a cart of some kind behind it.

Dan said, as they lifted me into the wagon, "Stacy is being taken care of. She told me what happened, and why. It sounds like you two got it straightened out, though. Adam told me about your leg. I saw you gimping after you and Eric were playing around. I shouldn't have let you go down to the creek… but you did… and I let you. Now, you and Seth sit up against the side and stay still."

"Sir, I was just as much in it as she was… I got really pissed off… and well… this is my entire fault… if I wasn't here then it would never have happened… so don't be too hard on her. I fucked up. I understand…"

"Boy, I see that you've got a mouth on you, too. Now, here's a rule that I do not bend on, not one little bit. You need to clean your mouth up. We don't use those kinds of words around women folk, ever. Do you understand me because this is the only warning you will receive."

His eyes were as hard as steel. He wasn't pissed off, though. He was just laying down the law of the land. When he raised his hand up… I freaked out. I jumped out of that wagon, and tore out, then fell into a million pieces, in a heap. The pain was more than I could handle. I rolled onto my side and puked up dinner all over the grass and my shirt. I was going for another round when Dan and Adam hit the ground and held me while I tossed up my guts.

"Thomas, you drive the tractor. Adam, Tony, help me get James onto the wagon… easy, now, watch his leg. Eric, run on ahead. Have mom run a tub of warm to hot water." Dan said, protectively. Once I was on the wagon, he pulled me into his arms, and held me firmly as we rode through the rough pasture to the house. Adam made sure my leg stayed steady. I draped my other leg over Seth's thighs, at his urging. His eyes never once left mine. He was thinking… the wheels behind his eyes were spinning ninety to nothing. I saw so much pain inside of them, too.

I never meant to hurt anybody, but, it seemed like I did it at every possible opportunity.

In short order, we arrived at the house. I insisted on walking on my own power once they got me down out of the wagon. Adam had me in his arms. With great reluctance, he and Tony supported most of my weight as I stood down on the ground, trying to keep from putting too much pressure on my leg. Literally, they carried me up the stairs, and on into the kitchen where they sat me down on a chair.

Vera pulled off my shirt and began wiping my face free of the mud and muck while Dan pulled off my mud caked and grass stained jeans. I looked down to the floor… and geezus… I about freaked at seeing all the mud falling onto her beautiful floor. She didn't mind. She didn't stop performing her ministrations.

Adam said, "James, I'm going to make some calls. You need to be seen in the ER tonight. No arguments."

I nodded… knowing I was fucked up. He leaned down and whispered in my ear, "We love you. It's going to be okay. Just trust me. Don't worry… worrying is for us old folks." He patted my shoulder then he and Tony walked outside.

"Stacy, is the water ready?" Vera asked curtly.

"Yes, ma'am'. I put in half a cup of Epsom Salts just like you asked." Stacy said respectfully.

Vera handed the washcloth to Luke, who held it in his hand. Without invitation, or warning, Dan picked me up, carried me up the stairs and into the bathroom and deposited me on the closed toilet lid. He said, "Mom's going to give you a bath. She's done this for all her sons, at one time or another. I'd just imagine Kevin will join you… he's taken quite a fancy to you, James. I'm grateful. I'm extremely grateful. Let's get you into the bathtub… here, I'll help you with those." He said, referring to the last piece of clothing covering my body, or at least a part of it. I half stood, and while he supported my weight, pulled them off and kicked them aside, leaving me open to the air.

The water felt fine… it was hot, but not too hot. Vera entered just as soon as Dan stepped out and closed the door behind him. I grabbed a washcloth and covered that which designates me male. Thankfully it was at rest.

"You know, James, I've given each of my boys a bath when they've needed it. I'll leave your private areas for you to take care of… I won't embarrass you. If you'd rather I didn't give you a bath, then just say so, and I'll leave." Vera said softly as she soaped up a washcloth.

I looked into her eyes… there was something I saw, something that I'd never seen in an adult woman. I wasn't necessarily afraid, hell, I didn't know what was coming, so I was a bit apprehensive, and said, "I've never been bathed before… not that I remember, anyway. Did they tell you that my mom hated my guts?"

"No, James, they didn't tell me that… do you want to talk about it?"

"No." I said then held my arm out.

Her hands were firm, yet they were soft and gentle as she ran the cloth over my fingers, then my wrists, then my forearm, and on up to my neck. I watched her every move with rapt attention, wondering if or when she'd change to being harsh, or when she'd say something that would prove that she really wasn't who she seemed to be.

But, it never happened. She gives a killer back washing – firm, very firm. She got all those itchy places where the hay ends had stuck me, and God, did that ever feel good. I was in heaven… if I'd been a cat then surely I would have been purring like one.

While washing my chest, pits, belly, hips, thighs, calves and feet, she talked about the farm, and how it had been in the family for generations, and how she'd known her husband since they had been toddlers.

When she'd finished washing as much as she could and would, she urged and helped me to stand so that I could wash the rest of my anatomy, as she put it in words. I turned away, she handed me a soapy washcloth. I dropped the other one into the water then took care of the area south of the border, both front and back. My dick was still at rest… and I wasn't even worried about it springing up. She helped me rinse off then handed me a towel to cover my midsection.

We weren't finished though. She had me get down on my hands and knees, then she proceeded to wash my hair, taking care to keep the soap out of my eyes. By the time she was finished, the water had all drained down the pipe. I asked her for the Comet so I could wash the dirty, filthy ring away. In the process, the towel fell away, thus exposing my butt. She didn't say a word at its exposure; instead, she helped me finish up.

With some difficulty, and with her assistance, I stood up. We both stood still as the water droplets cascaded from my head down my body. I looked into her eyes. All sense of worry and self consciousness about being naked in front of her, evaporated right then and there. She reached into the linen cabinet, fetched a towel, dried me off, then wrapped it around my waist, and said, "Yep, all boy." Then, to add insult to injury – she snickered.

She pulled out a new toothbrush, handed it to me, and said, "I'll leave you be. Call when you're ready. I'll get you some more clean clothes to wear."

To be continued

(Edited & Reposted October 6, 2012)

Editor's Notes:

I want to apologize. I forgot about having this chapter to edit, until an hour or so ago.

I usually pretty much drop everything and start editing any new chapters I get in, but for some reason, I got distracted, and after that, my mind just lost track of the new chapter, and it took me till now to get my brain going.

James seems to find any possible way to make a mess of things, doesn't he?

I am glad he has so many people who really care about him, and of course, he has Seth, and that alone makes things better for him than anything else.

When all is said and done, though, he is a very good person, and a very loving person.

I am so thrilled to be getting to know the boys better and learn more and more about all of them.

Joe is a very good story teller. He makes us get totally immersed in the stories. It really makes me glad to get to know everyone, and I already care very deeply about them all.

Of course, I am ready for more, and I promise, I will not take nearly as long to get to editing the next chapter.

Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher

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