As a last (almost) blast for summer, I am attaching a FREE short story from my ManLove collection, The Wilton Park Grand Hotel Series, Sparks Fly. It’s a piece that appeared on the ManLove Summer Fantasies Blog as part of the month long contest. I hope you enjoy two gorgeous men, a hot summer night, and romance.
I’m ready for the weather to cool off, as I am sure lots of you are. Get ready for a new Man Love contest in October based on a Halloween theme. My day will be October 23, so I hope you will all go and check out my next M/m short story, Jake’s Dream Scream. Also plan to visit each day and enter for a chance to win the really great prizes.
Here’s the summer story!
Word Count: 4,237
Genre: Erotic Romance – M/M
The Foaling Barn, Eden Creek Farm, Ocala, Florida, early morning, Sunday, July 3, 2016
Timothy Snow stood outside the stall of Luck Be A Lady, watching his brother-in-law, Ross Hamilton, check the mare for signs that she would soon give birth. “How’s she doing? A fourth of July foal would be cool.”
“Maybe today or tomorrow. It’s hard to predict, but she seems about ready. Madison has names all picked out. I have to say I have no idea how Rockstar managed an unplanned pasture breeding to give us this late-in-the-year foal. He had to jump four double four-board fences to get to her. I guess love will win out no matter how we humans plan things.”
“What’s the big deal?”
“Well, we like to have foals born as soon after January 1st as possible since every thoroughbred has his or her birthday on January 1. That means that a foal born on December 31st would be one year old on January 1st even though they would actually be only one day old. That is a distinct disadvantage when racing against other horses which are a full year older and more mature and experienced.”
Rockstar, Eden Creek Farm’s Triple Crown winner, had overcome almost insurmountable obstacles, including blindness in one eye, to win the three biggest horse races of 2013. He had put Eden Creek, the Hamilton family thoroughbred farm, on the map. Tim had been thrilled when his older sister, Madison, had finally married the father of her son, Nickie, and the love of her life after nine years of exile from Ocala. She had gotten pregnant out of wedlock the summer after her high school graduation and left town before the fact became obvious. That was a big thing in Ocala, Florida back then. Ha! It probably still was, although things had certainly lightened up a bit since then.
Tim had followed her lead and never come back to town after he had graduated from the University of Florida at Gaineville two years ago. Being gay in the small, central Florida town was about as bad as being pregnant and unmarried. He and Madison were probably so close because of those circumstances even though he was the youngest of the family. Madison was the one who most understood him. His parents and other siblings tried, but they just didn’t get it. Gayness wasn’t something a person chose, that could be wished away or prayed away. It was a fact of life, the way a person was born. It just had to be dealt with and lived with. You could make the best of your life or not. Tim chose to make the best.
Madison had talked him into coming home from Chicago for the big family Fourth of July celebration and reunion. He’d had his doubts about it. His own high school years had been tough in this very conservative town. Tim had to grin at that thought since Madison was the manager of Le Club Laurel Oak-Ocala, a secret BDSM club in a renovated Victorian mansion in the historic district of downtown Ocala. His big sister was the manager of a BDSM club. That was wild enough, but that said club was in Ocala, Florida was beyond comprehension.
Tim had known he was gay by the time he was thirteen and had never tried to hide the fact even though he didn’t advertise it. He hadn’t had the opportunity to become sexually active until he’d left home for college. The attitudes on the UF campus were somewhat more liberal as students from all over the country mingled there.
“Well, our big reunion picnic is today. What are you going to do tomorrow? Have any plans to see friends or anything?”
“Not really. I thought I might go to the fireworks party out on Twenty-Seven. You know I didn’t have a lot of friends back in high school, and most of those I did have left town just like me.”
“I’m sorry about that, Tim. Small towns can be tough.”
“Yeah. Tough.” You have no idea, brother.
The Fourth of July celebration on Highway 27, Ocala, Florida, seven o’clock in the evening, Monday, July 4, 2016
Tim had parked the pickup he’d borrowed from Ross out on the highway and walked into the big open field that was being used for the Fourth of July celebration. The day was hot and the sun was still bright in the sky. The carnival atmosphere was already in high gear with food trucks, fair rides and screaming kids. The fireworks would not be shot off until after dark. Families and groups of teens wandered the field greeting friends and neighbors. Tim felt a little like a fish out of water walking around alone. He had been truthful when he’d told Ross that he didn’t have any friends in town. Well, maybe one or two, but he felt funny about just calling them out of the blue after six years. His stomach was starting to rumble, and he got in line at one of the hot dog stands. As he was waiting his turn he felt a hand on his shoulder and turned around. A somewhat older but still recognizable Don Holtzberger, the quarterback of his high school football team senior year, was standing behind him. Holy shit. Don was still big, broad and muscular with a head of straight straw-blond hair and bright blue eyes.
“Hey, Snow. What’s shaking? I haven’t seen you since high school.”
“Hey, Holtzberger. I’ve been living in Chicago since I graduated from UF. I’m back for a family reunion this weekend. How have you been?”
“I’m good. Working for my dad at the dealership. I went to Ohio State on a football scholarship. Did okay, but not good enough for a pro career.”
“Married with two point three kids yet?”
“No. That’s not likely to happen.”
Tim had reached the front of the line and turned around to order. What does that mean? He completed his order and paid the girl then turned around again. “Why is that not likely to happen?”
“You’re kidding right?”
“Uhh, no. Not kidding.”
“I always admired your ability to just be yourself, not hide in the closet. I was never that brave.”
“What are you talking about?” What the hell is he saying? He was gay, too? That was impossible, wasn’t it? “You had a different girl sitting next to you in those convertibles your Dad always gave you after every game. You were the biggest stud in school.”
“The key phrase there is ‘a different girl.’ Looks can be deceiving. It’s tough to live a lie, but it’s even tougher to live as a gay teen in Ocala.” Don shook his head. “That’s why I always admired you.”
“Could have fooled me. I didn’t notice any admiring going on.”
“I had to keep up a front. It wouldn’t have done for the quarterback to be seen being too friendly with the only out-of-the-closet gay guy in school. You’ll remember that I was never one of the guys pounding on you either.”
“Actually, I do remember that. I also remember a couple of times you saved my ass back then.” Tim turned back around and took his chili dog and coke from the counter. He stood aside and waited for Don to pick up his.
“Let’s get a table in the shade. It’s still hot as hell.” They headed toward a huge live oak tree and sat down at an empty table. “What have you been doing in Chicago?”
“I work for a PR firm on Michigan Avenue. I like advertising. I have a couple of smaller accounts of my own, and I worked on the Ford ads for the new model year. That was fun.”
“Really? I’ve written some of our local advertising for the dealership. I’m not much for being out on the floor selling cars. I’ve had to take over some of the day-to-day management duties since my dad had a heart attack two years ago.”
“I’m sorry to hear that. He sold me my first car.”
“He’s doing okay. I just don’t like to see him pushing himself too much. Actually, I think he’d like to get back into the saddle again. He seems a little bored with golf at the club, and I think my mom is driving him crazy.” They each dug into their hot dogs as a comfortable silence fell.
Don had been surprised to find Tim Snow standing in line in front of him. He didn’t remember seeing Tim, the only openly gay guy in high school, since graduation. He had always had a crush on the smaller, dark-haired boy with the warm chocolate brown eyes—something he would not have admitted back then under pain of death. Tim was shorter than Don by several inches and substantially less muscular, although he had a sleek body and an incredibly handsome face.
Honestly, Don still hadn’t come out of the closet. He dated local women as infrequently as possible, and kept the private displays of affection to a minimum. To say the least, his life was as unsatisfactory as it was possible to be. He had even been named one of Ocala’s Most Eligible Bachelors by one of the local magazines. How hilarious was that? It had resulted in an uptick of traffic at the dealership and some additional car sales, but it had made him extremely uncomfortable.
I don’t know how to broach this subject, but here goes nothing. “So, Tim. Do you think we could spend some time together? How long are you going to be in town?”
Tim still looked a little shell shocked by Don’s confession. “Well, I guess so. I’m going to be here the rest of the week. I’m flying back to Chicago on Sunday.”
“That’s good. Do you think we could start now? I was dreading watching the fireworks alone, but I just didn’t have the stomach for another meaningless date.”
“Sure. I felt like a fish out of water all by myself—just no hand holding. This is Ocala.”
Don laughed. “That it is. I’ve seen at least of dozen of our customers here already.”
Tim was bemused. This was certainly not something he had expected. He had always had a thing for the big, hunky quarterback—just like all the girls in school had. Back then Don had been handsome, cool, and always had the latest model convertible. That was kid stuff. This was adult stuff.
They wandered back to the food trucks and got in line for some warm apple pie with ice cream. The sky gradually darkened as they walked around the field, watched the kids screaming on the rides, and waited for the fireworks to begin. The colorful display of bursting pyrotechnics against the black sky filled with sparkling stars was spectacular and seemed to last forever. Tim would have loved to be able to hold hands and lean back against that broad, inviting chest. That wasn’t possible. Not here. Maybe not anywhere.
The fireworks were done and people started to drift back to their cars. Tim really didn’t want the evening to be over. “Why don’t you come back to Eden Creek with me? Ross, my brother-in-law, has a mare about to deliver a foal, and I’d like to see it.”
“Ross Hamilton? I didn’t know he was your brother-in-law.”
“Yeah. He married my older sister, Maddie. They have two kids. Nickie is going to be thirteen and Ashley is two.”
“Wow. Eden Creek was the hottest news in town when Rockstar won the Triple Crown.”
“Well, he’s about to be a daddy again. Apparently he and one of the mares had a midnight rendezvous over some fences, and there’s a fortuitous surprise about to make its appearance.” Rockstar, the flashy dark bay with two white stockings out of Eden Creek’s previous Kentucky Derby Winner, Courageous, had the speed, ability, and heart to win the trifecta of American racing, the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes all in one racing season. Despite the early misfortune of losing the sight in his right eye in a pasture accident when he was a yearling, he had what it took to be a champion among champions.
“Great. I’d like to see that myself. Dad had wanted to buy into Rockstar’s syndication, but he didn’t jump on it fast enough, and the price quadrupled after he won the Belmont.”
Don followed Tim as they drove up Highway Twenty-Seven and turned onto Highway 326. He turned into the driveway of the farm and the electronic gate opened in front of the pickup. Don followed him through the gate. Tim drove down the long, winding, tree-lined drive past the wonderful old renovated farm house occupied by Ross’s brother, Mike and his wife Robbie. He pulled up in front of the brightly lit foaling barn and parked. Don hopped out of his car and followed Tim into the barn. “I=ve never seen a horse give birth.@
“Well you may tonight. Ross says mares usually wait until the dead of night when no one is around. They have surveillance cameras in the foaling stalls so they can keep an eye on things while letting the mares have their privacy. If everything is all lit up like Christmas, it must be about to happen.@
Tim heard Ross call out from the red barn which had small paddocks outside each large foaling stall. ACome into the barn@ he called. ALucky has just popped out a beautiful little bay colt without a problem. He’s gorgeous. He has two white stockings like his dad.@
Tim and Don rushed into the barn and up to the open stall door. “Hey, Ross. This is Don Holtzberger. He was the quarterback on my high school football team. I ran into him at the fireworks.”
“Hi, Don. I know your dad. He’s sold us a few trucks for the farm. You’re just in time to meet Rockstar’s son, Lucky’s Rockin’ Gentleman.”
Tim looked into the stall. AOh, wow. Look at him. He can barely stand.”
“His legs are all wobbly, and he=s nursing already.@ Don looked blown away.
AIt=s very important that they stand and nurse immediately and that one of us be in the stall to >imprint= the foal,@ Ross explained. “We have great hopes for this little guy. I just called Maddie to bring the kids down to see him. The vet will be here to check him over in the morning.@
Tim and Don stood outside the stall with the small crowd admiring the still wet and glistening colt as he nursed and the mare licked his coat clean. When the excitement had settled down and Ross and his family had returned to their house Tim said, “Hey, do you want to take a short ride down to the pond? It’s a great night for a swim.” He could see the anticipation sparkling in Don’s eyes.
“Yeah. I’d like that. I don’t have a bathing suit.”
“Really? No suits required. The pond is all on Eden Creek property. No one else will be there.”
Don was excited but apprehensive. This was an unexpected development. Seeing Tim again had unleashed the desires he kept tightly restrained most of the time. Don had had some short but pleasurable trysts on vacations or business trips while out of town, but he’d never had a serious, long-term gay relationship. It was just too dangerous.
Tim motioned for Don to ride shotgun in the pickup while he drove out onto the path that led down into the shallow valley and apparently to the pond. The path was sheltered with the moonlight filtering through the tall live oak trees draped with Spanish moss. As they came around a bend in the path, the pond, sparkling like diamonds, came into view.
They got out of the truck and Tim took a blanket from the truck box and spread it on the ground. When Tim stood up, Don took him into his arms for a long, leisurely kiss. The kiss started out tentative but quickly became hot and demanding. He raked his hands down Tim’s long, elegant back and over his sculpted ass. When they both came up for air he said, “I’ve wanted to do that since forever, but I never thought I would have the chance.” Don unbuttoned Tim’s shirt and then his own before pushing both their jeans down and off. They kicked off their boots and stood naked in the moonlight. God, Tim was beautiful, sleek and lightly muscled with a little dark hair over his chest and tapering down his belly.
“Well, you have the chance now. What are you going to do about it?” Tim scooped up their discarded clothes and tossed them onto the blanket before turning toward the water. “Last one in is a rotten egg.” Tim was laughing as he tore toward the edge of the pond and grabbed a hanging rope. He pushed off the bank, out over the water, and dropped in. Don followed from the shore at a more sedate pace. Hell, the water was chilly for July. The pond must be spring-fed. When Tim sputtered to the surface he said, “I guess that makes you the rotten egg.”
“We’ll see about that.” Don swam out into the center of the large pond where he caught Tim’s wet, slippery body. He held him tight against his chest and claimed his mouth again. Tim was laughing and struggling to get away, until he wasn’t, and the kiss deepened and got very serious. Don was just able to stand on the sandy bottom, and Tim clasped his long legs around Don’s waist. They kissed again. Don could feel Tim’s hard on against his belly. Nothing had ever been so exciting or felt so right.
Finally, Don walked out of the water onto the bank with Tim’s legs still clasped around his waist. He lowered them to the blanket on the ground. Tim lay back and pulled Don down next to him. Don’s cock was as hard as a tree limb, and he was anxious to sink into Tim’s body. It was something he’d fantasized about when they were in high school, all the while pretending to like groping the girls he dated.
Tim reached into his jeans pocket for condoms and a small tube of cherry lube. He rolled a condom on himself before he attended to Don. Don flipped Tim over on his belly and began playing with his back door, teasing the puckered rim and stretching the entrance. When he was sure that Tim was ready, he squirted out a liberal amount of lube before he slid his ramrod-hard cock into Tim from behind and began to stroke.
Tim was moaning and asking for more. He butted his ass back against Don’s stomach with each stroke. Don picked up the pace and was soon ramming into Tim with the enthusiasm of a man who had been holding back too long. Finally he came with a blast. He withdrew almost to the end of his still rock-hard cock and forced himself to pause. Tim hadn’t come yet, and Don wanted to be sure he did. Finally, Tim jammed himself back against Don and began to ride his cock. Soon Don was on the edge of another orgasm.
Then Don took over again and rammed into Tim until he spurted a stream of semen into the condom. Don continued to pump with long, slow, leisurely stokes until the shudders had stopped shaking both their bodies. He held Tim tightly in his arms with his cock buried deep in Tim’s ass. When Don finally softened and slipped from Tim’s body, he relaxed and rolled to the side and disposed of their condoms. He then quietly lay back down behind Tim. Tim’s sweet ass was nestled up against his dick, and they both drifted into a light slumber.
A few minutes later Tim and Don were rudely awakened when two pickup trucks with country music blaring from the sound systems came barreling down the path. Holy shit! They could hear the loud voices of the kids in the trucks as they sang along. That must be Mickie Hamilton, Mike’s son, and some of his friends about to take a late night swim in the Eden Creek pond. It sounded like they’d already had some beer. Tim and Don jumped up, hurriedly scrambled back into their clothes, crammed on their boots, grabbed up the blanket, and clamored back into the pickup. Tim took off back up the path toward the barn, barely missing side-swiping one of the pickups as he laughed his head off. He hoped it was too dark for Mickie to be able to recognize him. He’s purposely not turned on the headlights. He knew Mike’s son would ride him long and hard if he knew he’d been out here for a little midnight sugar—never mind who he was out here with. There were some things kids didn’t need to know.
Tim rolled to a stop beside Don’s car. “That was a close one. Jesus. They scared the shit out of me.”
“You? I about had a heart attack. Don’t you think we’re a little too old for this?”
“Never too old for this, man. Never too old. Anyway that was fun.” Tim laughed. “I hope Mickie couldn’t see into the truck and recognize me. Maybe he’ll think it was Ross and Maddie. I hope he doesn’t ask them about it.”
“Do you think he’d have the nerve to ask his uncle if he was down at the pond with his wife enjoying a little moonlight madness?”
“Probably not. But knowing Mickie…”
“Yeah, I have to admit that was fun. It got the old heart pumping, that’s for sure. You are a crazy man. You know that, don’t you?”
“Me? Crazy? Hell, yeah.”
“Do you think we could do this again? In a bed next time, maybe?”
“Sure. A bed would be good. It’s a lot easier on the knees. Let’s go in and sneak a peek at Rockin’ Gentlemen.” Tim and Don walked into the barn and looked over the stall door. The mare was lying in the clean, fresh-smelling pine shavings with the foal curled up beside her. She looked up and nickered and they quietly walked out of the barn.
At Don’s car he said, “Tonight was amazing. I’m glad we ran into each other at the fireworks. I hope we can get together again and see if we can make some more sparks fly.”
“Oh, we can definitely get together again, next time without so much drama but with lots of sparks.”
Timothy Snow’s Apartment, Chicago, Illinois, late afternoon, Saturday, September 3, 2016
Tim opened the door to find Don standing in the hall with a big rolling suitcase and a carryon. It had been two months since their insane week in Ocala, and Tim had missed the big guy something fierce. It had surprised him that a high school crush could blossom into something so intense at this late date. Tim had wanted to meet Don at the airport, but he had insisted in grabbing a cab. “Come in, come in. I can’t believe you’re here.” Tim had been afraid that Don would lose his nerve and not follow through. They both needed to see where their attraction would take them.
“I can’t believe I’m here either, Crazy Man. We’ve got another full week to start figuring this out. I’ve missed you.”
Don pulled his luggage into the apartment, dropped his jacket on the sofa and pulled Tim into his arms for a soul shattering kiss and a crushing hug. He reached down and grabbed his ass. The time he’d spent with Tim and their discussions by phone, email and text since had been liberating. He’d known he was living half the life he was meant to live, but being with Tim had brought that fact out of the closet and into the glaring light of day. The light of day was a good place to be. He’d had a serious talk with his parents who had been shocked and dismayed, but had come around to understanding. Above all else, they wanted him to be happy and thought he should pursue whatever would make him happy and complete. He had a feeling that was Timothy Crazy Man Snow.