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The Naked Cowboy

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Take a vacation, Jared’s friends had told him. Leave the stress of work aside; do something fun and relaxing like photography, they’d said. His brother had laughed at the idea of Jared on vacation when Jared had told him—the prick. Fine, challenge accepted.

Now Jared had spent the last half hour wandering around the woods, determined to have fun if it killed him. His feet were pruned and cold in his mud-covered new sneakers, and there was little wildlife around to take pictures of—though possibly his noisy progress through the woods and fields might have something to do with that.

Jared swore again at the camera as the pretty dragonfly he’d tried to shoot flew off during his fumbling attempts to focus the damned thing. He'd wasted time by repeatedly hitting the power switch, only to realize later that the lens cap was still on. Now everything was blurry as hell, and he wasn’t sure what that button did but it definitely wasn’t to turn the thing on. Point and click, that’s what he’d wanted. Something easy, something he didn’t have to think about. Nope. Chad insisted that he should have the best, which was, apparently, his uncle’s forty-year-old camera with a handful of heavy lenses he didn’t know how to change, a shitload of manual settings he didn’t know to use, and a bag the size of a large dog to haul all the shit. Jared just wanted a goddamned photo of the motherfucking insect.

He let the massive camera bag drop to the ground—gently though, because it was borrowed equipment and Jared wasn’t a douche—and raised the sight to his eye again. Was an LCD screen too much to ask? He didn’t think so. Nothing was in focus; not a single damned thing. But there was no friggin’ way he was touching any of the knobs and dials again. He’d just snap some blurry shots and claim to be doing fancy artistic stuff. He cast around, trying to find something recognizable, maybe a distance shot . . .

Oh! The long heavy lens was a zoom, because the distant stuff was crystal clear. So he might still be able to get a decent photo to post to Facebook and prove to his doubting friends and family that he did in fact take a relaxing vacation. Once the stupid film was developed. Who the fuck still used—

Holy hell!

Hot.

Skin. Miles of skin, soapy and glistening, filled the frame, and Jared’s finger automatically tightened on the trigger. Click.

The small motion shook the front-heavy camera and Jared shifted his grip to steady it. Click. The man—oh most definitely a man—turned as he began to dry himself with a tiny, completely inadequate hand towel. Jared had never wanted anything as bad as he wished to be that pathetically small towel, sweeping over broad shoulders, caressing the firm round ass, darting between legs to fondle . . .

“Fuck me,” Jared whispered, his words both an exclamation and a prayer.

As the man turned, the outlines of a large tattoo across his back became visible and made Jared’s breath hitch, but it was the man’s open-mouthed expression as he stroked himself that made Jared take an unconscious step forward. . . only to trip over the monster camera bag, toppling to land with a wet squish. Now Jared’s entire front was as cold and wet as his sneakers, and he grimaced as his burgeoning erection fled.

“Shit!”

The camera had planted itself lens-first into the mucky ground, and there was a squelching pop as Jared pulled it out. He bit his lip, tasting dirt as he tried to wipe off the camera with his wet shirt. It worked a little better once he pulled off the shirt entirely and used its still-dry back as a makeshift towel. He hesitated before cleaning off the lens, worried about scratches—though realistically, that ship had likely already sailed. A peek through the camera, aimed towards the distant cabin where Captain Skintastic had been displayed in all his glory, proved that Jared’s clumsiness had thrown off the focus yet again, and try as he might, Jared wasn’t able to restore it. He sighed, then stowed the camera with a rueful grin. Despite the mishap, Chad was right; Jared was awesome at photography, and he had photos to prove it!

In a much better mood than when he’d started out, Jared turned around. And around. And around. Jared’s grin vanished. Funny how what he’d thought was a distinct path didn’t look like a path at all now that he wanted to follow it back.

He turned his eyes towards the cabin, the only trace of civilization he could see. Who was he to refuse fate’s invitation?

The cabin was further than it appeared, and the thorny bushes grabbed at Jared’s jeans as if to prevent him from continuing. He soon regretted removing his shirt. After the third time a stray branch struck his nipple, he stopped as soon as he reached a clearing where the ground was somewhat dry, and he put his bag down and fished out his shirt.

T-shirts were never designed to be put on when wet and muddy. The fabric stuck to his skin as he pushed one arm in, and almost seemed pinned together when he put in the other, making him fight just to get his arms through. As he brought it over his head, the bottom rolled up until it was a tight band going from underneath his arms to the back of his neck. Try as he might, contorting himself and twisting his arms behind him to tug at the apparently crazy-glued material, he was unable to roll it out. The more he struggled with it, the worse it became, until he thought he heard something tear.

“Should I call 911?”

Jared spun around so fast that he unbalanced, unable to recover with his arms restricted by the shirt. He landed on his ass. When he looked up, it was to see Captain Skintastic watching him, with a saddle slung over one shoulder. The small cabin was a short distance away, though from here it appeared to be more of a ramshackle outbuilding, and a horse waited with its reins loosely wrapped around a post. Jared didn’t immediately recognize the man now that he’d put on jeans and a white tank top, not until he saw those expressive full lips from under the shadow of the cowboy hat he wore.

“Didn’t mean to scare you,” the guy said.

“No, you didn’t scare— well, yeah, you did. But I’m not. . . That’s okay,” Jared said, as smooth as ever. The man watched him much like Jared might look at a never-before-seen animal at the zoo. “Lost,” Jared continued. “Me. I mean, I am. Lost, that is. I’m Jared.” Then Jared chose to stop talking. He stood with his arms trussed at awkward angles thanks to the exasperating shirt.

“Okay,” the guy said, slowly, as if not to startle the wild creature. “Listen, let me help you with that.” He was Jared’s image of the quintessential pinup cowboy come to life, except for the tragic lack of chaps, and he approached Jared with loose, fluid movements and a confident, easy grin that shouted out, “I’m hot and I know it. Go on, take a look.” And Jared looked. As the man approached, a spattering of freckles became visible above the scruffy, day-old beard. It all went directly to Jared’s cock.

“I’m Jensen,” the man said. After taking one look at Jared’s tangle, instead of trying to right the shirt, he assisted in its removal. Jensen handed the wet shirt back to Jared, with a grimace. “You’re all wet.”

Jared’s eyes widened at the thought that Jensen could see him leaking through his pants, and he looked down to see if the wet spot was visible. Jensen looked at him quizzically, then followed Jared’s gaze downward, and for a moment they were both staring at the now-prominent outline of Jared’s cock under his jeans. Jensen grinned as if it were his birthday and jiggled his outstretched hand a little, dangling the wet and muddy shirt to clarify his meaning. Jared stammered out something to the effect of “I fell” and “puddles,” and he looked at anything but Jensen as he took it. Grin still firmly in place, Jensen began walking away towards the outbuilding with a casual swagger.

“I was just about to head back to the house.” He turned back to Jared. “Why don’t you come get cleaned up and I can give you directions back to town.”

Jared’s cock made a valiant attempt to break free of the confines of his jeans, and, failing that, it settled for leaking some more, just to punish him.

“What are you doing?” Jared asked. Jensen had thrown the saddle he was carrying on the back of a giant black demon horse.

Both Jensen’s eyebrows rose. “Saddling the mare. Her name’s Ribbon,” Jensen added, as if it mattered to Jared. Jared loved dogs, and he went head over heels for kittens—because really, how could you not? He was okay with chickens, cows, and pigs—because, yum, meat. But horses? Not so much. Maybe if he was a country boy, but he wasn’t. Even though he’d been to a rodeo before and seriously had a thing for cowboys, he’d never once been tempted to approach one of those kicking bucking monsters. But Jensen was watching, and Jensen was hot as hell.

Jared approached the beast with trepidation. Its mouth moved in a chewing motion and it looked at him out of the corner of its eye. Jared took a step away, and it swished its tail and slowly turned its head to follow his movement, as if to get a better look at its next target. Jared swallowed.

Jensen had taken out a small knife to Jared’s great relief—at least one of them was armed—and he reached into his bag to grab an apple.

“Here.” Jensen sliced it in half. “She loves these.” He offered part of the fruit to Jared, who immediately declined. Jensen shrugged his head and offered up the apple to Ribbon, where it disappeared with alacrity into her questing lips. Jared hoped it would tide the animal over.

“I just came over to fix the fence on the northern side of the property,” Jensen continued, glancing sideways at Jared. “Saw you taking photos while I was washing up.”

Jensen had—oh shit! Jensen had seen him with the camera. But he didn’t seemed pissed off or about to call the police on the creepy stranger. “You have running water out here?” Jared asked, trying to change the subject.

“No. Just a rain barrel by the old shed.” Jensen seemed amused. “I’d offer it to you, but I emptied it out when I was done. How do you know Omundson?” Noting Jared’s incomprehension, Jensen clarified. “You were walking on his land.”

“Oh. I didn’t know. Just followed a path from the road, trying to get a wildlife photo.”

“Um . . . There is no path,” Jensen said, and his forehead wrinkled adorably.

“Yeah, I figured that out.”

Jensen nodded, and a muscle jumped around his mouth as if he were trying not to laugh. “Get any good ones?”

“What?”

“Pictures. Can I see?”

Jared hesitated then settled on the truth because he couldn’t lie for shit. “Sorry, it’s a film camera. Needs to be developed.” And he silently wished sainthood on Chad for that. “But I think I got a couple good ones.” Jensen said nothing, and Jared was left wondering if the show he’d glimpsed had been at least partially for Jared’s benefit.

Jensen mounting the horse nearly wrecked Jared. There simply was no room for growth in his uncompromising jeans. Jensen—bendy, bendy Jensen—raised his left leg sky-high to the stirrup, displaying his backside at its most magnificent. Slowly, far too slowly to be anything but deliberate, Jensen rose up on the stirrup and that breathtaking ass lifted to pass in front of Jared’s eyes, within easy touching distance. Jared stayed rooted in place as Jensen lazily threw his right leg over to straddle the horse’s back, settling in as if he spent all day with something between his thighs. When Jensen grinned down at Jared and offered a hand up, Jared couldn’t quite remember how breathing worked nor could he spare a single thought for the hell-beast he was about to mount.

He grasped Jensen’s hand, and as Jensen hauled Jared up behind him, Jared jumped and threw his leg out and over. Jared’s knee caught the horse’s thigh and the heavy camera bag he’d slung across his chest banged into her flank. Ribbon snorted and her eyes showed their whites as she took a few hurried steps forward. Caught unprepared, Jared clung for dear life, feet kicking in the air, as Jensen tried to calm her.

“Shhh, whoa, Ribbon. Easy, baby.” Jensen tightened the reins as he spoke reassuringly, and soon the horse settled. “First time?” Jensen asked over his shoulder, and Jared could only nod. With Jensen’s help, Jared managed to slither on and right himself, despite Ribbon’s irritated stamping and flattened ears.

Jensen continued to reassure the horse and Jared took stock of his new situation. Jared’s most immediate problem was his undiminished erection. The embarrassing climb onto the horse had been offset by the increased proximity to Jensen for a zero-sum result, but now the stretch to straddle the horse had made his wet pants that much tighter, bordering on painful. With Jensen’s attention taken with Ribbon, Jared surreptitiously released the button and eased down his zipper, needing to relieve the pressure, and hoping to hell Jensen wouldn’t notice. Though still tented by the thin layer of his boxers, his cock sprang free. He immediately placed the camera bag between him and Jensen as a shield, and then loosely placed his hands on the man’s sides to steady himself.

Jensen turned his head so that Jared saw him in profile. “You’re gonna want to hold on tighter than that,” Jensen told him.

Jared blushed, but was relatively sure Jensen couldn’t see. “I’m good,” he said.

Jensen seemed doubtful. “Get a better grip,” he warned. Jared pressed his hands against Jensen’s sides a little tighter. As Jensen shifted his body to adjust for Ribbon’s restlessness, his muscles danced under Jared’s fingers. The warmth of Jensen’s skin seeped into Jared’s hands through the stretched tank top and travelled like lightning to Jared’s groin.

“All set,” Jared managed.

“Okay,” Jensen said. “Gee-up!”

The horse surged into a moderate walk. Jared yelled and flailed in surprise as he bounced. He desperately clutched Jensen to him, letting the camera bag fall back to his side, and pressing himself firmly the length of Jensen’s body, leaving no room between them.

After the initial panic subsided, Jared became aware of Jensen’s laughter, a quiet rumbling that reverberated through Jared. The laughter trailed off and Jared tensed, wondering if Jensen had finally noticed Jared’s undone waistband. When Jensen said nothing about it, Jared thought that, just maybe, it wasn’t as noticeable as he’d feared.

Jared bounced along, at the mercy of every jarring step, until he managed to approximate Jensen’s effortless motion. As Jared adapted to the horse’s gait, his movements synced with Jensen’s, and Jensen’s ass began to rock gently against Jared’s rigid cock.

“So where exactly are we going?” Jared asked, keeping his breathing tightly controlled so that it wouldn’t give him away.

Jensen rose in his stirrups and pointed off in the distance.

“See that hill?” Jensen asked. Jared harrumphed something affirmative, but wasn’t paying any attention. Jensen’s rise had not only essentially left Jared hugging Jensen’s hips, but pointing had allowed the tank top to bare a tantalizing expanse of skin above Jensen’s low-slung waistband. “My ranch is just beyond it,” Jensen continued, seeming blithely unaware he had lost his audience. “We should be able to see it soon.”

As Jensen settled into the saddle once more, his jeans-covered ass slid the length of Jared’s cock. The brush of the coarse material was just on the good side of painful and Jared’s breath hitched at the sensation. If Jared could somehow wish away Jensen’s pants, there would be nothing preventing Jensen from impaling himself on Jared, and the jostling of the animal would thrust Jared as deep as possible into—

“ . . . for supper,” Jensen said.

“Sorry?” Jared asked, slightly breathless. He blinked and tried to listen past his pounding heart to hear what Jensen was saying.

“If you don’t need to get back right away, you should stay for supper,” Jensen repeated, amusement clear in his voice. “I can throw on a couple steaks. Show you the hospitality the area’s famous for. What do you say?”

Jared couldn’t really say much of anything but he did manage a “yeah, okay.”

“Great,” Jensen said.

Their conversation faded into a silence that, while not exactly comfortable, was mutual. Their speed increased the closer they got to Jensen’s ranch, and Jared wondered if it was due to Jensen’s or the horse’s eagerness to get home. The ride hadn’t been all that long, but Jared’s backside felt like one massive bruise, and he hadn’t even done anything fun enough to deserve it. Ribbon took them into an open paddock, and she hadn’t completely come to a standstill when Jensen threw a leg forward, over the horse’s head—there was that bendy thing again—and hopped down. Jared moved the camera bag in front of him again, but he still hadn’t figured out how to get himself zipped up before Jensen saw. It turned out not to be a problem.

Jared’s slid down, clutching the bag to him with one hand and holding firmly to the saddle with the other. The moment Jared’s shaky feet touched the ground, Jensen spun him around and pushed him up against the paddock fence. Jared felt Jensen’s matching erection as he ground against him.

“You fucking tease,” Jensen said, voice low an hoarse, but the crinkle around the corners of his intense green eyes showed his amusement. And really, Jared thought, Jensen was one to talk, with the pointing, and rocking and Gumby moves.

“Not one second longer,” Jensen almost growled and it made Jared’s stomach flutter. “Right here.”

Jensen yanked Jared’s boxers down, but only far enough to let him grope Jared’s sac, then he tossed his hat carelessly behind him and shucked his shirt. Jared saw it snag on one of the fence posts but was too busy fighting to remove his wet jeans to pay it much mind. He was on the ground, shimmying them down, inch by slow inch, as fast as he could, when Jensen straddled him without a trace of clothing. Jared’s legs remained trapped by his pants.

When Jensen reached up to grab something from his saddlebag pocket, Jared looked at the large open expanse of Jensen’s ranch. A pick-up was parked by the main house, and an old car on blocks rested to the side of the barn. Jensen noticed his distraction.

“There’s no one else here. Besides,” Jensen said as he settled over Jared again, a travel packet of lube in his hand, “my ranch, my rules. If anyone doesn’t like it they can fuck off.” Jensen’s confident smirk was back as he liberally coated his fingers, as if he was daring Jared to ask about the lube.

“Where. . .” Jared began, and then realized that he really didn’t care.

“You clean?” Jensen asked. Eyes riveted by Jensen’s hand, which had moved just out of sight, Jared simply nodded. “Thank God,” Jensen said, and in a single movement he lined himself with Jared’s long-suffering cock and sank slowly onto it.

Jared let escape a small punched-out moan as Jensen seated himself fully. After Jared’s first tentative thrust, and Jensen’s encouraging, “C’mon, fuck me,” the pace they set was frantic. Primed by an afternoon of restraint, and thrusting with abandon, Jared held back as long as he was able, knowing it wouldn’t be long. He wrapped his large hand around Jensen’s cock to stroke it in time with Jensen's rocking, eliciting a groan of pleasure. With a final herculean arch backwards, Jared exploded into Jensen, and his hand stilled on Jensen’s leaking cock as he came. In the distant part of his mind that remained peripherally aware, Jared felt Jensen’s hand cover his and, after a couple staccato jerks, bands of warmth striped Jared’s chest.

“Okay, I should see to the horse,” Jensen said when he’d caught his breath, but he seemed in no hurry to move. Jared blinked stupidly at him, waiting for his brain to come back online. It had been fast and hard—and over in a couple minutes, tops. Jared looked over to see the mare, still saddled and watching them, waiting placidly where they’d left her. Jensen reluctantly lifted off Jared’s softening cock. Jared propped himself on his elbow and watched the flex and jiggle of Jensen’s butt cheeks as he sauntered over pick up his discarded hat. Jensen’s swagger on his way back told Jared he was aware of the scrutiny. And liked it.

“Grab a shower if you want,” Jensen said, as he went past Jared to gather up Ribbon’s reins. “First door on the left. You should throw your muddy clothes into the wash and they’ll be done after supper. There should be an extra pair of pants in the stack of clean clothes on my bed.”

“Thanks, man. That would be awesome!” Jared had tugged his pants up as well as he could, but they were stiff and covered in dirt. He left Jensen—still naked but for the hat—to tend the horse, and walked over to the house.

“Hello?” he called out with a knock. No one answered, which was good; Jensen had said no one else was here, and from the look of things he lived alone. Jared left his camera bag by the entrance and went to find the washing machine. He started the machine, hoping that it wouldn’t rob the shower of hot water while he cleaned up. Jensen was still outside when he finished. Walking out of a cloud of steam with a towel wrapped low round his hips, he entered Jensen’s bedroom in search of the promised clothing. A stack of clothes lay on Jensen’s smartly made-up bed, and he dug out a some grey track pants. They’d be short but would do.

He slung the towel over his shoulder as he slipped a leg through, going commando because he’d thrown his underwear in the wash, too. He didn’t think Jensen would mind, and—oh sweet mother of fuck! He paused while dressing, one foot in, one foot out. Chaps! He’d spied real honest-to-goodness leather chaps hanging from a hook behind the door. The track pants were put aside and momentarily forgotten as Jared held the chaps to him. The brown leather was supple and smooth, obviously well taken care of, and it smelled . . . well, like leather, but it also had a slightly spicy fragrance from whatever soap or personal products Jensen used. Jared’s brain made the admittedly small leap and spun the visuals round and round: they smelled like Jensen because they were Jensen’s. They were Jensen’s so he wore them. Assless, crotchless—with Jensen in them. Jensen’s perfect ass on display and his pretty full cock jutting out. Jared twisted the leather around but it seemed unnecessarily complicated and he couldn’t quite see how all the snaps, buckles, and zippers fit together After a few minutes of fumbling he sorted it out, and soon he stood before the mirror with legs encased in leather and picturing Jensen in his place. Jared’s ass was exposed to the breeze from the open window. . . and his cock filling was quickly, already well past half-mast.

The sound of the front door closing could be heard from Jensen’s bedroom. Jared glanced at the track pants on the floor.

“Hey, Jared,” Jensen called from the hallway. “Did you find those pants?” Jared was momentarily torn between the need to close the door, which was across the room, and the need to undo the chaps, which required concentration. He began undoing the snaps, not sure what Jensen’s reaction would be to seeing Jared wearing his work gear. “Now that I think about it,” Jensen continued, and his voice was much closer, “maybe I left them in the. . .”

Jensen had stopped at the open door and was staring at Jared, open-mouthed. Jared felt his face redden as he straightened. The silence stretched on while Jensen stared and Jared grasped for something to say.

“I’m sorry. I should have asked, ” Jared said, and his embarrassment made him stumble on the words. “It’s just I saw them there, and I wondered how they went on, and then—”

Jensen was on Jared before he could finish.

“You,” Jensen said, shaking his head as if Jared was completely unbelievable, even as he grasped the back of Jared’s head and pulled him into a fierce kiss.

“Fuck,” Jensen whispered when they paused to breath. His hands kneaded Jared’s bare ass. Abruptly he delivered a stinging slap. Taken aback by the slap, it took Jared a moment to process that Jensen had dropped to his knees. The warmth of Jensen’s mouth and the sweet drag of his tongue against the underside of Jared’s cock brought Jared fully erect in a matter of seconds. As Jensen continued his ministrations, Jared legs trembled, and he stretched out his arms to brace himself against the bedposts. Jensen came off Jared’s cock with a pop, and took two steps to his bureau for lube before he hurried back to engulf Jared once again. With Jensen’s encouragement, Jared began to thrust, shallow at first, and then deeper, and Jensen took it all. The cold slick press of a finger breached Jared, and he gasped as Jensen began working it in time with Jared’s thrusts. At some point a second finger joined the first and Jared sped up, fucking himself frantically on Jensen fingers and into Jensen’s mouth, until Jared came in a blinding shower of star-bursts.

When Jared came out of his post-orgasmic lethargy enough to look around, it was to find Jensen stretched alongside him. Jensen traced the outline of Jared’s nipples with his finger., and his cock still stood out proudly. But Jensen shook his head when Jared went to reciprocate.

“That’s okay, I can wait. Fuck man,” Jensen said, and had Jared not been so exhausted, Jensen’s husky voice alone could have made him come, “you’re the hottest thing I’ve ever seen.”

Jared huffed an incredulous laugh. “Pot . . . kettle.” He reached to unbuckle the chaps, but Jensen stilled Jared’s hand with his own.

“Keep ‘em on,” Jensen said, and his bright, hopeful smile made it a request, not an order. “Food first. We’re gonna need it.” He dropped his voice to barely above a whisper and those green eyes shone with intensity. “Then I’m going to bend you over the couch and fuck you ‘til you can’t see straight.”

Jensen jumped up, righted his hat, and walked towards the kitchen with his cock bobbing before him. The soft swish of chaps filled the hall as Jared followed.

***

Jared walked up the steps to Chad’s duplex carrying the camera bag. Chad answered a bare second after Jared rang the doorbell a second time.

“Jay! You had us worried!” Chad said. “Where the hell have you been?”

“Vacation,” Jared said, confused at Chad’s concern but still sporting the smile he hadn’t been able to shake for the last few days. He peered around the room to see if Chad had been taking anything, but if so, he’d managed to hide all the paraphernalia. “I told you about it. You gave me the camera. Speaking of, can you develop the film for me?” It was the one thing that had made leaving Jensen’s ranch somewhat bearable: knowing he would have that candid shot to ogle until they saw each other in a couple months. To meet Jensen on the long weekend, Jared would have to cancel his appearance at his aunt’s retirement party that Saturday, but he’d never been close to that side of the family, so skipping it was a double-win for him.

“Sure. I didn’t think you’d actually use it.” Chad accepted the camera but wasn’t sidetracked. “What happened? You were supposed to be back two days ago. You didn’t return messages, and I called the hotel and they said you checked out.”

Jared had never been into Chad’s basement darkroom and was absolutely certain he didn’t want to go there, but he was glad Chad would be able to develop the naked pictures of Jensen. He didn’t think the commercial photo kiosks would do it. He fought to keep a straight face as he imagined Chad’s expression when he realized what exactly the pictures were.

“Didn’t care for the hotel.” Jared realized he wasn’t ready to share Jensen yet, or that he’d been mostly naked with Jensen for the better part of a week. “So I found this . . . bed and breakfast, I guess. I called work to say I’d be late.”

Jared sat down gingerly on one of Chad’s mismatched bar stools. He could feel where Jensen had been, like a brand. He imagined Jensen felt likewise; riding Ribbon to check the northern fencing was going to be a mite uncomfortable for Jensen today. Jared grinned and Chad looked at him suspiciously.

“But you didn’t call me,” Chad complained.

“Sorry.”

“Yeah, whatever.” Chad looked at the camera, then frowned and opened the back. “Um, Jared? You didn’t have the film loaded.”

“What?” Jared felt the bottom of his stomach drop. “I put some in!”

Chad slid out the little canister and flicked the trailing strip of film with a finger. “Jay, man, it won’t just load itself. You can’t just stick in the film and close it. It needs to be wound.”

“But . . .” He’d lost Jensen. Two months suddenly seemed an incredibly long stretch of time. Jensen’s ranch was a seven-hour drive away, without internet, in a no-coverage area.

“And why the hell would I want a cell phone, Jared?”Jensen had answered him without stopping Jared’s massage. “The nicest part about living away from people is that I don’t have to talk to anyone. If they can bother me anytime . . . no, that doesn’t work. If it’s important, they can call the house phone.” Jensen inched his body further down as his hands continued their spirals down Jared’s back until Jensen was kneading the globes of Jared’s ass. All of Jared’s tension had been magicked away, something he had never imagined possible.

“You just said the phone’s busted, gives almost nothing but crackles,” Jared reminded him. He could feel Jensen’s shrug in the bounce of his body and in the light slap of Jensen’s cock against Jared’s calves.

“Doesn’t matter; no one would call.”

“I would.”

Jensen hadn’t replied, but Jared felt the tip of Jensen tongue questing as Jensen’s hands held open his ass cheeks for better access. And Jared had stopped thinking about Jensen’s broken land-line.

“And what happened to the camera?” Chad was turning it around in his hand, and Jared could see the streaks of mud that he hadn’t completely managed to wipe off.

“Yeah, about that. I had a bit of an accident. I’ll pay for the repairs.”

“Nah, no big deal. Damn thing never did work well. Doesn’t focus for crap.”

Jared’s jaw dropped and he narrowed his eyes. Best friend or not, Jared wasn’t going to be able to hold back a few choice words.

“You gave me—” Jared’s phone rang, and it wasn’t the usual ring tone.

Jared frowned at his screen, and Chad leaned in to look.

“Skype? Who the hell still uses Skype?” Chad scoffed, but Jared ignored him and studied the unfamiliar number. Then he accepted the video call.

“Jared?”

Jared stared as Jensen’s face appeared on his screen.

“Jensen?”

“Jared?” Jensen had brought the device blurringly close to his face as he yelled into it. “Jared, can you hear me?”

“Who the fuck is that?” Chad asked, peering once again around Jared’s shoulder until Jared casually stood up, effectively blocking him. But he felt anything but casual. Technology-be-damned Jensen was making a video call—for the first time by the look of it—and the warm tingle in Jared's body that had existed in the background throughout his time with Jensen now threatened to overtake him.

“Yeah, Jen, I can hear you fine.”

“Good. I got it this morning” Jensen yelled, still too close. His lips took up most of the screen, and Jared wished Jensen would back up, just a bit, to allow his camera to focus on them properly.

“It’s okay, you can talk normally,” a bubble of laughter broke through. “You’re coming through fine. Where are you?”

Jensen’s face now filled the screen. “Up the hill by the northern fence. Had to fix the last of the posts.” Jensen seemed to fumble the phone and then Jared found himself looking at the inside of the little outbuilding where he’d first spied Jensen through Chad’s zoom lens. Jensen slowly panned the camera around, and through the window Jared could make out the top of Ribbon’s head. It struck Jared that Jensen was standing in front of his window, next to his filled washbasin. He’d been washing up. Again. “Turns out it’s the one spot I can get a signal.” As Jensen turned the phone back towards himself, Jared was treated to bare shoulders and a nipple. A drop of water from Jensen’s still-wet hair ran down to follow the groove of his collarbone, leaving a trail Jared longed to follow. Jared readjusted himself. “I thought about what you said,” Jensen continued, oblivious to what the sight of him was doing to Jared, “about needing to keep in touch.”

“Ah . . . just wait a sec,” Jared said. He glanced at Chad who watched him with unconcealed curiosity. “I’m gonna take this outside,” he told Chad even as he walked to the back door. “Okay, I’m good,” he said to Jensen.

He could have sworn Jensen muttered, “better than good,” but just then Jensen jostled the phone and for the briefest second, Jared caught a glimpse of bare feet, bare legs and Jensen’s exposed and engorged cock. “Oops, sorry about that,” Jensen said as he righted the phone. The adorable smirk was back. “The phone’s too thin. I need something thicker to grip properly.”

Maybe not so oblivious after all, Jared thought. The bastard.

“So,” Jensen said, and his eyes seemed about to bore through the screen, just to the left of Jared. “I was thinking that maybe you—” The image became chaotic again as Jensen fumbled the phone, and from the surprised widening of his eyes, Jared didn’t think it was on purpose this time. A blur of skin went by, then Jared heard a gulp and a splash before the sound cut out, and he found himself at the bottom of Jensen’s washtub, looking up at Jensen, naked in all his water-smudged glory, whose mouth moved in silent cursing. As Jensen’s hand came closer, reaching out for Jared, the screen went black and the call ended. Jared was left staring at the space where Jensen once was, needing to hear the end of that sentence. I was thinking that maybe you. . . what?!

“Jared, you okay?” Chad had come onto the back porch, and Jared stared at him silently as the wheels in his head spun. “Gonna tell me who that was?” Chad prompted.

“I gotta go,” Jared said, slowly at first, but then with increased certainty. “I’m not feeling that great; must have caught something. I have to call in to work. Cough. Fever. Might be a few days.” Seven hours there, seven back . . . “Four days, at least.” As he walked away from Chad, Jared paused and turned back. “And Chad, really, thanks for the camera. It was awesome.”

end