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right from the start you were a thief (you stole my heart)

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”Hey, stand still,” John spoke to his mare who was stepping in place as he tried to groom her. ”I know you’re as excited as I am but this would be easier if you stand still.”

Misty shook her head and let out a huff and John chuckled. It wasn’t unusual that she was a bit restless while she was being groomed – she could sense John’s excitement but she also knew that she would more likely get some treats as soon as they would reach the day’s goal. The butterflies were flying in the bottom of John’s stomach as he thought about seeing Roger again.

They had first met at a farmer event a few months back and something between them had clicked. Roger hadn’t been like any other farmer he had met – he had smiled at him so brightly, blue eyes twinkling as he had introduced himself to John and John had been captivated right from that moment. And as they had talked, John had only grown more interested in the man – Roger had seemed so carefree and cheerful, talking about farming and his animals so passionately that John couldn’t help but admire him. Most farmers were a bit gruff and while they took good care of their animals, they didn’t seem to bond with them. Roger was different – like a sun that lit up everything around and closed it into a warm, comfortable embrace.

That meeting at the event had changed everything.

He and Roger had started meeting at one of the hills that offered them a great way to follow the life of one herd of wild horses. The meetings had become more regular and frequent and after each of them John had felt even more drawn to the blond farmer.

His mare nudged him with her muzzle and John’s train of thoughts was interrupted.

”Yes, girl, I’m hurrying up,” he said softly, petting the mare’s silky neck with his free hand before going to get a hoof pick. The mare finally decided to settle for a bit and it was easier to John to put the saddle on as well as the bridle and it didn’t take long before he could exit the stable and get up to the saddle. He took the reins loosely in his other hand and run his free hand along the mare’s mane.

”Let’s go girl,” John said and pressed his legs against the horses sides, urging her to start moving. The mare gladly obeyed, starting to walk, her ears up and angled to the way they were heading.

*

Roger was already waiting for them and rose his up to wave at them and a smile rose to John’s lips. Roger’s horse, an older gelding, Raven was tied up to one of the trees nearby and he was looking at them curious, head lifted up high. Roger walked towards them and when John pulled the reins to stop his mare, Roger reached out to pet her head.

”Hi, beautiful Misty. Did you miss me?” he asked and Misty blew air out of her nose, gently nuzzling Roger’s hand he had offered to her. John chuckled lightly and hopped off of the saddle.

”Should I be jealous as she always gets such a warm greeting?” John teased and Roger’s eyes met his, a smirk tucking at the blond’s lips.

”Maybe.” Roger winked at him, eyes sparkling and John felt the blush creeping to his cheeks.

”She only likes you because you always give her treats,” John stated, his tone of voice still teasing, causing Roger to laugh. John’s heart jumped at the sound of it and his stomach fluttered as he shifted slightly, eyes still locked on Roger’s.

”It’s not only one heart I need to win but two and it was better to start from the easiest one,” Roger said smiling and the blush on John’s cheeks just deepened, his heart started to beat a bit faster in his chest. Slightly electric silence fell between them and John followed closely as Roger continued to run his hand along Misty’s head, the mare obviously enjoying the attention she was getting.

Eventually John’s gaze travelled fully to Roger, taking in the sight of him a fond smile on his lips. The blond was wearing a blue flannel shirt that matched well with his eyes and it was only half buttoned, revealing a sliver of smooth chest. The hem of the shirt was tucked into the dark gray jeans and his outfit was crowned by the slightly worn out cowboy boots. He looked absolutely breathtaking and John had a hard time to remember how to breathe.

 

”Do you want to see the wild herd?” Roger’s question pulled John back from his admiration moment and his gaze met Roger’s again.

”Oh, sure,” John answered and Roger smiled at him, then taking Misty’s reins and starting to lead her to where Raven was. John followed after them and went to greet Raven as Roger tied Misty up. The gelding sniffed his hand and softly nickered and John stroked his silky muzzle. When he turned back to Misty and Roger, he saw that Roger was feeding her with carrots.

”Be careful, you might spoil her.” John pretended to sound threatening and saw Roger didn’t buy it as he just chuckled. The look in his blue orbs was slightly mysterious.

”Maybe I get to spoil someone else soon.”

Something warm moved in John’s chest and he turned his gaze away, smile dancing on his lips. He gave Raven a few pats on the neck and walked then to the place where they could see the wild herd best. As soon as he saw the familiar majestic creatures eating grass, he let out a long sigh. Roger joined him soon, stopping right beside him and their hands brushed against each other – the light contact sent tiny shivers coursing through John and he draw in a sharp breath.

”There’s a new foal amongst them. They weren’t there last time when we were here,” Roger informed and then pointed a bit to the left of them. John’s eyes settled to that direction, trying to find the foal Roger had mentioned and it didn’t take long before he saw them walk to their view from behind their mother. Roger was right – the foal was so tiny it must have been born during the week he and Roger hadn’t visited the place.

Silence fell between them for a second time as they followed the foal’s sauntering – they took a happy, funny looking jumps every once in a while but never straying too far from their mother. At some point John felt fingers brushing against his own and he angled his hand so that Roger could take a hold of it. It was just a simple gesture but it made John’s heart hammer in his chest, his cheeks burn while the tiny waves of warmth sparkled through him and he felt a bit silly at smiling so widely.

”John...” Roger started quietly, breaking the silence and John turned his head to look at the blond. He raised his brows to let Roger know that he could continue speaking. However, Roger seemed to hesitate for a moment, his eyes first flickering to their joined hands, then to wild herd until finally focusing on John. Roger took in a breath, releasing the air slowly after, clearly building up the courage.

”I know we haven’t known each other for long but I’ve enjoyed spending time with you. And every time we have met this feeling inside me has grown and I...” The blonde paused for a moment, offering John a slightly shy smile. ”I guess what I’m trying to say is that I like you.”

”I like you, too.” The words were out of John’s mouth before he even realized and for what it seemed, he succeeded to surprise not only himself but also Roger whose eyes widened a bit.

”Really?”

”Yes,” John confirmed, lightly squeezing Roger’s hand. Roger seemed to relax, the look in his eyes softening, the joy twinkling in them as he smiled at John. John smiled at him back and suddenly feeling much bolder, he gently jostled the blond with his body by taking a sidestep and the move caused Roger to chuckle. Then something flashed in Roger’s eyes and he tried to get his revenge but John was quick to move away and Roger stumbled a bit but kept his balance. He shook his head, a naughty grin forming to his lips and in the next moment John found himself pressed flush against Roger’s body and a pair of soft lips colliding with his own.

John had no time to answer the kiss as Roger pulled away fast, letting go of John’s hand and staring at him with wide eyes.

”Oh shit, sorry. I shouldn’t have...” he didn’t finish the sentence, just shook his head, mouth hanging open in shock.

”It’s okay,” John said softly, stepping closer to Roger and placing his hand on his upper arm. Roger let out a sigh and John smiled at him reassuring. Then he leaned slowly in, capturing the blond’s lips in a new kiss and he could feel Roger relax into it, his hands coming up and cupping John’s face.

Their sweet moment was interrupted by high-pitched nicker and they pulled apart, turning to Raven and Misty. Misty held her head high, looking towards them and John and Roger bursted into laughter.

”Look now who’s jealous,” John commented, shaking his head and Roger playfully swatted his chest.

”Misty, darling, I’m sorry but I think I’m stealing your man!” Roger then exclaimed and Misty just snorted, turning her butt towards them.

”You hurt her feelings.”

Roger beamed and set his hands on John’s sides, pulling him closer.

”She’ll forgive me eventually.”

The way Roger looked at John made his knees weak and heart swell, and there was no point in denying the feeling anymore.

He was completely smitten by the beautiful man standing in front of him.