Hannibal Heyes sat down beside the fire and removed his leather gloves with his teeth. He flexed his sore fingers and reached out toward the flames. The night was closing in and the air was cooling fast. He was too tired to eat, but he thought about making some coffee just for the warmth it would provide.
In the end, however, he couldn’t work up the energy to hunt it out of his pack. Instead, he took his bundle of blankets off his horse and laid them out close to the banked fire. He knew he would be warm enough once he was wrapped up. He ought to be; he had Kid’s blankets as well as his own.
He’d actually laughed about that when he realized it a few days ago. They’d split up fast when the bounty hunters caught up to them, fast enough that they hadn’t had time to properly distribute their supplies. Kid rode south, and Heyes rode north. Their plan was to circle wide and meet up at their agreed rendezvous point to the east, hopefully losing the bounty hunters in the mean time. When Heyes stopped that first night, he hadn’t built a fire so as not to attract any unwanted attention. He’d pulled down the bedroll from the back of the saddle and saw that Kid’s was there with his own and laughed. He’d imagined Kid’s scowling, annoyed face and chuckled at the thought.
Now, here he was at their meeting place and he felt bad about it. The nights had been cold.
Heyes took off his boots, his hat, and his belt, leaving his gun in easy reach. He stripped down to his union suit and crawled between his blankets. The hard earth wasn’t a comfortable bed, but he was used to it. Sleep wouldn’t come though. He drifted in that in-between place, almost drifting away but something kept bringing him out of it: the wind, a pop from the fire from a piece of green wood, a pebble under his back.
He wasn’t certain how long he’d been lying there, but sometime in the night he felt the blankets lift and a blast of cold air hit him as his partner joined him.
Heyes didn’t even bother to open his eyes. “Took you long enough.”
Kid squirmed behind him as he got comfortable. “I missed you.”
Heyes did open his eyes at that but he didn’t turn around. “Really?”
Kid huffed behind him and wiggled closer. “I was talking to my blankets.”
Heyes smiled and pressed back against him. “Yeah? You keeping pushing at me like a bull at stud, and the fire is going to have them.”
“Did I mention that I missed your poetry? ‘Cause I didn’t,” said Kid as he pressed his cold nose against the back of Heyes’ neck.
Heyes shivered violently and yelped. “Stop that!”
Kid laughed, pleased with himself. “Fine, you poor, delicate creature,” and he breathed hard and hot against the spot on Heyes’ neck that he’d assaulted, trying to warm it.
Heyes shuddered and bucked, his back arching and hips pushing back against the Kid, a moan escaping his throat.
They both froze, and Heyes felt the moment stretch out. “Heyes?”
Hannibal heard the question in his name and didn’t have a good answer for once in his life.
The Kid didn’t really need one though. He never had where Heyes was concerned. “Heyes?”
It was still a question, but a different one. Heyes heard the singsong quality of Curry’s voice, the sly tone that always crept in when he had Hannibal at a disadvantage. The Kid’s hand was slipping over his hipbone, fingers sliding along the line between his thigh and his groin.
Heyes drew a shuddering breath and shut his eyes tight. “This isn’t a game, Jed.”
Kid’s lips were against the back of his neck so he could feel his smile. “Life is a game, Hannibal. You taught me that.” His hand moved over Heyes’ cock. “Bet I could teach you a thing or two.”
Heyes pushed into his hand. “You sure about this?”
The Kid thrust against Hannibal’s ass. “Does it feel like I’m not sure?” Hannibal felt teeth nip at his ear. “Do you want to play with me or not?”
The weight that Hannibal had carried in his chest for years lifted. “Ante up.”
“Bet you come first.” Before Hannibal could reply, Kid tugged at his union suit. “Take it off.”
The blanket fluttered and cold air rushed in as they both struggled out of their long underwear. Finally, they were naked, spooned together as the Kid thrust his dick between Heyes’ thighs and jacked him hard.
“Damn, I wish we were in a fancy hotel. Bet you’d be pretty all laid out on those nice white sheets.”
Hannibal reached behind him, grabbed hold of Kid’s hair and pulled. “Don’t call me pretty. I’m not one of your dance hall girls.”
Kid snorted, “You’re prettier than any dance hall girl. Just you wait. I’m gonna take you to the first nice hotel we come to.” He licked up the length of Hannibal’s neck. “I’m gonna bathe you in a big copper tub full of suds and then lay you out on the feather bed and go at you until you’re wrung out and begging.” He squeezed Heyes’ cock. “And you’re going to be so pretty, Heyes. I’m just going to enjoy the view. Might let you stay like that for an hour or more until I look my fill.”
Heyes whined and tugged at Kid’s hair. “Jesus, Jed.”
“That all you got to say, Heyes?” Kid thrust harder. Hannibal could feel his cock behind his balls. “Where’s that golden tongue of yours? Tell me what you want.” He leaned in and spoke right into Heyes’ ear. “Convince me.”
Hannibal panted. He couldn’t think, couldn’t reason. “God, fuck me.” He didn’t need to think. He knew what he wanted. “Fuck me, Jed.”
The Kid stilled. “You sure that’s what you want?”
Heyes writhed against him. “Please.” He sounded desperate. “I want it.”
The Kid pressed a kiss to the side of his throat, and Hannibal heard him spit, then he felt him, hard and hot against his hole. Jed pulled his hand from his hair and laced their fingers together before pushing slowly into his body.
“Oh my god, you feel so good, Heyes.” Kid thrust into him, and Hannibal squeezed his hand and pushed back against him. “Why didn’t we do this years ago?”
“I don’t know.” His voice shook with Kid’s thrusts. “I didn’t think you’d want to.”
The thrusts came faster and Kid dropped his hand and went back to his cock. “You’re an idiot.” He was pounding into Heyes, his hand working his dick. “Come on, Heyes. Want to feel you go off.”
Heyes let go. He came hard, spurting over his belly and Kid’s hand and the blankets and still Curry kept fucking him, laughing because he’d won, but there was never any doubt that he would. Curry always won when it came to Heyes.
Heyes pulled Curry’s dirty hand to his mouth and sucked his fingers. He heard him gasp and then felt him come inside him and Heyes rocked against him and suckled at his fingers until he calmed.
They lay there a moment until Curry pulled loose from him with a kiss to his shoulder and wiped himself against the blankets.
He fell back against Heyes, arm snaking around his waist. “We’re going to have to find a stream tomorrow and wash these blankets.
Heyes smiled as he felt himself drifting off to sleep. “Wash them yourself. They’re your blankets.”
Early the next morning Heyes dumped dirt over the last of the fire and paused a moment, staring at the ashes, before standing up. “Jed, we have to talk.”
He stood and walked a few steps away from the fire toward the barely rising sun. “I know you probably don’t want to get into it, but I have to tell you that last night wasn’t the first time I’d thought of you that way.” He looked down and saw a stone. “The truth is I’ve been thinking about you that way since we were kids.”
He bent and picked up the stone. It was odd to find it there. Between banking the fire and building the cairn, he thought he’d picked up every loose stone of any size within half a mile yesterday. This one was larger than his fist.
“Truth be told I’ve loved you every way it’s possible to love someone for as long as I can remember.” He walked back to the cairn he’d built over Kid’s grave. “I didn’t tell you because I was afraid. That seems stupid now.”
He knelt, kissed the stone, and placed it on the cairn. “I should have told you before you rode off. You should have known before those bastards hanged you.”
The stones were silent. “I killed them you know, those bounty hunters. They’re still lying there in the dirt beneath that tree. I shot them both in the back while they stood there watching you swing.” He sighed. “There won’t be any amnesty now, but it doesn’t matter anyway with you gone.”
He looked toward the north. “I’m going to go to Canada.” He looked at the stones and shrugged. “I can’t go to Mexico. We were there together. Hell, we were everywhere on this godforsaken earth together. If I could go to the moon, I would.”
He looked at the gun he’d laid on the cairn, Kid’s gun, looked at it long and hard. “I’d do it if I thought you’d forgive me for it but I know you wouldn’t.” He sighed. “I’m just waiting though.” He stood. “I’m waiting to come to you. Home is always going to be wherever you are, whether it’s heaven or hell or nowhere at all.”
He walked over to his horse and swung up into the saddle. “Wait for me, Jed. I’ll be there soon.”
Heyes looked to the cairn to the west and the sun to the east and then he turned his horse from both and headed north, toward the dark unknown.