“You guys are crazy. That tree is way too big. Where did you ever manage to find it?” Jesse Hogan asked, as he watched his brother Jax and his brother’s boyfriend Wesley haul the massive evergreen into the house. Wesley was also his right-hand man aka foreman on the ranch that he and his brother owned together. He stood back and grinned, watching them trying to handle putting the tree into place for their first Christmas together since Jax had returned to the ranch after being estranged for years. During the time Jax had spent there since moving back home, Jesse realized that family meant a lot to him. They hadn’t had much of one before when they were kids. Their father was abusive both physically and mentally, taking most of his anger out on Jax while their mother did little to stop him. She’d died of Alzheimer’s some months back in a nursing home. That whole messy chapter of their lives was now over and they had both come to the conclusion that it was time to move on and leave the past exactly where it was: in the past.
“It isn’t that big,” Jax replied, in a gasp of breath. “We bought it at the lot in town. It was the best one they had. I wanted a nice one. The perfect Christmas tree had to be tall and full.
“The biggest you mean.” Jesse shook his head and laughed. “Good job, though. It will look great when we get it decorated.”
“Jax insisted on this one. I did try to talk him out of it for a much smaller one,” Wesley said. “But he wasn’t having it. There was no way to persuade him.”
“This is my first Christmas back on the ranch in years. I want everything to be perfect or as near to perfect as I can get,” Jax replied. “Back when I was living in the city I didn’t bother with Christmas or any other holiday. This year it will be different.”
Jesse didn’t want to think about how his brother had survived in the city. He’d run away from the ranch when he was quite young and Jesse knew it had to have been a struggle for him. The one thing he did know for sure was that Jax worked at a strip club as a dancer. He’d found this out through a private investigator he’d hired to find Jax when their mother had become really sick. That was when Jax had initially returned home. Up to that point they hadn’t any contact with each other.
“I made coffee while you were both out and there’s hot chocolate. I almost forgot the snickerdoodles that I made yesterday,” Jesse said.
“Snickerdoodles are awesome.” Wesley propped the tree against a wall, leaving Jax standing there looking bewildered. “The tree can wait, snickerdoodles can’t.”
“Well that’s just fine,” Jax said. “Leave me here holding the tree while you go and stuff your face. What about me?” He struggled to keep the tree upright, refusing to let it fall over.
“Go,” Jesse said, rolling his eyes. “I’ll handle the tree. All we need to do is get it in the stand.” He wasn’t a weakling by any stretch and his years working on the ranch had left his body heavily muscled and lean. He grabbed the tree and felt the needles grazing his arms as he lifted it and manoeuvered it into the stand. He had been kidding about its size. It really wasn’t that big. It was a little more than average at best. He bent over and adjusted the stand and tightened it. “And it’s done,” he declared, standing up and admiring his handiwork.
“Where did you learn to make these?” Jax asked, holding up a snickerdoodle.
“Mom did. She made them from time to time. She baked a lot to keep her mind off of things I think.”
“They’re good.” Jax grabbed another. “Totally addictive.”
Jesse poured himself a cup of coffee. “Mom would have liked to be here tonight.” He added sugar and cream before taking a sip. It was at times like these that he missed her the most. Even with all they’d been through she was still and always would be his mother. That would never change.
“We saw that guy in town,” Jax said.
“Which guy?” Jesse asked.
“Colin from the coffee shop. The cutie who likes you. Don’t you remember him?”
“I do remember him and he doesn’t like me.” Jesse’s cheeks grew hot as he spoke and thought about Colin at the same time. Jax seemed hell-bent on outing him. “He’s a nice guy, though, and he makes a mean cup of coffee.”
“So why don’t you ask him out?” Jax asked. “Anyway, what is it with you? Do you like boys or girls?”
“Jax,” Wesley said. “Leave him alone.”
“It’s just that I never see you with anyone,” Jax continued. “Aren’t you lonely?”
“My romantic life isn’t any of your business. And my life is extremely full. This ranch takes a lot to run in case you have yet to realize that. I’m content and I am not lonely.” He didn’t want to continue this conversation, so he grabbed his coat and left the house quickly before his bigmouthed little brother could get another word in. There were times when Jax could be grating on the nerves and this was one of those times.
Outside the frosty December air hit him like a ton of bricks, awakening all of his senses. He looked up at the dark sky to see a full silvery moon shining down on him. Most of the workers on the ranch had already taken leave for Christmas. Many of them had families of their own and relished their time off. Jesse couldn’t blame them. Family was important and while he only had Jax and Wesley to count as family, he was thankful for both of them.
In the distance he saw lights in the bunkhouse. A couple of men had chosen to stay around for the holidays and he’d already made sure that they would be taken care of with a grand Christmas dinner. Jax had already decorated the bunkhouse to help spread the festive mood around.
“This is where you take me to your boudoir,” Jesse said, grinning wildly.
“You don’t have to tell me twice.”
Jesse followed Colin into the bedroom and together they stood hand in hand by the edge of the bed. He’d be lying if he said he wasn’t nervous because he was. Kissing another man was one thing, but this was crossing the line into something that’s he hadn’t done ever before. Kissing a man wasn’t that much unlike kissing a woman, other than the fact that it felt a whole lot better and more natural for him. There was no doubting his attraction to men and in particular, Colin. He wouldn’t be here tonight if he’d felt otherwise.
“Are you okay?” Colin asked.
“Yes, why do you ask?”
“I want to make sure that you’re good with this and that you don’t think we’re moving along too fast.”
“No not at all. It’s just that I’m new to this and I don’t want to mess things up.” Honesty was best. It was better to be out there with things.
“You won’t mess anything up.”
“The last thing I want is that.”
There was longing in Jesse’s voice that Colin detected. He remembered what it was like before he’d come out, and he certainly could sympathize with the feeling of being lost and isolated while having to hide who you truly were. “I’ve been there and I know how you feel. It’s normal.”
“Yes.” Colin sat on the bed and motioned for Jesse to do the same. “You have me now and you can trust me. I trust you.”
* * * *
Colin groaned as Jesse trailed little kisses across his bare chest and then across his torso. This was going to be a night that he would remember for the rest of his life. Having Jesse’s hands and mouth on him was amazing. The way that Jesse caressed him made him feel comfortable and relaxed in a way that he’d never felt before having sex with a guy for the first time. Not that there were a lot of men in his past. He was selective and hardly desperate for just a role in the hay.
“Tell me if what I’m doing is okay,” Jesse said.
He nodded. It was more than okay and when Jesse took Colin’s cock in his mouth, he could have easily come right then and there. It was difficult but he managed to stay in control. Jesse somehow did know what he was doing because each lick and suck as he bobbed his head up and down pleasuring Colin was nearly enough to make him pass out. Part of this was the chemistry they shared between them, but damn, the cowboy really did know how to suck dick! “You’re doing wonderfully,” he cooed, guiding Jesse along. After some minutes passed he sat up a little and grinned. “Now it’s your turn.”
* * * *
Feeling Colin’s naked body against his, Jesse let out a deep sigh of contentment that was sexually fueled with pure lust. For far too long he’d wanted this. So many nights he’d lain awake in the past dreaming and fantasizing about being with another man, and now it was finally happening. It was liberating to be able to act on his emotions. He savored being touched. He reveled in the feeling of being wanted and possibly loved in a way that no one else could provide except a lover.
Colin sucked on his cock as he lifted his hips a little, fucking his partner’s mouth, enjoying the pleasurable sensation that now washed through him, intensifying as each moment passed. He wanted more and he knew that he wanted to feel what it was like to be inside Colin. “I want to fuck you,” he said.
Colin shifted in the bed until he was sitting up. “You want to fuck my ass?” A sexy grin crossed his lips. “How bad do you want me?” he asked, moving to the edge of the bed and standing.
This was a new side of Colin that he hadn’t seen before, but hell, he liked this side that was bold, brash, and hot. “I want you like I have never wanted anyone before.” It was the truth. “You’ve got the cutest little ass that makes me want to grab it and fuck it.” He knew he was blushing as he spoke. He’d never been this forthright before.
“I’ll be right back,” Colin replied, winking. He left the room and was back in a few minutes holding something in his hand. He climbed back on the bed and handed it to Jesse along with a small bottle of lube. “I’m always prepared.”