Handsome thirty-year-old construction worker Cody Larke has just lost his loving cowboy father to cancer. Having given up his job to care for his father, and not having many relatives in the area, he decides to follow his pop’s advice -- Cody uses his last bit of cash to buy a bus ticket to work for some old cowboy buddies of his father’s who were like a band of brothers.
Jace Bingham had worked alongside Cody’s father for years and considered him family. From the few times he met Jace when he was younger, Cody remembers him as perfect, blond, with a particularly memorable cowboy strut. As he grew older, Cody compared every man he ever dated to the handsome Jace. Will he now get the chance to make his ideal cowboy his own?
The water and electricity had been turned on and an air-conditioner man was expected to come by to check the air ducts and unit. While Cody replaced the old toilet, Luna cleaned the tile. Later that afternoon, Macon, Jace, and Cody worked on the walkway while Luna mopped the room.
“So,” Macon said to Cody, “when are you going to let us get a look at what you’ve done in the room?”
“Not for a while yet,” Cody said while replacing and nailing down some boards on the walkway floor. “I want it to be a surprise.”
It was a warm and muggy afternoon, so they were all working shirtless.
“Cody, it’ll be a sad day when you move out of our happy home,” Macon said. “Don’t you think so, Jace?”
“I prefer not to think about it,” Jace who was working on a support beam for the walkway roof, said.
“How are Deena and Gage doing?” Cody said.
“Really well,” Macon said. “The chicks have been a good distraction for them. And they’ll be joining our second riding class.”
“I bet they’ll love that,” Cody said. “I can use some more nails.”
Macon looked around for some then spoke. “We are plum out of those nails. I’ll need to go to the warehouse to get some more. Give Jace a hand with the roof while I’m gone. And don’t you two do anything I wouldn’t do.”
“That doesn’t leave much,” Jace said, and they all laughed.
Cody was still chuckling when he moved their second ladder next to Jace’s and climbed to the second step.
“What’s so funny?” Jace said. “You can’t still be laughing over what Macon said.”
“I was remembering something from when I was in high school,” Cody said.
As Cody spoke, Jace spotted a droplet of sweat on the back of his neck.
“I had a classmate over at the house,” Cody said. “And I thought he was just the handsomest thing ever. He kept giving me the eye.”
“So what’d you do?”
“Well I devised a fairly clever plan, I think. It was just a game, I told him. For five seconds, he could do whatever he wanted and it would never be talked about or mentioned again.”
“Hmm,” Jace said, “Interesting.”
Jace watched the sweat drop as it slowly rolled down Cody’s gleaming back. It seemed to call out to him as it continued its wet, slick journey. Then it stopped momentarily in Cody’s low dimple.
“I only need two and a half seconds,” Jace said, then got off his ladder and went over to Cody.
He put his arms around Cody so he wouldn’t slip. Then softly he lowered Cody’s shorts slightly so he could better attain his goal. Jace got on the first step of the ladder and pressed his tongue to the drop of sweat that was right above the waist of Cody’s briefs. The drop was salty but seemed achingly luscious to Jace, as it sat on the tip of his tongue. Time was slipping by so he swallowed the sweet goodness then slid his tongue up Cody’s back following the same trail the droplet had done.
Cody shivered but Jace held him even tighter, making sure he was as secure as could be and wouldn’t fall. He’d never let him fall, and if he ever actually did, he’d always be there to catch him. No matter what, Jace promised himself he’d always catch Cody if he fell.
Not doubting that the two and a half seconds were up, Jace pulled Cody’s shorts back to where they were then returned to his own ladder.
“With three of us working on this walkway, it’ll get done in no time,” Jace said.
Cody was stunned and it took him a moment to reply.
“Yeah,” Cody said, “but then we’ll need to sand and stain it.”
“Aw, that’s the easy part.”
“I s’pose so.” Cody said.
* * * *
Later that night, when Cody was in bed, he thought back to the ladder incident. Jace had held him so securely, there was no way he could’ve fallen.
It was like I belonged to him and he knew it, Cody thought. He held me like I was his and his alone.
Jace’s tongue had felt so hot it almost burned when it touched Cody’s back. And when it had gone slowly up along his spine, it was a sensation unlike any he’d ever felt and it had made him shiver.
He didn’t feel like a little boy worshiping his childhood hero. It was the lust of one man toward another boiling up inside of Cody toward Jace. Every inch of him belonged to the cowboy, and was his to take. Now he just needed to find a way to make Jace his ... in every way.