Lanice Boudreaux is a romantic. He's been searching for a cowboy to call his own since he turned twenty-one. But now, at the age of forty, he's yet to find him. Close to giving up the chase, little does Lanice know that what he craves has been right under his nose all along. It takes a randy Sheriff, his lovesick foreman, and a little wakeup call from Ernie Trevine for Lanice to realize love can find you at any age, even when you're oblivious. Time to save a horse and ... well, you know.
NOTE: This story appears in the anthology, "Cowboy Roundup" edited by Drew Hunt, available in e-book and print formats. Buy the collection and get 16 great gay cowboy stories in one awesome anthology!
When I got back home, I saw Ernie sitting on the porch swing. It swayed gently back and forth. I walked up the steps and sat beside him.
“You didn’t want to go into town with the others?” I asked. It was Saturday night, after all.
“Nah. I rarely ever do. Thought I’d hang out here and wait for you.”
Okay ... “Why?”
“I thought you could use some company after the thing with Jonah.”
“Well, I appreciate that, but --”
“Did you have fun this afternoon?” he asked, continuing to rock us both in a soothing rhythm. I noticed in the dim porch light that Ernie had changed from the sweaty clothes I’d seen him in earlier into a faded T-shirt and jeans. His head was bare.
“It was eye-opening,” I replied. “It turned into something of an orgy. Not for me, though.”
“Bo still mooning over Bulldog?” he asked, staring up at the sky. The stars were pretty this time of night.
He knew about that? “Yup. Bo seems to be resigned to fate.”
Ernie looked over at me. “What about you?”
“Yeah, you. You done running after men who won’t give you what you deserve?”
I thought back to the expression I’d seen fleetingly on his face in my office a couple days ago. Did that mean ... “Where are you going with this, Ernie?”
He shook his head. “Clueless.”
Again with that word. “Okay, you’re the second person to say that to me today. Care to explain?”
“Dude, I’ve been yanking my dick to thoughts of you since the day I came to work here. I’ve watched you head out on weekends, year after year, searching for some cowpoke to plug your hole, like that would ever give you what you’ve always wanted.”
“Why didn’t you say something in all the time we’ve known each other?”
He shrugged. “I was willing to wait.”
“But how could you know ...”
“You’re a romantic, Lanice. And I knew that eventually, you’d get tired of the meat market and then I could finally make my move.” All I could do was stare at him.
Undeterred, he plunged on. “You want a guy to put you first, right? To take care of you and be there, no matter what. A guy who sees you as you are, flaws and all and still says ‘hell, yeah, that’s what I want, forever.’ I’m that guy, Lanice. I’ve been here all along, waiting until the right time. Pick me.”
And while I was still recovering from the shock of his words, Ernie reached over and pulled me into a kiss that silenced all the sounds around us.
As it went deeper, my swirling thoughts melted into a need so fierce, it almost frightened me. I hadn’t had sex in months, and my libido was overruling my common sense, fast.
I tried one last time for sanity and pulled back a little. “But this is so sudden. How can you be sure ... and since when do you ...”
“Since always. Every time you came back from a tryst, you looked so sad, it hurt my heart. That one guy you spent six months with, I could have wrung his neck for the way he led you on. When it was over, you were so heartbroken, I was this close to beating him to a pulp.”
He ran a hand through my hair. “I’ve wanted you for so long, and I was willing to wait forever. I’m not saying I’ve been a monk, or nothin’. But my heart is in your hands now, for as long as you’re willing to hold it. Which I’m hoping is for always.”