The men from Wild Ride and The Perfect Tree are back!
After a long day of working on the ranch, Forrest Kettrick is looking forward to a relaxing evening with his husband Mica. Thinking along the same wavelength, Mica ushers Forrest out back to the waiting pickup truck. He has a loving surprise in store for Forrest, a quiet dinner for two under a twinkling blanket of stars.
Note: This short story was originally published in the charity collection, Love Is Proud.
Half way to his dresser, Forrest paused, stopping by the foot of the bed to have a listen. The door was open and the house was unusually quiet. He frowned. The radio should have been playing the latest pop hits while Mica cooked or there should have been the telltale rhythm of droning TV voices.
He stepped over to the doorway, a hand on the doorframe, and leaned out. “Mica?”
Curiosity with a hint of unease slipped over him, and given his naked state he suddenly felt more vulnerable than he did carefree. In the blink of an eye he tugged on a pair of gray boxer briefs and shrugged into a t-shirt bearing on the front a double entendre about cowboys knowing how to ride.
“Mica?” he called again, making his way quickly down the stairs.
Most of the lights were off and he failed to smell even the faintest trace of supper. Though Mica enjoyed playing chef, having even expressed a passing interest in opening a little bakery -- he made the most delicious, mouthwatering cupcakes -- there were nights he designated dinner duty as Forrest’s, but that usually came with the knowledge he was responsible. And when he’d strolled in as the sun set Mica ushered him towards the stairs and told him to shower, so where exactly had his husband disappeared off to?
As if reading his mind Mica appeared, coming in through the backdoor. At the sight of Forrest a smile tugged the corners of his mouth, a mischievous light dancing in his eyes. His short hair had been tousled by the wind giving him that just out of bed look.
“There you are,” Mica said as though he’d been searching for Forrest and not vice versa. He practically ran across the living room, grasping Forrest’s hand in his, their fingers entwining. “Come on, I’ve got a surprise.”
For the briefest of moments Forrest thought of protesting, discovering, however, that he was reluctant to squash his husband’s excitement, surprised that Mica wasn't jumping up and down like a little kid on Christmas morning. So he allowed himself to be dragged from the house and into the already cooler air of the night, a chill passing over his slightly damp skin. A blue pickup truck, the ranch name plastered on the side, waited just beyond the deck, lights on, engine running. There were clearly items in the bed, their identities concealed by a blanket.
“What is this?” he asked, pausing by the tailgate.
Mica released his hold, heading for the driver’s side. “Dinner.”
“Um.” Forrest looked down at his incomplete, indecent in public outfit. “If we’re going out I might want pants.”
“You look absolutely delicious. Besides, you don’t need them. Get in.”