by Vincent Diamond
The stallion's scream nearly drowned out David's words.
"I have to see you. Please, Marcus." David's voice quavered. He ran his freckled hands down his thighs.
The odor of hay and horse permeated the September breeze. Malotov bellowed again to the mare in the breeding pen, He paced, moaning, his chestnut coat white with froth from neck to belly. He kicked out at the metal bars of his stall.
David and Marcus stood a few yards away. In the breeding pen, the vet, Doctor Lee, bent over his bag, setting out gloves, cleanser, and tail bandage. A groom adjusted the mare's protective back pad, talking to her in low tones. A nine-year old, she was calm, experienced. Her tail swished lazily; in a few minutes they'd tie it up for her.
David glanced at the others, then reached out toward Marcus. "Please?"
"Don't do that." Marcus turned away, a twist in his stomach. He was unsettled by David's blue-eyed gaze, by the desire that heated David's voice.
He felt David's yearning. Marcus moved into a storage stall and uselessly re-stacked a few hay bales. He took a deep breath and turned. "What if I told you the other night was a mistake? That it can't happen again?" The feel of David's taut torso against him. David's gasp of surprise as Marcus pulled them together on the office desk. The whish of papers fluttering to the floor as they grappled...
"I'm not buying it. You feel it, too." David controlled his face, but Marcus saw the sag of his shoulders and his belly clenched beneath the sweaty T-shirt he wore.
Marcus turned away, his throat tight. He felt David's body heat, smelled his sweat. Too close. He needed distraction.
"Doc, you ready?" Marcus called. When he got the nod, he stepped over to Malotov's stall. "All right, David. Show me you've learned how to handle a stallion like this."
A long glance, and then David grabbed Malotov's halter and snapped on the nose chain. He stood at the stall door, his voice soft and low. "C'mon, Malotov, let's go see the little lady."
Malotov stamped. His flanks quivered. His eyes were rolling, wild. David kept up his smooth talk as he opened the stall. The stallion lunged, thirteen hundred pounds of worked-up horse, but David held his ground. He raised his arms, and Malotov veered away with a snort.
"C'mon, big guy, you've got a date with the prettiest mare on the block." David stepped closer. Malotov lowered his head. David set the halter and looped the nose chain over Malotov's shivering muzzle. He rested his fingers on the stallion's damp jaw and leaned close, murmuring. When the stallion was under control, David gazed at Marcus, his blue eyes questioning.
"Good job. You've learned a lot this summer," Marcus said.
"I could learn a lot more."
Marcus didn't want to ponder that comment, not now. It was time to concentrate on this breeding.
The University of Florida veterinary program supplied him with interns each semester; in return, he supplied hands-on experience at a working breeding operation for thoroughbreds.
Of the half-dozen students that had started in January, David Livingston was the most promising. He certainly wasn't the best rider -- he'd fallen off twice cantering in the ring. He wasn't the best student either. His weekly reports were adequate, nothing special. David's forte was horse handling. He had the touch, a real connection with horses that couldn't be taught, no matter how many pricey "horse whispering" clinics a student took. His demeanor spoke to the animals. The summer semester had ended in early August, and yet David was still here, working.
Their kisses and belly-rubbing last night had been interrupted by a groom knocking at the office door. How would David handle actually being bedded? Marcus shook the thought away.
David led Malotov out of the barn. His hair glinted in the morning sun, golden as a palomino at the stallion's shoulder. He's never been hurt; that's why he looks so good to me.
"Let them flirt with each other for a bit. Walk him around her pen," Marcus said.
The horses whinnied to one another. Malotov pranced at the end of his lead, his thick neck arched. Inside the pen, the groom tied off the mare's tail. The vet did a final check with his gloved hands and nodded to Marcus. "She's ready."
Everyone stepped outside the breeding pen as David moved in with Malotov. He loosened the lead rope. The pen was wide enough that the stallion could edge up to her and tease but not large enough for free-running. Marcus liked the safety of this combination of hand-mating and corral breeding for both horses and humans. Except for the stallion handler, everyone was outside the fencing, ready to help if needed.
Malotov didn't need help. The stallion nuzzled the mare's nose, huffing, and she squealed. He nosed along her flanks, still prancing, his neck arched for display. When he nipped her tail, the mare bent down and let loose a stream of urine. He bent to sniff it and then danced away. David let the lead rope loosen, moving with him, out of reach of the mare's un-hobbled legs, yet close enough to control Malotov. Marcus watched them, his gaze shifting from the horses to David.
The mare peered over one shoulder, flirtatious, and called out once more. Malotov moved in from the left side, stood up, fully erect, hooves flailing the air, then settling on the mare's back. She squealed and lifted her tail and then Malotov worked her, his heavy haunches pumping, glistening in the sunlight, wet, his legs trembling. He gave thick-chested snorts of effort. He raised his head up and back, then bent to nip at the mare's shoulders.
Marcus gripped the fence, the wood rough beneath his fingers. His pulse jumped at the primality of the act, nature calling out for completion. Breedings were pleasurable work.
David kept his eyes on the horses through the end, letting Malotov rest atop the mare for a minute, then gently pulling his lead as she stepped to the side. Malotov slid off, head down, wet flanks heaving.
"There, big guy, your work's done for the day." David fed the stallion a peppermint and scratched Malotov's withers. Marcus noticed his slim fingers, his lightly freckled hands, his nails dirty from stable work.
The others led the mare out. The two men were alone, the panting horse between them.
Marcus walked over to the tired stallion. David gazed at him over Malotov's wet back. Their hands met as they stroked his long mane. Marcus tried to pull away but David clenched his fingers tight, his skin warm in the rough horse hair.
"I'm not your intern. I don't work for you anymore. Please. Give me a chance."
A chance? Why not? Two years since Philip's death, two years of cold nights alone, two years of closing in on himself. Marcus woke at five every day, worked himself to a frazzle at his barns, then rode a jump course almost every night until his legs trembled, all so he could have a hope of falling asleep that night and forgetting. Marcus thought the pain would remain sharp as glass, but it didn't. Philip was still there, but on the fringes, not at the brutal focus of his sleep: the sickening wrench of the trailer on the slick hillside, the horrid metal-on-metal sounds as they twisted over, the horse's scream.
A chance? Was it time to let go? "Meet me back here tonight. Nine o'clock."
"I'll be here."
At quarter to nine that night, Marcus killed the lights at the house and walked up to the barns, a green tack tote in one hand. He did a final check on the horses, cooing through the stall doors, smiling at two new foals, both only a week old. A dog barked in the distance. The travel trailer was dark, its windows reflecting the barn's security lamp.
The trailer creaked under his weight. Marcus sniffed the musty smell of the closed space. He pushed the windows open. He lifted the tote box onto the counter. Inside, two bottles of iced tea clinked against a few beer bottles; he wasn't sure if David drank, but he'd brought the beer anyway. He pulled out the sheet set and candles. At the bottom of the tote were condoms and lube.
Stupid. He should have invited David to the house -- the interns often ate lunch in his kitchen -- but part of him wasn't ready to have another man in the bed he had shared with Philip. He smoothed the sheets over the trailer's foam mattress, lit the candles, and waited.
When he heard the car engine, his stomach pinched. He saw the car idling down at the dark house, then watched it turn and slog up the hill toward the barn.
Is this right? But the other night had been right, their bodies smooth and warm together in the silver moonlight.
Marcus leaned out the trailer door. When David got out of the car, he stood still for a few seconds, looking at him, his eyes wide. David eased around the car, one hand trailing on its hood. A bat flittered over the security light.
"Come in." Marcus motioned with one hand.
David hesitated a half-second then jumped up the steps into the trailer.
Marcus watched him.
"I don't know what to do here, Marcus." David put his hands out, palms up.
"Is this your first time?"
"Yeah." He took a shaky breath. "But you know that."
David's fingers trembling on him, those shy kisses. But real touch, something more than the faceless grappling in the Atlanta bathhouses or his own callused palms. Marcus woke some mornings with wet on his face and on his belly. He put one palm on David's smooth face. "Are you sure you're ready for this? Because I'm not holding back tonight. Not this time."
Marcus held David's face in both hands, his brown eyes searching. David moved his hands up Marcus's torso, tracing the V of his broad shoulders. Marcus shuddered and pulled him close. For long seconds, Marcus just held him tight, their faces pressed together until David moaned and kissed Marcus, hard, not like a virgin this time, but needy and deep. Marcus pushed him onto the table and tugged off his shoes and pants. David hissed, hard cock bobbing.
Marcus bent over him. He meant to go slowly, to savor the first touch of his lips on David's soft skin, to tickle away the slick pre-come from David's slit but David groaned with such passion that Marcus gobbled him whole, greedy, sucking it all in, and then there was only the feel of David's balls in one hand and the taste of slender cock in Marcus's mouth. There was the sweet slickness of wet skin beneath his hands and tongue, cock hard in his throat. David cried out when he came, his words lost in a wailing moan.
Marcus stayed bent over him, nuzzling David's wet belly. David groaned as he stood between David's legs, broad fingers on his hips, the tent in his pants pressed up against David's inner thighs.
David sat up straighter and pushed him back with shaky arms. "I wanna see you naked. Show me," he demanded.
Marcus slipped his tank top off in one smooth motion. His boots thunked against the back wall. He slid his work pants down and stepped out of them. From the dark curls below his waist, his unrestrained cock rose. David's eyes widened.
Is he really ready for this? Marcus stepped out of the shadows, the small trailer window throwing a pale rectangle of light on his belly. Black curls framed a cock, thick and blunt, dark as wine.
David reached for him. Marcus gasped as his fingers circled him.
The cock grew in David's hand, a living thing against David's touch. Its color deepened. David's fingers moved over it, tentative at first, then firmer. Marcus rested his forehead against the other man's head; his hands grasped and kneaded David's arms and shoulders as David explored.
A breeze pushed through the screens, making them shiver.
"I want you to come." David's voice was low, soft. Marcus swallowed and nodded.
"Touch like this?" David changed his fondling to an even pull. His fingers were sure, as they had been working the horses. Marcus's breathing turned to gasps and David's penis stirred again in the golden curls between his legs.
Faster now, Marcus hard in David's hand, rigid. Their breathing filled the silent trailer. A fiery pleasure started in Marcus's belly, low, then tightening his balls. His cock pulsed wetly in David's hand.
"Oh, pleeeaassseee..." Marcus threw his head back. He grunted and spilled warm semen over David's hand.
He sagged against David, gasping. David smiled and pulled him close. The mattress wasn't too comfortable, a few inches of foam slab cramped beneath the low ceiling. Long-legged David couldn't stretch out completely -- but he didn't seem to mind. The two men's bodies curled together, legs entwined.
Beer and iced tea sweated on the narrow window frame. They took them and sipped and talked lazily as their fingers stroked hip or belly. They pressed soft kisses on one another. David traced Marcus's broad chest and arms, let his fingers trail down his torso, thick thighs and calves.
"You've got a horseman's legs," David said.
"I've ridden since I was four."
"This feels new...but good." David smiled and went quiet. The security light sent a yellow glow into the narrow trailer. "I'd never even thought about being with a guy till...now. Till you."
Marcus elbowed up. "What was it? My sparkling personality?" The flirting words felt odd on his lips
"Nah, it was seeing you with no shirt and wet pants when we were doing those baths on the horses in May. I wondered about you all summer. " David grinned and tickled Marcus's ribs. They wrestled -- hands over shoulders, legs roped together, rolling over -- until David hit his head on the trailer's curving wall.
"Here, let me kiss it." Marcus lay on top of the young man and nuzzled his scalp. The contrast between them was striking: Marcus's thick chest bristled with dark hair; David's was nearly smooth with only the slightest golden hair between his pectorals. Brown skin and gold, light and dark, they flowed together.
Their kisses started again, soft and tender, and then the faint beer taste on David's tongue made Marcus's penis thicken between them.
"Turn over, babe." He rolled David onto his belly and rubbed his shoulders, easing down to David's lower back. He pressed kisses over his shoulder and arm.
David's eyes filled with doubt; Marcus spent minutes caressing David's buttocks, kissing him softly. No different than settling a nervous horse. He never let his hands lose contact with David's body.
Marcus eased David's legs apart, fingered between them, tugged his soft balls, stroked just behind them. David turned his face away but let Marcus's finger slip inside. Marcus pressed, using two lubed fingers now, firmer.
He pulled David's face to him. "Look at me when you come."
David's eyes were wide, his pupils huge in the darkness. He pumped against the mattress and came again with a fierce, passionate sound.
They lay still for a few minutes. Marcus rose to stand in the trailer's narrow aisle, tugging David up. He squirmed at Marcus's touch. "Please, Marcus, please."
Marcus was gentle, his movements slow and deliberate. "I want you to be ready for this. It's not like anything you've ever done."
"I know, just --" David closed his eyes and pressed his face against the cheap laminate of the cabinets. His thighs quivered. "Just do it."
"You can move and be in more control. And David," Marcus turned David's face to his again. "If you want me to stop, I will." He bent low, kissing his way down David's back and buttocks, nipping and licking as he went. He spread David open and used his tongue. He pressed one lubed finger into him, and David moaned and ground against his hand. Two fingers now and Marcus was hard and ready. He stood up and rolled a condom down over himself.
He slipped between David's buttocks, slick, smooth, warm. He held still against David's anus. His voice was husky and rough: "Push back when you're ready."
David stood rigid. Marcus eased more kisses over David's shoulders. He clenched his teeth to keep from crying out from want.
"There's no going back after this, is there?" David's voice shook. His head dropped; Marcus saw the clench of his neck muscles and felt the tension in his back.
"No." Marcus stood patiently, trying to remember what it was to be a virgin, frightened and unsure. He remembered his first night with Philip, hands slick on him and in him, moving slow, letting him set the pace.
David pushed back.
Marcus was slippery: lubed and hard. David gasped and Marcus was partway inside. Then another push and Marcus was in to the hilt, David was hot around him and tight.
"Marcus, oh my god!"
Marcus stood still, just holding him up. David's moan was as much passion as pain; he clung to the cabinets, panting. A half-minute passed, David stiff, shoulders tight, mouth working and then Marcus felt him loosen, his muscles relaxing around Marcus's cock. A few heartbeats of silence between them and then David pressed back and put trembling fingers over Marcus's hands. His voice was rough. "Fuck me."
Marcus wrapped arms around David's torso. He licked down his neck, heart pounding against his back. He thrust, once, twice, slowly, consciously holding back, waiting.
"More. It's okay." David twisted half around and landed a partial kiss on Marcus's forehead.
Marcus gasped and moved faster. He clenched David's upper arms and pressed him into the cabinets, harder now, the slick plastic making a slippery squeak as they worked. He pushed in, over and over. He felt the other man's thigh muscles shudder against his own legs. The rolling wave of pleasure moved down his belly, up his penis, jerking, a fierce burst of ecstasy, and Marcus cried out as he came. His thrusting slowed, slowed more, until he stopped and sagged against David's back.
They stood, connected and panting, until Marcus felt his own legs tremble.
"I need to lie down," David said.
Marcus pulled away. David tottered to the bed and sank down onto it with a sigh. The night air through the open windows was cool. Marcus stretched out next to him and tugged him close. "Okay?"
"Yeah, I'm just...shaky, I guess. Wow."
Marcus half-smiled and kissed his forehead. "I told you it was new."
"Is this what a woman feels like?"
"I don't know." Marcus shrugged.
"No wonder they fall in love so fast."
Marcus woke a few hours later. The waning moon's light flooded the trailer. He stared down at David. In sleep, he looked like a little boy, his mouth open, his features softened and relaxed.
As he turned away, David's voice came, low and throaty. "Where you goin'?"
"I just gotta recycle this tea. Be right back."
The night air was cool. A coyote yipped a few times, then fell silent. A horse snorted from the barn. Marcus slipped to the dark side of the trailer. He shivered and stood for a few seconds after he was done. His chest filled with some indefinable emotion, so that it was hard to breathe. Do I try again or do I let him go?
He stepped from the cool night into the warmth of David's arms.
They both jolted awake as the manure truck slammed down the back road towards the barn.
"What time is it?" David asked. He had spooned against Marcus in the night; his breath warm against Marcus's neck. Outside, a peach glow filled the sky.
"Oh, man." David put a teasing tone in his voice. "Can't I just stay here all day and touch you?"
Marcus sat up and stretched, skin tawny as the savannah. "Boss might fire you."
"I don't work for him anymore. Remember?"
They both smiled.
David tugged him back down, close and warm. They moved together again, thrusting with urgency, their soft groans filling the dawn air. David collapsed on top of Marcus afterwards, liquid. The rising sun's gold warmed their bed. From the barn, horses stirred and nickered, banging their feed buckets. Malotov's whinny filled the morning.