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Are You Scared Yet?

by J J Janicki

Chapter 9

I woke up sneezing a little before eleven Sunday morning, and soon after that I was sniffling. I've never suffered colds gladly, but coming down with one in the middle of the summer is the absolute worst.

Then, making matters worse still, was the realization that I wouldn't be webcamming with Stephan that night, and I didn't know when the next time was going to be. Although at least we'd do some IM-ing later on. Not that night, though, because he had to be careful. We were separated by 1850 miles and his parents and I thought it sucked.

So that's why I was in a sucky mood when Carlie and Earl woke me up. I told them they could check back in a couple of hours, but until then, "Just leave me alone, all right? I haven't had enough sleep yet, so go away."

"We're not going away because we need your help right now, " said Carlie cheerfully.

"Ah... ah... ahchoo!" (Sniff sniff.) "Shit.... How?"

"John's with a lady friend and he's not going to be back until tonight, " started Earl.

"He's fornicating, " finished Carlie, "but I just talked to him on the phone and I told him we ran out of gas in the Ranger, so he said I could borrow the GMC so we can put some more gas in. But I can only drive one truck, so you can drive the Ranger back."

Sniff... "Maybe... ahchoo!... Maybe that's not such a... a... choo!!!... I can't drive all that good yet and I also don't have any kind of a license."

"Just follow me, " replied Carlie, "Now are you going to get your butt out of bed, or do we have to drag you out?"

Sniff. "I got a cold and I don't feel too good." (Followed by another sneeze.) (And I continued to sneeze and sniffle until taking a Nyquil that night.)

And I also didn't think much of the idea of driving ten miles, and beyond that, I still wasn't inclined to the idea of getting out of bed, so they started dragging me out. I protested but it didn't do me any good.

"When did you stop sleeping naked?" huffed Carlie. (At least I was putting up a very good fight.)

"I got my tee shirt on....Now cut it out!"

"That's all he's got on, " reported Earl.

"Well, no shit. Now will both of you just leave me alone?" (Stephan said that was all he wore to bed, just an extra large tee shirt.)

But it wasn't long until they were molesting me. So after a few seconds I managed, "If you don't stop it, I'm going to pee on you. Because now I have to go to the bathroom, damn it." (I'd jerked off three times the night before, so producing anything else was going to take awhile.)

They finally talked me into going with them, though. Because, after all, we couldn't just leave the Ranger stuck in the mud hole.

Getting it out wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be. Not that it was easy, but the GMC had a power winch mounted on the back bumper. Only first Carlie had to drive over the ditch. We placed two heavy-duty wooden planks over it, then Earl and I took turns guiding him across. One of us had to be operating the camcorder while the other was on his hands and knees peering closely at Carlie's wheels, as in: "Hold it!... Okay, cut it back a little to the left,... easy, easy... Okay, I think you're all right now as long as you keep it straight!"

So it was nerve-wracking, but in spite of that, we got some interesting shots, because Earl and I were taking turns wearing my shirt. That and nothing else, so while we were on our hands and knees...

(I was fully clothed while we were driving over, though, and I was on our way back, just in case. Having just discussed juvenile detention with Stephan, it somehow seemed more likely that we could end up there.)

But we managed to get Carlie across the ditch. By then, it wasn't too muddy except for places the sun still couldn't reach. Like for example, the hole the Ranger was in, but Carlie soon had the GMC straightened out, the cable was attached and, with me behind the wheel, the Ranger came out without a hitch. I didn't even have to start it.

That made my mind up about one of Carlie's two options, though: being towed in. I quickly decided that I'd find that to be even more stressful, because it looked like I was right on his bumper.

Once out, we had to guide the GMC back across the planks, then we moved them in closer and Carlie drove the Ranger across.

Then we drove back. I was still nervous, because not only was this my first solo, Carlie sometimes was going over fifty miles an hour. And of course I was still worried about being busted, too. And if we were, then I was sure they'd want to take a look at what I had on my camcorder. That would not have been good.

Fortunately, we only met four other cars on our way back (all on Highway 12, and none of them cops) and I didn't hit any of them. I only came close to going off the road twice. But that's because every time I met an oncoming car, I was steering as far away from the center line as possible.

I'm not very good at suffering, so I told Carlie and Earl I'd let them watch the highlights of my webcam session some other time.

Only for most of Monday, I wasn't feeling much better - in fact, I was fairly sure I had the flu. Carlie and Earl dropped by to see how I was doing, and I still felt awful. Earl said I probably had Ebola. I told him he could go straight to hell.

But on a more cheerful note, I got an email from Stephan wanting to know about abandoned houses around Oxmar. Like for instance: if you wanted to be like Thoreau, would it be possible to camp out there?

So in reply, I said, "Yeah, it's possible. In fact, it wouldn't be a problem at all. But why do you ask?"

About a minute later, he came back with: "Just be on Messenger 2:30 tomorrow afternoon, okay?"

By Tuesday, I was feeling a lot better, so it probably was only a sinus infection.

At 2:28, I got a message from Stephan wanting me to get on my webcam. Only he was dressed up in school clothes and I wasn't. I wasn't naked, but I was close enough. (My over-sized tee shirt again.) So the first thing he said was: "My folks think I'm saying goodbye to a friend. They're not likely to come in on us, but just to be on the safe side, maybe you ought to get a little more decent, okay?"

Ever since his question about abandoned houses, I'd been thinking what he was going to tell me was...

Well, it was too much to hope for anyway. I hate goodbyes, and that's what it was starting to sound like. But I pulled on some cargo shorts and resolved not to act like a baby. I sat down again and asked, "So I look all right now?"

He grinned. "Yeah, sure. So okay. They've decided that I should stay with my sister in Seattle. But I'm not flying, they're putting me on a stupid Greyhound!... That's okay though, I'll survive.

"Because here's the deal. Ashley - that's my sister... she only agreed to this because my mom laid a big guilt trip on her. But I'm just going to be in their way. Her and her live-in boyfriend.

"So my bus leaves 1:30 tomorrow afternoon. I change in Baltimore. Then again in Chicago. Then again in Minneapolis and again in Fargo. And I'm supposed to change in Billings, but didn't you say that you guys do most of your shopping in Dickinson?"

"Yeah. So?"

"I called Greyhound. I'll be getting into Dickinson around six Friday morning. So I know it's a lot to ask, but is there any chance you could pick me up then?... Ashley will go along with it for at least the rest of the summer. She'll just lie about it, and then she can keep right on partying, you know? My mom thinks that by taking on some responsibility, she'll straighten her act out... but anyway, do you think-"

Excitedly I cut in, "I'm sure Carlie can, but if he can't, then I'll walk! One way or another, I'll be there. I'll email you back in about an hour, okay? If he can, we'll probably park outside the city limits and walk in, but Dickinson isn't a big town, so if the answer's yes, I'll let you know, all right?"

Then about twenty minutes later, I keyed in: "We're on. See you Friday."

Of course, at first I was euphoric over the prospect of seeing Stephan again, but then questions started popping up. For instance: How much time was I going to be able to spend with him? A night or two a week? I wasn't going to be happy with that and he wouldn't be, either. And then there was the fact that he probably couldn't stay hid in that abandoned house for long, and soon as he came out, he'd be noticed. Someone new would be, there was no doubt about it. And of course he had to eat. So I could sneak food to him, but for the rest of the summer? And what about clean clothes? What if he got bored after a few days? I'd spend as much time as I could with him, but I couldn't always. Unless... Thoreau!

Henry David Thoreau. Author of "Walden" and "Civil Disobedience" (to name two), naturalist, tax resister, development critic, historian, transcendentalist, possible anarchist,... and a good many other things, including sometimes being a kook...

But never mind all that, because what I was most interested in was what Stephan had put into my head, his Walden Pond bit. Being one with nature and all that.

Thoreau was hardly a hermit, though, (and obviously, I didn't want to be either), and it also wasn't like Walden Pond was out in the wilderness. It was on Ralph Waldo Emerson's property, only a few miles from Concord, so whenever he needed supplies, he'd just walk into town and get them. And he also wasn't a vegetarian, although he thought being one might be preferable to cleaning fish.

As it turned out, though, looking up all that information on Thoreau was a waste of time because John hadn't heard of him in the first place. But, even so, he thought it sounded interesting. The part about camping out for the rest of the summer. As it turned out, he'd camped out with his best friend for most of the summer he was twelve and he said it might have been the most fun he'd ever had. Then he wondered if that was what Carlie and Earl were up to.

"Well... yeah, " I answered, and now not only did I have a good excuse for being gone most of the day and all night, they had one as well. I'd been worried about that, because I figured it wasn't going to be much longer until John started wondering what they were up to. After all, they'd been at it for five straight nights. Although after hearing about him and his best friend, it also occurred to me that he might not have been too shocked.

Or at least there seemed to be some hope that he would take the news decently well if and when it came out, but that was still in the future, so soon as I could I let Carlie and Earl in on their new excuse, and they thought it was brilliant. Amazingly awesome, in fact. Although Carlie informed me that I didn't know the first thing about living out in the wilderness, and if I were to try it, I'd starve to death. He could make it, but not me. I'd like to see him trying to survive in New York for awhile. He'd freak, and that's just what I told him.

Only that started some back and forths, and what this eventually led to was Carlie asking if I wanted to camp out with them that night.

Well, I did, but right then I was back to later on. Prior to Stephan's announcement, I'd been wanting to as soon as possible, but now I wanted to mostly hold off until I had a chance to talk to Stephan some more. And I was also thinking in terms of after at least a week of it being just the two of us. So that's what I told them. Mostly.

"Mostly. What do you mean by that?" asked Earl.

"Well... I wouldn't want you two getting amorous and all... I mean in a week or so I... well, we probably aren't going to mind... but..."

"What he means is, he doesn't want us getting passionate, " Earl cut in.

"Yeah, I know that, " shot back Carlie. Then he looked over at me. "So now you're saying that in a week or so, you and Stephan want to watch us, huh?"

... "Probably. But it would be like a game, I mean, we talked about it, you know, and you said you wanted to see Stephan and you wanted to watch while we were webcamming, but see, you've done it and we haven't yet, so..."

Then I trailed off and shrugged.

"So we will, " said Carlie. "Let you watch. As long as you pay a penalty first. All right?"

"What kind of penalty?"

"Nothing major, " he assured me, "Least not sex-wise. But we might... well, we'll make it up to you later on."

"Excuse me, " Earl interrupted, "but you want to fill me in on this?"

Of course that was directed towards Carlie, and after a bit of whisper whisper followed with some snigger snigger, Earl said, "It'll be fun, Natty. In the long run, it will be. Promise."

So I'll admit that it was starting to sound interesting in spite of all that sniggering, but still: " long?"

"Just tonight for awhile. That's all. So you want to?"

"Starting when?"

"Tonight, dummy. Just like I said. It'll be your initiation.... But later on, if we can agree on the ground rules, then you two can initiate us. That all right?"

So after being assured again that by "nothing major, sex-wise" they meant just that, I agreed. It sounded like fun. Especially if we (Stephan and I) could initiate them back later on. We'd think of something.

But as for what I thought of before that night was finally over... well...

I was going to tell Stephan about it, because from the way he'd talked, he'd be into something like that as well, so I allowed Carlie and Earl to tie me up naked in the loft of the barn behind Earl's. Spread-eagled on my back, with a rope around each of my wrists, and two more around my ankles. The ropes were tied to cement blocks, so I was helpless.

And I was also stiff as I could be. It was soo embarrassing, them standing there looking down at me the way they were, I mean...

"Maybe we ought to throw a quilt over him, " said Earl. "We wouldn't want him catching another infection, now would we?"

"Yeah, you're right, " agreed Carlie, "He's just a pansy city boy anyway."

I only got as far as, "Um... what-"... and then I was gagged. This was fun!

Only after throwing that quilt over me, they left.

So after about fifteen minutes, I'd lost my hard-on. I wasn't worried, but... well, I just wanted to see if there was any way of wiggling out of those ropes.

It didn't take long to figure out that there wasn't.

So after about an hour, I was getting both pissed and a little worried.

If you're playing a sex game, in most cases someone is supposed to be in control of the other. Some stories I'd come across, the one allowing himself to be controlled wasn't sure if the others were serious or not. And in my case, if they were, I was in deep doo-doo.

Although the whole idea is to make this role-playing game as real as possible. So if for awhile you're thinking that it might be for real - that it isn't a game after all...

Actually, I don't think I like playing games like that. No, I have to trust the other(s), I have to believe that they're not going to just leave me there. And that doesn't defeat the purpose of the game. For one thing, there's an element of trust, and that's really cool. And for another, you allow yourself to be put in a position that you normally wouldn't accept. Trust or not, you're not in control, they are, and you have no idea what's going to happen, so it's exciting. You might be humiliated for awhile, but because you trust them, it's erotic.

That's what I kept trying to tell myself. They were going to come back because I trusted them.

But after about three hours, I had to pee.

Although it might have been only two or it might have been four, I really have no idea. And I also have no idea how long I managed to hold out before finally giving up and wetting the quilt, but by then, as far as I was concerned, there would be no more games. They could go straight to hell! I'd just walk to Dickinson, even if it took me... Well, I will anyway. And then Stephan and me... we're not going to have a thing to do with them. This sucks!

Then a long time later, it finally started getting daylight. I was so mad by then, I was almost crying. What were they doing? Why?

They planned to leave me for about an hour, then they were going to see how ticklish I was. They would tickle me mercilessly, but if they made me pee, they'd clean me up with a rag or something. Then they were going to cuddle up against me. They'd probably leave me tied up for awhile longer, but...

But before going off and riding around for awhile, they went in to check on Abe and he was sitting in the kitchen, grimacing in pain. He was afraid he was having a stroke! For no reason, his left leg started hurting that afternoon, and it just kept getting worse and now it was hurting all up his side.

So naturally, Earl and Carlie flew into a panic. If it's a stroke, then you need to get to a doctor as soon as possible. And... oh my God, it's been howmany hours? Shit!!

So while Earl stayed with his grandpa, Carlie raced home. They had to get him to an emergency room fast! Fortunately, John was home - else they would have gotten to Dickinson even faster - but at any rate...

Well, yeah, the nearest hospital is in Dickinson. Oxmar isn't a convenient place to have an emergency. They could've called an ambulance, but coming all the way from Dickinson and then back... no, it would be better to drive him in themselves. Especially after Earl happened to think that maybe Abe wasn't having a stroke, maybe it was a blood clot. That'll make your leg hurt all over too, only now we're possibly in the middle of a heart attack. Oh shit!

So that's why they forgot all about me until they were halfway to Dickinson.

Only, I had no idea what was going on. I heard a car leaving awfully fast, but I figured it was Carlie off on another joy ride. And I did worry some when I wasn't mentally cussing them out - maybe he'd finally had his big accident, because they wouldn't just leave me...

But at last they were at the emergency room. Most of the way, John had that Lexus of his between 120 and 130. And the doctor on call got right to him. But still, it takes awhile to run all those tests. Especially with Abe wanting them to take that thing off his finger because it hurt or to stop sticking him with needles and that blood pressure thing was hurting his arm and he wasn't going to stay in no hospital, he didn't care what they said... and so on...

But finally, at around four, the doctor told them that Abe hadn't had a stroke. Nor did he have a blood clot, they were so sure of that, they didn't even run an ultra-sound. He'd just pulled a muscle. 'Course at his age, it was going to hurt something awful, and if you didn't know how you pulled that muscle, you could sure think you were having a stroke, but he was going to be all right.

So at that point, Carlie and Earl were very relieved, but at the same time, they were worried about me. God! What he must be thinking!

Well, they were at least getting warm - in regard to what I was thinking - but understandably, when John decided they'd get some breakfast at an all-night diner and unwind for awhile, they had to go along. There wasn't a thing they could do about it. And to make matters even worse, on the way back Abe wanted John to drive slow, because every time he got bounced a little, it hurt. He was complaining about almost everything. The seats were too hard. They needed to roll their windows up, because he was about to freeze to death. (It was in the sixties, which is a little on the cool side - I knew that, myself - but the air conditioner didn't work, so with the windows up, it wasn't so cool.)

It was a long trip back.

"So, " concluded Earl, "when we untie you, you're not going to start trying to hit us, are you?"

"No, I don't guess so, " I said. Although honestly, that never was on my to-do-list, I was just going to sulk. I definitely was doing my best to stare daggers through them when they finally showed up, and it's probably just as well that I was gagged, but I told them I was glad Abe was all right and I was sorry I'd wet the quilt.

"Oh, that's okay, " said Earl as he hurriedly untied me, "I'm sure it'll wash out, and if it doesn't, it's an old one anyway."

I was very relieved. Because aside from the obvious, I'm not good at being angry.

"We'll get something to eat at the restaurant and then I think I'm going to sleep for awhile, " said Carlie. Then he added, "You probably didn't get much sleep either, right?"

It was nice being in bed with him again. We were naked, and he was sort of cuddled up against me, but that's as far as it went. It still felt good, though. So when we woke up and he wondered if I still wanted to be their slave, (this time at the abandoned house), I said I would. The way I looked at it, it was the least they could do.

Especially after he said my only job was to be their camera-man. I'd just keep my camcorder rolling and they'd tell me all about how it first went down between the two of them. And if I didn't mind them getting at least a little amorous, then they might even act some of it out, to make up for leaving me tied up all night.

So I thought about it, and said, "Sure. Why not?"

"Even if you still have to pretend you're our slave? That you have to do it?"

"As long as you don't leave me by myself like you did last night, it sounds like fun.... Because I thought last night was going to be fun."

"It would have been. But you understand why it happened don't you? I mean, you really do, right?"

"Now I do, but..." (I snickered) "My mom says I'm a hypochondriac sometimes. You know what that means, right?"

... "Yeah, Natty, I know. It's like a hypochondriac when he dies, he's going to have on his tombstone something like: 'See, I told you I was sick.' Like that, huh?"

"Right. But I was just wondering. Do you think maybe it's contagious?"

"I don't follow."

"I mean, first I thought I was sick to death... almost... then a day later, Abe thinks he's having a stroke when it was just a pulled muscle."

Carlie shrugged. "I don't know. Maybe.... But anyway... okay, first question. When was the last time you jerked off?"

"When I woke up yesterday morning."

"Well, that's good.... Yeah, that could work out pretty good. So number one, you can't do it, you have to let us do it for you, and that'll be after you've filmed us. That okay?... It'll be intense, Natty, so do you agree to that?"

... "I guess."

"'Course if Earl's still having to wait on Abe hand and foot, then we might have to postpone it for awhile, but I'm going to call him now, okay? But first..."

And shortly afterwards, he had a shoe lace tied around my dick at the base of my balls and it felt... interesting.

"I was too nice and well-mannered and well-bred to even think of doing what everybody else was probably doing." ~ Chapter 3

"One thing that kept popping into my head was what I probably looked like while I was at it, and it's difficult to explain, but I was getting off on imagining that" ~ Chapter Four while I was sucking Earl's dick.

I now have two pictures of myself, neatly juxtapositioned side-by-side in my "this is me" folder. One's my last school picture and the other is of me tied naked to a chair in that abandoned house.

You can probably imagine what my school picture is like: smartly dressed, without a hair out of place. Looking at it, I like to think that I project a certain effortless savoir-faire. So even if it's not so, just by saying that I like imagining that, I think it can be surmised that I wasn't unhappy with that image. In fact, if pressed, I was capable of being a twit. Although I certainly didn't want to be like that.

So that's why I like the other picture so much. I was naked except for Earl's bunny rabbit head. (And the ears still droop.) My camcorder was attached to the top of my head betwixt my rabbit ears with duct tape with a wash cloth between the tape and my camcorder, because I didn't want any of that sticky stuff getting on it. The tape went from the top of my camera to down under my chin, but doleful expression or not, apparently I wasn't unhappy with the situation, because I had an erection. The shoe lace restricted the blood flow, so it was stuck like that. It wasn't painful, but there was a definite sense of urgency. Only my hands were tied behind the chair, so I couldn't do anything about it.

But anyway, here's a brief summary of Carlie and Earl's first day. As planned, it started in the garden. Only at first, Earl wasn't naked and Carlie wasn't either. But after five minutes or so, Carlie was about to burn up, which at nine in the morning isn't likely, because it usually doesn't start getting really warm until eleven or so. (In the summer, it usually drops down into the fifties at night.)

But never mind, because Carlie proceeded to get totally naked. Only Earl didn't - in fact, he seemed to be a bit puzzled. But of course Carlie kept calling him a pussy and wondering when he'd gotten so shy because, after all, he'd seen him naked plenty of times already. Only then, without any warning, Earl grabbed Carlie's dick and started pulling on it. He figured it was safe for him to do that because Carlie had an erection, although what Earl said was, "I'm just getting even."

But Carlie started wrestling on Earl, so it wasn't long until he'd pulled his shorts down and because neither of them decided to a call time out, it wasn't long until the inevitable conclusion was reached.

Then they cleaned up as best they could and wondered exactly what was going on. Or, at least, they were both wondering if one of them was going to start thinking bad things about the other. But they talked, and before long, they were in love. Or in lust. Or at least they liked each other a lot more than just before.

Only then they heard Abe hollering for Earl, so they got their clothes back on and went to see what he wanted. He just wanted some junk moved from one place to another, so they took care of that, then went back to responsibly working in the garden for awhile longer, then they took off.

They went to our abandoned house, got naked again and started cuddling and groping each other. (They were reenacting this scene for me, and I found it to be very erotic. And that was before Carlie said that there was something he'd always wanted to try and down he went and Earl gasped. He was wiggling and moaning and gurgling... although possibly he was over-acting a little...)

But probably not by too much.

Because before the inevitable was reached once again, they started sixty-nining. I wasn't expecting them to go that far, but they did. And not only that, they were poking each other with their fingers, so I was like, "Oh my God."

Then, after they caught their breath, Carlie gingerly untied the shoe lace. He said he was afraid I'd go off as soon he untied it, (and I'm surprised I didn't), but they then took turns on me. Earl would give it a pull, then Carlie would. Earl only got to pull on it eight times, then it went all the way up to my belly button. It really was intense.

Oh, and Earl deflowered Carlie first. That first night he did, although they didn't re-enact that part. They said they might later on though, depending on what me and Stephan wanted to do in front of them. Or with them, after a week or so of it being just the two of us. So we'll think of something, that much I'm sure of.

Or at least I'm fairly sure of it now.

But up until Friday morning, I kept worrying about things, like for instance: that the bus wouldn't even stop in Dickinson, that it would go past on I-94 without so much as slowing down. From the looks of things, now you can't even get to Pennsylvania from New York on a bus, else why would it be going to Baltimore? They were headed in the wrong direction!

So yeah, I was worried that Greyhound didn't know where they were going and I was also wondering if maybe at the last minute his folks would put him on a plane - in fact, I probably worried about almost everything short of the bus being attacked by Indians.

But Wednesday night I found out where Carlie and Earl had been camping out, because this time we all did. They'd been using the storm cellar behind the abandoned house. They'd fixed it so they could latch the door from inside, so that way they could use one of those old kerosene lamps. Otherwise it's dark as a tomb down there, but their biggest reason for using the cellar was that while the house is out of sight from everything else, people have still been known to use it for one night stands. Either that, or just partying, but... well, you never can tell, so better safe than sorry.

They had a mattress, along with some blankets, pillows, two chairs, a table and an ice chest. Of course they locked it from the outside whenever they were away, but- and here's the best part - because I'd been a really good slave, now it belonged to me and Stephan. After about a week, there would be some nights when all of us might get together - if we still wanted to - but in the meantime, they'd use Earl's barn.

I was almost at a loss for words, but then I found out something even better: if we could spare a twenty, then Friday they could drop us off at a motel.

At first I had a few questions, though, because while it sounded good... "Um, I don't think they'd let us by ourselves. I mean, we can't just check into a motel, you know? There has to be an adult along."

"You don't check yourself in because there's nobody there anyway. All you do is, get a key from the box out front, let yourself in, then drop the key and your money in the box when you leave, simple, " said Carlie.

"You can't be serious."

"It's called Traveler's Rest. Only not many people passing through, so there's not any point in anyone staying there. But people do stay there sometimes, so that's how they do it. Hardly anybody ever leaves without paying, because the guy who owns the place trusts them, you know?"

"So where is this place?"

"Halfway between here and Dickinson. Not too far from the fake cop, in fact. So as long as you don't get too loud, there shouldn't be any problems."

"Oh, we're probably not going to do all that much first night anyway. I mean..."

"Yeah, that's a good idea, " interrupted Earl.

Like they should talk, but in reply I said, "Oh, we'll be doing... something... I'm sure of that much... but really? You just get a key, and that's it?

North Dakota is like another world. But, barring medical emergencies, there's a lot to like about it.


Except for two rounds of mutual wanking to relieve stress, all we did was talk that night. Well, we slept some, and we cuddled a lot. It was more a case of them cuddling me, though.

Thursday, I moved some of my stuff down into the cellar.

By then Earl was on the verge of pulling his hair out, though. He didn't mind helping his grandpa out, but now he had to do almost everything for him. Wednesday morning Abe could at least hobble around, but by that night he couldn't even walk. So that meant Earl couldn't go with us when we picked up Stephan, and that night it was just me and Carlie in his room. We were leaving around 3:30, so we jerked each other off again so we could go to sleep quicker.

And it was all right, but I still didn't sleep much.

The reason we left as early as we did was that we didn't know where the Greyhound station was. And like I said, Carlie just drove the Ford Ranger to the edge of town and then we started walking. So we got to the Wal-Mart and we asked. "Would you happen to know where the Greyhound station is?"

The guy scratched his head and said, "Greyhound? Don't think they got one here." (Panic attack.) "No, wait... Greyhound quit running in North Dakota,'s been a good while..." (Even bigger panic attack.) "... but I believe you'd be looking for Rimrock Stages.... They got a station in town and I'm pretty sure they took over for Greyhound. So just turn to your left from the parking lot, go four lights and then you turn…"

And so on and fifteen minutes later, there the station was. It wasn't open yet, but I saw someone mopping the floor inside. So I tapped on the glass and yelled, "Excuse me sir, but do you have a bus coming in from Fargo at six?"

He opened the door and said, "Yep. Fargo to Billings. Soon as the floor dries, I'll let you in."

Whew! Or at least it looked hopeful again, and after verifying that Dickinson really was on the New York to Seattle run (you got back on Greyhound in Billings), I was almost sure we were at the right place. I mean, for awhile I was thinking that either the dispatcher or Stephan got North Dakota mixed up with South Dakota. So he'd go right past us, all right, in the wrong damn state.

But the bus pulled in right on time and as soon as it did, I saw him with his nose pressed up against the window. He broke into a big grin and I started jumping up and down like a little kid. He was here!

After we got his luggage (three suitcases plus his back pack) we found that all-night diner and got some breakfast. Stephan said he'd pay for it. In fact, he insisted. Of course we were saying that we could take care of it, but see, he had better than $800. Mostly tucked inside one of his socks, he was taking no chances, but of course at that point I wondering why he hadn't just flown out. I was glad he hadn't, but if his folks could give him that much money...

"They gave me enough to eat on. That's it, " he said, but just before leaving he'd run a hustle. Darts. Well, all I know about darts is that I wouldn't want to play him for money, so I'll skip the details, but basically, he sandbagged until he had this other guy on the hook, and then just like a pool hustler runs the table once the stakes are high enough, he doubled out. Then he got out of Dodge in a hurry, because this other guy was around twenty. He went to NYU, I think.

Even though Carlie knew even less about darts than I did, he seemed to be impressed, so it didn't take long to break the ice. I'd certainly been hoping they'd hit it off, but once they started chattering away, I was having trouble getting a word in edgewise. But still, when Carlie started telling Stephan all about New Salem Sue, the world's largest Holstein (if it had been daylight he could have seen it from the Interstate), I was afraid Stephan would act like he wasn't all that impressed, but no, it was: "I'd really like to see it sometime!"

So I guessed I'd like to see it sometime myself. On a clear day it can be seen in neighboring counties, even. (It's at the top of the only hill for miles around. Thirty-eight feet tall, sixty feet long, and it weighs six tons. Fiberglass. It's quite a sight.)

Really, it is, but...

Things started getting better once we were on our way back. That's because, just like me, Stephan wanted to experience riding in the back of a pick-up, and so we did. Like I mentioned earlier, nights can get chilly out in that part of the country, so Carlie had tossed in an old quilt just in case.

But we certainly didn't do it in the back of the truck. I'd like to experience doing it that way at some point, but we were just side by side watching the countryside roll by. I wasn't sure how Stephan would react to it rolling by him at 150+, so I thought it was good that the Ranger couldn't get past seventy. Carlie was driving almost like you'd expect a chauffeur to drive, though. But watching the sun coming up, just seeing the look of wonder on Stephan's face - "It's so empty out here! There's not a house in sight anywhere!... This is so cool!" - and so on... well, it just gave me a case of the warm fuzzies, you know?

It's hard to explain. I'd had some sex, and we'd talked about it. So us having sex together seemed more than likely, but we'd never said as much. It wasn't so much as alluded to while we were at the diner, although that's mostly because it was crowded in there - in fact we had to sit at the counter, there wasn't a booth open. But we didn't talk about what we were on the verge of doing while we were in the back of the truck either. It was partly because everything was so new, I guess. (I'd never watched the sunrise around there either.) But I think it was also knowing that we were about to take off on the most wonderful adventure we could possibly imagine. It was almost beyond imagining, in fact. Entertaining fantasies is one thing, because deep down you know they're not likely to be realized, but when you're almost at that place you've dreamed about for so long, I felt like I needed to pinch myself, that it was too good to be true. I guess approaching the sublime can be a little scary. But boy, when you finally get there...

It started when he asked, "So where we going?"

"Well..." and after taking a deep breath, I told him about the motel. I was watching his face the entire time and it seemed as though he was interested. Then once past the part about just getting our room key out of a box - once I'd convinced him that that was how the owner did things - he seemed to be even more interested.

But he didn't say anything right away, so I finished with, "So what do you think? Sound like a good idea?"

He shrugged, grinned and said, "I think it's the best ever, " and hello, I got another one of those wonderful electric shocks.

Just him answering the way he did could have produced one easily enough, but then a moment or so afterwards, we were holding hands. He was a little shaky at first, but it felt like the most natural thing in the world, like it was meant to be that way. Really, though, at first it felt like one of those shocks. Then it was like I was glowing all over, and that might have been even better. Just holding hands under the quilt while talking about the marvelously empty landscape. That and nothing else.

Well, except for some finger-play. Seeing how many different ways we could entwine our fingers - that was nice - and then there were some gentle squeezes - and actually, we did talk about more than the landscape. It wasn't like it was changing very much, so after awhile he asked me, "So... you know of any good abandoned houses?... Because I don't suppose we'll be staying at that motel past tonight."

"Yeah, I know a real good place. We can stay there about all we want to."

"We? That sounds good... awesome, to be honest, but... we?" How often?"

So after mentioning that he'd given me the idea, I outlined my Thoreau angle, only his initial reaction was, "You think he'll really let you get away with that?"

"He thinks it's a great idea. In fact, he said he'd done something almost like that when he was a kid.... Well, he didn't say what all him and his friend did, but..."

"We're not in Kansas anymore, are we?"

... "No, I think I can safely say that we're not."


I wanted to kiss him, but I guessed that could wait until we got to the motel.

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