'GTT, Gone To Texas'.

Like the Metis of Canada, there had been communities of Comancheros in Texas where mixed marriages and their offspring formed their own communities. They had been less numerous, but bloodline doesn't disappear, genes don't just fade away. Ancestry just takes sidesteps wearing a new name and new garments.

The place must surely have had something, even when it was pure wilderness. Many had claimed otherwise, but not many of the detractors had been Texan. With a smile, he wondered if even General Crook might have changed his mind if he saw it now. Crook had come to Texas. He had fought the Apache, won, and left history a damning epitaph regarding his feelings for the place.

'If someone gave me Texas and gave me Hell, I would rent out Texas and live in Hell', was pretty much what the old soldier had said.

Well, this one tourist liked what he had seen so far. Infact, he wondered how much rent Crook might have wanted, and if the deal was still on offer.

Idling away the wait, his thoughts turned to his own lineage. Oddly, for a Brit, he possessed 'First People' blood in his line. His great, great, great, however many times recurring, grandfather, had worked for the Hudson Bay Company well before the civil war. He had travelled as far south as Bents Fort. His ancestor had done a personal version of 'Man called Horse or Dances With Wolves', and taken a Lakota wife, part of the Sioux nation.

They had returned to England to shock his family, intrigue locals, and horrify polite, priggish, society, all while Queen Victoria was but a girl.

It had taken generations before that info-byte stopped being a skeleton in a locked closet and became a matter of interest and pride. That small, distant, piece of family knowledge had played a strangely major role in shaping many of his beliefs and attitudes.

When her words appeared he hit the send button on his pre-prepared message. It had almost matched her own.

'But, I don't really know you, except online.' She had typed. 'I never said I would meet anyone'.

His almost identical, deliberately taunting, reply had flashed back at her after the merest shade of a second. If the messages had been two shots, they'd have sounded as one.

The gauntlet was down. The challenge made. His grin broadened as he imagined her juggling the meanings in these events so suddenly thrust upon her.

He gave her time, opening a bottle of Irish and starting a CD of Gregorian chants he settled back, patiently to wait.

He had, before now, lain for five days in a hide just to make use of a ten second window of opportunity. He had once used up four seconds of the window on the primary. The other six were invested as three double-tapped investments in the concept of added value. They had been pure over-indulgence, almost showing-off, that returned an absolute 'profit' in terms of the pay-off in kudos for his team, not to mention his own professional 'rep.

'You can't be serious, you didn't come all this way, just on that kind of foolish gamble.' She posted more slowly than usual, as if exploring the options in her words. "That would be pure dumb."

'No joke, serious as, should I say, all get out?' he had replied. 'Like I said, you're called on lady, lets see what you really got, time to put your money where your mouth is, or rather, that sweet ass where your cyber sat'.

Perhaps the shock had driven her off line. He had waited, deep in a book, for a while, and then gone for a walk. The approach to the hotel, over a quaint old plant bedecked foot-bridge led to the riverside where water and flora scented the air with cooling, aromatic, impressions as the day's heat died away.

There had been no more that night. He had made a few enquiries to aid filling the next day, and retired to his bed. With him, he had taken a sense of certainty.

The following morning he had wandered his pre-selected 'stage'. There was room for improvement, but for what had been an old disused quarry bequeathed to the city, it was a restful, pretty place. The plants and water, grass and shrubs, flowers and trees painted the place over as if enacting resurrected hope in an old industrial scar. One or two of the bonsai were true masterpieces. However, that hadn't been why he was there.

Most of the day had been spent familiarising himself with the layout, selecting routes and lay-ups, then finally making two small additions to the surprisingly secluded spots he had selected. That done he had taken his ease with a string of caffeine rich coffees meant to counter the resurgent ambitions of insatiate jet lag.

Comfortable, and happy in his world, he had enjoyed the steady flow of humanity. One thing was sure, even if one or two might do well to take heed to warnings to cut down on the sun, Texas certainly had a damn fine crop of 'roses', and they came in many a shade. Far more than just the vaunted yellow.

The message showed up as, back at the 'Mansion, he ate.

' Hi, you there?' It even felt hesitant, as if hopeful he wasn't.

Chewing slowly, savouring the flavour before swallowing, he sipped some beer. Then typed.

'I am now'

'Just thought I might say hello, I never said welcome to God's own Country, heh heh'. She was trying too hard to be light.

'You can do that in person, far more convincingly'. He wove clear and present challenge into the words.

'Oh now, you are being a silly'. She gently accused.

'No,' he responded, 'you are being somewhat like a domesticated fowl.'


'Chicken, dear girl, Chicken. cluckitty cluckcluck, you might say'. It was deliberately taunting. He meant it to rile her.

'Just because you are stupid enough to travel all this way.' she posted.

'Oh , please do stop whining. I am not one of those sycophants who fawn all over you. I like, love, how you look, and much of how you seem. BUT, please do not try and fob me off with the same brand of titbit tossing lap-doggery you, at times, employ on others'. He launched a typographic bombshell onto her screen.

'I do not do that'. She had insisted.

'lady J. you wont mind if I call you that, you play most of the traffic on those boards like they were kindergarten musical toys, easy to use and easier to master. You feed a need, many kiss ass. That is fine. That is the way of the world, well, the tao of the 'net at least. BUT PLEASE,' he had used the established form for stressed words. 'Do not confuse me with those seduced. There are some of us recognise your skills. Lady J, the only time I kiss ass, is when it is as part of foreplay.'

'You surely have some nerve dahlin', she reverted to type-speak, perhaps as a security aid, or, perhaps as the sheathed blade of provocation's forging.

'Damn me vitals lass,' He countered with the kind of corny Brit-speak old movies favoured. 'That's never been in doubt. Nerve? Full of the damn stuff. Had to be, work would have been a nightmare without it. Question is, how much nerve have you got, if any?'

'why d'you call me lady J.' He had expected that at some point. Oddly, it came in an almost dislocated point in the exchange.

'Because dear lady, that is how I perceive you, that is how I elect to regard you'

'Odd way to view a cyber-slut.' She had challenged.

'My way, it's the only way I have, it's the only way I do, ever.' He replied instantly.

'Darlin , you are a strange one.' She came back.

'No, not strange. Possibly, simply unique. Give me your cell number.' The stretched pause in exchange underlined the impact his words bestowed.

'Why on earth would I do that?' She had resisted.

'So when you come to Brackenridge Park, The Japanese Tea Gardens, tomorrow at 6p.m. I can call you and tell you where you need go. I could buy a cell and leave it for you at the information kiosk. We could have code words so the undercover ice-cream vendor didn't zap you with a double mint and cherry chocolate chip, as he covers the inevitable greeter's back, But, isn't that a little, too, too, t'herrhibbly Ian Fleming, Dhaaahrling. By the way, that last was to be read as somewhat Noel Coward-esque, not a put down on Texan talk. Oh, by the way, wear a little plaid skirt, its overdue'.

She had posted one more message. It had been a cell number, followed by a simple statement. 'No promises, you really are so fucking weird, got to go'.

Smiling, he settled back, sipping some Irish he turned to continue with the meal, still warm thanks to the small burner beneath the chased silver salver.

He mused on the excellence of the Fajitas. It wasn't the first time he had eaten Fajitas before, but never like these. The cook was a genius. He had no idea whether the artist formally warranted the title cordon bleu, he didn't care.

It didn't matter. Anyone who could take a peasant dish like this and transform it into such a symphony of perfectly charred and seasoned splendour was assured a place in heaven. Whatever the maestro had done with the lightly charred green peppers was a fucking life affirming event, a gastronomic moment to kill for - as long as it served world peace, and the war on whoever the hell wanted to get between him and that chef's work.

He had chosen 6 p.m. for a reason. He had assumed this would be the time when the park emptied out. People would be heading home, or onto the next phase of their day. The previous day's visit had confirmed it. Old habits died hard. Good intelligence and better recon', had always been the key. Recall and assumption was always best discarded in favour of acquisition, first hand visual acquisition.

Reaching the stipulated place, she had complied. Delicately perched on the log rail her ass gently flared beneath the light fabric of the skirt. The plaid was wonderful, understated, in a dark-on-dark shadow check woven into what looked like silk. It shimmered upon the slightest urging of her smallest breath, her softest pulse. It offered just enough of a vague reference to that erotic icon, the catholic school-look. On a fifteen year old he would find it dull, uninspiring, self determined as distastefully taboo. On her, a mature young woman, the almost abstracted reference was art.

Checking that both the approach and the egress were clear, he moved. Too much experience had flowed 'neath his bridge to allow a sound to accompany his footfalls. Despite being a big man, he moved very well. Poaching with his grandfather had been the start of his learning that skill, work had been the honing of it. T

he skill of moving near silently lay in one key, setting the feet down its 'ball' first. The Native Americans knew 'heel walking' was the noisy way. They, like poachers, knew 'ball-walking' allowed one to feel for treacherous debris that might rustle or crack. Silently standing behind her he watched the play of back and shoulder muscles as she breathed.

One more visual check on the approaches formed the final ritual in the opening-play. Then, no lights, no camera, only action.

His left hand flashed across her face, gently but firmly closing her mouth off, his right arm encircled her hips, and lifted. It all happened in one move.

Paralysed by his seemingly ubiquitous grasp she was carried away from the path. Light danced through the mottling shadow source of branches and leaves as he quickly transported her beyond the 'hide. His hands set her down and shifted at once to her head. One each side the hands held her head in place so she could only stare at the high wall of the entrenched, invisible from beyond, niche of rock.

"I think you might enjoy the blindfold." He whispered as a dark swathe of fabric appeared in a hand and settled over her eyes. An involuntary gasp swept out of her.

"Now think carefully, you are already taken, already my prize. You are here because I willed it and you colluded with my will. I will use you, but only if you ask me to." He spoke words that shocked her. "If you do not, if you pretend to defy, I leave. No haggling, no compromise, my way, or no way. There is exciting variation of the risqué, and there is brutal, selfish abusive force. I do not do the latter, other than as desired enacted enhancement on the lady's part." His lips almost touched her ear as hot breath caressed the words into her awareness.

"Who tha' hell d'you think you are" Her words sounded as a low snarl, anger fuelling vehement form.

"A dedicated player of unusual and often extreme games, and usually, their winner." A low, gentle laugh ended his reply.

"What the hell makes you think I would beg for a fuck from any'damn'man?" The anger was still there, feeding on the surface of sudden indignation.

"Absolutely nothing." His words shocked her, he felt it in a slight tensing of her body. "Why would you need beg, and I didn't say beg, I said 'ask'. It might be rewarding to hear you beg, but only as an aspect of your own volition. I am not some feeble man hiding his inadequacy behind a mask of fake dominance. I don't need your subjugation to inflate my ego and dick. I need what you are. Horny, and hopefully adventurous. Maybe you might even slip the mask aside a little."

He felt her body slacken a little as tension eased off. "You know the majority of men would eagerly chase your tail, a good number would fawn and beg, many would succumb to clever games designed to make them think their macho bullshit was winning the day. Infact, the majority would eagerly chase you 'til you caught them, and they would never spot that nuance."

"What the hell are you talking about?" she demanded. Her body remained against him, her heat and subtle floral scent so pleasant in this shared space.

"Games, variation, newness, and play, all anathema to boredom and deeper ennui." He explained. " We all need what we need. Sadly, the world we inhabit seeks to brand all such as mentally deformed and send us screaming to a therapist if ever we vary from norms no-one actually fits. Norms that only exist in the fiction of the public face and its so public arena."

"Maybe some need therapy." This lady J suddenly sounded small, as though a fragile layer or armour had been stolen away.

"Maybe some just need to decide, this is how I am, this is me, and that's ok." Again, he offered contradiction in so gentle a tone it lacked its usual frame of confrontation. "Maybe some need to decide they won't be punished for deeds they didn't cause or do, for debts they didn't run-up." He had grinned, " I could have said accrue. But that would have been a somewhat predictable rhyme."

Her body settled back against him, a fractional increase in pressure and heat that set free a fresh hint of that subtle perfume.

"Your nipples are hard." A small laugh escaped to punctuate his words.

"An'that's a damn odd place to carry a gun." She countered. Her ass pressed back, minutely ,claiming little distance but stealing much by way of sensate emphasis. " or maybe you're just so damn pleased to see me." Her words held her own, gentler, tone as she parodied Mae West.

"Cliché, can at times be so appropriate, so valid." He conspired, despite knowing his pockets were empty of anything that might be locked and loaded. " But, at times it is a very sensible place to conceal other weapons. A man's crotch is the one place even many trained personnel can be very reluctantand lax, in exploring in any kind of detail."

"So, I don't....ask, for it and you just walk away? You an' that hard cock ah'can feel tryin' to set it's brand on mah ass." She stressed the Texan shading of her speech, breathed it, clad in Texan reference, knowing it could possess eroticism in a way denied to so many accents. Many were formed in harshness and mutation of speech's melodious form. Not hers. Even the word 'cock' was granted a breathy sigh granting a soft 'hhhh' to its end-sound. That gentling caress stole its power for offence and invested the sound with seductive allure.

"I think I can hear a tune to tell the coming of endings." He whispered cryptically.

"Are you crazy?" She whispered back, as if seeking to preserve their small enclave of secrecy set amidst the garden's public domain.

"I sometimes hope so, sane can be so fucking boring. Who the hell cares," His answer surprised her. "I am safe, that's what you should be certain of. My mental health only matters if it offers you threat of harm. It doesn't." The reassurance was set out, unasked for, yet still bidden by need.

"What tune are you talking about, there's no music...Ohhhh!" Her words, started in that low whisper, now so normal between them. They, ended as a low gasping breath as his finger lightly traced the firm mounding where muscle and flesh dressed the subtle slopes of her right thigh.

"There is. Listen." He instructed.

Pausing, she let her ears soak in all they might detect. It was quiet in this low-lying, plant festooned 'bunker' he had brought them to. However, quiet as it may be, it was not silent.

"Hear the wind, the water?" He asked, casting emphasis on the soft rustle of leaves moving in the dance demanded by the hot caress of a Texan breeze. She hadn't realised the sound of the waterfall's 60 foot downward dance threaded its way through the airborne chords of muted noise. " Listen hard, and soft truth might lay gentle claim on all, harshness dismissed, as absented fact, denied as the same."

"Is that poetry, you set to wooin' me now?" She knew he would feel the gentle ripple of her brief giggle.

"Hell no Dahlin." He teased, " I am just bein' me'ownself, so I am." A soft Irish lilt suddenly stole gentle claim on his words, and lips kissed a gentle, squeezing, taunt upon her ear.

In she breathed, Hard, almost rasping, Nostrils flaring, a gasp suppressed in the name of resistance. Resistance to what, To want, to need, to 'must have', to greed... Questions, answers, aims and goals.... Lost, cast aside,

"Ohhhh, baby, I do so love to rock'n'roll." Her gasp found form in what may have been a request.

His lips traced her neck, downward, trailing slowly along the taught ligament and vein where they intertwine in such sensate ripeness. His tongue darted, soft stabbing at her pulse, and teeth closed gently upon the tactile mother-lode extravagantly sheathing her collar-bone.

"Ohhhh mahhh gawwwwd." such a small voice painted deep colours upon a fragile moment.

His cock pulsed as he heard that lyrical nuance of long renown, The voice of a southern belle, such a long-term personal predilection.

She felt it and her ass pushed back in a small slow grind that belied the remnants of her indecision.

"There's always music here lil' lady J," he rasped, "Always will be, history makes it so. Every place has a moment in time that grants it an air or two of its very own. This one has more right than many." He, softly, insisted. "For some it's the wail of plaintiff pipes, the drone of plangent skirls wreathed in wolfshead mists. For others its muted, echoing, trumpets that call souls beyond the pale."

"Your answer is," he prompted, as lips and teeth gently played their way from neck to soft domed shoulder. "10, 9, 8, 7," he teased in a countdown punctuated by incendiary stabs of tongue and soft nipping teeth.

"Don't ask stupid questions." her sweet ass offered slow gyrations of confirmation as sensation sought fuel against his hidden, but obvious, cock.

"Don't avoid an obvious answer," he parried, "Know what you want, know why, and then make it so."

"Why do I need say it, why is it so important to give in?" she spoke through the rising waves of breath that fed on and fuelled arousal.

"Its not about giving in, its not about surrender, or submission." He told her.

"Then what the hell is it about?" a questioning plea formed the words as an understated mewl.

"Acceptance, casting down demons, and shredding word woven fabric formed from old lies and unveiling sight to hungry eyes." His meaning was once more cast in riddle's thrown down gauntlet.

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