The Farmer & Dale Ch. 03bydlmercer©
Fear had driven Rick away. Fear of the unknown of how his family would react. All his life his parents and siblings had been his rock, the solid foundation that made his life work. The thought of losing them left him feeling lost and alone.
That night, after making love with Dale that last time, he'd awoken shivering. Anxiety creeping over him, fear knifing into his gut. He rose quietly and seated himself in one of the oak chairs that Dale had kept in the bedroom. He watched Dale sleep, so innocently, so peacefully. He contemplated his future with Dale, wondering if he could really sacrifice his family for him. What if things didn't work out? He'd find himself totally alone, no lover, no family, no friends. What if he ended up resenting Dale for his loss? Tears crept down his cheeks at the thought of this joyous love he felt, turn into something ugly and hurtful. Panic rose, twisting his guts, forcing him up and out. He ran.
Five days later, Rick was still punishing himself. He did every shit job he could find, just to keep himself occupied. At night he'd drive into Smiley's, and drink with the regulars under the table. Everyday he woke with a hangover, puking his guts out. Pale and shaking, he'd return to work, sweating the remaining alcohol out of his system. And then again, he would return to Smiley's for another round of poison each night.
He also ate little. Guilt and anger kept his stomach twisted when the alcohol wasn't of sufficient quantity to make him forget.
He wore a brace on his left hand. Cursing himself for his cowardice, agonizing over Dale and what he must be going though. He was blinded by rage at himself and the situation. He punched a support beam in the barn, acquiring a hairline fracture. The six by six beam suffered no damage.
That night at Smiley's, he sat alone in a booth, contemplating that magical night with Dale. His friends and those clinging women, knew better now than to disturb him. Rick had become surly and uncommunicative. He made it clear he wanted no company.
He sat and studied the pictures he'd pulled from his wallet. His parents, his siblings and their spouses, assorted nieces and nephews.
A picture of Dale filled his mind. Dale joking with him, teasing him. Dale fixing him coffee… that indulgent smile curving his sweet lips. Dale working with him, side by side, laboring through his exhaustion. Dale under him, their bodies joined, his words of love filling Rick's ears and his heart.
Tears filled his eyes and rolled dolefully down his cheeks. Suddenly, he slid out of the booth, dashing the tears away. He staggered out of the bar leaving early, his alcohol buzzed brain seized with the notion to see Dale.
He had to see Dale. Had to be with Dale.
Rick drove slowly with exaggerated care. He had to get to Dale. He arrived to find the house pitch dark, not surprising as it was after one in the morning. He exited his truck and climbed the front porch steps. Hesitating only a moment, he began knocking at the door. He saw a light come on behind the concealing curtains. The fabric parted slightly, Dale's face appeared. His expression was at first annoyed, then startled. Rick caught a fleeting glimpse of infinite pain that was suddenly blanked.
The front door opened. Dale kept the screen door locked, it stood between them.
"What are you doing here, Rick?" he question coldly.
"I had to see you, to tell you how sorry I am that I left." he paused then blurted the words he couldn't keep inside, "I had to tell you how much I love you."
Dale blanched, drawing back as though struck, his voice quivered, "You're drunk, go home." He closed the door.
Rick heard the dead-bolt click. He turned away, shocked as his heart shattered. Sliding to his knees on the porch floor, wracking sobs shook his body. He thought he'd felt pain before. He realized it was nothing compared to this. Dale hated him. His life was over.
He didn't hear the door open, didn't see the figure that stood over him, until warm arms encircled him. Dale's scent filled his nostrils, he fumbled his arms around that precious body, holding on for dear life.
Dale's murmured words penetrated his consciousness, "It's not fair. Where were you when I cried? Where were you? Where were you?"
Rick finally realized that Dale was crying too. "I'm sorry baby, so sorry, I was scared, I didn't know what to do. I know I hurt you. I didn't want to. I didn't know what to do. I just didn't know what to do."
Dale pulled away, "You were scared? You didn't know what to do? You should have talked to me. That's what you should have done. You think I wasn't scared too, after all the shit I've been through?"
Dale described in short pithy sentences, his failed relationship with Tony.
Rick stared at Dale, the realization of just how deeply he'd hurt him, seeping in. He rose on unsteady legs and turned away.
"Where are you going?" Dale demanded.
Head hanging, Rick explained, his voice a defeated mumble, "I know you can never forgive me
Dale. I want you to know, you were the best thing that ever happened to me. You deserve someone a hell lot better than me."
He placed a foot forward, preparing to walk away one final time.
"I swear to God, Rick Hunter, if you walk away, I'm going to kick your fucking ass." Dale growled out each word, his voice a fierce growl.
Rick turned, surprise giving him an almost comical expression. Hope filled his eyes.
"Do you love me?" Dale asked quietly.
"Do you promise from now on to share every problem with me? To talk to me? To give us a chance to find a solution together?"
Rick nodded again.
"Get your ass in the house." Dale ordered.
A ghost of Rick's patented grin made a fleeting appearance on his face as he was chastened. He entered the house.
Dale led him into the kitchen, indicating he should sit. Rick's eyes followed him non-stop as Dale fixed a pot of coffee. He placed a steaming cup in front of Rick and sat next to him. He studied Rick with a critical air as he sipped his coffee.
Reaching out, he brushed Rick's hair back from his face, "Looking a little rough there, farm boy."
Rick closed his eyes momentarily, nodding his agreement. He shivered at Dale's familiar yet fleeting touch. He opened his eyes, running a critical assessment of Dale
"You look a little haggard yourself." he observed quietly.
"It's been rough." Dale admitted.
Rick broke eye contact, his gaze fastening on the table.
Dale sighed, "I didn't say that to make you feel bad, Rick. I just figure we should be truthful with each other. I'm guessing you've made yourself feel almost as bad as I could." He grazed his finger-tips over the brace on Rick's hand. "What happened here?"
"Hairline fracture," Rick admitted.
"How'd you manage that?" Dale asked.
Rick grimaced, a blush heating his cheeks.
Dale's eyebrow raised.
"I was...uh...upset, I hit a support beam in the barn." Rick confessed shamefacedly.
Dale tried to suppress a smile but was unsuccessful, "So you tried to beat up a barn. Gutsy. Real gutsy, Hunter."
Eye contact resulted in unsuppressed chuckles. The laughter eased the tension.
Dale stood, "Come on, you look like you could use a shower and some sleep"
He led the way upstairs. As Rick stripped, Dale laid out fresh towels for him. While Rick showered, Dale splashed water on his face. He used the toilet and resisted the urge to flush it, just to hear Rick yell as the water got unexpectedly warm. He returned to the bedroom and stripped off his jeans, briefly considering whether he wanted to don briefs or sleep naked as usual. He opted for usual.
Rick made his appearance, hair damp, a towel wrapped around his waist.
He hesitantly approached the bed, "If you want, I can sleep on the couch, or in one of the other bedrooms. I don't want to push you Dale. I want you to be comfortable, but.... I'd really like to hold you babe. Just hold you, nothing else."
A soft smile graced Dale's lips. He pulled back the covers, silently inviting Rick in. Rick smiled in return, dropped the towel and climbed in. The two of them snuggled together, Dale kissed Rick's shoulder and sighed. Bodies relaxed. The effects of emotional and physical ravages took hold. The reunited lovers fell instantly asleep, locked securely in each other's arms.
Dale woke slowly, stretching. His eyes blinked open. It was fully daylight, the sun well up. A thrill of panic clenched his stomach. He rolled forcefully, his elbow connecting with the hard abs of the man who lay next to him. Rick grunted, bending to protect his besieged mid-section.
"Damn, babe, are you going wake me up like this every morning? I was hoping for something a little sexier, if you know what I mean." He gave his eyebrows a lascivious wiggle.
"Sorry," Dale murmured, his breathing a bit rapid, "I wasn't sure... I didn't know..." He stopped, unsure of what to say without sounding accusing.
Rick rose up on his elbow, pushing Dale to his back, "I'm not going anywhere. I'll never leave you again." He nuzzled Dale playfully, "Except for one thing. I really gotta piss. Bad."
He clambered over Dale's reclined form, his morning hard on poking Dale as he went. Dale reached out, delivering a resounding smack to Rick's retreating ass. Rick yelped and halted, turning a frowning gaze on Dale's innocent face.
"You will pay for that, my innocent, little angel, mark my words." He continued on to the bathroom. "By the way, if you need to pee, you better get in here. That's the only reason you get to leave that bed today."
Dale grinned, eager to comply. He anticipated Rick's lovemaking. He was disappointed that Rick kept him in bed all right, he made him rest and eat.
Last night, when Rick joined Dale in bed, he became vividly aware of the physical manifestations of Dale's ordeal. The weight-loss was noticeable. Dale had dark circles under his eyes that had not been there before. Remorse weighed heavily on Rick as he held Dale close through the night. He was determined to erase all reminders of his mistake, both physical and emotional.
He began by bringing breakfast in bed. He brought enough for two and they spent a pleasant, and to Dale's way of thinking, frustrating hour, feeding, teasing and arousing each other with no more release than that provided by a few long, hot kisses. Dale assured Rick that he was fine, to no avail, Rick just shoved another tidbit in his mouth, admonishing him to eat.
Between meals, they slept, or read, or watched movies. Rick stayed at Dale's side the entire day, except when he goes down to prepare meals. Rick would be the last to admit it, but his own body needed replenishment as well. His meals had been sparse, his body inundated with too much alcohol. Rick felt somewhat jittery and tired that day, he gratefully took his naps alongside Dale.
He slept especially sound during the late afternoon hours before supper. He woke to an empty bed, Dale having disappeared. He checked the bathroom, then downstairs, finding Dale in the kitchen preparing supper. He frowned fiercely.
"Damn it, Dale, your supposed to be in bed!"
Dale jumped, flipping a handful of salad greens out of the colander and into the sink, "Shit! Did you have to scare me like that?"
Rick moved to the sink, relieving Dale of the colander. "Go back to bed," he ordered.
"Damn it, Rick, I'm not the only one who needs to be in bed. You think I can't see that you suffered too?" Dale admonished him. "You lost weight, angel, and you're tired. You didn't stir when I got out of bed."
Rick's anger was defused, "You're too observant, you know. Am I ever going to be able to put anything over on you?"
"No," Dale chuckled, "but you're welcome to keep trying."
"All right," Rick conceded, "I propose a compromise. We fix supper together, then we both go to bed."
"On one condition," Dale agreed, "sometime, before this night is over, you have to touch me with improper intent."
Rick looked at Dale, feigning shock, " Why, Mr. Vaden, I'm surprised at you! Are you inviting me to take carnal liberties with your personality?"
"You damn well better believe I am." Dale complained, "I'm horny."
Rick snickered at Dale's plaintive admission, "Come here, you." He hooked an arm around Dale's neck, pulling him close. "I promise to perform, sordid, lewd and lascivious acts on your body, later. You'll be my soiled dove, my fallen angel, my deflowered virgin."
Dale's brows rose at the last moniker, "Um, I think it's a little late for that last one."
"You're right," Rick agreed with a shrug, "ah well. Hey, maybe I should introduce you to my favorite role playing fantasy. It's called ‘Milking the Cow.’"
Dale frowned, his face was a study in confusion and disbelief. He looked at Rick from under lowered lashes, unsure if he was serious or not.
Rick lost his struggle to keep a straight face, he burst out laughing, "Lord, you should see your face!"
Dale grinned sheepishly, "I didn't know if I should be jealous because you've been doing the cows, or drop to all fours and practice my moo."
Rick howled with laughter as tears streaked down his face. Dale grabbed him as he staggered into his arms.
"You're a nut." he accused Rick fondly, "Must be why I feel I have to take pity on you and give you a little lovin'."
"Bullshit," Rick chuckled. "You know it's because you find me sexy and irresistible."
Dale solicitously patted Rick on the back, while pretending to humor him, "Oh yeah, that's right, I forgot. Come on sweetie, let's get supper started. You need to eat. I think you're a little light headed."
The two of them continued their banter as they fixed their supper. They fixed a simple meal, salad, toasted cheese sandwiches, and cream of tomato soup. Neither had the inclination to play gourmet. It was just too much trouble, they wanted a quick fix, simple food and a quicker cleanup. That accomplished they returned upstairs.
Rick declined sharing the shower with Dale, much to Dale's disappointment. After performing his nightly bedtime rituals, he turned the bathroom over to Rick and jumped into bed, waiting impatiently. When Rick joined him in bed, he immediately became the aggressor. He kissed Rick with all his pent up passion, wringing moans from him. His hands wandered Rick's body, massaging, arousing. Having taken enough, Rick went on the offensive. He rolled Dale over onto his stomach.
"I want you on your knees, baby." he ordered.
Dale complied, groaning as Rick draped himself over his body. Rick reached around and took
Dale's cock in hand, slowly stroking.
"Guess what I found." Rick whispered in his ear.
"What?" Dale panted, totally unprepared for Rick's next salvo.
"A teat." Rick answered.
Dale growled a warning, "Rick, don't start." Irritated, Dale couldn't help the laughter that began slowly bubbling inside.
Rick ignored him and continued to pull at Dale's cock, "It's a big one too, think I'll milk it." He increased the strength of his strokes. Dale groaned, torn between laughter and the indescribable pleasure he was getting from Rick's touch.
"You sadistic bastard," he gasped as the laughter bubbled closer to the surface.
Rick whispered seductively, "Moo for me, baby."
Dale lost it completely. The laughter burst free as he collapsed to the bed. He lay there, shaking.
Rick's equally laugh-racked frame draped partially over his own. The bed shook with their mirth, not exactly the way Dale had planned for it to be shaking, but pleasurable just the same, and healing.
Rick rolled slowly to his back with a groan and a long, contented, "Mmm." as Dale followed, moving into his arms. Muscles relaxed and weakened by the laughter, they lay drowsy and acquiescent as sleep began to claim them.
Dale sleepily murmured a plaintive "I'm never gonna get laid" and drifted to sleep.
Rick joined him, a sleepy, yet devilish smile, curving his lips.
A couple of hours later, Dale woke to growing pleasure. His cock was engulfed in hot, wet, velvet heat that stroked and sucked. He groaned and reached down, finding the head of his lover bobbing rhythmically over his groin. He wrapped his fingers in soft, silky hair, petting, encouraging, and expressing his appreciation.
Rick hummed, acknowledging Dale's awareness.
Dale's body clenched at the vibration. His buttocks tightened as he mindlessly undulated a counter rhythm. Rick's hand cupped his ball sack, gently massaging, drawing a guttural groan from Dale. When his fingers found that velvety length of skin between balls and pucker, pressing firmly, Dale cried out and released. Powerful spurts of hot, fertile cream flooded Rick's mouth, which he swallowed with pleasure.
Dale finally calmed, his body melting, loose and relaxed. Rick moved up, covering him, finding his mouth, sharing a cum-flavored kiss.
"You didn't get laid, but I hope that helped." Rick whispered.
"Oh yeah, baby, just let me catch my breath and I'll show you how good it feels."
"Uh, uh, that was for you, lover. Just relax and sleep. We've got time, lots of time now, babe. Go to sleep."
Dale's heavy lids fluttered closed as Rick's deep soothing rumble, washed over him. Rick hovered over him, softly stroking his hair. He was content to watch, to be part of the peace that filled his lover. He felt infinitely peaceful and satisfied himself, knowing he was correcting his mistake, heading in the right direction. No matter how much he loved his family, he knew now that Dale is his future. He was ready to accept the consequences, whatever they might be.
The next morning they enjoyed a leisurely breakfast together. Dale noticed that Rick seemed uncommonly subdued. At first he put it down to their continuing recovery, neither of them had coped very well with their separation.
Dale stood and began clearing the table while Rick finished his coffee. Dumping the dishes into hot soapy water, he returned to Rick. He walked behind him, placing his hands on Rick's shoulders, he began a firm massage. Rick sighed and leaned back, his head against Dale's mid-section. Smiling, Dale continued the massage, leaning down to place a kiss on the top of Rick's head.
"You ok, baby?" he asked.
"Yeah, babe, just a little tired I guess." He took one of Dale's hands, kissing his knuckles, "Listen, I'm going to return the backhoe to mom and dad's and have a talk with them, about us."
Dale's stomach lurched in sympathy. He knew Rick was dreading the upcoming confession and possible confrontation with his parents.
He squeezed Rick's shoulder, "Are you sure you're ready for this?"
Rick nodded, "I don't want to put it off. Waiting will just make it harder. Besides, they're gonna wonder why I'm over here all the time." He stood and took Dale's hands in his, "Tell me you love me."
Dale looked steadily into those beautiful, solemn, yet expectant, blue-green eyes, "I love you Rick Hunter. No doubts."
Rick nodded decisively, curtly, as sheen of tears brightened his eyes. Dale dropped one of his hands but kept a firm hold of the other. He led him to the living room, leaving Rick in the center of the room with the admonition to stay put. He went to the stereo and pushing a button, selected a CD. He returned to Rick as the music began to flow from the speakers.
"I want you to listen to this song." He held out his arms, "Dance with me"
Rick stepped forward and was enfolded in warmth and comfort. The music was soft and easy. The words telling of a lover's fear of newly discovered love. And though the fear was there, so was the knowledge that everything would be all right as long as they were together.
They swayed slowly, as its mellow sweetness poured over them, the words knifing straight to his soul. He clung to Dale as tears threatened to pour. Dale's arms tightened, holding his man in a warm, secure embrace. Their movements slowed and halted as the music ended.