Bryan headed over to the door and stood there with his hand on the handle.
“You want a fair start?” he said with a wry smirk on his face.
“I supposed I should make it fair for you.” Shawn responded with a saucy grin on his face.
As they stood next to the door and made sure they were ready for the dash across the yard back to the house, there was a flash of headlights in the driveway.
Shawn momentarily froze in panic but Bryan was already dashing across the yard. Shawn realized if he didn’t run, he was gonna be taking the Rough Rider Express all night and that wouldn’t mix well with doing chores and going horseback riding the next day.
As they streaked across the yard, there was blast of truck horn and loud whoop as someone drove in behind them. A second flash of headlights and a loud feminine whoop cut the air as the smaller pickup drove in and parked next to the first truck.
Bryan and Shawn got to the door neck and neck but it was Bryan who grabbed the handle first, signifying his win.
Shawn put on his best pouty face and put up a small whine that it hadn’t been fair and that he’d lost because of the people pulling up.
As they got in the door, Brian reached up and grabbed a small remote off the wall and aimed it out the window. Lights came on in the yard and along a path leading to an outdoor hot tub.
“It’ll be ready for us in a couple of hours. It’s warm now but not hot. By the time we finish dinner it’ll be heated up and ready to slip into for a while.”
Shawn turned and looked outside and saw snow starting to fall.
“Maybe I should get home?” Shawn said pensively. He didn’t want to seem like he was expecting to spend the night even though Bryan had made it clear that was what was going to happen.
Bryan laughed, “Didn’t you see the forecast? You’re gonna be snowed in for a few days most likely. 12-18 inches of snow and lots of wind. We’ll be lucky if I-35 stays open beyond tonight.”
Shawn forced a mildly disappointed face but inside he was excited. Aside from the liquid beef shit experiment, the farm seemed normal but remote.
As they stood talking, a tall lanky man walked in, pale skin framed by dark flowing hair and a beard.
“Hey Kaleb, this is Shawn. You’ll likely be seeing more of him around the farm.”
Kaleb put out his hand and Shawn shook it, “Good to meet you Kaleb.” Shawn said as confidently as he could.
“Good to meet you Shawn. We can talk more over dinner. I’m sure you and Bryan want to get dressed.”
Bryan shrugged, “You know me, so likely not.”
“True.” Kaleb said with a smile, “Patty is on her way in too. She got groceries and stocked up for the week before the blizzard hits.”
“Oh good. I was hoping she did. It’s gonna be a long weekend if any of the cattle get out. We might have to write them off.”
“Yeah.” Kaleb said somberly, “Well, I’m gonna start getting the kitchen ready for Penny to put groceries away and I’ll start dinner. Should be ready about 7:30. Clothing optional Shawn.” Kaleb said with a salicious wink.
Bryan just cleared his throat, then laughed, “If I hadn’t see that wink, I’d have never believed it.”
Shawn looked at Bryan with a puzzled expression.
Bryan’s playful expression turned serious.
“Kaleb, do you want me to talk about it or do you want to talk about it?”
Kaleb paused for a moment and Shawn could see the tears welling up in his eyes.
Bryan starting telling Shawn about Kaleb’s husband, “Sergeant Christopher Gilmore was killed in a training accident two months ago. There was a misfire during the exercise…” Kaleb trailed off and Shawn gathered him into a bear hug.
“I’m so sorry Kaleb.”
Kaleb was sobbing into Shawn’s shoulder, “He was in the military, yeah. That’s where I lost him.”
Penny walked in with her arms full of groceries. Her eyes got big as she saw a naked Shawn bear hugging Kaleb, but once she heard Kaleb’s sobbing, she understood and went into the kitchen without a word.
“Kaleb, do you still want to help Penny with dinner? If not, I can do it.” Bryan said quietly.
“Nah, I got it Bryan. I just..”
Suddenly, Bryan’s eyes got huge. It hadn’t dawned on him previously.
“Shawn, we should let Penny and Kaleb get going on the kitchen. We can run upstairs and clean up from chores.” he said as he urgently tapped Shawn on the shoulder.
Although he didn’t know what was going on, he knew he wanted out of this awkward situation. He was a gorgeous grieving man sobbing on his shoulder while he stood there naked and cold.
“Yeah, we should Bryan. It’s a bit cold out here too.”
“Yeah, c’mon Shawn. Hey Kaleb, if you guys need anything even just an extra pair of hands, let us know.”
Kaleb struggled to regain his composure, “Yeah, one of us will let you guys know.”
“C’mon Shawn. Let’s get cleaned up and get dressed for dinner.”
Shawn’s head was starting to spin from all the flip-flops that were happening.
“Kaleb said that dinner was clothing optional.” Shawn said, eliciting a nod and a quiet ‘yeah’ from Kaleb.
“Yes, he did say that. It might be cold in the dining room though. I don’t remember if I turned up the heat in the entire house and more importantly opened the vents in the dining room.”
“Oh, okay.” Shawn said, still perplexed but going along with it. Kaleb walked into the house, Bryan and Shawn following behind him.
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