To Be Determined – Part 15

Shawn opened his eyes and picked his head up a bit.  Owwww! He thought as he put his head back down.

“Babe, you’re awake.”

“Yeah. What happened?  Did you hit me over the head or something?” Shawn said quietly.

“What did you just say?” Bryan asked incredulously.

“I said, ‘Did you hit me over the head or something?’” Shawn repeated a bit louder.

“No Shawn, I didn’t. Do you remember what happened at dinner?”

“Dinner? Did I miss dinner?” Shawn asked concerned.

Bryan got a bit worried.  He knew Shawn had hit his head when he passed out and fell out of his chair, but didn’t realize that Shawn might have been seriously injured.

“What’s the last thing you remember?”

“We ran inside after you tried to get me to shovel shit.  There was some lady…and a guy who lost his husband…” Shawn struggled a bit, “I can’t.  I can’t remember their names.”

“It’s okay Shawn.  You lay here and keep warm.  I’m going to go to the bathroom and once I’m done, I’ll get you a warm bath drawn.  Does that sound good?” Bryan asked forcing a smile.

“It does Rrr…rrr…Ryan.  No, that’s not right.”

Bryan kept the smile plastered on his face until he could turn away from Shawn.  He quietly walked into the bathroom and did what he needed to do.  As he left the bathroom, he noted that Shawn was asleep again.

He quietly walked down the stairs and found Patty and Caleb sitting in the living room.

Bryan didn’t try to keep the smile on his face.

“Hey guys, I’m worried.  He’s doesn’t remember anything about dinner, he remembers meeting you two but not your names, and he called me Ryan. I don’t know if he was mixing up Bryan and Rowdy or not but I think he’s got a serious head injury.”

Patty didn’t wait for him to finish but was already up and bringing a
cordless phone to Bryan.

“Bryan, it’s been over four hours.  If we need to get him to a hospital, we’re gonna have to do it now or he’ll be stuck here in this snow.”

Bryan took a deep breath and called 911.  After explaining the issue, he was transferred to the Emergency Department at Hamilton County Regional.

Before long, Bryan was heading back up the stairs to wake Shawn up and ask him questions and exam him as the remote eyes for the ER doctor.

“Yes, he can open his eyes and focus them, but his pupils are not the same size.  Yes, he did sleep for a couple of hours.  It had been a long day, so we…” there was a pause, “Ames?  Oh.  Yes sir.  If Ames it is, Ames it is.  I’ll call 911 and see what I can find out for
road conditions.  Thank you again doctor.”

As he hung up the phone, he realized that Shawn was asleep again.

Bryan ran down the stairs, not worrying about how loud he was going down
the stairs.

He ran into the living room and stopped.  Patty already knew what was likely going to happen and had already put together a winter survival kit and had pulled together blankets, sleeping bags and everything else they would need if they got stuck.  She’d even packed a cooler full of food.

Caleb was dressed in full winter gear and he realized he could hear Caleb’s truck running.  Everyone else was in the living room as well.

“We’re not heading to Webster City.  They want him in Ames as soon as we can
get him there.  They said he should have really done right after the fall.”

Caleb let out a small “Yeehaw.” that was laden with sarcasm.  He was mentally tallying up the miles to get to Ames.  It would be about 70 miles no matter what way they went. Getting down to Route 20 would be the hardest part.  From there it was all prayers that the Transportation Department could keep a single lane open to Ames.

Caleb looked up at Bryan with the sternest look he could give him.

“Let’s get moving.  Load up the truck.  Shawn will sit shotgun.  Patty, bring extra blankets so we can cushion Shawn from the door and the frame of the truck.  We’re gonna swaddle him in.  Bryan, do you want to drive or should I?”

Bryan looked at Caleb and the fear he had for Shawn’s safety showed in his face.  He was thinking of the same 70-or-so miles to Ames.  If they could make Highway 20.

A half hour or so later, they had the quad cab loaded and Shawn was bundled into the passenger seat.  Caleb dropped the truck into four wheel drive and low gear and took off.

Bryan had his phone out and had figured out that it was gonna be 25 miles of back roads to get down to Highway 20.  25 miles took almost 90 minutes.  If Caleb hadn’t been driving even more cautiously than usual, they’d have been in the ditch a few times.

When they got to the interchange with Highway 20, they were flagged down by a state
patrol officer.

“You guys transporting a guy to Ames?”

“Uh yeah.” Caleb said hesitantly.

“We got a call from one of the people at your house that you guys were heading down to Ames with a head injury. There’s a plow up on 20 waiting for us.  He’s gonna plow in front of us, you’re gonna follow me.  We’re getting you to Ames.”

“Yes sir.  I’ll pull in behind you and wait for you to lead.”

The officer nodded and trotted back to his car and then they were off. As they got to the ramp, the officer slowed and the lights of the snowplow came on and started clearing the way for them to get to Ames but it was still snowing heavily and the winds were intense.

Other writers this week:

Louise Lyons

Jon Keys

Cia Nordwell

Mann Ramblings

Jim Dunaway

Ravon Silvius

Carol Pedroso

Julie Lynn Hayes

To Be Determined – Part 14

 Welcome back to my writing!  It’s been a while.

Time froze for Shawn as he realized that Bryan was getting down on one knee.  He felt his stomach tie itself in knots and his throat got tight.  Nooooo, please don’t let him pop the question. I don’t know if I can say yes.

Bryan paused for a moment and reached for the large knife on the table.

“Shawn, as our guest, would you please cut the pies that was made in your honor?”

Compared to what he had been expecting, Bryan’s request seemed ludicrous.

Shawn snapped and stood up and found himself yelling at him, “What do you mean would I cut the pies?  What is this a social?” as he’d been expecting a wedding proposal with the one knee stance. There was a collective gasp around the table and before he realized what he’d done, Kaleb was already by his side ready to protect Bryan.

Bryan’s face dropped, “For God’s sake, sit down Shawn.  You are making a fool of yourself.”

Shawn slowly sat down, his eyes never leaving Bryan’s.  Bryan slowly backed up and sat himself down in his chair.

“Shawn, I wasn’t making light of anything.  I didn’t feel it would be right for me to walk up to you and suddenly there was a large knife in my hand.  I wanted make sure that you didn’t take offense or feel threatened by the knife.”

Shawn forced a smile that he hoped looked sincere and extended his hand to take the knife.  Patty reached over and took the lid off the pies.

Shawn took a deep breath and turned back to the table.

There was a folded card on one of the pies, written in ornate script:


In the past three months:

You have stolen my heart.

The thought of you makes me smile.

They say poetry is art

and work is shoveling the shit pile.

Welcome to my farm.

Will you share this life?

Will you marry me?

– B

Shawn stopped. Calmly putting the knife down, he turned to face all everyone at the table then turned back to Bryan.  He felt his face burning and knew that he had just made an absolute fool of himself.

“Uhm … well … hells bells, I just made a fucking ass of myself. I’ve never had any luck with dating much less finding someone as wonderful as Bryan. I thought when he went down on one knee, he was going to propose but then he handed me the knife and well, we know what happened.”

Shawn stared down at the table and after a moment looked up at Bryan with tears in his eyes, “I can’t marry you.  Not after what I just did. I’ve not let my fiery temper get the best of me in a long time and …” Shawn trailed off as he began to sob.

An awkward silence filled the dining room…and seemed to grow by the second.

Finally, Patty broke the silence with a small laugh.

“Shawn, if you hadn’t reacted like that and Bryan had just asked you to marry him, what would you have said?”

Shawn paused and his mouth opened and shut a couple of times as he frantically figured out how to answer the question without getting him into more trouble.

“Well, it is something I’d been thinking about and I’m not sure that I’m good enough for someone as wonderful as Bryan.  I mean…” Shawn was cut off by Patty and Caleb in unison.

They both said something to the effect that if Bryan had chosen him and after three months was popping the question, he must be one helluva man.

Shawn sat quietly and looked over to Bryan who just smiled and said “Shawn, babe, you don’t have enough confidence in yourself outside of work.  You are a wonderful man.”

Shawn felt the tears start to run down his face and dreaded the fact that this night would be something they would all remember for a very long time.  He felt like he had ruined it and wasn’t worthy of giving Bryan a ‘yes’.

Bryan sat at the head of the table and tried to read Shawn’s expression and body language to tell what he was thinking. He know that Shawn was the one he wanted to marry but Shawn was so down on himself that tonight’s episode might just be enough to keep him from saying yes.

Patty was thinking the same thing but didn’t know Shawn well enough to know for sure.  All she knew was that Shawn needed to say yes to Bryan as it would be the best thing to happen to both of them.

Shawn finally found his composure and cleared his throat. He stood up and walked over to Bryan and kneeled in front of him with his head bowed.

“Bryan, my love, if you can accept me, flaws and all, then yes, I will marry you.” He finished and looked up at Bryan with a big shit eating smile.

A chorus of cheers and whoops went up around the table and Patty went to get the champagne.  She quickly returned with a tray of glasses and a large bottle.  She filled the glasses and passed one to everyone.

Small toasts were made and drank in honor of Shawn and Bryan. Caleb was stoic in his toast but the tears freely flowing down his face betrayed his sadness at losing his own husband a few months earlier.  Patty couldn’t hide the smile on her face and Drew and Nick had drawn closer while they gave their toasts which confused Shawn a bit since he thought they were brothers.

When everyone was finished, Bryan stood up and held up his glass. He tried to speak but the words didn’t come out at first.  They finally did, but they were thick with emotion, “To my husband-to-be, a better man than he thinks he is.”

The enormity of what Bryan said and what it meant overwhelmed Shawn and he fainted.

Other Wednesday Briefers posting free flash fiction this week:

Cia Nordwell

Mann Ramblings

Louise Lyons

Jon Keys

Carol Pedroso

Ravon Silvius

Julie Lynn Hayes

To Be Determined – Part 13


Shawn and Bryan were dressed and about to head downstairs to dinner when Bryan stopped Shawn.

Bryan was still confused about what was going on with Kaleb.  He understood Caleb had lost his husband but how did he figure into this?

As they walked out of the bedroom, Bryan tapped Shawn on the shoulder and motioned him over another room upstairs.  When they walked in, Shawn saw a U.S. flag folded into a triangle in a handmade oak display case.  On the left of the flag was a picture of Sgt. Christopher Gilmore’s headstone, complete with service decorations.  On the right was a picture of the honor guard standing close to the casket as it was being lowered into the grave.

The shelf below was pictures of Caleb and Christopher’s wedding.  As Shawn approached, he realized that Christopher looked a lot like him.  The lightbulb went on in his head.

“Oh my God Bryan, I look like his dead husband.”

“Yeah Shawn, you do.  That’s why I was adamant about us wearing clothes to dinner.  Kaleb didn’t realize it until I made the reference to Christopher.” Bryan said quietly.

“Thank you for making sure that I got dressed for dinner. Sitting there naked, I would have been a vivid reminder of Christopher. It would be hell for him. Just me being there is going to be enough.”

“I know.  I had Patty try her best to talk him out of being here tonight.  She’s like a sister to me.  She grew up down the road and when she told her parents that she was a lesbian and wasn’t going to be staying on the farm, she got kicked out.  I offered her a place here and she’s all but become the lady of the house.  I think running the house and farm satisfies her mothering nature.  Christopher’s death happened during our first big winter storm.  If she hadn’t been here to watch over him, I don’t know if he’d still be here.  I was out all night rounding up the cattle and getting them into the barns.  The storm hit earlier than forecast and it was intense from the start.”

Bryan was interrupted by Patty yelling up the stairs asking if they were gonna keep yakking or if they were going to come down for dinner.

“Be right down Patty!” Bryan yelled down the stairs then turned to Shawn, “I told you she is the farm’s mother.” They headed downstairs with Bryan giving Shawn the very abridged tour of the main floor of the house.

As they turned into the dining room, Shawn let out a gasp as he hadn’t been expected a full formal dining room with hardwood floors and an oak table that would comfortably seat 12.

Bryan let out a laugh, “We rarely use this dining room.  The house was built by former missionary and so he had the house built with a formal dining room for entertaining visiting ministers and missionaries.  There’s a formal room as well that used to had a piano in it.  Patty and I turned it into a living room instead.  It was the one room this house didn’t have.”

Patty motioned them in and they sat down.  Bryan was at one head of the table and Patty was at the other.  There were new people at the table and Bryan went around introducing them.  Drew and Nick were from down the road and worked on the farm.  They had lost their farm in the farm crisis in the 1980s and decided to stay out of the business.  Drew and Nick were looking to rebuild the family farm and were working on the farm to gain experience.  Jen was an agri-business major from Iowa State in Ames who working an internship on the farm mostly shadowing Bryan and Patty. She offered a sounding board for Patty and Bryan as well as offering her input on the day-to-day management. Shawn had already met Kaleb and Patty. He made a mental note that in spite of dinner being “clothing optional” everyone was fully dressed and the dining room was quite warm.

As everyone got settled, Bryan asked for a moment’s silence for a prayer to be said. He bowed his head and began to pray.

The farmer works the fields with the power of his hand.

The power from the sky above brings harvest to the land.

The forces in the earth can take the seeds and make them strong,
And magnify the power of the sun.

By the sun, the rain, the wind and the earth,
The farmer is in harmony with the land.

May you all be blessed!

As Bryan closed the prayer, all around the table except Shawn said “Blessed Be!”

Shawn had been a bit nervous before this, but he’d never seen Bryan be at all religious so an energetic prayer and response was discomforting.  He didn’t have much time to think about it as Bryan taking his seat set the table in motion as plates were filled and dishes passed.

Shawn made a note to himself to ask Bryan about it later but soon forgot about it as he started eating.  Patty had pulled together an amazing meal from seemingly nothing.  He understood why Bryan had kept her working on the farm.

It was about an hour later as the third round of dishes got passed around that Patty and Bryan brought out two pies still steaming from the oven.  They set down the pies and Bryan walked over to Shawn and dropped down to one knee.

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Louise Lyons

Cia Nordwell

Avery Dawes

Ravon Silvius

Jon Keys

Jim Dunaway

Mann Ramblings

Kazy Reed

Carol Pedroso

Julie Lynn Hayes

To Be Determined – Part 12


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.

Other Wednesday Briefers posting free fiction this week:

To Be Determined – Part 11

For others writing fabulous fan fiction, see the list at the end.


Shawn followed Bryan’s F-150 north of of the city. The suburbs soon faded into the rear view mirror and before long, he found himself thinking that they were really heading for Minnesota.  A little ways before the next exit, a blinking turn signal shot down that idea.

The road was paved, barely, but after a couple of miles and a turn, was down to gravel.  Bryan kept up his normal speed as though nothing had changed but Shawn wasn’t feeling all that confident.  Thankfully for Shawn’s anxiety, Bryan began to slow down and turned into a driveway leading up to a large farm house with several large outbuildings.

Shawn looked at the farm house and thought to himself, there must be at
least seven bedrooms!

Bryan rolled his truck to a stop and parked it.  Shawn parked up next to him unsure where to park since it looked like any other part of the yard.  Bryan smiled and him and pointed him to where he was parked. Shawn got out of the car and sank into the few inches of snow that were on the ground.

Bryan smiled and him and headed for the house.  He called over his shoulder, “You comin’ in Shawn?”

Shawn got his duffle bag out of the car and started towards the house, but couldn’t stop thinking that he was in over his head.

Shawn stepped into mud room and started to take his shoes off.

“Good idea.” came the muffled call from Bryan somewhere in the house, “They won’t do you much good in the barn.”

Bryan came back out dressed in a roughed up pair of Wranglers, a t-shirt with a flannel shirt over it, and a pair of boots that looked caked in mud.

Shawn looked at his quizzically.

“We have chores to do before we have dinner.” Bryan said with a wry smile.  He reached over for a pair of hip waders and handed them to Shawn.  “You’re going to need these.”

Shawn nodded and slid them on, thinking they were to help keep him warm.

“Let’s get you a raincoat too.  You’re still dressed pretty nicely.” Bryan
chuckled as he handed Shawn a rain poncho.

Shawn put it on and was still blissfully ignorant of what was coming.

Bryan headed out the door and started walking across the yard towards the
biggest barn.  Shawn trotted up behind him and followed him.

“What do we need to do?” Shawn asked.

“We’re going to clean and drain the dairy barn.  The day crew didn’t get a chance to do it today, so we need to get it done.”

“Oh. What does that involve?”

“We’ll be shoveling the litter out of all the holding pens, then hosing down the pens, then cleaning and draining the trough.”

“Oh, that doesn’t sound that bad.” Shawn said with a smile.

Bryan just smiled but inside, he was dying of laughter knowing that Shawn
had no idea of what he was in for tonight.

They walked into the barn and all Shawn could see were enclosures and cows. There was lots of straw and feed in the pens but this didn’t see like it would be that bad of a job. Bryan turned to look at Shawn and to give him instructions.

“Shawn, you’ll find a few large shovels in the closet over there.  Grab one of them and start here by the door.  You’ll want to push all solid waste out to the trough towards the outside wall.  The cows are used to this and when you clean one side of their pen, they’ll move to that side so you can clean where they were. They aren’t the smartest animals, but even they know the joys of a clean house.  Once we have all the pens clean, we’ll go through and break down hay bales for them to have clean bedding and it’ll help to keep them warmer.  You ready?”

“Yeah. You know, life on the farm doesn’t seem that bad.” Shawn said as Bryan cracked up laughing.

Bryan pulled himself together enough to tell Shawn to get busy on his  chores as he set off to check the manure trap and the digester.  He hadn’t made it half way across the barn when he heard a loud shriek and the sound of someone retching.

Well, that didn’t take long.” Bryan thought to himself as the trotted across the barn.  He got up to the first stall as Shawn stood up.

“There. Is. Liquid. Beef. Shit. In. Here.” Shawn gasped, then glared at Bryan, “Laugh at me and you die.” he said as seriously as he could.

Bryan could see that Shawn actually really upset with him.

“Okay, Shawn. That’s enough. I didn’t think that you’d really want to do this stuff.  The rest of the team left this barn for us since you wanted to see farm life.  This was the easiest one actually.”

“How…how do you work in all this…shit?” Shawn asked.

“Honestly, I really don’t even notice it unless there’s something about it that would make me think that one  or more of the cows were sick. After growing up with this, it doesn’t bother me at all.”

Shawn shuddered, “Can I take this stuff off now?” he asked pitifully.

“Yes, yes you can Shawn. Go hang it up in the closet where you found the shovel. I’ll check and see where dinner is.  I didn’t expect you to….I expected us to take longer.” Bryan said side-stepping making fun of Shawn.

Bryan had walked over to the closet and said to Shawn once it had finished,

“Dinner will be ready in about an hour.  C’mon, we have time to clean up and be presentable for dinner.”

With that, Bryan stripped naked except for his socks and boots.  Shawn stood there looking at him but followed along.  Once Shawn was naked, Bryan smiled at him, “Last one to the house is the bottom!” as he took off running.

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To Be Determined – Part 10

(Author note: Sorry for the long delay in picking this back up, I’ve been battling an intense medical issue that’s kept me down for a few weeks now.- Johayan)

With New Years having come and gone as well, life settled back down to normal for Shawn and Bryan.

Sitting at dinner at Ristorante Jultari, Bryan decided he needed to make a move.

“Shawn, we’ve been spending most of the last three months together. I have met your parents and they seem like me. Would you ever considering moving out of the city and living on a farm?”

Time froze for Shawn rendering him oblivious to the glob of bolognese sauce falling onto his white dress shirt and the fork loaded with spaghetti falling from his hand making a large red spider stain on the linen tablecloth.

Bryan snapped him out of his shock by reaching across the table and scooping up the sauce on his finger.  As he put it in his mouth and sucked the sauce off, he smiled and said “You are a saucy devil aren’t you?”

Shawn’s subconscious heard Bryan’s words and he started laughing.  He couldn’t stop the giggles.  Bryan’s ability to make him laugh at any moment was one of the many reasons that Shawn had found himself falling deeply in love with Bryan.  Just as suddenly as he had started giggling, Shawn unexpected passed gas.

Fanning his face and affecting the voice of a gentile southern lady, he looked Bryan right in the eyes, “Pardon my toots!” which set Bryan off into gales of laughter.

After they had both had settled down, Shawn thought back over the last couple of months since they had met.

The big Thanksgiving dinner had gone rather well and there were no major disagreements. The only issue was that the size of the kitchen caused a couple of dishes to be delayed and stretched the meal on longer than had been expected.

Now Christmas had come and gone. He been looking forward to having another big dinner, this time with his family.  He had a constant debate with himself on inviting Bryan over to meet his folks.  His parents knew he was gay and they were okay with it.  They’d wondered when he’d settle down and find someone but were starting to give up on that dream.

He also knew that Bryan wasn’t a big fan of winter or the holidays.  Winter on the ranch meant constant work making sure that the livestock had feed and water no matter the wind or snow.  Once he had moved out and hadn’t spoken to his family for a couple of years, the weather didn’t bother him as much as the loneliness of the holidays. Thanksgiving and Christmas had always been big family gatherings at the ranch.

The Christmas dinner had also gone off without any incidents.  Shawn’s parents had welcomed Bryan as if he was Shawn’s brother.  It helped to brighten Bryan’s mood and helped the holidays pass easier for him.

He also realized that he was markedly less energetic for the stretches of time when their work schedules kept them apart.

“Bryan, why don’t you show me around the farm first?  I mean, if I’m going to live there, I should see more than the bathroom and bedroom.” Shawn said this with a mischievous smile.

Bryan smiled and nodded his agreement.  Shawn hadn’t really ever seen the farm except to drive up to the house and go in…then go back out to his car and drive home. He pulled out his phone and sent a quick text to one of his farmhands to make sure that the farm was in tip-top shape as there would be visitors in the coming week.

“Shawn, it’s Tuesday.  Why don’t we plan for you to head up to the farm after work on Friday.  I’ll put you to work on the farm and let you see what I’m doing when I’m not with you.”

Shawn smiled widely, “Sounds great.  Do I get boots before then?’

“It wouldn’t hurt, but you’ll be okay without them. What size shoe do you wear?”

“11E.  Why?”

“You could always wear some of my boots, but they’d be too small for you.”

“Well, I do have hiking boots.”

“Those will work just fine.  Just make sure you wear jeans and clothes that you won’t mind getting dirty.  You will be working that hot little ass of yours off this weekend.”

Shawn’s eyebrows shot up.  “Work?  Do I get paid for it?”

Bryan smiled his mischievous smile, “Oh, you’ll get laid…errr paid for it.”

Shawn saw the smile and knew that as much as the idea of farmwork made him nervous, the pay would make it worthwhile.

They finished up their dinner in relative silence as both thought about their actions and plans for the weekend. Opening the farm up to Shawn was a huge step for Bryan.  The farm was his safe place, where he controlled his world.  While Shawn sat thinking about what he would be doing while out at the farm.  Shawn was raised in the suburbs of Chicago and only moved to Des Moines because of the job offer he got there.


Other writers posting free flash fiction for you this week:

Taylin Clavelli

Sarah Hayes

Ravon Silvius

Avery Dawes

Jim Dunaway

Kazy Reed

Mann Ramblings

Cia Nordwell

Nephy Hart

Jon Keys

Shelly Schulz

Carol Pedroso

Julie Lynn Hayes

To Be Determined – Part 9

The day had started much earlier with sweaty toe-curling sex that had left Shawn spent, laying in a puddle of his own sweat, Bryan’s rough-riding wearing him down to exhaustion.  Shawn had never felt anything like it.  Raw passionate sex but yet Bryan was concerned about his enjoyment and actually listened to him.  Bryan had started out in his normal caring ‘making love’ ways but something about Shawn had brought out the animalistic carnal urges that he had been repressing so long…

They had passed out with their sweaty bodies pressed together, still in the state of passion that had ended with Shawn covered with his own release and feeling Bryan’s within him.

Bryan woke first, momentarily startled. He wasn’t in his bed or his house. He rolled over and saw Shawn laying there still asleep and felt waves of emotions crash over him. He’d not let himself think about dating, much less having a relationship. Yet, here he was with Shawn. Shawn had stolen his heart and he hadn’t realized it. They had fucked like animals and the room smelled like it.

Shawn woke up when Bryan rolled over and opened his eyes to see him looking at him. “You work today Bryan?” Shawn asked quietly, realizing that he was a sticky sweat-soaked mess.

“No. Did you wanna do something?”

“Well, I screwed up last night and packed up for the workweek too soon.  I thought it was getting dark and saw it was 8pm.  No, it had been dark for a couple of hours.  It was glare from somewhere making it look brighter outside.  It’s Thanksgiving this week.  Would you like to meet the homeless homos I make a spread for?”

“Homeless homos?” Bryan asked a bit perplexed. “He feeds the homeless?! Wow!” he thought to himself.

“Yeah, it’s a yearly thing I do where any of my friends who can’t make it home for Thanksgiving are welcome here to spend time with people and not be stuck home alone.”

Bryan smiled, “I thought you meant literal homeless people but either one is a great thing. Do you need help with cooking or setting up?”

“I could use some help in the kitchen.  What’s your specialty?”

“Well, I dunno if I’d call it a speciality, but I think my cheesy bacon ranch mashed potatoes are amazing.  My family loved them too…when I lived at home…” Bryan trailed off with obvious sadness in his eyes.

Shawn quickly leaned in to kiss him. “You think you can whip up a batch to feed at least a dozen people?”

“Yeah, easy.  I just need to get to the store and make sure I have all the stuff I need to make them.”

“I know you’ve never seen me eat anywhere but Jeff’s but I do cook well. It’s just pointless when you are alone and don’t entertain much.”

“True Shawn. Maybe we’ll have to change that.” Bryan said with a wink.

A small chuckle escaped Shawn, “Yeah, I’ve got you now don’t I?”

Bryan paused for a moment and looked at Shawn, his stomach churning and his heart in his throat. Time froze for Bryan and the few seconds that passed seemed like a century.  He struggled to say “Yes.” but could only bring himself to tackle-kiss Shawn and pin him to the bed.

The kiss lasted a few minutes until Bryan had to stop and breath.

Neither spoke, but the look that passed between them said all that needed to be said.  They were on a journey together for better or for worse.

“You know, we should get cleaned up and go to the store now to avoid the crush of people later in the week.” Shawn said meekly, embarrassed for his current state and yet he was turned on by the dull ache that reminded him of how he and Bryan had finally connected and became one.

I know why he’s called Rowdy, that’s for sure!” Shawn thought to himself as he slid out of bed and made a mental note that as soon as they got back, he was going to have strip the linens and wash them twice.

Shawn had just slipped into the shower and was thankful he’s spent the money to upgrade his shower to a jet-spray shower.  It seemed to hit him from everywhere all at once and he immediately felt a bit cleaner.  He reached for his shower gel when Bryan’s big rough hand caught his.

“Here, let me help with that.” Bryan said as his other hand pulled Shawn around to face him. Shawn went with the twist and was met with a kiss from Bryan. Their repressed lust took over again and before long Bryan had Shawn pinned against the back wall of the shower and slowly making love to him.

Both were oblivious of the challenges that the upcoming week would create: sharing a kitchen, meeting new people, and the simple act of getting to know each other and their pasts.

Other Wednesday Briefs writers posting this week: