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Trail's End

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It was good to be back in his own bed. It had been a long time away... three weeks herding cattle, three days at the railhead and ten days for the return journey. Most of it spent sleeping on the hard ground. Yes, it was good to be at the High Chaparral again. Buck shifted restlessly and swore under his breath, then sat up and reached for the matches on his nightstand.

Not that lighting the lamp was likely to improve his ability to sleep. Buck grumbled to himself and was about to lie down again when his bedroom door opened. Manolito slipped around the edge of the half-opened door and stood just inside.

His hair was tumbled and the white shirt he wore was open far enough to show a fair expanse of brown skin. That, and a pair of dark pants was all he appeared to be wearing. Buck noted the bare feet with some surprise. It wasn't like Mano to go barefoot.

It wasn't like Mano to hesitate, either. Giving into the inevitable, Buck hitched himself into a mostly upright position and nodded towards the door. "You'd better close it."

Manolito pushed the door closed and smiled with a vaguely apologetic air. "Are you surprised to see me, amigo?"

He ought to be, but somehow he wasn't. Three days sharing a whore, a bed, and a hell of a lot more with Manolito Montoya had pretty much burned away any ability Buck had to be surprised by that young man. Sometimes it was hard to remember that he was twenty years younger than Buck, and only a few years older than Blue-Boy.

Buck jerked his head in a 'come over here' gesture and waited until Mano crossed the small room to perch on the edge of the bed. Their eyes met in an assessing stare. After a moment the corner of Mano's mouth quirked upwards, but he said nothing.

Memories of what they'd shared in that whorehouse flittered through Buck's mind, making him squirm uncomfortably. Most of the three days they'd spent in the town had been passed entirely inside that room with only Lizzie's occasional presence there to deflect any suspicions.

Nobody thought twice about two men sharing a whore, just as nobody thought it unusual for the pair of them to drift away from the campfire of an evening, during the ride home. There were few men in this part of the country who hadn't taken relief wherever they could find it at one time or another. But nobody would accept that convenience once they were back in their own home, with all the women they could possibly need only a few hour's ride away in Tucson.

Hell, Buck wasn't even sure why Manolito would want to spend time with him, when at least half a dozen pretty women in Tucson would be more than happy to give him all the relief a man could handle. It was different for him. He could find women too, but after what Mano had given him, their delights no longer seemed quite so delightful as they had before.

They'd been sitting in silence for a long time, Buck realised suddenly. His eyes had dropped to the bottom of the V where Mano's shirt hung open. He lifted them hurriedly and found himself staring at a pair of smiling lips. Buck hesitated. The smile was all arrogance... sexy and confident, but the dark eyes held a hint of uncertainty. Then the heavy lids drooped a little lower and Manolito leaned forward.

Kissing Manolito seemed to involve a lot more than Buck had been used to with women. It was lips and tongues and the breath out of his lungs. And, by the time they parted, the soul out of his body. Buck pulled away gently. "Mano, are you sure about this? If anyone finds out about us..."

The cocky smile returned to his lover's face. "Buck..." he spread his hands wide. "What are you worried about? If they find out, you will only have to face Senõr Cannon and Blue, while I..." he shuddered theatrically, "...I shall have Victoria after me."

Remembering some of Manolito's more explosive encounters with his sister, Buck felt some sympathy, but he couldn't resist an opening like that. He grinned. "And your father."

Buck could almost swear the younger man paled, even in this dim light; but Mano recovered fast. "Well, at least it would stop him pestering me for grandchildren."

The time for talking was past, had been since long before Mano had come into the room. Buck slid his hand under the thin shirt, stroking the warm, smooth skin, and sought Manolito's lips again. They parted easily against his, familiar territory now, though not without hidden dangers. He stroked down over Manolito's chest, the calluses on his fingers catching occasionally, until his hand lay over the gentle thud of Mano's heartbeat.

As the kisses continued his pulse quickened, keeping pace with the beat beneath his palm. Buck moaned his lover's name and shifted his lips to the matching throb at the base of Manolito's throat. Here, the scent of Mano's body was stronger, warmer; as heady as a fine wine. Buck dragged his hand away from Manolito's chest long enough to drag the shirt off his shoulders, his hands sweeping down lean muscular arms to clear the soft fabric out of the way. Then he pulled Manolito down onto the bed beside him.

It was as though they were back in Lizzie's bordello; as though the long ride back to the High Chaparral had never happened. Buck lowered his head to suck eagerly at one nut-brown nipple while his hands dealt efficiently with the buttons of Manolito's pants. When he got them free, Buck discovered, not with any great degree of surprise, that Mano wore no more beneath them than he had beneath his shirt. He glanced up at Mano's tanned, flushed face and caught a wicked grin.

It didn't take much to separate Manolito from his pants... a quick jerk on the cloth, and Mano's obliging lift and wriggle of his hips, and the cloth was around his knees. A couple of kicks took care of the rest and the pants sailed over the edge of the bed.

Just looking at Manolito made Buck's heart beat faster. Which was strange, because, until now, men's bodies had been something he'd taken for granted. He'd seen other men naked plenty of times; there was little privacy during the War, or in the bunkhouse, where he'd slept often enough. It had never meant anything to him, and certainly never aroused him the way the sight of Mano's olive skin did. Or made his mouth go dry with longing, the way it was right now, just from looking at his cock, lying heavily against his belly.

His hand had already grown familiar with the shape, the feel, of Mano's cock in all its stages of arousal and knew exactly how it fit in the circle of his fingers. He stroked, rough and hard, then slow and easy, listening with pleasure to the younger man's gasps and moans. Mano buried his face against Buck's chest, rubbing against the springy mat of hair, hands reaching in turn for Buck's swelling cock.

"Oh, Buck… ai…" Mano's voice was muffled against Buck's chest. His lips brushed against a nipple and he began to suck eagerly, rocking his hips to thrust into Buck's firm grasp. "Sì, compadre… ahh, sì… "

Buck groaned, torn between amusement at the way Mano retreated into his native tongue when aroused, and rapidly increasing desire brought on by what must surely be the most skilled hands in Arizona. On the ride back they hadn't been able to risk undressing, but their hands had learned each other's cocks with a sureness that left him reeling. It hadn't taken him long to realise that his pleasure came as much from touching Mano as being touched by him, and now he could take the time to extend his acquaintance with the sleek lines of Mano's body.

He supposed it should come as no surprise that the same idea had occurred to Mano. At every step of this unexpected relationship Mano had been ahead of him and it wasn't about to change now. Buck had no sooner raised a hand to stroke the smooth curve of Mano's lower back than his young lover was slithering downwards over his body, trailing kisses as he went. It wasn't long before he was crouched between Buck's parted thighs, hovering over his groin, staring up at Buck with hopeful, expectant eyes.

"Mano, what are you…" the rest of the sentence was lost in a strangled croak as Mano leaned forward to kiss the spot between the base of Buck's cock and his balls.

Buck's body arched up in shock at the sensations roused by that simple touch, but Mano obviously had no intention of allowing him time to recover. His tongue swept in one long, loving swipe from base to tip of Buck's cock, lingering over the tip. Mano grinned up at him for a moment, then planted himself on all fours, arms bracketing Buck's hips and bent his head again to his teasing.

Even the bawdiest whores were usually reluctant to play such a game. Buck could count on the fingers of his two hands the number of times his cock had been in someone's mouth, and never had it been in such a skilled mouth. As he already had several times before, Buck had the feeling of tables being turned; in this, he was the novice and Mano the teacher. It took all of his self-control not to grab a double handful of Mano's hair and use it to force the pace, to fuck himself senseless in Mano's mouth.

Just as the urgency peaked, Mano took him in deep, fully sheathed between his lips, tongue pressing against the thick vein in the underside of his cock. Buck bit back a yell as his hips surged upward, beyond controlling the urges of his body. He'd expected Mano to draw back at this point, but once again the younger man confounded him by holding his cock inside his mouth as Buck climaxed. He collapsed back onto the bed, heart pounding so hard he thought he must surely die.

Even now Mano continued to pleasure him, tracing the length of his cock with soothing caresses and stoking his hip with one negligent hand. Buck blinked to clear the haze from his eyes and watched in fascination as Mano eased back the foreskin of his rapidly softening cock to lick away the few drops of semen trapped there.

Mano's eyes lifted to meet his, a lazy smile curving his lips. "Eh, Buck…" in one smooth movement Manolito was stretched out in his arms. "…'s good, no?"

"Mmn." Buck kissed his lover thoroughly, shocked and aroused by the taste of his seed in Mano's mouth. "How in Hell do you do that?"

Mano grinned. "I'll show you later, mì amor. But right now…" he gestured towards his cock, wildly rampant against Buck's thigh.

It was somewhat of a relief to know that Mano didn't expect him to reciprocate immediately. Buck wrapped his fingers once again around the thick cock and began pumping with fierce, short movements designed to bring his lover relief as quickly as possible. Not for the first time, he watched in fascination as the darkly flushed cockhead, fully exposed by the intensity of Mano's arousal, burst from between his encircling fingers. Thick, milky drops of semen oozed from the swollen slit and leaked over his fingers until they, and Mano's cock, were slippery with the juices. The friction eased into a slick glide as Mano's breath came in harsh gasps, and then the frantic pistoning of Mano's hips faltered. Mano turned his head, muffling his cry against Buck's shoulder as gouts of hot seed splattered over Buck's chest and belly.

For a while there was no sound except for Mano's sobbing breaths. Gradually the slim body relaxed against Buck, the dark head grew heavier on his shoulder. Mano muttered something in Spanish, too low for Buck to understand. He lay, considering the cooling spunk on his body. It had never occurred to him to taste another man's semen, and it made him uncomfortable to be thinking about it now, but after what Mano had done… after he had all but promised he would do the same to Mano in return… Buck touched a fingertip to one of the puddles and carried the wetness to his mouth.

It was different to his own, tasted in Mano's mouth, but not so very different. Certainly not displeasing. Before he could decide whether to taste some more, Mano was on the move again, restless energy personified. Buck smiled complacently as his body was licked clean of all traces of their lovemaking.

"Better?" Mano presented his mouth, lips childishly sticky, for a kiss.

It tasted even better in Mano's mouth, but then, everything tasted better in Mano's mouth. "Much better."