Tag Archives: Clouds and Rain

“Shapely asses in the saddle” (an interview with Zahra Owens)

Welcome to the blog Zahra! I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of things a fellow Aquarian might have up her sleeve, and also to having the chance just to chat about you and your work. Let’s start, if you don’t mind, with a few questions about who you are and what makes you write.

Thank you for having me!

Q: Your bio mentions that you were born in Europe, to non-English speaking parents. Of course that little bit of info raises a number of new questions. I’ll stick to just the basics. Where were you born? What was your parent’s native tongue? What part of the world is now your home? How do these factors of location and language affect how you write or what you write?
A: I was born and raised in the North of Belgium where we speak Flemish (a ‘softer’ form of Dutch). The best way to compare Flemish and Dutch is to compare British and American English. There are some different words or the same words with slightly different meanings and our pronunciation is quite different, but we understand each other without too much difficulty, despite the differences in culture.

I still live around the corner from where I was raised and I still use Flemish in my every day work life and in my family life or with most of my friends. I was raised bilingually though, through my mother who worked in the International School circuit, and I have parents who are anglophiles. My real life first names are English, which raised a few eyebrows when I was born.

It’s hard for me to imagine exactly how this effects my writing, since I don’t know what it’s like to actually be raised in say, the U.S., but I do know my vocabulary is a mix of all sorts of English and my beta’s most used remark is probably “We don’t say it like that” when I use a word or sentence I borrowed from England, or Australia even. Also, I’ve travelled extensively all over the world and this does give me a larger perspective on all sorts of things, from politics to culture in general.

Q: Your works are prolific. Do you write full time? If not how do you juggle?
A: Oh no, I work fulltime and write when I can. I wish I could write full time, but I can’t afford that and it will take a long time before I can start dreaming about it too, since I work in a country where taxes are sky-high. But I’m single and I have no children, so I just have myself to look after. That certainly helps.

Q: How did you come to write in the romance genre, and M/M specifically? You said you were non-conformist, did that play a part, or were you inspired by people you knew, or …? Have you written in other genres, and if not, do you think you will?
A: Like a lot of writers in our genre, I started in fanfiction. It’s a great place to start. You get instant feedback, you learn to write on your feet and you easily find out what people like and what they don’t. It’s also great practice to write within the constraints of a world you didn’t build yourself, but that you love, and to work with characters that are well known to your readers. After a while, though, you want to break free of the constraints and make your own characters and worlds.

I like my boys/men so M/M romance is my weapon of choice. When the story calls for it, I will write a het scene or a menage scene involving a woman, but I don’t see myself writing a het novel. There are a few M/M/F bunnies tugging at my fingers, but even then the main couple will always be M/M.

Venturing outside the contemporary romance genre is something I’m doing right now. I’ve found myself a writing partner who works in the sci-fi/paranormal realm and he’s dragging me along. If the novella we’ve submitted is accepted, you’re sure to hear more about this!

Why M/M is probably the question I get asked most, especially by people not familiar with the genre. I guess my best answer is that I write what I like to read. A lot of friends I made through fanfiction have made it into publishing and I’ve always read their writing and still support them now their writing is no longer free. I’ve also encountered a lot of other great writers through my publishing press and my love of the genre has only grown.

In my personal life I’ve always had gay friends and I admit I’m drawn to them. I do try to keep them out of my books, though!

Q: Going through your list of titles at Dreamspinner Press (which readers can find at Zahra Owens’ author page), your M/M titles come in a number of subgenres. These latest two are in the Western tradition. Do you see your future titles continuing in this vein? The Western seems to be particularly popular among M/M romance readers (and writers). Can you speculate as to why that might be, and whether that will continue?
A: The contemporary western is certainly popular and I think this is because of the mixture of rugged, manly men and the traditionally homophobic environment they live in. Also, it’s such an American tradition. Cowboys made America, at least for a while.

I’m stuck in the western for the time being. My next novel, Floods and Drought, is also part of the Clouds and Rain series and I think I have one more story up my sleeve after that. I’ve already told a few people I’ll try to make that my NaNoWriMo effort for this year, so I better hold myself to that.

After that, who knows? Probably no more cowboys, although I do love those shapely asses in a saddle 😉 Maybe I should tackle that other M/M staple and write a Navy Seal novel? Or maybe I’ll return to the traditional contemporary romance. We’ll see where the (numerous) bunnies take me.

Q: About Earth and Sky—your latest release—a couple of general questions. It seems from your excerpt that this novel has a large and complex cast of characters—after the manner of a saga. Do you feel that’s true? If so, perhaps you can tell us a bit about how such a large cohort came into being and how you manage them.
A: My two characters in Earth and Sky do come with families attached and I honestly don’t know how that happened. I tend to write very self-contained couples and have been called on that by reviewers. Clouds and Rain has very little going on outside of the two men the story is about, and I did want to expand a bit on that with this new couple. Hunter lives on a family-run ranch, so it was necessary to show that. Without giving away too much plot, Grant’s family is also a major part of the whole story, so it became quite a busy group to write about. I also like the idea of a big, rowdy family, made up from a few sets of parents and their children, all sharing the same roof. I think the western genre lends itself to that quite easily. Maybe I idealize this a bit too, since I come from a very small family with no siblings or uncles and aunts.

Q: From reading the excerpts, at the heart of Earth and Sky story are two mysteries—what’s happening to the horses, and (more of a tease, to my mind as a reader) what happened the night Gable was injured? In Clouds and Rain it seems the same question is being asked—what happened to Gable? But CAR came first; does EAS actually reach beyond CAS for backstory? If so, is that the way it was planned?

The stories are romance, but within that, do you see them as mysteries? In your mind, how much of a role do those mysteries play in the novels?
A: Yes, it was definitely planned that the mystery of what happened when Gable was injured was set in CAR and only resolved in EAS. There was no way to resolve it in CAR because the whole story of what happened to Gable is seen through Gable’s eyes and he only knows part of the story. He doesn’t know why Grant left that day and doesn’t find out until much later. As I was writing CAR, I realized I’d need the whole of EAS to explain it.

I’d also set myself to write a baddy (in Gable’s eyes) and then show the readers what I believe to be true: that no-one is all bad (or all good), it’s just a matter of perspective. A lot of readers ‘got’ that. Some didn’t and were stuck in the opinion they’d formed of Grant from CAR, which isn’t really fair, because Grant never got a say in CAR.

I don’t see the stories as mysteries. The mysteries are plot devices. To me these stories are still about the romance between two men and how the way to love is riddled with a lot of potholes.

Q: I just have to ask… One character is named Gable, as in the actor Clark, and another character is named Grant, as in the actor of similar era, Cary. Coincidence? Several of your characters have similar names. Confusing? How do you go about naming your characters?
A: You know, you’re the first person who’s dared to ask. LOL! You’re right. There’s also (Errol) Flynn and (Tab) Hunter, who was a popular actor from the fifties who came out as gay in later life. Even Bill Haines (the vet and one of my straight characters) is named after William Haines, an actor from the twenties who was gay.

With my main characters, I’ve only slipped once so far: Tim, who gets his own story told in my third CAR novel is just Tim, but he was named before I realized he had more to say and I couldn’t go back and change it. His better half is Rory McCown, though, and that name is the real name of one of cinema’s best known cowboys, Rory Calhoun (who’s real first name was Francis Timothy – are you still following me?). In the fourth novel, I’m back on track with two names from classic cinema, but you’ll have to wait for those (tease that I am).

I don’t see the names as being confusing, but that’s just inside my head. My editors are sure to call me on that (they have on other occasions).

Q: You introduce your second excerpt to Earth and Sky with an explanation ending: “This kind of runs out of hand.” This brings up in my mind a problem that seems to plague many writers. How often do you feel your characters sort of hijack your intended story line? If that does happen for you, do you fight it? Go with it? How do you strike a balance?
A: My characters hijack their stories all the time and the harder I fight them, the harder the writing becomes. I try to reason with them sometimes, but if they want things a certain way (and most of my characters do want things to go their own way), there’s no fighting them. They’re usually right, too, but it does mean that I need to chuck bits of plot sometimes. I write a lot more than ends up in the finished novel.

Q: Lou’s favorite question time: In the mind of Zahra Owens, who is sexier, Hunter or Grant? Gable or Flynn? Smudging the lines a bit is fair, but cheating isn’t—you can’t just say “both.” Explanations required—no one-word answers, please!
A: To me Gable is sexier than Flynn. Gable is a bit older, more rugged and more damaged and I do love my men with a chip in their armor. The disability is also a selling point (my non-conformist side, I suppose, or my background as a nurse, who knows?). He’s also moody and bad-tempered a lot, while Flynn is a lot more soothing and easy-going. One can’t live without the other, but I’ll take Gable any time.

In contrast, I think Hunter is more sexy than Grant and the reason sort of contradicts the reason I gave for choosing Gable over Flynn. Hunter is innocent in some ways and I find that very endearing. He’s never been with a man before Grant and is genuinely awestruck when he finds out he likes Grant more than any woman he’s ever had in his bed.

Q: About those covers! My, but they are beautiful. Anne Cain does some fabulous work, and these are no exception. How involved were you in terms of giving input on elements to be included, overall style, and perhaps the look of the men? When you first saw the cover for Clouds and Rain, what was your reaction? What about Earth and Sky?
A: The covers just blow me away. I love Anne Cain’s work and I’m already looking forward to cover three (although the novel isn’t even finished yet). I write quite extensive cover specs and Clouds and Rain came back exactly as I’d described, right down to the horses, the sunset, the rain and the way the characters looked.

Earth and Sky was a bit different. Most of the story takes place in the snow (the stories are set in Idaho, so winter means mounds of snow) and I’d asked for muted greys, blues and whites, and then it came back all orange and red… Also, both my characters are in their late thirties, early forties, so the character photos felt too young for me. The front character would do (you have to admit he’s gorgeous and since that was Hunter, I felt he could pass for young-looking mid-thirties), but I asked to change the back character to a more rugged man, which Anne did. They wouldn’t compromise on the color, though, since they wanted it to stand out. It certainly does that! (and wouldn’t have it it had been more muted)

Q: I mentioned briefly above that you have quite a number of publications with Dreamspinner Press. Do you have any other published work? Other than CAR and EAS, can you pick out one or two published pieces that are among your personal favorites, perhaps tell us a little about the pieces and how they came into being?
A: I’m exclusively published by Dreamspinner Press, but earlier this year I became a part of a British Anthology when I joined a UK meet of authors. British Flash is a free anthology of flash fiction (about a thousand words per story) available at Smashwords (http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/65264). Tea And Crumpets (http://ukmeet.weebly.com/tea–crumpet.html) was published by JMS Books and proceeds of that will go to future UK meets. I contributed to both anthologies.
At Dreamspinner Press I have some other favorites as well.

My first novel Diplomacy will always be my baby. It is set mostly in my country and is a romance between a U.S. Ambassador to Belgium and a liaison from the British Embassy. When the story sets out both are involved with women, but for one of them it is definitely a relationship out of convenience.

Among my shorter work I have a soft spot for “You Can’t Choose Your Family” to such an extent that I wrote a prequel for it. The already published story is about an established couple of twenty years and the acceptance they feel from one side of the family in contrast to the absolute denial they get from the other side. The prequel “You Can Choose Your Friends” tells the story of how they got together in the first place. Both stories where inspired by Dan Savage and Terry Miller’s It Gets Better video and I decided to donate the proceeds of the sale of the prequel to their organisation. The prequel will be out in January 2012 at Dreampinner Press.

Note to the reader: Zahra is slated to come back for a visit to sylvre.com in January to celebrate that release, maybe talk a bit about the It Gets Better Project, and who knows? I hope you’ll watch for it and stop in.

Q: What’s coming up for your readers, Zahra? Will there be more of these ranches and, more importantly, ranchers? Something else in the mix?
A: As I said before: yes, more ranchers/ranch hands for the next novel for sure and if NaNoWriMo goes as planned there will be one more cowboy novel after that. I’m a slow writer, though. The novel tentatively slated for the spring of 2012 was my 2010 NaNoWriMo project!

January sees the prequel to “You Can’t Choose Your Family” called “You Can Choose Your Friends” and hopefully my collaboration with my writing partner will be accepted, so with a little luck, I’ll have something a little out of the ordinary to offer as well.

If I meet my deadline (and the story is accepted) the third CAR novel will be out somewhere in the spring.
After that I’m not sure yet. My writing partner and I have another story plotted, but we’ll need to find time to write it. We don’t live close to each other, but more or less in the same time zone, so hooray for the internet!

Zahra, I’m very glad you allowed me to feature you on sylvre.com. I’ve enjoyed getting to ask the questions and I love the answers! I’m looking forward to your next visit. Thank you!

Thank you for having me. It was a real pleasure!

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Filed under Dreamspinner Press, featured authors, just a category, M/M romance

Steamy excerpt from Zahra Owens’ Clouds and Rain (18+)

He needed the job, it was as simple as that.

He’d worked in supermarkets and even waited tables, which he wasn’t very good at, but this job sounded like it was made for him.

WANTED: ranch hand, able to handle young, untrained horses, not afraid of mucking out stables and mending fences
He’d grown up around horses, lived on a stud farm all his life, so he could do this with his eyes closed. Room and board wasn’t much, of course, but it did say that there would be a nice bonus after the horses were sold, and that was six weeks from now at the local auction, according to the lone clerk and carrier of the post office. He didn’t have anywhere to go, so six weeks of work and staying in one place sounded like something he could handle. He wasn’t a big fan of cold Idaho winters, but he figured in six weeks time, he could make his way to the coast and better weather before the snow arrived.

The postman dropped him off at the main gate to the Blackwater Ranch at the start of his post run, and Flynn hauled his duffel bag over his shoulder before walking up the dusty road toward the main house. It looked deserted, although there was a dirty, dark-green pickup truck parked under an apple tree; still, when he knocked on the door of the ranch house, nobody answered. Determined to find the owner and because he didn’t want to walk all the way back to town, Flynn sauntered toward the barn, passing a few unhaltered horses in a small corral. He saw a few more in a higher paddock as well, but other than that, it was eerily quiet.

The double doors to the barn were open, so he walked inside and was greeted by a large brown head sticking out of its enclosure. Flynn held out his hand and let the horse sniff it, then stroked the white patch between the animal’s eyes.
“Got a boss around here, beautiful?” he asked the horse, then smiled when the animal obviously didn’t answer. Nobody else did either, so Flynn walked on toward the end of the barn, peeking into the stalls he passed but not finding anyone there either.

“Guess he’s working somewhere else,” he told himself until a sudden voice from behind made him startle.

“Can I help you?”

Flynn turned around and saw a sandy-haired man in jeans and a plaid shirt standing near one of the stable doors he’d passed earlier. There was a black sheepdog with a white muzzle sitting next to him.

“Yes, ehm, I’m here about the job?”

“You must be pretty desperate if you’re willing to take something that pays less than minimum wage. What’s the deal? Did you do time or something?” the man asked Flynn rather gruffly.

Flynn shook his head. “I grew up on a horse ranch, so this is better than stacking boxes at the supermarket.”

“What ranch?” the man continued in the same unaffected voice he’d used earlier.

“Back east,” Flynn answered, purposely staying vague. “Canada,” he eventually admitted. “We moved there from England just after I was born, since we could make more money breeding horses there than in England.”

“So why aren’t you working on your family’s ranch then?”

Flynn was afraid of this question, but he had his standard answer. “I’m the youngest of five boys. Nothing there for me really.”

***

Gable didn’t answer immediately; instead, he watched the young man. He was sure there was more to the story and he knew he’d find out if he hired him. Not that he had a lot of choice, really. The local boys found better-paying jobs at the bigger spreads, and not a lot of strangers passed through town. If he didn’t say yes to this guy, he’d have to work the ranch alone this season, and he wasn’t doing a great job of that so far.

“So what can you do?” he asked, although he’d already made up his mind. Even if the kid could barely hold his own around the young horses, he’d have an extra pair of hands to do the hard labor.

“Pretty much everything a horse needs,” the brown-eyed looker answered. “Groom, water, muck out their stalls, exercise them, teach them to accept a bridle and a saddle, break them in, you name it, I’ve done it.”

Although it sounded like Gable had died and gone to horse heaven, he knew there had to be a snag. If this kid was as good as he claimed, why wasn’t he working for the big boys, making much better money than Gable could afford to give him? He wasn’t about to dig deeper, though. If he didn’t get a move on, he’d have no ranch left and he needed the extra pair of hands.

“Good enough,” he said. “Can’t pay you anything right now. As soon as the horses sell, I’ll make it worth your while. For now, I can give you room and board.”

“That’s what the piece of paper at the post office said,” the young man replied with resignation.

“I’m Gable Sutton and I own the place,” Gable answered, thinking “for now,” but not voicing it.

“Flynn Tomlinson,” the young man answered, taking a few steps forward to shake the offered hand, “and I work here.”

The smile that accompanied that final statement hit Gable square in the groin. All ideas of working close to Flynn to keep an eye on him vanished, because he knew he wouldn’t get much done himself if he had to look at that young man all day long. He’d eyed his cute little butt as he was walking down the barn, admired the long legs and the lean back. Of course he could only imagine that last bit, since it was hidden underneath a suede jacket and a denim shirt, but when he’d turned around earlier, Gable had practically heard his body wolf whistle. He shook his head, trying to dispel the thoughts. They had work to do.

“Let’s grab some lunch, I can show you the house and then we can get right to work.”

***

Flynn watched his new employer take two steps out of the stable and followed him toward the barn doors. It was hard to miss how much effort the man had to put into simply walking. If the pronounced limp didn’t give it away, the labored breathing certainly showed it wasn’t just a physical thing. This man was in pain with every step he took.

“You should probably get a doctor to look at that leg,” he said, trying to sound casual about it. “If you were a horse, I’d bring you in from the paddock and call the vet.”

“Doctor’s seen it,” Gable answered gruffly. “Says I’ll need to live with it.”

Gable’s tone suggested to Flynn he’d better shut up about it, but it did give Flynn some indication why the stables were badly maintained and the rest of the ranch looked like a mess. If Gable was taking care of everything by himself, and with the sort of injury that limp implied, it was no surprise. Although Flynn could only guess at what was wrong with his new boss’s leg, it looked like it was a bit worse than a sprained ankle. At least Flynn wouldn’t have to ask him what he could do around the place. It was obvious he’d have plenty of work.

As they approached the house, a white truck stopped next to the green one and a tall, slender woman with a blonde ponytail stepped out. The sheepdog darted past them to greet her as she opened the back and took out a large cardboard box. Flynn, having been taught to always help a lady, rushed to her side to take the heavy load from her.

“Why, thank you!” she smiled at him and then looked over at Gable. “I see you’ve found a helping hand?”

“Hi, Calley,” Gable acknowledged her with a nod. “Calley, meet Flynn. He’s going to help me out around here until I sell the horses. Flynn, this is Calley. She owns the only decent grocery shop in town and her better half is Bill Haines, who’s the only decent vet in the county. She’s brought us some food so we don’t starve. I see you’ve already learned to be nice to the hand that feeds you.”

“Oh Gabe, you’re such a charmer.” Calley smiled none too coyly, although Flynn missed the mockery in her face after she turned away from him. “Guess I’ll have to bring extra food later on in the week.” Flynn noticed it wasn’t a question, adding to the feeling that Calley and Gable knew each other quite well.

They walked toward the house and Calley told Flynn where to drop the box of groceries, while Gable plunked himself down on the worn-out couch that was sitting in the corner of the kitchen. He put his leg on a footstool standing in front of it and exhaled deeply. Flynn didn’t miss the look of concern Calley threw him, however fleeting it was, before she started unpacking the box and putting things away as if she lived there. Although if she did, Flynn was sure the house would actually look like it saw a woman’s touch from time to time. As it stood now, the dishes were piled high in the sink and the refrigerator was only filled with the things Calley had just put inside it. Although she was discreet about it, Flynn saw her throw out some stuff that almost walked out of there by itself. When Gable started protesting, she was clear though. “I don’t care if you poison yourself, Gable, but this young man deserves to be fed well. He’s here to help you, so you’d better take care of him!”

Gable grunted something under his breath and Flynn watched the exchange with some amusement. He didn’t really know what to make of it. Was Calley Gable’s ex? Was that why she knew her way around the house and why she felt free to admonish him in front of a virtual stranger? He wasn’t about to question any of it, fearing that Gable was not in the mood for any sort of small talk. Maybe one day his curiosity would be satisfied, but if not, well, to be honest, it really wasn’t any of his business.

“Well, Flynn, I hope you can cook?” Calley gave him a concerned look and Flynn smiled it away.

“Sure I can,” he acknowledged. “Grew up in a house full of boys. It was that or eat stale bread!”
“Then I’m sure you’ll feel right at home here,” Calley replied with a wink before picking up the now-empty box and heading out again.

After she left, the silence grew uncomfortable.

“I can make us an omelet?” Flynn suggested.

“Had eggs for breakfast, so I’ll skip it,” Gable answered, his eyes closed and head relaxed against the back of the couch. “Thanks,” he added, almost as an afterthought.

Flynn doubted Gable had eaten anything, judging from the state of his kitchen, so he wasn’t going to leave it at that. He’d seen Calley unpack all sorts of things and was sure he could whip up some sort of tasty lunch, so he opened the fridge and took out a head of lettuce, a tomato, and a cucumber. Together with the ham and cheese she’d also brought, he made sandwiches.

He had to open a few cupboards, but in the end decided to wash some of the plates and knives so he had somewhere other than the cutting board to put them. The dog stayed diligently next to his owner. He was licking his lips, but had clearly been taught not to beg.

“Here, boy,” Flynn called the dog.

“She’s a girl and her name is Bridget,” Gable corrected him. “And she doesn’t get scraps from the table. She has a bowl in the mudroom.”

Flynn held the piece of ham in midair as he saw the dog torn between accepting it and loyalty to her owner, so Flynn dropped it back to the chopping board and the dog relaxed. He divided the sandwiches between two plates and handed one to Gable, who opened his eyes when he smelled the food.

With some distrust, Gable took the plate from Flynn and looked at its contents. “Thanks,” he muttered as he inspected what was between the two slices of rye bread, a rather forced smile appearing on his face.

Flynn had a hard time not laughing. He rarely felt uneasy around strangers, especially now he’d been on the road for more than three years, but this man was something different. He hoped the uncomfortable silences would go away after a while, or at least that the man would let him work by himself, so they wouldn’t bother him too much. In any case, he couldn’t put his finger on what exactly made it so hard to be in the same room with Gable. The food was good, though, much better than what he could afford to get himself in the diners he passed along the way. Gable seemed to agree, although Flynn tried not to smile when he saw Gable trying to sneak the cucumber from between the layers of the sandwich without him noticing it. Flynn, in turn, fed Bridget the scrap of ham he’d put aside while he was doing the dishes. All of the dishes, not just the ones they’d used.

By the time they went outside again to tend to the stables, the kitchen looked much better than it had when they’d walked in an hour earlier.

***

Flynn really enjoyed this job.

He was pretty much his own boss. Gable didn’t interfere with what he was doing, and, despite his gruff exterior, he was a quiet, calm man. They’d divided the chores up pretty much without talking. Gable did all the things he could do sitting down or on horseback. He’d take care of the saddles and bridles, fix a hinge on a door, ride around the paddocks checking for fences that were down. He’d muster the horses when they needed to be moved and Flynn would hold the gates open and make sure they were closed after all the horses had passed through. All in all, they made a pretty good team.

Flynn knew that if they wanted to sell some of their horses at auction, they’d need to train them—some of them weren’t even used to a bridle and a saddle yet—and he hadn’t seen much of that in the week he’d been there. He’d often seen Gable ride among the herd in the higher paddock, and had sometimes seen him touch the animals, stroke their backs, or even talk to them, but they’d never worked with the horses individually, and this worried Flynn. He just didn’t know how to strike up a conversation with Gable to introduce the subject.

Gable’s limp wasn’t getting any better; in fact, Flynn feared it was actually getting worse. He’d suggested visiting a doctor once again and had been snapped at, then given the silent treatment for the rest of the day. As a peace offering, he finished his chores early so he could rush home and make dinner. He had yet to meet a man who could resist his vegetarian lasagna, even those who felt a meal wasn’t complete without meat.

“Go and take a shower first. Dinner will take another twenty minutes or so,” Flynn told Gable when the older man finally came into the house. Gable didn’t answer, simply nodded, displaying his most nondescript face as he moved to the back of the house.
Flynn knew Gable preferred the outside shower, not in the least because it saved him a trip upstairs. In the evening, the water from it was at the perfect temperature, having been heated by the sun all day, but even on an overcast day, Gable would always use that one. It was just a shower head leaning against the back of the house, with shrubs planted around it so nobody could look in, at least not from outside the house. From inside, it was easy to watch him from the shadows of the back door.

Flynn had spotted Gable’s naked backside on his second day there, as the older man was stripping to get washed. He’d bent down to wrap some plastic around his injured leg, but that was not what had drawn Flynn’s attention. He’d been enthralled by the sinewy body, the strong, lean back, and when the man turned around under the spray, eyes closed and clearly enjoying the water, Flynn had felt his jeans grow tight. He watched Gable’s hand rubbing through his chest hair and down his stomach to his groin.

This was just the sort of body that turned Flynn on no end, and he’d felt far too few of those under his hands lately. That day was the first time Flynn had rushed into the tiny downstairs toilet to release the tension. Now he didn’t do that anymore. Now he knew Gable’s washing ritual and knew how long it took for the man to dry off and get dressed again. Nobody ever came to the ranch, and from where he was standing Gable couldn’t see him either, so he felt confident enough to insert his hand into his jeans and rub himself. When he saw Gable wipe the suds between his legs and repeat the action a few times, seeming to hesitate for a moment when he realized he was growing hard and then taking himself in hand, a soft moan escaped Flynn’s mouth.

Oh, what he would do to be allowed to touch that body, to be that hand, touching Gable’s cock. Flynn barely dared to touch himself, afraid he would come instantly. He watched as Gable leaned against the side of the house, arm outstretched to hold himself upright, balancing on his good leg, while he pleasured himself. Flynn could easily imagine what Gable would look like if he could help him do that and then it suddenly hit him. He wondered how long it had been since another hand had touched Gable? He didn’t look like he got around much. Maybe Gable would let him be good to him one day. Maybe.

Flynn saw Gable buck into his hand and come, thick strands of white cream shooting out of his cock. There was no ecstasy on his face, though; Gable just continued his washing. Flynn closed his eyes, imagining what the older man must look like when he was actually being treated well, being pampered and taken care of. It took only a few movements of his hand for Flynn to feel the rush of his orgasm shooting through his groin as he imagined Gable saying his name. When, moments later, he opened his eyes, he saw Gable looking at him as he was drying himself. Flynn’s heart stopped. He’d never planned on getting caught.

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