Double Trouble: Chapter 6

Take a couple of three-year-olds to the fair, and see what happens.

For more free flash reading check out the list of authors at the bottom of this post.

Chapter 6

Darrin slammed against the cheap sheet-metal wall of the kiddie dragon ride. The twins were squealing beside him, but nauseous and bruised were the predominate sensations he felt as the cars made their final run and clattered to a stop at the platform.

He watched as the carny made his way down the row of cars, releasing squealing kids and queazy adults from the ride. As he popped the release on their car, Darrin dimly noted the snake tattoo circling his throat. Wow, that had to hurt. A lot.

But he was shaken from his wool gathering by two kids who were crawling over him in their effort to get out of their latest ride and onto the next. Darrin let them escape into the hands of their dads. But then he heard the operator’s gravely voice. “Need some help, gramps?”

Darrin’s gaze snapped to the carny’s face and he frowned. Gramps? This twenty-something punk thinks I’m a grandfather. As he stared into the young/old eyes before him, he realized this kid might have experienced more of the bad side of life than Darrin ever had. But then Trent’s life to a similar age was no bag of cookies.

Then he heard the squeal of the kids and realized he was a grandfather, at least in their little family. The reality of how their ages meshed was enough to make Darrin smile as he made his way down the steps from the latest ride the kids had picked.

He gripped the handrail and started down the steps, only to see Mitch smiling at him. “What are you grinning about?”

“Oh, nothing. Come on Gramps and we’ll see if we can’t find you a walker.”

Darrin leaned close to Mitch’s ear. “Fuck you.”

“Not recently, but maybe that’s a sign of old age too.”

Darrin swung his boot at Mitch’s ass as he danced out of range, laughing the whole time.

The group settled down as the kids picked another ride. This time Trent and Josh rode with the children. Darrin watched the ride swing back and forth with the youngsters as excited as ever. Mitch moved closer and put his arm around Darrin’s waist. “Stop obsessing over that kid. He doesn’t know shit.”

“But Gramps. I’m not ready for people to think of me as a grandfather.”

Mitch shrugged. “Don’t sweat it. You don’t act like a grandpa in bed. Not unless grandpa has the sex drive of an eighteen-year-old.”

Darrin chuckled and shook his head. “I’m glad you think so, but I walked around with a constant hardon when I was eighteen. I’m just as glad that I don’t have do deal with that any more.”

Mitch chuckled. “I could live with getting hard that easy again. But it was a little like walking around with a loaded gun, everything and anything could make it fire off.”

Darrin chuckled. “Yeah, there are days when that would be good. Be ready to go again in a few minutes. Ah, the good old days.”

They turned their attention to the ride as it came to a stop and it started to empty. Darrin couldn’t help but feel comforted when Trent leaned over and kissed Josh as they exited the ride. It was good to see them still so much in love after their rocky beginnings.

“That’s disgusting. Those people shouldn’t be allowed in public.”

Darrin could feel Mitch stiffen beside him and they both turned to see who had spewed the homophobic mouth diarrhea. But for better, or worse, neither of them could identify the person who said it.

“I swear if someone ever says that around the twins I’ll knock their fuckin’ heads into next week.”

“Calm down or they’ll know something’s wrong. There’s nothing we can do about it now. Don’t let it ruin the whole trip,” Darrin said.

“Fucking homophobic assholes.”

As the kids made their way through the crowd, Darrin realized the young guy with the colorful hair they’d seen in the goat barns was standing beside them. Mitch and Darrin both turned to him as his cleared his throat.

“Sorry, I couldn’t help but hear what the guy said. I just wanted to say that you guys are cool. I hope you don’t let one ignorant redneck ruin your evening.”

Darrin started to relax and nod at the kid when he heard a squeal and the twins ran straight to the stranger and each grabbed a leg.

“You have great hair! I think it’ll be cool with my hat. Whatda you think?” Danny said.

“I like it too. I think I’ll look good with hair like yours. What’s your name? We don’t know your name.”

The kid lowered himself until he squatted in front of the twins. “My names Benji. I’m glad you like my hair. I like it too. What’s your names?”

“I’m Sammy and this is my brother, Danny. We’re riding stuff. You wanna go with us? We like you.”

Benji smiled and shook his head. “I think you guys have enough company. But thanks.”

Darrin detected a note of melancholy in Benji’s voice. He glanced at Mitch and got the slight nod that he expected. Looking back at the youngster he smiled. “You’re welcome to join us, Benji. You can ride all the ride these hellions want to ride.”

“Yay! Benji’s ridin’ with us!” Danny squealed.

A smile slowly crept across the young man’s face. “You sure?”

Darrin nodded and gave him a warm smile. “Sure! It’ll be fun.”


If you’d like to see a snippet from the other Wednesday Briefs authors you can go to the groups website. Or click on the name listed below to go directly to the story.

Here is the final list of those who are flashing this week, barring any changes:

Christmas in July Sale!


Heart of the Pines is available today for 99 cents as part of Dreamspinner Press Christmas in July sale. To purchase the short story or to read reviews of Heart of the Pines go to the publishers web site at:

Christmas is the worst time of the year to find yourself alone. Chris Moss, owner of a tree farm, knows this down to his bones as he makes his way through his first holiday season after losing his wife to cancer. When Wade Hart, an annual customer at the farm, visits, they find common ground: Wade lost his own longtime lover to a parting of ways and is lonely too. The constant, gentle companionship provides fertile soil for an attraction neither expects, but nurturing a new relationship is a tough proposition. With the encouragement of family and friends, Chris and Wade may yet find that a second love later in life can be just as fulfilling as the first.

Excerpt from Heart of the Pines.

Jets of steamy breath shot from Wade’s nostrils as he struggled to drag the enormous Christmas tree across the loose Michigan snow. The bells on Chris’s Santa hat jingled merrily as he hurried out to help his friend pull the tree up the final hillock to the barn.

“Here, let me give you a hand.” Stepping along the slowing tree, Chris wrapped a glove-covered hand around a branch and lent his strength to the effort.

Wade nodded and smiled. “Thanks, it’s a little much by myself.”

“No problem, happy to help. Looks like you got a beaut,” said Chris.

Wade pulled off his knit hat and wiped the perspiration from his head. “It’s a good one. I think I’ve covered your whole farm, several times, to find the perfect tree.”

They pulled the tree into the work area and hoisted it onto the sawbuck. “Want me to trim it up for you?”

“Sure. One less thing I’ll have to do.” Wade laid the handsaw he’d used on the table behind them, then tugged his thick cap on while Chris made a few quick cuts with the chainsaw to ready the tree for his stand. The roar of the saw faded, and Chris struggled for a few minutes as he tried to push the tree into the netting. As he began his second attempt, Wade woke from his stupor and grabbed the other side of the tree.

“Sorry, I’m a little spacey today,” said Wade.

With his help, Chris slid the tree into the tube of netting, getting it ready for Wade’s SUV. “No problem. It’s a huge tree. I hope Jeff will be around to help you unload.”

Wade folded his arms over his chest, a pained look on his face. “Jeff moved out. Last week. I thought makin’ our annual trip to your farm for a tree would keep me from thinkin’ about it.” Wade turned his head and let out a shuddering sigh. “I guess it’s not ‘our’ trip anymore.”

Chris gave Wade’s shoulder a squeeze. “Sorry to hear that. You guys always seemed happy together. Jeff was always cutting up and flirting with Mary.” I haven’t forgotten you attended her funeral.

“It happens. I guess we lasted longer than a lot of couples. Ten years isn’t bad.” Wade’s fingers ran over one of the fir boughs edging the barn windows. “It was good in the beginning, like newlyweds. Jeff loved our loft in Chicago. But ever since we moved to Traverse City, the relationship had slowly gone downhill. Our business downtown was an attempt to find something to keep Jeff happy.”

The pain in Wade’s eyes sparked a wave of bitter nostalgia for Chris. He missed Mary so desperately some days. She always was the caretaker of the family, even when they got the diagnosis of stage-four cancer; she still took care of everyone else until it was impossible for her to keep doing it. He turned to the barn behind them, pulled off the Santa hat, and held it tight in his hands as the frigid air gusted through his short white hair.

The farm was always beautiful this time of year, the ground covered with crystalline flakes in a white carpet that extended to the steps of the house, which he kept carefully swept. He hadn’t changed anything since Mary died. It had been more difficult in the summer when the beds that hugged the foundation of their house were ablaze with flowers Mary had planted and nursed through the years. The winter covering had been a blessed relief, but his heart still ached at the lack of holiday decorations. Mary had loved the season, and given half a chance, she covered everything within striking distance with lights. Without her, the trimmings just hadn’t mattered.

He shook himself and focused on finishing with Wade’s tree. He tied the bottom of the netting and turned to Wade. “There you go. All bundled and ready to put in that great foyer you have.”

“Not so grand this year. It’s kind of tough to get into the spirit of the season.”

Chris gave Wade a sympathetic smile. “It could be worse….”

Realization hit Wade. “Oh my God! I can’t believe I’ve been such an ass. This is your first Christmas alone. I’m so sorry, Chris. I feel awful.”

“It’s not your fault. It’s been almost a year since her funeral. It’s ancient history to most people.” Although it seems like yesterday to me. I can still feel her soft hand in mine as we picnicked on one of Lake Michigan’s sugar sand beaches on our first date, playing in the chilly crystal clear water. Even then, she’d taken care of everything and had the perfect lunch basket packed.

“Yeah, but Mary always said Christmas was her favorite time of the year.”

“It was, and I haven’t felt like doing much. It’s a lot more work to take care of the farm alone too. But the income for the whole year happens in the next month or so. Doesn’t leave me with many choices.” Chris smiled at Wade. “Bad thing about a Christmas tree farm, firs just aren’t that tasty.”

Wade gave a nod, and then his eyes lit up. “Hey, what if I do it? I’ve helped Mary put up the decorations before. It’ll keep me busy, and Santa’s Tree Farm needs to look more festive than either of us feels.”

Chris couldn’t help but smile at the sudden enthusiasm. “If you’d like, that would be great. I just can’t face the stuff. Too many memories.”

“Southern boy to the rescue! I got this covered.” Wade clapped his hand on Chris’s bicep and squeezed it. Chris found a comfort from the contact that surprised him. Mary’s touch had always had that unique ability to soothe him. Some nights its absence had left him curled around her pillow with tears streaming down his face.

Chris fished a ring of keys from his pocket, flipped through them, and held one out for Wade. “This unlocks the storage padlock. Anything you want to do would be great. I have a few customers wandering around looking for trees. I better go check on them.”

Chris raced through the light snowfall while Wade started for the storage building.

Double Trouble: Chapter 5

Every taken two active three year olds to the state fair? See how Josh and Trent fare with their twins.

For more free flash reading check out the list of authors at the bottom of this post.

Chapter 5

Mitch pulled to a stop, put his pickup in park and then sighed.

“Oh, good lord. We’re just going to the fair. Why are you all pissy about it?” Darrin asked.

“Two little kids on their first time to the state fair. Thousands of people wandering around. All kinds of crap to eat that’ll have us tied to the toilet for days. Dozens of rides that’ll either make the kids sick or piss ‘em off ‘cause they’re too small. No, it’s not a recipe for disaster at all.’

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Double Trouble: Chapter 4

Another week of fun with four guys trying to raise a set of twins. I hope you’re enjoying  Double Trouble!

For more free flash reading check out the list of authors at the bottom of this post.

Chapter 4

Josh worked his way into the living room after he’d put the kids to bed. The television was the only source of light and created Trent’s silhouette. He made his way to the couch and leaned down to kiss his husband on the nape of his neck. Trent tilted his head and pulled Josh in for a gentle kiss.

“How are the kids?”

Josh rolled over the back of the couch and landed with his head in Trent’s lap. He grinned and made a snoring noise.

Trent chuckled and ran his hand over Josh’s T-shirt covered chest. “So you wore them out?”

“Sammy getting that cast off is really what helped. She and Danny have been going full steam now that Sammy’s not broken any more as Danny puts it.” Josh felt very content as Trent’s warm hand lay across his chest and his scent filled Josh. His cock stiffened even before Trent ran his thumb over Josh’s hardening nipple. He ran his hands over Trent’s bare chest and gave him a mischievous grin before reaching up to tweak his nipple rings.

Trent moaned softly, giving Josh’s hard nub a twist before pulling Josh into a kiss. The kiss was unbroken as they hungrily bit at each other, Trent tugging at Josh’s lip with his teeth. Their lips parted, and both of them were panting for air. Trent ran his tongue along the edge of Josh’s ear and whispered. “You keep that up and you’ll be bent over the couch with my cock banging against your butt nut.”

Josh groaned through clenched teeth and twisted the steel rings going through Trent’s nipples again. With a low growl, Trent twisted and then crawled down Josh’s body. Once his face was opposite Josh’s crotch, he pressed against Josh’s hard dick and started chewing on it through the loose workout shorts.

A tremor ran through Josh with Trent’s efforts. Driven to new levels, Josh fastened his hand over Trent’s jeans, squeezed his ass cheeks and then pressed his face tight against Trent’s groin. Delicious smells drifted through his senses, and he inhaled deeply. Trent smelled of sex and testosterone, and drove Josh to new levels of lust.

His fingers dug into Trent’s butt, pulling him tight and covered Josh’s face. Trent’s work on Josh’s crotch had him throbbing as his pleasure built. He loved the feel of Trent’s hands as they slid under his shirt and caressed his back. His shorts slipped further down his hips as Trent slipped his hands under them and ran his hands over Josh’s hairy ass.

Trent slipped a finger between his cheeks and rubbed slowly over his opening. The touch sent jolts through Josh. When the twins were little, it had been easier to slip in a little couple time. But now, two active little kids who were close to three, meant not much time for dads together time. But tonight it looked like the planets were aligning, and Josh was going to get lucky, or Trent was going to get lucky. Oh hell, everyone was getting lucky.

Between the tip of Trent’s finger flicking across his pulsing ass and the thickening scent of Trent’s crotch surrounding his face, he was ready for more. Josh reached up and grabbed the front of Trent’s jeans then popped the button through. He slid the zipper down and the smells drifting from the dense pubic hair he was exposing was so heavy he could taste it on the back of his tongue. He loved to find Trent going commando and his thick cock pulsed as it lay just along the side of Trent’s zipper. Josh leaned in and let his tongue run along the length of Trent’s hot flesh.

“Daddy, I don’t feel good.”

Someone might as well of dropped a rattlesnake on them. Josh flailed to turn to hide what they were doing and pitched Trent into the floor with a resounding crash. Trent tried to slam his zipper closed, and managed to catch his nut sack in the metal teeth. A barely muffled scream came from his clenched mouth.

Josh tried to pull his clothes back on, at least to hide his ass. He was mostly covered, but when he started to stand he realized his erection was still very obvious. He looked down at Trent who was still rolling on the floor and moaning.

“Get up! I can’t go over there like this,” Josh said.

Trent glanced at Josh and his obviously tented shorts and began to push himself upward. He leaned so his lips almost touched Josh’s ear. “Last time for commando. We’re too fucking old.”

Josh smirked but said nothing as Trent walked tenderly to where Danny had sat down on the floor. He folded onto the floor and reached out for Danny.

“What’s wrong buddy? Your tummy not feel good?”

The little boy groaned and held his stomach. “Daddy, I feel really bad.”

Trent cradled the sick child against his chest. Danny groaned again, and projectile vomited so hard it would have made any horror movie fan cheer. It splattered audibly across Trent and the stench flooded the room and had Josh gagging.

Trent glared at Josh as bits of puke dripped from his hair and onto his chest. “Get your ass over here and help me. I don’t fucking care what your shorts are doing.”

“Daddy, not ‘suppose to say fuckin’” Danny whispered.

“Sorry, Danny. You’re right. Da needs to move his rear end and help us.”


If you’d like to see a snippet from the other Wednesday Briefs authors you can go to the groups website. Or click on the name listed below to go directly to the story.

Double Trouble: Chapter 3

Week three and more trouble with the twins. It just goes to show that you shouldn’t criticize how someone else takes care of their kids. You’re just painting a giant karmic bulls-eye on your back.

I hope you enjoy Double Trouble!

For more free flash reading check out the list of authors at the bottom of this post.

A small smile tugged at Trent’s lips as Josh paced back and forth across the living room. Even several days after Danny’s run in with the bull, Josh still managed to have a daily fit over Mitch losing track of the twins.

“I mean, how hard is it to watch two little kids? How stupid could Mitch be? What if he’d been a few seconds later.”

“Maybe nothing would have happened, we don’t know for sure.” Trent said.

Josh turned and stared in disbelief before going off again. “Are you kidding me? It was a full grown rodeo bull! It would have killed Danny if Mitch hadn’t rescued him.”

“You may be right. But the worst didn’t happen. Everyone’s okay. I think Mitch understands how watchful you have to be with the twins. They’re always getting into one thing or another.”

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Wednesday Briefers Celebrate Pride Month

This is a special flash today in celebration of Pride Week. The Wednesday Briefs writers have all written a special flash for today, all set in the same background of a cruise ship. I’ve brought Mitch and Darrin back for a cruise. I hope you enjoy!

Cowboy Waltz

By Jon Keys

Mitch tugged at the black tie as if it were a hangman’s noose. I couldn’t help but chuckle at the look of distress on my husband’s face. He caught me grinning and scowled.

“What’s so funny, giggles?”

“You are. You look hot, but it looks like someone poured red ants in your undies.”

Mitch glared for a moment, then started to chuckle. “If my pants were full of red ants, I’d be stripping clothes faster than you could say ‘Dairy Queen.’”

“Dairy Queen, Dairy Queen, Dairy Queen.”

Mitch looked at me, and one eyebrow slowly lifted. “And that was—for what?”

“I thought I’d see if you’d strip. It might be entertaining.”

“Yeah, big time entertaining. About like Country/Western night was.”

I frowned at Mitch. “Oh, don’t be such a prick. You had a great time.”

“The band was the Steers? Do they know what steers are?”

“They were going for humor. And it was the Queer Steers. I thought they were good, too.”

Mitch grumbled, “I ain’t no damn steer.”

My frown deepened “No, you’re working on being an asshole.”

Mitch studied the room; his lips in a thin line. “What is this?”

“Ballroom dancing. The crew’s supposed to teach us.”

Mitch glowered at me. “You’ve got to be fucking shitting me! I’m not doing any ballroom dancing. The two-step is more than I can handle.”

I pulled Mitch close. “Stop acting like a freaked-out hick. I know you’ll enjoy everything if you’d just chill out.”

“Ah! My two favorite cowboys! Mitch! Darin! I’m so excited you could make it. Do you have experience with ballroom dancing?”

Before I could reply, Mitch popped off, “Evenin’ Lisa. Darin thinks this is going to be fun. I’m not that easy.”

“Yes, you are,” I said.

Lisa covered her mouth with a hand, her blue eyes twinkling with amusement. I winked at her and grabbed Mitch’s arm. “I thought it would be fun. Tomorrow we get to Honolulu and we’ve promised several couples we’d come to the wedding.”

Lisa grabbed Mitch and pulled us closer to the dance floor.. “It will be fun, Mitch. I promise. Captain Blye is an excellent instructor, and I’m not too bad myself.”

Mitch’s scowl faded as his attitude softened. Lisa seemed to have a magic touch with the passengers. His lips twitched, and he looked at the two of us. “I can’t dance. Never learned. The closest I’ve come was at the prom we let Josh have in the barn. But those kids were mostly interested in grinding against each other and finding a dark place to make out.”

Lisa’s laughter sounded like our brass wind chimes on a warm spring evening. It made me miss home, just a little.

Lisa grabbed Mitch’s hand and pulled him onto the floor. “Here, hold my hand like this, and put your hand on my back. That’s right…”

She talked him through the steps and then they started. With only a few stumbles, they were soon gliding across the floor. I couldn’t help but admire how sexy my husband looked. The tan that graced his skin and the sprinkling of grey at his temples set him off perfectly. I still couldn’t believe I’d landed him. Grad school was the best thing I ever did.

“You better be careful, or I’ll steal him away.”

I glanced over my shoulder to find Lex smiling at me. I shook my head at our new friend. I clasped my hand on his shoulder and squeezed. “We’ve been through a lot of crap, Lex. I doubt he’d be as easy to tempt as you might think.”

He watched as Mitch and Lisa twirled across the floor. “He’s good. He must have taken lessons for years.”

I chuckled and looked down at my watch. “Nope, he’s had lessons for about twenty minutes now.”

Lex let out a low whistle. “Impressive.”

“Yeah, sometimes I hate him just a little bit. He’s been bitching about me dragging him here, and now look at him.”

Lex pulled me onto the dance floor, his hand between my shoulder blades as we turned into the first step. After a handful of moves, we were dancing in unison. The room spun past me and I began to relax.

“Excuse me.”

We came to a stop and I was a little relieved to see Lex panting and gasping a little for breath. I knew who’d stopped us. After all these years, I can recognize Mitch’s voice.

“Can I cut in?”

Lex stepped back and swept into a bow in front of us. “I will release Darin to the competition.”

Mitch gave a quick nod and, before I could say anything, he pulled me into the dance. The waltz drew me in, and I was lost in our fun.

The first dance melded into the next and the evening became a blur. Most of my dances were with Mitch, but a few others worked in and out during the night. We finally stumbled into out cabin at well past midnight.

“So, did you have fun?” I asked.

Mitch kicked off his boots and sat on the end of the bed. “Yeah, it was okay. I kinda got into the swing of the dancing.” He stood and stripped off his tux, and then his underwear as I enjoyed the scenery. He winked at me and then disappeared through the bathroom door.

The water began running as I stripped and draped my tux over the back of a chair. I was pulling off my last sock when Mitch landed on me. I pushed him backward, laughing, and realized he was buck ass naked. “Come on! What are you doing?”

Mitch bit down on my neck and ground his erection against me. “The last dance of the night, the horizontal mambo.”


Double Trouble: Chapter 2

Week two of the fourth “book” in the Wrangler Butts series. A set of twins, two dads and two grandfathers. What could go wrong?

I hope you enjoy Double Trouble!

For more free flash reading check out the list of authors at the bottom of this post.

Chapter 2

Mitch paced the ER. He’d brought Danny as soon as he could get both kids into the pickup. They’d already X-rayed him to check for broken bones. Sammy was getting impatient and so was Mitch.

They’d been sitting in the room for what seemed like hours to Mitch, and now they had Danny in X-ray to make certain everything was okay. The doctor didn’t seem to be worried, but anytime you step foot in the ER, Mitch knew they were going to check everything in an effort to cover their butts. He could hear Danny arguing with the technician. There was sure no question who was Danny’s dad. Trent had to be the stubbornest person he’d ever met, and the fact that he was rubbing off on Josh didn’t make it better. Those two didn’t seem to think Mitch had a lick of common sense when it came to their kids.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t going to help.

The door opened and Danny was sitting up on the gurney with a sucker in his mouth, and looking pissed off at the world. Oh yeah, definitely Trent’s son. Same expression.

“Hey Danny. How do you feel.”

“I not happy, Pawpaw! They stuck me through a tube. I didn’t like it.”

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carrierviolet said: Hey, wasn't the name of Zach and Chris' twins Sammy and Timmy? So why another Sammy?

This Sammy is actually Samantha, which she will point out when she gets a little older. Four men and a girl named Samantha, she was destined to be Sammy for a little while at least.

Double Trouble: Chapter 1

New flash! As promised, this week begins a whole new series. For those who’s read the Wrangler Butt/Maverick Cattle Company/Growing Josh series, you’ll be back on familiar ground. If you haven’t read the originals, this series features twins and the trials and challenges as two dads and two granddads work at raising two very precocious kids. So, Sammy is actually Samantha…and I’m sure she will add some spice to the mix.

I hope you enjoy the first chapter of Double Trouble!

Chapter 1

Mitch was sitting by the open window enjoying the late cool October breeze that was a sign the heat of summer had finally ended. He was sitting for the twins today while Josh and Trent made a trip to Lawton for a major restocking of the pantries for both houses, and enjoy a few hours to themselves. Darrin was at work doing whatever it was tenured professors did to make administrators happy. That meant Mitch could sit down for a few quiet minutes to read through one of the ranch magazines he’d gotten almost three weeks ago.

He flipped through the pages, and soon lost track of time as he read one article and then the next. He was midway through yet another article and realized—he hadn’t heard a peep from the twins in too long. He levered himself from the overstuffed chair he’d been relaxing in and tried to remember where the Sammy and Danny had been. He looked out the window at their sandbox, that once was Darrin’s herb garden. It was filled with their John Deere tractors with a mix of action figures and dolls, but the twins were nowhere to be seen.

He raced out the door, not bothering to pull on his boots and immediately regretting it when the gravel of their driveway stabbed about the soft soles of his feet. “Danny! Sammy! Where are you!”

He heard faintly from the corral. “Pawpaw, I didn’t do it!”

“Shit!” he muttered under his breath as he raced to find the corral. He rounded the corner and the sight in front of him made his blood run cold. They had found their way to one of the handling pens. Today was an especially bad day for them to become explorers since yesterday Mitch had brought the bulls from their rodeo stock to the corral for a potential buyer who was stopping by today.

Only, now Danny had crawled between the cables of the corral fence and was walking across the powdered dust that made up the arena. It would have been cute with Danny in tiny Wranglers, boots and a black cowboy hat swinging his lariat over his head. But the twenty-five hundred pounds of Santa Gertrudis with an attitude took away all the fun.

Mitch slid to a stop beside Sammy for a second. “Sammy. Don’t move!” He scrambled over the fence in time to see the bull send up a plume of dust.

Shit, shit, shit. Gotta get the kid outta here!

Mitch was half way to Danny when the bull charged the toddler. Mitch’s heart sunk as the bull hit Danny and sent him flying. The bull backed up and toss another spire of powered dirt and shit into the air.

This time Mitch ran at the bull. The bull twisted his head toward Mitch and snorted. Mitch covered the last few feet and kicked the bull in the sensitive nose just before he started another charge. The bull snorted again, this time with surprise and not aggression, and backed up.

“Go on! Get outta here!”

The mahogany colored animal took a step back and then turned and ran back with the other bulls. Mitch gave the bull a split second of consideration then sprinted to Danny.

The toddler was sitting up and tears streamed down his dirt covered face. Mitch grabbed him and shot through a pass-through in the fence. Once they’d cleared the corral, he sat beside Sammy and rocked a bawling Danny in his arms. Sammy patted her brother gently on the arm. “It’s okay, Danny. It’s okay.”

When Danny’s tears finally seemed to slow, Trent released him from the tight grip and quickly checked him for injuries. “You okay, Danny? Does anything hurt?”

Danny ground his grubby little fists in his eyes and smeared his face with the mud that resulted. He sat without talking for long enough that Mitch was concerned.

“I didn’t do muffin, pawpaw. Did I?” Sammy asked.

“No, Sammy. You’re fine. We need to see if Danny’s okay though. All right?”

Sammy nodded, seeming satisfied at the answer. Mitch turned back to Danny and asked again. “Danny? Baby? You okay?”

Danny looked at him again as tears welled in his eyes. “Not a baby! Da damn bull fucked up my new boots!”

Mitch froze for a moment, then started laughing.

If you’d like to see a snippet from the other Wednesday Briefs authors you can go to the groups website. Or click on the name listed below to go directly to the story.


Controller: Chapter 32

Another week, another flash! Only this week is the final chapter of Controller. I hope you’ve enjoyed the Nate’s story.

Next week I will be starting a new series, Double Trouble. For those of you who’ve read some of my on-line work, Double Trouble is going to be the final novel in the Wrangler Butts series. We’ll see how Josh and Trent do as parents of twin boys.

I hope you enjoy this weeks story. Be sure and check out the other authors listed at the end of this chapter.

Chapter 32

My gut twisted into a convoluted knot as I looked down at Eli. A whirlwind of thoughts raced through me. I couldn’t believe he was proposing. The moment stretched out as I tried to sort through my feelings. Tears began to well up, and I fought to control them.

“Ah. Nate?”

I looked down at Eli to see his face twisted in pain, and I dropped down in front of him, trapping him in a tight embrace. When I released him, tears were running down both our faces. “Yes! Of course! I want to spend the rest of my life with you.”

Eli wiped the tears from his face, a smile covering it. “I was starting to wonder.”

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