A Tumbleweed Adventure – Chapter 6
DeLoy and Derek found Charles in his private quarters. Charles invited them to take a seat. He noted that they were holding hands as they took a seat on the couch opposite him.
He asked, “This is quite an honor to have you come to my little apartment.”
DeLoy smiled and said, “It is quite an honor, but one that will be short lived. Charles I am relieving you of the burden of being in my employ. I want you to pack your things and leave my home within the next hour. I will provide you with all the manpower you need to pack your things.”
Charles looked at DeLoy in shock. “You can’t mean you’re firing me from my job. Who will take care of your personal appointments and help you with your physical training?” He knew the answer before DeLoy uttered the words.
“I believe you have already made the acquaintance of Mr. Derek White,” DeLoy said.
Charles looked at Derek with undisguised hatred. “I should have known you were throwing yourself at Mr. Hansen.”
“Actually, Charles, I threw myself at Derek,” DeLoy said. “I believe you’re familiar with the White Mansion that joins my property to the south. Derek happens to be the heir to the White fortune. When his parents were killed in an unfortunate boating accident last year, he came to me for advice. Since that time, we have become very close.”
Charles said, “I can see that.” There was a great deal of bitterness in his voice.
“Good,” DeLoy said. “Then you understand why we have to let you go.”
Charles looked at Derek and DeLoy, noting the use of the pronoun WE. He said, “I wish you the best. I can’t say I’m not disappointed, but I can see that you love each other.”
DeLoy said, “Thank you for not making this harder than it has to be, Charles.” DeLoy stood up, pulling Derek to his feet, as well. “I will make sure that you receive two weeks additional pay to help tide you over until you find new employment. I am also willing to help you find a new job, depending on how you decide to handle things.”
Charles stood and extended his hand to shake the one offered by DeLoy. “Thank you for showing me a good time, DeLoy.”
DeLoy smiled. “We did have a good time, didn’t we, Charles. Unfortunately, Derek has made it clear that he will not share me with anyone.”
Charles looked at Derek, and recognized that the better man had won the day. He made a salute to him and said, “Congratulations, Derek. You’ve have won the prize.”
Derek smiled. “Thank you, Charles.”
DeLoy led Derek from Charles’ rooms and took him to his study. He sat down at his desk and looked across at Derek. “I’ve brought you here to discuss a matter of business.”
Derek smirked. “I wonder what kind of business you have in mind.”
DeLoy grinned and said, “I have two kinds of business to discuss. First, we’ll talk about the financial one; then, we’ll discuss the many intricacies of male on male sex.” Derek waited patiently for DeLoy to get to the point of this impromptu meeting in his study. He raised his eyebrows and smiled at his lover. DeLoy continued, “I offered to adopt Danny and Jerry as my sons. I told them I wanted to leave my financial empire to them, on the condition that they learn to run the many businesses I own.”
Derek looked at DeLoy in surprise. “You know they won’t agree to do that. From what you’ve told me, they value their independence more than being wealthy.”
“I’m aware of their independent streak, but I think I can prevail upon them to learn at least one or two of my businesses,” DeLoy said.
“What makes you think they will give in to your demands?” Derek said.
“They want to be together forever, and the only way to achieve that is to be independently wealthy. It is the only way to get people to leave you alone. Otherwise, they will never be able to live without the fear of being discovered, and facing jail time for daring to love each other,” DeLoy said.
“Why don’t you set up an endowment, or a trust fund, to support them in their dream of living as a couple,” Derek said. “After all, that is what we will be doing, living as a married couple.”
“They would never accept it. Jerry is too proud to allow me to give him something like that without earning it. That is why I proposed that they work for me,” DeLoy said.
“Then make their job something they can do without being tied to your businesses. Something like being activists for some good cause,” Derek said. “They could set up a non-profit foundation that you could fund to do the work of lobbying government to improve the rights of the under-privileged or something of that nature.”
DeLoy said, “That’s a brilliant idea, Derek. I think you’ve hit on the perfect solution to our problem.”
Derek laughed. “I’m glad to hear that you have included me in your little scheme.”
DeLoy grinned. “I have to include you, since we’re officially a couple.”
“Don’t forget I expect you to be completely open and honest with me from now on. No more keeping secrets from me,” Derek said, giving DeLoy a meaningful look.
DeLoy put up his hands, in surrender. “Okay, okay, I get the message.” He smiled and stood up from his desk. He walked around it and stood in front of Derek, rubbing his crotch. “Please take me to bed, Babe.”
Derek grinned and said, “Why, you dirty old man! Who do you think I am? You’re boy toy or something?”
DeLoy nodded his head. “That’s part of being a couple, isn’t it?”
Derek stood up and pulled DeLoy into his arms, kissing him deeply. “It is part of the deal.” They walked arm in arm out of the study and up the stairs to DeLoy’s bedroom.
Jerry held Danny in his arms as they basked in the afterglow of their lovemaking. Jerry kissed his lover gently on the lips, and pulled back to gaze deeply into his eyes. “Danny, I can’t find the words to adequately tell you how much I love you.”
Danny smiled and said, “You don’t have to say the words, because you’ve shown with your actions that you love me.”
Their conversation was interrupted by a knock on their bedroom door. Jerry said, “I’ll get it.” He got out of bed and grabbed the bathrobe he had found hanging in the closet. He put it on and tied the sash to keep it closed, before approaching the door. “Who is it?”
“It’s Charles. I would like to talk to you,” a voice said through the door. Jerry opened the door to let him in. Charles gave Jerry a smile, as he walked past him into the sitting room. “Where’s Danny?”
“He’s in the bedroom,” Jerry said.
Charles walked into the bedroom and sat down on the desk. “I’m sorry for interrupting, but I wanted to tell you goodbye.”
Danny sat up in bed and asked, “Why are you leaving? I thought you and DeLoy had a close relationship.”
Charles snorted derisively. “I thought so, too. However, DeLoy fired me and has sent me packing. It appears that DeLoy has selected Derek as his new boyfriend. I just wanted to warn you not to trust DeLoy. He led me to believe that he loved me; or, at least, that is how I interpreted his words. I found out today that he’s been fucking Derek the entire time. I was just a little side dish to go with the main course. I gathered from how he greeted you that you were also one of his conquests, as well.”
Danny nodded his head. “Yes, we had a one week fling last summer, before Jerry and I got together.” Jerry sat down on the bed next to him. Danny reached over and took his hand in his. “I’m glad we are a couple now.”
Charles looked from one to the other. He smiled and said, “I can see that you love each other. I congratulate you on finding true love. I can only hope that one day I will be able to find my Mr. Right. Please take my advice, and get as far away from here as you can. DeLoy is a very controlling and manipulative man. You do not want him to rule your lives. He has ruined more than one man’s life; don’t let him ruin yours. I overheard him offering to adopt you as his sons. Yes, I know I was eavesdropping, but it was for a good reason. The money is not worth the loss of independence. You don’t want to be subjected to his temper tantrums. You will be much happier on your own than becoming part of his collection. You will be bound by his golden chains, if you don’t leave now.”
“What are you saying?” Jerry asked.
“He plans to find a way to tie you to him. I know him. If you refuse to become his sons, he will find another way to get to you. The only way to avoid his trap is for you to leave tonight; before he can dream up some new scheme,” Charles said.
“Why are you so insistent that we should leave tonight?” Danny asked. “I think you want us to leave tonight because it will hurt DeLoy.”
Charles looked at Danny through narrowed eyes. “Yes, I want DeLoy to feel pain; and, yes, it would pain him to lose you before he had a chance to catch you in his web, and bind you to him.”
Jerry said, “We had already decided to decline his offer, before you came to us.”
Charles said, “I’m glad to hear it. It shows that he hasn’t totally blinded you with his charm and wit.”
Jerry said, “We thank you for your warning, Charles.”
Charles nodded his head. “I’ve done what I can to spare you. You can’t say I didn’t warn you, if you decide to stay.” He turned and walked out of their room, slamming the door behind him.
Jerry stood up and took off the bathrobe. He joined his lover in bed and took him in his arms. “I guess that we’ll be leaving in the morning.”
“I think you’re right,” Danny said. “It’s sad to hear that DeLoy has his faults. I guess I had idealized him as being a good man.”
“I don’t think you idealized him at all, Danny. You were just horny and wanted to fuck him,” Jerry said, laughing.
“You’re right about that. DeLoy wasn’t a very good substitute for you, though. I have to admit that every time we had sex, I was dreaming of fucking you,” Danny said.
Jerry smiled and said, “Then, you must have had the best sex ever.”
“Not quite! It wasn’t as good as fucking the real you,” Danny said, grinning from ear to ear.
Jerry laughed. “I’m glad to hear it. However, it’s my turn to fuck you.” Jerry kissed his lover, as he maneuvered him into position.
Jerry felt Danny relax in his arms, and heard his breathing slow, as he drifted off to sleep. He never ceased to be amazed at the child-like trust Danny placed in him. He had noticed a complete change in Danny’s behavior toward him the night they exchanged rings. Prior to that, Danny had expressed his love for him, but he had felt that Danny still held something back. Since that day, Danny had opened up to him like never before. They had shared their deepest secrets over the ensuing days. They came as close to being one as any two individuals can be.
Jerry smiled as he remembered his father’s reading of the Bible that a man should leave his parents and cleave unto his mate. Well, he had done just that! Only, it wasn’t to whom his parents would have dreamed of as an in-law! He could hear himself trying to explain to his parents how they had become one; physically, emotionally, and mentally. The mental image it brought to his mind made him shudder. That would not be a pleasant experience for him, or anyone else. He decided, at that moment, that he would never take Danny to meet his parents. It wasn’t because he was a coward, that was something he definitely was not; but he didn’t want to bring sorrow to his parents, and embarrassment to Danny.
He felt a pang of guilt at the decision he had just made, without consulting Danny. However, he knew Danny would agree with him when he explained his rationale behind his decision. His next thought was for the two of them and their future. They were soul mates adrift in an ocean full of people; but couldn’t trust any of their fellow human beings, for fear of being subjected to their hatred and bigotry. It troubled him that he hadn’t been able to find a way to build a safe environment for him and Danny to be a family. He knew he wouldn’t be able to find peace of mind until he had discovered a solution to his problem of finding a safe harbor for himself and Danny
The next morning, they were awakened by Derek. He knocked on their bedroom door and walked in. Danny opened his eyes to see Derek sitting on the desk where Charles had been the night before. Derek was shirtless, showing off his perfectly sculpted body. His deeply tanned skin stood out against his bright white tennis shorts that hugged him in all the right places, leaving very little to the imagination.
Danny yawned widely and stretched his arms over his head. Jerry looked Derek over appreciatively, and said, “I can see why DeLoy fell for you.”
Derek laughed. “Yes, he fell hard for me, but only after he spent a week with your Danny.”
Danny laughed. “I’m glad something good came out of that week.”
Derek grinned. “It was just what DeLoy needed to get him out of his depressed state of mind.”
Jerry said, “You are the second person to visit us in the past 24 hours.”
Derek looked surprised. “Really? Who else has been here?”
“Charles came by to inform us that he had been fired, and to give us a warning to avoid any entanglements with DeLoy,” Jerry said, sitting up in bed.
Danny sat up, letting the sheet fall from him, to reveal his lithe, wiry body. “So, we’re wondering what brings you here this morning.”
Derek’s expression became serious. “I’ve come to you with the same warning as Charles. Only, I have a very different reason for wanting you to avoid getting involved with DeLoy.”
“Let me guess. You’re afraid he’ll dump you for me,” Danny said.
Derek nodded his head. “Yes, I do fear that. DeLoy has been playing the field ever since he returned from Wyoming. I haven’t let it bother me, because we weren’t in a committed relationship. Up until now, it’s been a matter of casual sex between us. However, all of that changed last night. DeLoy asked me to be his life partner. I agreed, but I told him he must remain faithful to me, now that we’re a couple.”
Jerry asked, “So, where do we come into this equation?”
Derek gave us a tight smile. “DeLoy still wants to adopt you two as his sons, and have you learn to run his businesses. If you don’t agree to that, he wants to persuade you to, at least, work for him in the capacity of being a lobbyist for his many varied interests.”
Danny looked at Jerry. Jerry said, “We won’t do either one of those things. We do not want to be obligated to DeLoy in any way. It just goes against what makes us who we are.”
Derek nodded his head. “I thought that might be the case. I’m glad to know that I was right about you. So, what are your plans, now?”
“We plan to leave here this morning. We think we can find work in Los Angeles; or in one of the national parks, like we did in Jackson Hole,” Jerry said.
Derek said, “That sounds reasonable to me. DeLoy and I have talked about setting up a trust fund for you two. I wasn’t too keen on the idea, but after talking to you, I think that we should do as DeLoy has suggested.”
Jerry asked, “Why?”
“Because, I want to see you succeed at whatever endeavors you put your minds to,” Derek replied. “It won’t be a large sum of money, but it would tide you over until you can get yourselves settled into new jobs.”
Danny said, “Given the fact that we can’t stay anywhere for any length of time, I think we’ll be moving around a lot.”
Derek said, “Please keep in touch with me. I promise not to let DeLoy know that we’re still in communication; because he’ll want to try to draw you into his inner circle.” He pulled out a card from his pocket and handed it to Danny.
Danny read, “Derek H. White, CEO, White, Inc.”
He looked up and said, “You must be very wealthy.”
“I am. My parents left me their business, as well as all of their real estate holdings. I’m actually richer than DeLoy. That’s why our relationship works. I don’t need his money, nor do I need him. He knows that I can walk out of his life at any time; and that has been the key to keeping him interested in me. I do love him, but I also know his weaknesses. I plan to keep him on a very short leash, now that he’s asked me to be his partner,” Derek said.
Jerry said, “I wish you all the best.”
“Thanks,” Derek said. “I will keep DeLoy occupied for the next few hours to allow you to make your getaway.”
“Thanks Derek,” Danny said.
Derek smiled and stood up. “Remember, send me a note every once in a while.”
He walked out of their bedroom, and they heard the door to their suite close behind him. Jerry asked, “Well, what do you think of that?”
Danny said, “It just confirms what we had already decided.”
Jerry said, “Agreed. Let’s get showered and dressed. I want to be on the road as soon as possible. This place gives me the creeps.”
Danny laughed. “I can’t believe you’re scared.”
“I’m not scared. I’m just not very comfortable with the whole situation with DeLoy. It doesn’t feel right to me,” Jerry said, standing up and pulling Danny up into his arms. “I love you, Babe.” He kissed him deeply. When they came up for air, he guided Danny to their en suite.
They were dressed and ready to go a few minutes later. They piled their gear into the back of the pickup, and climbed into the cab. Jerry found the keys still in the ignition. He started the engine.
He smiled at Danny and asked, “Where to, next?”
Danny said, “Let’s go to Yosemite. I’ve always liked it there.”
“Okay, Yosemite it is,” he said. “They have horseback riding tours there during the summer, if we decide to stay there. I think we could teach skiing lessons.”
“My parents took us on a ski trip to Yosemite when I was 12 years old,” Danny said. “I really had a great time.”
Jerry leaned over and kissed Danny. “I love you.”
Danny said, “I love you, too.”
Jerry put the truck in gear and drove down the long drive to the gated entrance to DeLoy’s estate. The guard opened the gate for them, and waved them through. They drove the 174 miles (279 km.) to the park. Jerry drove them to the park headquarters and parked. They entered the building and made inquiries about seasonal work. They were directed to the park superintendent.
They knocked on his door and were invited in. They opened the door and were greeted by a big bull of a man. He was 6’6” (198 cm.) and weighed 280 pounds (127 Kg.) He boasted a buzz cut, had dark brown eyes, a Roman nose, a generous mouth and a handle bar mustache. His park ranger uniform emphasized his masculinity. He stood up from behind his desk and looked them over, before extending his hand. “I’m Bill Brody. What can I do for you fellows today?”
Jerry said, “Sir, we’re looking for some seasonal work to get us through the next few months. Do you have anything available?”
“You two look like you’re cowboys. Most of the work we have for someone with your skills is during the summer and fall, when the horse tours are popular,” he responded.
“We both ski and can teach lessons, if there is an opening,” Danny said.
“Well, now, we are looking for a new ski instructor. Our last one fell and broke his leg last week. However, we don’t need two ski instructors,” he said.
Jerry said, “I’m pretty good at Dutch oven cooking, if you need someone to cook at the ski lodge.”
Bill thought for a few moments, and said, “Okay, I’m willing to take you both on, but you’ll have to share a bedroom. We have only one room available at the moment.”
“That will work for us,” Jerry said.
Bill raised his eyebrows and said, “You didn’t let me finish. It has only one twin bed in it.”
Jerry kept a straight face, as he replied, “We’ll work it out. One of us can sleep on the floor in a sleeping bag, until we can afford to get bunk beds.”
Bill nodded his approval. “That sounds okay by me.” He opened a drawer in his desk and pulled out some papers. He handed them to Jerry. “Fill these out for me, and I’ll make a couple of phone calls to let them know you’re coming.” Jerry and Danny filled out the forms and handed them back to Bill. He looked them over and nodded his head in satisfaction. “Everything looks in order. Here is a map and directions to the ski lodge. They will be expecting you. They will give you the keys to your room, when you get there.”
The guys left Bill’s office, and walked out to Jerry’s truck. “It looks like we’re in luck,” Jerry said.
“Yes, we sure are,” Danny said. “Plus, we have a good reason to sleep together, without worrying about someone finding out.”
They climbed into the cab of the truck, and Jerry drove them to the ski lodge. They parked the truck and went inside. They were met by a tall, lanky kid with short, sandy blond hair, blue eyes, a long hawkish nose, a tight-lipped smile and freckles all over his face.
He said, “You must be the new guys. I’m Henry Miller. I’m one of the ski instructors. Mr. Brody asked me to show you the ropes. First, here’s the key to your room.”
Jerry took the room key and said, “Thanks. I’m Jerry Wallace and this is Danny Eccles.”
“Nice to meet you guys. Your room isn’t very big, but you won’t spend much time in there, anyway,” he said. “If you’ll follow me, I’ll take you to your room.” He showed them to a small 8X10 room. It had a twin bed, a dresser and a small night stand. “There are only four rooms here. They were originally used as storage closets. Mr. Brody had them converted into bedrooms for the ski instructors. There are communal showers in the men’s room down the hall. The other instructors are Sherry and Jennifer. I’ll introduce you to them, later.”
Jerry noted that the room looked more like a prison cell, since there wasn’t a window. “Do the other rooms have windows?”
“No, none of the rooms do,” Henry said. “That’s another reason not to spend a lot of time in your room. Do you want to get your things, or do you want me to show you around the place, first?”
“We can get our stuff later. I’d rather know what we’re getting ourselves into,” Danny said, looking over at Jerry for confirmation.
Jerry smiled and said, “I agree.”
Henry showed them around and explained how things worked. It was a little after 12 noon when he finished his orientation. “Let’s grab a bite to eat.”
They purchased a sandwich and a soda, and found a table. While they ate, Henry peppered them with questions. “So, where are you guys from?”
“I’m from Utah and Jerry’s from Idaho. We met on our last job, on a dude ranch near Jackson Hole, Wyoming,” Danny said.”
“What did you do on the dude ranch?” he asked.
“We took clients on different kinds of tours. We did fishing, camping, hiking, horseback riding, or whatever else clients wanted to do,” Jerry answered.
Henry smiled. “You’ll fit in just fine here, then. Most of our customers are wealthy, and expect us to cater to their every whim.”
“Sounds normal,” Danny said. “We’re used to that.”
Jerry said, “When will we teach our first ski lessons?”
“You’ll be teaching tomorrow morning,” he said. “Phillip was already committed to teach a group of rich kids from Los Angeles how to ski.”
Jerry said, “Good. That will give us the rest of the afternoon to get used to the ski slopes.”
Henry smiled and said, “That is one of the major perks of teaching here. By the way, where did you learn to ski?”
“I learned to ski in Utah when I was 12 years old,” Danny said.
“I went skiing for the first time when I was 18,” Jerry said. “My parents didn’t believe in wasting money on what they considered to be a frivolous activity.”
“I learned to ski here in Yosemite,” Henry said. I’m from Fresno, California. My parents grow oranges.”
“Why aren’t you working for them?” Danny asked.
Henry wrinkled his nose and grimaced. “I’ve never gotten along with my Dad. I thought it would be better for me to move away from home and find work where I could. I graduated from high school last year. I managed to land a summer job here, and I convinced Mr. Brody to keep me on as a ski instructor.”
They finished their lunch, and followed Henry over to the ski rental desk to get the appropriate skiing equipment. They followed Henry outside and out to the bunny hill, where there was a tow rope that pulled skiers to the top. The hill had a gentle slope and was perfect for beginners. They grabbed the tow rope and skied to the top of the hill. They skied down the hill, then, repeated the process a few more times.
Jerry asked, “Is this the only place we give lessons?”
Henry said, “No, there’s another slightly steeper hill, where we teach lessons to those who are a little more advanced.”
They made their way to the ski lift that took them up to the top of the intermediate hill. They skied down this one a few times, to get a feel for the contour of the ground.
Henry said, “Now, let’s go on some of the decent runs.”
They spent the remainder of the day skiing. They returned to the lodge exhausted, but feeling exhilarated from the exercise.
Danny said, “I’ve always loved skiing.”
“Me, too,” Jerry said.
“Thanks for your help today,” Jerry said.
Henry smiled, “Not a problem. Let me introduce you to the girls.” He led them across the lodge lobby. He walked up to two young women and said, “Sherry and Jennifer, this is Jerry and Danny. They are taking Phillip’s place as ski instructor.”
Sherry said, “It’s nice to meet you.” She shook their hands. She was petite woman, with dark brown, shoulder-length hair, bright blue eyes, a pert little nose, and a small mouth. She had a killer smile which reached her eyes.
Jennifer said, “Hey! Nice to meet you.” She didn’t offer to shake their hands, but she nodded her head in acknowledgement. Jennifer was slightly taller than Sherry, with blond hair, hazel eyes, a pointy chin and nose, and a thin, nervous smile. She was thin almost to the point of being anorexic.
“Why did Mr. Brody hire two of you to replace Phillip?”
“I told him I could cook,” Jerry said.
Jennifer smiled and said, “Do you mean you can cook over a campfire?”
“Yes. I love Dutch oven cooking,” Jerry said.
Jennifer said, “That is really great! I’m excited to sample some of your cooking. I believe there is a skiing camping trip scheduled at the end of March. Maybe we can manage to get into the same tour group with you guys.”
Henry said, “I’m going to get cleaned up, and I’ll meet you guys later, for dinner.”
Henry left them. Sherry said, “We’ll see you guys in a while, then.”
Jerry and Danny went out to their truck to get their gear. They returned with their few belongings, which they quickly stowed. Jerry walked over to the door and locked it. He turned to Danny and said, “I need to be fucked.”
Danny grinned and said, “Okay, ready, willing and able.”
They quickly stripped out of their clothes and were soon enjoying each other on the twin bed.
Yosemite National Park - http://www.nps.gov/yose/index.htm