As I promised Katharina. Here is a full chapter of The Cowboy's Fireman. Enjoy!
“Hey Reggie! Get out here! We gotta head down to the Mercy Ranch. One of the barns done caught on fire!” Reggie heard Grant yell at him. Groaning at the thought of having to see Kent Hunter, the only man to ever cause him to flush with both arousal and hatred simultaneously, Reginald Mayr, a.k.a. “Reggie”, rolled out of bed and stood to his feet, seconds before the alarm sounded. Running to grab his gear, he pushed all thoughts of seeing the broad shouldered cowboy out of his mind and focused on getting down the pole and to the awaiting truck.
“Mayr! Move your fucking ass! This fire ain’t waiting for you to get all gussied up!” he heard his Fire Chief, Colin Thompson, yell at him. He grunted as he raced to the truck and hopped aboard the awaiting vehicle, his jacket still open as the fire truck raced out of the station and down the road towards Mercy Ranch. Everyone was quiet, which wasn’t too abnormal, they were all usually focused on what they were about to do to make much conversation, but the mood was more somber than usual. Probably due to where they were heading and not because of the fact that they were heading to another fire.
Mercy Ranch was a multi-purpose ranch. Known not only for its quality breed of horses and cattle, but also for the orphans who lived in one of the buildings on the property. There was also Georgia Hunter, Kent’s grandmother, who had been running the ranch since her husband had passed a decade before. Everyone loved Georgia. She was almost ninety but you couldn’t tell, she still moved with grace and purpose, could still shoot and ride, and to the untrained eye she could almost pass for fifty. But they were all very aware that she was almost ninety, and stubborn, and hard-headed, and very willful, she was probably trying to put out the fire on her own.
There was also Kent Hunter.
Reggie couldn’t understand why everyone loved the guy so much. Reggie had known “Kenton” his whole life. They’d started off as friends in elementary, then they’d hit middle school and whereas he’d grown taller than Kent, Kenton had spread out. He had turned into a bit of a butterball and had suffered through some teasing. Reggie hadn’t teased him, but he hadn’t stopped the teasing either. He’d known that it was wrong, his grammy had given him a stern talking to about how the people who keep silent are just as bad as the bullies themselves, and so he’d decided to stand up for his friend that next school year as freshmen in high school. He wasn’t sure what had happened between middle school and high school, however, but Kent had hit a growth spurt, he’d grown five inches and had turn all of that “baby fat” into muscles. He was now taller and stronger than anyone at school. He hadn’t been bullied anymore…he’d also stopped being Reggie’s friend and became Reggie’s worse nightmare.
Kent hadn’t bullied him, he was too nice for that, but with his slow, deep voice he’d slowly, conversation, by conversation made Reggie feel as if he were shallow and not good enough to even lick his boots. Reggie had tried to show his former friend that he’d changed for the better but Kent wasn’t hearing it; and while everyone was tripping over themselves to have the powerfully strong, breathtakingly beautiful Kent Hunter to notice them, Reggie had mourned the loss of his best friend and discovered some truths about himself, like he was gay.
They’d both gone off to college at Missouri State University. Kent had studied animal husbandry because he’d always known that he’d take over the ranch one day and Reggie had studied drama, and then art, and then dance and then finally he’d decided to become a fireman…well, after his grandmother had died in a fire, he’d decided that. He’d been devastated by the loss of his “grammy,” the only relative that still had anything to do with him. His father had died overseas while serving in the military and his mother…well, she was somewhere, with someone, doing…something. Reggie didn’t really know and he didn’t really care. No, that was a lie, he’d been devastated when his mother had dropped him off at his grandmother’s house with all of his stuff, kissed him on his forehead and driven away. She hadn’t looked back once and he’d stood in the middle of the driveway and watched as she’d left him behind. His grandmother had been over at Mercy Ranch at the time and hadn’t known he was there. He’d stood there, in that driveway for an hour before he finally picked up his stuff and carried it up to the porch. He’d sat on the top step for another three hours and then his grandmother had shown up, her big grey Chevy blowing up dirt under its wheels. He didn’t move when she jumped out of the car and he didn’t speak when she frantically asked him how long he’d been there. When she’d stopped asking questions he’d merely looked up at her and said, “Momma left.” Nothing else had needed to be said.
His heart still bled from the loss of his grandmother, especially since his mother hadn’t shown up for the funeral, merely sending him a condolence card and saying that she had really liked her mother-in-law. He hadn’t really expected her to show up for his grandmother’s funeral, he had thought that she’d show up to comfort him.
He’d thought that Kent would’ve shown up too.
Kent hadn’t been there. His grandmother had come, held him while he cried and got rid of everyone when it seemed like the entire town was going to move in. Kent hadn’t shown up then. He hadn’t called and he didn’t show up at all that first week. A week after the funeral, two whole weeks after his grandmother had died Reggie had gotten a voicemail on his cell phone.
“Hey uh…Reggie. I heard about your granma…I’m uh…sorry man.”
And that had been it. The message had ended there and Reggie had been frozen in shock. The sum total of Kent’s condolences, the totality of his level of caring for Reggie and his grandmother was equal to ten words and two fillers. Sixteen syllables. Reggie’s grandmother used to babysit Kent, Reggie used to be Kent’s best friend. He’d thrown his cell phone across the room and watched as it hit the wall of his bedroom and exploded. He never called Kent back. He had changed his number, sold his grandmother’s home and moved into another house, on the other side of town. As far away from Kent as he could get without leaving the city and his job.
He’d seen Kent three weeks after his grandmother’s house had sold…to Mercy Ranch. They had both stood there looking at each other, neither of them speaking, neither of them apologizing or attempting to make conversation. Finally Kent had cleared his throat and said, “Reggie.” Reggie had known then that their friendship was over, because whereas hearing his name on the big cowboy’s lips would have previously made him smile and made his heart thunder in his chest in a very weird way, this time it had done nothing more than to fill him with anger and grief, and he was sick of grief. So he’d lifted his head and said merely, “Kenton” before turning to walk away.
They’d been enemies ever since. Every time Kent was in town and he saw Reggie, he mentioned some way for him to bulk up or how long his hair was or he’d ask him if he’d make snide remarks and innuendos about Reggie being gay. Reggie had never pegged Kent for being a homophobe, but then again, he’d never pegged him for being an inconsiderate prick either. Reggie knew that Kent wasn’t the only one to blame, he did his fair share of teasing the cowboy, asking him if he’d learned to spell, making innuendos about him being impotent and that being the reason he was still single, he’d even made a joke once about Kent having a small dick and that being the reason he had no problem riding horses all day.
The whole town of Princeton, hell, damn near all of Mercer County knew that you didn’t want Reggie Mayr and Kent Hunter in the same room with each other unless you were ready to stop a fight. The two of them hadn’t come to blows just yet, but they were damn near close to skipping the fists and just shooting each other on sight.
“Mayr, do you think you could possibly get your head out of your own ass long enough for us to put out this goddamn fire?” Chief Thompson asked him. Reggie blinked for a moment, returning to the present abruptly and then nodded his head.
“Yeah Chief. I’m here,” Reggie answered. He hated it when Chief Thompson singled him out in front of the other guys. Reggie’s grandmother and Chief Thompson had been real close friends and Chief Thompson had taken it upon himself to keep Reggie “on the right path.” It wouldn’t have been such a problem if Chief Thompson didn’t love to constantly bring up the fact that Reggie liked having sex with men. He blamed Reggie’s lack of focus on the fact that he liked to suck cock and get fucked…when really, that was only half the reason.
“Yeah Reggie, and try not to get in a fight with Kent while we’re here,” Grant mumbled to him before the fire truck came to a stop in front of the blazing barn on Mercy Ranch.
Reggie stared at the burning barn in shock and horror. The entire structure was engulfed by large, angry flames that were reaching out for victims and taking no prisoners. Fastening his jacket snug against himself, Reggie leapt from the vehicle and pulled on his fireman’s hat, turning towards the hoses he heard his name being yelled. He turned towards the sound and saw Georgia Hunter flapping her hands at him and pointing.
“Reggie! You gotta go save Kent! He’s still in there!” she sobbed and Reggie felt his entire body fill with icy heat. Without another word or thought, Reggie turned towards the barn and raced inside yelling Kent’s name the entire time.
“Kent! KENT! It’s Reggie! Man, where the hell are you?! KENT! You bastard why the fuck are you still in here?” he screamed when he felt a hand wrap around his ankle. Falling to his knees, thankful for the mask that kept out the smoke he saw Kent lying on the floor of the barn, his large arms covered in soot, dirt and...was that manure? He was in the stall of a newborn colt and Reggie finally saw why the stupid man was inside of the barn.
“You fucking idiot,” Reggie breathed before grabbing Kent under his arms and lifting him enough to do the fireman’s carry. His legs almost buckled under the weight of the large man, but he braced his feet and turned towards the front of the barn…that was covered in flames. Turning to the back of the barn, Reggie saw nothing but smoke and could only hope that that area was free from fire. Clicking his tongue at the horse, he almost shouted out in joy with the baby colt began following him. So maybe he hadn’t been a newborn but he was certainly small enough.
It was slow going but eventually they got to the doors leading out from the barn to the corrals, and not a moment too soon. Reggie’s legs gave out and he fell forward, Kent falling from off of his shoulder and landing on the ground with a hard thud. Reggie’s face ended up directly in Kent’s groin and the baby colt merely walked away on its wobbly legs, no doubt to find its mother.
Reggie knew that he should move, hell, his lips were right next to Kent’s dick. He hated Kent and the feeling was very much mutual. Besides Kent was unconscious right now, but if he came to and Reggie’s head was in his lap, would he think that Reggie was trying to take advantage of him while he was knocked out. Then of course there was the whole, barn being on fire thing.
Reggie began pushing up from where he lay when he heard Kent groan his name.
“Reggie,” the bigger man said. Reggie found himself reaching out for Kent’s face and jerked back his hand at the last minute.
“I’m right here Kent. You’re fine Kent. We’re both safe,” Reggie reassured the other man as he crawled over to the fallen cowboy and pushed on the communicator to let the Chief and the rest of the team know that he was okay. Just as he opened his mouth to radio that they were all right Kent spoke again.
“Want. Reggie. Need.”
Reggie gasped and looked down at Kent in shock. Had Kent just said that he wanted and needed Reggie? What the fuck did that mean? Was it because of the fire?
“Kent, it’s me, it’s Reggie. I got you out of the fire man. You’re okay,” he reassured him again, turning back to radio in once again.
“Want sex. Want to fuck. Reggie. Before I die. Love,” Kent babbled and this time he seemed agitated as if he knew that he wasn’t being understood even in his state of extreme delirium. But this time Reggie understood what Kent was saying and he gasped, jerking his hand away from the walkie attached to his shoulder and stared at Kent in shock just as the entire barn collapsed behind him.