As usual on Sundays at the ranch, Zac was helping unload the delivery. He was hoping that he ordered correctly. He looked at the last six weeks and based his order on its average. Knowing that Jackson usually ordered for 7 days with one week a month adding an extra day, Zac figured that it would be an easy fix if his order was off. He decided this would be the eight-day week order. The week had gone by rather quickly, and smoother than Zac had expected. Monday, dealing with Brock was the hardest.
As they had finished unloading the truck, Jackson pulled up. "Looks like we picked the perfect time to return, after the hard work is done," Jackson quipped. "So, how did the week go?"
Zac told him about the incident with Brock and that he was now volunteering at the Rescue. He told him about Jared taking riding lessons, but didn't say anything about Jared's father looking like him. "I'm curious, when is your birthday? I tried looking in your file, but it's the only one that doesn't have a date of birth," Zac asked.
Jackson laughed and asked, "Were you going to try and plan a surprise party?"
"You are the master at that, I doubt I could get away with it if I tried," Zac stated.
Ryan whispered into Zac's ear, "He was born on the seventh of July." Zac smiled and thought, 'They may have missed it this year, but wait until next.'
"Did you just tell him my birthday?" Jackson asked.
"Would I do such a thing? I told him to not even try, I know how you hate having your own birthday parties, but you love giving everyone else one," Ryan said defensively. Zac backed him up.
As they were talking, a black SUV pulled up. Jacob Dylan stepped out of the driver's seat and walked over. "You must be Jackson Sprayberry, my name is Jacob Dylan," the man said.
"I do declare, I feel like I'm looking in a mirror," Jackson stated.
"Oh, and one more thing I've yet to mention. Jared's dad looks like you," Zac joked.
Jackson took Jacob to the office and they started talking. Jacob shared everything he knew about being adopted and being a twin. Jackson said that to his knowledge it was only him for five years and then Jeff came along. The lady he knew as his mother never said anything about adopting or putting one of her sons up for adoption. "Well, I was born just after midnight on the eighth of July. I understand that we were born the same year," Jacob told Jackson.
"Wow, I was born just before midnight, the day before, but I was born in Jackson, Alabama, thus the name I was given. I wasn't born around here."
"Things are adding up. I recently moved here from Florida, but my place of birth was Jackson, Alabama. I think we are twins with different birth dates just because of the times we were born," Jacob declared.
Jackson didn't say anything, he just picked up the phone and tapped some numbers. Jacob could barely hear the person on the other end enough to know that they were female. Jackson hit the speaker button. "Mom, were Jeff and I the only children that you had?" he asked.
"What makes you ask that question? Are you sick or something? Or is he?" she responded.
"No, neither of us are sick. It's just that, well, I know that I grew up with only Jeff but something is gnawing at me telling me I may have another brother."
"Heavens, I've been wanting to tell you this for some time, I just didn't know how. When I was pregnant with you, you did have a twin. We could barely afford to raise only one child, let alone two, we didn't know what to do. One of the hardest things I ever had to do was decide which child I would raise. Your dad was out of work and looking eighteen hours a day until he passed away when you were four. I only got to hold Jacob once before they took him to the adoption agency. I still cry about having to give up one of my babies. Shortly after your dad died, I met the man you came to know as your father. He adopted you and nine months later Jeff was born."
"Have you ever thought about looking for Jacob?" Jackson asked. Jacob was sitting quietly, absorbing the emotion in his birth mother's voice.
"I have, but the adoption agency won't give me any details of who adopted him. He's twenty-three now, so you would think they'd be more forthcoming. I really wish I knew what happened to him," Jackson's mom cried.
Jacob finally spoke, but he was choked up, "Mom, this is Jacob. The adoption agency hasn't been very helpful with me either. I just moved to Cody and ran into Jackson," She could hear the sadness as he talked.
"My word, Jacob, is that really you? I am so sorry for giving you up. I didn't know what else to do so that you both could survive," Mrs. Sprayberry was crying hard.
"I understand Mom and I don't blame you one bit. While I wish I could have known you sooner, I was happy with the family that I grew up with. They treated me right and showed me love. They adopted me the same day I was born. Perhaps I could come see you?" Jacob stated, now crying himself.
"I'd love for you to come visit whenever you want, except I'm getting on a plane tomorrow. Jackson bought me a ticket to come visit him. Since you are in Cody, perhaps I can visit with you while I'm there. Do you have any family?"
"That would be wonderful. I have wanted to meet you since the day I found out I was adopted. At first it was to find out why you didn't want me…" Jacob started.
"Honey, I always wanted you, my heart still aches over having to make that decision," Mrs. Sprayberry interrupted.
"I know that now, after hearing you talk with Jackson. Hopefully now that we have talked, your pain goes away. I know mine has already. I've not met you yet, but I do know that I love you. And wait until you meet Elizabeth and Jared. Elizabeth is my wife and she was adopted too, so for our first child, we adopted Jared. She doesn't know that I know, but I found a pregnancy test in our bathroom when we were packing to move. I think she's pregnant."
"My plane won't leave fast enough, I wish I were there right now. I am looking forward to meeting you and your family."
"One thing you might want to know. After meeting Jackson and his family, I'm sure it won't matter, but Jared is gay."
"Like you said, that doesn't matter. I knew Jackson was when I caught him having two GI Joe action figures making out," Mrs. Sprayberry said laughing. "Jeff told me shortly after he knew that I still love Jackson."
"That's enough, Mom. See you when you get here," Jackson stated as he hung up the phone. Walking out of the office, Jackson told Jacob, "Well, I have good news and bad news."
"What's the good news" Jacob inquired.
"I don't charge my family to ride or get lessons, so all Jared's lessons are free," Jackson said. Jacob smiled and asked what the bad news was. "Apparently you are my brother and you have a face that looks like mine," Jackson chuckled.
"Well I happen to like my face and so does Elizabeth. She wants to learn how to ride eventually but wanted to wait until Jared was done so it wouldn't be such a financial burden," Jacob said grinning.
"Well, have her come by and we'll get her riding," Jackson stated. "I'll teach her myself."
Jeff was coming home from his class at the university that he was attending. Seeing Jackson and Jacob on the porch in front of the office, he walked over. "I'm not sure what happened, but I think I'm seeing double," Jeff said.
Jackson started laughing, "Jacob, this is our youngest brother Jeff. Jeff, I'd like for you to meet my twin, this is Jacob."
"So are you the one Mom has been crying herself to sleep every night over?" Jeff asked.
"Seriously, you know that she has been crying over me?" Jacob asked. He felt the sincerity when she said that she had been hurting, but for Jeff to come out and say this, it really made him believe.
"I always thought she was a little sad, but when Jackson moved out here, I would hear her at nights asking where you were. I always thought maybe Jackson's father was named Jacob, and I wondered how she could do that to my father. Now you show up and I just had to ask," Jeff explained. "Dad always told me that she'd explain when she was ready and he seemed alright with it so I never pursued it."
"Wow, I believed her and all, you confirming it makes me love Mom even more," Jacob stated with tears running down both cheeks. "You didn't even know about our conversation with her and you confirmed every word that she said."
"You never told me about Mom crying when I moved," Jackson said looking a little upset at Jeff.
"I should have, but I didn't know what to think and Dad said what he said, so I didn't think anything further of it," Jeff explained. "Is she still flying out?"
"She'll be here tomorrow night. Are you riding with us to pick her up?" Jackson asked.
"Are you kidding me? When she sees Jacob, I'm taking a picture," Jeff stated. Jackson and Jacob both said that they want a copy.
"Should we introduce Colt to Jared? They are cousins," Jackson asked.
"I think we should," Jacob agreed.
With that, Jackson called Colt over and introduced him to Jacob. Colt was impressed with the whole story and welcomed Jacob to the family with a hug. They told him that he has a cousin and took him to where Joe was finishing Jared's riding lesson for the day.
"Jared, I have learned that Jackson is my twin brother," Jacob started telling his son as he dismounted. "And this is your cousin Colt."
"Pleased to meet you, Colt," Jared extended his hand.
Colt gave Jared a hug instead and said, "You look pretty good on the horse. How long have you been training?"
"I started on Tuesday, well technically Monday but I really didn't learn anything that day."
"How's come? Joe knows how to teach, I've seen him. He's good at it," Colt started. Brock had just come over from the Rescue saw Colt talking to Jared. He was a little nervous as to why this kid was talking to his boyfriend, but seeing two versions of Jared's father, he thought he better not react until he knew what was going on.
"Well you see, I was a bit distracted the first day. I'd like for you to meet my new boyfriend, Brock," Jared said. Hearing him say that calmed Brock down a lot. "Brock, I just found out that I have a cousin. He was adopted like I was, this is Colt."
That really made Brock feel at ease and glad he didn't react like he first wanted. "Pleased to meet you," Brock said. "Jared and I were going riding, would you like to join us?"
"Are you sure? I don't want to intrude, but I would like to take Midnight Star for a ride," Colt replied.
"You two just discovered that you are cousins. I'm sure you both have questions for the other. And I would really like to know you better myself. You're my boyfriend's cousin and that means we'll probably see each other a bit," Brock said. Part of him wanted Jared to himself, but he also felt like he was the one intruding. He had just met Colt and already liked him, not even close to how he likes Jared, but definitely thought this would be a cool kid to hang with.
Colt came back with Midnight Star and started grooming him for the ride. Brock walked over and started chatting. "Beautiful mustang, mare, stallion, or gelding?" He asked.
"She's a mare, but be careful. I got her from the Rescue and due to the injuries she underwent, she's deaf," Colt advised.
"I see. I'm working at the Rescue now, and I'm getting a horse from there also. I should be able to take him home soon," Brock said. He started helping Colt groom his horse.
"Why take him home? You can board him here for free so that you have a horse here to ride. But then, we do have plenty of horses that you can ride," Colt said.
"Except Gold," Brock said with a chuckle.
"Yeah, Gold has only let Jim ride him until Jim got injured and needed help. His only concern was getting Zac to Jim as fast as he could."
"So I've heard. I'm hoping that if Gold sires any more foals, I am able to raise the little one and be as close to him or her as Jim is to Gold."
"So, I hope I don't offend you, but… You seem a little too preened for the typical teenager that volunteers at the Rescue," Colt asked.
"Long story short, I was being a spoiled brat and my father tried to get Zac to use me for the day. Even offered to pay him for my services. After that, I realized that I better change my ways. I was hoping to work here. Zac said that they didn't really need anyone here, but the Rescue was looking for help. I thought that was a good way to show my father that I don't want to be a brat and I'm willing to give of myself. Now, I'm so glad to able to help the horses there. It saddens me with what they've gone through, though."
"OH, you're the one Zac was telling Dad about. Said that you tried to buy Gold," Colt said chuckling.
Brock looked down, "Yeah, that was me."
The boys finished getting the horse's tack on and the three boys headed out for a ride. As Colt was getting to know his cousin and new friend, Jackson looked at Jacob, "Why don't you get your wife and bring her here? I would love to meet her and we can do a cookout by the lake. I think she would love that view."
"I should be back before Jared gets done riding. If he does get back before I return, just let him know that we are staying," Jacob advised and got in his SUV to go pick up his wife.
Colt, Jared and Brook had reached the lake. Colt laughed and Jared asked what was so funny. "It's just that with all of this land, everyone always seems to find this lake," Colt explained.
"It's intoxicating," Jared said.
"And I think we all enjoy swimming. Last one in has to kiss whoever is first," Brock said as he was getting off his horse. He didn't really care who was last, he was making sure he was first. Jared and Colt dismounted from their horse and Brock already had his shirt off. Colt didn't want to kiss or be kissed, so he tried to not be first but worked fast enough not to be last. That wasn't an easy task, or was it?
Brock was naked and running for the water as Colt slid his shorts down. Jared was undressing slowly because he wanted to kiss Brock. Colt caught on to that and quit rushing, but still moved fast enough that he let his cousin be last. "You really love him, don't you?" Colt said as he removed the last piece of clothing.
Jared smiled and finished taking off his clothes. Colt headed for the water and jumped in. "This water is freezing," Colt yelled.
"Give it a few minutes, your body will adapt. Now I need to claim my prize," Brock said as he headed towards Jared making his way into the water. "Took you long enough."
"Had to make sure I was last so I could kiss you," Jared told him. He placed his arms around Brock and pulled him in. As he pressed his lips to Brock's he felt Brock's lips part his. He felt Brock invade his mouth with his tongue. Jared could have gone like this all day long until his train of thought was derailed.
"Get a room," Colt quipped and then started laughing. With that, Brock and Jared finished their kiss and swam towards Colt. When they reached him, they started splashing the water at him. Not to be out done, Colt returned the splashing at both of them.
"Too bad we don't have a ball to pass around," Jared said.
"Well I have two balls, but I'm not passing them," Brock joked.
"Yeah, we're not passing mine, either," Colt stated, catching what Brock meant.
"Why not," Jared started and quickly added, "Forget that I asked. No, only one person will ever get to play with mine." He smiled as he looked at Brock.
As the boys were swimming, Colt thought he could hear some horses headed in their direction. He looked at the main trail and saw two, but they looked like they had harnesses instead of saddles. Then he saw the wagon. Jackson and Ryan were in the front, Jared's dad and some lady were riding in the back of the wagon. "Umm, guys, we have company."
Jackson stopped the horses alongside the horses the boys were using. "What's the meaning of this," Jackson yelled.
"We're just swimming, Dad. You know we do this, you've done this with me before," Colt answered.
"I don't have a problem with that, but you didn't tie up your horses or take their tack off so they could be comfortable while you swam."
"Sorry, that was my fault, I called a race into the water and maybe cheated a little," Brock admitted.
The lady with them was looking at the clothes scattered about. "Jared Michael Dylan, are you naked in that water?"
"Yes I am, Mom," Jared admitted.
"Get your clothes on this instant," she insisted.
"Ummmm," Jared was hesitant. While she is his mom, being adopted as a teenager, she had never seen him naked and he wasn't ready to let that happen.
"I got this," Jackson said and grabbed one of the large beach towels he keeps in the wagon. He held it up at the edge of the water so that only he could see the boy as he came out of the water.
As he got close enough, Jackson wrapped the towel around the boy. "What is the meaning of this?" Elizabeth asked.
"Relax, Honey, it was only them when they went skinny-dipping. They didn't know we were coming, so I don't see anything wrong with their actions."
"I have to agree with your husband," Jackson stated as he was holding another towel for Brock. Colt opted to come out last. Jackson swatted his wet bare behind when he did. "That's for the horses," he stated. Colt smiled and hugged Jackson, getting him wet.
"I suppose maybe I was overreacting. Were you having fun before we came?" Elizabeth asked.
"Yes Mom, I was," Jared said with a smile.
"I guess swimming with nothing hindering can be fun. Too bad the pool at our house is so open," she replied. Jacob smiled at her.
"You could always put a fence around it," Jackson suggested.
"We could, but we can't afford it right now," Elizabeth said.
"Well, I've missed Jacob's birthday, or do you prefer Jake? Anyway, I missed it for twenty-three years. Would it upset you if I offered to pay for it to cover those missing years?" Jackson asked.
"I actually do like Jake, but I use Jacob until I know the person enough. We're family, so you can call me either. Elizabeth, would you like a privacy fence?" Jacob answered.
"We've discussed this before, so you already know my answer. If you want to accept this gift from your brother, I have no problem with it," she told her husband. Then she turned to Jackson, "Thing is, we don't have anything to give you for all the birthdays we missed, or rather Jake missed."
"True, but the thing about gifts, they needn't be reciprocated. And I had the gift of Mom all this time," Jackson said.
"That's not your fault. It was just something that happened, and no one is really to blame," Jacob stated. "So my wife can skinny-dip in our pool when she wants, I accept your gift." Jackson hugged Jacob.
Joe rode to the lake, "I'm going to leave in a few minutes if you want a ride, Brock."
"We'll give him a ride if he wants to stay for a bit," Jacob offered.
"I need to call my dad," Brock said, picking up his pants and pulling his phone out. After a few minutes, he put the phone back in the pocket and laid his pants back down. "Dad said that I can stay as long as I want, even said that he won't be home as he and Tonya are going to England on a business trip," Brock said with a big smile on his face.
"Who's Tonya?" Elizabeth asked, "Is she a business associate?"
"No, she's a lady that cooks for Dad and me. She also cleans the house except the bedrooms. I've been trying to get Dad to date her for a couple years, close to three. I finally got it to happen and he proposed," Brock stated grinning more.
"Sweet!" Joe yelled almost scaring the horse he was on. He headed back for the barn once he knew Brock didn't need a ride.
"So, would you like to spend the night with us, then?" Elizabeth asked.
"Seriously, I'd love to spend the night with Jared," Brock was smiling so hard his face was starting to hurt, but he was too happy to care.
"Do I need to stop and get condoms on the way home?" Jacob asked.
"Dad, we aren't going to do anything to need them," Jared said, obviously embarrassed.
"Just kidding Champ, but know that while I think you are too young for sex, if you do decide to have it, I want you protected."
"Thanks Dad, and I hope Brock understands, but for now, kissing is as far as I want to go. I'm not ready to be a father yet," he said with a grin.
"You can't be a father if…" Brock started. Then he started to grin, "Never mind, and I do understand. Not sure I'm ready for much more either."
"I'm glad to hear that," Elizabeth stated. "So are you ready to start school on Monday?"
"Actually, public school starts on Tuesday. I'll be attending an online class and start Wednesday," Brock stated.
"Online, what does that cost?" Jacob asked.
"It's free, the state puts out the program. Dad thought that it was a great idea, you have certain things that must be done by certain times, but they let you work at your own pace as long as you meet that criteria. The only downside is that I don't get to meet my classmates."
"It's free? What do you think Jared? Would you like for us to check into it?" Jacob asked.
"Let's see what happens at this school first. Joe and Jim will be in some of my classes so I will already have two friends here. And they both know I am gay," Jared replied.
"I don't know about Joe, but Jim and Zac are boyfriends, so they are gay, too. I probably shouldn't have said that as it's not my place, but I don't think they would mind," Brock stated.
"Mind what?" Zac said as he came up riding Silver.
"I just told them that you and Jim were boyfriends. Then said that I was wrong for telling them but didn't think you would mind," Brock said. He looked a little solemn as he confessed.
"Jackson already knows, and Jim and I don't hide it, yeah it wasn't your place, but I think I can speak for both of us. We don't care who you tell," Zac gave Brock a smile. Brock felt more at ease but knew he shouldn't out anyone.
"Is everyone at this ranch gay?" Jacob asked just out of curiosity.
"I'm trying to get a girlfriend," Colt stated.
"And Josh at the Rescue has a wonderful wife and the cutest son. So no, not everyone is," Jackson said. "And many of the hands, I haven't a clue. I'm close with Josh, Zac, Jim and Joe. As I said, I've met Josh's wife. You already know Zac and Jim are together. And I've met Joe's significant other. Not saying if he's gay or straight as it's not my place."
"But if he were straight, you probably would have said as much like you did with Josh," Elizabeth deduced.
"I guess I did kinda give it away, didn't I?" Jackson said chuckling.
"Doesn't matter either way, as long as he does the job you hired him to do, who he loves is his business. Apparently, he is a good instructor, look how quickly Jared picked it up," Elizabeth stated.
"Jared deserves some of that credit. I've had students come through here and finally told them that they were wasting their money. Very few pick it up as fast as Jared did," Jackson admitted.
"I was motivated and wanted to learn. Jim told me that Brock said he wanted to go riding with me if I learned how," Jared told everyone.
"I never said that until after you said that you were going to learn real fast. Is that why you said that?" Brock was starting to understand that day's conversation better.
"So he lied to me? Don't get me wrong, I'm kinda glad he did, I was distracted and didn't learn anything the first day," Jared said smiling.
"And I'm glad you learnt how to ride," Brock leaned over and gave Jared a kiss.
"Well, I just came out to tell Jackson that everyone has gone home. I'm heading to Jim's house so I'll smack his lips for lying," Zac said with a grin.
"Something tells me that your punishment won't be a deterrent," Ryan stated. Everyone laughed.
"So I'll use a little tongue and do some invading, too," Zac grinned. He knew that he had better get to Jim quick, just thinking of these things was making him horny and the saddle a little uncomfortable.
"Still not sure how much you'll deter him from lying. You might make him lie more often," Ryan responded.
"Not if I tell him that he won't get any more of it if he lies again," Zac replied.
"Ooooo that might fall under cruel and unusual punishment" Jackson said.
With that everyone laughed and Zac headed for the barn. "When you're out here, do they always come out like that?" Elizabeth asked.
"Heavens no. Most of the time they're already out here with me," Jackson chuckled.
Didn't take long before Zac was walking into Jim's house. "Just so you know, Jared knows that you lied to him. I promised to punish you for him. Said I'd smack you in the mouth."
"Yeah, but your smack isn't much of a punishment. Might make me want to do it again," Jim said grinning.
"Funny, that's what Ryan said," Zac said as he smacked Jim's lips with his. Then as promised, he used his tongue.
"Yeah, if that's the punishment, I may have to lie again. Your eyes are purple." When Jim said that, Zac gave him a light pat on the cheek. Jim stuck his bottom lip out like he was pouting and Zac grabbed hold of it lightly with his teeth. Jim started to chuckle as best he could with his lip in someone's mouth.
Zac finally let go and gave Jim a quick kiss. "No more lying, or else."
"I don't know, this seemed kind of fun. Seriously, I only lied to get him to want to pay attention. I don't make a habit of it, nor do I have a desire, but this was fun," Jim said smiling.
"I know, and it was fun. Makes me almost want to make you skip supper and take you someplace more private," Zac had a twinkle in his eye.
"Mom, I think I've been bad and need to go to bed without any supper," Jim said laughing.
"You may have been bad, but I think you should be punished by having to wait to go to bed," Heather said smiling. Jim started pouting again, but had a difficult time doing it laughing at Zac acting like he was going for the bottom lip again.
"Get a room," Joe said.
"Not until AFTER supper," Heather ordered.
"She's no fun," Jim said looking at Zac.
"I heard that. Now you really have to wait until I go to bed before you can go," Heather enjoyed picking on the boys as much as they pick on each other and her.
"You're getting sleepy, very sleepy," Jim started telling her.
"Not with that, I'm not. You're just making me laugh and want to stay awake longer."
"Oh, poo," Jim said.
"Zac, put something in that dirty mouth for me please," Heather requested. Zac didn't need to be asked twice. He pushed his tongue in it. Joe rolled his eyes.
"I think I may need to go visit Buster if this keeps up," Joe stated.
"Call him over," Jim told his brother.
After they ate, Joe called Buster to find out that he and his family were camping and wouldn't be home until tomorrow. Buster promised to meet him before school started Tuesday. Jim grabbed Zac's hand and started up the stairs. "Where do you think you're going?" Heather asked.
"To my room," Jim said.
"No, I think I said that you had to wait until I went to bed. Come down here and sit on the couch until then," Heather said with a straight face. Zac thought she looked like she may lose it any minute but played along.
"Seriously," Jim said as he headed for the couch.
Just as Jim sat down, Heather started snickering, "No, I wasn't serious. Go have fun, but don't do anything I wouldn't do."
"Well, there went all my plans," Jim teased.
Once they got in the bedroom, Zac looked at Jim, "OK time to really punish you. This is going to hurt me more than you, drop your pants and assume the position."
Jim did as he was told, smiling the whole time. He didn't know what Zac planned, but was sure he would really enjoy it. He felt Zac inserting his fingers into his ass with lots of lube. Zac was thorough in his lubing. Then Zac took off his belt and laid one crack across Jim's ass. Jim jumped when the belt connected. "Hey!" Jim squealed.
Zac didn't respond. He threw Jim unto his back on the bed. Then he lifted Jim's legs and entered him. He pushed in hard and deep with one motion. Jim gave a slight grunt. Zac's face stayed stoic as he began fucking his lover. "If this is the punishment, I think it is working. I don't like this. I want both of us to enjoy our time together. Please smile or something," Jim begged.
"Nope, you lied and have to be punished," Zac said. Then after a few more thrusts, the look on Jim's face, tears running down his eyes, Zac couldn't help but smile, "Baby, I do love this. The look of sadness on your face is priceless, thinking I was just going through the motions and not really enjoying it. But I never want to do that again."
"I'm so sorry," Jim was crying, "You know why I told Jared what I did, and then to just give me sex, and this doesn't feel like when we make love. I don't like it."
Zac stopped his thrusting and held Jim tight. "Baby, I was only kidding with you, it was hard for me to keep from smiling. You want me to pull out?" He didn't realize the affect this would have on his lover. Maybe he did go a little too far with joking.
"No, but hold me tight before you continue," Jim responded. Zac held Jim as tight as he could. Jim sobbed into Zac's shoulder.
Zac whispered in Jim's ear, "I love you more than anything. I was just kidding with you as to punishing you. Sorry if I hurt you in any way. And look on the bright side, I don't have a shirt on for you to get wet." Jim chuckled a little.
"I love you, also. Now if you want to make love, you can continue, but if it's going to be just sex, I want to stop."
"You deserve nothing but love, sweetheart. I never want to just have sex with you. I'm so sorry for making it feel like just sex," Zac said as he started making love to Jim.
Jim had his arms wrapped around Zac, "Now this feels like you love me. This is what I want and you never have to stop as far as I'm concerned."
"If I never stop, it would really hurt me more than you," Zac teased. "I'd get raw down there."
"Well, maybe the motion can stop, but I don't want you to ever pull out. At least not until I fall asleep," Jim said with a smile.
"If it wasn't for everything else that we have to do like eat and go to work or school, I could stay like this forever," Zac stated. "I love you so much."
Zac had stopped moving and the boys rolled over. Jim kissed Zac on the cheek and they went to sleep.
On Monday, the boys didn't go to the ranch but started getting everything they would need for the first day of school. They each made a list of what they were lacking and headed together to get the missing items.
As they were heading out the door on Tuesday, Joe saw someone sitting in his jeep. He couldn't see who it was as the seat was blocking his view, so he approached cautiously. He started smiling when he saw Buster's face. "How did you get in? I thought I locked it," Joe asked.
"Passenger door was unlocked," Buster stated. "I told you that I'd see you before school."
"Jim, did you forget to lock your door last night?" Joe queried.
"No I locked it," Jim said. The boys started looking the jeep over. Not finding anything suspicious, Joe started the vehicle. Smoke started coming out of the vents immediately. Joe turned off the engine and everyone got out. They called the fire department, thinking that there might be a fire.
After a thorough investigation, a fireman told Joe that someone had been in his vehicle and a police officer would be by after school to talk with him. The boys got in Jim's car and headed for school. They had to rush to make it to their homeroom and not be late. Dusty gave Jim a "what's up" look as the boys walked in. Jim just mouthed, "Tell you at lunch." Dusty nodded.
Being the first day of classes, the teachers mainly introduced themselves and went over what they expected the students to learn this semester. Spanish class, the teacher had each student give their name in Spanish. He also explained that they were more of a Hispanic class than Spanish. Jim likes that his name is Diego, just like the character who becomes Zorro, Don Diego Della Vega.
After their science class let out, Jim was walking with Dusty. "You guys just barely made it. I thought sure you were going to be early, what happened?" Dusty asked.
"We planned to be, but apparently, someone broke into Joe's jeep and when he started it, smoke came out of the vents. Joe's a little shaken, but other than that," Jim explained.
"Wow, I bet he's shaken, probably feels violated some," Dusty said. They made their way to the cafeteria. Joe and Buster were already there. Joe was sitting in his usual seat with Buster rubbing his shoulders. Dusty sat on the opposite side of Joe from where Buster's tray was and Jim sat across from Joe. Zac showed up and sat beside Jim. "You guys were getting in the jeep when I left. I waited in the parking lot as long as I could. What took so long?" Zac asked.
Jim explained what had happened and said that they needed to head home to talk with a police officer so they weren't going to the ranch today. Zac said that he would let Jackson know.
Working the ranch was part of Zac's schooling and he had to turn in a report once a week stating what he did in the way of work. Jackson was required to sign that he did put the time in. When Zac got to the ranch, he explained what happened with Joe's jeep. Jackson immediately got on the phone and while the police wouldn't give him any details, he asked if he could be notified when the jeep was released.
Jim and Joe pulled into their drive and a police officer was already waiting to talk with them. The officer told Joe that someone named Jackson Sprayberry was wanting to have a mechanic check over the jeep, but they wouldn't let him know anything unless Joe said that he trusted him. Joe hit speed dial on his phone. "Jackson, the officer said that he wouldn't let you know anything without my approval. Would you like to speak with the officer here?" Joe said, then he paused, "Yes, other than shaken a little, I'm fine, here's the officer."
"Yes, sir, I hope that you understand our policy. We couldn't say anything without the approval of Joe since it's his vehicle. We are done with our investigation and you may have your mechanic check it out," the officer stated. After a short pause he added, "Yes sir, and thank you for understanding. I'm glad that you worry about those who work for you. And I hope you have a nice day as well."
"So, did you find anything to help?" Jim asked.
"We found a note on the driver's seat. Obviously it was placed there after everyone left and before we arrived or you would have seen it."
"What did it say?" Joe was starting to shake. Someone was watching him this morning and he didn't have a clue.
"This could have been a bomb," the officer read. "We want to have twenty-four-hour surveillance on your house, your vehicle and you until this person, or persons, is caught. We won't go in the school, but an officer, possibly me, will be posted at the door you usually use. We just need one of your parents' permission."
Heather had good timing and entered the house at that time. "Why is a police car sitting outside," she asked before seeing the officer.
"Are you his mother?" the officer asked. When she confirmed that she was, the officer went over what had occurred, their findings and what they wanted to do. Heather signed a paper giving permission for the surveillance. They also told the officer of their suspicions of who might be behind it.
"I thought the jeep had an alarm, how did they bypass it?" Joe asked.
"They obviously did their homework and were able to find the wire and cut it. My personal opinion, you should never trust a factory installed alarm. They are too easy to find their specs on the internet. If you want an alarm, have one added so they are unique to your vehicle," the officer recommended. With having everything that he needed, he went out to his car. He said that he would stay until the first surveillance team arrived.
The tow truck driver rang the doorbell. When Joe answered he introduced himself as Ben Andrews. He told Joe that Jackson called him and Joe handed the guy a key to the jeep.
During supper, Joe just picked at his food. Heather asked him if he was still upset and gave a smile. "Someone broke into my jeep. Still not sure what they did, but they must have been watching to be able to place that note. I'm a nervous wreck right now," Joe stated and started crying.
"I can understand that, Honey. The police are doing everything they can to keep you safe, so try to relax and eat something," Heather placed her arms around Joe trying to console him.
Jackson called shortly after Ben left with Joe's jeep. "Did John show up yet?" he asked.
"John?" Joe answered feeling scared. If John was supposed to show up, who was Ben and how did he know Jackson sent anyone? "Someone introduced himself as Ben Andrews, and his truck said Andrews' Towing. He said that you sent him."
"You can relax Joe. Ben is John's brother. John must be busy in his shop," Jackson explained. Joe could feel his heart racing but it was beginning to slow back down now that he knew his jeep wasn't taken by someone out to hurt him. Jackson chuckled, "Maybe I should have asked if John or Ben showed up, but I really thought John would have come personally. Your jeep is in good hands."
"You really did a number on my heart. You had me worried," Joe told Jackson.
"I could tell by your voice and breathing. Sorry for scaring you like that."
Joe barely slept all night. When morning came, Heather looked at him, "Honey, I can understand if you don't want to go to school today. Would you like for me to call?"
"Thanks for caring, Mom. I want to go to school today. If they are watching, I don't want to give them the satisfaction," Joe stated. Heather gave him a hug. Not to be out done, Jim slid in and gave Joe a hug, too.
As Jim walked out to his car, he called the officers doing the surveillance over. Big piece of cardboard was covering his windshield. It said, "Ka-Boom. Leave the state or else."
"We were watching the house and vehicles all night. How did they get that on your windshield?" one of the officers stated. The other officer started looking the Challenger over. As soon as he touched the vehicle, the alarm started sounding.
"Why didn't it sound when they put the sign on?" Jim asked as he turned off the alarm with his remote.
"I have no idea, they must have been very careful, but I can tell you that the vehicle is safe," the officer that checked it out stated.
Jim and Joe got in the Challenger and started for school. As he exited the cul-de-sac, Jim spotted a black car sitting and waiting. He started speeding up until Joe received a text. It said, "Relax, this is Officer Jenkins in the black car. I'll be following you to school and watching the entrance all day until you get out. To identify myself, I discussed getting an aftermarket alarm with you to make it unique to your vehicle." Joe shared with Jim what the text said and that eased Jim's nerves a bit.
As they parked, the black car parked so they had to go past it. Joe recognized the officer who spoke with him in the passenger seat and pointed him out to Jim. Having restless sleep, Joe had trouble concentrating in his classes. When any of the teachers asked if he was having a problem, he explained what was happening and the teacher said that they understood.
In woodworking class, better known as shop class, the instructor asked that Joe work with Jim. In Joe's condition, he didn't think it would be safe for him to handle any of the machines. Joe admitted that he was probably right and Jim said that he was thankful that the instructor cared enough about his brother.