Sentinel Mountain

Chapter Fifty
Horseback Riding and Skinny Dipping

The three rode into the pasture at a trot and spread out to make sure they did not miss Cam if he had been thrown. As they topped a slight rise, they saw Cam coming toward them at a healthy walk. He was obviously not a skilled rider, but he was doing remarkably well for his first time on a horse. It was also obvious the horse had chosen the boy. It would have been almost impossible to tell she was not a docile and well-trained horse. The three reined up and waited for the boy/man.

"So how's horseback riding, Cam?" Nelson asked.

"Well, I love it, but I'm sure I'll have a sore ass."

"Not just your ass, I suspect," Josh said, "although I guess you haven't been moving any faster than you were when we topped the hill. When you move out of a walk to her natural gait, you'll have a sore back and belly unless and until you get them in top shape, but you are looking good. I think you and the horse are made for each other. So long as she is available, she's yours. That means you care for her, work on building up your muscles—especially in your belly and back—and you take lessons from Nelson and do exactly as he says. I don't want you or the horse hurt. By the way, you'll need to be very serious about choosing a name for the horse. Remember, you wouldn't like to be called some cutesy name, so don't do that to her."

"You mean that, Josh? I mean about her being mine."

"Of course I mean that. Ride on back to the stables and give her a good currying and brushing. Put her in the paddock while you muck out a stable, put down clean straw, clean her water trough, then put her in the stable. Give her half a scoop of oats." Had Cam won the lottery he couldn't have been happier.

As Cam rode on toward the stables, the other three rode in the opposite direction, kicking their horses into a fast trot. All three were excellent riders, if not in the classic English style. Were they riding any distance, they would have easily outlasted English riders because they rode as they would have on the ranch, their movements geared to the horses' movements, but in a smooth, relaxed style, not the exaggerated—at least to them—English style which was for show, not work. The pasture fence ran about a hundred yards up the mountain and two thirds the width of the valley floor which, where they were, was about a mile. When they reached the end fence, they rode along it at a good walk and then along the fence on the side of the mountain. Since it was near the valley floor, the mountain side of the pasture was not steep.

When they reached the stables, Cam was leading the sorrel in, but stopping every few minutes to place his arms around her neck to hug her. He put the horse in a stable and fed her while the other three took care of their animals.

The vans and drivers were gone and Cam and Walt were living at their place and cooking their own meals, so the group at supper was reduced a bit. The Masons would be moving out Monday if all went according to plan and Walt, Josh, Alex, Sally and Brenda would be leaving Wednesday for points west. Cam would come to the House while Walt was gone, one advantage of the Mountain's extended family.

Thursday morning, since he and Shane were giving the school proposal a rest, Josh went with Alex to work with the horses. They rounded up the animals and got them all in stalls. There were six Nelson and Alex had not tried to ride and six someone had been on daily for several days. The three they had ridden the previous day, and Cam's sorrel, were placed at the bottom of the list, so there were only two which hadn't been ridden. Nelson suggested Alex and Josh ride those and he would work on another one in the corral. The horses weren't, of course, fully broken and wouldn't be for a while, but they were not completely wild either. They pulled the usual horse tricks when Josh and Alex put saddles on them and tightened the cinches, but learned right away the two men knew all the tricks as well.

The lovers mounted and the horses decided to tolerate them, but as soon as they left the corral and entered the pasture, they decided to run. Josh and Alex held them back to a sedate walk, but the horses were trying all kinds of tricks. They rode for half an hour, then kicked the horses into a gallop. They now resisted the fast gait as they had done the walk, but resistance proved futile and the two were galloping across the pasture. When they arrived back at the stable Josh and Alex groomed the animals and put them in stalls.

"You know," Alex said, "I bet when Boys' Camp is up and running, Cam will be a natural leader here if he becomes a non-resident student, which I assume he will. Since he seems to have been bitten by the riding bug, why don't we teach him trick riding and he can help teach boys who are interested. Will be a great way to make Boys' Camp known."

"Great idea, especially if we can lure Mavis here for a few weeks now and then. We'll definitely put that in the hopper of creative activities we list in our proposal and I'll call Mavis about listing her as adjunct instructor."

"Something I'd be interested in as well," Nelson said.

"Then let's keep an eye out for horses we think would do a good job," Josh said.

"I guess Boys' Camp won't be up and running before Christmas parades come and go, but a year from now, let's plan on making Asheville's and another large Christmas parade and maybe a couple or more small towns' parades," Nelson said.

"Oh, you plan on being around that long?" Josh asked.

Nelson kinda grinned and said, "Well, you said I was here as long as I wanted to be. I'm keeping up with online classes, and I'm well-housed, well-fed and doing what I love, why wouldn't I stay?"

"Well, I'm delighted, but what about Neil and your mom?"

"Mom is bitching, of course, but that's nothing new. She just has some new themes, "I'm living among gentiles; I don't attend church; I'll probably end up in a mixed marriage; I couldn't be wearing the garment because she found them all stuck back in my closet… and a few hundred others, about fifty percent new." He laughed. "I told her I was in church every Sunday with a nice girl I had met who never missed church. That pleased her. Of course, to her church meant an LDS meeting house, but I didn't remind her that there were others. I told her a third of the people here were Mormons without saying they were excommunicated, disfellowshipped or completely inactive. Dad? All Dad wanted to know was whether or not I was keeping my grades up, if I was behaving and was I enjoying being here. I called last night and told him about the horses and that unless I was kicked out, I planned to be on the Mountain until I left to finish college and planned to come back after college unless something really changed. He was pleased for me."

"Looks to me as if you and the Mountain are kinda like Cam and the sorrel," Alex said.

"I notice you seem to have taken an interest in one of the local hillbillies as well," Josh said and raised an eyebrow.

"Jan? She is a great woman. We are becoming very good friends. At this point, I'd say our relationship is developing into the kind of relationship I always wanted with a best friend, but never had. Dad wasn't the only one who thought I might be gay and once you get tagged with a label in high school, at least in our very clannish high school, you might as well have it branded on your forehead. I never had a best friend, male or female. Of course, I never saw it as a possibility with a woman as I only saw them as desirable or undesirable walking pussies."

"I guess now you understand you paid a pretty high price for some ass," Alex said.

"Yeah, I sure did. Anyway, I suspect Jan and I will be great friends and we will not unless I keep it in my pants."

Josh laughed. "I suspect it would never be in your pants again if you think 'I need a hot piece of ass' and act on it. I suspect Rob and/or Jan's brother Randy will cut it off and cram it somewhere you don't want it."

The three went into the pasture with lariats and captured the horses. None were docile, but none were as opposed to being captured as the stallion had been.

They rode for almost an hour, then groomed the horses and took out three more. They rode those as well for an hour, groomed them and put them in stalls. "Looks like lunch time to me," Josh said after looking at his watch. "After lunch and a nap, how about we go for a real ride? Louise says there are animal trails horses and riders can travel if the riders are careful about overhanging branches."

"That I would love," Nelson said. "I'm sure Alex would agree we are very tired of seeing the pasture."

"Agreed," Alex said, "but I do need a nap."

After lunch, Susan put the boys down for a nap and Josh and Alex went to their room and undressed and crawled into bed. It was clear Alex was tired, but when Josh mentioned it, he said it was a 'good tired' and dismissed it. He was asleep almost by the time his head hit the pillow and Josh was not far behind. An hour later, Josh was awakened by a hot, wet mouth around his hard cock. When he looked down, Alex looked up at him with a twinkle in his eyes, took his mouth from Josh's cock and said, "The sleeping prince awakes."

"To the wonderful feel of the prince's hot mouth on his cock!" He then crawled over Alex until his cock was over Alex's mouth and he took Alex's throbbing, hot, precum-slick cock in his mouth. The wonderful taste of Alex flooded his being. Before he knew it, he was shooting load after load of cum in Alex's mouth, so much and so quick, Alex had not kept up with the flow as he swallowed again and again. Josh ran his tongue under Alex's foreskin, which he knew Alex loved. It was enough to send his lover into spasms of ecstasy. Alex shouted, his body went into convulsive spasms and he started shooting while moaning, "Josh, Josh, Josh." His gusher was also more than one man could handle and some ran from the sides of Josh's mouth. Alex continued to have spasms as Josh licked the cum from his belly, cock and balls. He finally collapsed beside Alex and they exchanged cum-tasting kisses which got hotter and hotter.

The two realized Nelson would be waiting for them and exchanged a final kiss, hit the shower for a few minutes, dressed and went to the kitchen which was where you were likely to find anyone in the house during the day. They joined Nelson at the kitchen table and Janie sat tall glasses of homemade lemonade before them and animal crackers and peanut butter in front of Alex. "I'll share," he grinned as he dug an animal cracker into the peanut butter. When they finished their lemonade, Nelson said, "It's almost time for the school bus. Shall we take the sorrel and meet Cam?"

"Sounds good," Alex said. "Pity we don't have a horse for Jan."

"Yeah," Nelson said and blushed. "'Course she could ride a pony."

"Not such a bad idea. She's not so tall her feet would drag and the ponies would easily carry one of us if we held our feet up. Think Brenda and Sally might like a ride in the woods?" Alex asked. "I know they passed up breaking horses, but they could handle any one of the horses now I think."

"Speaking of the devil," Nelson laughed as the two walked into the kitchen. "We were just wondering if you two would like to join us for a ride in the woods. I know you are taking a break from running a horse ranch, but this is a pleasure trip, albeit on some semi-trained horses."

"Sounds like fun," Sally said. "Who all's going?"

"We three and we thought we'd take the blond sorrel for Cam…"

"That horse is as bad as the stallion," Brenda said. "She'll kill the boy!"

"She didn't yesterday," Nelson said. "Alex and I noticed that when Cam was around she was a perfect lady and when he wasn't, she was a real bitch, every bit as bad as the stallion." He then told her about Cam and the horse yesterday.

"I'll be damned," Sally said. "This I have to see."

The five went to the stables and picked out five horses and saddled them. Josh once again decided to ride the stallion, who wasn't very happy with the idea. Nelson saddled the black pony for Jan, and Josh and Alex got the blond sorrel saddled. "Why did you saddle a pony?" Sally asked

"For Jan," Nelson said. "I think she can handle this one."

"If she can handle any of them, she can handle that one," Brenda said. "I have actually been on her a few times."

They arrived at the stop in time to hear the bus coming up the steep rise to the Sentinel Mountain gate. As it approached, the kids were hanging out all the windows looking at the horses. When Cam stepped off, the sorrel started whinnying, pawing the ground and snorting. Cam walked over to her, stroked her jaw and leaned his head against hers. She nudged him in return. Josh had made sure there was a rock beside the horse so Cam could step on it and into the saddle easily and didn't have to be boosted. He could thus preserve his image which was very important to any sixteen-year-old male.

Jan stepped off the bus and Nelson hopped off his horse and went to meet her. "Jan, I didn't think you wanted to try staying on one of these wild horses, so we brought a pony if you'd like to join us. We are going to try some of the mountain trails."

"Well, I've never been on a horse before, so I don't know about this. Cam says there's a lot of falling off."

"I doubt the pony will try to throw you, but the nice thing about a pony is you don't have far to fall if you do." He helped her into the saddle and adjusted the stirrups and they rode down the road a ways before seeing an animal crossing marked by a trail on both sides of the road.

Sally said, "I'll take lead, but all of you need to watch for limbs across the trail. We're taller than any animals around here—I hope." They had to ride single file and it was a good thing they had Jan along or they would have been lost almost from the time they left the road. She always knew exactly where they were. She rode directly behind Sally. After they had been riding for fifteen or twenty minutes, the trail dipped down into the valley and disappeared in the tall grass of the meadow.

"I need to tell Dad he needs to get on this meadow. It was ready for mowing yesterday." Jan said. The riders could now ride two abreast. Jan and Nelson took the lead and rode toward the creek where everyone stopped and let the horses drink. Jan said, "Seems to me the horses are well-trained."

"Cam's has adopted him, but I suspect if someone else got on her they'd have a handful," Josh said. "I have been riding since I turned thirteen and had a great teacher who taught me trick riding. You get to where you have a fair feel for the horse you're on and have some idea what's going through their brain, but this stallion could give me real problems. Alex and Nelson have been riding practically since they were able to sit up and both came home pretty bruised up after their first day breaking horses. The horses are being trained and Sally and Brenda had already started before they got here, but they are still capable of some real antics." As if to prove his point, the stallion suddenly reared up on his hind legs and then attempted to run. Josh quickly let him know that wasn't permitted and at the same time spoke to him softly and stroked his neck and he calmed down.

"Can we go to Sentinel Rock?" Cam asked. "Kevin at school told me it was awesome."

"Afraid that's a rather long ride," Josh said.

"In the Jeep it is," Jan said, "but walking or on horses, you don't have to stick to the road. Maybe a couple three miles there and back to the stables if we take the shortcuts."

"Then lead on, Jan," Josh said.

Jan called the bare trail with huge rocks Alex and Josh had driven a road, so it is not hard to imagine what she called a trail! Several times Josh was sure they'd never make it and a few times he expected the lot of them to fall off the mountain. He was amazed that the pony seemed to manage the really difficult spots easier than the horses did. They finally arrived at the base of the Rock and made their way around it to the top. They tied up the horses and walked out on the Rock. "Wow!" Cam exclaimed. "I'll have to tell Kevin he was right. This is truly awesomely awesome." Josh and Alex, stood, arms around each other's waist and enjoyed the view and the pleasure the others were experiencing. Alex nodded toward Nelson and Jan who were on the very edge of the Rock, holding hands.

After Jan had pointed out places in the valley and up the side of the mountain across the valley, they all mounted and headed back toward the stables. Several times, Josh, Alex and Nelson had to remind their mounts who was boss. Each time one of the horses acted up, Cam's mare would look at it as if to say, "Behave yourself!"

Once again they reached the valley floor and its meadow and rode along the fence of one of the cattle pastures and crossed to the foot of the waterfall. The stream was not huge, but made a beautiful waterfall which filled a very large basin with crystal clear water. "Anyone for a swim?" Jan asked. "This is a great place to swim once you get yourself conditioned to the water. Best way is to grab the rope hanging from the tree, swing out over the pool and drop in."

"Pity we don't have swim suits to try it," Brenda said.

"I assumed no one was going commando," Jan said, "or we could go skinny dipping."

"You can't be serious," Nelson said.

"Why not? We're all adults, more or less. Afraid you'll get embarrassed by getting excited? Would be something to behold if you did in this pool," she laughed. Nelson blushed. For an experienced cocksman, Nelson had been doing a lot of that lately.

"Well, I'm game," Alex laughed.

"Last one in's a rotten egg," Cam said, hopped off the horse, tied her to a limb and started shucking his clothes. Alex was right behind him. Everyone else kinda looked around, then joined in. Soon they were all in their birthday suits, waiting their turn at the swing. Not a single one of them commented on the water until Nelson, the last one, had started his swing. "Man, this water is damn cold," Sally said as she surfaced from her swing. Nelson now hung from the swing, inches above the water's surface.

"You chicken, Nelson?" Jan asked. Well, of course, Nelson dropped into the pool and when he surfaced said, "I know two people who better watch their backs for getting me in this ice bath."

Half an hour was all any of them could stand in the cold water and they lay on the grassy bank in the sun to dry themselves, got dressed and rode back to the stables. After the horses were all groomed and the tack replaced in the tack room, everyone went their own way.

Alex had arranged for an hour with Shawn by phone and went into the office for that. Josh sat on the front porch and went over the next week before using his cell phone to make calls to Blankenship. He talked to Prue and planned to have her schedule an hour with Luc, and dinner with Luc and Cândido.

Before he could say more than, "Prue, Josh…" Prue said, "Good thing you called, Josh. I have been trying to get in touch with you the last fifteen or twenty minutes. I didn't think to try the cell phone since I assumed it was you on the House phone."

"That's Alex. He's doing long-distance therapy while he is here."

"How's he doing?"

"Very well. Much better than either of us expected in fact. Sentinel Mountain seems to working its magic on him. He's actually been busy breaking horses. We have a dozen unbroken Mustang mares and a stallion and he and Nelson, Sheriff Rogers' son, have been working like mad with them. We took six out for a ride yesterday."

"I find it hard to imagine you on a horse even though I have seen you go rhapsodic when you talk about Prince. Is he there?"

"No, he and Princess, Alex's horse, are still in Boulder. I'll see him while I am there. I'll probably spend a week there before coming back here unless I need to be here for meetings concerning Boys' Camp which we hope to have open by the New Year. So why were you calling?"

"Luc asked me to get you on the phone. I think it might have something to do with Kelly."

"Shit, if you'll pardon my French."

"No need to apologize. I worked for him, remember. I'm putting you through to Luc."

"Josh, glad Prue found you."

Josh laughed, "Actually I called her to make arrangements to get together with you while I am in town next week. What's up?"

"Seems Kelly has started the same old stink about how we stole the company from his mother. He's found some shady lawyer who has brought suit against us. He's got a state representative investigating Blankenship and that is not doing us any good."

"What do our lawyers say?"

"They assure me he doesn't have a leg to stand on, but he's causing damage to our reputation."

"Have any idea what the hit would amount to in terms of business and income?"

"No, none at all. If anyone has a grudge against us, it could provide an escape from their contract. It wouldn't break us, but it wouldn't do us any good."

"Have you talked to Mr. VanWinkle?"

"I haven't. I have only talked to our lawyers."

"I'll check with him and see what he thinks. Meanwhile, have our lawyers file a counter-suit against Kelly and the lawyer. I'll call Bull and see what he and/or his son can find out about the lawyer and if someone is behind Kelly on this. Who's the state representative?"

"Boles. He was one of Kelly's buddies before Kelly really got into drugs."

"I'll ask Bull to look into him as well. Meanwhile, how are things going?"

"Very well. We have a gold mine in the Geeks Poker Club. We just licensed the communication system and the royalties are already coming in. A group from Brazil and one from Peru would like to visit Sentinel Mountain and see a fully operational installation. I have been holding off until you had time there free of business."

"Free of Blankenship, but we have been busy getting things lined up to make a formal proposal to the state concerning reopening Boys' Camp…"

"Will it still be called Boys' Camp? I thought it might be renamed to honor Elijah."

"We all are thinking about a new name. Of course, to people here it will, I suspect, always be called Boys' Camp."

"I'd place money it won't be if you incorporate Elijah in the title."

"I'll remind the people here we need to come up with a new name before we submit a proposal to the state. I'll get Bull and Mr. VanWinkle on the Kelly problem right away. I smell a real rat in all this."

"So do I. How's Alex?"

"You'd hardly recognize him. He's tanned and has put on a lot of his lost weight—and training horses is hard work. His stomach is rapidly developing a six pack, his back is ramrod straight and he is strong. We went skinny dipping a short while ago in icy water and he has a body he can be proud of and he still has a ways to go to get to the point where he wants to be. He still has nightmares and small things like getting rolled up in a sheet can send him off, but he's really making rapid progress. Right now he is talking to Shawn in Boulder."

"Good, very good."

"I'll get on the Kelly thing and will call as soon as I have a definite schedule for being in San Francisco. Don't worry. Blankenship will come out ahead in any showdown with Kelly and I think this will be a showdown."


Editors: Jesse and Scott.

As always, I own the copyright, so no use beyond personal copy, without permission. If you are too young or whatever to read literature which may describe explicit sex, don't or take any consequences.

All persons and places are fictional and any similarity to persons or places living or dead is coincidental. Again, it's fiction, folks.

~ Sequoyah