Buck went still at the crack of a branch behind him. Hand on his gun, he waited, but the sound wasn’t repeated after a few minutes, so he continued on to the swimming hole. It was damn hot and the others were driving him crazy. Chris especially, like a bear with something stuck in his paw and no real reason for being that pissy. What he needed was a nice, cold dip and some time sleeping stretched out in the hot sun. That would set things to right again.

It was a little swimming hole that no one knew about, north of Four Corners and set up in the first rise of the mountains. Most of the kids from town, well, what few there were, used the one that was only about a mile off from the outermost building. Close enough to be kept an eye on. The grown-ups used that one too, unless they were off sparkin’ at the little pond to the east of town at night.

He knew he hadn’t been followed, he’d made sure to keep an eye out and backtrack twice, wanting to keep this place a secret. Just like he’d done the last three times he’d used this little mountain-fed pool all to himself. Relaxing, brushing off the noise as being from an animal, Buck unbuckled his gun belt and set it down on the blanket he’d stretched out already. Tossing his hat there too, he walked to the edge of the water and grinned in anticipation. Just a few more minutes to strip bare and he’d be...

“Gotcha!” JD shouted as he tackled Buck right into the pool.

They both went flying into the deep, cold waters and Buck sputtered and flailed around, completely taken by surprise by the sneak attack. Finally reaching the surface, he looked around for the little bastard and found that he was alone in the pond. At least on the surface. Worry instantly rose and he shouted, “JD! Answer me, kid!”

Silence was his only response and he dove, searching frantically for any sign of the younger man. The water was crystal clear and showed no glimpse of JD, furthering his panic. Rising to the surface for a deep gasp of air, Buck dove back under, swimming almost all the way to the middle on one breath as he looked. The third time he surfaced, he heard JD shout, “What’re you doin’ all the way out there, Buck?”

Spinning around, Buck found JD sitting cross-legged on a big rock at the edge of the pond, wet and grinning ear-to-ear. Anger was fast on the heels of relief and he swam back to the ledge, pulling himself out and stalking over to JD.

As if realizing the trouble he was in, JD hopped to his feet and dove into the water in a sleek...naked...flash...

Buck blinked and came to a surprised stop as his brain registered the sight in delayed detail. Slender body, light but firm muscles, a cock dangling between strong legs and too swiftly hidden beneath water to see for real. It all replayed in his head a few times, distracting him until JD surfaced well out in the middle of the pool.

Shaking himself from the daze, Buck yanked off his soaked clothes and shouted, “You’re dead, kid! Prepare for the dunking of a lifetime!”

“If you can catch me, old man!” JD taunted.

“Why you little bastard,” Buck muttered, hopping around to get his boots off. Shucking his pants last of all, Buck took a running dive into the water and swam swiftly after his ‘attacker.’ There was a long, merry chase around the small pool and a massive splash fight at the end of which, JD begged mercy and collapsed laughing against the side of the pool. He held onto an out hanging rock and grinned so hard at Buck that it was a wonder his face didn’t break.

Splashing JD once more, enjoying the cough and splutter, Buck said triumphantly, “Old man, my ass! You got no stamina, JD.”

JD laughed, dark eyes bright with good-humor, and answered “I was goin’ easy on you.”

With a snort, Buck replied, “Yeah, right, kid. Come on, let’s get you out of here before you catch pneumonia. Wouldn’t want to get on Nathan’s bad side.”

Grinning, JD hauled himself out in a vision of youth and ease, and padded unselfconsciously to where Buck had set the blanket down.

Grateful for the cold of the water, Buck gave JD a moment to get settled, lying down on the blanket with a huff of contentment, and then climbed out himself. Under control again, Buck tried not to be self-conscious as he fell down on the blanket beside the younger man, but it was hard. His body was scarred over from too many fights and abuse over the years and next to JD, he really was an old man. Staring up at the blue, blue sky, Buck sighed deeply and listened in lazy contentment to the gentle breeze through the trees and the birdsong.

“Hey, Buck?”

“Yeah, JD?”

“Can I ask you something?”

Hearing a serious and troubled undercurrent to the uncertain question, Buck rolled onto his side, glad the saddle lay between them, half-hiding his lower body from JD. “Sure, kid, anything. You know that.”

Still JD hesitated a long moment before saying, “I didn’t mean to spy on them. I mean, I was just goin’ to the stable to look for Vin.”

“Spy on who?” Buck asked curiously.

Biting his lip, JD answered, “Vin and Chris. They was, they were...kissing.”

Uh oh, Buck thought. Josiah, where the hell are you when I need you?

“And it just shocked the hell out of me, seeing them so...you know...about each other,” JD continued, oblivious to the turmoil his words were creating. “I don’t think I ever saw anything like it. It was like, like they were desperate for each other, hungry, you know? Sure never felt anything like it. Well, and not that I been with anyone for real yet to feel that way.”

“What? Hey, what about that workin’ girl?” Buck questioned, surprised.

Embarrassed, JD explained, “That was a little joke we played on you. I knew you were going to give me a hard time, so we faked it. Or, she did anyhow. We even had all our clothes on. All’s I got from her was that kiss before she left.”

“Oh,” Buck muttered. Shaking off his surprise, Buck prompted, “So what did you want to ask me?”

Taking a breath, JD asked in a rush, “Domenlietogetherlikemenandwomendoandifsowillyoushowmehow?”

Buck blinked for a few seconds, trying to decipher the words. When he did, heat flushed through him and he wasn’t really sure what to say.

Groaning, JD flopped onto his stomach and said, muffled, “Never mind. Forget I asked.”

“No, JD, it’s okay. You just, you took me by surprise,” Buck assured him.

Peeking over at him hopefully, JD questioned, “You sure?”

Buck nodded firmly. “Positive. Now. Why do you think that you might want to, ah, do that? Not a lot of men do, you know. It’s not talked about and most folk would spit on you as not, or worse, if they find out you been up to something like that. That’s why Chris and Vin got to be real careful.”

And he was going to have a good long talk with both of them about kissing in the barn when he got hold of them, too.

Flushing, JD said awkwardly, “W-watching them, I um, I got this funny feeling in my stomach. Kinda like when I was with Emily, but, well, more distracting.”

Dear God. And the boy’s come to me for his first time, Buck thought, caught between delight and terror. Clearing his throat, Buck pointed out, “Could be just the surprise of it. Lots of things seem exciting like that when they’re new. It ain’t something you thought of before, is it?”

The very tips of JD’s ears turned red and he mumbled, “I might’ve.”

Buck nearly groaned as he thought, Someone either loves or hates me up there. Out loud, he prompted, “What’ve you been thinking about?”

Wary, JD asked, “Promise you won’t hurt me first.”

This can’t be good, Buck thought before promising, “I won’t hurt you, JD, I promise. Tell me.”

Meeting his gaze, JD whispered, “You. I keep thinking of your hands on me, like how Chris’ were on Vin. About, about you on top of me and, and doing things. I don’t know exactly what, you know, since I don’t really know what goes on, and Chris and Vin weren’t, uh, rightly placed for me to see, but, well, I really want you to kiss me.”

The words were so soft that Buck had to strain to make out the last sentence. A shiver ran through him and Buck licked his lips as he repeated, “You want to have sex with me, JD?”

“Well, uh, it’s...God this is embarrassing...it’s more than that. For me,” JD admitted, glancing away.

Buck reached slowly across to cup JD’s face and told him, “Same here, kid.”

Shocked, JD’s eyes locked on his and he gasped, “Really?”

Jesus, was I ever that young? Buck wondered silently, smiling at JD. “Yeah. Really.”

Relief caused JD to relax completely and he practically beamed back at Buck as he exclaimed, “God, Buck, I was so worried that you’d think me wrong in the head! But then I figured you knew about Chris and Vin, Chris being your best friend and all, so I knew you couldn’t be too set against it. Course, knowin’ about it and wanting to do that kind of stuff are two different umph!”

The kiss was soft, but firm, cutting off the words very effectively. Buck licked along JD’s lips, then pushed lightly at them and JD got the hint, opening his mouth. Sliding his tongue inside, Buck slowly devoured JD’s mouth, licking along the roof of his mouth and twining his tongue over and around JD’s.

JD shuddered and groaned, scooting closer and kicking the saddle out of the way without care to get closer. Buck wrapped an arm around his waist and pulled him all the way flush, enjoying the gasp JD uttered into his mouth when their shafts rubbed together. He knew they didn’t have the right supplies, hell, any supplies, so it was better just for rubbing and sucking today. He’d just have to make it good enough that JD wanted to do this again.

Oh, like that was going to be difficult?

Snorting to himself at the thought, Buck pulled away from the sweet kiss and looked fondly at JD’s dazed expression. “So how was that? You want to keep going?”

“Uh…huh?” JD finally managed, shaking himself a bit.

Buck grinned. “I asked if that was okay.”

Clearing his throat, JD nodded rapidly and exclaimed, “Yeah! That was, it was great!”

“Then you’re going to love this,” Buck replied, wriggling his eyebrows.

JD’s eye roll was interrupted by Buck’s mouth on his nipple. The youth gasped again in surprise, then arched into the contact with a sigh of pleasure. Buck lost himself in the smooth, warm body, licking and sucking playfully all over JD’s chest and down his stomach. His hand moved between JD’s legs to cup the neat balls hanging there and rolled them. JD moaned loudly at that and his legs splayed further apart.

Continuing the downward journey, Buck breathed in the clean, musky scent of JD’s sex and rubbed his cheek against it. JD shivered then shouted in surprise when Buck took the straining shaft into his mouth.

“Buck! Jesus! What’re you…oh God…that’s…that’s real good,” JD exclaimed, hips pushing up to get more of himself into Buck’s mouth.

It’d been a while since he’d done this, but it didn’t take Buck long to get back into it. The soft skin and salty taste were ambrosia on his lips and tongue. The noises JD kept making hit him right in the gut, and he reached down with his free hand to stroke himself. JD’s hands came down to lace into his hair, instinctively trying to push Buck down further, and Buck obeyed the silent pleading.

When he opened his throat and went all the way down, JD jerked in response, his whole body twitching. Knowing it wouldn’t be long, Buck hurried his hand and moaned at the sensual assault on his body. It’d been so long since he’d been with anyone out of real feeling, an honest connection, instead of just fun and mutual relief, that this hit him harder than anything had in a good, long while.

When it happened, JD curled up around Buck’s head, holding tight as he spilled into his mouth. Buck swallowed it all down and JD whimpered at the new sensation. Hearing that needy, desperate noise sent Buck crashing over the edge and he pulled off fast so as not to accidentally hurt JD with his teeth, coming hard on his hands and the blanket.

JD stayed wrapped around Buck, petting his hair and kissing what little he could reach of his face over and over.

Utterly spent, Buck collapsed on the leg beneath him and tried to calm his breathing. Finally, he disentangled himself from JD and then tugged the younger man into his arms. JD plastered himself to Buck, holding fast and pressing his face against Buck’s throat. Content and sated, Buck ran his hand up and down JD’s back in a soothing movement and asked, “You okay?”

JD heaved a sigh and answered emphatically, “Hell yeah.”

Laughing, Buck asked, “So you want to try out some other things another time?”

“We don’t even got to wait, Buck. We could keep going now,” JD exclaimed.

Buck shook his head and answered, “Nope. We need some things, first. Besides, I think you’re getting a sunburn.”

JD yelped in alarm and pushed away from Buck to look himself over. When he realized Buck was teasing, he punched his shoulder before settling back down. Chuckling, Buck got comfortable and closed his eyes as he drew JD back into his arms.

Life was suddenly looking a lot more interesting.