Not Getting Older

Running a ranch is never an easy thing. The bigger the ranch the more manpower you need to help run the place. Ennis and Jack hired two new hands.

Pete Gallagher an old-timer who had ranching in his blood, there wasn't anything he didn't know about ranching. Ennis and Jack were glad he came on board. The ranch Pete had been working at decided to let him go because of his age.

Ennis saw him at the feed store looking sadder than a hound dog that had his bone taken away. He offered him a job on the spot. Jack whole-heartedly agree with Ennis' decision.

They certainly benefited from the older man's experience.

Bob was a younger guy; he came up to Wyoming from Arkansas. His parents were gone; he was living with his aunt and uncle in Gillette and was going to college part time. They ran a hardware store in town and he worked there part of the time. He really wanted to work on a ranch. Jack came into the hardware store a few times and he and Bob got to talking about ranching and when jack found out he wanted to work on a ranch he offered him a job. Told him he could work around his schedule at school.

Ennis was less than thrilled when he saw this younger guy step out of his truck. He looked like he was in his late twenties, had dark hair and a nice muscular body.

"Hi, Jack." Bob flashed a big smile and shook Jack's hand.

"Hi, Bob. Come on; let me introduce you to my partner.

He felt his stomach tie up in knots as he watched Jack leading the stranger in his direction.

"Ennis, here's the guy I told ya about. " Jack stood beside the young man. "This is Bob Cooper, he wants to learn the ranching business."

"HI, Mr. Ennis." Bob held out his hand.

Ennis looked down at it like it and reluctantly shook it. "Howdy, he mumbled.

"I'm ready to get to work, sir."

"Fine, then you can start by mucking out the stalls. The pitch fork is over in the barn."

Bob looked over at Jack, then walked over to the stalls and went to it.

"'Ennis, you really think you need to start him out mucking stalls?"

"It's how I learned, if he wants to learn ranching he has to start from the bottom up."

Bob turned out to be a good worker, never complaining about what was asked of him.

A few weeks later it was time to replace some of the fencing in the south pasture. The work required as many workers as they could get. So Bob joined Ennis and the other hands in the field.

"Jack, what are you doing here? I thought you had paperwork to do." Ennis asked him as he saw his partner ride up in his truck.

"You said you needed all the help you could get so here I am." Jack told him through the open truck window. "Besides I'm tired of being stuck in the office, I needed a change in scenery." Jack lowered his voice so that Ennis had to lean in to hear what else he had to say. "Besides I wanted to work with my man." He flashed his big smile.

Ennis checked over his shoulder to see if anyone was looking then stole a quick kiss. Then he walked back to the field to join the rest of the men.

Jack pulled the truck to the side and joined them.

As the day dragged on the temperatures started to rise. They took several breaks and sat under the trees, Ennis had packed an ice chest filled with cold drinks that morning and opened it for the workers.

When they went back to work jack took off his shirt and wiped the sweat off his face with it. Ennis' eyes were drawn like magnets to Jack's muscular physique. He noticed he wasn't the only one eyeballing Jack. Bob kept surreptitiously looking at him with his hazel eyes and swiveling his head so many times that Ennis thought Bob's head would fall off.

"Uh, Jack?" Ennis rushed over to Jack, he fought to keep his anger in check.

"Yeah, Ennis?" Jack looked up innocently.

"You might wanna cover up there."

Jack looked down at his fair skin then back up at Ennis.

"You don't wanna get sunburned do you? Remember what happened last time we were at the lake?" He and Jack decided to take a weekend trip to Lake Garner near Gillette. Jack was sunbathing and Ennis was busy hunting up something for dinner. Jack had fallen asleep and got a bad case of sunburn on his back.

So he tried to be careful and put on sunscreen.

"I know, Ennis. Don't you think I learned my lesson? I put some on before I left the house."

"What about your back, can't reach back there."

"I put some on his back, sir." Bob told him as he grabbed a pair of wire cutters out of the toolbox.

"You whut?" Ennis hands balled into fists, he had to try real hard not to punch Bob right in the face for touching what was his.

"Ennis," Jack could feel the tension coming off of Ennis so he had to try to derail his temper. "I was putting some lotion on and Bob came by to find out what we'd be working on today and saw me struggling to get my back done. He offered to help and then he went to work." Jack gazed intensely at him and added, "end of story."

"Yeah, well…" Ennis mumbled.

They were digging holes for the posts and then putting the posts into the ground. "Hey Jack, can you help me with this?" Bob asked him.

Jack held onto the post to steady it and then Bob guided the bottom of the post and, together, they placed it into the ground.

Ennis couldn't help glaring over and watched how many times the two men touched. Every time Bob's hand touched Jack's skin he felt his anger rising. Bob was enjoying this too much for Ennis' comfort.

Later in the afternoon Pete and Ennis brought some fencing material and other stuff they needed to finish the job. Ennis looked over the pasture and spotted Jack hammering away at the post. Right next to him, like a shadow, was Bob. He watched Bob slap Jack across the back. Probably laughing at one of Jack's jokes.

Get your damn hands off him. Ennis thought.

"Ennis?" Pete interrupted Ennis' thoughts.

"Yeah, Pete?" He looked back at the older man.

"I'd say you don't have anything to worry about."

"What are you talking about, Pete?" He walked around to the back of the truck.

"Jack, he ain't interested in that Bob fella."

"I don't know what yer talking about." Ennis unlocked the back door.

"Yeah, you do. I know all about you and Jack. My son, Stephen didn't think I knew he was gay either. He was afraid to tell me. You know what I told him after he mustard up the courage to tell me?"

"Whut?" Ennis asked.

"Told him I loved him and that nothing could ever change that."

"Weren't you afraid he'd be beaten with tire irons?"

"Tire irons?" Pete looked at him aghast. "Boy, this ain't the 1950's anymore. Folks are realizing it doesn't matter whom you choose to spend your life with. So long as you care about each other."

"So, yer son is okay?" Ennis looked over at Jack. "He never got hurt?"

"No, he and his partner are living in Colorado. Got me a grandson out of the deal."

"Was he married?"

"Nope, never been married."

"How does the mother feel about him being with a fella?"

"Don't know, he never met the mother of my grandson."

"Huh? So how did.."

"Adoption, Ennis. Stephen and his partner adopted Timothy. He is just the apple of my eye. Well Stephen and Joe's eye too. That boy is surrounded by love."

"Does that mean everybody can accept what me and Jack are now?"

"Wish I could say yes, Ennis. But unfortunately there is still a lot of people who don't accept anyone who is different then themselves. No matter what the reason."

"I keep lookin around, waiting for someone to try to take this all away from us. What are folks like me and Jack supposed to do, Pete?"

"Keep on keeping on. Don't let the hate mongers win. You and Jack are stronger together, just like Stephen and Joe. They won't let anyone take away what they got."

'not even someone like Bob.' Ennis thought.

Later that night Ennis was washing the dishes. Jack was drying and putting them in the cupboard. They hadn't said much after the workday was done and they put the ranch to bed. Jack cooked that night, something simple. Meatloaf and potatoes, he knew it was Ennis' favorite. He even made a side of beans cause he knew Ennis loved them.

"Ennis, you got something on your mind, cowboy?"

"Huh, no why?" Ennis finished the last dish and shut off the water.

"Cause you been real quiet, even more quiet than normal."

"Just thinking about something Pete said to me."

"Oh yeah, well what did Pete say to you?" Jack dried the last dish and put it away, then hung up the dish cloth on the back of a chair.

"Was telling me about his son and his partner. How they are able to live peacefully in Colorado."

"Oh yeah, well that is great. What has got your wheels turning?"

"Just thinkin about what he said about protecting what belongs to you. About not letting anyone take it away."

"Sounds like Pete is a wise man." Jack could tell something was on Ennis' mind so he waited for him to come out with it.

"Yeah he is, " Ennis paused then looked out the window into the darkening sky. "So is there anything I need to know about, Jack?"

"Like what?" Jack joined him by the window; only his eyes were on Ennis' face. He could tell by the look he saw there he was jealous. "Oh don't tell me…"

"You were getting real cozy with Bob out there, Jack."

"Oh, here we go. When are you going to get over this petty jealousy shit? "

"As soon as you stop getting all touchy, feely with Bob."

"Touchy, feely? We were working together, Ennis. Bob is a very friendly guy. There is nothing going on between us."

"That wasn't what I saw, he had his hands all over you. And you looked like you were enjoying it."

"We were joking around, haven't you ever joked around while you were doing hard work? Makes the day go by faster that way."

"Don't remember us having that good a time. Maybe you'd prefer to work with Bob rather than me."

"Ennis fuckin Del Mar, will you quit it!" He shoved Ennis' shoulder. "I know it's been almost thirty years but you sure have forgotten Brokeback. We had a good time getting to know one another. " Jack grasped Ennis' hand in his. "Fell in love up there. Part of me never left Brokeback; you took my heart up there, Ennis. We've got our life here, together. You don't have to worry about another fella taking me away from you."

"No?" Ennis glanced over at Jack and squeezed his hand.

"No, you're the only fella I want. Besides you're my husband, I'm wearin your ring." He showed the gold and silver ring he wore on his left ring finger. "And you're wearin mine. Just cause I'm being friendly with other guys doesn't mean I'm makin a play for them. I already got what I want right here." He rubbed his hand around Ennis' back.

"So Bob don't mean anything to you?"

"Nope."

"Mean I got you all to myself?"

"Yep."

"Than what are we waitin for?" Ennis ran up the stairs. "Last one up is a rotten egg." Jack followed him to their bedroom. Clothes came flying off and Jack was tackled onto their king-size bed.

"Mine," Ennis moaned as their tongues came together.

"Yeah yours, Ennis." Jack groaned when he felt Ennis lubed fingers penetrate his tight opening, sliding in and out. Preparing him for the monster cock that was about to fill him. "Ain't no way I'd share this with Bob." Jack fisted the blanket as his hole was stretched wide. Ennis filled him like no other man could ever do. They thrust together as one. Ennis wrapped his hand around Jack's cock and it wasn't long before Jack was shooting off. His anal muscles milked Ennis until he came, too.

After a time they were able to catch their breathes and hugged each other, falling asleep in each other's arms.

The next day Bob showed up bright and early to begin work. He didn't have classes until the afternoon.

It was just he and Ennis out on the field; he took him out to feed the cattle. They took a break and Ennis gave him some coffee out of the thermos.

"Thanks, Mr. Ennis. I really appreciate it."

"It's nothing." He said as he took a sip of coffee.

"No I mean for taking me on and teaching me about ranching. I sure appreciate what you and Mr. Jack have done for me. I want to do everything I can to help ranchers after I finish school. I'm thinking of running for office, maybe run for mayor."

"Oh yeah, that sure sounds ambitious."

"Well I want to change things around here. Make things better for the state of Wyoming. I want people to be treated fairly, and not judged on what they are. I want people to be treated equally. Seems a state that is called the equality state, there isn't enough equality going on. First thing I want to do is make things easier for you and Mr. Jack. I don't want anyone to be afraid of being who they are."

"That sounds like a nice idea, but I don't think folks are going to be thinking about treating me and Jack fairly."

"Oh they will if I have something to say about it. You both have been so kind to me. This is the least I can do to repay you. I hope you don't mind if I consider you kinda like family. After my ma and pa died I just felt kinda lost. My aunt and uncle are fine people, but it's just not the same as with my folks."

"Lost my folks too, long time ago. Was raised by my brother and sister until they got married. Then I met Jack. Took a long time before we got to where we needed to be. Done a lot of things cause we were told we were supposed to. Like getting married, having kids. Now don't get me wrong. I love my girls and jack's son. But we were meant to be together, him and me."

"And that is what I want to make sure happens, Mr. Ennis. That other fellas don't have to go through what you did. That they can be with whoever they want to be with and never have to be afraid that people will hate them."

"You're a pretty smart fella, Bob. I kinda like ya." He shook Bob's hand.

"You're a good guy, Mr. Ennis." They got back to work.

One day, in the immediate future, Bob Cooper not only ran for Mayor, he later ran for governor. He won both offices and made some changes. SO that the Equality state was truly equal.

And Ennis and Jack liked it just fine.

End.