The Good Doctor 63
Pete was lying on his side of the bed reading but he kept softly clearing his throat. That means he’s thinking about something besides what he’s reading.
I had already put my book down and was thinking about his bare muscular shoulder and how much I wanted to lick it but then I got into this weird dialogue with myself about how you can’t just lick someone’s shoulder without something happening before that, some sort of build up. And just as I was about to go ahead and do it anyway he turned and looked at me.
“Eric…I kinda promised my dad that I’d do something for him Saturday when we’re at the farm, something I’m probably gonna need your help with.” His dark blond hair was drooping over his blazing blue eyes.
“Am I gonna have to plant things?”
“No and he and my mom want to take Jase fishing down at the creek.” He was biting the inside of his lip. “But while they’re doing that I promised that I’d take care of the mare for him. He used to do it himself but he’s getting old.”
“Brush her? That’s what they do right?”
“Ah, yeah, they do that…but that’s not what he had in mind. She needs to be bred.”
“You’re kidding, right?” I was sure he was kidding because it’s kinda sick.
I sat up. “You can’t be serious! You aren’t are you?”
“Well…yeah I am! That’s what we do. Besides, she’s in heat. My dad always did it and then when I got older I used to help him.” He laughed. “Well, more like watched the old man do his thing!” He shrugged. “But now that he’s older…and well, frankly, this particular mare always liked it better when I did it.” This is soooo sick!
“You…instead of him?”
“Well, yeah! He’s too old.”
Then I realized. “You’re actually telling me that you’ve done it before??” I could hear my voice getting to the screaming little girl stage.
Pete was now turning to me to see why I was getting so nuts. “Yes, of course I have!”
“AND YOU EXPECT ME TO HELP???”
Pete turned and had gotten up on his knees on the bed facing me and almost yelling. “WELL IT WON’T TAKE LONG!!”
“THIS IS SOOO SICK AND YOU BEING A DOCTOR AND ALL!!”
He grabbed my sholders. “Eric, what the hell are you talking about?”
“I’M TALKING ABOUT YOU AND BESTIALITY!!!”
Pete slumped back on his heels. “Who the hell is talking about bestiality?”
“Well what the hell did you mean if not that?”
“Eric when a horse gets bred you have to help! And for Gods sake you don’t think she’d get pregnant even if I did….what you were thinking!”
“You’re kidding! Help?” I guess I never thought about there being a baby horse at the end of this.
“No, you do. You gotta control things.”
I leaned towards him and whispered, “You mean to make sure it gets in?” Well that part can be tricky! Even for humans!
He sighed and smiled. “That…and make sure she doesn’t move around and that he remains…well…gentlemanly.”
I sat back on my heels. Suddenly this seemed so intriguing. “So…how big is it?”
Pete grinned. “Big. Big like your arm.”
I sighed. “Wow! Does she know?”
Pete leaned back against the headboard and pulled me down with my back against his chest. “I’m not sure that you could actually say that she knows but you could probably say that she’s hopeful.”
I nodded my head. I knew what hopeful felt like. “Have they ever….you know, done it before..?”
Pete kissed my ear then gently licked the area right behind it. His voice was getting throaty. “Yeah but it was a couple of years ago.”
I sighed again. “Wow! Nothing since then? I get crazy if I go for two days.” His right hand was moving slowly down my stomach and then onto my thigh.
He shook his head slightly and whispered, “Tell me about it! I’m the one that you pass your craziness on to. Not that I’m complaining.”
I twisted my body slowly, warm skin moving against warm skin, until I was facing him. His hand seemed to move instinctively to my butt. I pressed my lips to his and whispered. “Maybe we should practice…you know, just in case they need advice.”
In my ears I could hear the thumpita thumpita of some machine buried deep inside the basement of the gym, its sound coming to me clearly through the warm water of the pool. Jase was sitting on the edge with his feet dangling in the water and I closed on him as fast as an otter, faster than he could react and started nibbling on his toes, tickling them. Even under the water I could hear him yelling but I just grabbed him and pulled him in. At first he was all squirming six-year-old boy his arms and legs flailing dangerously but he settled quickly and wrapped his arms around my neck and lay against my chest as I swam gently backwards.
His eyes danced with mischief and he asked in that exaggerated voice that little boys save for when their dads are goofing with them. “Are you a water monster who eats toes?”
I put my mouth half in the water and growled in a deep monster voice, “Only if they’re Jason toes.”
He giggled and said, “I don’t wanna lose my toes.”
Then in a little boy way he changed gears and asked, “Dad, why do girls hit boys and how come we can’t hit em back?”
“Cause little girls are smaller than and not as strong as boys.”
“Tony’s sister is bigger than me!”
“Does she hit you?”
He nodded against my chest. “Yeah! Sometimes hard!”
“How come she hits you?”
He blinked away some pool water and his eyes were big and clear. “She says I’m always staring at her.”
“Do you stare at her?”
“No! Why would I stare at her? She’s gross!”
“Do I know Tony?”
“His house is behind Ernie’s, on the next street. You saw him. He was with Ernie and me yesterday.”
Small boy with brown hair. “Gotcha! Have you asked Tony about it?”
“He says she’s crazy! He said he thinks she eats bugs!”
“Hmmm, a bug eater, huh?”
“You think she really does, Dad?”
“I dunno, Jase. Girls have been known to do some mighty strange things. But, it’s also just possible that she likes you.”
He looked totally skeptical. “Likes me? Then why would she hit me?”
“Good question, Jase.” Women are always inflicting physical pain on me!
“Dad, maybe the bug juice is making her crazy. Could that be it? Remember when I stepped on that big bug and I squished it? It was all green inside! That’d make anyone crazy!”
“Sounds logical to me kiddo.” Jase got a look on his face that told me he was happy that the problem could be solved in a scientific way, a logical way, a male way. The triumph of reason…well kinda.
He nodded and said, “I bet that’s it!”
“Jase, how are you handling this whole thing about David moving back with his real dad, with Mark?”
He blinked pool water out of his eyes and said, “Okay. First I was sad but then David explained that we’d still be brothers. Just that he’d be staying at his dad’s house.”
“Aren’t you gonna miss him not living with us?”
He shook his head. “Their house is right there next to Tony’s. It’s really nice too and Grandma got em a lotta new furniture. David’s gonna have a really cool TV for his room and he says I can come over any time. Mark gave us potato chips and Coke. I like him.”
“They’re right next to Tony’s house?” He nodded yes.
“The one with the sister that eats bugs?” Another nod.
“I gotta get around our neighborhood more.”
“Grandma says that you don’t even know what planet you live on!” That’s just great!
What’s for dinner, Ma?”
She was cutting chicken and never looked up. “Capellini al pollo.” There was cooked pasta and eggs already on the counter. I grabbed a beer and stood at the counter watching her cook. Finally she slid the dish into the oven and holding her hand out and flipping it back and forth said, “Maybe forty-five minutes, maybe a bit less.”
Suddenly my mother grabbed my arm and pulled me to the side of the kitchen. The tone of her voice implied a discussion of military readiness. “Eric, tell me the truth, does that woman know how to cook?” She was talking about Pete’s mom. We were taking Jase to their farm the next day for some quality cowboy time and a bit of horse breeding. Well, Jase wouldn’t be in on the horse breeding.
“Ma, “that woman” is Pete’s mother. Of course she knows how to cook!” Okay, in a small way that’s a lie. I mean it’s not that she doesn’t know how to cook it’s just that she’s not in mom’s class.
My mother stared into my eyes soulfully. “Eric, does she understand that Jason’s system is optimized for Italian food?”
I almost laughed but then realized that she was serious. “She cooks Italian, Ma. You know Chef Boyardee and stuff.” Yeah, I know, it’s dangerous to talk like that.
My mother’s grip on my arm tightened to the point of pain. “Eric, that’s not cooking! That’s opening a can and filling a little boy full of poison! Is that what you want, your son to be poisoned?” Yeah, Ma, I been trying to think of ways to do away with the kid.
“Ma! She’s not poisoning anyone! I was kidding, she makes healthy food. I mean we’ve never eaten there much but when we did she made like ham sandwiches. Can’t go wrong with those.”
My mother’s eyes drilled into me. “Eric, are we talking a whole ham cooked lovingly in your own oven with a maple syrup glaze and then carefully sliced or are we talking Spam?”
“I don’t think I ever had Spam. Did you ever fix Spam?” I was sure that I could feel blood leaking out from where her fingernails were digging into my arm. Sometimes I get the feeling that my mom is this huge owl with mighty talons.
She gave me a cold stare and then shook her head. “Don’t joke about that, Eric.” No, we wouldn’t want that.
“Mom, it wasn’t Spam. It was boiled ham that you get at the market…and cheese, Swiss cheese.” She had a look on her face like I had just told her we’d been eating deep fried kittens.
She made a grotesque face like she had swallowed some thing disgusting. “With that terrible bread that has the clowns on the package?”
“It was good, Ma! I mean not good like your food but good…well, okay really. I don’t think I saw any clowns.”
She sighed. “I know that I can’t be with him all the time. I had to learn that with you. Had to learn that at some point you were going to start experimenting.”
“With food…other women’s cooking.” She waved her hand in the air. “You’ll be with him. Make sure he doesn’t get sick! You’re responsible!” Oh great! Make me responsible! I wanted to yell that I can’t even take care of myself but she wouldn’t accept that. She’d understand it and I’m sure even agree with it but she wouldn’t accept it. The truth is that if anyone should be in charge it should probably be Pete. He really is the only one with a shot at the title but it’s not like I can ask him to watch out that his mom doesn’t poison us.
The next morning when I stumbled into the kitchen for breakfast Pete was already at the stove wearing a pair of heather gray boxer briefs that could easily land him on the cover of a gay magazine. He had his right arm around David’s shoulders. Jase was just sitting at the table because we were having pancakes and pretty much everything having to do with them was too dangerous for a little kid.
David was growing like the proverbial weed and from his narrow waist his back flaired out impressively into broad muscular shoulders. He looked more like Mark every day. The smell of sweet smoked bacon was thick in the air and I was hungry enough to eat the table.
We had agreed that David would move in with his dad kinda as he felt like it. So far he was spending one night with Mark and the next with us. I knew that would change, that as he got used to Mark he’d be spending more and more time with him but that was fine.
Pete moved his hand to the back of David’s neck and squeezed it. David looked up at him and they both grinned.
Pete said, “You could both come you know. Does your dad know how to ride a horse?”
David laughed and shook his head. “I don’t think so.”
Jase said, “He could ride my pony. He’s really gentle.”
Pete said, “It wouldn’t matter. Eric can’t really ride either.” I can’t?
“Whadya mean I can’t ride? What about last time? We rode all around the…..that place…with the wooden fence.”
Pete called over his shoulder, “Corral. But Eric, I was holding the halter; it wasn’t like you were ever in any danger of him taking off with you.” Really? It felt dangerous. I actually felt all, Clint Eastwoodie.
“You sure? Didn’t we ride someplace else too? Seems to me I remember hay.” Oh God, the hay!
Pete turned and when he was sure that the boys couldn’t see his face gave me a dirty little smirk. “Don’t you remember, Eric? We went out in the field to make sure the hay was okay.” He grinned. “We may need to do that again. Can’t be too careful. Wouldn’t wanna put wet hay in the barn.”
“See! I did ride!”
“We took the Jeep. But you did ride in that,” he grinned, “and you didn’t get thrown.” Smartass!
David brought the bacon over to the table and sat down. “My dad’s taking me fishing. He found a stream that he wants to show me.” He looked up at the clock. “He should be here any time.” I grabbed a piece of bacon and started munching. It’s unbelievable how much bacon we go through.
Pete came over to the table carrying a platter loaded with steaming pancakes held, it seemed, pretty much just above his packed boxerbriefs. My mouth began to water for all kinds of reasons.
“Here you guys go.” While the boys were grabbing food like they hadn’t eaten in a week he looked me in the eye, shifted his weight, then smiled and said, “This oughta satisfy you.”
I had just wolfed down three pancakes when the front doorbell rang. We almost never use that door so I knew that it had to be Mark.
David had started to get up but I put my hand on his shoulder and pushed him back down. I said, “Finish your breakfast.” as I got up to get the door.
I answered the door wearing just my boxers. Mark was wearing jeans and a tee shirt and looked actually pretty hot and if you can imagine it, exactly like a gay cop. His eyes glanced instantly and for only a fraction of a second to my crotch. “C’mon in, Mark.” I gestured to my boxers. “We thought we’d show you our “breakfast in your underwear” tradition.
Mark got a huge grin on his face and said, “I don’t have to strip down do I?”
I shook my head. “We always make an exception the first time. But we’ll still feed ya.”
“I already ate but I’d sure take a cup of coffee.”
“Not a problem.”
As we walked into the kitchen he waved to everyone as he bent down an kissed the side of David’s face and said softly, “Still up for some fishing?”
David’s head automatically pressed against his dad’s and his eyes closed slightly, the picture of contentment. I was instantly jealous and at the same time soooo happy for David..