FREE Gay Book Excerpt: The Awakened Few by Ryan Field
Here’s an excerpt from my upcoming release, The Awakened Few. It’s a historical western erotic romance with cowboys, set in a small desert town called Ramon Canyon in 1907, where gay men exist, but it’s never spoken about aloud. I don’t have a cover yet, but I’ll post something soon.
Flynn Carson did nothing by accident. Every move he’d ever made in his life had been researched, calculated, and fine-tuned right down to the last detail so there would be no surprises or mistakes. It was by no accident of fate that he knew the daily routines of Bart and Kane Austin well enough to predict everything they did from the time they woke every morning to the time they went to bed at night. He even knew when they went to the outhouse and when they bathed in the old tin tub in the side yard. He probably knew more about them than they consciously knew about themselves.
There was a reason why he’d been camped out at the edge of their property for a week, and it was a reason that gutted Flynn to the core of his very existence, a reason that flooded him with so much emotion he couldn’t think about anything but revenge. He’d slept in a cave and spent his days high in a tree that overlooked their one floor ranch house. He’d sat perched on a limb and watched them both with the same kind of tenacity and perseverance a cat has when stalking a bird.
It didn’t take long to discover the Austin brothers were creatures of habit, and Flynn could see almost everything they did from the top of that tree. The only difficult part was the fact that the Austin brothers looked so much alike it was hard to tell them apart from a distance. Both were tall, muscular men with broad shoulders and slim waists. They both had dark wavy hair and wore their pants a little too tight. And they were both loners who ran that small ranch on their own without even one single ranch hand. It was as if they were hiding something, or hiding from something. If it hadn’t been for what Flynn already knew about them he might have found them interesting and attractive in a peculiar way.
The physical trait that set the brothers apart the most was an accident of birth. Bart Austin was slightly bow-legged and Kane’s legs were perfectly straight. It wasn’t something anyone would notice at a glance unless they’d been told to look for it. It was the kind of thing that had to be studied and realized after a certain period of time. Bart was also a little shorter than Kane and he walked with a longer stride in trying to keep up with Kane.
After spending enough time watching and waiting and planning, Flynn decided the best time to approach them would be late afternoon on a Saturday. This was their bath time. He hadn’t been sitting in the tree for nothing and he knew he had to catch them off guard and move swiftly. He also knew they wouldn’t be expecting anyone, especially not late on a Saturday afternoon. No one had ventured down their road since Flynn had arrived. But more than that, bath time would give him an extra advantage he normally wouldn’t have had under any other circumstance.
Flynn knew this property well, which gave him another added advantage. Although he hadn’t been back at the ranch for a while, not much had changed. The little unpainted ranch house still had a front porch with four old rocking chairs, the chimney still tilted a little to the right, and the tin tub on the right side of the house was still in the same spot where it had always been. And that’s because it was the sunniest section of the property that surrounded the house, and the cold well water in the tub would heat up there on its own.
On that Saturday morning Flynn watched Bart fill the tin tub with buckets of well water until it was almost to the rim. Bart had done the same thing the previous Saturday morning and it seemed to be part of his routine. He would fill the tub early in the morning, and then leave it alone for the rest of the day. By the time he returned in the late afternoon the water would be warm and comfortable and Bart would strip naked and take his bath. While Bart would be soaking in the tub, Kane would be at the far end of the property splitting wood. They never deviated. Flynn knew they would both be totally distracted and it would be the perfect time for him to do what he had to do.
At around 4 o’clock that Saturday afternoon, Flynn climbed down from the tree and patted his horse on the rear. He’d watched Kane lope to the wood pile on the other side of the property and reach for his ax, which he knew would keep Kane busy for at least the next hour. And he’d watched Bart strip down to nothing and climb into the tin tub. There was no time to waste with Bart. Flynn had to move fast. Bart would only be in the tub for about twenty minutes and if Flynn missed this opportunity he would have to wait there another week. His back ached from sleeping in the cave and his legs pulsed from sitting on the tree branch. But most of all, his heart yearned for the kind of revenge only he could serve these two vituperative brothers.
Before Flynn headed down the trail that would lead him to Bart and Kane’s house, he removed his jacket and opened his shirt to his naval. He wanted to appear lost and confused and helpless, as if he wasn’t capable of doing anything on his own. If there was one thing he knew for certain about men like Bart and Kane, they reacted to helpless types far better than they did to those who posed a threat to them. They didn’t know what Flynn looked like, which he hoped would work in his favor. He was blond, blue-eyed, and slim. He’d made a point of shaving closely and not tying his long blond hair back in a ponytail the way he usually did. He knew that with men like Bart and Kane he could get more by appearing a certain way. They were the worst kind of predators, but they weren’t smart enough to know the difference between real innocence and a sham.
Right before he left the camp site, he decided to remove his shirt completely and open the top button of his pants. Then he climbed onto the horse, turned fast, and galloped down the trail that would lead him to where Bart was bathing in the tub. He didn’t want to sneak up on Bart. The plan didn’t involve scaring him. He wanted Bart to see him approaching, with his long blond hair blowing in the wind and his round bottom bouncing up and down in the saddle. He knew it was important to make his entrance as obvious as possible, but without calling any attention at all to his motives.
His plan worked even better than he thought it would. Bart didn’t jump up, shout, or flinch. When he saw Flynn approaching he lifted his head and asked, “Who are you and what do you want?” Then he looked Flynn up and down, from his long blond hair to his cowboy boots, and sat up a little higher in the tub exposing his hairy torso.
The horse stopped a few feet away from the tub and Flynn climbed down and looked directly into Bart’s brown eyes. He was even better looking up close than he’d been from afar, with a heavy dark beard and hair on his bare chest. Flynn spoke with a soft, submissive tone, and said, “I’m sorry, sir. I didn’t mean to interrupt your bath. All I want is some water and a place to rest for a few minutes if that’s not too much trouble. I’ll leave if it makes you uncomfortable. I’m sorry.” Then Flynn smiled and put his hands in his pockets on purpose so his pants would fall well below his waist.
Bart looked him up and down again, with his tongue pressed to his cheek, and took a quick breath. He lifted one long hairy leg and let it hang over the side of the tub, and then he reached into the water with his other hand to grope himself in front of Flynn. “You sure are pretty with all that long blond hair. If you come a little closer and scrub my back, you can rest here are long as you like. My brother and me will take good care of you.”
This reaction wasn’t unusual and Flynn knew it. Cowboys like Bart and Kane who lived alone in these remote parts rarely saw women for months…sometimes years…at a time. They were discreet and careful, but they had strong needs. And when they saw a slim, smooth blond guy with a soft voice like Flynn’s, they moved in for the proverbial kill fast.
Flynn smiled and said, “You’re so cute. I don’t mind scrubbing your back, sir. In fact, I haven’t had a bath for a while. Would it be okay if I took off all my clothes and joined you in the tub? We could scrub each other’s backs. That is if you think there’s enough room for two of us.”
Bart’s eyes opened wider and he sent Flynn a sinister grin. “There’s plenty of room for two in here. Feel free to take off all your clothes and join me.”
Flynn moved a few steps closer and removed his cowboy boots. He turned sideways to unbutton his pants so he could arch his back for Bart. He knew Bart was more interested in his back than his front because that’s how it always worked with these cowboys.
Cowboy Sex In the Old Wild West
Here’s a link to something I found while researching for this book. Of course the word gay for same sex didn’t even exist back then, and information about men loving men is not easy to come by prior to the 1960s, but I think it gives a few good generalized examples.
If that’s how you view the Old West, you might be shocked to know how cowboys really viewed homosexuality. Wild West society didn’t necessarily label people homosexual or heterosexual, but rather allowed each person to be who they need to be in any given moment. In an interview (“Homos on the Range: How gay was the West?”), University of Colorado at Boulder History Department Chairman Peter Boag, who wrote the book Same Sex Affairs, said, “people engaged in same sex activities weren’t seen as homosexual.”