Crossing the Stream

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I had laughed when Oliver said he’d had a thermal earth house built, but then I may have overdone it in the other direction when he took me there, because he left it to me in his will. It wasn’t just that it was dug into the side of a hill that had made me laugh. It also was because it was in the middle of nowhere—practically surrounded by the Rocky Mountains in rural Nowhere, Colorado—and we were city boys, Oliver and I.

The ice hockey season had been so intense, though, that I was happy to have the hillside house nudged up to the Gunnison National Forrest between Montrose and Gunnison to retreat to for the summer. For a while the Denver Avalanche was in contention and then it wasn’t, just limping toward the end of the season. And on top of that Denver’s assistant coach—and my mentor and lover—Oliver Lamont keeled over unexpectedly and died of a massive heart attack. Who would have known? I told myself that I could always try to unload the place at the end of summer before going back for the ice hockey season in Denver, where I, Pete Flint, played right wing for the Avalanche.

When I went down there to my newly acquired dug-in house it was with the intent to dig myself into the dirt as well and stay there until I could come to grips with Oliver’s passing. The house’s setting was so remote that I could hide out, scream when I wanted as loud as I wanted, and hit the walls with my fists, if I wanted, knowing that all that was beyond the paneling was dirt. Mourning wasn’t something I could stay and do in Denver. Oliver and I had been very careful to hide our relationship. It was believable that he would bring me with him from the Detroit Red Wings. I was a damn good right wing and Denver needed one at the time. We’d kept our living arrangements separate, and Oliver hadn’t given me any more attention on the rink than he gave any of the other guys. There may have been some in the club that sensed we were close, but it wasn’t something that hockey guys thought about. It was known that he had trained me from university days.

The summer—that was what I needed to get my head straight again. Then I’d go back to Denver and put this place on the market. Surely there was someone who would want a house that cost practically nothing to run summer or winter other than the electricity and cable brought up from the nearest town, Cimarron, on Route 50 between Montrose, to the west, and Gunnison, to the east. Although Cimarron couldn’t really be called a town. It was a hub for electricity and cable, though, which was a godsend for those few of us up in these hills.

The house went right through the top of a hill, near its summit, and there was enough of glass coverage on both sides of the hill and in skylights so that, when you were inside, you didn’t have the feeling of being in a fox den. The entry was on the east side of the hill, where the road and power lines came up. A semicircle was cut out of the side of the hill here. The foyer had full-length windows on each side. Stretching out north from there was the kitchen and then master bedroom and a bath, and to the south in a curve were located two bedrooms, with a bath between them. The living room and dining room opened out onto a shallow terrace on the west side of the hill. All of the rooms had skylights going up to the top of the hill, so there was plenty of light coming in. The cutouts into the hill were deep enough so that if you were in the valleys to either side of the hill, you wouldn’t really be aware there was a house there until and unless it was lit up at night.

This is what the house offered to me—a hideaway with no other habitation or indication of life to see. At least that was true on the east side. It proved not so true this summer on the west side. On the west, the hill sloped down to a mountain stream. Across the stream was a meadow rising up to a hill that wasn’t as high as mine was. Half way up that hill was a derelict wood log cabin. Or at least it had been derelict when Oliver had first brought me here. That was not so much the case this summer when I retreated here to nurse my grief alone.

It took me a while to notice that the cabin was being renovated, and the first clue I had that it was was the sound of hammering that echoed across the stream. Until then, I hadn’t been coming out on the west side much. I’d set one of the bedrooms up as an exercise room and I was working myself into exhaustion. It wasn’t just because when I was counting reps I wasn’t thinking about Oliver—and that I wasn’t getting any. It also was because I had to use the off season to be in shape for the season. Pro ice hockey was not something the out-of-shape should try. And I stayed in shape. So, I worked out to exhaustion during the day, and sat out on the living room terrace and drank beer and watched the sunset at night—and put on weight I’d have to take off the next day. I’d drag to bed half crocked, which helped having to go to bed alone, and woke up to start the exercise regime all over again.

The afternoon I heard the hammering, poker oyna though, I went to the west terrace to check out the noise. That’s when I realized that the cabin across the stream was being renovated. A man—stripped to the waist—was on the roof, patching shingles. A beat-up old Ford 150 pickup was parked next to the cabin. A service truck was there, as well, and a couple of guys on the ground were stringing cable. The cabin was going to have electricity and cable.

I couldn’t see the men working over there very well, so I went back into the house and searched for binoculars. I knew Oliver had a pair here; he’d taken them out when I was here before for us to watch deer at the stream at dusk. By the time I found them, though, the stripped-down guy was off the roof. I realized I hadn’t found the binoculars to watch the fully dressed service technicians, though.

The next day the hammering had resumed and I went out on the terrace with the binoculars. The guy on the roof was young and well-built, although more in a slim, willowy way than the bulked-up muscular way of pro ice hockey players like me. He was blond and maybe twenty-five or so, about three years younger than I was. He also was very good looking. Watching him made me go hard. I hadn’t been with a guy since Oliver had died and that was part of what had me tensed up and pounding the bag hanging from the ceiling in the exercise room so hard. Of course I didn’t put the binoculars down. The guy was moving in fluid motions, like a dancer. As I watched, I imagined doing things with and to him and my hand went to my crotch. I was in an athletic T and gym shorts so there was little impediment to handing myself, and before I realized it, I had shot a load into the shorts. I only then pulled away.

But the orientation of my life changed from that point. I moved the punching bag and some of the other equipment out to the terrace, which was covered in steel, with the grass-covered earth on top of it. I worked out there for many of my routines, taking more breaks that I had been doing before, to use the binoculars and stroke myself off as I watched the blond guy across the stream work on his house.

That only lasted a couple of weeks, as he finished on the exterior and moved to the interior. That left me bereft of a routine I’d fallen into and a roamed around for a few days out of sorts and without a routine that helped me get through the days and nights. I contemplated moving the exercise equipment back to the bedroom and resuming the former routine, but that had no attraction for me anymore. What I needed now was to get laid—to fuck someone.

Oliver and I hadn’t been possessive with sex, and we’d both been versatile, enjoying flip-flop fucking, each of us taking a turn on top and bottom. I was more highly sexed than he was. He was some twenty-five years older than I was. I wouldn’t go with anyone else in the town where I was on the ice hockey squad, but he would take me on trips—to Europe and the Caribbean and Thailand, and he’d help me go on binges of fucking other guys. He liked to help set the guys up and then watch.

The point here is that there was no impediment in remembering Oliver to not fuck a guy. He would have approved. I hadn’t thought about that when I’d retreated here. But as I watched the guy across the stream, it came more and more in my mind that Oliver would want me to be having sex. But here I was in Nowhere, Colorado, with no prospects other than a pair of binoculars, my own hand, and a cute-looking guy working on his house a half a mile away.

I sulked and probably would continue to sulk if the guy across the stream hadn’t upped the ante—without realizing he’d done so.

It wasn’t long before the blond guy had gotten his cabin fixed up to how he wanted it. It wasn’t very large and it wasn’t ever going to be a model home, so it didn’t take him long to settle down to the routine of his life. He almost never was away from the cabin that I could tell the times I checked. I hadn’t taken the exercise equipment in, so I was out on the western terrace much of the day. I knew when he was gone because the Ford pickup would be gone too—and it almost never was.

What was scintillating and drove me crazy, though, was to discover that, once the guy had settled into a routine and assumed he was alone in the world, he proved to be a nudist. Whenever he was outside the cabin, which was often, he was naked, wearing just sneakers. My binoculars—and my hand—went into overtime, and I found I spent most of my time on my terrace. And not only did he do his outdoor chores naked, but he had a Tai Chi type exercise routine he did for an hour a day outside the cabin in full view of the binoculars.

Nude, he was a Michelangelo statue god. He wasn’t bulked up, but his body was perfectly formed and his equipment, while not hung, went perfectly with the rest of the package. He was smooth bodied except of a trimmed bush, which was blond and curly like the hair on his head. Even from here I could see that canlı poker oyna his eyes were a milky blue and that there was a halo about him and screamed “Ain’t I just the finest you’ve ever seen?” He moved gracefully, like a dancer. And I had frequent sex with him even if he didn’t know it.

Just being a voyeur wasn’t enough, of course. I had stuck to the house when I wasn’t shopping down in Gunnison for a full month. I was getting a lot of exercise, of course, but it occurred to me that I was being derelict in running and pumping iron. I started running on paths that Oliver had established around the hillside and over the top of the earth house. And I did so when I saw that the guy across the stream was out and about. I couldn’t bring myself to strip down entirely, so I ran in sneakers and gym shorts, but I knew that I still looked damn good stripped to the waist. He couldn’t help but see me running. I watched, and the day he stopped his Tai Chi routine to watch me, I wanted to cheer.

For all that, though, there were two hill slopes and a stream between us, and taking good looks of each other was all that was happening. He wasn’t outside all that much. I had no idea what he did in the cabin, but that’s where he was most of the time.

And that’s the way it was until midsummer.

* * * *

I can credit a laundry room light fixture for my first much-needed hookup of the summer.

When I went out on the west terrace one morning to do my run, I first checked with the binoculars on whether the blond cutie across the streams was out at his regular time in the altogether doing his Tai Chi exercises. He wasn’t. And his old pickup truck was gone. So, running the hill in the nearly altogether didn’t seem like it would have much of a payoff. My run increasingly was appearing to interrupt his exercises. We were two voyeurs, each watching the other, with a half mile and a mountain stream before us. He didn’t seem to stroke himself off at the sight of me, as I did watching him naked and tying his body in knots, but I fancied that he went hard while watching me run. Could I hope that he was gay?

Well, since he wasn’t there this morning, there wasn’t of a reason for me to exercise out here, and there were thunderclouds overhead. The light fixture over the washer and dryer in the laundry room had gone bad and needed to be replaced. This seemed like a good time to get that done.

I drove down to Cimarron on route 50 and then east to Gunnison, where I did my shopping.

“We sometimes have those,” the guy at the hardware store in Gunnison told me, “but we’re out of stock. I can order you one or I can check with our store in Montrose to see if they have it in stock.”

“Could you do that, please?” I asked. I really didn’t want to put off the chore longer if I didn’t have to.

He went off and called and came back. “Yes, they have them in stock.”

Thanking him, I drove west, past Cimarron and the cutoff up to my place, and on to Montrose. It turned out to be the best decision I’d made in some time.

I recognized the beat-up, rusting Ford 150 pickup parked outside the Montrose hardware store at S. Townsend Avenue, the main north-south street of the town, and South 1st Street. I parked my nice, new, shiny Dodge Ram beside it. It didn’t escape me that the two trucks beside each other like that were like me and the guy from across the stream—in size. My big muscle truck dwarfed his small pickup.

“Now, don’t you top that pickup while I’m in the store,” I murmured as I patted the Dodge Ram on the dashboard and climbed down from it.

I saw him almost immediately when I entered the store. Surprisingly, I had no trouble identifying him with clothes on. I’d been studying him for weeks—every square inch of him. He was as cute and alluring up close as he was through binoculars a half mile off. He looked at me as I passed him in the aisle on my way back to the back counter, and I was happy to see that his eyes paused on me and he gave me a little smile and a nod. But I don’t think he recognized me as the hunk from across the stream.

I did my business in finding and picking out the fluorescent bulb light fixture and came to the register. There was someone else between me and the blond as he was checking out. My guy was buying a sack of birdseed, I saw. He had several bird feeders hanging from the trees around his cabin and attracted a lot of feathered customers, so I wasn’t surprised.

He was putting the sack of birdseed in the bed of his pickup as I was coming to the exit and I hung back, just inside the door. He looked around and smiled, but I didn’t think he’d seen me there. Instead of getting in the pickup, though, he set off walking north on S. Townsend. I put the light fixture in the backseat of the double-cab Dodge Ram and set off in his wake, holding back three-quarters of a block.

He didn’t go far. At North 1st Street, he turned east and a couple of blocks in, stopped at a bungalow that now was a bar, with a weathered sign internet casino saying Crazy Horse Saloon out in the yard, and one repeating the name over the steps up to the front porch. I’d been in Colorado long enough to know there was a Crazy Horse Saloon in every town in the West. They weren’t all bars like this, though.

I entered a couple of minutes after the cute blond did and it was obvious from outset that this was a gay bar. Not only were the customers all men, but most of the men were paired off and were leaning intimately into toward each other over the small tables they sat at. Also, the artwork on the wall was of naked muscular male torsos. I felt at home because there wasn’t anything on the wall that I couldn’t compete with. The men in the room seemed to know and appreciate that, because they all turned and looked at me, took their breath in, and smiled as I entered the bar.

The cute blond was bellied up to a long bar running the width of the room to the right. He was leaning into the bar with a boot raised to the rail, and when I entered, he turned and gave me a smile—just like he’d known I’d followed him here from the hardware store—and maybe he did. I still didn’t think he knew I was his neighbor with the binoculars, though.

I bellied up to the bar about five feet from him, with no one between us. I saw no reason to waste time, though.

“Hey,” I said.

“Hey back,” he answered. Again the smile.

“Haven’t seen you around before,” I said. It was a nonsense line, as I didn’t come into Montrose. I did my shopping in Gunnison. But it was something to say and it was true.

“Saw you in the hardware store,” he answered.

“Buying a new light fixture,” I answered. It was all nonsense, but it was sustained conversation. He didn’t have anything more brilliant to say, but he seemed as happy to be talking to me as I was to him.

“Setting up house?” he asked. “New to Montrose?” I gave him a quizzical look. “If you’re buying a light fixture,” he explained.

“I have a place up in the hills,” I answered. “Light fixtures sometimes go bad. But it’s just a summer place. I work in Denver three quarters of the year. You? Are you new here? Can I buy you a drink?” I added, as the bartender had shown up.

“That would be nice,” he readily said, turning on that shy smile again.

That was more meaningful in a bar like this than it would seem on the surface. When you’re cruising, as we both obviously were—and obviously were interested in each other, as our eyes and body stances gave us away—letting a guy buy your drink was a declaration of one or two things. In most instances you were taking a submissive role, in which case the guy offering to buy you a drink was making a declaration of domination you were agreeing to if you took the drink. In a few instances when you let another guy, usually a much older submissive man, buy you a drink, you were saying yes to him renting your cock to him. I don’t think there was any danger in this instance of me being taken to be a submissive.

We had started negotiations and declared the relationship we were dancing around. As part of the hookup dance, he move a foot toward me down the bar and I moved a foot and a half toward him. There wasn’t room for anyone to belly up to the bar between us now. Ours was a standard dance, which the bartender saw constantly in play. He put both Bud Lites down in front of me and I put twice of what they went for on the bar for him to pick up. I handed the bottle toward the blond, making him slide another half foot toward me to take it. The bartender was helping me declare as dominant. The cutie wasn’t objecting in any way.

“Pete. Pete Flint,” I said, with a smile, as I handed him the beer. I took a few seconds longer than necessary letting loose of the bottle when he’d grasped it. Both of us understood why.

“I’m Collen Dergenwald,” he answered. “Thanks for the beer, Pete. This’ll hit the spot. It’s a hot day.”

“Yes, it is,” I said, my thoughts going to him glistening in the sun, nude, as he went through his Tai Chi routine. I ached to have him. “Dergenwald. That sounds seriously German.”

“Yes, that’s me. Second generation German. And it’s what I do. I’m a freelance book editor—mostly German literature studies for academic presses.”

So, that’s what went on in that cabin. And that’s why the electric and cable lines had gone in, even though it must have been expensive to bring them into that cabin from Cimarron. He did his editing remotely by computer, and he had to have good, reliable service for that.

“Sounds serious,” I said. What it sounded like was a submissive’s job. I could probably break him in two in sex, if I wanted to. If he wanted me to.

“You? You said you worked in Denver three quarters of the year.”

“Sports. I’m into professional sports. During the colder months.”

“Denver Broncos?” he asked “You do look like a football player.”

“Hockey. Ice hockey. The Avalanche.”

“Ah, interesting,” he said.

Interesting inviting or interesting maybe overwhelming, I wondered. There was no secret that I had him by a good five inches and forty pounds—and who knows how many cock inches. Was I scaring him off? “Another beer?” I asked. “My treat.”

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