I ACQUIRE AN UNLIKELY ALLY
Artwork (c) 2002 by Inocentius & Pervertida
I'm not sure what I expected back in Lonely Rock when I got there. Armies tended to avoid towns, except for plundering them for provender when they could. But I had ridden southwards, the Union Army hadn't gotten this far yet.
There was no longer any sign of the Confederacy in the town. As quickly as those posters and Stainless Banner flags had gone up, they had come down again. The flagpoles I saw were now all bare, and there was not a single gray uniform to be seen. So the rebellion dies in Lonely Rock, I thought to myself.
But the street was deserted otherwise, as well. No knot of elderly men about the general store, no women coming to market. A big, mangy, yellow dog lay in the middle of the street, unmolested. Mine was the only horse in sight, none were even tethered to the hitching posts about.
I began to wonder if everybody had fled the county! That can happen to a Western town when something happens. People load up their wagons and take off down the road. It happened a lot to towns that depended upon mining...though not in a matter of weeks!
The sheriff's door opened and the sheriff came out. I wondered if I should speak to him (I was an escaped prisoner, after all) but remembered that he hadn't been happy about my arrest and decided to risk it. With the Confederate army in retreat, I wasn't too worried about my legal status just now.
So I rode up like any law-abiding citizen and said, "Howdy!"
"Howdy, Ben." he said to me, his long face looking grave, even worried. Yep, he'd ignore my prior incarceration, at least now that we were alone.
"What's going on?" I asked. "Where is everyone?"
He shrugged. "Some joined the Army. Some are out on the range gathering their livestock and hiding it in the hills somewheres, so the soldiers can't take them for food. Some headed south when the Union Army approached. And a few headed north to get onto Union-held soil while they still could. But most people are just staying close to home and biding their time until they see what's going to happen."
"What about King Carson?" I asked him. King Carson ran this town, if he left it for good, then it would wither and die. I couldn't decide if that was good or bad just then. Thinking about it now, I reckon it would be bad, for he would still own lots of things and would have to send representatives, who would continue to squeeze the town from somewhere else. At least with him in town, I had some way of dealing directly with him. He was a force to be reckoned with, and a dangerous one, but better him than the alternatives I could think of for with him I had a handle, his desire for my body.
"He's still here, last I heard. But the saloon's closed."
"Thanks, I'll go check." I said.
"Be careful." the sheriff said. Given I was a wanted man, I felt that was very cogent advice.
But nobody was around, especially not any Confederate soldiers. I walked up onto the porch of the King's Palace and I guess my face was seen through its stained-glass windows, for when I got to the door, I heard, "Come on in!" It was not the voice of Elo, the bartender.
I went in anyhow, pushing open the door that was inside of the swinging doors and could be barred from inside. There, I was shocked.
King Carson was sitting at one of the tables, the sole occupant of the place. He was decked out in a Confederate officer's uniform that looked brand new (and probably was). And he had a bottle in front of him and another, empty on the floor. He looked at me with a flushed face and I knew he was drunk. Drunk! King Carson! I had never seen him even touch alcohol before, word around town was that he was a near-teetotaler, only a bit of sherry with his meals, and a glass he'd put next to him while gambling, that he never touched.
He had one foot propped up on the table and was reared back onto the chair's two hind legs, rocking himself back and forth gently as he did so.
He looked and saw me and raised his glass to me. "Ben! Howdy!" King Carson saying "Howdy" was unthinkable...but he had said it. "Not a pridner any more, are yuh?" he slurred.
"No, I'm not a prisoner, at least right now." I said. "Set free by the Union army when they fought the Confederates just a few hours ago."
"Good for you!" he said, and the voice was neither scornful nor happy, it was more...aggressive. "Every cloud has a silver lining, all right!"
"You'd rather the Rebels won and I stayed a prisoner?" I asked him.
He looked up at me drunkenly. "I'll let you in on a little secret." he said as he let go with his foot and the chair crashed down to the floor. I heard a cracking of wood when he did so, as well. "I don't give a good God-damned about either one of them!"
"But you're a Confederate officer!" I said.
"Yeah, right!" he turned around to face me directly and the chair crackled again. One of those legs had broken when it hit, no doubt about it. "You know why I'm a Confederate officer, seeing how I didn't lead my men, my own men, into battle like an officer should?"
"No." I admitted. Most officers were chosen by their men, from their own ranks, the ones they trusted to lead them. King Carson was a natural for an officer in that light.
So why wasn't he the one who had been leading that company, or at least the one to be formed out of the volunteers from Lonely Rock?
"I'll tell you why!" he said and the chair let loose a rumbling akin to someone breaking wind. King Carson ignored it. "‘S'an honorary title, ‘at's why!" he blurred at me.
"Goin' to take all a man's silver, you oughtta do sumpin' for him, shouldn't ya?" He wavered again, and the chair gave another crack.
"You might want to get out of that chair, I think it's going to break." I said to him.
"Take all my silver, got to pay the men sumpin', them what won't take Confederate notes. They gave me Confederate money for it. You know how much Confederate money is worth?"
"Not much." I said. It had been around for a time, it and Union money mixing freely, but the difference in their values changed constantly, the Confederate money losing ground. Word was they didn't have it backed with gold and silver like the Union did, that may or may not have been true, but I know nobody wanted to take Confederate money these days.
"Well, I got a whole bunch of it now. They took all my reserve, every last ounce of it from my coffers and my mine. They said I could keep selling it to them when I mined out more. Mined out more. You know what my problem is?"
"What? You'd better get up from that chair."
"I'll tell you!" he roared and that's when the chair gave way, it slanted forward and he slid out of the seat onto the floor ignominiously. But he ignored it as I grabbed his hand and helped him to his feet. "I don't have any more silver, that's what my problem is?"
"You don't?" I was surprised. "But all your mines!" King Carson had four mines now operating, one had closed just a week or two before my ordeal began.
"Empty, most of them."
"My uncle's land?"
"Some silver there, nothing worth setting up a mine for yet. Send out a few men with rocking cradles and that'll take out that silver well enough."
"I'm sorry." I said.
"Got one good mine left, the Suzy Lee." he said. "It's got silver in it all right, plenty of it. Now the Union's come and they're going to take that mine and use their soldiers to empty it out all for themselves. And what am I going to be left with? A lot of land full of nothing, that's what I got!"
"I'm sorry." I said to him. And I was.
"I was going to make something of this country." he said to me, getting maudlin now. "But how can I make anything of it if they steal the one damned thing that would let me build something here?" King Carson slumped down in another chair and I think he was about to cry.
Those words showed the one thing that made King Carson something less than a tyrant. Though still a dangerous man, he wasn't plundering this town, he was just trying to build it all up...his way and under his control, but build. It was why I wasn't out to destroy him utterly, just keep his ambitions in check. If he would be this man, the builder and the dreamer, all the time...I could fall in love with him just like he wanted me to.
So maybe you can understand why I reached out and touched him on the shoulder, saw his eyes look up into mine, glittering with incipient tears yet unshed. Which dried as he saw the tenderness in my own.
The intoxication he had felt seemed to fall away from him, it was a man renewed who stood up and scooped me into his arms, who pressed his lips to mine, lips that tasted of whiskey, strong whiskey, a sour puckering feel, a numbness to my tongue, numbness and warmth, the warmth of whiskey, the warmth of ardor, the strength returning to him in a rush that uplifted his spirits as he embraced me, so that I felt the last dregs of tentativeness, of self-doubt, vanish as they closed about me. It was King Carson, the man who owned Lonely Rock, the lord of all he surveyed, who finished that kiss, swelling up again as if he inflated from some hidden spigot. His hands pressed the small of my back, pulled me to him, I felt the hard uniform jacket buttons pressed against my chest and one touch my bare skin at the nexus of the V formed by my shirt, as if a brand pressed against a calf's tender flesh to mark him for all his life.
His hand reached down and cupped one of my buttocks, pulled me to him the tighter, and I gave him this, let him take me as he wanted to, this time without the duress of a won poker game or the need for protection, this time I gave myself to him and he took it, needed it, hungrily.
The power that was King Carson came to the fore once again, now I was in the grip of a man determined to be my master, for he would be that or he was nothing. I was turned in his arms so that my buttocks pressed against the table and he pressed me back down onto it, my body sending the half-emptied bottle of liquor skittering unheeded across the floor, filling the air with the raw scent of spilled whiskey and bitters.
He spun me on the axis of my spine and my head was pulled toward his crotch, and his fingers clutched and unfastened his pants. "Better lube me up quickly." he gasped. "I won't wait for long." Whether that was an order or a kindly warning, I was and am unsure, but I took it as advice best heeded and when he pulled out his cock with the moist, strong, male aroma preceding it in the manner in which a flower opens out and about the bud it once was, so that a slender cone becomes a globe about a brittle-brown base and you marvel at how all this beauty and delicacy was once or ever folded up so small. The way your nose stuffs itself into the blossom, that was how my own nose was surrounded and engulfed in this strong aura of male rut, smelling of sweat and spunk and nights of deprivation. At its center, his prick loomed like the pistil of the flower, and like the bee seeking the nectar, I homed in on this proud spire.
The spongy cockhead mashed against my lips and King hunched as I contacted his manhood and he drove that hefty pud into my mouth, a moan slipping from his lips as he did so. I felt the velvet-laden shaft slide across my lips and over my tongue like a majestic procession entering the castle of my mouth, this King of mine entered me and possessed me now, and I swelled with the vigor and vitality that drove into me and I sighed and shuddered with this strength, which I adored and envied so, knowing it was the root of my desire for King Carson, and yet accepting it all the same.
My mouth slavered as the hot dong burned itself a place in my gullet, I poured my slobbering delight over it, basted this burning shaft with the lubrication of my saliva, and King Carson began to hunch back and forth, me in my awkward position on the table, I was as a turtle on its back, helpless and could only work my lips and my throat as this thick prong danced in and out of my mouth, sending waves of hot liquid desire over my tongue as it wept from his glans, so that I was swallowing hot, salty spit from my mouth as I replaced it with new, and King Carson grabbed my head and fucked at me harder, now his cock was driving at the back of my mouth, a hard, bruising presence and I gulped, choked, endured this pulsing barbarian king upon the throne of my tongue.
King Carson was making soft, chewy sounds with his lips, like he was smacking upon a particularly savory morsel of beef that required his entire mouth to labor at the digestion of it, so were the sounds that slipped from his empty lips as the dew of sweat formed on his face and forehead, a glistening softness to his handsome patrician features, like gold upon the bed of dull gray uniform.
There was the other King Carson rising up within him now, the one who was owner or nobody, the one who could order a man killed as he ate without flinching, the one who held Lonely Rock in a fierce grip. He almost snarled as he found my languorous position intolerable and he said, "Enough of that! Let's get this up inside you now!"
My pants were an annoying hindrance to him, he pulled at my belt and fought with my buttons, knocking away my fingers proffered in his aid, he wrenched my trouser fly apart and caught them at my waist on either side, skinned them down my body to expose my thin, white legs. He lifted my legs up and pressed them high so that my thighs were chock-a-block against my chest and my ass was roundly spread and exposed to him as it hovered in mid-air, and then I felt the strong, slimy, hard dick knocking at my sphincter and demanding entrance, make way for the King, he was not to be treated this way as an interloper, let him in!
King's hips rammed his prick into me and I let out a long, low wail of pain intermixed with pleasure. Why was he this man, this two facets of him, identical twins, one whom I could love and one whom I only feared? Which one loved me now and were was my gentle warrior?
He leaned over and now my ankles rested upon his epaulets on his shoulders, now he was poised and his face, flushed red with suffused need, was perforce softened by his desire. Open lips, gentled eyes, the sweat boiling now upon his skin, and I welcomed him now. "Oh, God, fuck me!" I groaned in my renewed need. "Fuck me, King, fuck me!"
A smile lifted his features and teased his lips, he gave only a small burst of hilarity from his lips and then returned to the serious business of thrusting that hard, heavy dong into my ass. This was but the third time I had been with King Carson and only the second time he had fucked me, that other time had been a public humiliation which had excited me more than I cared to remember. But here, now...I could give myself to him and let the shadows of privacy hide it from ever being known if need be.
So I clutched at his arms and I held onto him as he drove his shaft into me, feeling the hot, hale, heavy schlong pumping in and out of me, driving rampant upon the furrows of my tender flesh and plowing me the way the farmer plunges the plowshare into virgin soil and it breaks rich and tender into soft, brittle clumps, the moistness beneath brought forth to awaken the new life.
And my hidden life burst out as well, I roiled and I crowed as he plunge-fucked me, passions incited in me by this man, who persona aroused and repelled me, I desired and repulsed him, he was everything I wanted, he was everything I feared. In that dichotomy of passion and revulsion, that blending of need and terror, my ecstasy exploded out within me and I moaned, roared, and my seed blasted up to splatter his new uniform, despoiling it not with blood but with semen, not with death, but with the opposite of death.
"Yeah, come on boy, shoot it all out!" he urged me. "Really let it blast, boy, all of it, yeah, oh, yeah!" King Carson was again that mixture, rough Western man and cultured aristocrat, now the rougher, gruffer part of him was coming to the fore, the way in which a metal ore is heated and all the lesser elements form a scum on top to be scrap ed and thrown away, leaving the pure heart behind, clarified and intensified, so did the master of the West show himself to me now in the crucible of our lust, and I looked up into eyes that could drive a herd of cattle, command a crowd of men to do as he would, and who was both a lover and a killer, and not to be trifled with either way.
I winced and my eyes grew wide as I looked up into this man, this master, this evil force, this commander of men's destiny, this ruler of the Western plains, and I cowed before him and that was what he wanted from me, under him and submissive to him, his pride grew in him along with his climax and when his face was contorted with his orgasm, it was the look of a man in ownership of everything his heart desired. I felt his jism hit my bowels like a cannon fire, bursting against the walls of my defenses, battering them down, and his roars were the blasts of the cannon and his sweat poured out and dripped onto me in the form of a hot rain of male-scented, fat drops that splashed and formed puddles upon me.
Done with his ejaculation, King Carson briefly lost control, sobbing and weak and depleted, he dropped onto me, his chest heavy, his gasps of breath raged in my ear, for perhaps ten seconds it was so and he was the man I wanted, then he caught himself, packed away that gentleness once again, placing it upon the shelf of his abilities to be called forth again at a more appropriate time, and now he rest upon me both more lightly and more oppressively, his body was removed but now his spirit pressed upon me.
"That's the way I want you, boy." He said to me. "Giving yourself to me. Do that more often." And that was a command beyond doubt, one I had best not brook if I knew what was wise.
I smiled and kept what I hoped was a noncommittal stance as he pulled out of me and adjusted back up his pants. My own maneuvers were less graceful, it was necessary for me to clamber off the table before I could arrange my state of dishabille and I refastened my belt with a sigh of relief.
"You know where the Union forces are?" he asked me.
I thought about it, decided no harm in telling. "Camped out north of here about two hours' ride." I said. "The Rebel Army fled, and they weren't heading this way."
He nodded. "Figured they'd tuck and run. But I hear the Rebels are bringing up more men. They need this silver, at least, the silver they think I've got for them."
I thought about this. "That means another battle." And I scowled. How many more men would die for silver that wasn't even there? "We have to do something about it."
"That's for sure." King Carson said and I looked at him, surprised.
"Only thing I can think of," I said tentatively, "is to close the Suzy Lee?"
"Blast it shut and dig it back out when the war is over." King Carson nodded. "That we do. But the Rebels took all my dynamite and gunpowder along with my silver. I couldn't blow my own nose right now."
"We need dynamite." I agreed.
"You know where we can get some, Yankee?" he said, and his smile was half-jovial, half-serious.
"No." I admitted. "But I know someone who does. If I can find him."
I needed Hunter. So did King Carson. And so did Lonely Rock and who knew how many men who would die unless I could find him.
Question was, where did I look?
THE END OF CHAPTER SEVEN
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