The Victory at Lonely Rock, Chapter One


I made it to King Carson's saloon, the "King's Palace," just after sundown on the first of the month. In my pocket was the money I'd garnered from the sale of my uncle's ranch, over five thousand dollars...all of it in Confederate money. Almost a year ago, shortly after the ill-fated Battle of Lonely Rock which had ended with the destruction of the Suzy Lee mine and with it, most of the jobs in Lonely Rock, there had come through town a group of men with armed soldiers supporting them, in search of citizens holding Union currency. They'd known all about the money I'd collected from my uncle's estate after his death and came to the Salcedo Ranch after it, forcing me to turn over my Union money to them in exchange for Confederate currency. The seven hundred fifty dollars of my uncle's estate had been exchanged for six thousand Confederate dollars, a 9:1 conversion, a fair valuation at the time. The trouble with the Confederate money was that almost day by day, it was worth less and less, while the Union money (what little still remained in Lonely Rock) stayed steady and even gained in value. At the rate it was falling, I'd be bankrupt in another year, or sooner!

I needed to convert my savings back into Union dollars, the sooner the better. Even if I had to take it at 25:1, I figured it'd be enough to let me get by for a while.

There was only one possible source for the Union money in Lonely Rock and it was why I'd gone to King Carson's saloon. If anyone in town had Union money, it was King Carson.

I'd chosen my time of arrival carefully. The men in town who were still working (mostly ranch hands with about a score of miners working the three smaller silver mines King Carson had left after blasting the Suzy Lee shut) had had twenty-four hours to collect their monthly pay which they'd gotten last night, come into town, and spend it in King Carson's saloon and the general store which he also owned. So what King Carson had paid out on the one hand, he collected back with the other, and would have the maximum amount of money available right now.

If he'd ever buy my Confederate dollars from me, now would be the time.

I hadn't been in the Palace for several months, and it had changed but little...but all of that change had been for the worse. There were fewer bottles of liquor on the cabinet behind the bar, the chairs were battered, and fewer, the stage had been torn out and a blank section of wall now stood where it had been, unpatched and tattered looking. When I'd first arrived in Lonely Rock, nearly a year and a half ago, the stage had been new and was to have been populated by three beautiful dancing girls. The girls involved had never appeared but the stage had been a sort of promise of better things to come. Now it was gone...and what did that say about Lonely Rock?

There were a dozen men in the saloon, for they mostly still had money. Six of them were about one table, playing a game of poker. Four others were at another table, drinking and talking happily. The other two were lone drinkers, and looked very unhappy. Elo was behind the bar and I wavered in my mission and went up to the bar.

"Evening, Elo." I said to the handsome Latino bartender.

"Ben?" Elo was surprised, for I hadn't told any of the Salcedo brothers (whom I lived with) about my plans. "Why are you here? You know what this means."

"Yeah, I know." I sighed. "Give me a beer, okay? How much is that in Confederate money?"

"Fifteen dollars." he told me and I winced but nodded and he went to draw it for me. Beer was ten cents in Union money, if scrip turned into Union money at 150:1 these days, my five thousand Confederate dollars (a bit less, actually) would make...what was that? I did the math in my head. Then again, my finger tracing phantom numbers on the counter top. About thirty dollars...if I could get the exchange rate. If I could convert all of it. If.

When I got the beer, I gagged. Inferior stuff...that was the kindest way to phrase it. Home brew, beyond a doubt. It surprised me, I knew King Carson watered down his beer, but this was the first time he'd resorted to making it himself.

But I lowered it resolutely and said, "Is King Carson here?"

Elo nodded soberly. "But you don't want to see him."

"I'm afraid I have to." I said. I had been living on the Salcedo's generosity for quite some time now and while I remained welcome in their home, I'd only been able to accept it knowing I had the money to fall back on, I was a visitor and wasn't going to stay. And I was losing that crutch to my sense of self-worth.

"Ben, please...." Elo's hand touched my own, in genuine friendship. "This is not wise, you know what he wants from you."

"Yes, I know." I said. "But I want something from him right now. If I can get it."

I pulled my hand out from under Elo's and he realized I was determined. His face became a mask, unreadable and emotionless. "I shall tell him you are here."

"Thank you." I said, and he left me alone with my beer. I sipped it cautiously, it was an expensive luxury for me right now. The Salcedos made wine and it didn't go to my head, but it was something to do while I fought the butterflies in my stomach.

All too quickly, Elo was back. "He will see you in his office." he said.

The King's Palace was the only building in town with two stories, and a set of stairs went up one wall to give access to the second floor. King Carson's office was a small room set underneath these stairs, and only some five feet by eight feet in size. It had a small window in it and was on the north side of the building, it must be cramped and cold in the winter. I'd never been in here before, it had a massive writing desk against the wall below the window with a chair before and a shelf along the side wall that held ledgers and bound books and stacks of loose papers. A second chair in the office was also there, for visitors. But dominating this room, as he dominated any place he stood, was King Carson.

His face was lit in genuine pleasure at seeing me, hope lighting his face like a beacon. A face as much beautiful as handsome, with hair a more golden hue than my own straw-colored thatch, and a body that could haunt any young man's dreams, to have it held against you. He genuinely wanted me, King Carson. He wanted me to give myself to him, and give myself completely, and would accept nothing less, the same as he would accept nothing less but complete domination of Lonely Rock and all the lands about it. He'd arranged for the death of my uncle's only ranch hand, Jobias, and had a hand of sorts in my uncle's subsequent death (two of his hired goons had killed my uncle to get the money King Carson had given him after Jobias' death, my uncle, a crippled man, could not have kept the ranch after that, even with my untrained help). King Carson had been furious at my uncle's death (my uncle had sold the ranch to him, and had thus come under King's protection, as had I as part of my uncle's family), but the fact remained that he was a dangerous man, dangerous as a hungry lion. And I had walked into the lion's den!

"Benjamin." he said and after a hesitation, extended his hand in a friendly greeting. His first movement had been to embrace me, so I took the hand in some relief. "So good to see you here."

"Just a quick visit." I said to him quickly. "And a favor of sorts, if you're willing."

"I usually am...for you." he said in a bedroom voice. "Have a seat." I did, but he remained standing, maybe three feet away from me, looking down at me.

"It's about the money from the sale of my uncle's ranch." I said quickly. I had to turn this into business as fast as I could. Take my body out of the equation. "You know the Confederate authorities forced me to convert it into Confederate scrip. Which is rapidly losing value."

"I know it well." King Carson sighed. "It's why I started offering my employees my own currency."

"So I was hoping you.... Your own currency?" Elo had said nothing to me about this, and I lived with the guy!

King Carson smiled. "Private scrip. We used it quite a while when my father first came here and money of any kind was scarce, I just reinstituted it. I promise to redeem the scrip on demand for a set price, both in Union and Confederate dollars, and adjust the Confederate rate to allow for the inflation. So it's holding value the same as Union dollars."

"Oh." I said. I'd seen the three categories on the price board in the saloon while waiting for Elo to talk to King Carson but thought the third number represented pesos.

"I keep it pegged to Union dollars at a one to one ratio." King Carson concluded. "Not that there's much Union money left in Lonely Rock, if that was what you were thinking. We have the silver coming out of the mines and digging sites, and I'm trying to force the government to pay for it in Union money, get it back in circulation here, but for now, it's Confederate dollars or King dollars." King Carson cocked an eyebrow at me. "So what was it you were hoping?"

A one to one ratio. "Can I convert my Confederate dollars into King dollars with you?" I asked.

To my surprise, King Carson shook his head, with visible regret. "The law about private scrip is clear, only my employees can accept King dollars in payment, or can spend it. Merchants are allowed to accept it in payment, but have to then redeem it from me to buy anything for themselves. I own the general store which takes most of the money, and I operate under the table for the other merchants in town, but someone like you...." He shook his head again. "I have to refuse."

"Oh." I said, and did NOT give up. I couldn't afford to give up. "Do you know anyone in town that may be willing to help me out, then? Confederate money is losing value fast, you know, if I don't do something with it, I'll be broke in another few months."

King Carson leaned back against his desk and that gave me a view of his crotch that his jacket had hidden until then. "You have two main options, far as I can see."

I feared King Carson, but respected him as a businessman. "I'm listening."

"You can use the money you have to buy something people need. Then you can barter with that as you need to."

I considered it, it wasn't such a bad idea. If I could find something people needed and would come to me for...okay, maybe not such a good idea, either. "And your other idea?"

"Come to work for me." King Carson said. "Once you work for me, I can take your Confederate dollars and give you scrip."

I gulped hard, and gave it serious thought. King Carson was dangerous, and I wasn't forgetting it. But he was also a handsome man who had never treated me personally with anything but kind consideration. Having your greatest enemy in love with you was a distinct advantage.

"Where would I be working?" I asked him as a way to stall. "In the mines?"

King Carson shook his head. "I've had to lay off most of my men as it is. And if I'm going to get Union money out of the government in Austin, I may have to shut down my mines entirely for a while. No, if I hire you, you'll be working right here, in my saloon." And he licked his lips in a way that told me what at least part of my job duties would be.

I looked again at his crotch, and saw that he was beginning to get an erection. I'd seen that organ more than once, had it in my body, in my mouth or my anus, I knew it well. He was in love with me, and his body had said as much every time I'd submitted to him. If I started work here, with him, I could expect him to come after me on a regular basis, maybe even every day.

I couldn't forget Jobias' death though. Jobias had been hunted down and killed by men acting on King Carson's orders, because Jobias wouldn't quit working for my uncle and come to work for him. I'd lost my first friend in Lonely Rock that night, and I had watched him get gunned down. It's hard to forget that.

But I had only met King Carson a short time before Jobias' death. Would King Carson have canceled the death order, if I'd met him sooner? If he'd known Jobias and I were lovers as well as friends?

Again I stalled. "So what would I be doing here?"

King Carson shrugged, an uncomfortable gesture for him. "Help Elo with customers. Wait tables, carry drinks, mop up... Anything I wanted you to do." That last bit sounded like it had forced its way out of his mouth, like he'd tried to bite it back and couldn't. His chest was rising and lowering faster, harder. He was breathing hard now. His lips parted. His eyes yearning.

"Can I think about it a while?" I asked him. "Maybe get back to you in a day or so?" I found my own breath catching in my throat. My own heartbeat increasing.

"Sure you can, Ben." He said to me, and his voice was as soft as a summer breeze, and as cool and welcoming on my body. "There'll always be a place here for you."

I knew that. I'd always known that, it was why I'd come to King Carson in my hour of need, to ask him to help me out. Even knowing him as a man who ordered his enemies killed, even knowing he wanted to own everything in and around this town including me, I knew I could depend on him. When your enemy is in love with you, you have options a normal enemy doesn't provide. Like you can move in with him whenever you want to!

Maybe that was why my heart was racing right now. Maybe it was the fact that King Carson remained as I had described him, a handsome, masculine man, dominating everyone he met.

"Thanks." I told him as I stepped in closer to him. "I appreciate that." And I moved my body up against his and as his arms went around me, I heard a sigh escape from his lips.

I lifted my face up towards his and his mouth closed on mine in a kiss both ardent and genuine. I ground my own groin against his erection, felt the hardness in there, and perhaps a bit of moisture as well. My last sexual encounter with King Carson had been back during the destruction of the Suzy Lee Mine, quite a number of months ago. I'd had the Salcedo brothers (all three of them) as lovers since that time, and I'm sure King Carson had taken more than one man to bed himself during that time...but in that moment, it was like we'd both lived as monks for those months.

The heat between us was a thing unto itself, it drove our bodies towards each other, moved our hands to stroke each other's bodies, pull at each other's clothing. I broke away, panting hard, and King Carson was breathing heavy as well, and I knelt down before him. He was undoing his belt buckle by the time I reached for him there and I began pulling the buttons open on his fly. Beneath the pants were a pair of thin cotton boxers, and I fished into them after his love-organ, pulling it out and feeling the familiar, pulsing, hungry column of man-meat hot in my hand, and got the whiff of clean flesh, far cleaner than most men on these water-poor lands would manage. I'd never found King Carson's body smelling anything but freshly washed, he must bathe every day. I bathed three times a week and even this was considered effete by most of the men on the range who would go weeks without bathing.

But only clean flesh with a slight hint of crotch sweat greeted my nostrils as I stuffed the pink-tipped dong into my mouth like an old friend. As I slid my lips down the smooth shaft, King Carson gave a guttural moan that shook his entire body. And he moaned, "So long, it's been so long!"

I clung to the shaft when I hit bottom, and pulled back up and off, wrenching another moan from King Carson and when I reached the top, I released and said, "Yes, it has been. Too long."

And I slid back down and this time when I came back up, I didn't let go.

My eyes looked up King Carson's body. I was looking at a white shirt underneath a finely tailored vest under a steel-gray jacket, and none of those garments did the least to hide the fact that a well-tuned and well-muscled body lay underneath it. Above this finely sculpted body was King Carson's face, staring down at me with genuine affection and devotion. Whatever he had seen in me that had lit this fire within him, it burned steady and true.

King Carson aroused such conflicting emotions in me; even as I sucked his cock, I was torn inside. Part of me feared him as the most dangerous man I'd ever met. Another part yearned to give myself to him as thoroughly as he wanted me to. A third part warned me to be sensible and cautious, that I was still young and could ruin my life by making choices I couldn't take back. This third part had kept me bouncing back and forth between the other two, as it decided now that it was safe to love King Carson, and later that I had to run as fast as I could if I wanted to save my soul. This third part had thrown me at him a moment ago and was letting me relish for now the joining of our bodies.

Would it throw me away from him when we were done? I didn't know but for now, I was completely enjoying myself. Maybe that explained the attraction between us, how I resisted him yet when I did succumb, I threw myself into him. Like all he had to do was find the right words to convince me to stay. Or maybe I had to find those words.

"Stay with me, Ben." King said to me as I nursed his cock. "To hell with the job, come live with me. I'll treat you right. You know I will."

When I didn't answer, he reached down and pulled me off his rod. I expected him to try to convince me to marry him then and there, or something less conventional but just as binding, but instead, he kissed my lips all over again while his hands fondled my crotch. He turned the two of us around until I was resting my buttocks up against the desk, and he was kneeling. I was startled into inaction, and stood dumbly as he undid my belt and pants and pulled them down along with my undershorts, and then he was scarfing down my cock and he started sucking on me as quick as it got hard in his mouth.

This powerful, handsome man, on his knees, servicing me, giving me pleasure because it was what he wanted to do. This action was somehow more masterful than having me suck him, he had my cock in his mouth because that was what he chose to do and he was still in charge of me even as he worked my pud into a rapidly rising glory of delight.

His movements were fast and frenetic and I found my body quickly approaching climax. It couldn't have been longer than two or three minutes from the time he first sank his head down over my cock and the time I found my orgasm rising up in my body. I groaned, "Oh, oh, God, King, I'm coming, King, I'm coming, I'm coming, I'm, uh, uh, uh, UH-HUH-UH-UH-UHHHHHH!"

Illustration of Victory Chapter One I was exploding my spunk into King Carson's mouth and he was sucking it down with eager grunts. I felt like he was gulping down my very soul with my jizz, and his eyes were slightly mad with his lust as he looked up at me, I saw with glazed eyes that he was staring at me, into me, and through me and I finished my climax and was left limp and unresisting.

King Carson stood up and his hands pulled my pants further down my body, they were stopped at my lower legs by my boots, but King Carson didn't care, he had me bare from waist to mid-calf and that was an oval of availability that he could and did slide into, he shoved between my legs with first his head, then his shoulders and arms, then he was holding my legs up against my chest, me lying back on his desk as much as I could (the pigeonholes above his writing area kept me from lying all the way back) and then he was shoving his cock at my ass.

My saliva had mostly dried on that organ, but some remained, and there had been the day's sweat in my buttocks, forming a fair amount of liquid there as well, and the two, combined with my ass' well-fucked experiences with the Salcedo brothers, made his insertion into my bowels uncomfortable but not painful. King's lust wouldn't brook with any delays anyhow, and at that moment, I didn't think to protest.

The hot dong drove into me and when it was fully buried in me, King Carson gave a groan of satisfaction. So did I. It felt so right inside me, this powerful man owning me by using me for his desire.

All trace of gentleness was gone, but in its place was something just as genuine and admirable, the unadorned passion of a man making love. His mouth was open, his handsome features twisted into the positions of joy, and he rocked as he thrust into me, deep and desperate, he was lost in his desire and his only thoughts were of releasing his pent-up passions along with his seed into my bowels.

The sounds in the room were of his breaths and grunts and my own moans, and the slapping sounds as he pounded my rump and his hips slammed into my buttocks. His open mouth closed into clenched teeth showing over his parted lips, and his eyes widened until the whites were prominent, then the pale skin of his cheeks flushed with blood and a long low groan slid out and he slammed his cock into me and held it and I felt the shaft pulsing as he shot his load into me. King Carson leaned over me and held onto me tightly as he continued to squirt into me and when it was done, he breathed huskily into my ear and then kissed me with a languid, tired motion that I returned to him with my own lips. King Carson's lovemaking did have that effect on me, of making me feel that I had given myself to a man worthy of the gift. I could forget in such moments that he was dangerous, that he had arranged for my friend's death along with who knew how many others, and in that moment, his offers of moving me in with him sounded like the most sensible thing I could do.

But the moment passed, as it had before and my third part of my brain scrambled to ally itself with my fear to make me ask myself, what the hell had I just done? I had to get out of here!

As always, King Carson was ignorant of this shift in my manner, and he said to me in that same husky voice as his breathing, "Please, Ben, I beg you! Don't keep pushing me away! I'll treat you right, I swear it! I swear it!"

"I know." I said. "And I'll think about it, honest I will. You're right, I only have two choices here. Either come to work with you or spend my money while I can. I'll think it over and you'll have my answer soon."

"Ah." King's acknowledgment of what I'd said was like the sound a disappointed kitten might make, a soft noise of the pained heart. "Yes, I guess you deserve time to think it all over."

"I will. I promise." I said.

We disentangled ourselves, an awkward and even hilarious bit of shuffling about and then we were pulling our clothes together again. I gave him a kiss before we opened the door, and we walked out with all proper deportment, but there were several pairs of knowing eyes on me as I walked back to the bar.

King followed me out and when I bellied up to the bar, he said, "How much Confederate money do you have, Ben?"

"Four thousand, nine hundred and eighty-seven dollars." I told him.

"Change it to scrip for him." he told Elo. And King Carson, who knew money far better than I, did the conversion with only the briefest mental hesitation. "That'll make...thirty-three dollars and change, give him thirty-five dollars in scrip."

"Yes, sir." Elo said.

I turned to look at King. "But you said.... Thank you." I said in lieu of anything more. He was breaking the law here, maybe, but I knew he could change the bookkeeping around to hide it easily. And if I did come work for him, that would make it that much easier.

Was I going to hire on to work for the man who had killed my first friend here in Lonely Rock, and set in motion the events that killed my uncle as well?

I didn't know. I did have to think about it. And with that, I turned over my Confederate money, accepted the scrip marked with King Carson's name and brand and walked out of the King's Palace saloon, a free man still, with King Carson's come dribbling out of my ass as I walked down the dusty street.

A free man? Yes, for now. But with only thirty-five King dollars in my pocket, how long was that going to last?

I had a lot of thinking to do.