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the silver fox

Chapter Two - THE PACK

Bright morning light edged around the window shade. Rick’s eyes opened slowly, his mind taking a moment to register his surroundings. Blank ceiling, beige walls, strange bed – motel room. A muffled snore brought his mind quickly into focus. Michael lay on his back, the sheet caught around his hips, the smooth flesh of his chest silky in the dim light. Rick’s eyes skimmed over the beautiful body beside him. They had slept together last night – literally. Michael had just snuggled up to him and fallen asleep. And it looked like he would sleep for a while yet.

Rick eased out of bed and padded to the bathroom, anxious not to disturb the younger man. As he waited for the water to run warm, Rick thought back to the night before. Mike had shown up at his door, nervous as a cat on hot bricks, but had actually jumped in the shower with him. He’d had enough balls to do that, Rick thought, even though he had obviously expected him to ‘freak’, as he had so eloquently phrased it. He hadn’t freaked; he’d been overwhelmed by him. As he showered, Rick wondered how Michael would react when he awoke.

He had showered and shaved before he heard noises in the other room. The door opened and a rumpled, sleepy, morning stubbly, downright gorgeous vision peered at him.

“Mornin’,” the vision muttered, yawning hugely. Rick grinned in response.

“Good morning,” he said loudly, enjoying the resultant wince. Michael turned on the shower and said grumpily,

“Do you have to be so fuckin’ cheerful ?” Not a morning person, then, Rick noted with glee.

“Coffee?” he asked, reducing the volume considerably.

“Wha -?” Mike’s wet head appeared around the curtain.

“Would you like some coffee?” Rick enunciated carefully. His reward was a huge smile, which made his stomach flip.

“Oh, yes please!”

Mike ducked back into the shower and Rick quickly dressed, then busied himself with the coffee makings provided by the motel. A few minutes later, Mike emerged, a towel slung round his hips, rubbing his wet hair. He was beautiful, Rick thought, just perfect. Long-limbed, smooth, satiny skin and those amazing sapphire eyes. He handed him a mug of coffee and sat in the armchair to drink his own. Mike sank bonelessly onto the bed and took a sip of the dark liquid. A look of horror appeared.

“You want sugar?” Rick asked, amused by his expression. “There’s no fresh milk but there’s that powdered creamer stuff.”

“No, thank you,” Mike replied automatically. “Are you sure this is coffee?”

“Said so on the little packet,” Rick replied.

“Instant muck!” Mike said and went into the bathroom to dispose of the offensive brew. “I’ll take you out for breakfast,” he said, “where they have real coffee.” Rick continued to sip at his mug, unable to see the problem and waited while Mike dressed. As he waited, he pondered on Mike’s behaviour. He made no reference to the night before, showed no signs of his previous nervousness, was delightfully normal, in fact. Rick realised how relieved he felt. It was all going to be okay.

“C’mon, Rick,” Mike said impatiently. “I need coffee – now!”

They drove in Mike’s car to a little café, Mike sniffing appreciatively at the aroma of fresh-brewed java as they entered the premises. Two steaming mugs appeared before them without asking.

“Morning, Mike,” a cheerful voice greeted him “The usual? What’s your friend having?” The waitress smiled and waited.

“What’s your usual?” Rick asked.

“Fresh muffin and LOTS of coffee,” Mike grinned back.

“I need something a little more substantial,” Rick commented. “Seems I didn’t eat much last night.”

“Ham and eggs?” the waitress asked. “Waffles and maple syrup?”

“Yes,” Rick said eagerly, hearing his stomach growl. The waitress bustled away, leaving the two men looking at each other. Mike was sipping his coffee ecstatically, but his eyes were on Rick’s face.

“Sleep well?” Rick asked with a little smirk, and watched the blush heat Michael’s face.

“Um – yes, thanks,” he mumbled. “Guess I went out – “

“Like a light,” Rick finished for him. “Yep, you certainly did.” He was smiling as he spoke and Mike relaxed and grinned back.

“Too much excitement,” he said softly, so only Rick could hear. “How did your meeting go?”

“Pretty well, actually. John’s an old friend and suggested a business proposal that I might well be interested in. I’m meeting with him and his lawyer later this morning. You teaching today?”

“Just this morning. I’m free after lunch and TGIF!” They looked at each other for a moment, then both spoke at once.
“Would you like -?”

“How about - ?” They stopped and laughed a little self-consciously. Rick waited and Mike finally said,

“Do you want to get together later?” Rick nodded.

“Great minds and all that,” he said. “I should be through by two at the latest.”

“Perhaps we could grab a bite to eat?”

“Yeah, that would be good. Where do you suggest?” Michael thought about it, then smiled as inspiration hit.

“There’s a little hotel about five miles west of town; it’s supposed to have a really good restaurant. It has a ridiculous name, The Viennese Chalet, or something like that. I’ve never actually been there but I’ve heard the food is excellent.”

“Sounds good. How do I find it?” Mike gave Rick directions and they agreed to meet at two-thirty.

Their food arrived and they ate at a leisurely pace, Rick watching in astonishment at the level of Mike’s coffee consumption.

“Serious caffeine addict,” Mike said ruefully. “I am not even civil until I’ve had at least three cups.”

“Oh, you’ve been perfectly civil,” Rick riposted.

“Yeah, but I’m on my best behaviour right now! Didn’t want to put you off with my normal ‘Mr. Grumpy, will only snarl until sufficiently caffeinated’ routine.” Rick laughed.

“I have been warned!”

* * * * * * * *

Mike dropped Rick back to the motel then rushed home to shave and change before heading in to college. Rick tried to concentrate on the paperwork for the meeting, but his mind kept wandering. He was looking forward to seeing Michael that afternoon but decided they needed to have a serious talk when they did get together. Things had moved very fast and Mike was behaving as if nothing had happened, except for his slight confusion when he asked Rick to meet him again. Rick had never been inclined to one-night stands and he had to wonder if Michael was just passing the time with a stranger or whether there was more to it. He didn’t get the feeling Michael bed-hopped, but he hardly knew him.

Rick had to leave on the Sunday, that was a given, but he wanted to find out more about Mike. He was very attracted to him, but he knew that didn’t mean a great deal, just hormones raging. Rick had been alone for a long time, his last serious relationship ending when his partner transferred overseas. There hadn’t been anyone since, not until Mike insinuated himself into his shower, his bed and his head. They definitely needed to talk before this went any further.

Mike drove home, shaved and changed and headed to work on automatic pilot. His thoughts were entirely of Rick. He was stunned by his own forwardness, unable to believe that Rick had not thrown him out last night. And then to fall asleep! But Rick hadn’t said a word this morning, behaving as if nothing untoward had happened. He didn’t think Rick was into casual sex. He seemed far too self-contained for that, but he didn’t really know him. Perhaps they could have a proper talk over lunch, or later.

He really hoped there would be a later. He wanted to know all about Rick; needed to know if there was anyone in his life, anyone special. He had had a couple of fairly long-lasting relationships, one in college and one that lasted two years at his last teaching post. But that had been over three years ago and there had been nobody since. Oh, he’d had offers, but had never been sufficiently interested. He felt comfortable with Rick, even though they hardly knew each other. There was a great deal to find out, a great deal to reveal. He wanted this to be the start of something more than a one-night stand, not just a one off. They definitely needed to talk before this went any further.

* * * * * * * *

Michael arrived at the Tyrolean Chalet (well, he’d been almost right) before Rick, and was dismayed to find it was nothing like he had expected. The paintwork was shabby, the hotel obviously closed, and the restaurant looked more like a truck stop. It was nearly two-thirty and Rick must be well on his way. He was not going to be pleased when he saw the establishment Mike had recommended. He decided he had better check it out, it might just be okay inside.

He got out of his car and wandered across the car park, noting several motor bikes lined up at the side of the building. Oh, great - a biker bar! Rick was going to kill him! He pushed through the door and stopped to look around. The place was as seedy as he had feared, nothing more than a bar and a couple of tables. Several men in leathers were seated at the bar, most of them looking like wrestlers, and they all turned to look at him as he entered.

“Well, well, what have we here?” A small, rat-faced man slid off his stool and wandered over to Mike. The silence that fell was distinctly menacing. “Are you lost, pretty boy?”

“N-no,” Mike replied, cursing the stammer that surfaced when he was stressed. “I was supposed to be meeting a friend here,” he added, hoping the man would back off at the mention of someone meeting him.

“He’s looking for a friend, guys,” the man smirked. The men looked at each other, then at Mike. First one of the bikers stood up, then the others, slowly walking around Mike until he was completely surrounded. They were hunting as a pack now.

“Doesn’t look like your friend’s here,” the rat-faced one said. “Perhaps one of us would do instead?”

“No, th-that’s okay,” Mike said quickly. “I’ll just go outside and – “

“Oh, I don’t think so,” the man said, interrupting. “I don’t think you’re going anywhere just yet. Is your friend pretty like you? Nah, he couldn’t be, you’re the prettiest boy I’ve seen in a long time. In fact, I think I would like some of that cute ass of yours.”

Mike was seriously scared now. He was outnumbered and, although he could take care of himself normally, he knew this was going to get nasty. Trying to stay calm and not antagonise anyone, he turned towards the door, hoping to make a run for it. Two of the men stepped closer together, effectively blocking any escape route. Mike looked desperately at the barman for help, but he was studiously avoiding catching his eye. He tried to stay calm, deciding to be as passive as possible. Fighting would only make things worse.

As one, the men moved closer, the circle complete around Mike and the obvious leader of the pack. The rat-faced man smiled nastily.

“What’s the matter, don’t you like our company?” he sneered. “I bet I have just as much to offer as your boyfriend.” His hand grabbed his crotch in a grotesque gesture. “Wanna taste?”

Mike swallowed nervously and the man laughed. “Yeah, I can see that’s just what you want!” he said and put his hand on Mike’s arm. Mike swatted it away instinctively, and received a fist in his belly, which made him double over. Someone kicked him behind the knee and he fell down in front of his tormentor.

“Hold him, boys,” he commanded and Mike heard the truly obscene sound of a zipper being undone. Oh God, he was going to be forced to – he closed his eyes in panic, struggling against the two sets of hands pinioning him. The man laughed and moved closer. Mike was sweating, scared out of his mind, dreading what came next. He could smell the man as he came closer, a sickly scent of old sweat, beer and the musky smell of arousal. Nausea swept through him as he waited, terrified of the next move. He was dimly aware of the door opening.

“Party’s over guys!” a familiar voice called, closely followed by the double click sound of a rifle being readied. Mike opened his eyes to see Rick in the doorway, a hunting rifle trained on the rat. One of the men by the door made a move and Rick said quietly,

“I really wouldn’t.” His tone made even Mike’s blood freeze. The man ignored the warning and ended up in a heap, although Rick hardly seemed to move.

“Anyone else?” he demanded. The men drew back sullenly and Rick walked over to the man in front of Mike, the barrel of the rifle touching his throat.

“Let him go,” he commanded, still in that quiet, chilling tone. Mike was suddenly released and he fell forward, bracing himself on his arms, waiting for the nausea to pass.

“You okay?” Rick asked, his eyes never leaving the other man’s face. Mike scrambled to his feet, his hand automatically going to his bruised stomach. Rick caught the movement and his eyes narrowed.

“I’m fine,” Mike managed to say.

“Sure? Why don’t you go and wait for me by the truck?” His voice was deadly and rat-face paled visibly.

“I’m fine,” Mike said again. “Let’s just go.”

“I’d really like to do that,” Rick replied, “but first – “ With a quick movement, he reversed the rifle and struck the man hard in the stomach with the butt. He dropped to the floor, groaning.

“Anyone else touch you?” Rick demanded, his eyes sweeping over the others. No-one would meet his gaze and Mike hastily said,

“No, honestly. O-only him.”

“Okay. C’mon, we have better things to do than play nice with these vermin.” And, unbelievably, Rick turned his back on the bar and walked towards the door. None of the others moved and Michael hastened to follow him.

Once outside, Rick looked him over carefully.

“You okay to drive?” he asked.

“Yes, yes, I’m okay.”

“Just a feeling, but I think if we left either of our vehicles there wouldn’t be much left when we got back, so it would be better if you could take your car.” Mike managed a weak smile and said,

“I can drive, I’m just a little shaken, that’s all.” Rick studied him again and finally said,

“Okay, let’s go. Why don’t I follow you home?”

“Are you sure?” Mike stammered, amazed Rick still wanted to have anything to do with him.

“Yeah, I’m sure. Let’s go, Mike, I’ll be a lot happier once we’re outta here!”

Mike nodded his heartfelt agreement and set off for his house with Rick close behind. By the time he turned into his driveway, Mike was shaking with reaction. It had been a close shave; if Rick hadn’t arrived in the nick of time . . . His imagination froze at that point, too appalled to even think what might have happened. His hands gripped the steering wheel until his knuckles whitened and he felt his eyes fill with tears. He felt cold and nauseous, his bruised stomach aching. He leant forward and rested his forehead on his clenched hands, trying to take deep breaths. He was in shock, he realised, but that did not make him feel any better.

He jumped as his car door was opened, his body cringing automatically. He felt warm, capable hands on him and heard Rick’s voice with relief.

“Jesus, look at you!” he said. “Come on, let’s get you inside.” Mike let him help him out of the car, his unexpected gentleness the last straw and the tears began to flow soundlessly down his cheeks to drip off his chin. He handed Rick his keys and stood helplessly while the older man opened the door. Rick’s arm was firm around his waist and he guided him into the living room, making him lie on the couch. Efficiently, he eased him out of his jacket and bent to remove his shoes and socks, briskly rubbing his feet when he felt how cold they were. Mike could only lie there and shake, the tears still seeping from his eyes.

Rick shucked off his jacket and perched beside him. Gathering him into his arms, he held him close, his hands rubbing his back gently.

“It’s okay, it’s okay,” he crooned as if to a small child. “I’ve got you now, it’s okay, you’re safe.” He kept this up until Mike gradually relaxed and the shaking stopped. Rick pulled his head closer into the crook of his shoulder and dropped light kisses on his hair before tipping his chin up to look at his face. Blue eyes drowned in tears, that full lower lip trembling as he fought for control, his hair clinging damply to his forehead, Mike was the most beautiful sight Rick had ever seen and his heart failed.

“Better now?” he asked softly. Mike nodded but still did not speak. Rick moved away for a moment and grabbed a box of tissues from the end table. Gratefully, Mike mopped his face and blew his nose, sniffing dolefully. He managed a tremulous smile and laid his head back on Rick’s shoulder. They stayed like that for a while then Mike said,

“I don’t know what I would have done if you hadn’t come in just then.”

“Ssh, don’t think about it just now.”

“No, no I need to talk about it.”

“Okay – but first things first. Do you want to press charges?” Mike shuddered.

“Call the police, you mean? No, I know I should but I can’t face the questions, the scandal.”

“Alright, don’t worry about it. I can understand your feelings, although I could cheerfully murder the lot of them for what they almost did to you.” Rick’s voice cracked and Mike realised the strain he had also been under.

“You were fantastic!” he said and raised his head to kiss Rick softly on the lips. “The way you handled those pigs was unbelievable.”

“Well it was a good job I was driving my truck. I keep my hunting rifle locked in the cab, otherwise I’m not sure I’d have been able to deal with them.’” Mike chuckled.

“Oh you dealt with them, boy did you deal with them! You weren’t even scared – not like me.” Mike shuddered again and Rick tightened his embrace.

“You had every right to be scared,” he said. “I would have been in your situation.”

“But you just walked in and stopped them,” Mike said. “You handle yourself really, really well,” he added admiringly. “Where does that come from?” he asked curiously.


“Well, you scared them all shitless just by the way you looked and sounded,” Mike went on. “I still don’t know how you flattened that first guy. You must have had some kind of training. What are you – police? Military? What?”

“Ex-military, a long time ago. I’m just an ordinary businessman now.”

“Nothing ordinary about you,” Mike said and yawned. “Sorry.” Mike blushed. “I really don’t want to fall asleep on you again.”

Rick laughed.

“Actually, a short sleep would do you good,” he replied. “You’ve had a bad shock and you need to rest. Why don’t you take a nap? C’mon, get your clothes off and be comfortable.”

“I will if you will,” Mike said with a smile, glancing up through his eyelashes.

“Are you flirting with me?” Rick queried.

“Yeah, but seriously, will you stay with me – please?” Rick studied Mike for a few long moments, then rose to his feet.

“Where’s the bedroom?” he asked softly.

* * * * * * * *

It was getting dark when Mike regained consciousness. He was lying on his side with Rick spooned against his back, his right arm slung around his chest, his breathing even as he slept. Mike lay there enjoying the feel of the full body contact, the quiet strength of the man beside him filling him with awe. Gently, he lifted the hand resting on his chest and kissed the palm, then slowly licked each finger, sucking the tip of each one into his mouth.

Rick stirred at the touch, and Mike smiled as he felt Rick’s cock stiffen and twitch against his ass. He continued to explore Rick’s hand, moving his lips to the pulse point at the wrist, suckling the delicate skin. Rick’ s grip tightened and his voice sounded softly behind him.

“You’re awake then,” Rick said. “Feeling better?”

“Much better, thanks. How about you?” Rick chuckled, his breath tickling Mike’s ear. He shifted his hips and Rick’s cock twitched again.

“I won’t fall asleep again,” Mike said softly. “Promise.”

“What do you want?” Rick asked huskily. Mike turned to face him and looked deep into his eyes.

“I want to make love,” he said. He watched those eyes darken with lust and Rick pulled him into a deep kiss, his tongue exploring Mike’s mouth. Then he pulled back and looked at Mike.

“ I want to, Mike, very much. But I think we should talk first.” Mike sighed and felt his excitement ebb, his erection deflating at the serious tone. But he knew Rick was right.

“I know what we need to talk about,” he said. “I’d rather just make love, but you’re right. Um - I’m clean, always have been. I have never been into casual sex or one night stands. I know I came on to you last night, but I just had a feeling . . . well, that it wasn’t casual?” His voice rose slightly, looking for some form of confirmation that his feelings were correct. Rick’s eyes softened as he nodded.

“I’ve only ever had long-term, monogamous relationships. I’m not in a relationship right now,” Mike continued. “I haven’t been with anyone since I moved here. Alex, my last partner, and I - we were together for two years. There was no way he could make the move with me here, no way I could stay with him, so we parted. We’re still friends, but we don’t communicate that much any longer. It’s been three years . . .” His voice trailed away and he looked at Rick.

“Same story,” Rick said softly. “Jonas and I were together for almost ten years and then he got the chance of a really good promotion, but it meant him going abroad. We still exchange Christmas cards, but that’s about it. He left me six years ago,” he added sadly.

“And John?”

“John? Oh, no, John’s just an old army buddy. Happily married, three great kids.”

“Anyone special at home?” Mike asked. “Wherever home is?”

“D.C. for the moment,” Rick replied, “and no, nobody special; nobody at all. I take it there’s nobody here . . .?”

“Hardly, or you wouldn’t be here!” Mike almost snapped, then said, “Sorry, that was a legitimate question. No, there’s been nobody since Alex.”

There was a slight pause and then Mike said,

“What did you mean, ‘for the moment’?” Rick smiled; the boy was quick.

“We-ell, if this project with John works out, I might be moving.”

“Here? You’re thinking of moving here?” Mike was breathless with excitement. Rick laughed.

“Yeah – what d’ya think?”

“I think that would be . . .” Mike broke off and, rolling over on top of him, kissed Rick passionately, so hard that he knocked the breath out of his lungs.

“Mmmph – I take it you like the idea?”

“Oh, yes, oh Rick . . .” Mike’s hands came up to cup his face and he peppered kisses all over it, then slowed down and found his mouth again. He didn’t linger, but slid his lips down Rick’s throat, lapping at the hollow of his collar-bone and trailing a line down his chest. He lingered over his right nipple, suckling and nipping at the hardening point before transferring to the left one. Rick’s hands were stroking his back, sliding gently down his spine to cup the cheeks of his ass as he pulled him hard against him, effectively halting his downward progress.

Mike looked up at him questioningly, disappointment showing in his expression. Rick pulled him back into the hollow of his shoulder, his hands caressing the smooth back.

“What’s the problem?” Mike asked quietly, frowning slightly.

“No problem, I just think it might be a little soon for you. You had a bad fright, remember?” Mike was overwhelmed at his consideration although he hadn’t thought again about what had happened until then. But Rick was right, he might well have panicked. Rick watched the emotions flitting over Michael’s face – he’d never make a good poker player.

“However,” Rick said, “there’s no reason why I shouldn’t.”

With a powerful thrust, he flipped them over so he lay on top of Mike. He kissed him lightly, then started a downward progression of his own. Mike’s cock hardened again and he rubbed himself against Rick, giving himself up to the delicious feelings produced by Rick’s mouth and hands. He yelled as Rick took him into his mouth, his hands carding through the sleek silver hair. Rick licked and nibbled, his tongue travelling the length of him before he once again swallowed him, sucking hard.

Mike resisted the urge to thrust deeply, trying for some control, but that incredible mouth – the lips, the tongue – were driving him over the edge. They settled into a rhythm, Rick’s mouth relaxing as he thrust slowly in, sucking as he moved back. He couldn’t last long like this

“Rick,” he moaned, feeling himself near the edge, wanting to warn him. Rick’s hands pulled him closer and he sucked him harder until he cried out and spilled into his waiting mouth. Rick swallowed and kept him there, waiting for the aftershocks to quieten, then licked him clean before sliding back up to capture his mouth.

“Oh – my – God,” Mike groaned, flopping back onto the pillows. They lay together for a few minutes, then Mike moved restlessly in his arms.

“Make love to me,” he said softly. “Please – I want you inside me.”

“Are you sure?” At Mike’s quick nod, Rick smiled.

“Eager beaver,” he teased. “Where do you keep your stuff?” Following Mike’s gaze, he looked in the nightstand and found the lube. His questioning gaze made Mike blush.

“A guy can hope,” he said and Rick grinned.

“True,” he commented. “Condoms?” Mike shook his head and said softly,

“You just saved my life – I really think I can trust you!”

Rick raised a questioning eyebrow, then slicked his fingers and stroked between the cheeks of Mike’s ass, softly rubbing the delicate perineum, eliciting a throaty groan. Gently, his fingers traced up the crease, teasing the puckered entrance. He slipped one finger in up to the knuckle and Mike groaned again. He waited motionless until he felt the muscular ring relax, then probed a little further, feeling the velvety heat gripping him.

Working slowly, he gradually prepared Mike, one finger at a time, moving and scissoring until he was totally relaxed and receptive.

“Rick, please – “ Mike moaned. “I want you – now!” He moaned again as the fingers withdrew slowly and sighed impatiently while Rick carefully coated his cock with lube. He settled between Mike’s legs, raising them onto his shoulders, the head of his cock nudging at the entrance. Slowly he breached him, hearing the little gasping breath, waiting for him to adjust and accept him.

With slow, gentle thrusts into the silken heat, Rick gradually entered until he was buried in the younger man’s body. They lay still again, giving Mike time, Rick leaning over carefully to capture his mouth. After a moment, Mike moved, pushing down, opening to his lover. Withdrawing gently, Rick glided slowly back in, watching Mike arch his neck and gasp with pleasure. Slowly thrusting in and out, Rick watched Mike’s face as he luxuriated in the velvety heat gripping him so tightly. Gradually they settled into a rhythm, Rick using all of his formidable control to prevent himself from thrusting too hard, too fast.

Rick shifted his hips slightly, altering the angle of thrust, and Mike yelled his pleasure as he found his prostate. Each thrust after that was right on target and Mike was rapidly losing it. His cock had hardened again and he sought the friction of Rick’s body as Rick’s rhythm faltered as he neared climax.

“Ohgod, ohmygod . . .” he panted, “gonna come . . .”

Mike’s hand closed over his cock and he jerked it hard and fast, wanting to come with his lover. He wasn’t going to last long, not a second time, and soon he cried out, his semen spurting over his hand and Rick’s chest. The anal contractions drove Rick over the edge. His head arched back, exposing his powerful throat, and he yelled as he came, spilling himself into that incredible tight, clinging heat, before collapsing onto Mike’s chest, gasping for breath.

He lay inert for several minutes, then carefully withdrew. Mike groaned at the feeling of separation and Rick immediately pulled him close, one leg over his thigh, his arms around his shoulders, their sweat-soaked bodies plastered together. The characteristic kiss dropped on the top of his head.

“You okay?”

“More than okay.” Mike buried his face in the broad shoulder. “Thank you, Rick.” Rick’s fingers tilted his chin so he could look into those blue, blue eyes.

“What was that for?”

“For everything - for being there for me, for s-saving me, oh, you know, for being you.” Rick smiled and let Mike’s head drop back down into his favourite spot on the curve of his shoulder.

“Yeah, I’m me alright,” he said. He paused for a moment then said carefully, “You think we might just make it as an us?”

“Wow!” Mike murmured. “ I think that would be great - like to try anyway.” Rick grinned happily at that.

“Well, we need to figure out some stuff,” Rick started, then realised any serious discussion would have to wait, he’d lost his audience. The gentle snore informed him that Mike had fallen asleep - again.

To be continued . . .

© j.d.davis 2003