markwildyr.com, Post #127
Here we go.
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INTERREGNUM, A Curt Huntinghawk Story, Part 1
Curt Huntinghawk woke to find Grover Whitedeer studying him across the pillow in the breaking dawn. Hawk greeted his best friend and lover, stretching lazily and stroking Grove’s bare chest fondly.
“I don’t wanna go, Hawk,” Grove said. “Tell me not to, and I won’t.”
“If you don’t, you might never see your mom again. I won’t be responsible for that.”
“I wouldn’t feel any more shitty about that than leaving you,” Grove observed, laying a hand on Hawk’s muscled shoulder before heaving himself out of bed. “It’s not like my family’s all that close. Yeah, I know, she’s my mom.”
Hawk shaved a three-day growth of almost non-existent stubble while Grove pissed and brushed his teeth. After that, they met in the shower. Today would be their last opportunity to make love for some time. Once Grove was on a plane headed east, neither knew when he’d return. He’d given up his apartment and took an indefinite leave of absence from the Rezagados Colorados yesterday after his brother’s call about his mother’s cancer. No one knew exactly what the future held or when it would arrive.
Grove leaned on his hands against the front of the shower while Hawk lathered his body. They paused to kiss before exchanging places. Once they were squeaky clean, they entwined themselves to deposit semen on one another’s bellies, Grove drew a ragged breath and whispered in Hawk’s ear.
“I know you, Curt Huntinghawk. Just like you know me. I-I don’t know how long I’ll be gone, and—”
“Hush, Grove. I’ll wait for you.”
“No you won’t. And I can’t promise anything in return. We’re both sexual animals. And once we discovered one another, the ladies don’t do it for us… at least not as a steady diet.”
He hugged Hawk closer. “So it’s okay. You can find somebody, just don’t forget me.”
Hawk stroked the back of his lover’s neck. “Never! And I’ll—”
“No you won’t. Not if I’m gone for long.”
“Okay, deal. For both of us. It’s okay to get with someone. But it won’t mean anything. Just a holding pattern for when you’re back. Same goes for you. Okay?”
“Deal. But—” Grove’s hands fondled Hawk’s buttocks. “—not there. That belongs to me.”
“You got it.”
“Damn, Hawk,” Grove whispered distractedly, “you’re so much man, how did we ever get together?”
“Slowly and carefully,” Hawk said with a smile, recalling the long, painful process.
Hawk suffered on his lonely trip back home. He ran a gamut of emotions, surprised to discover that anger was among them. He was angry at fate for imposing this obligation, with Grove because he was flying away in a big silver bird, with himself because he should have insisted they wait for one another instead of agreeing each was free to find relief with someone else.
The next day when he reported to work, Amadeo Tomé, his boss at the Red Rezes, assigned him a new partner.
“Hawk, be reasonable,” the man argued when Hawk bucked. “I shoulda broke you and Grove up a long time ago. You’re two of the best I’ve got, and you oughta train the new men. Besides, you know I don’t like my men to work alone.”
“All right, but only till Grove comes back. We’ve got the best interdiction record in the outfit, and you don’t want to fuck with that.”
“We’ll see,” Amadeo hedged.
“Bullshit. Either Grove’s my partner, or I’ll find something else!”
Hawk—with a youngster in tow—left for the desert country south of them wondering if he’d revealed too much to Amadeo. The man was no fool, but loyalties ran deep among the men, especially long-time partners. He suddenly smiled, realizing that he didn’t really give a damn. Let him think whatever he wanted. The revelation was liberating.
“Come on, kid. You drive; I’ll keep an eye out,” he said to Robert Tanara, tossing him the keys to the four-by-four.
They cut three different sets of tracks and followed each on foot until they were certain of what they had, two small groups of illegal aliens and a team of drug mules. They reported the wanna-be-immigrants to INS by radio and set out cross-country at a steady trot after the mules.
Robert Tanara was from a neighborhood tribe but was taller and more slender than the locals due to outside blood, probably. He looked impossibly young even though Hawk knew he was twenty-one. Robert had been with the Rezagados about three months and followed a pretty faint trail, meaning he had a good eye for sign on rocky ground. Hawk thought of him as a kid, a boy, but Robert was a man. They caught the two drug runners as they neared civilization in the middle of the hot afternoon.
The smugglers tried to run, but the desert had taken its toll. The traficantes didn’t have the stamina to make it back to the truck, so Hawk used his hand-held to radio for help. Amadeo was pleased with the ten pounds of pure cocaine and hundred pounds of weed they recovered.
By the time they started back for headquarters, Hawk knew he had a devoted admirer in his new partner. Later as he left Amadeo’s office at headquarters, Hawk overheard the snatch end of a whispered conversation. Robert was singing his praises. Hawk said goodnight and headed home.
Grove called a week later. His mom had stabilized, but he was going to hang around until something happened, and nobody could tell him when that would be. Bitter disappointment ringed Hawk’s heart when Grove said he had a lead on a job. That meant Grove expected to be there awhile.
As soon as he hung up, Hawk headed for the Blue Mesa Bar and downed four beers without doing much breathing between bottles. Mindful that he had been at the edge of becoming an alcoholic when he was a teenager, Hawk started to nurse his bottle instead of draining it. He became a little more sociable, trading small talk with Sheila, the Pueblo girl he used to go to bed with fairly regularly. He ended up at a back table with a few of the Red Rezes, including his new partner, Robert Tanara. Before the evening was out, Hawk knew with absolute certainty that Robert would come home with him and do anything he asked. Not that the boy was queer, but he was into some heavy hero-worship that made Hawk uneasy enough to leave early. When the door opened behind him as he was crossing the parking lot, he knew without looking that Robert had followed.
“Hey, partner!” the young man called. “Wait up.”
Hawk turned, dismayed that the boy looked so handsome in the faint outdoor lighting. “Yeah?”
“It’s early,” Robert said uncertainly. “Thought you might want to grab a six-pack.” The young man laughed nervously. “Guess I’m still wired from this afternoon. It was my first interdiction,” he admitted ruefully.
Hawk eased up. “That can get the blood flowing, but there’ll be more.”
“Yeah, for sure with you as my partner.”
“Look, kid. I’m no different from any of the guys with some time under their belts. I joined the Rezes when I was your age. I can track and have some endurance. That’s all. No more; no less.”
“Yeah,” Robert said. “I understand. Sorry, I bothered you.”
Hawk relented. “I could use another beer. Meet me at the back wall.”
“You bet!” the youth said, suddenly beaming.
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Well, well, it didn’t take long for temptation to rear its head. What was it, a week? Next week, let’s see what happens.
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