The continuing saga of three generations of ranching family. Below the story you’ll find links to other flash fictions.
Danny stood in line, waiting to be handed his diploma. After the lecture he got from his grandfather, no way was he going to pull a stunt. It would have been simple too. His sister would be an easy target. But he would also pay if he pulled anything on her. He knew from a ton of previous times, she would make the retribution lasting and painful.
“Hey. Earth to Dan.”
He glanced over and smiled at Rob. His boyfriend had been amazingly supportive for all the craziness over these final days of high school. With a familiar grin, Danny took him by the back of the neck and gave him a familiar squeeze. A few seconds later, he pulled the two together until their foreheads touched. He enjoyed the buzz of affection he got from Rob, but he decided he’d drew enough attention in their direction and dropped his head. He considered the other young man and decided they needed a change of topic.
“Did you talk to your parents about the summer job at Yellowstone?”
This time it was Rob’s turn to laugh. “Oh yeah, I brought it up. I’m pretty sure we have a new skylight where Dad shot through the roof.”
Danny squirmed at the idea he’d caused Rob problems with his family. They had been so supportive through the time they’d been dating. But, as he learned, everyone had their limits. Part of him wanted to let it go, but the rest of him wanted to know what happened.
Fatal curiosity won out. Danny could be the cat in this situation.
“So, what did he tell you?”
“He said the job I needed to focus on this summer was getting in the wheat harvest and then working a few hundred head of cattle. He also mentioned acts of God would play into the summer schedule too.” Rob paused and winked. “He said if I needed to rough it, we could pitch a tent in the west section. He seemed convinced a two-man pop-up tent would keep both of us out of trouble.”
Danny chuckled and batted his long lashes at Rob. “I have no idea of how that might work.”
Rob snorted and dropped his voice. “We should be able to visit the tent a few times a week. It might be cool to have a place that is kind of ours.”
“You might change your mind when some big ass June thunderstorm rolls over the top of us like a steamroller over asphalt.”
Rob chuckled and swatted Danny on the ass. “Stormy weather would be a good time to go home to wash clothes, or maybe go visit my boyfriend.”
Danny caught a glare from a fellow student and turned to confront the person. He hadn’t moved close enough to utter a single word before one of the teachers had a firm grip on his arm and guided him toward the front of the line. The only thing that kept Danny from coming unhinged was the sight of the other student being led in the opposite direction.
He refocused on where he was being taken. The teacher leading him away had a determined look on his face. Danny realized they had planned for something like this and his typical smart-ass remarks wouldn’t help.
He took a deep breath and let it out slowly before he spoke. “Mr. Wolfe, I haven’t done anything wrong. What’s going on?”
The teacher’s eyebrows lifted. “Do you want me to believe you weren’t about to get into a fight with Jeff Miller?”
Danny sighed. “He sounded like he was having trouble breathing. I thought he might need help with that problem.”
Mr. Wolfe chuckled and shook his head. “Commendable, but I’ll wait here with you until they call your name.”
Rob appeared at their side, looking concerned. “What’s wrong?”
“Mr. Wolfe seemed to think I was about to punch Miller.”
They both glanced back to find their classmate to see the stormy expression he wore. A slow smile appeared on Danny’s lips. He leaned close to give Rob a quick kiss and winked as Miller’s face turned scarlet.
The links listed below go directly to the individual stories.