||[Dec. 1st, 2006|01:36 pm]
|||||Just out of reach of my open arms... Patsy Cline||]|
Ed and Hank, part 17, early Friday morning
Ed in a bed
(Now don't go gettin' yer hopes up...)
Note: Sorry for the amount of time between chapters. The speed of Hank’s writing is directly and inversely related to the speed of RL. Disclaimer: Somewhere, somehow, Hank told Annie Proulx their story. Jack and Ennis belong to Annie Proulx. Ed and Hank belong only to each other. Still losing money. Feedback: Always appreciated.
Part 17 is here:
Everything else is here:
Ed had been haunting Hank’s dreams for years. Now he was haunting Hank’s house too. Ever since that week in January that they had spent together at Hank’s folk’s place. Hank would walk past the kitchen and see Ed sitting at the table, laughing. Or Ed bent over with his head stuck clear into the fridge, trying to decide what to eat next. Ed digging into a piece of pie like it was the last piece of pie on earth. Ed pinning Hank against the fridge while their toast burned and their eggs got cold. Ed sprawled out across the couch, snoring loudly. Ed laughing at something Hank had said. Or at some stupid television show. Ed crouched in front of that hearth building a fire. Ed being tackled by Hank in front of that fire he just built. Ed was everywhere in that house. And, of course, Ed was in that bed.
Hank’s ma had caught Hank once. Standing in the doorway of that guest room, leaning against the doorjamb, staring at that bed. Seeing Ed.
Hank had mumbled something unintelligible and stumbled down the stairs and out the front door, plopping down onto the porch steps. Ed was out there too. Telling Hank that he loved his dumb ass. Over and over again. Ed was in that yard. And Ed was in that barn. Seemed like there was no escaping Ed. Not that Hank wanted to. In some ways it made the weeks between easier. But it made them so much harder too.
Hank’s ma hadn’t said anything. But that night, as he walked up the stairs to clean up and change clothes, she had called to him, “Washed all the sheets today, but ya won’t find yer bed made. Made up the bed in the guestroom for ya. Seemed kinda silly ta keep it fer guests we don’ hardly get no more. It bein’ bigger’n yer room ‘n all. Thought ya migh’ wanna move yer clothes inta it tonight or tomorrow.”
Hank had stopped on the stairs and looked at his ma and then at his pa. His ma had turned her attention back to the sock she was darning. And his pa didn’t give any sign that he had heard, hadn’t looked away from the television.
Then Hank’s ma looked up briefly, sounding a little uncertain, “’Course ya don’ hafta if’n ya don’ wanna. Ya can make up yer own bed if ya want. Stay in yer own room.”
“No.” Hank had said quickly then, “Tha’s fine with me. Bigger room’d be nice. I’ll move ma stuff now. Not much to move.” Later that night, Hank had crawled gratefully into that bed, pulling up that quilt and dreaming of Ed.
But as the weeks went by Ed’s presence in that house slowly faded. It became harder and harder for Hank to conjure up Ed.
Maybe it was because Hank was preoccupied with the ranch. Worried about making ends meet. When Hank had become more involved in the business-side of running his folk’s ranch, he realized that Ed’s lie to his co-workers about having a friend whose ranch was in trouble wasn’t so far from the truth. Hank really could have used Ed’s help. He just didn’t know how to ask. Besides, he couldn’t bring himself to cut into their already limited time together. But when Ed had come for that week in January he had seen for himself that Hank needed help. Ed hadn’t said anything at the time. But the next time they met, Ed had suggested maybe he could help.
It had been on their last day again, while saying good-bye again. Ed, sitting in his truck, had turned to Hank and said, “Seems like ya could use some help. On yer pa’s ranch. I could help ya out… Tha' is if’n ya want…”
Hank took a deep breath, then let it out slowly, “Don’ like ta admit it. But seems like I take one step forward ‘n ten back with tha’ place. My pa’s health ain’t too good. Try ta get him ta a doctor ‘n he won’ go. Cain't hardly afford ta hire hands durin' calfin' 'n fer when we got ta move them cattle.” Hank hesitated then, “Sure could use yer help, Ed. Sure don’ wanna give this up though,” Hank nodded his head towards the mountains looming over them, not meaning the mountains at all, “But don’ know how much longer I can keep takin’ off like this withou’ tha’ place goin’ under.”
“Tha’s settled then. Next time I get off I’ll come ‘n help ya out.” It was Ed’s turn to hesitate, “Uh… Wha’ ‘bout the… Uh… Where would I… We…?”
Hank smiled. He was tempted to pretend ignorance as to the exact meaning of Ed’s attempt at a question, but was so glad for Ed’s offer to help that he let him off the hook, “Dunno ‘xactly. We’ll work somethin’ out. Know I couldn’ never see ya withou’…”
Ed was suddenly nervous, “Jus’ don’ wanna … Shit… What if yer folks figure it out?” Ed looked down at his hands on the steering wheel, “Jus’ tha’… y’know… Jus’ seems like… like... ain’t no reins on me when ‘m ‘round ya…”
Hank’s heart, always breaking when Ed was leaving, broke a little more at Ed’s words. And at the helpless look on Ed’s face as he was staring down at that steering wheel, “Feel the same Ed. Ain’t no reins on this ‘un.” Hank reached into the cab of the truck and gently touched the side of Ed’s face, “Don’ worry ‘bout tha’ Ed. It’ll be okay. ‘Sides, think my ma knows alre..”
“Yer ma knows…?!? Shit.”
“Woman ain’t stupid. ‘Sides she don’ seem ta mind.” Hank hadn’t told Ed about that quilt and still wasn’t about to now, thought that might really spook him, “Jus’ lookit all tha’ food she cooked fer us.”
“Yeah… Yer ma makes real good pie.” Ed raised his head then and stared off longingly into the distance, clearly distracted for a moment by the thought of that pie. Iris. Hank. Pie. Hank smiled. He knew that’s what the pecking order was. At least he hoped he still held second place, after all, his ma made real good pies.
“‘N if’n ma dad figures it out ain’t like he’s gonna tell no one.”
“But… still… his ranch… won’ he…not wan’ me ‘round?”
“Nah. He ain’t stupid neither. Knows we need the help. ‘N sides, the man suffers from what they call self-induced blindness ‘n deafness. Only sees ‘n hears wha’ he wants ta.” Hank laughed at his own joke, “In ma family if’n ya cain’t change somethin’ ya jus’ ignore it. Man ain’t gonna talk yer ear off. Hell, he don’ talk nobody’s ear off. But don’ think he’s gonna do nothin’ ta make ya feel unwelcome.”
“Guess it cain’t hurt ta give it a try. Once at least. Jus’ see how it goes.”
And so Hank made an honest man out of Ed. Well, at least in one respect. Now Ed really did spend those weeks helping out a friend whose ranch was in trouble.
Hank didn’t want to make his ma figure out the sleeping arrangements, so a week before Ed was due to arrive he told her he’d move what clothes he’d be needing back into his old room so that Ed could have the guest room. Hank had ulterior motives though. He knew there was no way Ed would be willing to sneak past his folk’s bedroom door to join him. But Hank was perfectly willing to do whatever sneaking around might be required to get him into Ed’s bed. And that guest room had a bigger bed.
That didn’t work too well though. No problem sneaking into the room and crawling into bed with Ed. The problem was with that bed. And Ed. It was an old metal bed frame with the springs built right in. Real squeaky springs. Hank hadn’t even noticed it when he and Ed were alone in the house that first time.
Ed’s voice was a rough whisper in the dark, “Hank, cain’t do this. Yer folks ‘r righ’ down the hall. This damn bed’s squeakin’ louder than a elk in rut. ‘N sides, ya ain’t xactly quiet yerself when… you know…” Ed groaned then, his hands reaching out for Hank, “Whole damn day… Not bein’ able ta… Dammit…”
“S’gonna be okay, Ed. D’ya got the bedroll in yer truck?”
“C’mon then.” Hank got up grabbing Ed’s arm, pulling him out of that bed and towards the door.
Now it was the floorboards. Every single board seemed to creak loudly with each step they took. The stairs were even worse. Seemed like they were creaking loud enough to wake the dead. But somehow they made it out of the house, across the yard and, just barely, to Ed’s truck, gasping with laughter as they finally crawled into the back and closed the gate behind them.
Then everything was as it should be. And the gasping was of an entirely different nature. Until…
Suddenly, Hank stopped, “Wait a minute. Did ya say I sound like a elk in rut.”
“Damn... Hank… don’…don’ stop…”
Hank, biting his lip with the effort, moved just slightly then stopped again, “Take it back then.”
Ed groaned, “Didn’ mean you… Hank… Damn… Meant the bed… Dammit… I take it back… Ya sound more like… unnhhh… a... ornery... moose....”
Ed was trying to move against Hank, but Hank had him in a tight hold, moaning with the effort, now laughing at the same time, “Do not.”
“Do not…” Hank moaned again, unable to resist moving any longer.
“Do so…” Ed groaned.
“Do not…Mmmphh… ”
“Damn… UuffhuuffhuuffhUuffhnh… Hank…”
“Ed… Ed… OohngodOohnnhUnnhh…”
Ed was laughing then, “See. Ya do so.”
“Shit. Never heard a ornery moose before. Guess tha' migh' be wha' one sounds like though. Damn. Never do tha’ again.”
“Don’ make no threats ya cain’t keep.” Ed, still laughing, pulled Hank close, “Love…” Ed stopped laughing, “Uh… tha’ stupid noise ya make.”
Hank's heart stopped. Ed had been about to say it. Again. Without yelling it this time. But Hank didn't want to wreck the evening, and maybe the whole week, by trying to make Ed finish what he had started to say. It was enough that he had started to say it. Hell, it was enough for Hank just to hear Ed let loose a little and make fun of him for sounding like a moose, "S'okay, dumbass. Love... uh... tha' stupid noise you make too."
“Don’ make no stupid noise.”
“Sure as hell do. Sounds like… kinda like a buffalo… stuck up to his knees in the mud finally gettin’ himself free after hours a tryin’.”
“Oh tha’ noise.”
“Yeah. Tha’ noise.”
“Didn’ know ya didn’ like tha’ noise.”
“Do like it. Tha’s wha’ I jus’ said.”
“What’re we arguin’ ‘bout then?”
“Ain’t arguin’ ‘bout nothin’” Hank laughed.
“Then maybe we should get some sleep. Gonna be a long day tomorrow.”
“Sleep? Ta hell with sleep. Jus’ warmin’ up here. We got all them weeks in between ta sleep.”
“Now that I cain’t argue with... Yer smarter than ya look, dumbass.”
Hank opened his mouth to protest, but he never got the chance.
Ed and Hank fine-tuned their sleeping arrangements as the week went on. First they got a wind-up alarm clock to keep in the truck. Never needed that before. They started out each going to bed separately then leaving their rooms at different times and meeting at Ed’s truck, which Ed had now started parking behind the barn. They figured out which spots on the floor and which stairs were the creakiest, third down from the top and second up from the bottom, and skipped over those. Then they realized that there was really no sense in both of them going upstairs to bed at all. Hank would go up and mess up each bed then come back downstairs and they’d go to the truck together. Started bringing the next day’s clothes with them too, so if Hank’s folks were awake when they got to the house in the morning it would just seem like they’d already been out working for a while.
Finally stopped messing up the beds. Just had to go upstairs in the morning and make them again. Besides, Hank knew his ma wouldn’t care and his pa would never notice. Or if his pa did notice he’d pretend he didn’t. Leaving the house at all was mostly on account of Hank’s pa. But Hank really didn’t want his ma hearing that ornery moose calling and that recently unstuck buffalo grunting either.
The first week had been somewhat awkward. First time Ed and Hank had to be around anyone else. For any length of time anyway. And Hank’s folks seemed a little uncomfortable too. Not that you could tell really. It was just a feeling Hank had in his gut. But then, after a few days, everyone seemed to relax and settle into a new and only slightly adjusted routine.
But there was something else to adjust to. Up until now, despite the longing of the weeks between, when Ed and Hank were together they could scratch that itch whenever the urge overtook them. But now, living and working alongside Hank’s folks, that was no longer possible. Hank didn’t realize how difficult it would be until he saw Ed pull up.
Hank had quickly introduced Ed to his parents, surprised to find his legs shaking as he fought the urge to wrap Ed in his arms. Hank said he’d show Ed up to the guest room, grabbing Ed’s arm and dragging him up those stairs, taking them two at a time. Once in the guest room, Hank had quietly closed the door and turned, only to find himself held fast in Ed’s arms. Ed kissing Hank hard, Hank not having time to settle into the kiss before Ed released him, “Hank… we cain’t do this now. Yer folks ‘r right downstairs”
“I know. dammit. Ain’t like I don’ know tha’.” Hank pulled Ed back towards him, “Jus’… c’mere… jus’ fer a minute... Jus’ wanna…” Hank’s mouth closed over Ed’s. Ed resisted for a second, then hungrily returned Hank’s kiss, only to break away again moments later, nuzzling Hank’s face with his own before turning away, “Gotta get back down there…”
It was hard. Real hard. Having Ed within arms reach all day and not being able to reach out and pull Ed into his arms. The anticipation was almost painful. And Hank loved every minute of it. Every now and then Hank would slowly stretch out his sore muscles as he groaned loudly, all for Ed's benefit. Every now and then Hank would find a reason to bend over, solely for Ed's benefit. And every now and then, when Hank got real hot and sweaty, he'd slowly strip down to that sleeveless t-shirt, making damn sure he was standing in front of Ed when he did.
Hank knew Ed did his level best to ignore him. But Hank would see that red caste creeping up Ed’s neck and across his cheeks and that was all the encouragement he needed. And, every now and then, Ed rewarded Hank’s efforts with a long look that practically seared Hank as it traveled from Hank’s head down to his toes and back again. Making Hank’s knees weak. Making his heart thump.
And at night, when they could finally be together… alone together… what Hank had thought could never get better, got better... and better... and better...
That week went well. Real well. And the next visit went real well. Better than Hank ever expected. It was going to be a lot more difficult in the colder months, with that warm old house just yards away. But for those first two visits it worked out just fine. And during January, Ed and Hank would have the house to themselves again when Hank’s folks went to visit his aunt and uncle and grandma. Hand’s down Hank’s favorite week of the year.
Then, on one otherwise unremarkable day, Hank’s uncle pulled up towing a travel trailer. The story was, since Hank’s aunt and uncle weren’t using it right now, what with Hank’s grandma living with them, they needed a place to store it until maybe they could use it again sometime in the future. Hank wasn’t sure if he completely believed that story. Suspected his ma might have had a hand in this, but never really knew for sure.
Once that trailer was on the property, well, then Hank’s ma told Ed and Hank that they might as well use it, “You young fellas might wanna stay up late. Watch some TV or listen ta music withou’ worryin’ ‘bout disturbin’ us old folks.”
They still spent the evenings with Hank’s folks. Usually they’d just watch some television together, hardly talking, occasionally laughing at something on the small black and white set. Luckily Hank’s folks went to bed awful early. Leaving the best part of the evening for Ed and Hank. And after the first few nights in that trailer, Hank didn’t even pretend to go back into the house at night anymore.
Hank was in a place as close to heaven as he thought he'd ever reach. For at least a few weeks every year they had their own place, small as it might be. They had heat and a bed and electricity and a bed and a small fridge and a bed and an old TV and a bed. And… cinder blocks. ‘Cause of that bed.
After that first night, when for a while they were both convinced that trailer was going to bounce off down the driveway, they scavenged some cinder blocks from the town dump so they could get that trailer up off its wheels and onto something more solid. Told Hank’s folks they’d heard the tires would last longer that way. Might have even been the truth. Then, as soon as it was warm enough, Hank ran a water line to the trailer. They had practically all the comforts of home. And for Hank, the most important ones: Ed and a bed and a roof over their heads.
That trailer had one more thing. A closet. And try as he might to talk himself out of it, Hank just couldn’t resist hanging that shirt in there. The one he had taken from Ed so long ago. Ed mainly just kept his clothes in an old knapsack, didn’t have any need to go into that closet, so it took him a couple of visits to even find that shirt hanging there. Told Hank about it when he did though, but as usual, not until they were saying good-bye again, Ed tucked safely in his truck, motor running, hanging onto that steering wheel for dear life.
Ed was staring straight ahead, not looking at Hank, “Tryin’ ta make me feel bad? Keepin’ tha’ shirt in there.”
Hank never quite got used to Ed’s last second questions and declarations. They still took him by surprise, “Nope. Jus’ need a place ta keep it so’s my ma won’t get her hands on it ‘n wash it. I like the dirt on it. Reminds me a tha’ summer.”
“Okay then. But I ain’t puttin’ mine… I mean… yers… in there with it.”
“Didn’ ask ya to.”
Hank was surprised again, he could tell that, despite trying hard not to show it, Ed was hurt by his answer.
“Do wan' it there Ed... Ya don' know how much... It jus' don’ belong there now. Not like this... Want it there when yer here on this ranch with me. Permanent-like.”
“Ain’t poss’ble, Hank. Jus’ ain’t poss’ble.” Ed gave him a look that broke Hank’s heart, yet again, then Ed shifted his truck into gear and drove off down the driveway.
"Love ya, dumbass." Hank had whispered as he sadly watched Ed's truck heading down the road.
“Well,” Hank had thought as he walked back into the house, “Ed hadn’t said ‘I cain’t’ this time. Was ‘Ain’t possible’ better than ‘I cain’t’?” Maybe not. But Hank had to believe it was. Had to, somehow, manage to convince himself that it was.
Ed and Hank still went camping when they could. Sometimes for a few days, when the work seemed caught up and they thought they could get away. But mostly they spent their time together working on the ranch. Hank didn’t really mind though. Having Ed at the ranch so regular-like. He hoped it would start planting some seeds in Ed’s head. Maybe some kind of magic seeds that would make Ed believe a life together was possible too. Make him see what Hank...
Beep, beep, beep, beep…
“Shit. It’s 6:00 already?” Hank turned and watched Ed reach for the alarm clock. Hank smiled, “Ed in a bed. Yep. All is right with the world.” Hank got up from his chair in front of the computer and walked over to the bed, then jumped on Ed.
“Ooffh! Tryin’ ta keep me from gettin’ outta bed?”
“Gotta do better than that then. C’mere.” Ed pulled Hank close and gave him a loud kiss, “Ya been up fer long?”
“Yeah. Since ‘bout four. Couldn’ sleep.”
“Hear physical labor can tire a body out good. Help ya sleep through the night.”
“Did ya say somethin’ there Ed? Didn’ quite catch it?”
Ed laughed, “Wha’ part ya up to?”
“Part when ya first started comin’ ta help out at the ranch regular-like.”
Ed snorted, “Ya sure as hell needed it. Couldn’ believe it when I first saw this place. Tell ya… Wouldn’ recognize it as the same place.”
“Tha’s fer damn sure.”
“D’ya remember how it was durin’ those years? Wantin’ each other so bad all the time. ‘N not bein’ able ta do anythin’ ‘bout it ‘til nightfall. Not even a friendly kiss or pat on the ass as we passed.”
“Yeah. Sure do.” Ed laughed, “Course there were them times yer folks‘d go ta town ‘n leave us alone. Think they figured out right quick weren’t such a good thing ta do ‘cause ain’t a lotta work ever got done then.”
“Said it before.” Hank smiled, “Gotta make hay while the sun shines.”
“Think that werent’ the kinda hay makin’ yer folks had in mind.”
“Remember one time yer pa caught me lookin’ at ya once. Didn’ even see him comin’ at me. Turned the corner ‘n there ya was, playin’ fetch with yer dog. T-shirt stuck ta ya. All sweaty ‘n greasy from workin’ on yer truck.” Ed gently ran his fingers down the side of Hank’s face, “Was one a them times lookin’ at ya blindsided me. Had ta grab on ta the fence jus’ ta hold ma self up.
Hank smiled, “So’s ma pa caught ya lustin’ after his boy.”
“Yeah... But tha’ weren’t it entirely. Jus’ wanted tha’ ta be our dog ‘n our truck, ‘n our yard… Okay, maybe not our truck... But, the rest. ‘N you. Jus’ wanted you. Wanted ta be with ya all the time.”
“Damn. Yer pa startled me but good. Think I musta turned ten shades a red, started stammerin’ ‘n all. Turned ta leave even.” Ed laughed, “Man jus’ acted like he hadn’ seen a thing. He grabbed m’ arm ‘n turned me back ‘round ‘n said ‘Appreciate all the help ya been givin’ us. Jus' wantcha ta know. Yer welcome here anytime.’ Then he jus’ turned and walked away.” Ed shook his head, “Sure as hell caught me by surprise. Think tha’s the most words he ever said ta me at one time.”
“Remember ya tellin’ me tha. Didn’ know he caught ya lookin’ at me like tha’ though. Ya never tol’ me tha’ part.”
“Not like I coulda said somethin' like tha' out loud back then. Not ta you. Not even ta ma self. Could barely even think it and then only when it caught me by surprise. ‘N maybe yer pa didn’ see nothin’ after all. Maybe I was better at hidin’ it than I thought”
Hank laughed, “No way. Know tha’ look a yers. Could stop a stampede. Nah… More like… turn rock inta molten lava. Maybe liquify steel… Or…”
“Okay, okay… I get the idea, Hank. Yer fault. Brought on by yer smolderin’ good looks.”
Hank grinned and kissed Ed, “‘N my pa mighta been the master a ignorin’ wha’ he didn’ wanna see. But think he saw it all the same.”
“Yeah. Could always tell when Iris was in love. Even if she weren’t sayin'. Still can. Ain’ easy ta miss. Even if ‘m tryin’ real hard not ta see it ‘cause I don’ like the fella.”
“Ya know… My pa said kinda the same thing ta me once. Was prob’bly ‘round the same time, ‘Preciate yer friend helpin’ us out. Glad ta have him here.’ Jus’ thought he meant ‘bout the work. Maybe he meant more. D’ya s’pose tha’ was ma pa’s way a tellin’ us it was okay with him? Us. Bein’ together. I mean.”
“Dunno, Hank. S’pose it coulda been. Hard ta tell with a fella like yer pa. Tell ya though, him sayin’ tha’ sure made me feel better ‘bout bein’ ‘round so much.”
Hank rubbed a couple of unexpected tears out of his eyes.
“Ya okay, Hank?”
“Yeah. Jus’ seems so stupid sometimes. Livin’ with ma folks fer so long ‘n never really gettin’ ta know ‘em. Woulda been nice ta know tha’ when he was alive. Tha’ he mighta been okay with us.”
“Think maybe a lot a families have trouble talkin’ ‘bout stuff like tha’. Don’ mean they don’ love ya. Care ‘bout ya. Least-wise best they can, maybe.”
“Yeah. Know yer righ’. Still...”
“Trouble is, yer ma weren’t much of a talker neither. Got some ‘xperience in tha’ area ma self. Need at least one talker ta get the other goin’. Even then. Right’ hard. Don' always work. ‘N bet even a lotta families tha’ talk a blue streak prob’bly never get ‘round ta sayin’ the stuff tha’ matters.”
“Sure woulda been nice ta hear it though.”
“Think ya should consider yerself lucky ya ever heard it from me. Wore me down but good. ‘Til I jus’ cain't stop sayin’ it.” Ed turned over and pinned Hank down, alternating kissing him with repeating over and over, “Love ya, dumbass... love ya, dumbass... love ya, dumbass... love ya, dumbass…”
Hank laughed as Ed kissed him, finally getting out, “Guess yer right ‘bout tha’. Shouldn’ be greedy. One miracle in ma life oughta be plenty. Love you too, dumbass.”
Their kisses changed slowly then. Each one having a little more purpose behind it than the one before until Ed moved his mouth down to concentrate on Hank’s neck.
“Kinda busy here, Hank.”
“D’ya ever miss it.”
“Ya know. Tha’ anticipatin’ part a it. Mood really strikes us here, whether we’re workin’ or not, we don’ usually have ta ignore it.”
Ed stopped what he was doing and looked at Hank, “Ain’t like we’re doin’ it like rabid rabbits here, Hank. Can work side by side withou’ havin’ ta jump on each other every two minutes.”
“Didn’ mean tha’. Meant like when ya really want to ‘n ya gotta put it off. Other people 'round 'r somethin'. ‘N yer thinkin’ ‘bout doin’ it all day. Makin’ it more excitin’ maybe. Like it was durin’ those weeks ya’d come ‘n work on the ranch when ma folks were still ‘round.”
“Remember ya ‘bout drove me crazy all the time. Watchin’ ya. Knew damn well what ya were doin’. Did ma best ta ignore ya.” Ed snorted, “Ain’t like tha’ were possible.”
“Ya miss tha’?”
“Dunno… Nah… We was a lot younger then. 'Sides, much rather be able ta satisfy ma every depraved desire minute it comes upon me. Or better yet. Satisfy yer every depraved desire. Whenever one should happen ta come upon ya. Or two… Hey, where’d we put tha’ ‘do unto’ list?”
“Dunno. Don’ need no list. Think I might be feelin’ one a them depraved desires comin’ on now.”
“Good. Whisper it in ma ear. Depraved desires ain’t no fun ‘lessen they’re secret.”
“Readers ain’t gonna like tha’.”
“Oughta be used ta stuff like tha’ from ya by now.”
“True ‘nough.” Ed bent his head so Hank could whisper in his ear.
“Yer wish is ma command. First we gotta kiss again, long ‘n proper-like.” Ed kissed Hank ‘til Hank was groaning for more, then Ed kissed Hank on the tip of his nose and got up and walked towards the bathroom.
“Hey… Where ya goin’?”
“Think I heard Bill downstairs. Cain’t do this if'n Bill’s in the house.”
“Bill ain’t never in the house this early. Not ‘less least one a us is awake 'n downstairs too.”
“Dunno. Think I definitely heard Bill down there. Worried he might hear us. Them moose 'n buffalo noises get pretty frightenin'. Could scar the poor man fer life ‘n all.” Ed tried, but couldn’t hide his grin, "Better go get some work done anyway.”
“What? Yer jus’ gonna leave me here?”
“Wha’ happened ta ‘yer wish is ma command? Didn’ even come close ta fulfillin’ it.”
“Jus’ be fulfillin’ tha’ wish a little later in the day. Prob’bly not ‘til this evenin’. Later this evenin’ even. Feel free ta think ‘bout wha’ ‘m gonna be doin’ ta ya though. Ya know, do some a tha’ there anticipatin’.” Ed let out a big groan as he stretched, oh-so-slowly, for Hank's benefit.
"Think yer scarin' Edthedog." Hank laughed and threw a pillow at Ed, hitting the door frame as Ed ducked into the bathroom, closing and locking the door behind him.
“'Sides, two can play at this game, Cowboy."
“Should hope so.” Ed called through the closed door, “Wouldn’ be near as much fun if'n I were jus’ playin’ with ma self.”