Eagle Eye turned his two prisoners, Zed and Eric McCord, over to the US Marshall and collected the bounty for each man. The McCord gang had been running wild for some time, shooting up towns, robbing banks, and robbing miners of their gold. Zed and Eric were the ring leaders of the outlawed McCord gang. This gang, at one time, was considered one of the more disciplined working the Northwest. In their case, crime did pay. According to the newspaper reports, the gang accumulated a lot of money and paid their informers handsomely for information.
In the beginning, the public was sympathetic to the McCords, because they had a reputation of helping farmers and destitute families with money to save their farms, or to save their homes, like a modern-day Robin Hood. As their gang increased, the individual members wanted more, and like all outlaws, they became ruthless and greedy. They thought they would never get caught. When innocent people began being killed, the public sympathy turned against them. The public became outraged and the hardworking, law-abiding citizens demanded action. The newspapers took up the chant and demanded action. This in turn pressured the law enforcement agencies throughout the territory to round up the gang and bring them to justice.
The Governor requested the aid of the Federal Marshalls to track down the McCord gang and bring them in. Their concerted efforts paid off. The gang members were tracked down, were caught, and brought to trial. The McCord brothers were tried, found guilty of murder, and received the death penalty. Unfortunately, the two brothers, with the help of friends, escaped from jail and were on the loose again.
The Governor put a ten-thousand-dollar bounty on each of their heads. An extra five-thousand-dollar bonus if they were brought back alive. Three inept bounty hunters lost their lives in attempting to capture the brothers. Finally, one of the best bounty hunters in the territory decided to take on the job. His Indian name was Eagle Eye, his real name was Noah Holmes. He knew the territory like the back of his hand. Eagle Eye would only take on assignments of men who were involved in the killing of an Indian. Noah was only half Indian and he was an elder of his tribe. With the help of his tribe, Eagle Eye captured the McCords and turned them over to the Marshall.
The word of their capture became a big news event and it spread like wildfire. The brothers were being held in Denver and the Marshall hired extra men to make sure they didn't escape again. The McCords' lawyers filed an appeal to the State Supreme court for a retrial. This meant that the execution could not proceed until all the appeals had been heard. The local authorities were not too happy about this, because it would mean another six months of guarding the McCord brothers in a high security jail.
The Marshall asked Eagle Eye if he could stick around to help him keep an eye on the McCord's. But Eagle Eye declined. He said he would be back in Denver in early spring and would be happy to help him out at that time, providing the McCords were still around.
Eagle Eye was a fearless fighter and a skilled hunter. He was as proficient with firearms as he was with a bow or a knife. He had the stamina and stealth of an Indian and the strength of a bear. He stood well over six-foot four with muscles of steel and had a dark complexion with brown eyes and long black hair. He possessed the fine chiseled features of an aristocrat. Noah was a handsome, self-assured, college educated man. Quite a combination for a half-bred. Noah's mother was pure blooded Cherokee Indian, and his father was a Scotsman. He was raised in the Indians' ways and customs, until he earned his feather and became a brave. After that, his father sent him to an exclusive private boarding school in Boston. There he used his father’s name and was known as Noah Holmes. There he learned the ways of a gentleman. Noah was intelligent and excelled in school. He graduated first in his high school class and went on to Harvard. At Harvard he majored in Finance and Law. After receiving his bachelor’s degrees, he stayed on at Harvard and received a master’s in finance and his JD in Law.
After completing his studies at Harvard, Noah returned home to the family estate in Denver. Many years before, the Indians had given Noah's father Robert, thousands of acres of Indian land. The elder Holmes made good use of the land and built a magnificent manor home equal to the size and grandeur of any manor house in England. Noah’s mother had died during his last year in college. Noah loved his mother deeply and was shocked by her sudden death. His father was devastated by his wife's death and never recovered from her loss. They were so much in love that he withdrew within himself and lost the will to live. He died the following year from a stroke. Some say he died of a broken heart. Robert, Noah's father was simpatico with his Indian brothers. He admired their honest and simple ways and their love of the land and all creatures. He was honest and straightforward in his dealing with the Indians and never took advantage of them. They trusted him as well and welcomed him as a brother after he married one of their own. Robert Holmes was an honest businessman with above average ethics in all his business dealings. He made a reasonable profit and never gouged his customers as many other traders did, in those days. He treated the Indians with the same respect. He learned their customs and their language and gave them top prices for the goods they produced. He made it a point to encourage them to develop new products that his buyers were demanding. With the increased revenues from these new products, the Indians realized a greater return on their labors enabling the tribe to buy the things they needed to survive. Noah's father had discovered gold on the land the Indians had given him. Robert felt obligated to share this good fortune with the tribe.
His greatest concern was the fear that he and the Indians would be cheated if the truth were known. He knew that they didn't have the power to stop the unscrupulous men in high power that would cheat them out of their gold. He never trusted the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Robert felt they would do everything they could to either take control of the mines or turn it over to groups that would rob the Indians blind.
Robert made a secret pact with the tribe not to reveal the location of the gold deposits on their lands. The Chief and the elders of the tribe agreed. The Indians would help him mine the gold on Robert's
land and would divide the income in half. In those days it was a lot easier to trade in gold. People didn't trust paper money and dealt in silver or gold. Robert bought several parcels of land adjacent to the Indian lands. He had selected sites that had been prospected in the past but abandoned because of poor results. Then, they seeded several of the old digs with enough gold to make it worthwhile to open and work once again.
After Robert had established that the abandoned operations were producing a limited supply of gold once again, he began to sell the gold in small quantities through his many trading connections throughout the world. Naturally, as soon as the news was out, miners staked claims all around Robert's mine. After coming up empty handed most of the prospecting gave up and left. Robert continued mining small amounts of gold from the old mine for appearance sake. However, the main source of the gold was from his mine hidden on the reservation.
As the revenues began to grow, Robert wanted to legitimize the tribe’s operations by investing the monies received from the gold mining operations. He hired the best legal minds in the country to set up several corporations owned jointly by Robert and the Indian tribe. The lawyers set up dummy corporations and cutouts so that no one would be able to learn who controlled the corporations and where the money came from. Next, he hired an investment banker to help him to put together an investment portfolio. Within a few years their investments grew beyond their wildest dreams.
Noah never knew the exact extent of his family’s wealth until his mother died. When he returned home from college his father trained Noah in the operations of the business and gradually turned over the day-to-day operations to him. After his father died, Noah hired a competent staff of executives to help him run the vast financial operation that his father had headed up. Once his managers were in place Noah took short vacations to his beloved hills to renew his spirit. He reverted to the simple life he knew as a young Indian boy. Before setting out on his trip to the family lodge, he shipped seven crates of leather-bound books to his caretaker Lone Wolf. He also made sure that he had enough supplies and provisions to last him through the long winter. After setting up a communication system with his managers and the Chief he took off on his extended vacation.
Noah returned to Denver after the winter show had cleared the passes. Several months after his return, the Marshall had contacted him again. He told him that the McCord's lost all their appeals and were scheduled to be executed the following week. The Marshall said he needed him and his braves as backup in case the McCord's tried to break out of jail again.
Noah agreed to give him a hand. People from all over the territory began arriving in Denver to witness the hanging.
The hotels were filled, and the local merchants were doing a booming business. Residents were renting their spare rooms to strangers to cash in on the frenzy. Newspaper reporters from the big city papers were in town covering the event. It was quite a circus. The Marshall hired Eagle Eye and members of his tribe as deputies to back up his already expanded group of law enforcement police. The hanging went off without a hitch and the town returned to normal once again.
Several months had passed since the hangings. Noah had finished his meeting in town and was leaving through the main entrance of the Denver Hotel. As he stepped on to the sidewalk he was approached by a handsome young man in his early twenties. His face looked familiar, but he couldn’t place the man. He was about five foot ten, well built, blond curly hair. Noah had never seen such striking green eyes before. Noah though that this handsome young man seemed completely out of character dressed in the dirty worn out clothes he had on. He needed a shave and smelled like he had not taken a bath in weeks. He had an angry look in his eyes and a troubled expression on his face as he approached Noah. "Aren't you Noah Holmes, the man that captured the McCord brothers?"
"Yes, that's me," Noah said. “Why do you ask, mister?"
"I'm Adam McCord's, Eric and Zeb's brother. I wanted to meet you face to face, to let you know that you are going to pay for hunting them down. Be warned, I'm going to hunt you down and kill you Mr. Holmes."
"That's a serious threat to make to a Deputy Marshall, Mr. McCord. Your brothers were found guilty of murder and were hanged for their crime. They escaped before their sentence was carried out. My job was to find them and bring them back to jail. I can't stop you from trying to kill me, but I warn you, that I plan to file a complaint against you with the Marshall. If you bushwhack me, the Marshall will track you down and you'll end up at the end of rope the same as your brothers. You have your whole life ahead of you, McCord. I suggest you forget about this and head back home."
"Remember what I said, Holmes." Adam said as he walked past him and into the lobby of the Denver Hotel.
Noah headed to the Marshall's office and related his conversation with Adam McCord.
"I'll write this up and file it with the local Sheriff," the Marshall said. "I don't think anything will come of this. I think young McCord still feels bad about seeing his brothers hang. "I'll have a talk with the young hot head. What are your plans, Noah?"
"I'm heading back to the mountains for six months. I've been working my butt off and it's time for another vacation. Oh, one more thing, Marshall. I'm through with any bounty hunting jobs. I'm getting too busy for this kind of assignment. From now on I'll stick around home and run my business."
"I'm glad Noah, your time can be better spent on more important things than tracking down killers. You've been lucky up to now. I'd feel awful sad if one of these losers took a good man like you down. True, you're the best trackers around, but as a friend, I'm happy you are quitting this rat race while you're still in one piece."
"Thanks for the kind words, Marshall; so long for now, I'll be heading out at sunrise tomorrow morning." They shook hands and Noah headed to his home.
He had an early dinner and took a long leisurely bath and packed his saddle bags with the warm clothing he would need in the mountains. His butler had already packed his bags and the provisions that would be loaded on the two pack horses he would be taking along on the trip.
Noah was up at five the next morning. The cook prepared him a hearty breakfast and packed enough food for the six-day journey. Noah loaded his gear and provisions on the pack horses making sure the load was fastened securely for the long days ride. After finishing tying the last rope, he covered each load with a heavy canvas. Well satisfied with the job, he mounted his horse and rode out of the barn and steered the animals toward the trail through the reservation. He followed the old Indian trail that led up through the mountains. He knew the trail by heart, and little had changed since he was a young brave, hunting in these mountains.
Noah was in no hurry. He stopped frequently to rest the horses and walk along the trail to stretch his legs. He rechecked the pack horses to make sure the loads hadn't shifted. He had to dismount when they reached the narrow mountain pass. The horses had to walk through it in single file. He didn't want to be atop his mount if his horse stumbled and went flying down the mountain.
By the fourth day, the weather had turned colder, and the sun disappeared behind the dark gray clouds. They were the gray clouds of a winter sky. Patches of snow began to appear on the trails now. Noah knew that he was heading into a storm. He wasn't taking any chances that night. He decided to make camp early that afternoon in an old cave that he had used many times before. He unloaded the pack horses and let them graze while he cut down a bunch of small evergreen saplings to cover the mouth of the cave on the off chance that the weather turned ugly. He gathered a large pile of wood and built a fire in the cave.
The wind grew stronger and it turned much colder by late afternoon. A light snow began to fall and the wind gusted much stronger. Noah watered the horses and led them into the cave for the night. He filled the two canvas pails with water and carried them into the cave. After feeding and watering the horses he closed the cave opening with the saplings he had cut earlier. By the time he finished closing off the entrance, the snow was quite heavy. He prepared supper over the fire and unrolled his bedroll. He was tired and crawled into his bedroll and fell sound asleep.
He was awakened in the middle of the night by the hollowing wind outside the cave. He added another rope to secure the braces holding up the wall of saplings and crawled back into his bedroll. The horses sleep right on through. Everything inside the cave was cozy and warm. He threw a few more branches on the fire and fell asleep once again. When he awoke early the next morning, the wind had stopped, and all was quiet outside. He moved a few of the branches away from the entrance of the cave and saw that the mountain was covered with a blanket of snow. The air smelled fresh and everything looked clean. He threw a few more branches on the fire and filled a large pot with fresh snow. As the snow melted, he filled the canvas pails with snow and poured the warm water. After the snow melted, he watered the horses. He gave each horse a measure of oats and prepared his breakfast.
After breakfast he ventured outside and checked the area. He could see that the sun began to melt the snow. The ground was still somewhat warm, melting the snow. In another month, the ground would freeze, and the trail would be covered with several feet of snow until the spring thaw. Then, the only way through here would be dog sled, or by foot. He loaded up the horses and set out on the trail once again. He was making good progress. He stopped for lunch in an area that had not been covered with snow. He let the horses graze as he ate his lunch. Later that afternoon he camped in a stand of pine trees. There was still some grass for the horses to graze. Barring any more storms, they would be home in two days. The worst of the journey was over.
The next morning Noah was on the trail at first light. He noticed that the horses were a little skittish. He thought there may be a hungry mountain lion prowling in the area. He talked to them to keep calm. He stopped and checked his side arm and loaded his rifle, just in case. He was looking around for a spot to stop for lunch when he heard the rifle shot and felt a sharp pain in his left shoulder within a split second. He reacted quickly; he slid off his horse and crouched behind some boulders. The bullet only grazed his shoulder, and the wound began to bleed. He took off his bandana to cover the wound and applied pressure.
Judging from the angle of the bullet Noah guessed the shot came from somewhere below the ridge. From that angle, the gunman could not see him lying on the ground. He reached up and slipped his rifle and cartridge belt off his horse. Using the boulders for cover he climbed higher up the mountain. He kicked some rocks down the side and threw his hat down after them. Giving the appearance to anyone watching that he had tumbled down the mountain. That done, he carefully climbed higher up the trail without leaving any tracks. He selected a spot close to the trail where he could observe anyone heading up the trail. He scanned the terrain below him and spotted a loan rider weaving his way through the boulders and up towards the trail. Ten minutes later the gunman had made it to where Noah had fallen from his horse.
Noah recognized the rider as Adam McCord. McCord dismounted and searched the area for Noah. He expected to see a dead body lying on the ground. He acted scared and wasted no time in moving away from the area. He mounted his horse and took hold of the rains of Noah’s horses and began leading them up the trail. That was a very stupid mistake on his part. With both hands occupied, he couldn't reach for his gun. Noah waited until Adam passed the boulder, he was hiding behind. Noah hurled the stone at McCord hitting him in the back of the head. McCord dropped to the ground like a sack of potatoes. Noah drew his gun and walked over to McCord.
He was out cold; the rock left a nasty lump on his head which was bleeding. He handcuffed McCord and threw him sideways over the saddle, stomach down. After removing his boots and locked his ankles in leg irons, Noah tied a rope around his waist and secured him to the saddle so he wouldn't fall off.
Noah removed McCord's saddle bags and strapped them on one of the pack horses. He tied the rains to his own saddle and continued up the trail. Two hours later he found a small grazing area with a small stream running down the mountain. He stopped and watered the horses and let them graze. He loosened the saddles and checked on McCord. He was still out. He checked the lump on his head; it was the size of an egg. He led McCord's horse over to the stream and removed the bandana off McCord's neck and soaked it in the cold water from the stream. He placed it on the lump on McCord's head. Noah removed his own blood-soaked shirt and bandana and rinsed them in the stream. He washed the wound clean. He took a clean handkerchief from his pack dabbed it with some ointment and covered the shoulder wound.
With some effort he was able to put on a clean undershirt and a shirt.
He took his own shirt, soaked it in water and wrapped it around McCord’s head. He took the blanket roll off McCord's saddle and spread it on the ground. Then he grabbed McCord's saddle bags and emptied them out on the blanket to check the contents. There were a few shirts and a couple of pairs of worn out underwear, and a worn-out pair of jeans. He found a leather drawstring pouch that contained a small Bible and two photographs. One of his mother and father and another with twelve children that Noah assumed were Adam's brothers and sisters. He had no trouble picking out Adam. The children were an attractive lot. Adam's mother was a beautiful woman, with long blond hair and fine delicate features. He had a few clippings and several handbills of his two brothers. There were some silver coins and one five-dollar gold piece. Noah refilled the saddle bags and dropped in the ten five-dollar gold pieces he found earlier in Adam's boots. He closed the saddle bags and then scrounged in his own saddle bag for his lunch.
Not long after, Adam started to moan. Noah ignored him until he was fully awake. Noel figured he would start to complain soon enough.
"What the hell did you hit me with?" Adam asked.
"What difference does it make," Noah said. "You’re lucky I didn't kill you?"
"My head is killing me, can't at least let me sit up?" Adam asked.
Noah walked over to him and untied the ropes, "Okay, now slide down," Noah said.
Adam slid to his feet but was dizzy. He had to hold on to his horse to steady himself.
Noah made no attempt to help him. "I suggest you walk or crawl over to that stream and keep those cold rags on that lump on your head."
Adam was hurting, yet still defiant. He summoned up all his strength and walked toward the stream. As he bent forward to dip the shirt in the stream, he became dizzy and fell headfirst into the stream and passed out again. Noah walked over and turned him on his back and held his head just above the water. He smiled for the first time. Adam acted like a stubborn kid. It only took a few minutes for him to come around. He was shaking uncontrollably from the ice-cold water.
Noah grabbed the chain on his handcuffs and pulled him to his knees. Adam tried to talk but couldn't, his teeth were chattering so much. Noah untied his blankets from his saddle. He unlocked the leg irons and stripped him. He replaced the leg irons and cut the shirt off Adam. He dried him with a large towel and wrapped him in the blankets. He took the towel and dried his hair and face.
Adam was still shaking so Noel covered him with the second blanket and rubbed his back to get the circulation going again. He laid the wet clothes on the rocks to dry. Noah started a fire and made some herb tea. He took out the frying pan and cooked up grain bread with oil and spices. He half- filled a cup with the tea and handed it to Adam.
Noah said, "From now on you are going to act civil to me. I will not tolerate your surly manners. You can start by thanking me for not shooting your sorry ass back there today. I expect you to say please and thank you from now on. Do you understand?"
Adam nodded his head in agreement. "What are you going to do with me?"
"I haven't decided yet, but I have a pretty good idea," Noah said. "You tried to kill me back there and I have every right to kill you this minute. If I were to revert to my Indian ways, I'd stake you to the ground, like you are and let nature take its course. Alternatively, I could take you back to Denver and let the Marshall throw you in prison. Or I can keep you as my prisoner. But that will depend on your attitude. I'm certainly not going to hang on to any ungrateful, stupid man, or certainly one I can't trust. For the present, you are my prisoner and will remain in shackles. After we eat, we will continue our journey. This unfortunate delay has put me behind so be prepared for a long ride before we camp for the night."
They ate their lunch. Noah fed the horses and rechecked the pack horses. He rummaged through Adam's saddle bags for some clean clothes. "Where did you hide your underwear McCord?" Noah asked.
"The pair I was wearing was the last pair I own. The others turned to rags," Adam said. "That's okay, I don't need any underwear."
Noah shook his head and took a pair of long underwear and socks out of his saddle bags. Noah helped him dress and helped him back on his horse and adjusted the leg irons. He mounted his own horse and took hold of the reins and headed up the mountain. They rode four hours without taking a break. They were both sore from their wounds. Noah knew that Adam was hurting bad, but the young man never said a word. Noah helped Adam off his horse to stretch his legs. They watered the horses and continued on their way. It was well after sundown when they made it through the pass and climbed the mountain. Noah led them into the large cave where he planned to spend the night.
Noah could see that Adam was in bad shape. He could hardly stand, let alone walk. Noah moved the handcuffs, so Adam's arms were behind him. He unrolled his bedroll and had him lay down. When he was down, he padlocked the leg chains to the hand cuffs and threw a blanket over him.
"As soon as I get a fire going and take care of the horses, I'll fix us something to eat."
Noah woke Adam and unlocked the shackles so he could sit up and eat. "Do you have to relieve yourself before dinner?"
"Yes, please," Adam said.
Noah smiled, "You learn fast. How do you feel?"
"Like my head is going to explode. My stomach aches and I have these terrible cramps. All I want to do is to sleep," Adam said.
Noah felt his head and his abdomen, he was burning with fever and his abdomen was swollen. Noah took off the leg irons and the handcuffs. He helped him over to the stand of pine trees. Adam unbuckled his belt and pulled his pants down, but every time he tried to squat, he fell backwards. Noah could see the tears running down his cheeks.
"Would you please help me," Adam asked. "I don't know what's wrong with me, but I can't squat, and I really have to go."
"Pull your pants up," Noah said, he led him over to some boulders. He took two thick branches and laid them between the boulders. Adam could not unbutton the long johns he was wearing. Noah unbuttoned the underwear and helped him sit between the two branches. He smiled, "when you're finished call me." Noah said as he walked away.
Adam called to say he was finished. "I hope you're weren't partial to that bandana I use to wipe myself," Adam said, "But I don't see any leaves around here."
Noah chuckled, "You owe me for that." He helped him stand. He buttoned his long johns and pulled up his pants.
Adam buttoned them and buckled his belt, "Thanks for your help."
Noah put his arm around his waist and helped him back to the cave. They sat down and ate dinner. "I'm sorry I don't feel like eating. I don't feel well at all," Adam said. "I need to lie down. You better chain me and let me sleep."
"Do I have to stake you tonight, or will you give me your word you won't try to kill me, or run away in the middle of the night, Noah asked. He pulled out the Bible out of Adam's saddle bag. "Do you believe in this Bible?"
"Yes, I do," Adam said.
"Take it in your hand, and give your word," Noah said."
Adam gave his word and handed back the bible. He crawled over to his bed role and pulled the blanket over himself.
Noah unpacked one of the boxes and took out two jars. He poured some tea into the cup and added a spoonful from each jar into the cup. He mixed it until they were dissolved and went over to Adam. He woke him up and made him drink the cup of tea. He finished his meal and put everything away. He made another trip outside to collect more wood and crawled into his bed roll and fell asleep.
Adam woke Noah in the middle of the night, "I'm sorry, but I've got to go again, would you please help me," Adam said in a pleading voice?
Noah pulled on his boots and slipped into his coat. Adam was shivering. He got up and grabbed his blanket and wrapped it around Adam. He took an old shirt from Adam's saddle bag and ripped in into pieces and shoved it in his pocket. He led him back to the makeshift toilet. After he finished, he handed him a piece of the torn shirt to wipe himself. Again, he helped him back to the cave.
"What did you eat yesterday that's made you so sick," Noah asked? A piece of stale bread and some wild berries. I didn't eat too many because they had a bitter taste."
"What did the berries look like," Noah asked?
Noah listened and went back to his box and took out another jar and mixed it with the hot tea. "Drink this," Noah said. "You’re lucky you didn't eat any more of those berries. They are poisonous unless mixed with another herb. The Indians use them as a cathartic and a worm medicine. You're dehydrated and need to drink more fluids. The medicine I just gave you will neutralize the poison and allow you to sleep. I'll wake you up later in a few hours and give you some more medicine."
"Thanks, Noah. Thank God, I didn't kill you. Now I owe you my life."
Noah smiled, "You're right and I expect my pound of flesh."
Adam looked bewildered by Noah's remark, "What do you mean?
"You'll find out soon enough."
The medicine took hold and Adam closed his eyes and fell asleep. When he awoke the next morning Noah and the horses were missing. He could see the sun shining through the opening of the cave. The fire was still burning next to him. He felt normal again, his headache and fever were gone. He looked down and saw that his blankets had been changed. He was wrapped in a soft fluffy blanket. He also noticed that he was naked except for the white sheet he was wrapped in.
Noah walked in the cave carrying two wet blankets and Adam's wet clothes. "Good morning, Adam, how do you feel," Noah asked?
"Like a new man, what happened to me last night?"
"You had an accident; I had to clean you up. When I get you home there are a few more things that need cleaning up before you can stay at my place," Noah said.
"I don't understand, what do you mean?"
"How long have you had lice?"
"I still don't know what you’re talking about?"
"Have you been to any whore houses lately," Noah asked?"
"Never mind," Noah said. He handed him a clean set of underwear, a heavy pair of buckskin pants, and a heavy wool shirt. "Get dressed while I fix us something to eat."
"Thank you for cleaning me up the way you did," Adam said. "I've never slept in anything as soft as this blanket. It's almost sinful."
Noah laughed, "You’re lucky I had that packed away for my cabin or you would be sleeping under a sheet of hard canvas. You're a funny guy; you come out with the oddest statements. Why in the world would you think that sleeping in soft sheets and a down comforter was sinful? If that were true, then all of Europe and most of the Northeast are sinners."
"While we're on the subject, I'd like to know who horsewhipped you, Adam?"
Adam was embarrassed by the question and took a few seconds to answer, “My father; he was trying to drive the devil from my body. But that's personal. It wasn't because I tried to kill anyone if that's what you’re thinking," Adam said.
Noah grinned, "Did papa catch you in bed with one of your sisters?" Noah asked.
"I would never do such a thing. I'm not that kind of man?"
Noah smiled, "Oh, did he catch you in bed with your brother then?"
Adam turned a bright red and didn't answer. "Your right, Adam, it's none of my business. I'm sorry I embarrassed you. But no matter what you did, he had no right to disfigure your body like that. What a shame. You have such beautiful skin, don't worry Adam, I can get rid of those marks."
"My Pa told me he had the right to whip me. That's his right as long as I lived under his roof. I had to abide by his rules," Adam said. "You know, I can't figure you out, Noah. Why a man with all your book learning would want to be a bounty hunter?"
"Starting right now, I intend to correct your grammar. As long as you are with me, I'm going to teach you how to speak correctly. Firstly, a better word for 'book learning' would be to say that I am well read and educated," Noah said. "To be honest, you are absolutely right in your observations. It is true that I am an educated man, but I'm also an avid reader. Lastly, I don't agree with any kind of disfigurement of a man’s body. Your body is the temple of God and it is a sin to disfigure it for any reason. Some Indian tribes will disagree with me, but that is my feelings. I tracked down your brothers because they were convicted murderers, besides which, they murdered an innocent Indian that meant them no harm. Anyway, that was the last time I'll ever ride on a posse again."
"I'm sorry you didn't stop before you captured my brothers."
"Then we would have never met. You’re under the mistaken belief that I am responsible for your
brother’s deaths. That is absolute rubbish. Your brothers were responsible for their own deaths. They took the lives of innocent people and they paid the penalty. They sealed their fate the day they pulled that trigger and killed the first man. Your brothers killed for money. This is one of the worst possible crimes of all. You told me you believe in God and lived by the bible. Well if that is what you believe how you can condone your brothers killing those people. Read the laws that God handed down to Moses. If you are a true believer, you should obey the Ten Commandments. You were almost guilty of breaking that commandment yesterday. I brought your brothers in for justice and not for the reward money. Any money I received was donated to charity."
"I figured you have a good explanation for what you did," Adam said.
"You’re angry with me because it's easier for you to place the burden of guilt on me and not to where it belongs. I've never taken a man’s life and I hope I never will. I am also opposed to hanging. You think about what I've said. Remember you are still my prisoner and until I decide your fate."
"I gave you my word," Adam said. "I realize what I did was wrong, and I’ll take my punishment like a man."
"An honorable man," Noah said. "Now you eat your breakfast while I get the horses ready. We have a long ride ahead of us. Do you have any warm gloves or mittens?"
"Just riding gloves," Adam said. "When I left the farm, I didn't plan on a trip in snow country."
They reached Lone Wolfs ranch by midnight. Lone Wolf answered the door in a heavy fur lined bathrobe. "Good to see you safe and sound Eagle Eye," Lone Wolf said. "You come in and sit by the fire. Cal will feed you while I take care of your horses.”
Cal walked out a few minutes later fully dressed. "It's good to see you, Eagle Eye. Lone Wolf and I were worried that you wouldn't make it before the heavy snows blocked the pass. We've had a few inches but nothing special"
"Adam, I would like you to meet my friends, Lone Wolf and Cal Whit," Noah said. "Adam McCord is my prisoner. He has given me his word that he will not kill me or try to run away."
Cal said, “Lone Wolf, why don't you get dressed and take care of the horses. I'll fix everyone something to eat. How about some beef stew I have left over from dinner?"
"Sounds good to me," Noah said. "How about you Adam? Do you feel like eating some good home cooked food? Cal is a great cook."
"I think I'm ready for some solid food," Adam said."You still have twin beds in the guestroom, Cal?"
"Yes sir," Cal replied.
"One little problem, Adam here has lice. Make sure you boil the sheets in hot water tomorrow," Noah said. "I don't think this is something Adam wants to share."
Cal chuckled, "I'm sorry to hear that, Adam. It must be uncomfortable for you."
"I'm sure Noah has a special concoction that will take care of anything that ails you."
Noah chuckled, "As a matter of fact I do. I ordered a gallon of that medicine from Boston that will take care of his problem."
Cal set the dining room table and made a pot of tea. Why don't you two wash up? Dinner will be ready as soon as the potatoes are boiled."
Lone Wolf returned a few minutes later with the saddle bags. He placed them outside the door to the guest bedroom. Adam and Noah returned a few minutes later.
Lone Wolf said, "Your housekeeper has unpacked your latest shipment of books, Noah. We stored the crates in your barn as instructed. We have a good supply of deer meat curing in your meat shed right now. You've got more than enough wood chopped to carry you through the winter. That new central heating system you installed is working like a charm. It's quite a system I must admit.
Maybe I'll let you talk me into installing it in this house next year."
"What's the story with Adam here? Do we shoot him at first light, or what?" Lone Wolf asked.
Noah chuckled, "No I've decided to keep him and try to civilize him. He's not as dumb as he looks. We have not come to terms yet, but I'm sure we will before spring. Adam, why don't you tell Cal, and Lone Wolf, how we met?"
Adam told them the story about his brothers and how he met up with Noah three days ago.
Cal said, "Are you willing to accept the isolation of living alone in this wilderness, Adam? Maybe it would be better if you took your chances in the State Prison in Denver? There are no young people your age around here, and absolutely no young women."
"Whose side are you on anyway," Noah asked?
"I'm neutral. Look if this place drives Adam up the wall, he'll try to run away the first chance he gets and will probably end up dead in these mountains. If he was stupid enough to blame you for his brother’s death, he stupid enough to think he can escape from here."
Adam said, "I admit that what I did was wrong, but I'm not that stupid. I would rather die in the wilderness than spend any time in prison. I've seen enough of jail to know I would kill myself rather
to be caged like an animal. I really don't have a choice. It won't be that bad being Noah’s prisoner. He's been good to me so far and has treated me better that I deserved.”
Lone Wolf said, "I warn you, if you ever do anything to hurt Eagle Eye, I’ll hunt you down and let you die Indian style."
They finished eating dinner and cleared the table. "Well thanks, Cal for feeding us, we're going to turn in now. We're both beat and may sleep half the day away tomorrow," Noah said.
"Good night, and thank you for dinner," Adam said. "Noah is right, you are a good cook."
He followed Noah into the bedroom. He undressed and crawled into bed. "God it's wonderful to sleep in a bed again," Adam said. "Goodnight, Noah, thanks for sticking up for me in front of your friends."
"You’re welcome, Adam. I think you have a good mind, but it's never been developed."
They reached Noah’s lodge by two o'clock the next day. They rode directly into the barn and tied up the horses. The household staff, Min and Joe, greeted them when they arrived. When they were alone, Noah gave him a quick tour of the place and took him into the large bathroom at the rear of the house.
"You’re not going to like this Adam, but you really have no choice if you want to live in this house. You've got to get rid of the lice you've been carrying around. The bathroom was a large heated room with a large tub and a shower. There was a wooden stool in the middle of the room and a long wooden table. "We must shave all the hair off your body and apply a special ointment to kill the varmints. The little critters attach their eggs to your hair. That's why you need to be shaved. I'll help you with the places you can't reach. Put all your clothes including, your boots in that cloth bag." Use the robe hanging on the door after you have showered. You'll have to wear my clothes for now. I’ll have Min make you a couple pairs of buckskin outfits to wear. I’ll order some clothes when our scout arrives."
The following week, Noah had worked out a regular schedule for both of them to follow. He had tested Adam on his overall aptitude and skills. He scored at the same level as a junior high school student. Yet his verbal skills and diction were far below that level. His social skills were atrocious. His table manners were almost nonexistent. On the plus side, he was a fast learner and had a quick mind and a warm friendly disposition. He remembers everything he was told and had the ability to comprehend complex subjects yet took nothing for granted. The schedule called for two hours of English every morning, followed by two hours of finance and accounting. After that, they had a two-hour lunch break that included outdoor exercises and lunch. Their afternoon schedule consisted of an hour of Spanish followed by two hours of required reading.
The afternoon concluded with an hour of outdoor exercise. After that, the rest of the evening was free. Of course, Adam was required to turn in two book reports a month.
The first three months flew by and Noah was pleased with Adam's progress. He absorbed knowledge like a sponge. The more he learned the more he wanted to learn. He was tireless in his thirst for knowledge and spent endless hours reading. His speech and demeanor improved more each day. He felt and acted as if he belonged. Noah found it strange that Adam never mentioned his past life or his family. Sunday was their day off and they usually loafed around the grounds or went hunting. Adam was halfway through his trial period and was becoming anxious as he entered the final three-month trial period. He pushed himself even harder to learn and pushed Noah to increase his class period two hours longer each day. Adam became more anxious as his six months was about up. The pressure was getting to him. He finally went to Noah two weeks before the deadline. "Noah, I can't stand the suspense any longer, what have you decided to do with me?"
"I'm glad you came forward because I'm as anxious as you are to resolve our future together. Before I tell you of my proposition, I want you to know that I will be forwarding a letter to the Marshall canceling the charges I filed against you. I also have no intention of pressing any charges against you for trying to bushwhack me six months ago. You are a free man."
"Now, to my proposal, I want you to remain with me for the next three years as my protégé. I will use that time to train you to be my partner in the business. If after three years’ time, you decide to leave, you’re free to go. I'll teach you everything you need to know to become a gentleman and the skills you will require to be successful. In addition, I will support you and pay all your living expenses including your wardrobe. You will also receive a monthly salary equal to the income I pay my executives doing the same job. If you apply yourself and master the Spanish language, I will take you to Europe with me on a grand tour as a bonus.
After we return you will decide if you wish to continue working for me. If you do decide to remain with me, you will become my assistant and finish your training. After the training period, you will become an executive in my organization. That's the deal, Adam."
Adam was speechless; he stared at Noah with his mouth open. "Are you serious about this?" Adam asked.
"Of course, why would I joke about something this important?"
"Why me, why are willing to do this for me? I don't understand. Six months ago, I tried to kill you. Now, you are offering me the world on a silver platter. What the catch? There's something you’re not telling me."
"Are you content living here with me, Adam?"
"Of course, I've never been happier. For the first time in my life I have my own room and a comfortable bed to myself. I can bathe every day with hot water. My clothes are clean and smell of fresh air. And above all, you care about what happens to me. I've never known anyone like you before and I treasure every day I'm allowed to stay here with you. My only fear is that all this luxury could end as quickly as it began. I have no illusions about that. But until that day comes, I'm going to enjoy the days I have left."
"You have a perfect right to know why I'm making this offer to you," Noah said. "I've been attracted to you from the day I met you outside the Denver Hotel. I'm a homosexual, Adam; my feelings have grown stronger for you over the months you have been here. I've fallen in love with you. You can't imagine how happy you've made me. You're refreshing, intelligent and above all, a good companion. You fill my days with joy. I learned a long time ago, we don't always get what we want in this life, many times we must settle for the hand we are dealt. I'm selfish and want to keep you as long as I can."
"I don't expect you to understand how I feel, but this is what I want. Our relationship will remain platonic. Rest assured I will never impose myself on you nor will I bring the subject up again, unless of course you broach the subject."
"Thanks for being honest with me, Noah. This is the first time you've ever mentioned anything about your personal life. In all honesty I was not looking forward to this talk today. I had the feeling you were going to throw me out. In retrospect, I realize that it was stupid of me to blame you for my brothers’ death. If it weren’t you, it would have been someone else. Frankly, I never knew them that well. They were responsible for helping my family out financially. It was their money that my father used to buy the farm we have today. They weren't outlaws to my family; they were our heroes and providers. I remember what it was like on the old farm. I was angry at you for capturing them mainly because they promised to give me the money to finish my education.
I hated the farm ever since I was a kid. All I did from the time I could remember was work from dawn to dusk, seven days a week with no future in sight. My Pa was a staunch Baptist and lived by the bible. He was not one for praising anyone for a job well done. I could never please him, the more I did, the more he expected from me. My mother was a good woman and tried to persuade my father to let me continue my education. But he wouldn't hear of it. He said I didn’t need those heathens putting fancy ideas in my head."
"I've never met an educated man like you before. Nor have I ever been exposed to your way of life. This is all so new and wonderful to me. I feel as if I'm the only student in a private school. Don't laugh, but when you chained me up like you did, I thought you were going to rape me and keep me as your sex slave. I've heard stories of what the Indians did with young men like me."
"To be honest, I've become spoiled and like living here with you. You have treated me as an equal and I'm grateful. I can never go back to the life I had before. If you're willing to do this for me, then I would be honored to be your protégé and live with you. I promise I will work hard to live up to your expectations. You won't regret your decision for saving my sorry ass, I promise you that."
Noah laughed, "If you don't mind me saying so, I think you have a great ass and I'm delighted you have decided to accept my offer. I've great plans for you, Adam. If you keep on working as hard as you have, you will do simply fine."
"One question," Adam said. "What will happen to me if you find someone else down the road? What will become of me?"
"Your point is well taken," Noah said. "It is highly unlikely that will happen, but let’s say it does happen. In that case, I will send you to college. I have no intention of dropping you. You have potential and I plan to train you to take over and run one of my companies. You have my word on that."
"Why do you say it's highly unlikely? You're a handsome man. I'm sure there is someone out there that will eventually latch on to you?"
Noah smiled, "Do you really think so?"
Adam chuckled, "Yes, I do. But what does a hayseed like me know? My first love was my pet cow. I thought she was beautiful. You told me you were married. When did you discover you liked men?"
"I was married for some time. In fact, in my younger days I was quite a lady’s man. I couldn't get enough sex. It was a while after I was married that I realized I liked men more than women. I did not suffer the same feelings about my discovery that most white men feel. Indians do not discriminate against homosexuals. They accept male bonding as a normal part of life. I've never felt real love until I met you.
Frankly, I never wanted a partner. I was content with my life as it was. Don't get me wrong, I like having sex with other men. But I've never cared for anyone enough to ask them to share their life with me. I've kept a young man in Denver to take care of my sexual needs. I also have a couple of young Indian friends on the reservation that relieve my sexual needs. Now that you've come along, I don't feel the need for these young men. Life is full of little surprises."
"I heard rumors back in Denver that you were a rich man but didn't believe them. I knew that you had a place in the mountains, that's why I followed you. How did you find this place?" Adam asked, “Is it so far removed from civilization.”
"My father was given this mountain by the Indians after he married my mother, years ago. He had this lodge built on this plateau. He hired a Chinese crew from the railroad to build this lodge beneath a natural outcropping in the mountain. Before building the house, he had a large area blasted out of the face of the mountain and built his house in front of that. Halfway down the hill, he carved out a reservoir to collect the rainwater from the melting show for drinking water. After the cabin was built, we spent every summer and fall here returning to Denver before the first snowfall. Lone Wolf and Cal are my overseers. Their house is also built on my property line. This land is smack in the middle of Indian lands, and nobody steps a foot on these lands without Lone Wolf knowing about it. My brothers take good care of me."
"That explains a lot," Adam said. “So that's what Lone Wolf meant when he said I could never escape from you?"
Noah smiled, "You could try, but you wouldn't get very far before the tribe hunted you down and brought you back."
"Doesn't Cal get bored living here; obviously, he is an educated man, what is there here for him?"
"Lone Wolf and Cal are lovers and have been for many years. You're right about Cal; he is an intelligent young man. You'd never guess that he holds two degrees. He received a degree in Chemistry, from Columbia University, and another in Geology, from Colorado School of Mines."
"He doesn't look that old, in fact we are all the same age."
"Cal was nineteen when he received his degree in Chemistry. He went on to study Geology. That is where he met Lone Wolf. They were both in the same classes. They fell in love and have been together ever since. When they are not on assignments for me, they take care of their ranch. They also teach classes on the reservation for the Indians that want to go on to college. They are a super couple and are happy living here. They would never be accepted in the white man’s world. I've often wanted them to build a house on my estate in Denver, but they love the mountains and the peace and quiet of the country."
"Was Lone Wolf ever your lover?" Adam asked.
"No never, you are the first man I've ever loved. Lone Wolf and I slept together many times before he met Cal, but we were never lovers."
"Lone Wolf is a handsome man," Adam said, "His movements are like that of a panther, fluid and graceful. He can look right through me with those eyes. I felt like he was looking into my soul; he can be an intimidating person."
"Did you feel intimidated by his threat?" Noah asked.
“I'm not afraid of Lone Wolf," Adam said. "Lone Wolf can strut and threaten me all he wants, but he would never raise a finger against me unless you gave the order."
"Pretty sure of yourself, aren't you?"
“In that situation, I am. The only one I had to fear was you. I knew after that second night on the trail, you would never hurt me. Any other man would have thrown a tarpaulin over me and let me sleep in my soiled clothes. You washed me and wrapped me in your best linens. I decided that morning I would do anything you asked, and I accept my fate."
"I must confess I had an ulterior motive for cleaning you up, Adam. It was a chance to examine your body and I'm glad I did. You have a beautiful body and you are well endowed for a little guy. What you don't know is that I held you in my arms most of that night because you were having the most horrendous nightmares imaginable. You finally quieted down after two hours and began to sleep normally. You are a very affectionate man when you are free of your demons. After that night I knew I could not let you go. We slept together like that until the horses woke me up the next morning."
"Thank you for taking care of me. I vaguely remember you holding me, but everything that night was a complete blur. Would you like me to read to you for a while?" Adam asked.
"That would be nice," Noah said."
"Well, Adam, what do you think about New York City?" Noah asked.
"It's fantastic. I thought Chicago was large, but New York City goes on forever. I must be by far the largest city I've ever seen. This trip across the United States has been an eye opener. I never realized how vast this country is. No matter how much you have taught me, and what I've learned from geography books, I was never prepared for what I have seen on this trip. I've so much to learn. Now, I wonder if it's such a good idea to take a year off to travel the world. I could be using this time to learn more about this country."
Noah smiled, "I can't believe you're the same uneducated farmer I found in the mountains two years ago. You're twenty-two, Adam, with your whole life ahead of you. Always allow time for the mind and body to rejuvenate itself. We have both worked hard for these last two years and now we need this vacation to relax and enjoy life. I'm immensely proud of the way you have applied yourself and how much you've learned. You have learned as much in the last two years that most young college students learn after four years of college. It's hard to realize that your contract expires in less than a year."
"Yes, the time has gone by so fast," Adam said. “I'm really excited about our crossing, yet I'm a little anxious about being cooped up aboard a ship in the middle of a vast ocean. It's frightening when you think about it."
"Adam, remember what I've told you. Accept what the spirits have ordained. If it is your fate to die onboard that boat, then you will die. You have no control over your destiny, only God knows that. It does you no good to worry about what might be. Only be concerned about what you can accomplish."
"You're right of course. This is all so new and wonderful. Life in Denver was so much simpler by comparison. I'm really ready for the uncomplicated life we spent in your lodge in the mountains."
"Adam, what is really troubling you? You've not been yourself since we left Chicago. Could this have anything with your becoming my assistant?"
"Yes, I wonder if I'm ready for such an important position. Are you sure you're not making a mistake in promoting me to that job? You're putting me on the same level as the men who are managing your business now. Any one of those men would jump at this opportunity. They are experienced and have been with you for years. Maybe you should rethink this move. I'm not in their league, Noah. Surely you can see that. Could it be that you're allowing your heart to rule your head, in my case? I may be capable of running a business in Denver, but I'm no match for the sharp
executives I've met in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Boston. The more I learn, the more I realize how inexperienced I really am. I don't have your depth of experience, or your knowledge of this business, Noah."
"Forget about the business for now. I want you to put that all out of your head while we're on vacation. We're going to relax and have a great time. There will be plenty of time to discuss your future later. I will tell you this before we close the subject. It may be true; you don't have my business experience. However, my decision to promote you had nothing to do with my feelings for you. I certainly wouldn't offer you an important position in my business unless I thought you could handle the job. Having said that, I want you to relax and enjoy our vacation."
Adam smiled, "Okay, I certainly don't want an angry Indian on my back for the rest of our vacation."
Noah laughed, "I assume you're referring to Lone Wolf?"
They spent the first two months in London and then on to Paris for two months. From there, it was on to Nice in the South of France. Noah chartered a sailing yacht. He didn't care for the prying eyes of the hotel guests.
Adam loved the ocean and learned to swim like a fish almost immediately. He and Noah jogged along the beach before sunrise every morning. After a month in the sun, his skin took on a golden tan. Before they left Denver, Noah had Cal develop a special sun tan lotion that removed any traces of the scars that were on Adam's back and legs. Whatever chemicals were in the lotion, prevented his skin from burning and was impervious to the salt water. The salt water also caused his golden locks to curl even more than usual. The sun bleached his curls to the color of platinum blond.
They were having their after-dinner drinks on the after deck one evening. The weather was so beautiful as they were watching the activities on the yachts moored nearby. Some of the yachts were lit up and they could hear the music and the laughter coming from the guests. There were parties almost every night on one boat or another.
"Are you enjoying your vacation, Adam?"
"It's absolutely fantastic so far, I've never had such a good time. How about you, Noah? Are you enjoying yourself?"
"I'm always happy when I’m with you. You look absolutely beautiful tonight. You are the most handsome man in this entire place. I know you could care less about such things, but I enjoy being with you and get a kick watching the people goggling over your handsome good looks."
"My dear wonderful friend," Adam said, "Don't you realize they are admiring your strong handsome body. You're much better looking than I am."
"I wanted to talk to you about the conversation we had in New York. Do you mind, Adam?"
"No, I want to hear what you have to say."
"First of all, I never had any intention of forcing you into any job unless you were ready and able to handle the position. I have every intention of training you to be my assistant as I have done up to now. You're intelligent, and you are a gentleman. Your diction and your command of English and Spanish language are flawless. You can hold your own with the best of them. But you have something the rest of them don't have, and never will. You understand people and you're not prejudiced. You're not afraid of any man and you would never back away from a fight. You are loyal to me and as honest as the day is long. I cannot say that for many of the executives that work for me. They really don't like me. They tolerate me because they need me. I don't trust them, and I watch them like a hawk. They'd rob me blind if I didn't keep tight control of the money. I've made it a practice to audit all my businesses on a regular basis."
"You have always treated me with respect and never look down at me because I am a half breed. This is especially important to me and my tribe. Not all the companies I run belong to me. Some of them are owned by my brothers. They trusted my father because he married my mother and treated them fairly. For that reason, they allowed him to run their businesses. I was looking for a man like you, who I can trust to manage my companies. I know that there will be less resentment with a white man like you making the deals with our customers and our wholesalers. This will mean more profits for me and for the tribe."
"My love for you has nothing to do with my decision to promote you."
"Thanks for your confidence in me, you’ve always made me feel ten feet tall," Adam said. "You're a great man, Noah. Not only for what you have done for me, but for what you have done for your friends and brothers as well. I'm proud to be your protégé and I look forward to our future together."
"Would you like to take a walk along the beach before we turn in?" Noah asked.
"Yes, I would," Adam said.
They returned two hours later and turned in for the evening. Adam showered and went to bed, but he was wide awake after Noah's conversation earlier. The future looked exciting and Adam was pleased. However, their walk along the beach earlier was disturbing. Adam was confused by his feelings for Noah. His tender feelings for Noah were becoming stronger every day. He was confused and didn't know if he was falling in love with Noah, or if it was because he was so grateful to him because of all he had done and continued to do for him. He did not want to do anything that would hurt Noah and destroy the close relationship they had together. He couldn't shake the love he was feeling for him. Noah spoke of his plans for their future and of the future vacation trips he had planned for them. The entire time they were walking together Adam's mind was being turned on with the physical contact with Noah's body. That close and caring feeling in him that lay dormant for so long. The feeling had still not left him even now.
He was used to Noah touching him, but this was different, this was the first time he felt the urge to take him in his arms and hold him. The bedroom clock chimed the hour. I was one o'clock and he was wide awake. He slipped on his robe and walked through the connecting door into Noah stateroom. Noah was sound asleep lying on his back in the center of the bed. Noah liked to sleep naked on a hard mattress with no pillows. Adam knew from experience to be careful touching Noah when he was asleep. His reactions were swift and lethal. He could wake from a sound sleep instantaneously and strike. Adam sat on the edge of the bed and gently rubbed Noah's leg.
Noah opened his eyes and turned to face Adam. He alarmed expression softened when he saw it was Adam. "What wrong, are you ill?" Noah asked.
"I can't fall asleep; can I sleep with you?"
Noah smiled, "you don't have to ask a question like that, and of course you can sleep with me. Better hand me those two pillows, I know you're a softy."
Adam took off his robe and lay down next to Noah. Noah pulled him close and held him. "There, is that better, my little one?"
Adam smiled and kissed him on the lips. He could feel Noah's penis harden against his leg. Adam pressed his tongue into Noah’s mouth and heard him moan as he rubbed his back. "I want you to make love to me," Adam said.
"Are you sure this is what you want, my love?"
"I've never been more sure of anything in my life," Adam said.
When Adam opened his eyes, he found that he was lying on top of Noah. He was showering him with kisses and rubbing his back, "What happened to me?" Adam asked. "I'm still tingling all over." He kissed Noah, "I love you."
Noah smiled, "You passed out my wonderful, beautiful lover. I think all of Nice knows that you love me."
"What are you talking about?"Adam asked.
"Before you passed out, you were bellowing that from the top of your voice. You are one wild sexy man when you're aroused. God, you're fantastic in bed. You make every man I've ever had sex with seem like a child. Not only are you a fantastic sex machine, you are the most beautiful and loveable creature in this world. I've been unable to take my eyes off you since we arrived here. You have been driving me wild. Why did you wait so long to come to me?"
"I only realized tonight how much I wanted you," Adam said. "You know how slow we farmers are? Noah, I'm sorry if I've embarrassed you. What didn't you put your hand over my mouth?"
Noah laughed heartily and kissed Adam, "I had my hands full at the time. Anyway, I like to hear you say you love me. Frankly, I don't care what these people think. I've left instructions for the captain to pull out of here and head for an isolated island where you and I can be alone. I don't intend to share you with anyone."
"Suits me just fine, as far as I'm concerned, we can take off for our cabin in the mountains. It doesn't matter to me where we are as long as we're together."
They made love again and fell asleep in each other's arms. Noah woke up as he felt the boat pulling out of their slip. Adam was still asleep in his arms. Noah recalled the first night he had held Adam in his arms. He always felt that this wonderful young man would be his lover one day.
When Noah opened his eyes later, the morning sun was shimmering on the cabin ceiling. The sun's rays were being reflected off the water from outside the portholes. The fresh air billowing in from the ocean as the yacht was cutting through the ocean. Adam was lying next to him with his head propped up on his left hand, staring at him. Adam smiled, "You're a beautiful, sexy man and I was about to take advantage of you as you were sleeping. But I thought better of it. I know how wild you Indians can be with defenseless white men."
"How long have you been sitting there like that?" Noah asked.
"Oh, about an hour. I’ve been admiring your beautiful body. I'm surprised you didn't lash out when I was caressing your beautiful cock."
Noah reached over and gently stroked Adam's face, "You are so beautiful," he moved close to Adam and turned him on his back. He kissed and nibbled every inch of his body. Adam was moaning with pleasure. Noah took his penis in his mouth until Adam erupted in his mouth. He lay on top of Adam and kissed him. He lubricated Adam's anus and entered him slowly and made love to him. When Adam began to moan too loudly, he covered his mouth with his own. Adam had a second orgasm.
After their breathing returned to normal, Noah was about to get up, but Adam tightened his grip on him. “Please don't move, it feels so wonderful laying together like this. I love you Noah. I would die if you ever left me now."
"I will always love you, baby and I'll stay here in your arms as long as you want. We will never part, you are mine forever, our spirits are one and we will be together through eternity. Always remember that." They dozed off in each other's arms once again."
Adam was in the library working late as he added another folder to his briefcase. Noah walked in and sat in the wing chair in front of his desk. "Are you going to be much longer, my love?"
"No, I just need to load these files into my briefcase, and I'll be finished," Adam said.
"Are you all packed and ready to leave early tomorrow morning?"
"Of course, sweetheart, all I need is you and a bathrobe. I thought you were going to let Justin handle this," Noah said. "You must cut back on your workload; you're trying to do too much. I'll be glad when we get on that yacht in San Francisco. I'm giving you one week to wind up your business in San Francisco and that's final. You're going to end up the richest man in the cemetery. I'm not going to allow you to kill yourself. You're the only man I love, and I don't want you to end up in an early grave. Do you understand, Adam?"
Adam closed his briefcase and sat on Noah's lap. He took his face between his hands and kissed him tenderly. Noah wrapped his arms around him and held him. "I promise I'll cut back; you know how long it takes to train a good manager?"
Noah kissed him, "I know how to train a genius, but that was a labor of love. You on the other hand have hired three experienced managers and they should be able to handle the job. What are we paying for?"
"Yes dear, you’re right as usual, but they didn't have you as a teacher and I don't plan to allow you out of my sight?"
"Come to bed, you need a good rubdown and some serious loving."
Four months has passed since they returned from their vacation in San Francisco. They were back to their ten-hour days again. Noah wasn't acting like his old self. He had seemed preoccupied at times. Many times, he found him sitting alone in the garden staring off into space. This was so unlike him. Lone Wolf suggested that he needed to spend some time at their mountain retreat and to talk with the elders. They were anxious to find a way to keep the young Indian families from leaving the Reservation. Noah agreed that he needed to spend the time in the mountains for a short visit. They both agreed that Noah would make the trip alone for the first two weeks and Adam would join him after returning from his trip to San Francisco.
Noah felt they should both take a month off before making the trek to Boston. "I'm sorry for being so remote these last few months," Noah said. "I can't explain what has come over me suddenly, I hope it's not male menopause this early in my life. It's as if a curtain drops in front of me and I start to daydream. Sometimes I'm back to my childhood, other times I'm with my parents in the mountains. Mostly, its images of us and the wonderful years we've spent together. My life was so empty before you came along, my love. I want you to promise me that if anything happens to me that you will continue on with our companies and find a companion to share your life with."
"If I lost you, Noah, I would walk through life with a heavy heart until my time came to join you in heaven. If I should die before you, I would expect you to find another mate, as well. We have a love that is truly unique, and I believe we are of one spirit living in two bodies, so I know we will never be separated. Do you understand what I'm saying, my love?"
"I understand completely, and I pray that I'm the first one to go, Adam."
"I pray that this phase you’re going through is a temporary thing and whatever vibrations you’re receiving will not affect us, maybe it's one of your Indian things," Adam said.
"That could well be, I think I talk to the medicine man when I get to the reservation."
After returning from San Francisco I joined Noah in the mountains. We spent a delightful month together and returned to Denver rested. Noah was back to normal once again. I had by then reorganized the divisions and made some major changes. Once again, Noah and I were working together, like always. Now, Noah was anxious to take me on our second honeymoon to Nice. This was something he was planning to do for the last three years. It seemed that something important came up to postpone our trip. My life had completely changed after our last trip. Today, I would be returning to Europe as a successful businessman, and a wealthy one at that. Noah had given me a fifty percent share in his Holmes Corporation and twenty five percent shares of Cherokee Investments. I feel that I had earned my way because I had worked hard to increase the firm’s assets and increased our profits by 20 percent for the last three years. I streamlined the operations and sold off the less profitable divisions. Wherever possible, I recruited and hired any enterprising Indian that showed promise. I tried to hire the best people available for my companies, no matter what their ethnic background. Much to the chagrin of my Directors, I was one of the first firms to hire women for executive positions. I used the new startup companies I had purchased as the training grounds for these young talented people. I purchased large tracts of land and settled individual Indian families on the land. I sent them to school to teach them how to farm and created our own schools to educate our Cherokee brothers.
The scholarship program was a huge success. The Indian schools that Noah had built and staffed were better than most of the comparable public schools in Denver. We were making progress and the students we sponsored were now graduating from college. We were thrilled that our program was bearing fruit, but that we were able to offer the graduates opportunities in our own companies.
On a personal level, I reconciled with my family and made sure that my brothers and sisters received a proper education and paid for those that wanted a college education. Although my father deplored my lifestyle, it didn't prevent him from accepting my money. I purchased a large farm andsubdivided it so each of my siblings had their own land to build a farm. I purchased the farming equipment they would need and formed a co-op equipment facility to repair and maintain the equipment they needed to farm the land.
I could see that there was a need to organize the local farms as well. That operation of the central repair facility prompted me to hire a Business Consulting firm out of Chicago to do a feasibility study on how to modernize and streamline the entire region. It took me six months to put the report together but when it was done, it was quite an eye opener. Based on that report I formed a new company that made the farmers' life a lot easier and made a handsome profit for my company. I hired Cal and Lone Wolf to represent the Cherokee interests and subcontracted a consulting firm to oversee the day-to-day running of the Holmes Corporation. The venture was known as the Cherokee Holmes Cooperative. The demands on our co-op were so great, we had to turn farmers away.
One nice thing about the new business was the opportunity to work with Lone Wolf. For some reason, Lone Wolf never became close. Either he was overprotective of Noah, or he was jealous of me and my relationship with Noah. He resented the fact that Noah spent so much time to train me to run the company. I could feel his bitterness and the contempt he had for me. His attitude changed for the better after working with me. Yet, he still was not convinced wholeheartedly. He was taken aback, when Noah told him that it was my decision to offer him this project. After three years, Lone Wolf came to me and apologized for being so difficult. In the back of his mind he believed that I would dump Noah for a younger man after I got what I wanted from Noah. He couldn't bring himself to believe that a young handsome white man like me would stick with an older Indian man like Noah.
Noah set the date for our vacation to Europe. The dates and our tickets and reservations were confirmed. Noah had to make one last trip to the reservation before he could leave. While he was taking care of tribal business, I left for my meeting in New York to select a brokerage firm to handle the sale of our grain and produce. Noah would be arriving in New York two days before our ship was to sail.
We had narrowed down the list to three firms. They were to present their final business proposal in the first week. I allowed each of them a day for their presentation. After which my team would sit down to evaluate the three proposals and from them select the best deal. All three were young aggressive companies who were about equal in their overall proposals. However, I felt one firm had the edge over the others. That firm took the time to send a partner to Denver to look over our operations and spend time with my people getting a feel for our company. They ended up winning the contract.
After signing the contracts, they invited me to dinner at the Astor. I arrived at seven that evening and joined my hosts. We ordered dinner and were having our wine when I felt a stabbing pain in my chest. Everything around me went silent. I sat frozen for several seconds. I forced myself to remain calm and upright in my chair. It felt so strong that I dropped my wine glass. Everyone stopped talking and staring at me. They thought I was having a stroke.
"Are you alright, Mr. McCord," my host asked? "You look like you saw a ghost."
I turned to my host, "My partner had just died. I'm sorry gentlemen, but I must leave for Denver immediately."
"You can't be serious?" Jack Kemp said.
I ignored his remark, "If you will excuse me gentlemen, I've no time to waste." I stood up and walked toward the exit. Jack followed me. "Adam, maybe you should see a doctor?"
"Jack, I have no need to see a doctor; I know you're concerned about me, but I beg you to stop wasting my time. If you really want to help you can make a reservation on the next train to Denver. Time is of the essence. I need to pack and make a few calls."
"Of course, Adam, anything you want."
I knew he must have thought I was going crazy. That much was true, but not for the reason he thought. Jack was a big help; he was able to pull some strings and got me first class accommodations on the train to Chicago leaving that night. I was on the train on my way to Denver within two hours after the incident. When the conductor came around to collect my ticket, and to make sure everything was satisfactory. I handed him a hundred dollars and told him that I did not wish to be disturbed and that I would be taking all my meals in my compartment. I gave him another fifty dollars to make sure I had no trouble changing trains in Chicago.
By this time, I was starved and ordered a light dinner and a bottle of wine. The porter came by later and cleared the dinner tray and made up my bed. I had just enough wine to fall sound asleep. The strange thing was that I was perfectly calm and slept the entire night. I woke up early the next morning, showered, dressed, and read all the newspapers as I had breakfast. I called our local office in Chicago and had them provide me with a secretary that could accompany me on the trip from Chicago to Denver. When we switched trains, a male secretary was waiting for me with his bags and typewriter. As soon as we were settled in, I wasted no time in dictating detailed instructions to the funeral director and writing the obituary that would be sent to all the major newspapers throughout the county. We prepared the guest list for the funeral and reserved rooms at four hotels in Denver to accommodate the out of town guests that would be attending the funeral services. Memos were prepared and sent to all corporate managers informing them that our offices would be closed the day the funeral so that all top executives were able to attend the funeral. Our law firm was to set up a college trust fund for exceptional students in Noah's name. Noah would be laid to rest in the family mausoleum in the Denver Memorial Cemetery.
I arrived in Denver on the third day. My driver met me at the train station for the short drive home. I was a little disappointed not to have Lone Wolf and Cal waiting for me when I arrived. "Good afternoon, sir," James said," did you have a pleasant journey, sir?
"You know for the life of me, James, I really can't say this trip has been a complete blur to me. Thank God I made it home before Noah's body arrived. I wouldn't want him to return home for the last time, and I would not be here waiting for him."
"Are you alright, sir? We have not heard of any accident. If that were the case, surely the Indians would have sent word if anything happened to master Noah."
"Come with me into the library James, I want everything ready when Noah arrives." He handed James a copy of the funeral arrangements. “James, Noah died three days ago somewhere between here and the reservation. I'm not crazy, I know he is dead. I want you to hire extra staff and have enough food on hand to take care of the guests that will be arriving in the next few days. Call the florist and have him prepare three black wreaths, one for the front door and two for the front gates."
James shook his head and he walked out of Adam's office. When James returned three hours later to announce that dinner was ready, Adam was in a meeting with his key executives. They followed Adam into the dining room. They were eating their soup when James walked over to Adam with tears in his eyes. "You were right, sir, they have placed the master’s body in the library, sir," James said. "Mr. Cal would like to speak to you in private, sir. He is waiting in the library."
"Gentlemen, will you excuse me? Please stay and finish your dinner. I will need your help later."
Cal looked exhausted. He started to cry when Adam embraced him. "It's alright my friend, let it all out." After Cal calmed down, Adam said, "Noah died four days ago at four thirty-five PM, didn't he?
Cal stared at Adam before speaking. "Everything happened so quickly, I didn't notice the exact time, but that sounds about right. One minute they were riding ahead of me and in an instant, they were plunging down the side of the mountain. It took us five hours to reach them. Noah died instantly of a broken neck. It was not easy working in the dark. It took us almost a day to extricate the bodies. By the time the chief arrived with fresh horses, we lost another day. We have been traveling ever since."
"I was dreading the thought of calling you in New York with this dreadful news, Adam. I didn't know what to think when James told me you already knew Noah was dead. At this juncture, I don't even want to think about it. There is nothing I can say that will make this easier on you. I know what you meant to each other. I thank God that Lone Wolf was spared. I don't think I could have faced that."
"The funeral director is on his way," Adam said. "Where is Lone Wolf?"
"My men have taken him directly to the hospital, he is pretty banged up. The medicine man rode out to meet us a day ago and did his thing. He told Lone Wolf he would be as good as new in a few months."
I went over to the china cabinet and poured us each a brandy. "Come sit down and try to relax. Who is staying with Lone Wolf?"
"Running Deer," Cal replied. "His real name is Peter, he's that young college kid that Lone Wolf is training."
"You look exhausted Cal. I'll go over and sit with Lone Wolf, as soon as the undertaker removes Noah's body. I want you to have a bath and get into bed. Everything is under control for now. We'll talk about what happened after you’ve had a good night's sleep. I'll need your moral support tomorrow."
I rang for James. "James, have someone take care of Cal and stay with him until he is safely in bed. Where are the other men in Cal's party?"
"They're having dinner in the morning room," James said.
"I'll have a word with them," Adam said. "Be sure one of your staff takes care of them. They'll need a bath and a good night's sleep. They've been in the saddle for over twenty-four hours."
"Yes sir, I'll take care of it."
"Have the car brought around, James. I'll be leaving for the hospital to visit Lone Wolf as soon as the undertaker removes Noah's body."
"Yes sir," James said as he led Cal out and closed the door behind him.
I walked over to the sofa where they had laid Noah's body. "I'm sorry my love, that it had to end this way. I understand what you meant when you said that we are one spirit in two bodies. I've never felt closer to you that I have for these past four days. Your spirit resides within me and you will remain there throughout eternity."
I almost didn't hear the light knock; I got up and opened the door. It was the housekeeper. "Sir, this is Mr. Kelly, the undertaker."
"Please come in, Mr. Kelly. I handed Mr. Kelly the five-page letter I had prepared on the train. "I've decided on a closed casket, Mr. Kelly. When you leave with Mr. Holmes, please take him out through the front door, feet first please."
"Yes, sir. Do you have any other requests?"
"Yes, the medicine man and I will be by tomorrow morning. He will perform a traditional Indian ritual for Mr. Holmes, or Eagle Eye, as he was known by the Indians. He will dress him for burial as an Indian. After he completes the ceremony you will seal the casket in our presence and give him the key."
"Yes, sir." Mr. Kelley said as his men wheeled in the wicker casket atop the catafalque. They transferred Noah's body into the casket and closed the lid. I walked behind the casket as they wheeled it to the front door. I watched the casket being loaded and waited as the hearse drove away. I turned and walked to the morning room and thanked the braves that brought Eagle Eye home. Then I returned to the dining room.
"Gentlemen, thank you for waiting. Noah Holmes died four days ago from a fall from his horse. Our good friend and partner Lone Wolf was severely injured in the same accident. He is being treated at the Denver Hospital.”
"The accident happened in a remote mountain pass and it took the rescuers two days to recover the bodies. I should be able to give you a more detailed account tomorrow. The funeral will be next Saturday morning all offices will be closed from Thursday through Sunday." I handed them each a copy of the detailed arrangements including a copy of the notice that would appear in the national newspapers. “As you know, Noah and I were scheduled to be in Europe for three months, instead, I plan to take two months off and spend it in my retreat in the mountains.”
“When I return, it is my intention to push ahead with the Agriculture project. I plan to embark on a marketing campaign to sell the concept to other farming areas throughout the country. By that time, our pilot program will have proven itself and we will be able to franchise our program to other interested investors."
"Noah was a great man and visionary. He will be remembered for his genuine regard for his employees and his deep regard for people of all races, religions, and persuasions. He was a kind and loving man who enriched our lives. He will be missed. Now, I must leave you. Remember, my door is always open."
Adam spoke to Lone Wolf's doctor and was briefed on his condition and his prognoses. The doctor took him into Lone Wolf's room and introduced him to the charge nurse. They left Adam alone with Lone Wolf. Adam took Lone Wolf’s hand in his and looked down at him. His face was badly bruised. His lower left arm and leg were in plaster casts. Other than that, he looked like he was in one piece. He sat on the edge of the bed as he waited.
Lone Wolf opened his eyes and smiled when he saw Adam sitting on his bed holding his hand. "If I wasn't already married, I’d jump on your bones in a minute, handsome."
Adam grinned, “Thanks for the compliment. Are they taking good care of you?"
"They're doing their best."
"I told your doctor to make arrangements to move you to the house as soon as possible. I think you'll heal much better at home. I might even suggest to Cal that he tie down your other hand arm and leg to the bed and have mad sex with you."
"Hey, I like the sound of that. Why don't you suggest that to him?"
"Cal wanted to come with me but he was exhausted, so I sent him to bed an hour ago. This accident has devastated him. It's going to take him a long time to recover."
"I know, he didn't know how he was going to break it to you about, Noah. Hey, what are you doing here anyway; you're supposed to be in New York?"
Adam smiled, "Noah came to me himself four days ago."
Lone Wolf smiled and nodded his head. "You and Noah are one spirit."
"Did he tell you that he had a premonition about dying six months ago?"
"No, but I suspected as much. It does explain a lot of things."
"Noah was despondent six months ago. He expected something to happen at the time, but it didn't," Adam said. "You know I wanted to be the first to go. We had a good life, more than most people. My plans are to leave the day after the funeral and head for our cabin in the mountains. I need to be alone with Noah for a while. I would like you and Cal to stay here in Denver to keep an eye on things while I'm gone?
"Take Peter with you, Adam. He's a good man and smart as a whip."
"No, you'll need him here; I'll take the young braves that will accompany the medicine man here." Adam smiled, "Don't worry about me, Lone Wolf, Noah will protect me, nothing will happen to me. If it does, then we will be together again."
"Noah was right about you from the beginning, you're a beautiful person inside and out" Lone Wolf said. "I'm ashamed to say you're a better Indian than me. I was so busy trying to find fault with you that I missed what was inside your heart all along. I love you, Adam, not in the way I love Cal, but in the way I loved Noah."
Adam leaned forward and kissed Lone Wolf on the forehead, "I've always loved you, my friend. You need to rest; I'll see you tomorrow."
The funeral went off without a hitch. Adam was pleased at the large turnout for Noah. He would have been pleased, and pleasantly surprised. The telegrams and letters poured in and some very substantial donations for his memorial fund were received. Adam’s shock came when he met with his lawyers after the funeral. With the exception of a block of stock worth a million dollars that he donated to his Education Fund; Noah left everything else to Adam. He was a wealthy man before, now he was filthy rich, as his Pa would say.
Oddly enough, the money meant nothing now. Adam had everything he ever wanted and was presently earning an income he couldn't spend in a year.
After spending two months at the cabin with Noah, Adam returned to Denver completely rested. During his stay, he reverted to the schedule they followed when they lived there together. He read most of the day and walked in the woods for hours at a time. He even started to paint.
The campaign across the country for the Agriculture project was a big success. It took six months to travel to promote the project and he visited the major cities from California to New York. Adam was exhausted by the time he reached New York. The attorneys that handled Noah's estate had a bundle of letters from people claiming they were related to Noah. Most of the requests were from people asking for money. The volume had dropped considerably as the months wore on. Finally, Adam asked the lawyers to handle the correspondence directly. However, there was one letter that they felt required his personal attention. This letter was nothing like the others. It was from a young man named Kyle Hutchinson, who lived and worked in Boston. He claimed that Noah was his father and he wanted to talk to someone who knew his father. Kyle made no claim on the estate. He only wanted to know what his father was like. Adam asked the attorneys to check his background. The attorneys checked him out very carefully and by the time Adam reached New York, he agreed to meet him in person.
The detective’s report was straight forward. Kyle lived with his family in Cambridge up until six months ago. He was the eldest child of the Hutchinson family. He had two younger sisters and a brother. His stepfather is a professor at Harvard. Kyle learned about his natural father from his mother only three months earlier. His mother had developed cancer and was not expected to live. The week before she died, she told Kyle the name of his natural father. Kyle had graduated from Harvard a year ago and was presently employed with a small accounting firm in downtown Boston. He lived in a rooming house in Cambridge.
After the attorneys verified that Kyle was the son of Noah, Adam had arranged to meet with him the Saturday that he arrived in New York. Everything was confirmed and Kyle was to meet the next morning at eleven AM. The front desk rang to advise that Kyle was on his way up to the suite.
When Adam opened the door to greet Kyle Hutchinson, he was absolutely flabbergasted and not prepared for the shock. Heinvited him into his sitting room and could hardly speak. Seated in front of him was a young Noah. Kyle was absolutely handsome. He was tall and well proportioned, with the same dark brown expressive eyes as his father. His hair was black, but soft and curly, whereas Noah’s was straight and jet black. There was no doubt in my mind at all that Kyle was Noah's son.
"You must forgive me, Kyle but this is uncanny, you're a younger version of your father. For a minute I thought you were his ghost. God, this is unbelievable. Have you eaten lunch yet?"
"Good, let's have lunch in the dining room before it becomes crowded."
They were seated at a table by the window. After they ordered, Adam asked, "When do you have to return to Boston?"
"I was planning to return on the afternoon train, Mr. McCord.”
"This is quite a treat for me, sir. I've never thought I would be having lunch with a business tycoon of your reputation."
"Please call me, Adam. Actually, I'm enjoying this more than you. I'm thrilled to be having lunch with Noah's son. Why didn't you come forward before this? Noah would have been overwhelmed to learn that he had a handsome young son like you."
"It was a loss for both of us,” Kyle said. “ I only learned about my real father a few days before my mother died. She and her family keep my birth a big secret. In those days, girls were ostracized if they became pregnant outside marriage. Her family sent her to live with a family in New York until I was born. After that, I was sent to a Catholic boarding school to be raised by the nuns. My mother went back to Boston College to earn her degree in nursing.”
“She was working at the Boston Hospital when she met my stepfather. He was a patient at the time. They started dating after he recovered and shortly thereafter, they married. After they married, I moved in with them. About a year later, my stepfather adopted me. My parents had three more children after that. I have two sisters and a brother. Of course, I knew nothing about my background and my mother never mentioned my father until she knew she was dying of cancer. My real father never knew I existed, and my mother never forgave him for making her pregnant."
"My mom handed me my father’s obituary. She had cut it out of the New York Times and told me that Noah Holmes was my father. My dad sounded like a great guy and I wanted to know more about him. When I showed the clipping to my stepfather, he almost had a stroke. My mother never told him I was half Indian. All along he believed that my father was from Spain. At least, that's what my mother told him. My stepfather never really accepted me. He adopted me to make my mother happy. When my twin sisters came along, they became the center of attention. Then my little brother became the crown prince in our family when he came along. I was twelve years old when he was born. So, we really had very little in common. They ignored me from that point on.”
“My mother loved me in her own way, but there again I always felt that she was ashamed of me because I was a half breed and illegitimate. Maybe if she had loved my father it would have been different, I just don't know. I never understood why my mother felt that way. It is all irrelevant now they're both dead and I will never know the answer. I also never understand why she didn't let my dad know that I existed. Maybe he would have taken me."
Adam paid the bill, "Would you please spend the weekend with me, Kyle?"
"Sure, but I don't have any clothes, other than what I'm wearing?"
"We'll take care of that right now, come with me."
Adam marched Kyle down to Saks Fifth Avenue and bought him a complete wardrobe including underwear, shirts, ties, shoes, pajamas, lounging robes, shoes, slippers and anything the salesman suggested, including a matched set of luggage. Kyle was a perfect size, so it was easy to fit him. The salesman assured them that everything would be delivered to the Plaza later that afternoon.
Adam loved watching Kyle's face light up as he tried on his new wardrobe. He felt the fabric and smiled. He was a charming young man and completely at ease. Adam was enjoying myself for thefirst time since Noah died. Kyle protested at the beginning, but after Adam told him they would discuss it later, he didn't argue and began to enjoy his good fortune.
Adam called the manager and told him his nephew would be staying in his suite and that Saks would be delivering his wardrobe. He requested that the valet make sure everything was put away properly. The manager said he would see to it.
On the way out of Saks Adam said, "How about dinner and a Broadway musical tonight, Kyle?
"That would be marvelous."
"Any show in particular? You know I've always wanted to do that, but never had the chance."
"This will be my first time too, so any show would be fine," Kyle said.
"Let’s walk over to the hotel and order the tickets and make our reservations."
Adam went to the entertainment desk and ordered the tickets. He also took the concierge’s suggestion of having a light dinner before the show, then eating supper at the Skylight Room after dinner. For this afternoon, she suggested the special tour of Manhattan that the hotel recommended for their out of town guests. For Sunday she suggested brunch at the Empire Room, the tour of the Metropolitan Museum, a boat cruise around Manhattan and dinner at the Astor Roof.
"While we're here, would you like to call anyone to let them know you won't be returning tonight, I asked?
"I live in a rooming house, Adam, and even if I had a reason to call, there is no telephone in the house. I have no need for a telephone. Anyway, I'm saving every penny for college. There's no one I have to call anyway, but thanks for asking."
"Let's walk a little; we have time before we take the tour. I would like to tell you what a wonderful man your father was. Your father was half Cherokee and half Scotch. Your grandmother was a full- blooded Indian girl. Your grandfather was from Scotland and came to the United States to make his fortune mining for gold. Well he married you grandmother and shortly thereafter struck gold and did very well. They had one child Noah Holmes, or Eagle Eye, as your father was known by the Indians. After he earned his feather, your grandfather took him up to Boston and enrolled him in prep school. Your father was an outstanding student and earned two bachelor's degrees and a masters from Harvard. He returned to Denver to take care of his father and to run the family business. Along the way, he met a dirt-poor uneducated farm boy and took him under his wing and taught him everything he knew. I'm that farm boy.”
“Your father was a wonderful, wonderful man and died long before his time. I'm sorry you never had the opportunity to know him. I know Noah would have been overjoyed if he knew you existed. God, what a tragedy! He told me he was quite a lady’s man while he was in college, so your existence doesn't surprise me. Had your mother said something, he would have been happy to raise
you. The one thing your father regretted was not having a son to carry on after he died. We'll talk about this again later."
Adam was in the sitting room reading a report when Kyle walked in. "Don't you ever stop working, Adam? You were reading those reports when I turned last night," Kyle said.
Adam smiled, "People are depending on me. They need my approval on these projects before they can proceed. I don't like to keep them waiting."
"How many hours of work do you have ahead of you today?" Kyle asked.
"About five, maybe six hours, tops."
"Can we talk for a few minutes?"
"Of course, Kyle., What's on your mind?"
"Why did you spend so much money on me yesterday? I feel uncomfortable about accepting such expensive gifts from a stranger. I also feel guilty taking you away from your business. I'm sure you didn't plan to spend the day with me yesterday, did you?"
"Your right, I planned to have lunch with you and send you on your way. But you changed all that. You are Noah’s son. His spirit is alive in you. The time I've spent with you was not wasted, my work will always be there, but you won't."
"Would you mind if we canceled the plans for today and spent a relaxing day together and just talked? I'm going to need some time to pack and head back to Boston later this afternoon."
"That's fine, I’ll order breakfast. If you’ll excuse me, I’ll just shower and dress before they deliver our breakfast."
Room service delivered the breakfast and set the table. "What are your plans for the future?" Adam asked.
"My immediate plans are to go back to Harvard for my MBA. I've already started putting part of my salary away. That's the reason I'm living in a rooming house right now. My future goal is to become a business consultant with one of the major consulting firms. After I gain enough experience, I plan to start my own firm.
"Other than Harvard, do you have any personal attachments keeping you in Boston?"
Kyle smiled, "No I'm not involved with anyone at the moment, if that's what you mean."
"What about your family, how would your stepfather feel if you moved?"
"My stepfather asked me to move out after my mother died."
"I have a proposition for you, Kyle. I'm going to make you the same offer your father made me. I want you to come and work for me for three years. You will become my protégé. I'll teach you this business and give you the option to pick any division you want to take over and run in the future. I will pay you the same salary our management trainees earn. You will live with me and I'll pay all your expenses which include your wardrobe. If after three years you feel you still want to attend Harvard for your MBA, I will send you to Harvard, or any other university you choose and pay all your expenses and your salary. If you apply yourself, I will turn over my holding to you."
"If you decide that you don't like working for the company, you can walk away with no strings attached. Your bonus, for three years, will amount to $150,000 thousand dollars."
"I hope you will give this a lot of serious thought, because I think it's important that you learn about your father and your Indian heritage."
"Of course, there is a catch to all this. I want you to change your name back to Holmes. If you do that, I will set up a trust fund under the name of Holmes when I return to Denver next week. If you agree, I will have your birth records changed to reflect your father's name and list him as your father. Once that has been accomplished, the trust fund is yours."
"As I said, I will be in New York until this Thursday. That should give you ample time to make your decision. If you decide to accept my offer, I expect you to accompany me back to Denver Thursday night."
"My God, you sure like to overwhelm a guy," Kyle said. "Suppose you decide after a few months that you've made a mistake and you don't want me around, where does that leave me?"
"Good question, if that happens, I will give you a $50,000 dollar bonus and one year’s severance pay. You will still have your trust fund to fall back on if you live up to the conditions I mentioned."
"What is Denver like?"
"It’s really a beautiful city, not as big as Boston, but it's clean and the people are friendly. It is lovely when it snows, and the hunting and skiing is the best in the country. It still has the flavor of the old west but the benefits of a cosmopolitan city. My estate is on the property given to your grandparents by the Indians years ago. Actually, it is within the reservation. The manor house is large and is quite comfortable. I employ a large staff to run the place."
"It was also the corporate headquarters until your father designed and built our new office building. Noah felt the business was encroaching on his privacy. We have two office buildings in town where most of our staff work, however your father and I worked out of the manor house. I have executive staff meetings twice a week and board meetings the first Monday of the month."
"What would my duties be as your assistant?"
"Everything, from writing reports, to preparing budgets, and troubleshooting. You will be making presentations and traveling with me on marketing trips. Initially, you will work with me for six months. After that, you will spend three months working in operations training of our major divisions. After that phase is over, you will work directly with me. I must warn you right now, this is not going to be an easy job. You’re going to be putting in long days and working most weekends except for Sundays. We will take six weeks of vacation during the late summer when our business is slow.”
"Hard work never bothered me," Kyle said. "I've been working since I was a kid. This job sounds exciting. I would be less than truthful if I didn't tell you that I am completely overwhelmed by your offer. Hell, I'm not over yesterday yet, let alone this. I've never had anything handed to me on a silver platter. I had to work for everything I ever wanted.”
"As a child I had to adhere to strict rules laid down by my parents and there was no margin for errors. My parents insisted that I be better than other boys, because as they reminded me, I was different from other boys. My father never let me forget that I was a stepchild and that I should realize how lucky I was to be living is such a fine home. I'm sure that I didn’t have it any worse than most boys my age. But there was never any love or tenderness shown towards me either.
“Every gift I received came with a warning. If it was a toy, I was told not to damage it because it was going to be passed on to my brother or some poor deserving child. One year I was given a set of trains for Christmas. My stepfather allowed me to play with them one hour each day during Christmas vacation. After Christmas they were put away until the following Christmas."
"My parents never struck me. Yet, the mind games they played were far worse than any beating you could imagine. I was never allowed to invite my friends into the house. I made it my business to always have a job because I could get out of the house. God blessed me with a good mind. I was a fast learner and retained everything I learned. One of my father’s other conditions was that I could not hold down a job if my grades dropped below an A average."
"I've decided to accept your offer, Adam, with the understanding that you will be honest with me. If my work is unsatisfactory, I want you to tell me right away. I want more than anything else to take my father’s name. Now when do you want me to begin?"
"I'm pleased that we will be working together. You start tomorrow. Take the train back to Boston today and pack up all the things you can't live without. Don't bother packing any old suits or casual clothes. After you've finished packing, call Railway Express and have them ship everything to the Holmes Estate in Denver. Tidy up your business and personal affairs and be back here no later than Tuesday evening. He went over to the safe and counted out ten one hundred-dollar bills. Here this should cover your expenses. I suggest you stop at the front desk and have them break two of those bills into smaller denominations. Keep a record or your expenses and get receipts whenever you can."
"One of your jobs will be to handle the cash and take care of our expenses while we're on the road. I'll set up a special account for you when we get back to Denver. I always want you to keep five thousand in cash with you. We can use letters of credit while we're on the road."
"No problem," Kyle said. If it's alright with you, I'll get dressed and catch the next train to Boston. I'd like to get started right away."
"Good idea, the sooner you get back here the better. I want to take you back to Saks Fifth Avenue and finish off your wardrobe. One last thing, Kyle, we travel first class and we never stay or eat at second class hotels."
Kyle smiled, "Yes, sir. I like this job already." He excused himself to dress and was back in a half hour dressed from head to toe in his new clothes.
"You look smashing," Adam said.
Kyle smiled, "Not bad for an Indian, if I do say so myself. I'll call you around noon tomorrow to let you know my progress. There's really no place you can reach me."
Kyle walked over and shook Adam's hand. "Thanks, Boss, see you in a day or so."
Adam smiled, "You'll do just fine."
The train pulled into Denver at four o'clock that afternoon. The chauffeur was waiting for them at the platform. "Good afternoon, sir. Did you have a comfortable trip?" David asked.
"Excellent, David. I am happy to introduce Kyle Hutchinson Holmes, my assistant. He will be living with me at Holmes Manor from now on."
"Welcome to Denver, Mr. Holmes."
James opened the door for Adam. "It's good to have you back, Sir."
"James, I would like you to meet Kyle Hutchinson Holmes, he is my new assistant and will be living with us from now on. He is to have my old suite."
James stared at Kyle before answering, "Forgive me for staring Mr. Holmes, but you look just like Master Noah. It's a pleasure to welcome you to Holmes Manor, Mr. Holmes."
"Thank you, James," Kyle said. "I'm sorry if I've startled you."
"Is Lone Wolf around?" Adam asked.
"Yes sir, he and Mr. Cal are in the drawing room."
"Come on, Kyle; let’s put the fear of God in those two. You stay outside the door until I call you."
Adam opened the door to the drawing room and walked in. Both were seated by the fireplace. Cal was reading a textbook and Lone Wolf was dozing. "Good afternoon gentlemen, is this how you work when the boss is away?"
Cal got up and hugged Adam. "It's good to have you home again."
Lone Wolf started to rise from the chair, "Please don't get up," Adam said. He walked over and kissed him on the forehead. “It’s good to see you again old friend, how is the leg coming along? Do you think you’re ready to ride up to the mountains?"
"The leg and me are doing just fine, thanks," Lone Wolf said. "Doc told me to give it another month. So where is this brilliant protégé of yours? Lose his way back from the station?"
"Kyle, would you come in please?" Adam watched the shocked expressions on their faces. “Kyle, I would like you to meet Cal Whit and Lone Wolf, the two gentlemen I was telling you about."
"Lone Wolf, Cal, please say hello to my protégé, Kyle Hutchinson Holmes.
Kyle walked over and shook their hands, "Adam has told me so much about you both."
"Kyle is Noah's son," Adam said.
"My God Adam, never do that again," Cal said. “I thought I saw a ghost."
"Kyle, you are one handsome Indian," Lone Wolf said.
"He is that; he also has his father’s brains. So, you better watch it Injin. All kidding aside, Lone Wolf, Kyle only learned about his father three months ago. His mother handed him Noah’s obituary before she died. He wants to learn all about his father and about his Indian heritage. I told him that you two knew more about his father than anyone.”
"When you feel like riding, I would like you to take Kyle around the reservation and introduce him to the Chief and the council, and especially the medicine man," Adam said.
"Don't worry; I'll make sure they meet."
"We'll see you later at dinner; I want to show Kyle around."
When they were alone again Cal shook his head, "I'm going to kill that Adam yet," Cal said. "I almost had a stroke when Kyle walked into the room."
Lone Wolf chuckled, "Did you think Noah came back for you?"
"You're as bad as Adam. I wonder what Adam thought when he walked into his life?” Cal asked.
"I don't know what he thought then, but I can tell you what he thinks now," Lone Wolf said. “And he's heading for big trouble with Kyle."
"You’re crazy if you think that of Adam, he is still in love with Noah that will never change," Cal said.
"Adam and I had a long talk after he came back from the cabin," Lone Wolf said. "Adam feels that Noah's spirit is inside him. Why do you think he never cried and mourned atNoah's funeral?”
“The love they shared goes beyond the grave according to Adam. Noah was with him at the cabin. My fear is that his feelings for Kyle will end up destroying him. Right now, Adam sees Kyle as a son. But what I see in Adam's eyes is not the love of a parent. Remember that promise he made to Noah. That he had to find the right person to take control of the company if he steps down. Kyle is going to be that man. Providing Kyle has the brains and is up to the task. If Kyle has half the brains and heart that Adam has, he will do alright."
"Since when did you and Adam become kissing buddies?" Cal asked.
Lone Wolf grinned, "Do I detect a little jealousy rearing its ugly head?"
"Not really, I love Adam, but I also know his tastes run to sexy Indians like you, so watch it."
"The kissing started in the hospital, we are like brothers, that's all. Adam respects our marriage; he would never come between us. He treasures our friendship. I wish he would find someone like Noah to love. But I think he is too wrapped up in this business. According to Noah, that was Adam's only flaw."
It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon. Kyle and Adam were walking along one of the many trails that wound through the reservation. "Mind if I ask you a personal question?" Kyle asked.
"Go ahead, ask away."
"What was the real relationship between you and my father?
"He was my lover and spouse," Adam said.
"I thought so," Kyle said. "He must have loved you a lot to leave you everything he owned."
"He did. Would you like to hear how we met?"
"Yes, I would."
Adam started from the beginning and left nothing out. He told Kyle what he had never told anyone else, about his instructions to the funeral director and the medicine man. Of the reason why he never cried or broke down when Noah died and about how their spirits had joined that moment. He went on to tell him of Noah's premonition and how they had prepared themselves for eternity.
"How do you feel about my father today?" Kyle asked.
"My feelings for Noah have not changed. He had written me a long letter before he died to be opened after his death. It was the most beautiful touching letter I have ever read. He had hidden it at the cabin, and I read it repeatedly. In it he told me that he wanted me to remarry and I was not to leave my stock in the corporations to my lover. Instead, he asked that I place my stock in a Trust turning half of it over to our employees and the other half the Cherokee Indians still living on the Reservation. Noah did not want any large conglomerate taking over control of our company."
"I'd already taken care of that. The business will be distributed the way he wanted it," Adam said. "Of course, I've changed that now. You will inherit everything when I die. But, as you continue to grow in the company and this is what you really want, I plan to turn over the reins of the business to you."
"What are you saying?" Adam."
"That you are my heir, Kyle. I'll never marry again. You are the rightful heir to your father’s estate. Noah's estate belongs to you. You have done well this past year and I know you have what it takes to run the business."
"How old are you, Adam?"
"I've just turned twenty-nine, not quite over the hill, yet."
"God no, you look so young, it’s hard to believe that a laid-back person like you have the balls to run a huge corporation. You're a rich and powerful man and you've accomplished everything you set out to do. You're a remarkable man."
"That may be true, but I paid a high price for my wealth. I've always regretted not having that second honeymoon with your father. Sometimes, when I sit in the office late at night, I wonder if I'm out of my mind. I don't need any more money and it's not as if I were doing it for the wife and kiddies. I wonder why I am pushing myself so hard. That’s when I miss Noah the most. When I start feeling that way too often, I know it's time for me to drop everything and run to our cabin to sort things out. Don't, for God sakes, become a workaholic like me. Your father warned me that was my one fault and it was the seed of my own destruction."
"Don't get me wrong, this is a great business and I'm happy most of the time, but this has been a rough year. It has taken me a long time to adjust to the death of a loved one." Adam smiled, "money helps but it's not a substitute for a warm body to curl up with at the end of a long day."
"Thanks for leveling with me about my father," Kyle said. "I wish I had known him when he was alive. From what everyone had told me about him, he was truly a great man."
"Does it bother you to learn that your father was a homosexual?"
"A little, it's certainly not considered acceptable behavior today and it's certainly something that could ruin your career, or in your case, your business. I certainly don't understand his sexual preference considering his womanizing early on in his life. Maybe he was searching for his own identity. It's hard to know, but whatever his final decision, I'm glad he met my mother. I think the most important thing was that he found the happiness he sought in his life before he died."
"I'm grateful for everything you have given me. You have been very generous to me. You owed me nothing; in fact, you didn't even have to see me in the first place. Yet you've made me rich beyond my wildest dreams. My life had been uneventful and colorless until I met you. This past year has been wonderful in every way imaginable. Everyone I've met here has gone out of their way to make me feel welcome. I'm delighted with my job and have learned so much from you. You've been patient with me and taken your time to explain things when I was having a difficult time comprehending a subject."
"There is so much to learn yet, it's so exciting at the same time. I'm still feeling my way and treading lightly. I know you want me to begin my apprenticeship in Iowa next month, but I dread the thought of leaving you. I suppose that makes me sound a little wimpy and all, but this is the first time I've been truly accepted, and I've never been happier."
Adam smiled, "I don't want you to leave either. I’ve gotten used to having you around. You've become my right hand. However, we must think of your future. Someday you'll be running this company and you need to know the whole operation. You'll see, the six months will fly by."
"I hope so," Kyle said."
Kyle left in April to begin his training in Iowa. Without Kyle to guide him, Adam was back to working twelve hours a day. He spoke to Kyle every Sunday and wrote when he could in his spare time. Kyle was not happy living in Iowa. He threw himself into his job and was making progress. During his second month on the job, he received some disturbing news from Adam. He said he would be making a survey trip and would not be able to speak to him every Sunday as usual. But that he would write as often as possible.
Jack Daws, the president of the AgraChemical division called Lone Wolf two months later regarding Kyle's depressed state. In his opinion, Kyle was going through some serious emotional problems and refuses to discuss them with him or his friends. He thought Kyle was doing a great job, but he was becoming more despondent every day. He asked Lone Wolf if he would talk to him and find out what's troubling him.
Later that evening Lone Wolf called Kyle at home, they talked for a while about this and that. Lone Wolf said, "Kyle, Jack Daws called me today and told me you're depressed, and he is concerned about you. Tell me what your problem is."
"I haven't heard for Adam in over a month," Kyle said. "I have a feeling something is wrong, he hasn't answered my letters, or called me. This is not like him, Lone Wolf, it's driving me crazy. He's not on a survey, or he would have called by now. Lone Wolf, what wrong, you've got to tell me. I'm going crazy here."
"If he wanted you to know, he would have told you, Kyle. He made me promise not to reveal his location. You know I can't tell you."
"For God’s sake, Lone Wolf, I'm in love with Adam and I miss him so much."
"Now I understand. You're a hard man to read. You're a chip off the old block. You know I can't go back on my word to Adam. I wish I could tell you. I can tell you he left a sealed envelope for you at Holmes Manor."
"Thank you, Lone Wolf. I'm leaving for Denver right away. I want you to have Peter plan to take me up to the cabin. I want you to have the Chief find me a white Indian ceremonial outfit. My plans are to take off for the cabin the following day."
"How did you guess where he was," Lone Wolf asked?
"Eagle Eye told me," Kyle said.
“Good evening master Kyle, It's good to have you home again," James said.
"It's good to be home, James even if it is for one night. Is Lone Wolf about?"
"No sir, he left a message for you. He told me to tell you that everything has been arranged for your trip and he would be home for dinner. He also said that the special clothes you requested are in your dressing room. Here sir, he asked me to give you this envelope."
"Thank you, James, I'll be in my bedroom suite; you can take care of my bags later."
Kyle sat down and opened the letter from Adam. It was dated last month.
My Dearest Kyle,
By the time you read this letter, I should be in France. Forgive me for taking the cowards way out, but I could no longer bear the heartache of seeing you again, feeling as I do. I am completely and hopelessly in love with you.
I despise myself for letting this happen, because at this point in your career, you really need my guidance more than ever, but that can't be helped. Please don't think that I am leaving you out there to fend for yourself, because I'm not, my love. I've been monitoring your progress monthly with Jack and making some minor changes in your training. I will continue to follow your progress and guide your career from a distance. Lone Wolf and Cal will work with you and help you until I can return to continue your training. This I will do as soon as I have learned to keep my emotions under control.
These last three months not seeing you have been a hell on earth for me because I thought I was losing my mind, I missed you so much. I will admit I was attracted to you in the beginning, but that was only because you reminded me so much of your father. My motives were honorable, and I was happy to make sure you received what was rightfully yours. It didn't help that you have your father’s good looks and his endearing qualities. Yet, you're unique in your own way. Once I began working with you, I began to see your inner strength and compassion. It is also true I came to admire the striking difference between you and your father and that is what drew me to you. You are more polished and sensitive to other peoples’ needs. You are more flexible in your attitudes and more creative in your thinking. You are overly complex, young man, and at this point you need a more objective person than me just now.
I feel that Lone Wolf and Cal can give you the right balance you need for the present. Your thought processes are a perfect blend between your Indian culture and your Scottish ancestry. That is why you have been successful in your business dealings with the conservative Northeastern businessmen.
Naturally, you were raised in that environment and understand their mind set. For that reason alone, I don't feel that you will experience the deep resentment they had for your father.
I'm not the strong silent type like your father who was an expert in hiding his feelings. I've always been honest and open in my relations with people. This is doubly true in my relationship with you. I cannot continue to work with you and hide my love for you. I'm afraid that you will discover these feelings. That is why I have chosen this course. I have taken a leave of absence for the present and will use that time to take control of emotions once again. I really need this time in Noah’s special place to get this out of my system. From there I plan to return to Europe and revisit the places that Noah and I loved so much.
Writing this letter was exceedingly difficult, but I thought it important that you know that I'm not abandoning you. I hope you will not judge me too harshly and that we can continue the close friendship we have established. As I mentioned, I will continue to monitor your progress very closely and will be there for you if you need my help. In any event, I will return long before your three-year contract has expired. Who knows, maybe by the time you will decide to chuck it all and go back to Harvard for your MBA. I can only pray that you decide to stay and run your father’s business.
Again, forgive me for running out on you at this time, but I'm mentally and physically exhausted and I needed this time to heal. I've been on an emotional roller coaster since Noah died and falling in love with you did not help my peace of mind.
I 'm not sorry I fell in love with you. My only regret is that I've allowed this love to spoil the good relationship we had together. I feel so ashamed for letting you and Noah down.
With all my love,
The tears were running down Kyle's cheeks as he folded the letter and put it back into the envelope. He wiped his eyes and smiled. He felt as if a great weight had been lifted off his shoulders. He walked into the dressing room and opened the box Lone Wolf had dropped off.
He stripped naked and dressed in the Indian garments. He started with the white loincloth, the pants, the white vest, the beads and arm bands and the simple feathered headdress and the beaded moccasins. He stood in front of the full-length mirror and was pleased with his image.
He heard the soft knock on the sitting room door and heard Lone Wolf's voice call to him.
Lone Wolf grinned when he saw Kyle dressed in the costume. Lone Wolf whistled, "You are one handsome Indian, I'm glad you decided to come back Kyle. Have you ever considered a career on the stage? Yes sir, Eagle Eye would be proud of you. Have you been working with weights?"
"Yes, for over two years now. Sitting behind a desk all day, doesn't burn off enough calories."
"Everything is ready for your trip up to the cabin," Lone Wolf said. He handed him a package. "Here are two more sets of buckskins. You will be much more comfortable in these."
"Thanks for everything," Kyle said. "One more thing, please make arrangements to book me on that trip to Europe with Adam. He will have the second honeymoon. Only this time with Junior."
Lone Wolf looked serious and cleared throat, "Kyle are sure you're in love with Adam. Could this feeling you are having for him be more a case of gratitude? Adam was the first person to really care for you and the first person to give you such wealth. It's only natural that you would feel this way toward him. You're only twenty-three, that seems awfully young to decide you're in love with another man. Particularly, since you've never had any exposure to the gay lifestyle."
Kyle smiled, "I've thought about this for some time, Lone Wolf. You see, for some time now, my feelings for Adam were more gratitude for a generous uncle. After we separated, I felt completely alone with this gnawing ache in my heart. It only grew worse as the weeks passed. At first, I suppressed these feelings and buried myself in my work. However, after the excitement of my new position wore off, my longing for Adam increased. My desire for him went beyond the platonic relationship we enjoyed. My love for him did not happen overnight; it steadily grew over a period.”
"In any event, Lone Wolf, this relationship was meant to be. This is not some schoolboy crush. I’ve agonized over my feelings for months. Adam was close to my age when my father found him. Adam told me in that letter that he loves me as deeply as I love him. He is a wonderful man and I know I can make him happy. I'm sure my father would want that for us."
Lone Wolf smiled and shook his head, "I'm going to tell you something, my handsome young brave. The first time I met Adam, I said to Cal, that this man was bad news for Noah. I was convinced Adam was not the right man for him. When I saw the way Adam looked at you, I said to Cal, that you were bad news for Adam, and you would end up breaking his heart. I saw the way Adam looked at you. I also thought that being separated would be the best thing for both of you in the long run. Look how wrong I've been. Don't rely on my judgment when it comes to matters of the heart."
Kyle smiled warmly, "Maybe it's because you love them more than you’re willing to admit. You're a true, and loyal friend, Lone Wolf. I hope you will learn to love me in the same way."
Kyle smiled warmly, "I already do."
"I have a lot to do before I set off at first light tomorrow morning. Give me some time to change and I'll join you for dinner, Kyle said."
Kyle and his party reached High Ridge, Lone Wolf's ranch, late in the evening of the second day. The medicine man sent a scout ahead to talk to Min & Joe and to observe Adam's daily routine.
Lone Wolf told them of Kyle and that his visit was to be a surprise. The scout returned the following day and told Kyle what he observed of Adam's daily routine.
"Adam is a creature of habit according to Min," the scout said. "He rises every morning at six o'clock and reads. He leaves the house at seven for his morning jog through the woods, returning an hour later. After his exercise, he showers, shaves, and has breakfast. Some mornings he practices the piano or reads until ten thirty. Other mornings, he'll work in his small garden, or walk up the trail to the clearing to sunbathe as he reads his bible. He returns to the house at twelve thirty for lunch and takes a short nap in the hammock. After his nap, he will take a long walk in the woods again returning at dusk and dress for dinner. After dinner he may play the piano for a few hours, then read his bible and retire for bed by nine o'clock."
"I think I'll meet him in the clearing tomorrow morning," Kyle said. “I understand one of your men makes regular trips to the cabin several times a week, so it won't come as a surprise if I ride in with your man. I'll hide in the barn until it is safe for me to head up to the clearing. Joe can give me the all-clear signal while Adam is busy in the cabin."
"It'll work," the medicine man said. "You sure remind me of your father dressed in those Buckskins. Joe is going to think he's seen a ghost when he lays eyes on you dressed as an Indian Brave."
It was nine o'clock the next morning when Kyle rode into the barn. Joe almost fell over when he saw Kyle. "I have that effect on people that knew my father," Kyle said. "Eagle Eye was my father."
"I thought you came back from the happy hunting ground, Mr. Holmes."
Kyle chuckled, "Tell you what, Joe, instead of calling me Mr. Holmes why don't we settle for Eagle Two?"
"Mr. Adam is showering; he should be heading out to the clearing in an hour. We need to unload the pack horses and let the braves head back down the trail.”
Joe went back to the cabin to check on Adam. He was back in ten minutes later. "He is eating his breakfast now. Come with me I'll take you up to the clearing." Joe led him to the spot where Adam spent his morning.
"This is an ideal spot," Kyle said. "There are plenty of places to hide without being spotted. Thanks for your help Joe."
Kyle changed into the ceremonial outfit. After he changed, he sat on a large rock and waited for Adam. Kyle heard Adam before he saw him. He quickly hid behind a clump of bushes and waited. He peeked through the bushes and sighed. There seated on the blanket was the man he loved. The sun shone brightly on his blond curly hair outlining his handsome face.
Adam looked beautiful in the early morning sun. He set up his easel and began to set his unfinished canvas on the stand.
Kyle placed on the headdress and walked toward Adam. Adam was too occupied with his painting to hear Kyle approach; he was a few feet from him when Adam turned and saw Kyle standing before him. He opened his mouth to speak but didn't utter a sound.
"You're not dreaming my love," Kyle said. He walked over to Adam and pulled him to his feet and into his arms and held him. "I love you with all my mind and body, Adam."
Adam put his arms around Kyle's neck and pulled his lips to his and kissed him tenderly. "My God, you are absolutely the most gorgeous sight to behold. I can’t believe you are here and I'm holding you in my arms.” He kissed him again and forced his tongue into Kyle's mouth and ran his hands over his naked body. He could feel Kyle's hard penis pressing against his own erection.
Kyle pulled back and removed Adam's buckskin shirt. He then removed his headdress and vest. He reached down and unlaced the drawstring holding up Adams pants and let the drop to his feet. Adam stepped out of them and led Kyle over to the blanket. He undid the leather drawstring and removed the white breach cloth and stood back to admire Kyle's naked body in all its glory.
"You are more beautiful, even more so than I ever imagined," Adam said. “Lay down on the blanket with me, my love."
Kyle took him in his arms and kissed him. He smiled, "Promise me that you”ll never run away from me again?"
"Oh Kyle, my beautiful love, I pray you are not a dream. It is you?"
“Lay on your back my love," Adam said.
He straddled Kyle and kissed his face and neck. He kissed and sucked his body from the neck down his chest. Slowly, sucking each nipple until they were hard. He worked his way down to his naval and slowly to his genitals. Kyle was moaning with pleasure. He did not touch Kyle's erect penis but worked down his thighs and back up to his groin area. He spread his legs and sucked his testicles and down to his anus. He forced his tongue deep into his anus.
Adam could see that Kyle was close as his testicles were pulled close to his body. Adam took this beautiful cock into his mouth and inserted his finger into Kyle rectum at the same time and began massaging his prostate at the same time.
Kyle went wild, he moaned and began thrusting his hips, driving his penis deep into Adams throat. "Adam, I'm going to come." with his body stiffened and he erupted into Adam's throat. Adam felt Kyle's body relax. Adam licked the last drop of sperm from Kyle's penis.
Kyle pulled him on top of him and wrapped his arms around him. He was still in a state of euphoria and breathing rapidly. After his breathing returned to normal, he kissed Adam passionately. "That was wonderful, Adam. I've never experienced an organism like that before. I almost blacked out.
Now it's your turn, baby."
"Sweetheart you're the first man I've ever had sex with," Kyle said. "I'm a virgin when it comes to male sex."
"You act as if you were experienced at this," Adam said.
"I'm a fast learner. I just followed your lead. Do you know what the white Indian dress signified, Adam?"
"That is the clothing an Indian male wears when he chooses a mate. I love you Adam, will you be my spouse?"
"Yes, my love. If you are sure this is what you want? I don't understand. How did you know where to find me?"
"I was going mad when I didn't hear from you and I was heading for a nervous breakdown. Jack called Lone Wolf asking for his help. That was when I decided to return to Denver. Lone Wolf was very evasive when I pressed him for your whereabouts. Once he assured me that you were not sick, I knew where you were. After I read your letter everything became clear."
"I'm so sorry, my beautiful brave," Adam said. "Jack mentioned nothing about you being depressed. Had I known I would have had Lone Wolf get to you right away." He pulled Kyle to him and kissed him tenderly. Adam smiled, "It doesn't take much to get aroused, and you’re fantastic."
Kyle laughed, "Hey baby, you're hard enough to cause me serious damage." He kissed Adam forcing his tongue deep into his mouth. "I want you to make love to me. I want you deep inside me."
"Yes, my love."
They fell asleep in each other's arms. Adam woke and kissed Kyle as he rubbed his back.
"Are you feeling better, my love?" Adam asked.
"That was the most beautiful experience I've ever felt. We are one now, my love. You were fantastic. You are the only man for me. I think we should return to the cabin and make plans for our European honeymoon.”
Adam smiled, “That is the second-best thing I’ve heard today.”
They dressed and folded the blanket and walked arm and arm down the path to the cabin.