Author: FancyFigures
Disclaimer: I don't own 'em, wish I did, just enjoy writing about 'em for free etc
Pairings: 4x2
Category: Duo POV, AU, romance
Warnings: Yaoi, lemon
Spoilers: None
Notes: Duo gains a little bit more than money from his holiday job!
Feedback: If you liked it, PLEASE let me know!

A request for Lisa--chan, who's drawn me such pretty pics -- hope this is the ride you were wishing for!
And apologies for any expert horse riders out there, if I made technical mistakes, in my ignorance!

Smooth Ride

I straightened my body, pushing the hair out of my eyes, and cursing quietly when it stuck to my sweaty forehead. My tee shirt was clinging to my skin like it knew it'd never survive the week, and my lower back was complaining bitterly. The crusty old handle of the rake felt like it had moulded itself into my palm. I mean, I've done plenty of physical work in my time, but this was proving the master of me! I was expected to be up before the damned larks, dressed and eaten in a few minutes, then marched out to muck out the stables. There was no allowance for the weather, no allowance for the day of the week, no allowance for whether I'd drunk too much of the free (though weak) beer that was provided each evening with dinner.

Thank God it was summer, because I'd have baulked at this in the winter frost!

But it was just a job, wasn't it?

I needed the money, this year -- well, the guys at the Children's Home needed the money, to be honest. I didn't live there any more, of course, I'd got a place in college, and a small room of my own in an apartment block, and I was pretty proud of all that. But I went back and visited as often as I could, and each time I did, I could see that the old building was in more and more of a state. There was so little money from anywhere else, y'know, and what there was, they spent on the kids first. So I'd offered to come back through the holidays and help fix up some repairs, and decorate the place over. It had been my own home for so many years -- I knew the kids there; I knew the helpers there. I wanted to do something in return.

But it took money for materials, and tools, and when have you ever known a student with anything more than a pocketful of change? So when I heard they'd re--opened the riding stables outside of town, and were looking for holiday help to get it ready for the new season, I went along.

The stables were set in the grounds of a rather fabulous house; magnificent architecture, enough rooms to get lost in, grounds, and woods, and fields, and stables...yeah, I knew the house! Not that I'd ever been inside it, but it was owned by the Winner family, and their son had been at the local school, many years ago. They were swimming in money -- I think the kid only ended up in our town, because the family needed a base while they renovated the house. He did six months or so, same class as me, then they whisked him off to some private school, or tutors, or something. He was bright enough. Very bright!

Don't know what happened to the family -- there had always been people coming and going at the house, but this was the first time they'd got involved in the community again. They had horses of their own, of course -- but it was good that they'd hired out the facilities to the school.

Anyway, it was good for me, wasn't it? The school was offering bed and board in the bunkhouse in the grounds, and a reasonable wage. It meant I could help the Home with some money, and then in my free time, I could start work on the roof repairs as well. I thought it'd do me just fine for a month or so.

Like I said -- it was just a job, wasn't it?

*

As I raked over the damp straw on the floor, one of the horses snickered behind me. Yeah, buddy, I thought, through gritted teeth. They knew me too well. Y'see, it's not as if I had much love of the beasts themselves -- the horses!

I mean, we all had to have a go on a horse, when we started here, didn't we? The manager of the school was happy to let us try, and some of the other guys helping out could already ride, and enjoyed being around horses. They were a friendly enough bunch of college kids, and we all got on OK -- so they were keen to help me, the newbie. One of them had hoisted me up on to one of the great, heaving monsters, then I sat there, clutching the reins like they were the only thing between me and my eventual doom. I thought I was too high, and too unstable, and my ass too precious to risk on this dubious venture. But everyone smirked at my obvious nervousness -- so I had to save face somehow, right? I sat up bravely, and felt the animal sweating and rumbling underneath me like a living mountain, equally as unimpressed with me. When my friend slapped the horse gently to get it to walk round, I heard the sound of his hand on the warm, live flanks like a gunshot.

I was rather afraid at that moment that I'd wet my pants. So I just hung on to the reins even more tightly, as the beast lumbered off, its hooves clattering on the stones of the stable floor, and its breath huffing in the morning air.

I wobbled uneasily for a while; I let the damned animal go exactly where it wished, because I had no control over it whatsoever; then it stopped back where we started, obviously bored to death with me; and then I went to get off. I mean, I tried to slide elegantly out of the stirrups, but somehow my limbs didn't seem to be obeying me. My knee bent awkwardly, my hand slipped off the top lumpy bit of the saddle --

It was inevitable, wasn't it? I fell on my ass on the cold, hard yard.

My friends didn't stop laughing for hours after.

It wasn't one of my proudest memories. They didn't go on about it for too long afterwards -- but I wasn't going up on a horse again. Why should I? I'm no glutton for punishment!

*

I winced at the memory of my sore ass that day; my hands tightened on the rake, and I started my cleaning duty with renewed vigour.

I was on my own for a while. The manager had been impressed with the experience of some of the guys -- he'd offered us the chance of exercising the horses each morning, up in the top fields. The others had been excited at the opportunity, came in early to get ready -- but guess who modestly passed up the offer?

Old bruised ass himself -- me.

So here I was, left alone with animals that I was understandably nervous of, and who sounded suspiciously like they were laughing at me, most of the time!

It left me some time on my own, anyway. When I got the cleaning finished, I reckoned on a quick hour or so before they got back, so I could sketch out some of my plans for the Home, make my first shopping list of materials to buy.

As I worked back round the yard, washing the stones with the hose, and scrubbing them down with the broom, I heard the unmistakable sound of a horse galloping. It was over in the training field, which abutted the stables themselves. I wondered which student hadn't gone out to the top fields -- perhaps there was another one as nervous as I was!

But when I stuck my head round the side of the barn to watch, I saw something very far from a timid student.

*

There was a guy on a horse, cantering round the training field, taking it through its paces. He looked very professional -- he was obviously an experienced rider. I wondered if he were one of the teachers, or something. And it was a magnificent horse, even I could see that -- it had a glossy chestnut coat, its head was held high, and its step was sure and eager. I didn't remember rubbing down that beauty.

And the guy... well, my eyes stayed quite a bit longer on him! Certain desires to rub him down ran unchecked through my hormonal little mind, and I swallowed them down with difficulty. I mean, I've been gay for as long as I can remember, but I don't broadcast the fact, mainly because there are too many people who are uncomfortable with it. I don't need that kind of hassle.

But he was something else -- I'd rarely seen anything so delicious in all my sheltered little life! He looked about my age, but there was an air of confidence and maturity about him that made me feel like the worst kind of callow kid. He sat straight on the horse, showing a wide, broad back, and strong shoulders. I'd bet there were fine, toned muscles under that crisp white shirt. From under his riding hat, I could see the wisps of fine blond hair, curling against a slim, long neck.

His lower half was clothed in tight, smart jodhpurs, and long, shining boots. His legs were long, and slender, but obviously strong, as they gripped at the horse's flanks, and directed it firmly on its path around the field. The horse was trotting at first, then the rider nudged it into a canter, at a smooth, comfortable pace. As I watched, the guy lifted up and down in the saddle, matching the horse's speed and rhythm.

Up and down. Up and down. The tight jodhpurs; the clenching thighs; the bouncing ass...

It was a delicious ass; small, tight, muscled buttocks. I could imagine how it'd look naked, my eyes boring through the layers of fabric. I wondered how the whole of that body would look, naked, moving up and down like that, thighs tight against a different mount --

The desire for rubbing down overwhelmed me again, and I was ashamed at my lust. My jeans were tightening around my crotch, and that certainly hadn't happened to me for a while.

A horse snickered behind me -- the broom in my hand caught awkwardly on the stones, and the loud scraping noise startled me, reminding me that I was there to work, not ogle. I turned back to the yard, with a reluctant sigh.

*

The delicate aroma of horse shit had successfully dampened the excitement in my groin, and my wrists hurt from the fierce brushing of the yard -- but my mind kept wandering.

Gorgeous rich guy like that, wasn't ever gonna mix with someone like me, right? I knew the school was booked up for the holidays, starting next week -- full of sweet little girls, raised on a diet of pony club books. They'd all be simpering over him, I was sure. Even if he hadn't already got a beautiful, well--bred girlfriend. Bet he's as straight as the proverbial arrow, I thought. Bet he has to beat the girls off. Bet he'd have no desire whatsoever to beat me off...

When the voice came from behind me, I nearly jumped a mile. "Duo? Duo Maxwell?"

I spun round, to give the prankster a mouthful of abuse, and came face to face with the mysterious rider. Christ, he was as delicious up close, as he was perched up on the horse! He had a cool, steady voice -- lower than you would have thought, seeing that handsome, boyish face; those wide, clear, bright blue eyes. Not that I was staring, of course!

"Guess you don't remember me," he smiled, pushing a strand of his blond hair back off his forehead. What a smile! His whole face lit up with it; I didn't seem to be able to keep my eyes off the plump, wide lips. "We were at junior school together, for a short while. Quatre -- Quatre Winner. I've been away for a few years, of course -- I guess we've all moved on a bit..."

His shirt was a little clammy, from sweating over his exercise, I assumed. It was obviously silk; it clung to his muscled torso; to arms that flexed gently at his sides. I imagined peeling the silk off his skin, tugging it gently off the sticky flesh. I wondered how his sweat would smell; how it would taste. Gorgeous, inevitably. There was a small trail of it, shining in the hollow of his throat.

What the hell was up with me? I forced myself to stop looking at it. At him.

Quatre Winner? Of course I remembered him! Though I'd never have recognised this tall, slender god as being the same guy! Winner had been a slight, skinny, good--natured little kid when he was at the school -- not that I had much to do with him, because I was going through my Mr Rebel impression at the time. He'd been Mr Rich Kid, Mr Different -- nowhere near unruly enough to be in my gang. But he'd not been a geek, or anything, even though he had all that money -- I remembered him having his own kind of respect in the class, and I'd accepted that quite amiably. I think I envied it a little, to be honest. He came top in most subjects, was good at sports, stood his round at the snack machine -- then his family had whisked him away, like I said, and we didn't see him again.

I looked at the tall, fit young man in front of me and nearly whistled aloud. Guess we had all moved on a bit!

"I'd shake hands," he grinned. "But I'm rather sweaty at the moment -- let me clean up first. Anyway, I saw your name on the staff list, so I've been -- well, I've been looking out for you, ever since. I saw that you got to college, that's great!" There was an attractive flush on his cheeks, and he was talking on, in that firm, gentle voice. He kept trying to catch my eye, but I was inexplicably avoiding his full gaze. He felt rather too near for comfort -- mine, that was! I took in gulping breaths of that Eau de HorseShit, trying to calm my racing heartbeat. "I always thought you were too bright to be hanging out with that crowd at school --"

"Guess I outgrew them," I said, hoarsely.

He smiled again, like he knew exactly how I felt. I wasn't sure how he could. It had certainly been a struggle -- but by the end of school, I'd managed to separate genuine friendships from millstones around my neck, and somehow come out of it in one piece. Many of the other guys at school that I knew had gone on to juvenile crime and/or blank, boring lives.

I'd chosen -- and taken -- a different route. Looking at the smile of pleasure on this man's face, I felt ridiculously proud that I had!

"You want to sit for a while? I think the yard's wet enough now," he said, a little wryly. I'd left the hose on, while we talked -- now there were small puddles around our feet, and the water was lapping dangerously at my boots. I groaned to myself -- nothing like messing up your job in front of your boss! -- and I hurried to the tap to turn it off. I wondered if I'd got those perfect leather boots of his wet as well. He didn't seem to be bothered, I had to admit.

When I turned back towards him, he was smiling broadly at me.

It made me want to smile back. Hey -- seemed I just wanted to smile, for the hell of it!

*

We lowered ourselves on to the bench outside the stable barn. Side by side. It was a narrow bench -- I could feel his thigh against mine.

"Quatre Winner --" I said, cautiously. "I guess I thought you were too bright to be hanging out with any of us, at school. And aren't you in charge of the family business now? The manager here said you were away in New York, or someplace..."

He shrugged. It was a gorgeous, easy movement. I remembered again how he'd looked on that horse -- graceful and confident at all times. He and the mount moved together like a single unit; with a single purpose. It had been awesome to watch.

Watch out! groaned my crotch. Swelling alert... I crossed my legs, as carefully as I could, without crushing important parts.

"I've taken some time out, a month or so, for the summer. I like it here," he said, simply. "Always did. I asked Father if I could stay on, all those years ago, but it didn't meet his plans. I had to be educated elsewhere -- I had to become Quatre Winner, the consummate man of business. There wasn't any space for Quatre, the boy, and what he wished. I had a role to play, within a few years; the role I play now, running the Corporation."

I stared at him, seeing the wistful expression; remembering the quiet, resourceful boy at school. Guess we might have been friends if he'd been around longer. He certainly seemed a bit young to have all that on his shoulders. "Tough, eh?"

He grimaced. "Parental expectations, you know..."

"No," I said. "Never have known. Don't have any, y'see."

He flushed with embarrassment, and I felt mean. It was the sort of sharp comment I'd have made at school -- not now that I was meant to be growing up. "Sorry," I said, and shrugged at him. "Cheap shot. I'm OK with it nowadays." We smiled at each other. I felt a heat that had nothing to do with the weather, and cleared my throat, awkwardly. "Guess there are compensations though, aren't there? For being Big Boss? For having fabulous places like this?"

"Yes," he nodded, slowly. His eyes widened; his eyes flickered down my body and back up again -- I wondered if I had horse feed down my shirt, or something. He caught my puzzled gaze and held it. "Yes, Duo, there definitely are compensations."

I liked the way he said my name -- very precisely, but with a soft drawl to it. Like a caress; like the licking of an ice cream.

Yo... that image sparked more problems with my unruly groin! I uncrossed my legs, and crossed them back the other way.

*

There was a moment of companionable silence, then Quatre spoke again.

"You know, Duo," he began, his voice sounding surprisingly nervous, "I always liked you at school -- I admired your nerve, and your confidence. I -- wanted to be in your gang. I really did! Stupid, kids' stuff, eh?" He laughed, rather loudly. The skin crinkled under his eyes when he did, and there was a dimple in his cheek by his mouth. Just right for the tip of a tongue to tease...

I laughed back, also too loud. "Nah! You were too good for that -- too smart -- "

"Too rich, you mean," he said, rather sharply.

"Um...yeah, I guess so."

His face creased with sudden anger -- with frustration. "That's always been the way, all through my life. People only see the money -- the family name. Not me! It's always held me back from friendships. From genuine relationships."

I snorted, trying to break his mood with a joke, and bring back that sumptuous smile of his. "Hey, I can't say I have the same problems! Fighting off fortune hunters -- it must be exhausting! All those gorgeous horsey--type girls, with cut--glass accents, athletic thighs, and impeccable breeding; and all with an insatiable desire for something as delicious as you --"

I slammed my mouth shut and flushed bright red. Had that been my voice? Had I actually -- what the fuck -- said that aloud? I wondered wildly if I'd earned enough this month to get a bus ticket home, because I sure as hell wouldn't be employed here tomorrow, after insulting the boss like that --!

But Quatre was looking at me with amusement -- seems he'd got the joke after all. "But I don't have that problem, either, Duo; fighting the girls off! Ever since that society magazine 'outed' me at Royal Ascot last year, during my European tour, the girls keep a respectful -- if curious -- distance. Mind you, if you want to talk about the horsey, well--bred, youngest--son boys... I might admit to a few problems there!"

He was laughing. At himself. At the fact that he was gay, and everyone knew, and he didn't seem to mind in the slightest.

Everyone knew -- except for me. Well, it's not like any of us had it tattooed on our foreheads, is it?

"Duo," he said, grinning. "You look a little stunned! I'm sorry, did I shock you? I suppose I assumed that you were --"

"That I was what?" Don't know why I was being so belligerent.

His face gave that delightful flush again. "I know, I was rude, I apologise. But what was that word you used, about me? Delicious?"

I groaned. Out loud. I was so fired...

When Quatre put a hand on my arm, I nearly jumped up with shock. "Please, don't be embarrassed, Duo. I'm flattered you noticed me. I've always thought you were great! Since you beat up Bully Bryson in the fourth year, for picking on someone's little brother -- since you stripped off to your briefs that time and climbed the school flagpole in protest about the crappy meals -- since you punched the Head Boy in the groin, for calling you white trash!"

"Think he left, shortly after that," I said, ruefully. I'd spent the next few years in and out of detention, and barely missing permanent suspension. I'd tried to work damned hard, despite my difficulties at fitting into school life -- but when I made the college place, no--one was more surprised than myself!

Some of Quatre's words echoed in my head. He thought I was great! Well, he had then.

"I thought you were great," he repeated, as if he heard my thoughts, and this time I turned to look him fully in the face. There was a slow, almost hungry smile on his handsome features. "I still do. Great -- and gorgeous."

I looked into the big, pale blue eyes, and wondered why it felt like he was flirting with me! I wondered when he'd shifted up on the bench, so close to me now that I could feel the heat of his muscled thigh through the fabric of his jodhpurs. I couldn't say that anyone had come on to me in the last year or so -- I rather thought I'd forgotten what it felt like.

If it had been anyone other than Quatre Winner...

But I had to admit, from what I could remember, this sure felt like it!

*

He sighed, quietly. "I have more exercise to do, on Winner Paradise III. I'd better get back to the training field..."

I resisted the urge to grab out at him, as he stood up. I wanted to see more of him -- much more!

He seemed equally reluctant. When he looked down at me, there was a mischievous glint in his eyes. "You've been here some time, Duo, but I haven't seen you riding out. Won't you join me, now?"

"I --" I said, because, just for a second, that was all I could manage. "I can't ride."

"Can't?" he said, softly.

I flushed. A guy's got his pride, y'know? "I mean, of course I could, if I wanted to. It's a damned fine sport, of course it is..."

"You'd like to learn?" His face looked innocently interested in my babblings.

"Yeah, yeah," I said, far too emphatically. "I'd love to, of course! I just never had the money."

He moved just half a step forward, and his legs pressed against mine. The angle we were at, with me still sitting, his groin was level with my chin. Oh God...wept my hormones.

"I'll teach you, then!" he said, brightly. "Just as an old school pal, right?" He helped me to my feet, politely ignoring the twisted look that my strangled lust gave to my face. "Those pants will be fine, just for training, for today -- the boots as well. Later on, we can find you jodhpurs. So -- are you up for it?"

"Up for --?"

"For riding, of course," he said. His face was level with mine now, he was just a fraction shorter than me. His eyes sparkled with something suspicious. "Do you think you have the right requirements?"

"Requirements --?" I said, weakly, my mind on something other than jodhpurs and boots.

"Balance," said Quatre, briskly. To my surprise, he reached out and took hold of my hands; turned them palm up. "You need sensitivity in your hands, strong knees..."

I snorted. "No problem!"

"And the right ass," he continued, blithely.

I coughed, violently. My face felt like it had caught fire. "Ass?"

"The ass for the job," said Quatre, letting go of my hands, and turning to lead me back to the training field. "Not everyone has a good seat, Duo. I need to know you can take my instruction, you see..."

I swallowed, painfully; dragged some words up from my dry throat. "And what about you?"

He paused. He back up at me, and smiled slightly. "Me?"

"Are you a good instructor?" My voice sounded very aggressive; I didn't want to insult him, of course...

Looks like I didn't. His gaze remained completely steady. "Instructor --?"

It was my turn to blush again. "In horsemanship, of course."

"Of course," he repeated. And grinned. "I'm the best!"

*

I hadn't thought it through, had I? The only horse available for riding was that huge damned beast that he'd been riding himself -- the thoroughbred Winner Paradise III, or whatever it was called. Guess Horsey would be just too familiar...

I paused at the gate to the field. The horse stood near the fence, casually admiring the view, sweating softly. It turned its head to stare at me; I stared right on back.

"You'll be OK, Duo," said Quatre, at my shoulder. I could smell his body odour; not too sweaty; hints of citrus cologne. "Mine's a smooth ride..."

I whipped my head round, and found his wide blue eyes a mere few inches away. He looked totally innocent. "My horse, that is, Duo. He's a smooth ride, when he gets to know you."

"Right," I said. My voice still sounded weak.

We walked over to Paradise III, and Quatre offered his hands out to lift me up. I put my foot in his cupped palms -- the horse stood like a rock. Perhaps it wouldn't be so bad. And I did really want to spend some more time with this gorgeous man...

He bumped me easily up into the saddle, though it was a damned high horse. I leaned over, like I'd been shown when I tried before, swinging my other leg over the horse's back. I could have sworn that I felt a touch at my ass, as I did; it felt like a hand, spread out on my butt, tipping me into place.

Quatre's hand? I wriggled on the saddle, trying to get parts of my body comfortable in the unfamiliar position.

Quatre had threaded up a lead rein, and came to stand beside the horse's flank, at my leg. For a few moments, he was busy, helping my feet into the stirrups. Then he looked up, and I saw the sun shining in those pale eyes; there was amusement there, I saw. Perhaps some concern, as well, because it was damned obvious that I'd never ridden before; perhaps there were some other emotions, too. I wriggled again; wasn't sure how I'd be able to ride a horse with the erection that was threatening to embarrass me, right now!

Quatre put up a hand, and rested it very deliberately on my thigh. Stay cool! I told myself. He's just settling you -- just being reassuring --

I looked down at him. I was sure he couldn't see the beads of sweat on my forehead; though he might have been able to feel the shaking muscles in my thigh.

"Let's go then, shall we?" he called cheerfully. He stepped backwards, letting out the rein to its limit. "Trust me, Duo! I'll make a horseman of you yet!"

*

It went well, at first. It wasn't so bad -- funnily enough, I felt reassured with Quatre there, leading the horse in a slow walk, knowing he was in control of the animal, whatever I might be doing. And what was I doing? I was sitting deathly still, mainly; I was gripping the reins, and fighting down nausea, and generally praying to some old God of horses to keep me safe, and not humiliate me too much in front of the young man who had his eyes so fiercely on my body.

For educational purposes, of course!

"You can start to lift yourself now, Duo," he called. "Better to start that on a walk -- we can move on to a trot later. You need to get the feel of the horse, the movement you need to make, when it moves faster; when you start to ride properly. Come on, now --"

I lifted my ass very gingerly -- I let it down again rather lumpily. Quatre was making encouraging noises, so I did it again. The horse walked along in a very stately fashion, and I bounced my butt up and down on the saddle, trying to establish a sensible rhythm.

"Press with your knees!" Quatre called. "That's good! You move well, Duo. Perhaps we'll progress in a minute to --"

That's when the rabbit darted out across the field in front of Paradise III. I never heard what Quatre was going to progress on to, and I never heard his sharp call to the horse, steadying it. The horse had sidestepped slightly, that was all -- there'd been no dramatic rearing up, or loud, frightened whinnying, or any nonsense like that. Just a slight break in rhythm -- but enough to throw me off my concentration.

To throw me off completely!

I jerked in my seat, and felt the loss of a stirrup; suddenly, gravity seemed to be skewed -- my whole body felt top--heavy, and I started to slip sideways.

I could see a blur of blond, out of the corner of my eye; Quatre, running towards me. I felt the horse's surprise, as it wondered why it couldn't hold on to its incompetent rider. And then I saw the grass approaching fast.

I yelled some curse, or other; I put out a hand to break my fall. There was a whistling noise, and then I heard my body thud on to something that didn't feel like completely solid ground, and I felt the impact of limbs underneath me that, strangely enough, didn't feel like mine.

I let the shock subside; my head stopped spinning, and the fear settled down. I shook my head, carefully -- there didn't seem to be any serious damage there. My butt felt pretty bruised -- one of my wrists felt slightly sprained. I shifted a leg, cautiously.

There was a groan, underneath me. With a completely different kind of shock, I realised that I was lying full length on my back, on top of Quatre Winner!

"Hell!" I grunted. "Sorry -- oh God --" I could feel his arms round my body, obviously he'd caught out at me as I fell. One of his legs was jammed between mine, which is why he'd groaned when I moved. I twisted my head round, and stared into his face. His hair was half over his forehead; there was a smear of dirt on his cheek. He looked rather flushed, but then I suppose he would, with my full weight on top of him! I couldn't feel more horrified -- I couldn't move fast enough, to release him --!

Then I felt his arms tighten round me -- felt his torso press even closer against me. "Lie still for a minute," he hissed. "You may be hurt --"

I wanted to reassure him, that it'd take more than a fall from a horse to finish me off -- and surely he might be hurt, as well?

But I have a shameful confession to make -- I lay still, just like he instructed. I lay on top of him, feeling his muscular arms round my chest, and his laboured breathing at my neck. I felt the pressure of his groin at my ass; felt the warmth of another body all through me. Smelled him; heard his whisper of comfort. I wasn't going to give up such bliss any time soon, I realised!

*

Finally, our breathing slowed down, and he seemed satisfied that I wasn't injured. He rolled me gently off him, and we lay side by side for a moment, on the grass. Over by the fence, Paradise III gave us a disdainful glare.

I risked a glance at Quatre. He sure looked tasty, lying there, spread out on the grass, hair mussed, and the pink flush still on his cheeks. Seemed that my lusty thoughts had survived the fall, better than I did! Then Quatre turned his head round to me, and grinned. "OK now, Duo?"

Never better, I wanted to say. "Yeah, I'm fine. I'm sorry, Quatre, I lost my balance --"

"That's OK," he sighed. "Maybe I lost mine, too."

I didn't know what he meant; he was a great rider, wasn't he? "Hope I haven't hurt the horse," I said, suddenly worried.

The boy lying on the grass beside me smiled. "Paradise is fine. I'm fine. You're fine..."

I wasn't sure whether he was delirious -- his voice sounded dreamy. Perhaps I had knocked something out of him, after all. I sat up, wincing, knowing I'd have bruises tomorrow.

"You need to look after yourself, Quatre, breaking my fall like that." I said, a little worried. I mean, I could lie here on the grass with this delicious creature for a couple more hours, before I got bored, couldn't I? But it was time for me to be honest. "Look, I -- lied to you, Quatre. I was just showing off -- I don't really want to learn to ride."

"I know," he said.

"Huh?" I said. So why had he strung me along like that, letting me make a fool of myself?

He turned on to his side, propping his head up on one arm. "Why did you lie, Duo?"

I blushed; his gaze was very direct. And I wasn't sure I felt comfortable with the way he was staring at my mouth, as if he wanted to eat up the words as they spilled out. Oh well, I thought. There'll be other holiday jobs. There'll be other guys... Somehow, I wasn't so sure about that last thought. I didn't think there could be many like Quatre Winner, out in that cold, cruel world of mine.

"It was really because I wanted to be with you," I said, in a rush. "Wanted to impress you -- wanted to spend time with you. Get to know you better..." He was watching me, carefully -- his eyes seemed to get wider. "Look," I said, wretchedly. "You're not gonna be interested in a poor college kid like me, I know, so let's forget about it, right? The other guys will be back soon. I'd better clear up, and I'll quite understand if you want me to leave, I've caused enough trouble today --"

"They're out for several hours more," he said, sharply. His voice didn't sound so dreamy, now. "I told them to spend some extra time on exercising today -- there are no lessons booked until Monday." He saw my eyes narrow, with all my unspoken questions, and he sighed. "You deserve my confession now, as well. Please stay, Duo -- stay here with me! When I saw you in the stables, I just had to come over to talk to you. I wanted to see if you remembered me -- if you had any pleasant memories of me. When I was at school, you were the only one who treated me just like another kid -- and that honesty is precious to me."

"I'm the one who put your head down the toilet the first day you arrived!" I said, in amazement.

He grinned. "And I was the one who kicked you in the leg so hard that I bet you still have the scar!"

I stared back, the light dawning in my sad old brain. "I sure do..."

Quatre was watching my expression. "Then the opportunity to give you a riding lesson came up --" He sighed, and rolled his body further towards me. I could feel his hot breath on my face, and so did my traitorous groin. I thought I could feel one of his fingers, tracing gently at my hip. "I could touch you -- hold you, legitimately. I wanted to get to know you better, too, Duo." His eyes strayed to my mouth, and his tongue slipped out to lick at his lips. It was a thick, pink tongue; looked like it could really do some damage to my taste buds. "Much better!"

I stared at him. What was he saying? What was he offering?

"You gonna show me that scar, Duo?" he whispered, leaning his forehead against mine. My hand lifted up, to touch at him -- I brushed against his chest, and he sucked in a sharp breath. I could feel sharp little nipples, fiercely erect under the damp, creased silk. There was no way it was from the cold.

And then he kissed me. Hard. With plenty of tongue!

I wasn't gonna say no to that instruction, was I?

*

I can't remember exactly how we got there, but shortly after that first touch, we were together in the deserted stable barn; I was on my back, and the straw on the floor was prickly underneath me. I seemed to have lost my shirt somewhere -- so had Quatre. Underneath, his skin was smooth, and his muscles were hard -- his nipples were small and dark brown, and they tasted like sweet little nuts. I knew that -- because I'd licked and sucked at both of them, even as I wriggled the thin fabric off over his shoulders. The peeling off of that silk had been everything it had promised! I reached up to nuzzle at the tasty little nubs again, and his hands slid under my torso, to pull me harder to him.

And then there were his kisses! He'd been fierce on the training field, but he seemed to have progressed to the advanced tutoring pretty quickly, too! His tongue was slick and it wasn't gonna take 'no' for an answer -- not that I was resisting! My estimate of the damage his tongue could do to my taste buds fell well short of reality -- there was no mistaking the fact that he wanted to taste me -- more like he wanted to devour me. His breath was panting in his chest, as he held my head in his hands, and plunged in and out of my mouth. I took gulps of air when I could -- nipped back at his lips and tongue, and teased happily at that cute little dimple in his cheek. Yeah, I gave as good as I got!

We rolled about a bit more, until we both had straw in our hair, and the marks of greedy fingers and teeth all over our chests. We pulled our shirts underneath us, as some protection against the rough cobbled floor. My heart was hammering fiercely -- and then it was Quatre's turn to lie on his back underneath me, my legs spread out around him, my inner thighs pressing against the outside of his calves. I lifted myself up on my arms, gazing down at him, sucking in a much needed breath of air.

"Quatre --" I gasped. "Shit, is this real?"

His eyes were wide and fevered, and his tongue was still flickering out of his mouth, reaching for me. "Very real, Duo -- very much so -- I can't tell you how much I want you --"

My eyes ranged down his body; the sweat on his chest, his heaving stomach, the very obvious bulge under his smart, tight jodhpurs...Guess I could see how much he wanted me! It made my head swim with excitement. He was watching me, and saw where my greedy eyes hesitated.

"It's painful, Duo," he whispered. "Let me loose -- take them off as well..."

I have to admit that I fumbled -- it's not that I've had a lot of practice at this, you know? I was too damned excited as well. I sat back on my heels and tugged off his boots, one at a time. Then I struggled with the buttons of his pants; I got tangled with the flaps of fabric, and they just wouldn't come down. I cursed under my breath -- my fingers felt like fat sausages, and just about as careful!

"Sorry," I gasped. "Don't wanna hurt you -- clumsy --"

He was wriggling underneath me, as if he really enjoyed the touch, regardless -- I hardly dared to believe that was true! When I first caught sight of the soft, curly, dark blond hairs of his groin, I felt my breath halt in my throat. If I didn't get him free soon, he'd surely lose his patience. Obviously, I'd blown it -- now he'd tell me to get off, and get out --

"Duo..." he whispered. "So good..." He arched up, and his hips reached up towards me. The skin was pale and taut, all across his bones. He was touchability come to life! "Don't worry," he added. "Take it easy...you're careful enough with your stable work..."

"That's -- that's just rubbing down horses --" I protested.

"So rub me down!" he groaned.

I started to laugh -- and then I felt my fingertips itching. That was just what I wanted to do! I put my hands up to his shoulders, then drew them slowly down his bare skin, all over his chest, his nipples snagging under my touch, his stomach muscles clenching in, as I ran over his navel. My fingers slipped along the shallow trails of sweat on his skin, as if I rubbed in linament, or stroked him down, grooming him. He moaned, softly. I lifted my hands, put them back up to his shoulders, and repeated the movement.

On the third run, I felt his body relaxing a little under me; his eyes closed gently, savouring the touch. Couldn't have him dropping off, could I? So on the next downward trail, I ran my hands just that little bit further, and into the opened pants. I could feel the warmth of his groin -- I could touch the soft, damp curls. He sucked in a breath -- his eyes flashed open.

"Yess, Duo..." he hissed. "Please..."

This time, my hands were more confident! I sat back, still astride his legs, and I peeled the tight fabric off his hips, easily enough. When he lifted up his legs, I dragged the pants right down to his ankles, and then off, to drop on to the stable floor. No underwear, I noted. Can't have been comfortable, up on that horse! Did he always go commando -- or did he have some idea of preparation for this? Now he lay, spread naked, on his back in the straw. Grinning at me.

I grinned back. I think I may have leered.

His cock reared up at me, swollen already with its excitement, and springing free of the restrictive jodhpurs. It was blood red, straining against its sheath of sensitive skin, shining with pre--cum. It looked as magnificent as every other part of his luscious young body. Guess he'd always had good food and careful handling -- he was a true thoroughbred, himself!

"Say it again, Duo!" he moaned. Sounded like he was begging -- I liked the music of that. "Say what you thought of me -- when you saw me --"

"You mean delicious?" I teased. "I thought you were delicious --?"

He sighed, deeply. His hips thrust up underneath me, and his jutting cock bobbed up at me. "Taste me, then, Duo -- tell me if it's true!"

I knelt between his outstretched legs, I put my hands on his bare hips, and I dipped my head to his groin like I'd seen the horses reach for a draught of cool water after a hard morning's exercise. I went down on him, deeply, and greedily, and ecstatically; I felt the heat of his arousal as it slid into my mouth, trembling and bucking between my teeth. I think that both of us were shocked by the thrill that shook our bodies.

"Goddd!," he gasped. "Please... lick me -- suck me --"

I followed his wishes; I licked and I sucked, and I thought I'd probably died and gone to heaven! He tasted of aching skin, and a sour sweat, and a warm flavour of clothing and expensive soap. My head lifted, then plunged down again, and built up a slow, steady rhythm. My teeth teased at the tip of his cock; my tongue swiped hungrily across the head, and into the blossoming hole there.

"You're a damned fine instructor," I murmured, and felt him shudder as the vibration of my words rippled round his swollen arousal.

"And you take instruction so damned well!" he groaned. He grabbed out at my head, tangling his fingers in my hair, tugging me up and down his cock. "The best!"

*

Just when my jaw was beginning to ache, and I was starting to feel the discomfort of my groin, swelling with its own need, but with everything critical crushed inside my pants as I leant over Quatre -- just then, his hand tightened in my hair, and he stopped me. I could feel his cock throbbing between my lips -- he was close to coming, I was sure.

"Quatre --?"

He gasped, his face beaded with a sweat that I was very tempted to lick away. "You wanted to get to know me better, Duo --"

"Uh--huh," I sighed, head swimming, lips bruised, my own cock throbbing like it had a flashing neon light on top. If he'd just reach down and hold me now --!

"How much better?" he hissed. His words were hot in my ear; he swiped a lick all down my earlobe and on to the pulse of my neck. His hand slid between our bodies, cupping at the tented swelling in my too--tight pants, yet never quite grasping my desperate erection firmly enough. "I want more of you, Duo -- much more! But I don't know whether you want that, too..."

He sounded just that little bit nervous -- and in that minute, I had a glimpse of that skinny, self--effacing little kid I'd known at school. Now this I could deal with! I smiled at him, lasciviously -- I bent down for another hot kiss.

"Oh, but I do, Quatre! I want that very much..."

His eyes shone, in reply; he slipped his hands behind my ass, and slid a finger in under my waistband. About time! groaned my aching body. Time for me to get naked, too!

"You're eager, aren't you! You wanna do it here?" I teased him. "Right now?"

"I can't wait, Duo --," he gasped. "I want to test out your requirements on a much more personal level --"

I laughed, while he tugged at my pants, pushing them down my thighs. Seems like I'd forgotten underwear, too -- but then, that was my natural carelessness! My cock bounced out of its confinement with a sigh and a sob of delight. I saw Quatre's eyes dart up to look at it -- I saw the gleam of his pleasure.

"The scar --?" he murmured, and I saw him looking down at my left thigh -- there was a pale, white scar, from a well--aimed bruise that had drawn blood, all those years ago.

I shrugged, a little shamefaced. I'd deserved it. "So which one of us was the bully, then?"

He grinned, and his eyes returned to my groin; he licked his lips. "About those requirements, Duo..."

I toed my boots off quickly -- wriggled one leg completely out of my pants, and then the other. Throughout it all, I kept myself balanced between his legs; I didn't want to lose my position of advantage; I didn't want to lose the gorgeous sight, writhing below me. "You mean, Quatre, you want to examine my sensitive hands, my strong knees --"

"Uh--huh," he groaned. "That -- and that. And your ass -- "

That's where his hands were, now. I was knelt over him, reaching for more hot, tongue--filled kisses. My groaning cock was dripping pre--cum gently on to his stomach, and my ass was thrust up in the air, quite as naked as it is in the shower every night. But just now it was covered, not with soap, but with Quatre's hot, strong, sweaty hands, gently kneading the muscles, and tugging the cheeks apart, to go hunting...

*

I flinched a little. Like I've not had that much practice at that business either, y'know?

"It'll be good," he whispered, as if he suddenly realised my caution. "Over there, by the tackle -- there's some vaseline... can you reach?"

I stretched a hand over to the rack of riding tackle, knocking aside a few bridles, and hearing the crash of my broom on to the floor. But I managed to snag a tin of vaseline, and brought it back for him.

He wriggled under me again, flipping the lid off, and coating his fingers liberally. Then he tugged my head back down for another kiss, and his hand ran lightly back to my ass, following that same path, back along to the sweet, sensitive skin behind my balls. But this time, his fingers were cold and slick, and whilst I wanted to laugh again at the ticklishness of the touch, I was also rather concentrating on holding my breath, just as the tip of his longest finger reached up to the puckered flesh of my entrance, and teased itself inside...

I yelped. It felt damned good! "So --" I panted, as Quatre's finger probed around gently, 'testing' me out. "Do I have a good seat, then?"

"A damned fine seat," he grunted back, and his hands clutched rather tightly at my buttocks, squeezing them.

I winced, and his eyes met mine, concerned.

"Bruised ass," I explained, apologetically. "From when I fell off that beast of a horse. Gonna be painful, when that connects with this stony floor --"

He looked up at me, wide eyes staring. "So stay there," he said, breathlessly. "Just as you are, now. Ride me!"

I stared back. I felt my cock bounce with excitement. I mean, I didn't mind being bottom at all -- especially not with a treasure like this man was -- but I admit I hadn't been looking forward either to kneeling on the spiky straw, or having my sore buttocks squashed against the cold, cobbled floor.

But Quatre's suggestion was something else again!

His words were spilling out; his face was very flushed. I could feel his swollen cock, still damp from my sucking, pressing impatiently at my belly. "I want you, Duo -- I want to be inside you! Climb astride me -- come down on me. Didn't I say I'd make a horseman of you yet? I can watch you -- I can see your face, even as I push up into you --"

I was scrabbling for the vaseline tin, barely hearing his words, wondering if it were possible to come just from imagining the delight he was offering! I grabbed a handful of the sticky, slick stuff, clumsily letting some of it drop off my shaking palm, on to his stomach. He hissed in a breath at the chill of it -- he grimaced. "Let me do it!" He reached up his hand, taking the surplus off my fingers. Then he wrapped both of his hands around his erection, and started to lube himself down.

Now I knew it was possible to climax, from mere dreams! I was away in a fantasy world, up on Cloud Nine, out of my frigging head, as his bright blue eyes stared at me, barely focussing -- as his steady fingers gripped and slid, and gradually rolled up and down his cock.

Patience has never been one of my greater virtues.

"Get that inside me!" I growled. "Damned fast!" I shifted further up his body, placing my legs on the outside of his again, straddling him. I batted his hands away from his cock., and he moaned a little, in disappointment. But I wanted to be the one bringing him off -- I wanted it to be my body that sucked him in, that took his thrusts; that gave him the completion he deserved. I stretched my own sticky hand down, and probed around in my hole a little, loosening it as best I could. I felt real tight -- I felt real nervous. It had been a long time since I'd seen any intimate action...

Then I stretched my body up over his -- I spread my legs as far as I could. And then I started to lower myself down, guiding my hole over his shining cock. It was rearing up, reaching for me; if it had a voice, it would've been screaming for me!

"Duo!" he gasped. He was sinking into me -- he was breaching me, and plunging up into me.

I gritted my teeth; the feeling was astonishing -- and thrilling -- and fantastic!

I sank down fully, so that my groin rested on his hips. Panting, we stared at each other for a second, adjusting to the feelings. On my part, there was a little pain, sure -- but a hell of a lot more excitement!

"As gorgeous as I always thought --" he whispered, and his damp hands gripped at my hips, to anchor me. I lifted again, then plunged down. Repeated it. And again. He was starting to whimper -- I didn't think he'd last much longer. I gripped my cock, starting to pump myself along with it all, because the aching was just too damned painful to ignore any more -- and then he batted my hand away, and grasped it himself. Those smooth, strong fingers were folded around me now, and they were pumping me, and they were silky with the vaseline, and firm with his urgency, and we were both pounding away together towards the same unbelievable delight.

"You lied to me!" he groaned.

Huh?

"You are an experienced rider --!"

Through my lust--lidded eyes, I saw him lying prone beneath me, his hips thrusting up into me, matching every movement I made. I saw the grace and the strength of his body in every rippling muscle -- and I saw my own body atop of him, bouncing happily with hunger and excitement, and beating the same, sensual rhythm, as we both hurtled on our ride towards ecstasy.

I smirked. "Guess I might be -- but not of horses! Though --" I gasped, as I felt the tension coiling deeply in my groin, and control slipping inexorably away from me, "-- this sure feels like riding Paradise!"

Quatre cried out, his hands clutching at my arms. "Yes -- now --!"

I felt him burst up into me -- I felt his fingers grip me too fiercely, and his body shudder with the climax. It was the trigger I needed myself, and my own climax came thundering up through my body and spurting out in streams of hot, thick seed, all over his belly.

*

I couldn't hear for a few moments -- my body was still shaking. Quatre's voice came through a fog of bliss and exhaustion.

"Well...that's definitely bruised my ass as well!" came his gentle, breathless complaint.

"Seems only fair," I grunted in reply.

We gazed at each other, covered in straw, sweat and seed -- and we started to laugh, in pure joy.

This had just been a summer job, hadn't it? Who'd have thought that I'd have the chance of riding lessons, and that they'd be from this gorgeous, willing body? I smiled down at Quatre, and I guess he saw the light of mischief in my eyes.

"What? What is it, Duo?"

"Nothing!" I grinned. "Just wondering when the next lesson will be!"

End

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