Story Excerpt
Farmer in the Dell

flame div

“Who’s the cutie?” Mitchell Walker asked as he watched the sexy little blond across the burning fire pit from him. He didn’t know if it was the way the flames seemed to highlight the sandy blond curls that bounced around his face when he tossed his head back and laughed or the simple joy the man seemed to take in just sitting with some friends around the fire.

Whatever it was, Mitch hadn’t been able to look away since the man sat down.

“Dude, could you be a little bit more specific?” Russell Bozeman, Mitch’s best friend since kindergarten replied as he waved his beer bottle toward the bevy of beauties sitting around the fire. “There’s a lot of cute out there.”

Mitch chuckled, his beer bottle hovering just inches from his lips. “The cute little blond sitting next to your brother.”

“Ah, that cutie. That’s Elliot Foster, Adam’s new roommate. I guess he doesn’t have any family to speak of so Adam invited him to come spend his vacation here with us. Mom adores him.”

“So, he’s just here for a couple of weeks?”

“Yep. They have to head back to the university in ten days.”

“That’s too bad.” Mitch kept his eyes locked on the cute little blond as he tipped his beer bottle up and took another swig. “I’d tap that.”

“Yeah?” Mitch could hear the curiosity Russ’s voice as the man gazed out across the fire. “He’s cute enough, I suppose.”

Mitch snickered. “He’s fucking adorable.”

Russ’s head snapped around. “I thought you didn’t do twinks.”

Mitch grinned wickedly. “There’s always a first time.”

He quickly downed the rest of his beer then scooted off the tailgate of his truck. Mitch walked over to the cooler someone had brought for the party and grabbed himself another beer and a coke for Elliot. Mitch hadn’t missed the fact that Elliot was not drinking alcohol.

Mitch took the long route, walking around the outside of the fire line before stepping over the log Elliot was on and sitting down beside him. He tapped Elliot’s empty soda can with the new one, holding it out to him.

Elliot’s eyes widened for a moment and Mitch almost felt like preening under the man’s clear astonishment. “I’m Mitch Walker.”

“E-Elliot Foster.”

“Yes, I know. I asked,” Mitch said, nodding toward the coke in his hand. “I thought you might be ready for a new one,”

“Um…” Elliot’s eyebrows drew together in confusion as he took the soda from Mitch and popped the tab on the top. “Thanks.”

Mitch hid his grin behind his beer and quickly took a sip. “I hear that you and Adam are roommates at the university.”

Elliot smiled as his eyes went to Adam. “Yeah.”

“What are you studying?” Mitch asked, wanting Elliot’s eyes back on him. He liked the shy way the sweet little man looked at him.

“Same thing as Adam,” Elliot replied as he looked back. “That’s how we met in fact, in school.”

That surprised Mitch enough that his eyebrows rose up. “You’re going to be a veterinarian?”

“Yep.” Elliot smiled as if he was proud of that fact.

“That’s cool.”

“What about you?”

“Naw, the university isn’t for me.” Mitch chuckled lightly as he shook his head. “I barely made it through high school.”


“I’m a third generation farmer. Always have been, always will be.” Mitch wasn’t sure if it was curiosity shining in Elliot’s green eyes or distain at his chosen profession. But he wasn’t ashamed of what he did. He loved it. “I’ve been working the farm since I was old enough to ride on my daddy’s knee. I’ll do it until the day I die.”

“You like it?”

“I love it.” Mitch took a sip of his beer, turning his gaze toward the roaring fire. “There’s something very satisfying about watching your hard work grow right before your eyes and knowing that at some point, it’s going to feed your family or your neighbor’s family.”

Elliot’s head tilted, a quizzical smile crossing his lips, making him go from simply cute to astonishingly handsome. Mitch knew he’d have to get the guy to smile some more. He wanted another one of those devastating smiles.

“You really do love it, don’t you?”

“Yeah.” Mitch hid his nervousness at the question by taking another sip of his beer.

In this day and age, not many people understood his love of farming. It was a lost art as far as he was concerned. Most people either bought their food at the supermarket or owned large commercialized farms that produced product for mass markets.

The individual farmer was a thing of the past.

“That’s cool.”

Mitch glanced at Elliot out of the corner of his eye, not sure if the guy was laughing at him or not. The earnest look on Elliot’s face surprised him. “You think being a farmer is cool?” Mitch had heard weirder things, but not many.

“I don’t know much about being a farmer but loving what you do is cool. I think if more people did what they actually wanted to do instead of what they were told to do or thought they had to do, there would be a lot more happy people in the world.”

“Yeah.” Mitch took another sip of his beer, watching Elliot. He was a strange little dude, cute, but strange. “So, you always wanted to be a veterinarian then?”

“Oh yeah.” A wide grin spread over Elliot’s lips. “When I was around six years old, a couple of baby birds were born in a nest outside my bedroom window. I was fascinated by them, watched them for hours every day. When one of them fell from the nest, my mother said I was hysterical. She brought the baby bird inside and put it in a box.”

Elliot chuckled as his gaze dropped down to his hands. “I think she thought the bird would die and was preparing it to be buried in the backyard. Instead, I took the bird down to our local veterinarian. I went down every day, taking out the trash and sweeping the floor to pay the bill. Several weeks later, the vet and I freed that baby bird. As I watched it fly off, I knew that I wanted to be able to do that, to keep animals from dying and set them free.”

Okay, it was definite now. Mitch was totally intrigued.